Forum for discussion of Tibetan Buddhism. Questions specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
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Post by PeDr0 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 8:28 pm

What are the relevance of dreams? Did the Buddha talk much about dream interpretation or the power of dreams to guide us and make sure we make the right decisions in life? There is part of me that feels the more effort I put into my mediation practice the less cryptic and useful my dreams become..

What do Tibetan Buddhists think about dreams?

Thanks, Pete

P.S. I have asked this question over at Dhamma wheel, but I wanted to ask is again here.. :-)

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Re: Dreams

Post by Nosta » Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:25 pm

I think that Tibetan buddhism as some techniques associated with dreams and lucid dreams. The objective would be to understand the "dream" nature of all reality, or something like.
I would like to read more about that too.

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Re: Dreams

Post by Ngawang Drolma » Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:40 pm

I've been told that dreams are just dreams, not much more :)


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Re: Dreams

Post by Nosta » Tue Feb 15, 2011 12:55 am

In what regards buddhism, dreams are just dreams indeed. Following the path of Buddha, the Dharma, one must consider dreams like anything else: empty.
Dreams are just dreams indeed.

But even so i think that they may be used as a specfic Tibetan meditation method. Not sure of that...

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Re: Dreams

Post by kirtu » Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:55 am

Nosta wrote: But even so i think that they may be used as a specfic Tibetan meditation method. Not sure of that...
Dream yoga is a very important practice but one's guru should teach it to you. And it takes a while for some and no time at all to get going for others.

It is more commonly spelled out in Kagyu lineages but it is also taught for sure in Nyingma and almost certainly in Sakya (certainly for lineage holders and probably monks for sure) and Gelug as well.

The issue for many people is that they try to make something significant out of just samsaric dreams. In dream yoga one would work to recognize the dream state and transform dreams.

Still even with the admonition not to make too much out of ordinary dreams there are times when dreams are actually significant (like during major empowerments - the Vajra Master might actually ask people who had bad dreams after the first day of a two day empowerment to report their dreams to him or her).

And if you see stupas or Buddhas in your dreams at any time at all that is always a positive thing - the samsaric dream state is being transformed even if you aren't doing dream yoga. But it would still not be something to be attached to or something in some special actually.

Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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Re: Dreams

Post by Nosta » Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:16 pm

About that last part, dreaming with Buddhas, i read on a Pure Land ebook that visions of Buddha sometimes may be the work of demons, trying to delud people.

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Re: Dreams

Post by conebeckham » Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:47 pm

Dreams are the supreme examples of the nature of reality--they appear, but do not exist. Yet due to their appearance, we feel, we react, sometimes we even "make decisions" and carry out actions based on the experience we've had. Often when we wake from an intense dream experience we are emotionally, and even physically, "affected" by the experience...and yet that experience has been entirely "fabricated" by mind.

The teachings of "Dream Yoga" in Tibetan Buddhism, for example Naropa's Six Yogas, are not primarily concerned with the "meaning" of dreams, or their "analysis" or "symbolism," as in Western psychoanalytic theory or any sort of "New Age Dream Interpretation." Though it is true that dreams are sometimes seen as foretelling.....
More important is the idea that the very nature of dreams is realized....that, in fact, the first step in Dream Yoga is the realization that one is dreaming--this is called "seizing the dream." Beyond that, it's not an appropriate topic for public discussion. Let's just say "lucid dreaming" is a better analogy in Western terms than "dream interpretation."

I have also heard that dreaming of Lamas, Buddhas, etc., can be somehow a "negative" experience, though it may seem otherwise.

"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")

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Re: Dreams

Post by Karma Dondrup Tashi » Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:43 am

I recommend:

What I want is a view. Hannibal Lecter

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Re: Dreams

Post by Mr. G » Wed Feb 16, 2011 12:13 pm

Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche also put out a small book on dream interpretation too. I don't see it for sale anymore though on the SSI bookstore.
  • How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu

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