Gyumed Khensur Rinpoche Losang Jampa gave a brief explanation of the yoga of sleeping during his commentary on the Path to Bliss (June 4, 2011). Since we spend a significant portion of our lives sleeping, it’s beneficial to use this time for Dharma practice.
Your body position is significant. Ideally, sleep in the lion posture like the Buddha. Lie on your right side with your hands together under your right cheek, fingers straight, and your legs straight with the right leg supporting the right.
With the crown of your head facing nort, you create the causes and conditions for the Buddha’s teachings to remain in the world. With your face to the West, the causes for birth in the Sukhavati Pure Land are created. With your back to the East, you create the conditions to be free from samsara’s pkeasures and attachments. With your feet to the south, you extend your life span.
Sleeping on your right side minimizes obstacles to practicing dream yoga. Sleeping on your stomach (face down) is like an animal, whereas sleeping on your back increases desire.
Most importantly, Rinpoche encouraged us to fall asleep thinking about bodhicitta and emptiness so that the entire sleeping period becomes virtuous.
A recording of the June 4 teaching is available on the Guhyasamaja Center website.
Sleep well! : )