4

I like to meditate sometimes just before bed. Invariably I end up drifting off into dream type states and ending the mediating early. Is it a waste of time to meditate when tired or conversely are there some particular benefits to doing it then?

Many thanks as always

1

Before giving a definite answer, it is important to know in which posture you normally are when meditating, and what you are habitually thinking, feeling & behaving minutes to hours before.

If

When you're lying down then obviously your body will think it's time to sleep. If you ate a lot, you will become sleepy due to the dgestive activity.

You also have to realize that practise is preferably done as much as possible, that is, (i) to prevent & to abandon unwholesome state of minds; and (ii); to bring to existence and to strengthen wholesome state of minds. This is right effort.

Rigjt effort is that important because whatever you think and ponder upon frequently, of that will be your inclination of your mind.

"Whatever a monk keeps pursuing with his thinking & pondering, that becomes the inclination of his awareness. If a monk keeps pursuing thinking imbued with sensuality, abandoning thinking imbued with renunciation, his mind is bent by that thinking imbued with sensuality. If a monk keeps pursuing thinking imbued with ill will, abandoning thinking imbued with non-ill will, his mind is bent by that thinking imbued with ill will. If a monk keeps pursuing thinking imbued with harmfulness, abandoning thinking imbued with harmlessness, his mind is bent by that thinking imbued with harmfulness.

MN 19

So if you have been negligent in your daily life regarding the five hindrance (no offense here, it happens to all of us), then naturally the hindrances will be quite strong during a formal sit.

This is precisely the reason why kammatthana ('place of work') refers to the continous work of weakening of the five hindrances, and the strengthening of the seven factors of enlightenment.

|improve this answer|||||
  • Thanks for the answer. I meditate sitting on a meditation cushion. If I ever try to meditate lying down then I will go to sleep regardless of the time of day! – Crab Bucket Feb 4 '19 at 6:40
2

Sariputta discusses this in DN33.

Here is the problem:

Eight grounds for laziness. Firstly, a mendicant has some work to do. They think: ‘I have some work to do. But while doing it my body will get tired. I’d better have a lie down.’ They lie down, and don’t rouse energy for attaining the unattained, achieving the unachieved, and realizing the unrealized. This is the first ground for laziness.

Here is the solution:

Eight grounds for arousing energy. Firstly, a mendicant has some work to do. They think: ‘I have some work to do. While working it’s not easy to focus on the instructions of the Buddhas. I’d better preemptively rouse up energy for attaining the unattained, achieving the unachieved, and realizing the unrealized.’ They rouse energy for attaining the unattained, achieving the unachieved, and realizing the unrealized. This is the first ground for arousing energy.

DN33 is a long sutta. It is two hours long. I listen to it as much as I can. And when I am tired of walking, tired of listening, I hear the above verses. They come late in DN33, just when I need them.

Perhaps they may work for you as well. 🙏

|improve this answer|||||
1

Meditating when you're tired will just reduce the effectiveness of meditation. Just like unless the meditator enters to a continous strong awareness, their awareness naturally reduces at every night. But it is beneficial because you still create many moments of awareness for yourself. Also especially when you're tired during morning or afternoon, you can overcome tiredness by insisting to continue the meditation. So part of the meditation would be for overcoming the tiredness.

Only physical sickness tiredness is different so you may choose to not meditate when you're sick. Some meditators don't go to sleep for many days and continue meditating all night so there are benefits in meditating at night for few minutes, half an hour, an hour or more.

|improve this answer|||||
1

Ajhan brahm recommends to ''meditate'', meaning sati sampajana, samadhi, when you wake up, but have not yet got up. SO you wake up in bed, at this point you do not have much mental masturbation, and you are comfortable and not tired. You do that for 1 hour before getting up.

People do not care enough about lying meditation, because they are weak at avoiding falling asleep (which is the hardest thing to avoid). However, lying mediation avoid pains, which is the thing that people fail to deal with. This is because people try to push away thoughts (without even knowing why, without even discriminating between good thoughts and bad thoughts) and concentrate on an object, they try to get the citta to sit in samadhi, before they do sati sampajana. Then they claim that samadhi is too hard. Again, they fail to understand that it is the good thoughts that make sati sampajana and samadhi easy. A mano full of nekkamma and metta brings the citta into samadhi.

THe suttas expose a few tricks against drowsiness

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/hecker/wheel263.html#fnt-3

|improve this answer|||||

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.