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How much sleep, on average, does an Orthodox monk get?


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#21 Peter S.

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Posted 18 April 2009 - 01:19 PM

Sleep "repairs" the brain. St. John of Shanghai didnt have a brain to "repair" in the nights when he didnt sleep I think.

I mean his thoughts were pure.

Edited by Father David Moser, 19 April 2009 - 07:00 PM.
merge


#22 Kseniya M.

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 08:21 PM

He who sleeps does not sin. ;)


That's what you think.

-Kseniya, who has had temper tantrums in her dreams and waken up still angry :-D

Edited by Kseniya M., 19 April 2009 - 08:22 PM.
added smiley


#23 D. W. Dickens

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 08:26 PM

I read something recently from the Fathers, I can't remember where, that sleep is an evil. Essentially because it is a kin to death, either an imitation or a metaphor for it. And sleep was distinctly discouraged.

#24 Father David Moser

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 08:53 PM

Monks follow a very busy schedule of prayer and work, I was wondering how much sleep do you think an Orthodox monk gets,


Monks get as much sleep as they need and never as much as they want and probably more than is sufficient for survival.

Fr David Moser

#25 Olga

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 10:13 PM

I read something recently from the Fathers, I can't remember where, that sleep is an evil. Essentially because it is a kin to death, either an imitation or a metaphor for it. And sleep was distinctly discouraged.


There are plenty of "prayers before sleep" which ask that sleep be undisturbed by unseemly thoughts and "phantasies". There are some monastic communities where sleep is kept to a minimum, as others have mentioned. But sleep being inherently "evil"? That's a bit rough.

#26 Vasiliki D.

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 06:42 AM

Should a person be practising the virtue of his prayer rule (under the guidance of his Elder) and be a true repentant heart - pure enough to invite the uncreated light into it - then that particular "saint" would have no need for sleep since the grace of God would take away that human condition ...

There are documented cases of Saints who prayed for days without sleeping or eating at all ...

#27 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 07:30 AM

I read something recently from the Fathers, I can't remember where, that sleep is an evil. Essentially because it is a kin to death, either an imitation or a metaphor for it. And sleep was distinctly discouraged.

Well, this sounds rather ominous:

Behold, the Bridegroom cometh at midnight,
and blessed is the servant whom He shall find watching;
and again, unworthy is the servant whom He shall find sleeping.
Beware, therefore, O my soul, do not be weighed down with sleep,
Lest you be given up to death,
And lest you be shut out of the Kingdom!
But rouse yourself, crying: “Holy, holy, holy, art Thou, O our God!”
Through the Theotokos have mercy on us!

Tropar from the Bridegroom Matins of Holy Week


And this from the Prayers Before Sleep:

Prayer to Jesus Christ:
0 Master, to us who are about to lie down to sleep grant rest of body and soul; and keep us from the dark sleep of sin and from any impure pleasure roaming in the darkness of night.

Still the assaults of evil passions, quench the fiery darts of the evil one which are cast insidiously against us. calm the rebellious commotions of our flesh and put away from us all earthly and worldly thoughts.

Grant us, 0 God, a watchful mind, chaste thoughts, a sober heart and gentle sleep, free from all fantasies of Satan.

And raise us up again at the hour of prayer, established in the practice of Your commandments and holding steadfast within us the remembrance of Your righteous judgments.

Grant us to sing Your glory all night long; to praise, bless and glorify Your all-honorable and magnificent name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.


Christ is Risen!

#28 Kseniya M.

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 01:14 PM

But there is also this from the Morning Prayers (Prayer VI, by St. Basil):

We bless Thee, O Most High God and Lord of mercy Who ever doest with us things both great and inscrutable, both glorious and awesome, of which there is no measure; Who grantest to us sleep for rest from our infirmities, and relaxation from the labours of our much-toiling flesh.

-Kseniya, tossing in a monkey wrench before she dashes off to drive a kid to an appt

#29 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 05:53 AM

But sleep being inherently "evil"? That's a bit rough.


Particularly if we recall that our sinless Lord slept.

#30 D. W. Dickens

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 06:48 AM

From the Ladder of Divine Ascent, 19:

Sleep is a particular state of nature, an image of death, an inactivity of the senses.

in 20 there are several such as:

Long sleep produces forgetfulness, but vigil purifies the memory.

St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on the Psalms.

The night was not made to be spent entirely in sleep. Why did Jesus Christ pass so many nights amid the mountains, if not to instruct us by His example? It is during the night that all the plants respire, and it is then also that the soul of man is more penetrated with the dews falling from Heaven; and everything that has been scorched and burned during the day by the sun's fierce heat is refreshed and renewed during the night; and the tears we shed at night extinguish the fires of passion and quieten our guilty desires. Night heals the wounds of our soul and calms out griefs.

