Posted by: Philip Carr-Gomm | August 10, 2011

Drawing from the Well

Today I’ll tell you the story behind another track in the Sacred Nature Meditations: Drawing from the Well.

This meditation is designed to combine the benefits of meditation and sleep, as found – for example – in the Eastern practice of Yogra Nidra (or ‘Yogic Sleep’). It helps to guide anyone who wants a power nap, so that they don’t fall into the trap of actually falling into a long doze when they were just planning to take a quick snooze. Research into catnaps or powernaps, as they are now called, shows that they really do help. A number of books focus on the benefits of this practice. The one with the silliest title is Sleep Your Way to the Top: The Power of Napping by Brett Jarvis.

Two difficulties, though, can arise with napping: one is that it can be hard to actually get to sleep, and the other is that once asleep, if you enter the deeper stages, you can wake up feeling groggy and actually more tired than before you dozed off. Your body thinks you have gone to bed and wants a decent night’s sleep, or at least wants to complete a full cycle which takes between 90 and 110 minutes. This is why napping for an hour, for example, can be disorienting and require large amounts of caffeine afterwards. The trick is to sleep just through the first two of the five stages of sleep. During these first two, your brain produces theta waves. If you go into stage three you go into deep sleep, with delta waves emerging. To avoid stage three you need to wake up before sleeping for longer than twenty minutes or so.

In Drawing From the Well, we haven’t used any music or soundtrack apart from some ocean wave sounds early on as you settle down, and then my voice which uses a tried and tested relaxation technique to lead you into a powernap that doesn’t last longer than twenty minutes. As you are guided back into wakefulness a dawn chorus of birds hopefully leaves you feeling chirpy and well rested.

In this way we believe we have addressed the two challenges that face someone wanting to catnap: the audio helps you relax and leads you into sleep quickly, but it also makes sure you don’t stay asleep too long. And the whole track has been engineered with the Golden Mean as mentioned in yesterday’s post.

You can hear an excerpt from Drawing From the Well in this sampler recording, which plays excerpts from all four tracks:

If you’d like to download the album, you can find it on i-tunes, CD Baby and Amazon UK

The village of Trellech, between Monmouth and Chepstow in south Wales, is home to standing stones, a tump, and St.Anne' well. Photographer Roy Parkhouse writes: 'The Virtuous Well, also known as St Anne's Well, is still a place of pilgrimage; visitors to the well have suspended small strips of cloth in the hedgerow behind the well. When this photograph was taken, there was a person sitting inside on the left, meditating. The clear water emerges from the central opening in the back wall and floods the space in front. Just visible, the other, rectangular, niches appear to be places to leave votive offerings.'

 


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