Overcoming Sleepiness to Study the Fa
(Clearwisdom.net) Many practitioners have encountered sleepiness during Fa-study. The feeling can be quite painful as the head can start aching. But this is an interference that we need to break through in order to validate the Fa. Below are a few of my thoughts and experiences to share with practitioners. Due to my limited cultivation level, I hope fellow practitioners can kindly point out anything improper.
I always used to think about using methods to deal with feeling sleepy during Fa-study. I knew that it was interference, but the effects of my methods to overcome the interference were always limited. Afterwards, when I felt sleepy during Fa-study, I would move around or do something else. I found that the sleepy feeling would disappear right away when I stopped studying. Later, during Fa-study, I still felt this method was feasible and could enable my mind to remain clear, so I consciously held onto some physical things to do if I felt sleepy during Fa-study. No matter what, I was resolved not to put the book down and go to sleep when I felt sleepy. I continuously resisted the feeling of sleepiness like this.
Then, one day, I suddenly realized that I had not understood overcoming the interference of sleepiness based on the principles of the Fa. The forms I used to resist and overcome it were only superficial forms. Master even said,
"Of course, we don't acknowledge any of the things that the old forces arranged--I as your master don't acknowledge them, and Dafa disciples of course don't acknowledge them either." ("Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Chicago Conference")
The way that I consciously held onto things to counteract feeling sleepy in Fa-study was actually unconsciously acknowledging the interference. If I do things in this same manner and think this way every day, then I actually strengthen the problem. Is it that we expect the same inference tomorrow if it happened today? If we hold onto these things, the evil will take advantage of it and will exaggerate the effect. Then, we will be sleepy every day. It is also using human notions to ask for it. As long as we are sleepy, we will stop Fa-study to do other things? Actually, we have already been forced to do this by the interference. And we still feel that the way we dealt with it is good. Isn't this thinking dangerous?
There is another kind of unconscious interference that is hard to be aware of. For example, when we feel thirsty during Fa-study, we will stop to get some water. When we feel cold or hot during Fa-study, we will stop to add or remove some clothes. These things seem like very normal things to do. But for a practitioner, it is not normal. Sometimes, when I was in a very good state and studying the Fa, suddenly I would feel thirsty. When I stopped to drink some water and returned, my focus would be gone. Why had this happened? Master said,
"When you study the Fa, just study the Fa" ("Teaching and Explaining the Fa
at the Metropolitan New York Fa Conference," 4/20/2003).
The meaning is in fact very profound. It encompasses how to treat Fa-study, how to be strict with ourselves in Fa-study, how to improve our character, how to focus on Fa-study, and so on. It encompasses a lot of heavenly secrets. As a practitioner, I realized that if we cannot understand this issue based on Fa principles and cannot tolerate it when we have some kind of problems during Fa-study, then how can we possibly improve our character?
With righteous thoughts and righteous actions, I gave up my previous thoughts about how to prevent sleepiness during Fa-study. On the contrary, I first finished all the things I needed to do, and then I started to study the Fa with a calm mind. It was just like what Master said,
"As soon as your thoughts are righteous, the evil will collapse"(Provisional translation of "What to Fear" from Hong Yin (2)).
I don't get the sleepy feeling anymore. After a while, if I encounter some interference, I will focus myself and not acknowledge it. First, I try reading faster. Secondly, I read aloud (when reading aloud our sound should not get quieter and quieter under the interference, to the point where we only use our eyes to look at the book instead of reading it, because at this point we will close our eyes under the interference). Thirdly, I stand up when reading the book. Fourthly, I will send forth righteous thoughts and then continue to read. I quickly overcame the tribulations by myself. It was just like what Master said,
"the shade of willows, the blooms of flowers, a place to rest my head!" (From "The Ninth Talk" of Zhuan Falun)
Note: overcoming the sleepy feeling does not necessarily include when there is a lack of sleep or when we are experiencing body purification.