St Basil on Fasting1 Homily1.

For drunkenness not only brings on sleep, the brother of death, but also a wakefulness that resembles dreams.

St Basil Epistle 2, to St Gregory the Theologian.

Let sleep be light and easily interrupted, as naturally happens after a light diet; it should be purposely broken by thoughts about great themes. To be overcome by heavy torpor, with limbs unstrung, so that a way is readily opened to wild fancies, is to be plunged in daily death.

Another page on Vigils.

http://www.pigizois....erontiko/11.htm

St. Paisy of Neamt, The Variety of Demonic Battles.

Thus the demons cast us into every passion. They compel us to fall to every sin, and we are tangled in every net. By nets I mean the first thought of desires and various foul thoughts through which we bind ourselves with every passion, and fall into every sin. This is the door of demons and passions, by which they enter into us and rob our spiritual treasury. Immoderate sleep, laziness, eating not at the proper time are a cause of the entrance of demons.

[And later lists sleep among the tools of demons.]

Then they begin to scheme and place various nets to catch us in passion, for example: forgetfulness, anger, foolishness, self-love, pride, love of glory, love of pleasure, overeating, gluttony, fornication, unmercifulness, anger, remembrance of wrongs, blasphemy, sorrow, brazenness, vainglory, much speaking, despondency, fearfulness, sleep, laziness, heaviness, fright, jealousy, envy, hatred, hypocrisy, deception, murmuring, unbelief, disobedience, covetousness, love of things, egotism, faintheartedness, duplicity, bitterness, ambition, and laughter.

Bishop Chrysostomos, a response to a modernist abbot.

Too much sleep and too much nourishment lead to lethargy, poor health, and inattention to things spiritual.

Of course the Lord has numerous words about sleep in the Gospels, from scolding his disciples for sleeping while he prayed, to the trimming of wicks and keeping of lamp oil and any manner of metaphors for wakefulness, watchfulness and preparedness.

#31 Rick H.

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 10:56 AM

I imagine with this topic, as others, there is a balance, a middle ground, and one size does not fit all.

In Christ,
Rick

#32 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 02:01 PM

This topic is putting me to sleep.

#33 Rick H.

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 02:27 PM

In a word . . . ditto.

I think I'm still recovering from my lack of sleep from the Pascha service! :)

#34 D. W. Dickens

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 09:51 PM

Please forgive me. I suppose because of my generally humorous nature folks aren't taking my posts on this subject seriously.

I would appreciate it if someone could help me out on this. I'm a big fan of sleep and it seems there are plenty of indications that being a fan of sleep is not good for my spiritual well-being as understood by the Fathers, particularly monastics.

#35 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 09:54 PM

It was while Joseph was asleep that an angel told him the truth about Mary's conception.

#36 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 10:10 PM

Please forgive me. I suppose because of my generally humorous nature folks aren't taking my posts on this subject seriously.

I would appreciate it if someone could help me out on this. I'm a big fan of sleep and it seems there are plenty of indications that being a fan of sleep is not good for my spiritual well-being as understood by the Fathers, particularly monastics.


Sorry but that is really a question best answered by a trusted spiritual advisor, not a bunch of Internet theologians. And what is appropriate for monastics is not necessarily appropriate for you.

Herman the Pooh who enjoys his naps

#37 Olga

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 11:11 PM

It was while Joseph was asleep that an angel told him the truth about Mary's conception.


... and there are a number of other Biblical figures who were similarly visited in their sleep by messengers of God. Joseph the All-comely immediately comes to mind.

#38 Alice

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 01:07 AM

Sorry but that is really a question best answered by a trusted spiritual advisor, not a bunch of Internet theologians.


HEHEHE...I have never heard the title 'internet theologian' before! It sounds kind of impressive! ;)

And what is appropriate for monastics is not necessarily appropriate for you.


For sure!!!

Herman the Pooh who enjoys his naps


Me too! Now to sleep I go! :)

So, I don't know about how much sleep monks get, but I know that I need to get enough! :)

Christ is Risen!
Alice :)

#39 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 12:13 AM

... and there are a number of other Biblical figures who were similarly visited in their sleep by messengers of God. Joseph the All-comely immediately comes to mind.


"... and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams..."

Jacob had his vision while dreaming but awoke regretting that he had slept in a holy place. What are we to make of this?

Herman the old Pooh

#40 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 09:41 AM

Jacob had his vision while dreaming but awoke regretting that he had slept in a holy place. What are we to make of this?

Herman the old Pooh


What I make of it is that I should avoid sleeping in holy places. I'll tell my wife to nudge me if I drop off in church. I recall that Abba Dorotheos had a novice whose job it was to do this for him.




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