This is usually in the form of nightmares — horrific scenarios of death, tragedy regarding myself or loved ones. I often wake up in the middle of the night, heart pounding, disorientated, and filled with sickening dread, doom, and gloom. Not only are vast amounts of energy siphoned off, I usually have great difficulty getting back to sleep.Then one day, while at the monastery in group, the discussion turned to listening to recordings throughout the night. Wow, talk about a lightbulb moment of Aha! Life, in its infinite wisdom and compassion, had just offered me a process to counter ego’s ability to grab my attention throughout the night. Excited to participate in this invitation from Life, I inserted a new set of batteries in my recorder, put in my earbuds, and pressed play (I had hundreds of recordings lined up on continuous play) as I lay my head on my pillow.
It took me several nights to get used to the earbuds in my ears and to adjust the volume to where I could put my attention on the mentor, yet not be kept awake by the recordings. Within a week, the miracles began to happen. I would still wake up during the night, yet the experience was entirely different. Instead of waking into sickening dread, and the after-effects of a nightmare, I woke into the comforting, loving, kind and compassionate voice of the Mentor. My energy levels were not being siphoned off, and I would be able to get back to sleep quite quickly.What I discovered is that it didn't really matter what recordings I listened to; it was not the content, but rather the process of listening to the voice of the Mentor that allowed the transformation to occur.
I also noticed other things began to happen as I listened to my recordings throughout the night. Slowly and progressively, the nightmares disappeared altogether, and I would begin to dream about Practice, and the voice of the mentor would appear in my dreams. I would wake in the morning feeling energetic and refreshed, instead of drowsy, tired, and lethargic — as I did prior to listening to my recordings throughout the night.
I am grateful and amazed, how practical and versatile Recording and Listening is and how it has deepened practice.
Put a fresh set of batteries in your recorder, set up a playlist on shuffle, or continuous play of at least eight hours of recordings, and put in your earbuds right before bed. Spend the night with the Mentor instead of egocentric karmic conditioning/self-hate. Experience for yourself the transformative nature of putting your attention on Life.