Each 'Choose-day' we will investigate the process by which we can reassess our activity and interaction with the world of plurality and become more congruent within our personality.
We are reading the small booklet called "Not Too Loose, Not Too tight - Just right!" This is written by Swamini Vimalananda, and gives a very general overview of Vedanta for the beginner, with emphasis on the sattvic, rajasic and tamasic approaches to life. Remember, we are a mixture of all; use this as your mirror.
निद्रा /nidraa - sleep
Sleep is basically a tamasic activity, but the quality of one's sleep can be any of the gunas, depending on how you sleep and awake.
Sattvic; when we enjoy sound sleep and awake alert, rested, rejuvenated, bright and refreshed, then that sleep is sattvic. It fosters a creative, contemplative mood and gives a good start to the day. About six to seven hours of good sleep at night is enough to refresh a normally healthy person.
Rajasic; when our sleep is restless and interrupted by spells of wakefulness or dreams, it is rajasic sleep. The body feels tired and the mind is agitated upon waking. We tend to get irritated quickly, which is obviously not a good way to start the day.
Tamasic; when we experience heavy sleep, and wake up feeling lethargic dull and heavy, sleep is tamasic. We lie-in even after waking up. The first thought on waking is to go back to sleep. It gives a very dull start to the day.
[Avblog; Swamini-ji is very short in her treatment of this particular expression of the trigunas! Yet this is one of the fundamental parts of our life which - even without the spiritual element - is fraught with all sorts of mischief. Modern living, with the supply of electric light and other abilities to continue activity beyond sunset has caused an upheaval, overall, to humanity. The boon has also become the bust of our ability to sleep properly. Many stay up way too late; rising early is seen as a joke by many; sleep is often disturbed. The causes for that are complex but it has been established that watching television or using technical equipment directly before going to (or even whilst in) bed leads to activation of the brain and thus sleep is not induced.
Gurudev worked on an average of two to three hours of sleep a night. It can be said from experience here, that when working from and for spirit, when the purpose is strong and meaningful, sleep becomes unnecessary. What sleep is obtained becomes more replenishing and beneficial.
In practical terms, for general living, advice would be to undertake some 'switch down' exercises before going to bed - japa, for example, or reading some scripture and, certainly, doing prayers. Ideally, bedtime ought not to be later than 10:30pm. In terms of saadhana, rising would be around 4am, but for majority folk, 5:30 to 6am would be the best. This allows for an unhurried and contemplative start to the day. For saadhakas, this would be morning prayers, meditation and or japa.
As always, you are being presented with elements which can inform your daily choices for living the best life you can.]