Most nights, when I go to bed, I start my sleep with clear-mind meditation. I’ve practiced going to sleep this way for over forty years. It begins by quieting my mind and becoming mindful of the pillow and the bed. Lying on my back with my legs outstretched, arms at my sides. I turn my attention to this place in the bed as a place of meditation. Neither comfortable curling up into the mattress, pillows and sheets nor uncomfortable. I am just here with the intention of meditation. Let the body recognize the mind, and my mind recognizes the body. The body works to calm itself and relax. My mind does the same. No aches, no pain. No worries, no ruminations or running dialog. Mind and body in equipoise.
The realism of this practice, though, is I usually have to start over from the beginning twelve or more times before the mind and body reach peace. What follows is worth the several minutes spent starting over, and over, and over again. Effectively, you’re not supposed to tell people what takes place when you reach the various Jhanas stages, or whatever, because when we learn what someone else got from meditation, we strive to experience the same, or better, sort of thing. So it makes sense not to share experiences.
But let’s acknowledge everybody prefers to get a hint or something more generous to start with. Otherwise, after the third or fourth repetition… legs outstretched my arms at my side, blah blah blah, we’d all give up and quit.
Anyhow, I’ve trained long enough to know if I continue the course, I reach the first Jhana; I can close my eyes and fall asleep while remaining aware of the sleep.
Here’s something that can come at you the way the first mouthful of a straight-up, room temperature, peaty Isla Scotch, hits you. Let’s concede; it’s a shot of Ardbeg. Anyway, metaphor aside, my attention drifts into the dream state, and I hear tapping. You know; tap tap tap; like the sound that fingers make when tapping the keys on a keyboard. Sometimes, I notice that the typing is fast and other times slower.
The dreamscape takes form and is moving into visual acuity. As my viewpoint pulled back and away from the keyboard, I saw no hands or fingers typing. However, the sound of typing continues, and there is a well-lit monitor of what looks like a laptop. I guess the computer is running an artificial intelligence (AI) program, and the machine is working in its own direction.
As the dream pulls further back, the room falls into view, but nothing is in bright focus. Slowing — the visual field widens, further back and away from the laptop, the dreamscape yawns.
The vision is explained where I can see the dining room table, and the laptop sits on top of it, typing away on its own. There must be five or six empty chairs at the table, but there’s not anyone in the room. Moreover, the room is not well lit, with a single wall sconce positioned above the empty chair in front of the computer. I’m drifting, or floating is perhaps the better word and observing while mindfully, I’m wondering if this dream could be any more boring when I’m suddenly aware the typing has stopped.
The artificial intelligence program has stopped typing. I heard a door close and it was that sort of noise where I wondered, was that in the dream, or is someone in my house? I stayed awake within the dream.
My awareness moves toward the laptop. Closer and closer until all I could see was what the AI had written. I willed the machine to scroll to the top of the writing. I lay there dreaming this dream about reading until I woke the following day.
Here’s what the story I read was about…