Joshua Hayes of Nashville, Tennessee, attended a day-long Buddhist meditation retreat hoping to achieve a spiritual awakening, only to wind up experiencing the polar opposite: he fell asleep.
"It was a guided meditation, and the teacher's voice was really soothing," said Hayes. "I kept getting more and more relaxed, and thought I might be approaching nirvana. But instead, I zonked out completely."
He chuckled and added, "Snoring and everything! It was bad. On the plus side, though, it was probably loud enough to awaken lots of other people. So that’s something. I think they call that being a bodhisattva."
As Hayes explained it, his interest in Buddhism comes at a time that he has been struggling to pull himself out of a dark and persistent depression. "Maybe subconsciously, I didn’t want to wake up," he said. "The human condition – it’s really something!"
Despite the spiritual setback, Hayes says that he plans to continue his quest for consciousness. "In retrospect, it was probably a little unrealistic to expect to achieve enlightenment on my very first try," he said. "I’ll nail it one of these days. And the worst that can happen is a power nap."