Monday, 7 July 2014

Caffeine and meditation: any help?

Now I have a clearer understanding of the effect of caffeine on my system, and on the assumption that it affects others similarly, I need to look at the question: is caffeine useful to keep us awake when we meditate?

Because people do nod off when they're meditating. I find that even if I've had a reasonable night's sleep, it can be hard to stay awake, particularly during the body scan stuff. Lying down, eyes can't tell the difference. Until someone starts snoring.

So why not caffeine up and stay awake?

Doesn't work, I think. The pick-up isn't even. Either I'll find it harder to maintain a level sort of presence because the the old bonce is off running scripts, jabbering away, hopping around and has to be hauled back to the present moment even more often than usual. Result = jumpiness, and dissatisfaction with self more likely. Total equanimity burn-off. See pic below.

Or the caffeine has faded, and that's when I'll feel even sleepier. Peaks and troughs of stimulation don't help meditation, I find.

Better to meditate before coffee in the morning, and maybe later in the day, by which time the caffeine level should have subsided. Or cut down on the caffeine and try for more even energy levels throughout the day. Our culture seems addicted to the idea that we need large shots of sugars and coffee to make us function.

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