Over the past few decades, I've been to many classes and retreats were participants meditated together. When I look around the room, what do I see? Most people have their eyes closed, they are motionless, they appear calm and relaxed, and their breathing is slow and regular. I have seen people fall asleep while meditating when seated or lying down. Outwardly, sleeping and meditation often have a similar appearance. Inwardly, they are close enough to be interchanged by many.
On the Internet, I have seen a quotation circulated to the effect that the Dalai Lama once said, "Sleep is the best meditation." The best? I wonder if the honored Dalai Lama actually did say this? Anyone have a source reference?
At Zen retreats they have one fellow assigned the task of walking around the room, watching those meditating, and waking up any fellows that have fallen asleep with a tap or knock on the shoulders. Wake Up those slackers! Obviously, the master of that temple does not agree with the Dalai Lama.
Daoists of the Song Dynasty provided some instructions on cultivating proper
sleep habits. I'll look up the references for this inner alchemy of sleep