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Dissolve into...Sleep?

"Dissolving Qi, I merge with the boundless universal field of being." Roger Jahnke, 9th Mind Focus Affirmation, The Healing Promise of Qi

You probably saw this coming. At some point along the way, we were bound to arrive at a full-on "woo-woo" phase, and this one's sure getting close, if not all the way there. "Dissolving into Qi"? "Boundless universal field of being"? Some of you might think, "This is a phase too far." But stay with me for just a couple of minutes as we explore this 9th phase and see how it can increase our creativity.

Of the 10 phases, and their mind-focus affirmations, Number 9 is both the hardest and easiest for me to "get." Hardest, because the few moments I've sensed a dissolving and mystical connection with all things have been fleeting at best. I've felt them during certain meditations, often during a period of fasting or inner work. But then again, I (and you too) experience this 9th phase every day, or I should say, every night.

For it's when we fall asleep that our whole outer world dissolves. Sometimes I experience the process consciously, such as with a guided meditation that encourages sleep. (The apps "Calm" and "10 % Happier" both have good guided meditations.) Drifting in and out of what some call "consensus reality," and witnessing dreamlike images beginning to appear, or hearing someone speak, again as if in a dream. Once fully asleep, every physical and mental activity switches over to autopilot, and I seldom know where sleep is going to take me. And more often than not, I have no memory of the night's journeys. This is not the same experience Jahnke and other Qigong masters are referring to in the dissolve phase, but it's pretty close. During sleep, I've completely "dissolved" into the only thing I can be: Being.

Sleep is also now taking its proper center stage role in both health and creativity. We hear about it all the time. Matthew Walker's Why We Sleep, published in 2017, is still selling well and is featured in articles, podcasts, and news shows. We still don't know what dreams are, what purpose they serve, or exactly why we go into the different stages of sleep (light, REM, deep). But we all know how much better we feel after a good night's sleep.

During meditation, I often fall asleep. The first few years, this bothered me, and still today many teachers encourage their students to stay awake, acting as if falling asleep is some sort of failure or due to lack of concentration. But the Dalai Lama said, "Sleep is the best meditation," and my Transcendental Meditation (TM) teacher said, "If you fall asleep during TM, it means you needed the rest." So I'll take those words and a nice nap.

Sometimes the Qigong exercises Jahke and San Bao practice lead me into a state where I feel glimpses of deep connection, a "oneness" with all that's in and around me, and, fleeting as those glimpses may be, they offer a hint of the "dissolving" this Phase describes. And as things dissolve, problems can be easier to solve. If creation is generating "something from nothing," then doesn't it makes sense to get closer to "nothing" in order to let the "something" arise?

Whether or not we enter blissfully and consciously into "the universal field of being" or simply fall into a welcome slumber, I take Phase 9's happy "dissolving" as another opportunity to re-charge my creativity. Next time: Transmit!

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