I’ve been thinking about sleepiness and restlessness. In my recent visit to the Sleep Lab I had to fill out a questionnaire: did I get sleepy when I did this, that or the other? No. Despite my insomnia, I’m rarely sleepy. Exhausted, often. But not sleepy. There also is a lot about sleepiness in the Real Happiness breath meditation: if you feel sleepy, open your eyes. When I’d come to that part, I’d think, somewhat impatiently, this doesn’t apply to me. Or: if only I could feel sleepy.
Then, in the Concentration section of Real Happiness, I came to a description I recognized: “Restlessness is the flip side of drowsiness.” I’ve always been physically and mentally restless. I can barely sit still in a movie and a three-course meal goes on too long for me. Sharon’s advice is to make the restlessness the temporary object of your meditation. Yikes. That seems like it would be feeding the fire, but I guess the challenge is to watch the restlessness but not be the restlessness.
I did the body scan today for the first time and I was a little disappointed. It didn’t seem different enough from a yoga class, say, and it was hard to feel that I was really meditating.