Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Secret of Never Getting Tired

A jazz musician and friend of mine once joined me during a lesson I took from my teacher of sound yoga, Swami Nadabrahmananda. It was summertime in an ashram in Upstate New York. We had finished with my lesson and decided to step outside for some fresh air and a little stroll. Outside, Nada, (as students addressed the 81 year old Swami) turned to my  friend, and said, “How are you?” John replied, “Tired.”  He had been on the road, doing various gigs, and was always feeling a bit deprived of sleep. 


Nada looked at John with a warm smile, and said, “Tired?  What tired?”  He erupted into a mild burst of laughter, and remarked, “I never tired.” What John didn’t know was that there were certain very unusual things about the Swami’s physiology.  Two things I’ll mention.  Nada slept on average two hours a night.  Moreover, he never dreamed.  He once spent three nights in a sleep lab in Ottowa, Canada, and the scientists there determined there were no signs of dream sleep.


Why would somebody not dream?  After getting to know Nada, I had an idea why he never dreamed.  The reason, I would suggest, was that, as he told me many times, he saw the world as a dream—not in a metaphoric sense but somehow literally.    In other words, his waking consciousness was so out of this world it affected his mental life.  Ordinary physiological needs may be suspended, as when saints and yogis go on shockingly long fasts.  Nada seemed immune to the normal effects of fatigue.


I once asked the celestial musician, “So what is the secret of never getting tired?” His reply was intriguing.  By not thinking!  He elaborated, adding that he never busied himself with making plans. And he never bothered to ruminate on things done and finished. His economy of consciousness was not consumerist.


In one of his favorite sayings, “God is the driver.”  I might put it like this.  Nada lived beyond the constraints of his ego in harmony with his creative subconscious.  I’m reminded of an idea from parapsychology, the notion of “release of effort” as a way to access latent powers of the mind.  Memory is the most obvious example.  You try very hard to remember something you know.  You stop trying, walk away, and a while later the memory returns, unbidden.


According to Nada, it’s the ego and its constant efforts to certify itself that fatigues our self, which is linked to and draws upon a bottomless sea of spiritual energy.  The problem is that the ego doesn’t know how to float or sail, but is more like a deadweight that sooner or later sinks us.   


For the full story of this remarkable man, you can get my book from Amazon,

Yoga of Sound: The Life and Teachings of the Celestial Songman, Swami Nada Brahmananda.





No comments:

Older Blog Entries