Meditation… With a Sleep Mask?
Something I have been experimenting with recently, and really enjoying, is meditating with a meditation mask.
Why would I do this and what am I even talking about?
Let’s dive in here:
What Is a Meditation Mask?
A meditation mask is essentially the same thing as what's normally called an eye mask, or a sleep mask.
Sleep masks are most commonly used to block light from the eyes to help promote deep and restful sleep.
Although I’m focusing on meditating with a mask in this article… If you aren’t yet sleeping in a really dark environment, you may want to consider a sleep mask too, and here’s why.
The Benefit of Sleeping in Complete Darkness
Quite simply, your body is programmed to sleep when it’s dark outside.
When it’s dark, your pineal gland is activated and your brain starts producing melatonin.
Melatonin is the hormone that helps you to fall asleep and stay asleep.
But, if you’re exposed to even just a little bit of sunlight or artificial light while you’re sleeping, the production of this important hormone is disrupted.
So not only does sleeping in darkness (which can be created with an eye mask) help promote sleep, but it also promotes a healthy pineal gland.
Here’s where things get really interesting.
The pineal gland is at the center of your mind’s eye, and triggers psychic sight as well as higher states of consciousness, intuition, and even enlightenment!
And while the pineal gland is activated during the day by sunlight, it needs complete darkness to balance it out.
So … Why Wear a Meditation Mask?
Okay, so you hopefully get now why its so beneficial to sleep in complete darkness… Now let’s look at meditating in the dark too!
I think you might like it and here’s why.
Meditating in darkness is not new. Dark room meditation, and meditating in dark caves is a practice that has been used for thousands of years by sages and spiritual seekers.
In advanced advanced practices in the Taoism and Tibetan Buddhism, “dark retreats” are used to stimulate the pineal gland and the natural production of DMT in the brain which causes expanded, transcendental states of consciousness, clear visions, and feelings of compassion and oneness.
While a dark retreat usually involves complete darkness for days on end, just meditating in complete darkness can help you to tune into some of the benefits like letting go of your focus on the external, releasing attachment to your body, and letting go of your focus on the lines of time so you can really clear your mind, enter into the inner realms and experience your profound connection with the infinite, with the Divine, angels and the higher realms.
The complete darkness is also healthy for your pineal gland, which during meditation can begin to trigger the release of “dream chemicals” while you’re still awake. This means vivid visions, clairvoyance, and open-eyed travel into the higher realms during your waking meditations.
Getting into deep states of meditation and fully activating your pineal gland with or without an eye-mask of course takes practice, but while you're practicing meditation, an eye mask is something you may want to give a try!
Choosing An Eye Mask For Meditation
You have many options when it comes to selecting an eye mask, and base on my experience and research there are three main features you want to look for.
- You want the mask to be contoured to remove pressure from your eyes and allow your eyes to open and close without rubbing against the mask.
- Your eye mask should completely block out the light as light leakage will decrease the effectiveness.
- You want an eye mask that is comfortable so you can forget about it and disappear into the void and oneness with the infinite.
The Meditation Eye Mask(s) I Use
Before buying an eye mask I did a bunch of research to try to find the best one. Because I do travel a bunch, and also switch back and forth from sleeping on my side and back, I wanted to get an eye mask that would work for both sleeping as well as meditation.
For this I went with the Dream Essentials Escape Sleep Mask.
Dream Essentials Eye Mask Review
It does a good job of blocking out the light completely, and is comfortable to wear sitting up, laying on my back, or laying on my side.
It also has a nice feel, and is comfortable against my skin. The mask is also easy to adjust with a stretchy velcro headband, and it does have nice indentations for your eyes, though my eyelashes to rub up against the mask just a little bit.
I almost didn’t buy this mask because of a few bad reviews saying that the fabric portion around the nose are was too flimsy and let light in… And while this part of the mask is definitely flimsy, I don’t have a problem with it letting light in. I found it to be comfortable and does a great job blocking out light when its tightened to fit snugly.
It also comes with a carrying case, and ear-plugs… Honestly I haven't used either of these, but they could come in handy while traveling.
The Mindfold Eye Mask Review
The second meditation mask I bought is called the Mindfold Sleep and Relaxation Eye Mask.
This mask has deeper eye cavities so your eye lashes do not rub against the mask, and it won't smudge your eye makeup! 🙂
This mask has a hard plastic front, which you won’t notice at all while meditating… But if you try to lay on your side to sleep while wearing it, it’s not pleasant.
The inner lining is made of a porous foam, and while it felt cheaply made when I first pulled it out of the package, it really seems to be working and holding up well.
When I purchased this mask, I thought it would be my favorite for meditation, and it now is…
But the first time I used it, the foam of the mask was a little too narrow and so it sort of pinched my nose making it quite uncomfortable.
I ended up trimming the foam with a pair of scissors, which worked out perfectly and now the mask is really comfortable.
Although I had to trim the mask a bit, I do like and recommend the Mindfold Meditation Mask or back sleeping, but its probably not a good option if you're just looking for a sleep mask, and you sleep on your side.
Have you tried meditating with an eye mask?
While I definitely don’t feel an eye mask is a requirement for a highly enjoyable meditation, I do like wearing it and will continue to experiment.
Overall I think its a great way to rejuvenate your senses, support your pineal gland, and take a break from the constraints of normal day to day life. If you get a mask and try it be sure to comment below and let me know about your experience.
With love, light and gratitude