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The Four States of Consciousness

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today, I'm going to talk about the four states of consciousness that are mentioned in the yoga text, the Upanishads and how it's relevant to our mindfulness practice and our lives. So when we think about meditation, it might be tempting to think that when we take this time to close our eyes and relax and be still, that we're perhaps kind of switching off in some way. So in that way, you might think that we're moving into a state that's kind of closer to sleep. But actually, although our bodies and minds are often much more relaxed, we're actually moving more and more into full wakefulness.

In fact, we're probably more aware and awake during mindfulness practice than at any other time of the day, because although we are often walking around with our eyes open, very often, we're caught up in a dreamlike state of being, kind of lost in our wandering thoughts and not fully present to where we are and what we're doing. Often we might call this being caught up in autopilot. It's that state where we're doing the same habits, the same routines, kind of going through the motions, but without really paying attention, without being fully aware. So in normal life, you know, we're, most of us, familiar with three basic states of consciousness. We have the normal waking state.

We have dream sleep. So that's where we're asleep, but we're dreaming. And then we have deep dreamless sleep. But in the Yogi texts, they are clear that there's four states of consciousness. We have deep sleep, dreaming sleep, normal wakefulness, which is considered to them to be a little bit of a dreamlike state still.

Then we have what's called the fourth state, sometimes called Turiya. So in Turiya, we are the most awake. We are actually no longer on autopilot mode, we're not lost in our wondering thoughts, we're fully present, we're fully aware. In this fourth state of wakefulness, we are no longer in that dreamlike state of being lost in our thoughts and so we're no longer being pulled around by our habitual thoughts and emotions. So we suffer a lot less.

So this is a very significant state in the Yogi texts. So we're no longer living on autopilot which means we can live our lives more intentionally and we're able to abide in more calm, connectedness, and wisdom. So our mindfulness practice is really the cultivating of this kind of wakefulness, becoming familiar with it as a way of being, and then bringing it into everyday life. So in this way, we gradually learn to bring these greater awareness into every moment and every day. So with that in mind, let's settle in for today's meditation.

And as always thank you for your practice and your presence here with us.

Melli O'Brien

4.7

The Four States of Consciousness

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today, I'm going to talk about the four states of consciousness that are mentioned in the yoga text, the Upanishads and how it's relevant to our mindfulness practice and our lives. So when we think about meditation, it might be tempting to think that when we take this time to close our eyes and relax and be still, that we're perhaps kind of switching off in some way. So in that way, you might think that we're moving into a state that's kind of closer to sleep. But actually, although our bodies and minds are often much more relaxed, we're actually moving more and more into full wakefulness.

In fact, we're probably more aware and awake during mindfulness practice than at any other time of the day, because although we are often walking around with our eyes open, very often, we're caught up in a dreamlike state of being, kind of lost in our wandering thoughts and not fully present to where we are and what we're doing. Often we might call this being caught up in autopilot. It's that state where we're doing the same habits, the same routines, kind of going through the motions, but without really paying attention, without being fully aware. So in normal life, you know, we're, most of us, familiar with three basic states of consciousness. We have the normal waking state.

We have dream sleep. So that's where we're asleep, but we're dreaming. And then we have deep dreamless sleep. But in the Yogi texts, they are clear that there's four states of consciousness. We have deep sleep, dreaming sleep, normal wakefulness, which is considered to them to be a little bit of a dreamlike state still.

Then we have what's called the fourth state, sometimes called Turiya. So in Turiya, we are the most awake. We are actually no longer on autopilot mode, we're not lost in our wondering thoughts, we're fully present, we're fully aware. In this fourth state of wakefulness, we are no longer in that dreamlike state of being lost in our thoughts and so we're no longer being pulled around by our habitual thoughts and emotions. So we suffer a lot less.

So this is a very significant state in the Yogi texts. So we're no longer living on autopilot which means we can live our lives more intentionally and we're able to abide in more calm, connectedness, and wisdom. So our mindfulness practice is really the cultivating of this kind of wakefulness, becoming familiar with it as a way of being, and then bringing it into everyday life. So in this way, we gradually learn to bring these greater awareness into every moment and every day. So with that in mind, let's settle in for today's meditation.

And as always thank you for your practice and your presence here with us.

Melli O'Brien

4.7

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