Listen to a fading sound
Any sudden thing or sound makes you awake. Suddenness breaks your sleep, and ordinarily we are asleep. Unless something goes wrong, we are not out of sleep, we go on doing things sleepily. That is why we never feel the sleep.
This sleepiness can be broken. This technique says, in the beginning and gradual refinement of the sound of any letter awake. Try with any sound, with any letter – Aum, for example. In the beginning, when you have not yet created the sound, AWAKE. Or when the sound moves into soundlessness, then awake. How can you do it?
Go to a temple. A bell is there or a gong. Take the bell in your hand and wait. First become totally alert. The sound is going to be there and you are not to miss the beginning. First become totally alert, as if your life depends on this, as if someone is going to kill you this very moment, and you will be awake. Be alert – as if this is going to be your death. And if there is thought, wait, because thought is sleepiness. With thought you cannot be alert. When you are alert, there is no thought. So wait. When you feel that now the mind is without thought, that there is no cloud and you are alert, then move with the sound.
Look when the sound is not there, then close your eyes. Then look when the sound is created, struck; then move with the sound. The sound will become slower and slower, subtler and subtler and subtler, and then it will not be there. Then go on with the sound. Be aware, alert. Move with the sound to the very end. See both the poles of the sound, both the beginning and the end. Try it with some outer sound like a gong or a bell or anything.
This seems to be very simple, but awareness is very difficult, right now you think you are already aware and awake. Try this ”I will be awake, alert, for ten breaths,” and then count the breaths. You will miss. Two or three, and you will have moved somewhere else. Alertness is one of the most difficult things and then you will know that it is not child’s play. You are not aware – and when you try it, for the first time you will know that you have been asleep your whole life.
First do it outwardly, then you will be able to do it inwardly. Then do it. Wait for the moment when the mind is vacant, then create the sound inside, feel it, move with it, go with it, until it disappears completely.