Are you sleeping, Brother John? – Traditional French song
In the old familiar children’s song, Frère Jacques is sound asleep when he is supposed to be up ringing the bells for morning prayers.
Do you ever feel like the sleepy friar who isn’t quite awake when it’s time to rise, shine, and give out the glory? Maybe you feel like your entire life is one long nap and you are sleeping right through the important stuff.
Are you awake or asleep? Tuned in or zoned out? Your state of consciousness, your level of awareness of all the aspects of your mind, body, and spirit affects the way you experience everything, especially the degree of joy, happiness, and love you feel.
How does your level of consciousness influence your daily life? Find out by asking yourself a few simple questions: Are you filled with joy? Can you maintain or quickly return to a loving space in the face of adversity? Are you grateful for the blessings (and challenges) in your life?
According to the wisdom of ancient India, the Ayurvedic system of energy medicine, a person who is healthy and balanced in mind, body, and spirit is cheerful. Cheerful! A beautiful word for a beautiful state of being.
Each day you have a chance to experience the four major states of consciousness: waking, sleeping, dreaming, and meditative (also called contemplative).
Waking consciousness is your day-to-day awareness. It is how you function in the world and where you live most of the time when you’re not sleeping. Dreaming gives you access to your subconscious thoughts and feelings.
If you keep a journal of your dreams, you can capture and study what your subconscious considers important. This can be a valuable source of information to help in the process of healing and expanding your self-awareness.
It’s the meditative state of consciousness, however, that holds the key to the growth and empowerment of your spirit as well as the health and well-being of your mind and body. In the meditative state, you have the power to access higher levels of awareness as you re-connect with the Source of All That Is.
If you meditate every day, correctly and consistently, you will soon find that it affects the other states of consciousness in amazing ways. After I had been meditating for a few years, for example, I found that I needed less sleep. After a few more years, I realized that I had begun dreaming in a much more directed way.
As more time went by, I felt as if I were in a state of meditation all the time, floating between states of consciousness with ever greater access to the healing energy of unconditional love.
The meditative state enhances how awake and aware you are in every aspect of your life. Can you be open to noticing more beauty in the world, more goodness in the people around you, and more ways to serve and heal others?
Yes! Can you be stronger and more resilient in facing the challenges that life presents? Can you be more loving, accepting, and forgiving of yourself and others? Yes and yes!
Your meditation practice can bring the states of consciousness full circle and expand your waking state in powerful ways. If you are ready to move past the worrisome sensation that you are never quite awake and might be missing something wonderful, consider what happens when you expand your awareness:
You can know yourself better. You have a limitless potential for spiritual development and personal transformation. What abilities and powers are waiting to be discovered within? Why not wake up your potential for healing yourself and others in mind, body, and spirit? Self-knowledge leads to self-love and self-acceptance which lead to greater happiness.
You can see opportunities. Open your eyes and heart to the vast array of possibilities for attracting peace, joy, abundance, and love into your life. Closed doors can become open windows with expanded consciousness. Opportunities to serve others will appear and fit naturally into your life.
You can recognize your path. Your purpose and place in the world lie right before you. When you wake up to the knowledge that you are being divinely guided in the direction you were born to travel, you’ll let go of fear and frustration and embrace the blissful feeling that you are on your path.
You can appreciate the goodness around you. Being more awake and aware will open your eyes to the all the blessings you have to be grateful for. As you see more goodness in others, you’ll feel more empathy and compassion. Feelings of isolation and loneliness will fade as a sense of unity and oneness grows within.
You can call upon your powers of intuition and creativity. Expanded consciousness gives you greater ability to focus and concentrate. You can become more aware of your spiritual potential, access your talents and gifts, and see ways to use them. With increased faith in yourself and your purpose comes greater joy and playfulness. Wouldn’t you love to laugh more and share that joy with others?
It’s sweet to imagine that Frère Jacques, our sleepy Brother John, wakes up laughing and starts ringing those bells for all to hear.