16 April 2014

How to Stay Awake while Meditating

Stay awake during meditation
Staying awake while meditating can be tricky for some. Getting into a comfortable position and clearing your mind is a good way to settle down to sleep - and that's the problem for many people who meditate. If you struggle with this problem, here are some ways to stay awake during meditation so that you can complete your sessions without ending up in the land of nod. 

1. Try not to get too comfortable. This may sound counter-intuitive because you need to get into a comfortable position so that you can relax and let go. However, the classic lotus position has its merits when trying to stay awake during meditation. By sitting upright, preferably without the need to lean on a chair or other comfy object, your body is preventing you from sleeping. This is because the moment you doze off, your body relaxes and your head falls backward or forward, automatically waking you up. Should you be laying back in a chair or bed, your slumber will continue.

2. Focus on your 'anchor'. This can be a shining light in your head, your breathing or any other single thing you wish to visualize. Try to focus on this no matter what. It is true however that you can be asleep before you know it, and your anchor has been forgotten without you noticing - but some find this technique useful.

3. Meditate for shorter periods of time. If you are falling asleep after 15 minutes of meditation, keep your session to 15 minutes and set an alarm. You can build up your time as you go on. Two 10 minutes sessions per day are better than one session of snoozing. 

4. Meditate when you are feeling energetic. If you are a night owl, meditate late. If you tire during the day, meditate in the morning before your day gets going. You can even do it in your lunch hour. You are far more likely to fall asleep during meditating if you are tired or lethargic.

5. Meditate with others. The stimulus of another person can help to keep you awake during meditation. You may not want to doze off in front of another person in fact. 

6. Approach meditation like a tiger ready to pounce. Meditation is supposed to help you deal with life in a more balanced and relaxed way. It is not meant to relax you to sleep. Begin your cosmic journey with the braced posture and focus of a wild cat, and energize yourself throughout your meditation experience.

7. Drink a cup of coffee or tea perhaps. If all else fails, a strong cup of coffee or tea before meditation may help to keep you awake. Everything in moderation. 

How to Stay Awake While Meditating - Video Version