There are only two cases: One is Patanjali who created a whole science of Yoga; and the other is Aristotle, who created the whole science of logic. And for two thousand years there has been no change, no improvement. But just in this century, Aristotle has lost his ground. Non-Aristotelian logic has come into being – which is absolutely against Aristotle. But Patanjali stands like a peak of the Himalayas – still unchallenged, still perfect and complete.
Patanjali says that the deep sleep, dreamless sleep, is exactly the same as samadhi, superconsciousness, the ultimate experience of being. It is the same; the only difference is you are not aware of it. Dreamless sleep plus awareness is equal to enlightenment.
One has to start with the first layer of waking, and make it alert. It is a very thin layer, very superficial, but it can be used as a preface for greater things to happen. Meditation begins with wakefulness. You start becoming aware of the moments when you are awake.
Walking, eating, doing your work – anything – you have to make it a point that it is done in awareness, that it is not done like a robot, not mechanically. Even breathing has to be joined with awareness, so you know when the breath is going in and you know when the breath is going out.
The smallest things you have to try – even the blinking of the eyes. The smaller the thing you try, the better, because those are the things which one ignores, and those are the things which will give you a deeper penetration into the thin layer of wakefulness.
Buddha has said that the meditator has to walk keeping his eyes only four feet away, looking at the ground, not looking all around everywhere, reading the posters on the walls, looking at people and what they are doing. He has to keep his eyes focused four feet ahead, and remain alert that he does not move from that posture.
And while he is looking four feet ahead, he has to be continuously aware of each step that he is taking. He has to walk very slowly. He has to remember the breathing, that it is going in, coming out. He has to remember the blinking of the eyes. He has to be aware of each small thing that is happening.
Being awake plus awareness will lead you to the second step: you can dream with awareness – and that is a tremendous experience. Then dreaming cannot deceive you; you are alert. If you are hungry, you know you are hungry, and you know the dream is trying in every way to provide delicious food, but it is just dream-food, it is not the reality. You can see both the hunger and the food. You know the hunger is true and the food is false.
As you become more and more aware of subtle nuances of dreaming, a great surprise is waiting for you. Dreams become less and less because they don’t need awareness. They are very shy; they don’t want to face awareness. They come only in the shadows of sleep.
But if you are alert, then naturally they stop coming. And when dreams stop coming you fall suddenly into the third state, which is sleep with visions. And there is a clear-cut distinction between dreams and visions.