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Is Dozing During CMR Really Correct Practice?

by Somerset
(Somerville, MA, US)

I seem to just be dozing (almost sleeping) - though I don't really go fully to sleep...still aware often, but not "fully awake inside". I'm not sure if I am meditating or just sleeping/dozing. My head is free (not supported), and I am sitting up, though my head slumps forward towards my chest. Is this "meditation" or ok or correct?

Gavin's response:

Somerset, thank you for explaining your situation so clearly. I'll break my answer down into two possible situations: (1) actually sleeping during CMR, and (2) being aware yet with a 'dozy' kind of feeling at the same time. Sometimes one can drift from one state to the other.

Sleeping during CMR

Falling asleep during Conscious Mental Rest is usually the result of correct practice, coupled with a need for the body to get some sleep. If there is a sleep backlog, or some kind of current fatigue in the body/mind, then when we give the mind/body system the opportunity the rest, as in CMR, the system will take that opportunity to rest in unconscious sleep. This is the body's natural mechanism for recuperating from activity overload. Allow it and don't fight against it.

If you do fall asleep during CMR, and wake up after your allotted time for your session, then if time permits, go back to CMR for a few minutes (say, 5 minutes), then follow the usual 2+1 procedure for ending your session.

Feeling dozy yet not asleep

This too is quite common, and can be as a result of one or more conditions in the mind-body sessions. Firstly, it could be that there is a need to fall asleep, but not as strong as when we're really tired or sleepy. Because we're sitting up, with the intention to be awake, the mind can be on the brink of falling asleep, but doesn't quite do so.

Another possibility is that the system is a little 'heavy' due to some dietary situation like over-eating, or having had something to east just before sitting for CMR, or simply having a diet that tends to put one in a state of lesser vitality, which then carries over into our CMR sessions too.

Another possibility is that the body is being challenged by some form of 'illness' or infection -- e.g. an imminent cold or 'flu; or a tooth root canal infection that has not yet reached 'painful' status; or some other factor.
On two occasions I had a two-year root canal infection that knocked me every time I went to the gym, and during the meditatiion practice I was using at that time. Only later did it get bad enough for me to realise where the problem lay. A dentist 'fixed' it for me. But after a while, the symtpoms returned. So I eventually went to a different dentist who took X-rays and told me that the previous dentist had placed the steel pin too low, and it was entering the gum. The result was that my body had been fighting this foreign invader as if it was an army of germs, for another two years. That situation had also lasted two years. So, for four years, my meditations were affected by this unknown situation.


  • It sounds as if your practice of Conscious Mental Rest is correct.

  • What you describe suggests that you may need to review your diet (including non-food intake), your level of fatigue and sleep quality, and your general health situation, just to be sure that those factors are not causing the doziness.

  • The main thing is to assess how you feel in daily activity.

  • No matter what the situation might be during CMR, always end with the 20+ 1 procedure (as a minimum).

  • If you've fallen asleep, first come back to a few minutes of CMR before using the 2+1 approach.

Feel free to let me know via the Comments link below how things progress.


Comments for Is Dozing During CMR Really Correct Practice?

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Re: Gavin's response to "dozing during CMR"
by: Anonymous

Thank you for your reply. Essentially, I hear you saying "it's all good" and not to worry. If the sleepiness is a result of "abnormal" situations, like eating too much, or having a problem like a bad root canal (or whatever else. Then fix the problem as best as possible and continue meditating. The meditation itself is okay as long as it is innocent and effortless. Similarly, if it is a matter of not being sufficiently rested and just needing sleep, then the meditation will result in one's just sleeping or partially dozing. (I think this is my situation. I'm very stressed and just exhausted inside - much worry, poor quality sleep, hyper vigilance which makes me sleep lightly and wake up in the middle of the night too easily, to go on worrying and being essentially depressed.) To practice meditation with this, just meditate some more time after waking from sleeping/dozing during meditation, and then come out slowly.

But in short, nothing seems wrong about the meditation itself. Just "take it as it comes" and meditate innocently. The meditation (and any practical corrective action necessary - diet, tooth, etc. - will help remedy the tiredness if just allowed innocently. It's a completely natural process.

Have I summarized basically correctly?

Re: Your Summary
by: Gavin, Unlock-Your-Happiness.com

Thank you for your response. Yes, that's an excellent summary you've made. Just one more thing, in the light of what you've said above...

Exercise is a great stress releaser too. A daily brisk walk helps keep the body functioning well and drains the lymph glands. In bad weather, or in addition to walking, bouncing easily on a mini-trampoline (rebounder) indoors at home is also useful.

I've been told by an expert that bouncing for just 5 minutes, without even lifting one's feet off the fabric surface, is the the equivalent of a 20-minute walk in terms of lymph drainage and other benefits.

All the best!

~ Gavin

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