Trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit.Moliere
I’ve had a lot of comments from my students, and wider community, about their frustration when meditating – especially when listening to a guided meditation.
Their frustration is that they are falling asleep, and feel that somehow they are missing out on the experience, or the learning, or the transformation.
The truth is, nothing can be further from that.
Whenever I have run face-to-face meditations with groups in my longer residential retreats, there is always at least one student who falls asleep. I expect it, I remind my students that this may happen, and I tell them not to worry – because the spiritual work will still be done.
Why do you fall asleep in meditation? It happens for any of three main reasons:
- You’re truly exhausted – physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually. This is actually true for most people. We are used to pushing ourselves. But when we start to do soul work, we need to stop pushing. Pushing is the opposite of flow. The wise part of you, feeling safe during a meditation, allows the mind and body to go to sleep because we cannot grow, heal and change effectively when exhausted. Our very survival depends upon our ability to rest our mind and body. Know that your soul self is still listening, and benefiting from the meditation. Don’t resist that need to sleep – it’s what you need most right now. Trust that the spiritual work will still keep happening!
- Part of you is in deep resistance to opening to deeper intuitive connection. So, the wise part of you shuts down your conscious mind so that it can’t object to the work you are doing. While most of you is asleep, the wise part of you is still connecting, and and moving you into flow.
- You need time for integration. Meditation brings up energy to be cleared, and energy to be integrated. This takes time, and one of the fastest and best ways to integrate and heal is while you are asleep.
Eventually, if you keep meditating, you will move beyond the need to sleep, and your practice will deepen. Until you get to the next level of resistance, integration or healing, when you will go through this process all over again.
So, the next time you fall asleep while meditating, be pleased that you have given yourself exactly what you most needed. Keep up your practice. Stop fighting what is, and accept that this is right for you now.
Much love, and gentle encouragement for you to be kind with yourself, Nicole xx