She is a late riser. Given a chance she would want to get up at 11 which, her external compulsions do not permit. Hence, she wakes up in a gloomy mood forcing her to get out of the bed. Anxiety takes over her, followed by conflicting thoughts, a perennial battle between yes and no, between good mother and bad mother and so on. This, in any case, isn’t a comfortable situation. This makes her initiate her day in passivity, engulfed in quagmire of depressive mood. She arrives late, to school, where she has to drive every working day to drop her children, to office she wants to arrive on time, in her appointments and meetings. This is never her intention and yet she gets late and this affects her spirit, her acts through the day. She cannot just keep on postponing because there’s a pile of works, in office and back home, she had postponed earlier owing to her state of being, caused by her getting up late. Needless to say, she has many plans for her life put on hold owing to her being a late riser.


Gloom by 7 July :-)

On the contrary, I am an early riser. Getting up beyond six to me is like getting up at 11. Years together I have woken up at 3.30, particularly in winter and at 4.30 in summer. This sounds odd to my friends. In Hindu scriptures these hours are known as Brahma Muhurtha (Divine time). A Ninety eight minutes period before sun rise is considered to be auspicious time for meditation and attaining the ultimate knowledge. In Ayurveda (Life-knowledge, an Indian medicinal system) it is said that getting up in Brahma Muhurtha ensures health and longevity.

My experience is not otherwise. The mind is relatively still after it has rested for sufficient time. This is the ideal time for all the centers of the mind to get connected. And believe me this state of being is conducive enough to find connection with the source ‘unknown’. Most of my quality thoughts and realizations have emerged in these very hours with less of conscious efforts on ‘undoing’.

Early riser by tdlucas 5000

Early riser by tdlucas 5000

It’s the conscious mind which needs complete rest after a day’s long activity. I also believe that the quantum of sleep is invariably in proportion to how tired the mind is. I have found that if one is relatively calm and relaxed in the course of the day, succeeds in cutting down the internal dialoging which is mostly mechanical in nature and if one has some command over one’s emotions, one needs very less amount of sleep as mind is proportionally less tired. I also have reasons to believe that if one shuts off all the activities of the mind, other than being aware of one’s amness, one hardly needs any sleep. Body needs relaxation which can be taken care in the course of active hours by choosing right posture of sitting and walking and meditating while working.

But her problem is not ‘her’ problem in a sense that ‘she’ actually wants to get up early but fails at the very juncture when ‘one’ needs to show some courage, Let me call it the absence of ‘the courage of being’. She is like a possessed person, like we are when we are carried away by any strong impulse. She intends to sleep at 10.30 or so like any normal being, after a long active day, tired and sleepy, and if she happens to lie in the bed she easily falls asleep. Though, many a times, an impulsive desire in the form of ‘someone’ awakens inside her and wake her up. This ‘someone’ comes up with reasons for not going to bed, which she would invariably realize the very next day, waking up with difficulty, gloomy and low and pronounce the reasons for not going to bed early as pure justification, which in her language means false justification. On days, out of some lingering cause of excitement or effect of late consumption of caffeine or watching of a show or late visit of guests if she failed to sleep before 11 or so, the ‘someone’ will keep her awake and find reasons for not going to bed. She will find pressing house hold work she couldn’t do and had been postponing since months or days. Though, at times, she will end up watching shows including those she has watched several times. We all know how difficult it is to fight an impulse even when it is bed time, even when one is tired and sleepy.

Sleep is actually giving up all activities, means giving up trying. Activity is an act of conscious mind, even if it is passively mechanical, intellectual or emotional. Energies of different ‘power’ is used by different centers of the conscious mind hence we find different kind of drives.  We all ‘try’ to find  sleep when we do not find sleep rather than giving up trying. ‘Courage to be’ could be helpful by diffusing the impulse but by this time the impulse has caused damage to our natural sleep. The only way is to ‘untry’ to seep which means find ways to self- induce sleep.

There were days when my wife used to complain that I sleep in no time where as it takes her time to find sleep. In those days I used to either fall asleep reading a book or I used to gather my attention which lead me to sleep in almost a meditative state. These days aren’t different yet I need relatively a little more time.

The ‘road’ to meditation is through concentration. First, we need to focus our attention. Yoga recommends various focal points, such as, breath, forehead, tip of the nose, palate, base of the throat, forehead, breastbone, naval, image of one’s own deity or guru. The aim is to control attention so as to command the wandering mind and get into a meditative state. My aim is to do some reading as a routine and find instant sleep. Sleeping in a meditative state has an added advantage. One finds quality sleep and a relatively stiller mind when one gets up in the morning.

Finding Balance by Woodley Wonderworks

Finding Balance by Woodley Wonderworks

Late rising has added disadvantage. Normally, late riser isn’t deep asleep in the late morning hours. The mind keeps on shunting between half sleep and sleep. This is a dreamy state and eventually when one gets up with great efforts and a gloomy mood one can never find the stillness of mind. We all know how one will approach a day in such a state of being. ‘She’ is just an example.

But continuing with ‘her’ example, I can say with conviction that in her case, reading habit will switch that ‘someone’ with someone who will help her undo the impulsive drive. One ‘undoing’ will lead to other undoing and a whole chain of new cause and effect will initiate desired change. This new found ally thus will bring joy in her life.