Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep: Part I

I’ve recently discovered the wisdom of Tibetan writings on lucid dreaming.  For those interested in a new paradigm for lucid dreaming, come back often as I start a new blog series focused on mining the teachings of these seasoned oneironauts.

Continual practice of mindfulness.  The main draw for lucid dreaming from the Tibetan perspective is the uninterrupted practice of mindfulness.  I have been exploring mindfulness for the past year at my company.  If I am honest, I have experienced more benefits in 10 months of mindfulness practice than I have in 20+ years of lucid dreaming.  Yet, I believe this is about to change.

Lucid dreaming has always be fun for me.  Yet, something has always eluded me.  The “Why.”  I get asked this question a lot.  And it annoys me.  I think, “How can you ask the why question when I just told you it is a virtual reality in your head where the laws of physics don’t apply and there are no social consequences to your actions?!”  Yet, this question annoys me because I’ve never had a good answer to it myself.

The answer is dawning on me as I read why the yogis have practiced Dream Yoga for centuries.  It relates back to mindfulness or “pure awareness” as they refer to it.  In “Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep” the author, Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, writes (paraphrasing) that not many of us in the West have a couple years to spend in a meditation retreat.  Yet in the next 10 years, each of us will spend 3 years asleep.  Through lucid dreaming, one can continue the practice of awareness throughout the night.  This is exactly what the yogis do when they sleep.  Why?  Because the benefits of mindfulness are enormous – more compassion, reduction of karmic reactions (reacting to situations instinctively, without ability to control one’s emotions or actions), increased clarity & focus….the benefits of mindfulness are spreading everywhere in today’s business world.

What they are not talking about in mindfulness articles is that you can continue your practice, and even elevate it, by practicing when you sleep.  You can develop the flexibility of mind by staying present in the dream world.  There are many practices that develop this mindset for dreaming as well as activities to do in the dream itself that increase the mind’s ability to more skillfully respond to difficult situations.  Check back frequently or subscribe for updates as I chronicle my journey through this new paradigm of lucid dreaming.


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