Preparing for and Benefiting from a Mystical Night
In the Gnostic work, life and its diverse aspects are used for the awakening of consciousness. It is well known to anyone interested in the Gnostic-esoteric work, that this work entails using daily life in order to study one’s own psychology, to die to the egos, to develop concentration etc. And just like the day can be used for the spiritual work, so too can the night be used for the same purpose. The most basic way for that would be by doing a dream yoga exercise in which intention is applied as one drifts to sleep, in order to achieve a desired goal in the astral plane, or to aim to get a teaching from the inner Being or a master in a dream and to remember it when waking up in the morning. However, nights can be used in other ways too; in fact, nights can become a mean by which we move closer to spiritual awakening.
Both day and night have their specific characteristics that are suitable for various activities and practices of the inner work. Besides separating them into day and night activities, there are also those that are more suitable for specific times of day, about which I wrote here. Daytime provides with a heightened energy, which is appropriate for continuous work on self-remembrance, self-observation, certain types of meditation, death in motion, transmutation etc. Night on the other hand is very suitable for mystical experiences, such as astral projection, lucid dreaming, or reaching deeper states of consciousness in meditation. This is not to say that such mystical experiences cannot happen during the day as well, they indeed can. However, nighttime has a unique quality to it, which is why many people occasionally use the night for various mystical practices.
For example, the night can be used to reach conscious astral experiences, whether through direct conscious exit from the physical body (astral projection) or by becoming conscious within a dream. This is how many astral explorers actually reach their experiences out of the body, by first having some 3 or 4 or 5 hours of sleep, and then waking up, staying up for some 10, 20 or 30 minutes, and then proceeding to do the astral practice. For many, this can often result in having a conscious astral experience. Or, when waking up during the night after 4 hours of sleep, setting an alarm clock every hour and a half until the time to get up from bed in the morning, in order to practice astral projection at each of those times. Or, splitting the night in 2 or 3 or 4 parts, actually getting up from bed at each of these times, staying awake for a little while and then going back to bed to practice and aiming to have the body fall asleep while the mind stays awake.
The quietude and mysticism of the night can also be used for going deeper in meditational states. Whether your goal with meditation is to experience heightened states of consciousness, various Samadhi states, getting a glimpse of the Being consciousness, or arriving to answers, dedicating the night to practice could yield results.
Just like with waking up at night to practice astral projection, practicing meditation would entail sleeping first for some 3 or 4 or 5 hours, waking up at around 2 or 3am, and then using that peaceful time of the night to practice. One can also choose to practice both meditation and astral projection. For that, when waking up at night you could first practice meditation, and when going back to bed you could aim to have the body to fall asleep while the mind stays awake (that’s how the conscious split from the physical body takes place).
Another suitable time to get up and practice is two hours before sunrise, and then meditating until the sun is out from the horizon. In Yoga, this is considered to be a very auspicious time to practice meditation, said to be the most suitable time to seek the inner Being, as the atmosphere is endowed with special energy. Generally speaking, 2am and 3am start is when the night is the quietest. There is something very special in that time. However, one can also experiment with other times as well. It really all comes down to experimentation and discovering the times that are the most suitable for your physical and psychological constitution.
It is important to prepare well when using the night to reach mystical states of consciousness, if the goal is to have success with it. It is not suitable to jump into it from a busy or mundane routine, although this is not to say that success would not happen that way too, it’s just that it is less likely to happen for someone who is not very grounded in their meditation routine. For this reason, it might work better for most people who have a regular daily work schedule to practice on a weekend day, or when they have days off from work. This would provide with sufficient time for rest the next day.
So if you have weekend off, you could use your Saturday to prepare well for the night. This means starting your day on a high note, with practices, increased self-remembrance and work on the ego, avoiding activities that can pull your inner state down. If possible go to nature and try to connect with the intelligence of it. Observe the processes of nature that are unfolding before your eyes, perhaps sit down by a tree and do a meditation or reflection there.
Write down what you would like to achieve with your nightly practices, reflect on how this could help your inner work, visualize yourself achieving it, acknowledge that it is for your best spiritual interest to do so.
Stop early with any sort of computer/device work. Read texts or a book that evokes mystical feelings in you and inspires you to attain spiritual experiences. Connect to your inner Being and/or masters of light through prayer, communing with them and asking them what you need.
Finish with all your activities at least one hour before retiring to bed. Use that last hour before sleep for reflection and meditation. Go to sleep early. When going to sleep, don’t just immediately fall asleep, but keep your mind focus on something (such as visualizing a spiritually uplifting place and yourself in it) to try to have a conscious astral experience early on in the night.
Using the night to achieve the mystical states of consciousness is something that has shown productive for many people. It requires determination and resolve to use your sleep in such a way, but it is likely to give good results, not just because of the suitable energies of the night (which is a big reason), but also because we sacrifice our uninterrupted sleep for something that has a potential to give us a lot of spiritual strength and inspiration, which is used for furthering our inner work. Higher beings who help us on the Path are taking notice of such endeavors of ours, they appreciate the effort made, because all such effort is bringing us closer to divinity and its will.
When we use the night in such a way, we become aware of the energies of nature more, of the night side of nature, and this gives us Gnosis. So even if we do not attain to immediate direct results through nightly practices, the learning is still taking place, and we indubitably become endowed with a mystical energy that is useful for our spiritual progress.
HDP, November 2021.