Ask the Author: Question & Response
Can you tell me what it is when you are in bed and feel as though you are awake but something is holding the covers down so that you cannot get up and when you try to scream it as though you are paralyzed.
– Brenda, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
The good news is that nothing is holding the covers down so that you can’t get up. The better news is that if you ever wanted to go into deep meditation or experience an OBE (Out-of-Body Experience), this state can be a perfect time to do so. This state is sometimes referred to as sleep paralysis.
Sleep paralysis occurs when the mind is awake, but the body still sleeps. Sleep paralysis offers you a great opportunity to have many productive adventures. In fact, I’ve had some of my greatest spiritual experiences during this state. But if you are not aware of this state, then fear is usually the first response. So, most often, the opportunity is experienced negatively. A large number of people experience this condition. People in this state believe they are awake, but for some reason, their entire bodies are paralyzed or asleep. Not only are they unable to move, but they can not even yell for help. Some people say that they have tried to scream, but nothing comes out. Most people in this state panic and have a difficult and frightful experience. Again, the solution is very simple. You need not panic or feel afraid. All you need to do is to stay composed, understand the situation and relax. After you do this, simply think of your big toe (left or right, it does not matter), and try to slowly get some movement out of it. Put all of your concentration on your big toe, and once you get some movement, start trying to move the other toes on the same foot. Little by little, you will recover all movement.
Once you understand sleep paralysis, there is no fear, and this state can now become your playground. If you experience sleep paralysis, but are not in the mood to meditate or have an out-of-body experience, you can simply relax and go back to sleep. The odds are that the next time you awaken or are in a dream state, you will not be paralyzed. If not, just think big toe and relax.
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