Question – Osho, Why do I Always fall Asleep during the discourse
Osho – This is a very ancient religious practice, this is not new. You are not doing something special. Religious people have always been doing it. So take it as a confirmatory sign! You must be becoming religious.
I have heard… During the Second World War the pastor at a church was asked how many persons could sleep in the church-building in the event of an attack. ”I don’t know,” replied the pastor, ”but we sleep four hundred every Sunday morning.”
This is perfectly good. You enjoy your sleep! Don’t feel guilty about it. Sleep is as much a spiritual activity as anything else. Let it happen. Don’t be worried about it, otherwise you will start fighting with your sleep. What will you do? – you start feeling sleepy and you have not to sleep. I don’t give you any commandment. I don’t give you any orders.
I don’t say, ”Don’t sleep. This is bad-mannered, this is a sin.” No! What can you do? If sleep comes, sleep comes. Let it come. Fall into it easily, totally, and you will be surprised – soon it will disappear. Or, a new phenomenon will arise in you: that you will become able to sleep and yet absorb me.
We have a special term for it in India – no other language of the world has such a term because no other people have gone so deeply into these spaces. We have a special term; we call it YOGA NIDRA, a meditative sleep. If you listen to me totally, you can relax. And the relaxation will take you into a kind of sleep which is not ordinary sleep.
You will not hear exactly what I am saying, but still you will find that something has been constantly happening to you. So nothing to be worried about. And there can be many reasons. Maybe your sleep is not deep enough in the night.
And remember, I am not against sleep at all, no. I am not against anything. If your sleep is not good in the night, maybe in the morning, feeling love for me, feeling warmth for me, being together with me, you start almost feeling like you are cuddled, and you go into sleep. It is perfectly good, it is healthy.
And if you can sleep deeply here, soon you will be able to sleep deeply in the night too. Then it will disappear. If it is an ordinary sleep it will disappear. If it IS YOGA NIDRA, a meditative sleep, it will become deeper and deeper. But you will not be missing anything.
And one thing is very good about it – don’t feel guilty, because I say this is a very ancient religious tradition. In fact doctors have been known to send people to religious discourses when they suffer from insomnia.
It reminds me of an atheist who often got into discussions with the minister. After much urging the atheist finally agreed to attend a church service the following Sunday. The minister prepared a masterly discourse to appeal specially to his friend’s appreciation of logic.
When the two met the next day, the atheist conceded, ”I will say this for your Sunday sermon – it kept me awake until the early hours of the morning.”
The clergyman beamed. ”I am happy that I succeeded in making you doubt the wisdom of your convictions.” … ”Ah,” said the other, ”it was not that. You see, when I nap in the daytime I can’t sleep at night.”
Remember perfectly well that with me all is allowed. Never feel guilty. If there is anything I want you to get rid of, that is guilt. Otherwise small things start becoming wounds in you. You feel guilty – ”What will others think? You have fallen asleep!” This has nothing to do with anybody else. Fall asleep! Waking also, you are not very awake, so I don’t think you will be losing anything. What is your wakefulness?
Just your eyes are open, that’s all. And one can sleep perfectly well with open eyes – just a little practice is needed. That’s what happens in many car accidents. Many car accidents happen somewhere in the night nearabout between two and four, and the reason is that the driver is trying hard to keep his eyes open; by and by, he becomes capable of keeping his eyes open, and still he falls asleep.
He keeps his eyes open and falls asleep with open eyes. Now this is a scientific finding. And that makes the whole problem: because he thinks he is awake he goes on driving because his eyes are open, but the sleep has taken possession of him, he is no longer aware. When you are awake, there is not much wakefulness; just a small part of you is awake.
So you are not a loser, don’t be worried. Whenever sannyasins come and ask me, ”What should we do?” I tell them: Don’t fight, otherwise you will miss me and you will miss the sleep too. That will be really unnecessary trouble. If you fight with your sleep you cannot understand what I am saying and you cannot sleep either.
At least save one – sleep. If it is physical sleep it will help you. Soon you will be able to sleep deeply in the night, because you will learn the art of sleeping. If you can sleep here while I am shouting at you, then who can keep you awake in the night? Or, if it IS YOGA NIDRA, then it is a tremendously beautiful space.
There are a few people who fall into YOGA NIDRA: Sheela is one, Mukta is one, Arup is one. These people fall into YOGA NIDRA. That is good! They become so utterly silent that it LOOKS like sleep. They also feel asleep, but something starts entering into them. YOGA NIDRA is more like a hypnotic sleep.
You can go to Santosh, our hypnotist; he will tell you more about it. In a hypnotic sleep some thing tremendously beautiful is possible. What happens in a hypnotic sleep? The person becomes asleep to the whole world, but not to the hypnotist’s voice. He goes on listening to it, one window remains open. That is why the hypnotist can order.
He can tell the hypnotized person, ”Stand up!” and he immediately stands up. If somebody else orders him he will not listen, he will remain asleep. In YOGA NIDRA that happens. Being with the Master you become so relaxed – where else can you be so relaxed? Where else are you so accepted and so welcomed, so loved, so cherished?
You start falling into a kind of sleep. In fact, the word HYPNOS means nothing but sleep. The meaning of the word HYPNOS IS sleep. You start falling into a kind of relaxed state, deep relaxation, but still my voice is being heard. Your intellect may not understand but your heart goes on absorbing it. And then it goes very deep, sometimes deeper than you can hear it while awake.
I have heard… Herb McGlinchey, a Philadelphia ward leader, was once followed around by a reporter who was trying to write a feature story on how a busy politician spends his day. Now McGlinchey’s drinking abilities were legendary.
By the end of the day McGlinchey was still fresh and dapper, but the reporter who followed McGlinchey back to the bar at the forty-second ward clubhouse was soaked to the gills and was taking a nap sitting at the bar with his head resting on his folded arms.
McGlinchey was whispering into his ear, ”McGlinchey is the greatest. McGlinchey is terrific.”
”What are you doing, Herb?” an aide asked.
”Shut up!” McGlinchey is reported to have said. ”I am talking to his subconscious. We are going to own this guy!”
When you fall into YOGA NIDRA, your conscious mind goes into sleep, but your unconscious is very alert and goes on absorbing. And that absorption is very deep, it goes to your very roots. So don’t be worried about it. If you fall asleep, fall asleep. Hungry, eat; tired, sleep. And when it is hot, it is hot, and when it is cold, it is cold. This acceptance is trust.