The nature of the unconscious mind creates an easy and frustrating predicament that comes along when one is beginning to learn of the process of meditation and yoga.  Close your eyes, let your mind relax…and without your consent, it drifts off into some region of your unconsciousness, perhaps leading you through a strange trail of thoughts of the day, or into imaginative and perplexing dream territory.  It happens again as you lay down to go to sleep, and as you tinker between waking and slumber, hypnagogic hallucinations begin to spiral and blossom throughout your mind at a rapid pace.

How do we go through the day, having complete control of our actions, words, and thoughts, only to be transported to another realm of thinking when we take a moment to rest?  Why does the unconscious mind dominate our personal will to move toward clarity and ease?  How can one control the unconscious mind?

Truth is, it can’t be controlled, but, it can be possibly understood through various techniques, such as Yoga Nidra, or Yogic Sleep.  Yoga Nidra is a sleep-like state of meditation, where participants, lying in corpse pose of course with eyes closed, explore the multiple layers of consciousness.

Ever heard of the iceberg metaphor? Imagine that our waking life and conscious mind is the tip, exposed to the elements of everyday life.  The massive, submerged chunk below the surface is our unconscious realm, containing memories, manufacturing dreams, preserving intuition, and manifesting imagination.  And the oceanic water that the iceberg is floating in?  Perhaps that’s the energy of collective consciousness.

Like all mass, consciousness is pieced together by density and volume.  There’s a lot of terrain for one to reconnoiter.  And, as said before, it’s difficult to consider the idea of controlling the unconscious mind, but, through practices like Yoga Nidra, its energy can be harnessed, and used positively to reduce stress, restlessness, and a handful of other things.

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