A question about Dream Yoga

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DarkenTheWorld
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A question about Dream Yoga

Post by DarkenTheWorld » Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:39 am

:namaste:

I hope that my question is in the right section. So, I have read the book "Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep" by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche and I'm practicing both the preliminary practices and the main practice. I have a specific question about the first foundational practice (there are four in total), which the author describes as follows:

"Throughout the day, practice the recognition of the dream-like nature of life until the same recognition begins to manifest in dream.
Upon waking in the morning, think to yourself, "I am awake in a dream." When you enter the kitchen, recognize it as a dream kitchen.
Pour dream milk into dream coffee. "It's all a dream," you think to yourself, "this is a dream." Remind yourself of this constantly throughout the day.
The emphasis should actually be on you, the dreamer, more than on the objects of your experience. Keep reminding yourself that you are dreaming up your experiences: the anger you feel, the happiness, the fatigue, the anxiety—it is all part of the dream. The oak tree you appreciate, the car you drive, the person to whom you are talking, are all part of the dream. In this way a new tendency is created in the mind, that of looking at experience as insubstantial, transient, and intimately related to the mind's projections. As phenomena are seen to be fleeting and essenceless, grasping decreases. Every sensory encounter and mental event becomes a reminder of the dream-like nature of experience. Eventually this understanding will arise in dream and lead to the recognition of the dream state and the development of lucidity.
Fully realizing the truth of the statement, "This is a dream," we are freed of the habits of erroneous conception and therefore freed from the diminished life of samsara in which fantasy is mistaken for reality. We are necessarily present when this realization comes, as it is then true that there is no place else to be. And there is no stronger method of bringing consistent lucidity to dream than by abiding continuously in lucid presence during the day."


I'm doing this since three weeks and I would say I'm already making some progress (I'm not lucid yet but I can better recall my dreams when I wake up). There is just one problem: when I'm doing something that requires some focus, like reading a book, doing work or watching a movie with my family, I kinda get lost into the activity and I forget to remain lucid during the day. I constantly have to remind myself and feel the dreamy nature of waking consciousness. When sitting in my room or going for a walk in the woods, it's fairly easy to do this. I can really feel that life is just a dream and the secondary causes of karma have less of an effect on me, but when doing something that really needs concentration, I slip in and out of lucidity.

My question is now: how do you guys keep being lucid during these activities? Are there any tips on how to abide continuously in lucid presence during the day?

Thank you for reading this and have a nice day/night wherever you are,
DarkenTheWorld

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Re: A question about Dream Yoga

Post by Grigoris » Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:11 pm

Life is not "just a dream", that is not what the teachings say. They say that life is "like a dream".

It may seem like an irrelevant detail, but it is actually a very significant difference.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
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Re: A question about Dream Yoga

Post by Grigoris » Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:12 pm

PS Have you taken refuge?
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: A question about Dream Yoga

Post by DarkenTheWorld » Fri Apr 19, 2019 3:43 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:11 pm
Life is not "just a dream", that is not what the teachings say. They say that life is "like a dream".

It may seem like an irrelevant detail, but it is actually a very significant difference.
From what I have read so far (I know that intellectual reading can't replace actual experience) it seems to me that the only difference between waking consciousness and dream consciousness is that one has physical limitations and the other not. One might not be able to jump 500 meters high in waking life, but that doesn't make it any more "real", it just shows that in the physical realm you have physical limitations. You are also not free from Karma when dreaming. The author describes it like that:

"The second way of understanding the practice is to realize that waking life is actually the same as dream, that the entirety of normal experience is made up of the mind's projections, that all meaning is imputed, and that whatever we experience is due to the influence of karma. Here we are talking about the subtle and pervasive work of karma, the endless cycle of cause and effect that creates the present from the traces of the past, which it does through the continual conditioning that results from every action. This is one way of articulating the realization that all phenomena are empty and that the apparent self-nature of beings and objects is illusory. There is not an actual "thing" anywhere in waking life—just as in a dream—but only transient, essenceless appearances, arising and self-liberating in the empty, luminous base of existence."

It really makes sense to me. I'm practicing this only since three weeks and I already lost a lot of attachments because in the past I thought of them as real, manifest things that cannot be changed. I was quick to anger and my ego was easily hurt. This changed radically and proved to me that what we distinguish between "real" and "unreal" or "dream" is really one and the same thing. Of course that doesn't mean that you are hallucinating when someone speaks to you, but the way you think of them and engage them is dreamt up, a mental projection, an illusion.

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Re: A question about Dream Yoga

Post by PSM » Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:00 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:11 pm
Life is not "just a dream", that is not what the teachings say.
Some teachings do say exactly that.

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Re: A question about Dream Yoga

Post by Grigoris » Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:38 pm

DarkenTheWorld wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 3:43 pm
Grigoris wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:11 pm
Life is not "just a dream", that is not what the teachings say. They say that life is "like a dream".

