Questioner: Namaskaram Sadhguru. Many times during meditation, I tend to fall asleep, maybe due to tiredness. Please guide me on how to stay alert during meditation.
Sadhguru: So, if every time you sit for meditation, if it so happens that you are tending to fall asleep. I want you to understand what it is, first of all. Most people – not most people – lot of people in the world, can not sleep even when they want to sleep. Yes! Lot of people go to bed, and desperately try to sleep, and they can not sleep. They have to pop a pill to sleep. This is the condition of millions and millions of people on the planet.
If sleep is invading your life just anytime of the day – one thing is, fundamental thing is to check up your basic health. Just checking, if there’s something wrong with your system – physically wrong. That you’re going through, as in, you have noticed you’re not well. When you’re not well, you sleep much more than normal, isn’t it? Because something is happening in the body, which does not allow enough energy to do other things. It wants to rest. First thing is that.
The second thing is – the food that you eat. So, if you… you must do… you know, generally for people who are in the yogic path, you know what they say? You should eat only 24 morsels. I’m not saying this to everybody. And if you’re noticing that you’re tending to fall asleep through the day, you eat only 24 morsels of food. That is 24 mouthfuls. Why 24? I will not go into that number business now. But there’s a science behind it. You only eat 24 mouthfuls. Mouthful does not mean [opening mouth really wide open].
Essentially your alertness depends on how keenly you manage your energies
So, essentially your alertness depends on how keenly you manage your energies. And, this is crucial if you want to meditate. Not doing 15 mins shoonya – if you want to become meditative in your life process, this alertness – alertness not of the mind alone. Alertness of your energy – that your energy is alert. To keep it in an alert state is why you are doing the sadhana.
So to assist it, you eat only 24 morsels. Try from dinner. Or you want to do it tomorrow? Shall we try this in dinner or tomorrow? Now if you do eat only 24 morsels – normal sized morsels – you will see in the morning, you will wake up at 3:30. Yes. In the Indian way of looking at time, there’s something called as a ‘nimisha’, which has something to do with 24. That’s why you eat 24. You eat 24. And still you must take the same time, as somebody who is eating a full meal. Whoever, just see whoever eats maximum in the ashram, just see their plate. Till they get up, you must be sitting right there. Not simply sitting, you must chew. To every mouthful, you chew 24 times. 1-2-3-4, chew it 24 times. Now you will see, you will take more time than anybody else. But your food is pre-digested in your mouth before it goes in. It will not cause dullness. If you chew your food sufficiently, you will see food will not cause dullness. If it’s masticated in the mouth region, then morning you will wake up at 3:30. What do I do Sadhguru? Just what you asked. Meditate.
You’ll feel hungry at 3 o’clock, 3:30 – you are up. Drink one glass of water, and sit. If you feel drowsy, even with water, it’s alright – still there is time for 5:30. You can doze a bit. Or when you wake up, first thing you finish your toilet and stuff, have a shower – leave your hair wet. You will survive, till 8 o’clock in the sadhana time, without sleeping. And, tomorrow’s morning meal also, if you eat 24 – no way you are going to sleep till dinner time. Chew it well. If you chew it well, the digestive process – 1.5 – 2 hours, you will be hungry. And, that’s the way to stay.
Hunger does not mean you have to… stomach is empty does not mean you have to put food. You just have to put water. And, you will stay alert. You will be energetic. You will not loose any weight. Because, your system will learn to use the food you’ve eaten well, rather than simply wasting it. It’s both economically and ecologically very good for the world. And, very good for your health. Probably you will never fall sick, if you eat like that. So, 24 morsels of food, you must chew 24 times. Each morsel fully, must become like paste, before you eat it. You will see you will do wonderfully well. You can meditate.