The Petite Death and Resurrection

When I awoke this morning and immediately I found myself a bit frustrated because once again I didn’t catch myself falling asleep. For the past couple of weeks, (when I remember) I’ve been mindfully trying to observe myself falling into sleep. I normally don’t get to bed until around 2 a.m. and by then I’m exhausted so if by then I remember that I want to observe my sleep process… its a miracle!

When I do remember I get excited because I just know tonight is going to be the night… tonight I’m going to watch and observe myself fall asleep. So after the initial rush of exhilaration I lye there and I observe my thoughts. It all goes quite well for the first minute or so and then all of a sudden I’m off thinking about the most random things or reminiscing over something that happened years ago. I’ve gotten to the point where I’ll catch myself 2-3 times off on a tangent thinking about something as opposed observing… it doesn’t take long before I’m waking up at 5 a.m. to go use the bathroom and I wonder where did I go wrong!

I’m not sure what I’m expecting to happen or if this is even possible. I suppose what I’m hoping for is to cultivate an ability to observe myself falling asleep right down to the moment I let go. What I’d like to be able to do is observe my thoughts not control them but observe them and as they taper off move my attention to my breath and then perhaps count down to sleep. Is this even possible? I don’t know but I’m going to find out.

If I can do this, observe my sleeping process then the next step for me is lucid dreaming.

If you really think about it when you go to sleep every night you don’t really do anything falling asleep happens of its own accord, I’m guessing this is basically how it is when death comes to you. Each night you are literally one day closer to dying but right now you have the opportunity to observe a petite death in yourself. Metaphorically speaking you die every night you go to bed so why not take advantage of that and observe?

We might also take this opportunity to let all the troubles of the previous day die with us. When you awake the next day you should awake to that moment not yesterday. When you awake to that moment stay there, that’s where you need to be, that’s where all the energy and vitality is… that’s were you belong. Think of it as your petite resurrection!

This isn’t easy to do and like I said I’m playing with it myself now but isn’t it easy to see the fortunate circumstance we find ourselves in each night. We have the opportunity to be mindful and observe something that most of us take for granted, falling asleep and waking up… the petite death and petite resurrection.

You can absolutely have a new beginning each day! Like Penelope Cruz said in the movie Vanilla Sky, “every passing moment is another chance to turn it all around”.

[[[ Sweet dreams! ]]]


4 Comments so far
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Thanks for this post and your website. I try and fall asleep mindfully each night as well. Although I cannot remember falling asleep I have some success with semi-lucid dreaming.

Comment by Rockne

So you’re trying this too… Isn’t it a trip!

Just being mindful enough to remember to try it is a hurdle in and of itself. I’m going to keep at it, I think this practice will give mindfulness a whole new meaning for me. I’d love to hear some stories of lucid dreaming so if you have some or when they come please do share.


~ Echo

Comment by casualtyofdesign

I too have been working on this for quite some time, but the other day while reading K(Krishnamurti)I came across this great quote:

“This abandonment of the self is not an act of will; this crossing over to the other shore is not an activity of purpose or of gain. Reality comes in the fullness of silence and wisdom. You may not invite reality, it must come to you; you may not choose reality, it must choose you.”


Comment by Deanna

Heeeeeeeeey Deanna!

I’m digging the quote it makes sense completely, I think a lot of people come to this realization by accident. After months, years of trying and seeking when there are no tangible results they might finally throw up their hands… give up and that’s when the magic happens.

From what I’ve read and listened by way of Alan Watts he explains that this is the devious secret of most Zen masters. Students come running to them for guidance and after some time of the Zen master telling them he has nothing for them… eventually the master will take the pupil in. The Zen master will then give the pupil many task, riddles and Zen stories all to tie the student in a knot with the purpose to frustrate the student to the point he/she gives up! In the giving up they find what they’ve been looking for was right there with them the whole time.

Thanks for the quote love having ya!


Comment by casualtyofdesign

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