More reflections from my “Day with the Dalai Lama”
While His Holiness the Dalai Lama refreshes mind, body, and spirit with the nightly “good sleep” he recommends for all of us, he has a friend in India who, instead, watches television well into the night.
As His Holiness impresses on us how healing, revitalizing, and important a good night’s sleep is, he widens his eyes and laughs and laughs as he describes his friend who enjoys a good cricket match on TV.
“I prefer to sleep, not look at cricket,” the Dalai Lama says. “He can watch cricket all night.”
“Cricket. Cricket. Cricket.”
An average cricket match, by the way, can run about six hours a day – with matches lasting three to five days. Those lengthy cricket matches are known for their utterly civilized breaks and tea times. No cheap 7th-inning stretch for these fellas.
By comparison, the average baseball game in America runs about three hours (unless you are the Baltimore Orioles, in which case, you could very well go on for 12 or 14 or 18 innings … and rival cricket hours, except no tea time.)
So, I’m wondering … how did His Holiness know that I watch way too much baseball?
Does he know that some games this season kept me up well past midnight?
Does he know that last Sunday’s hours-long rain delay in Baltimore meant I slogged through the next day with less than three hours sleep?
Does he know that a season of baseball is 162 games? That the Orioles (and your favorite team) will play some 500 hours a year (even more if they go to the post-season)? That’s a lot of baseball.
His Holiness doesn’t know my deep dark baseball-watching secret. Well, if he reads this blog, I guess he does now. But, I’m pretty sure he’s sleeping, not blogging.
Oh, sure maybe you don’t watch baseball (or cricket). But, maybe you have your own kind of baseball that keeps you up … reading, or knitting, or worrying, or work, or … reading blogs.
I think many of us have our own cricket.
Many of my massage clients come in to their appointments tired. They tell me they might fall asleep on the table. Some tell me that the little nap they catch during their session is the best sleep they’ve gotten in awhile.
Some of my Yoga students fall asleep in class during relaxation. They drop right off. And, snore.
We are a sleep-deprived culture. And, we all know it. And, yet, many of us don’t make the changes we need to improve our sleep. (And, by “many of us,” I, of course, mean me … and maybe some of you, but mostly me.)
So how much sleep is enough? “Eight, nine hours, I think, is good for health,” the Dalai Lama says. Ayurveda and Yoga, which call adequate sleep absolutely essential to healing, suggest seven or eight. Basically, everybody agrees that somewhere between six and nine would be great. My cat Stevie highly recommends 18.
Writing this has made me tired.
Oh, wait, Giants-Cardinals game is about to start.
I’ll sleep in November.
Read Part One of my “Day With The Dalai Lama” … click here.