The first question:
Sometimes at your lectures I can’t keep my eyes open or concentrate, and keep falling somewhere and coming back with a jerk. There is no memory of where I have been.
Am I going deep, or just falling asleep?
Mind functions through very subtle electric waves. That mechanism has to be understood. Now researchers say that mind functions in four states. The ordinary awake mind functions at eighteen to thirty cycles per second – this is the “beta” state of mind. Right now you are in that state, while awake, doing your things.
Deeper than that is the “alpha” rhythm. Sometimes, when you are not active, but passive – just relaxing on the beach, not doing anything, listening to music, or deep in prayer or in meditation – then the activity of the mind is lowered: from eighteen to thirty cycles per second it becomes nearabout fourteen to eighteen cycles per second. You are aware, but not very alert. You are awake, but passive. A certain kind of deep relaxation surrounds you.
All meditators fall into this second, alpha rhythm, when they meditate or pray. Listening to music also that can happen. Just looking at trees, the expanse of greenery, it can happen. Not doing anything particularly, just sitting silently, it can happen. And once you know the knack of it, you can slow down the activity of the mind; then thoughts are not rushing. They move, they are there, but they move at a very slow pace, as if clouds floating in the sky – in fact, not going somewhere, just floating. This second state, alpha, is very valuable.
Below the second there is a third state; the activity falls even lower. That state is called “theta”: from eight to fourteen cycles per second. This is the state you pass through in the night when you are falling asleep, the drowsiness. When you take alcohol you pass through that drowsiness. Watch a drunkard walking: he is in the third state. He is walking, not aware. Where he is going, he does not know. What he is doing…. The body goes on functioning as a robot. The mind activity has slowed down so much that it is almost just on the verge of falling asleep.
In very deep meditation also this will happen – you will fall from alpha to theta. But it happens only in very deep states. Ordinary meditators don’t touch it. When you start touching this third state you will feel very blissful.