01 June 2009

Sleep

If I'm doing chi kung (qiqong) meditation at home, I have a little routine I like to follow. First I do a little chanting. If I need to, I stretch. And then I sit meditation.

When you go into a sitting chi kung session, you often go very deep. Numerous fascinating things happen: you see colours throbbing and pulsing in front of you. Reality goes in and out of focus. Sometimes there are special guest stars: I recently watched as globs of light dripped down from the ceiling of my room, and two sets of luminous footprints laid themselves out in a counterclockwise circle around me.

When you come out again, you have to settle back down into yourself before you can stand up and walk around. You've been in touch with another, higher level of consciousness. Plus in my case, I've been sitting in half lotus, so things are...numb. I usually have to take a minute or two of just sitting with my legs stretched out before the feeling returns, my energy settles, and I can stand and head out into my day.

One of the things I have on hand for this time is Deng Ming-Dao's book 365 Tao: Daily Mediations. This is a cute little book that gives you a word, a Chinese character done in a gorgeous calligraphy, a snippet of verse, and a prose extension of the snippet of verse that tie in with the word for each day of the year. During my wind-down time after sitting, I'll read the entry for that day and think about it.

The word for June 1 is "Sleep". The poem I thought I'd share because it's uncharacteristically horroresque for a book of cute daily meditations:

Sleep is like a swift train
Plunging into long black tunnels,
Slicing day with red and black light,
No worry about the skeleton engineer.
Head to pillow is like head to track,
Listening to the rumble of destiny,
Knowing that the opening will come.
In sleep, as in the tunnels,
The sound seems ever closer.

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