Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Controlling Drowsiness: Calming or Stimulating the Mind During Meditation

During meditation, you can sometimes overcome hindrances such as a turbulent mind or a drowsy mind by controlling the rate of your breathing, your posture and by opening or closing your eyes.

Breathing slowly can be relaxing, and if the mind is turbulent, breathing slowly can help calm the mind. However it can also lead to drowsiness. In the case of drowsiness, breathing a little bit faster may help one become more wakeful.

This effect may be due to two factors. Changing the rate of breathing may change CO2 levels in the blood and the activity of breathing faster may be enough to make one more wakeful.

Meditating with the eyes closed is also more relaxing than meditating with the eyes open.

If you start off a meditation session with a turbulent mind, you can calm it by breathing slowly with closed eyes. Then, if you get too drowsy, you can open your eyes and also increase your rate of breathing a bit.

If you start off drowsy you can try breathing a little more rapidly and with your eyes open. That can help fend off drowsiness.

In cases of extreme drowsiness, standing up while meditating can help you to remain wakeful. If needed, you can stand with your hands on the back of a chair to help you keep your balance. However, in some cases it might simply be necessary to get some sleep before meditating.

In cases of extreme mental turbulence, you can try meditating while lying down or doing relaxation exercises.

These techniques should help you to maintain a state that is relaxed yet awake, and tranquil yet alert, which is the ideal state for meditation.

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