One of the recurring themes of Spiritual Adrenaline is to get the day started early and right with a self-care program. Is this intended to torture people? No. But then why not sleep in and take it easy?
Waking up early is a healthy way to start the day and prioritize our body, mind and spirit, over the never-ending demands of daily life. Ancient Buddhist teachings also speak to the importance of morning meditation and self-care. The period immediately before sunrise is known as the Brahmamuhurta or Brahmic time. But what does that mean and why is that time important….
The Brahmic Time
The Brahmic time is the time before sunrise and occurs between 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. The ancients recognized that this period has sacred energies for the worship of the Brahman inside you. Brahman refers to the God-imminent in every being, or as we would define it today, our soul. Muhurtam is a unit of measurement for time in the Indian calendar. A Muhurtam equals about 48 minutes and the total Brahmic time lasts 96 minutes.
Brahmic Time and Meditation
Meditation involves total mental focus inward on a coherent flow of energy. It is very difficult to meditate around others and in crowded and/or busy places as our energy and focus is disturbed by external forces. These things do not affect us during Brahma Muhurtham. At that time, most people are in deep sleep. As such, their energy will not disturb our meditation and focus. After sunrise, people begin to awake and as so much mental energy is emitted, and according to the ancients, the atmosphere becomes “polluted with thought” and makes meditation much more difficult.
I used to hate waking up early irrespective of whether I was using or not. Of course, when I was hung over, I wanted to sleep in all day. I loved sleeping in until about 11 a.m. on weekends and would wake as late as possible on workdays. I would rush through my morning routine and was usually running late or just on time. I started almost every day in the most stressful way possible. I rarely ate breakfast and when I did it was usually a donut and coffee from a street vendor on my hurried rush to work.
People who woke up really early scared me, they really did.
When I moved up to Maine to help my brother with his health issues after he was paralyzed skiing, I started to get up really early. There were a couple of reasons for this. First, once he was awake and we were going about the day, I had very little time for myself given his medical condition and needs. So early morning was the only time until late at night that I could focus on myself. Second, I lived in Portland Maine and could get in my car and be at the beach in five minutes. I loved it and enjoyed doing my recovery reading at the beach in the early morning. By being there at this time, I was witness to the beautiful sunrise and it made me euphoric. The sunrises in Maine are spectacular and just filled me with optimism and exuberance for the day ahead. I started going to the gym in the mornings and met a lot of cool people, many of whom were in recovery. We would go to the gym and then the 7 a.m. meeting in downtown Portland known as the “Attitude Adjustment” meeting.
I started to feel amazing and began to enjoy getting up early and my routine.
Fast forward to the present.
I feel so good after my morning routine, which varies but often includes waking up to relaxing music, recovery reading, journaling, the gym and on two to three mornings a week, yoga. It sets the standard for the rest of my day and puts me in a healthy, happy and grateful mindset.
Brahmamuhurta enhances my ability to force the mind back into the positive and I stay in gratitude. My morning self care program energizes me and keeps my health and recovery a priority. For that I am grateful.
Remember, an alcoholic or addict that stays in gratitude will not use.
We look forward to your feedback on this and other blog posts or questions. If you have used exercise and/or nutrition as a tool in your recovery or know someone who has, shoot us an email or video at: firstname.lastname@example.org.