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theory : sleeping upright

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posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 11:27 AM
] got to thinking...

did you know the tibetan buddhist monks sleep sitting upright?

Sleeping in an upright sitting position is an ancient tradition recorded along with twelve other ascetic practices, which in the Pali Canon are referred to as the dhutanga practices. I was just talking with a monk about this yesterday, and he was very much against the dhutanga.

These practices are followed to some extent by the forest traditions, especially the Thai forest tradition. The ascetic practices are also followed by some Zen monks, namely those at the Sagely City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, who also spend their nights sitting upright. The thirteen dhutanga practices are listed below, written by Bhikkhu Khantipalo.

I. Refuse-rag-wearer’s Practice (pamsukulik’anga) — wearing robes made up from discarded or soiled cloth and not accepting and wearing ready-made robes offered by householders.

II. Triple-robe-wearer’s Practice (tecivarik’anga) — Having and wearing only three robes and not having additional allowable robes.

III. Alms-food-eater’s Practice (pindapatik’anga) — eating only food collected on pindapata or the almsround while not accepting food in the vihara or offered by invitation in a layman’s house.

IV. House-to-house-seeker’s Practice (sapadanik’anga) — not omitting any house while going for alms; not choosing only to go to rich households or those selected for some other reason as relations, etc.

V. One-sessioner’s practice (ekasanik’anga) — eating one meal a day and refusing other food offered before midday. (Those Gone Forth may not, unless ill, partake of food from midday until dawn the next day.)

VI. Bowl-food-eater’s Practice (pattapindik’anga) — eating food from his bowl in which it is mixed together rather than from plates and dishes.

VII. Later-food-refuser’s Practice (khalu-paccha-bhattik’anga) — not taking any more food after one has shown that one is satisfied, even though lay-people wish to offer more.

VIII. Forest-dweller’s Practice (Araññik’anga) — not dwelling in a town or village but living secluded, away from all kinds of distractions.

IX. Tree-root-dweller’s Practice (rukkhamulik’anga) — living under a tree without the shelter of a roof.

X. Open-air-dweller’s Practice (abbhokasik’anga) — refusing a roof and a tree-root, the practice may be undertaken sheltered by a tent of robes.

XI. Charnel-ground-dweller’s Practice (susanik’anga) — living in or nearby a charnel-field, graveyard or cremation ground.

XII. Any-bed-user’s Practice (yatha-santhatik’anga) — being satisfied with any dwelling allotted as a sleeping place.

XIII. Sitter’s Practice (nesajjik’anga) — living in the three postures of walking, standing and sitting and never lying down.

those practices

what is important to us is XIII...

XIII. Sitter’s Practice (nesajjik’anga) — living in the three postures of walking, standing and sitting and never lying down.

couldn't find a source to prove this one, but sparrowstail had this to say a bout what confucious thought about 'sleeping like a corpse'

Cheng Man Ching, renowned tai chi master wrote a short essay on sleep taken from the Confucius belief:
"Confucius advised us not to sleep like a corpse nor talk in bed. When you sleep like a corpse-on your backwith outstretched arms- your internal organs' chi dissipates. Illness resulting from witherd chi are generally incurable. When errant thoughts wander your mind while trying to sleep you impair your chi and disrupt your sleep. The healthy way to sleep is on your right side, because the right lung has an extra layer of muscle to support your weigh, and curled in the fetal position that collects your chi. When you sleep on your left side, your heart abdstomach are affected by your body weight and you'll not sleep well no matter how long you stay in bed.
Sleeping is an important part of life; we spend a third of our life in bed! Pay closer attention to how you sleep at night, for it profoundly influences what you do during the day." Cheng Man ching: Essays on Man and Culture '97


while living in japan i experienced the art and way of bushido, the way of the warrior, and in recent years have done research into ninpo and can say sleeping sitting upright was a skill any swordsman in ancient japan had to have,

there is even a technique the japanese developed that can be used as a 'wake up reflect' that results in killing anyone within a few feet radius in every direction is killed every morning
this way they could sleep without fear of being killed in their sleep

it seems to me that people associated with deep philosophical insight and quest are inclined to do something that also people of the martial arts and perfection of survival know of.

scientifically speaking, modern day western world science that is, it is said that sleeping upright is easier on the lungs due to help from gravity and not having the rest of the bodies weight resting on the lungs

sleeping helps asma

I have found that sleeping in an almost sitting-up position at night keeps me very comfortable and pretty free of symptoms and morning congestion. Is this "weird" among asthma sufferers? I never hear this discussed.

apnea benifit

8 Try sleeping in a reclining chair. Sometimes the throat will remain more open when the head is raised. Also try raising the head of a bed by putting blocks under the headboard. When a person is gasping for breath in the night, the abdomen squeezes to start breathing again. This action causes acid reflux or that burning feeling in the esophagus. Raising the head during sleep can help acid reflux.

there isn't really much of a 'benifit' recorded in the western world,

but it has been a long personal question in my thoughts whenever sleeping arises, is there some sort of way that sleeping sitting upright could be benificial?

[edit on 4/7/2010 by indigothefish]

posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 11:28 AM
it is a theory of mine that it is not a coincidence that eastern philosophers, spirituals and great martial artists were all 'into' that way of sleeping,

perhaps there is some underlying benifit that is not readily seen?

posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 01:05 PM
I think this sounds like logic to me.

Laying down is also strange in case of an emergency. Fire or a lion attack. It takes a lot more time to wake up and be able to run for savety. So I guess the whole lying down part only started to take place when there was enough reason to feel save to lay down for 8 hours a day.
Then again maybe that's why some people are night people bust most are day people. The night people would keep guard during the night.
Just speculating. I really don't know for sure.

I guess stone age man didn't invented a pillow but would probably sleep up right.

Fun fact.
I don't know if you watched the scifi tv series Babylon 5, an entire race of aliens slept up right.


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