Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More

Sleep After Transformation

Oakland, California, USA

August 14, 2001

This essay, Sleep After Transformation, is the first in the quadrilogy Sleep After Transformation:
  1. Sleep After Transformation
  2. Sleep After Transformation II
  3. Sleep After Transformation III
  4. Sleep After Transformation IV
in that order.

It is the companion piece to Awake To Life.

Watching Werner in action, I wonder how he does what he does with such velocity and alacrity, two days straight, over sixteen hours each day, with very, very little sleep.

The question arises: What's the basic requirement for sleep in a transformed life? The evidence is more energy, more alacrity, more aliveness, more zeal, and more drive than you ever imagined is obviously possible with fewer hours of sleep than you ever imagined.

Before I participated Werner's work for the first time, I needed  (that's the way I said it) to sleep at least eight hours a night, and on most weekends at least ten hours a night. I had it that my body needed that much sleep in order to function effectively.

Since then, three to four hours of sleep is more than adequate for most nights, and some nights I don't sleep at all.

There's no formula or rule to make up here. I once slept not in order to sleep but in order to escape life - even though I wasn't aware I was doing it at the time. In transformation, I'm clear there's nothing to escape from, so that particular aspect of the "need" for sleep just disappears.

All that's left is to sleep in order to sleep. In choosing life, I want to be awake. That's it. When I choose to be awake over choosing to be asleep, my body still needs to rest and sleep, but the degree of that need is dramatically less.

In Zen it's said: "When hungry, eat. When tired, sleep.". So I've trained myself to sleep intentionally.

Try this process Werner Erhard invented: When you go to sleep at night (ie whenever you go to sleep at night for however many hours you allocate to sleep), say to yourself "I'm going to sleep right now. I'm going to sleep powerfully. I'm going to wake up rested and refreshed at exactly ...", and then say the time you intend to wake up. It's OK to set an alarm clock too, although you may find you don't need an alarm clock, and you may wake by yourself just minutes before the alarm goes off. I call this "power sleeping" or "intentional sleeping".

I love my life. When I sleep, I miss so much of it. So I prefer to be awake. Being awake and alive comes down to a matter of choice. What my body really needs in order to be rested is far less sleep than I once believed.

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