Q&A: Sleepiness and Dullness
What do you suggest for sleepiness?
Note: Upasaka Nandaka is using a tool called Descript to create machine-generated transcriptions of some of the talks on the TMI Archive (at a pace of up to 30 hours a month). The following is one such transcript. If you’d like to help edit them for accuracy and readibility, please see this Google Doc for detailed instructions: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1YxweiCr1N4YXY3Bn1mTzPBp811hTGolKroJS_RCMqo0/edit. Any editing contribution, no matter how small, is appreciated. Please remove this notice when the transcript has been fully edited.
Student: What do you suggest for sleepiness sleeping and sleeping? As it doesn't always happen, but sometimes again, we're aware there's nothing, there seems to be emptiness. And then I realized that I'm still very sweet. Yeah.
Culadasa: The CDNs is very much the same as distractions. It's somethings that your mind will.
Want to do rather than continuing to practice. And you train yourself out of it in very much the same way, except that in the case of sleepiness, you have to do something the energy level of your mind falls, and that's why you become dull and then drowsy. And this. For our fall asleep. And so you have to, first of all, learn to recognize it and to learn, to recognize it sooner and sooner because it starts out is very subtle and I founder in that it gets stronger and then you notice it.
So you tried the earlier, you can notice it the better once you've noticed it though, you need to do something to increase the energy Volvo, the bike. Again, you needed Rouse yourself back up to a state. A full wakefulness and alertness. And so there's different ways that you can do that. And these different ways are appropriate to different degrees or dullness of your experiencing or sleepiness.
So what you'll need to do is. Match. The thing that you do the antidote to dullness needs to be matched pretty well to the strength of the dolmas. What you're looking for is a strong enough antidote that it brings you back to a state of alertness that is sustained for at least several minutes, say five minutes.
If you sink right back into the dullness again, after 30 seconds, then you didn't use a strong enough antidote. So you need to use something stronger. And then it is. Process the process of training is learning to recognize mark quickly and then always applying the antidote and just re repeating the process over and over again until the time comes that you are rarely if ever subject to dullness and Johnson, the antidote, the antidotes are depending on how strong the dullness is.
Drowsiness can be overcome by something that kind of shocks the system and to a state of alertness. So if you're already feeling drowsy, I recommend taking several deep breaths. And if you're in a situation where you're not going to just serve somebody else, let the breath out very slowly against resistance.
And I take a deep breath. And you'll just feel the rush of energy up through your head when you do that. And if you do that several times, you should be wide awake. Now the thing that if you're sitting with other people and you don't want to disturb them is you can do the same thing, take deep breaths and block them out more gently.
Now, the other thing you can do is to task all of your muscles and relax on them. This is just you just waking yourself up, so if it's drowsiness, wake yourself up. And that way, if you catch it earlier, you, then you can use not so strong antidotes for the subtlest form of dullness, all you really need to do is to refocus your awareness on the meditation, RJ object, and bring it up to the same intensity and clarity, but that you become used to that, that that you're capable of.
But that's that only, that usually you're a pretty experienced meditator and about fifth phaser at practice. And you're working with eliminating subtlest, sponge of dullness for that to really be an addict, but then to do Normally, what keeps your mind awake is the stimulation we get from the senses.
And so what you can do when dullness is not very strong, we have to, but it's definitely, there is, instead of just being focused on the breath, expand your awareness to your whole body, feel all the different sensations in your body. Listen to the sounds around you. Just become aware of that.
You can open your eyes. That'd be open your eyes and opening your eyes and listening and feeling will arouse your mind to a certain extent. And if dullness is not too great, and that will be quite sufficient and it. But you can also meditate with your audience open. If that seems if that seems like it's working just, more of a broader awareness and you're awake in order to help speller is you might meditate with your eyes open rather than closed, not focused on not looking at anything in particular, just just open and your attention is backlog sensations.
And then if that's not enough, if you find sometimes there's when the dullness is stronger than the antidote, that your are applying, they'll have an experience called sinking. You'll bring yourself black up to alertness. And then, it's like you've risen to the top of the water in the pool and you immediately feel yourself starting to sink again.
So you find yourself sinking. You need to do something. Stop. You need to do something like the muscle clenching or the deep breathing. And even if DNA, if doing those, you still find yourself sinking, then stand up, meditate, standing up for a lot, switched from sitting meditation to walking meditation or even dove and splashing cold water in your face.
Go sit down. Yeah.
Do whatever's necessary to overcome the sinking so that you have like several good solid minutes before the dullness comes back and then repeat the process and don't be concerned with how often this happens or how often you need to repeat the process as you arouse yourself strongly. You're trading the line.
If it's strongly enough that you stay alert for several minutes, just produce the training fat. You'll have, if you're having a sit or there's a lot of dullness, you might experience it. At some point, you'll apply one of these antidotes and you'll become really wide awake and alert and they won't be a problem again for the rest of the set.
And that's great. This is the overall direction that you're moving towards as you'll find that more and more often, that's the case. Dullness comes on. You notice it quickly, you apply the antidote. Maybe you have to repeat it two to three times to put down while after that. You're okay. So probably at the time it will come or you very rarely have to do this at all.
Most people don't like don't that's it has don't. Makes it, I don't like dealing with volunteer. Dulles is pleasant, but you just, oh, you just really want to go into it and it's painful to pull yourself out of it. Ouch. I don't want to do that to myself. It's so nice just to get in this nice little dream you stay.
And as a result of that, And a person had very easily become prone to being annoyed because there's dolphins. Or if you're like, oh, this is a problem. I got to do something. Every it's just, what's the matter with me or I hate this, or, and those are the kinds of thoughts that you don't want to have those thoughts.
They will actually make it more difficult for you to recognize dogs because, if you beat yourself up for being. That not party or mind whose job it is to say, Hey, I think this is happening. It's going to say, Hey, I'm not saying anything. We get beat up when we speak up. So we've got to, you got to avoid negative reactions towards your dominance.
You gotta stay quantum this accepting and okay. Yeah. I'm going to have to work with dullness, whatever it's there.