I hope you’re doing fine! I write to you from our little home at the lake here in Europe.
I wanted to ask you something i got curious about: Are there special instructions of Bhagavan Adi Da considering sleep and waking up in the morning?~Is there something like a sleep sadhana in Adidam?~What is there to consider?
Great to hear from you as always.
Bhagavan Adi Da basically recommended sleeping on the right side. He said that this was better for the heart. And He also said that it opens the left nostril, which in general is the one of rest rather than activity.
He once told us privately that we could actually go to sleep with the intention of going into His Circumstance. This was not a formal recommendation. It was just something that He told us more in the oral tradition way. It was just passed on. He said that we could do this by using our malas and invoking Him on them as we went to sleep. Going into the space of the Guru is a traditional practice.
There is a book called Acting as a Way of Salvation: A Study of Raganuga Bhakti Sadhana, by David L. Haberman that Adi Da once recommended that members of what is now called the Sacred Theater Guild to study this book. It is a rather technical book, and I don’t think that everyone needs to look at it or read it. But in the raganuga bhakti tradition there is the practice to go where the Spiritual Master or Ishta Deity (Siva, or Durga, or Rama, etc.) to take a role or place in circles around the Guru or God and in meditation to imagine oneself in that role. For example, serving Him His meals in His House, or sweeping the grounds around His House, or driving Him in His Car, etc. Or simply to put yourself in front of Him in a Darshan occasion. But again, this is not a formal practice that Bhagavan recommended. Simply turning to Him is the basic practice for all times, and would be the basic practice when going to sleep.
He said that evening meditation can either be at the end of the day’s “work” activities, before dinner and the evening program, or just before retiring. So it is not necessarily that one will meditate before going to bed. I personally like to always read a little bit from one of Bhagavan’s books and to bow to Him just before I turn off the lights. But again this is not a formal recommendation.
I know some devotees who listen to tapes of Bhagavan Speaking as they go to sleep, and I will sometimes do this especially if I am not sleeping easily anyway.
Bhagavan was very specific with us that the time when we awake is such that the entire day can be influenced by what we do in the early morning.
So first thing is that He said that when it is time to get up, we should just arise. And not let ourselves drift back into sleep. He said that the kind of sleep that you get when you go back to sleep casually in the morning, a kind of reverie, is rather tamasic or sluggish and sets up the day in the wrong way. So when you wake up, you should just get up. Of course, if for some reason you get up in the middle of the night or too early, and it is really not the time to get up and you need more sleep then that is a different thing. But the falling back into a few more minutes of sleeping when you are up at the normal time, was what He was saying not to do.
The next thing is that He told us is to allow ourselves to awaken naturally once we get up. Not to stimulate ourselves with music or really bright lights. But just to allow the waking up process to proceed in quiet and slowly. He said that we could put water on our faces, and engage the “gag” response. I think that this is described in The Eating Gorilla Comes in Peace but it is putting your fingers down your throat such that you gag a little. And it opens things up before meditation. It is not something that I do all the time, but Bhagavan did describe it. But again this should be done in a rather gentle fashion.
And He said that there should be no conversation or discussion or having to do anything when arising, but just after washing your face and perhaps using the toilet, proceeding to meditation. And then after meditation, comes the puja. Where the lights come on more, and there is recitation.
He said that it was best after this for there not to be much conversation until we had studied His Teaching for a brief period in the morning. He said that all of this would set up the day in a proper orientation and mood.
He told us that if we did not take the time for meditation and puja, that we would go through the day with the feeling that we never had any time. There would be the psychic sense of rushing and having to handle things, because we had not done what was most important and truly needed to be done in the early morning.
I find that if I sleep in too late, or notice that it is getting too late in the morning, that I do not feel that I can meditate fully or do the Ruchira Avatar Puja, because the day is getting on too much. Sometimes then, I will not even check the clock to help myself not to go into that kind of a space. Even if one cannot meditate for the full space, it is best to at least take a few moments to establish oneself in meditation. And even if one cannot do the full Ruchira Avatara Puja, it is best to at least wave lights and incense and do some recitation (such as the full-feeling prostration verse from the Ruchira Avatara Gita—“My Heart-Master, Divine and True and Free…..”) and a full prostration.
Another thing that comes to mind, and this happens with me a lot because I travel to India or other time zones with a lot of regularity, is relative to adapting to a new time. Bhagavan Adi Da Himself would try to stay up until the normal time to go to bed when in a new time zone. Or alternately, He would get up at the normal time and then go through a normal first day rather tired, until it was time to go to bed. This is to help in the transition process to the new time zone. There is nothing about this that is a hard and fast rule. I just wanted to point out what Bhagavan Himself used to do and His most general recommendation to those of us around Him. This was not a formal recommendation or anything like that.
Tell me if this is what you were asking or if you actually were asking about something else.
with love to you my friend,