Friends who know that I meditate very early in the morning sometimes ask me why I don’t fall asleep during meditations.
While it is true that meditation is very relaxing for the mind an body, it is only half true that we are completely relaxed. There is a subtle, but important difference between being relaxed and actively relaxing. Meditation is a highly conscious activity. My body becomes relaxed, but my mind is very active during meditation.
This is very different than if I use breathing techniques to fall asleep. In those cases, I turn off my concentration and let my mind wander to wherever it wants to go.
During meditation I let my body and mind be calm. I actively quiet all the voices and images in my head to create emptiness and I am able to clearly see and cultivate light energy. My mind observes the body and the breath.
Sometimes I will lose concentration for a brief period and my mind wanders before I realize and ask it to come back into focus. Even if I have had less sleep than I normally need, I tend to remain awake.