Choreography of the Unseen

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How much time does it take for you to get up from your bed after you wake up? My research among several professionals tells me that for most people the time lag is about 30 minutes. What really happens in the interval between waking up and getting up? More often than not it is a raging battle between your best intentions and your mental forces. The intention is to move on immediately after waking up. Yet, how indulgently the head tosses and turns on the pillow! There is the luxury of a few more stolen winks of sleep. Then, the romance of half dreaming half awakened haze sits like a soft blanket on the consciousness. You know that you must get up this very instant, yet you pull back. You recognize, if you are aware enough, that your own mind has stopped listening to you.

Your mind is a fascinating choreography of the unseen. If you examine the content of your mind at any point in time, you will see that the mind, as you know it is nothing but the sound produced by vibrating thoughts. As you wake up in the morning a swarm of thoughts like a million bees start buzzing in the mind space. During waking hours, there is no other way to tame this chaotic buzzing of thoughts than to make the mind one-pointed. The Sanskrit word for one-pointed ness of the mind is ekagrata. In the state of ekagrata the multiple noises of chaotic thoughts become one harmonious sound. This may happen when your mental forces are gripped by a fascinating sight or smell. Ekagrata may be experienced when you are really engrossed in the work you enjoy. It can also happen when you face an imminent threat to your life such as a snake slithering under your desk.

Just as during the day the mind can become one pointed and outbound, the same mind becomes one-pointed and inbound when you go to sleep. In fact, you don’t go to sleep, you just go to bed. You dim the lights and rest your head on the lap of a pillow. Sleep comes to you when the noisy thoughts fall silent as they return home to the mental space from where they came. Thoughts are like the rapid fluttering of the wings of a bee. When a bee sits still on a flower to taste the nectar, its wings stop fluttering. Similarly when thoughts sit still during sleep, they stop their chaotic buzzing. The nonsensical noise of thoughts fall under the pall of sleep and soon becomes the hushed voice of dreams. Deep sleep is as refreshing as a bout of silence after deafening noise.

On a very practical note, if you really want to make sure that you get up as soon as you wake up, just do this: drink a couple of extra glasses of water before going to sleep. You will realize how those unseen forces in your own physiology, that want to eliminate excess water makes your mind one –pointed. Thus, you begin to rule your mind.

© Debashis Chatterjee, 2015

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