It may seem like an irrelevant detail, but it is actually a very significant difference.
From what I have read so far (I know that intellectual reading can't replace actual experience) it seems to me that the only difference between waking consciousness and dream consciousness is that one has physical limitations and the other not. One might not be able to jump 500 meters high in waking life, but that doesn't make it any more "real", it just shows that in the physical realm you have physical limitations. You are also not free from Karma when dreaming. The author describes it like that:

"The second way of understanding the practice is to realize that waking life is actually the same as dream, that the entirety of normal experience is made up of the mind's projections, that all meaning is imputed, and that whatever we experience is due to the influence of karma. Here we are talking about the subtle and pervasive work of karma, the endless cycle of cause and effect that creates the present from the traces of the past, which it does through the continual conditioning that results from every action. This is one way of articulating the realization that all phenomena are empty and that the apparent self-nature of beings and objects is illusory. There is not an actual "thing" anywhere in waking life—just as in a dream—but only transient, essenceless appearances, arising and self-liberating in the empty, luminous base of existence."

It really makes sense to me. I'm practicing this only since three weeks and I already lost a lot of attachments because in the past I thought of them as real, manifest things that cannot be changed. I was quick to anger and my ego was easily hurt. This changed radically and proved to me that what we distinguish between "real" and "unreal" or "dream" is really one and the same thing. Of course that doesn't mean that you are hallucinating when someone speaks to you, but the way you think of them and engage them is dreamt up, a mental projection, an illusion.
This is all very true. But do you think that if you jump in front of a moving truck in a dream, it will have the same outcome as jumping in front of a moving truck when you are awake?

The idea of dream yoga is to break our clinging to our mental and emotional reality, as if it has some sort of real and inherent existence, rather than it being a product of our mind and our reaction to phenomena.

Like a dream, what we conceive of as our waking reality is a projection of your own thoughts, feelings, conceptions, etc...

But we still have to get out of the way of moving buses.

Dream yoga is a really effective method for breaking our grasping, BUT it is also a rather "dangerous" method that needs the constant support of a physically present teacher. I do not know Tenzin Wangyals method, but the method that was taught to me required specific visualisation practices before falling asleep and waking in order to set boundaries between the two states, because they blur rather quickly. Without somebody there, that you trust intensely, to slap you when you need it, the leap into dissociation is more like a child's skip than a plunge off a sky scraper.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: A question about Dream Yoga

Post by pemachophel » Fri Apr 19, 2019 7:41 pm

Greg,

"But we still have to get out of the way of moving buses."

When I received the transmission for dream yoga, the Teacher told a story about a yogi who was practicing dream yoga on the east side of Mt. Kailash. Having accomplished dream yoga, he realized that the bardo of waking life is no different than a dream and this led to him attaining siddhi. One day, he was floating over the valley at the base of Kailash where there is a small river. As he was floating over the river, he thought to himself, this is impossible. Immediately he fell into the river. The point being that, as long as he was totally in the samadhi of perceiving waking life as illusion, he was able to fly but, as soon as he reverted to the habitual assumption of the "reality" of waking life, his siddhi stopped functioning.

The Teacher I received dream yoga from has made dream yoga one of His specialties and, from listening to Him, it seems like He has a special talent for it. In any case, from the above story He told, it would seem that if one's realization of dream yoga is fully matured, maybe one doesn't have to get out of the way of moving buses. Certainly there are plenty of stories in Tibetan Buddhism of highly attained practitioners moving through solid objects. In fact that is one of the eight so-called ordinary siddhi. A propos of the above story, so is flying in the sky.

Any comment? :smile:

(Sorry if I've hijacked the thread. My bad.)
Pema Chophel པདྨ་ཆོས་འཕེལ

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Re: A question about Dream Yoga

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Fri Apr 19, 2019 7:43 pm

PSM wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:00 pm
Grigoris wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:11 pm
Life is not "just a dream", that is not what the teachings say.
Some teachings do say exactly that.
Not only that, but I've had a number of Dream and Sleep Yoga transmission (including from TWR incidentally), and each of them involved specifically telling oneself "this is a dream" throughout the day, it's actually part of the practice.

I think there may be some truth to the idea that it can be dangerous if you don't understand "this is a dream" the wider context of Dharma - it could easily turn to nihilism and possibly de-realization I supposed. Other than that though, I don't see how it's any more dangerous than other methods, and we should probably follow the instructions of the people from whom we received the transmission about how "dangerous" the practices are.

In my case the teachings I've done certainly might be a thing where you need to contact a teacher periodically, but there is no more caution than there would be for any other practice I've received.
My question is now: how do you guys keep being lucid during these activities? Are there any tips on how to abide continuously in lucid presence during the day?
Do you meditate, do some kind of other practice/have a regular teacher, etc.? If not, it might be worth considering that these practices are really part of a package deal. If you're not doing anything else, I imagine your capabilities will be more limited
His welcoming
& rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
Knowing the dustless, sorrowless state,
he discerns rightly,
has gone, beyond becoming,
to the Further Shore.

-Lokavipatti Sutta

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Re: A question about Dream Yoga

Post by DarkenTheWorld » Fri Apr 19, 2019 9:30 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:38 pm
But we still have to get out of the way of moving buses.
This is exactly what I meant when I mentioned "physical limitations". There are certain "laws" that make waking consciousness different from dream consciousness, but that doesn't make it more "real" or "unreal". The former is Shinay Bardo, the latter Milam Bardo, but both are Bardo. Two sides of the same coin, both having their own rules. Don't worry, I do know that in waking consciousness I shouldn't jump down from a skyscraper. I'm only 21, too young to die (and I can't afford to die before I reach liberation :D)
I do not know Tenzin Wangyals method, but the method that was taught to me required specific visualisation practices before falling asleep
The author wrote that while falling asleep one should visualize a red tibetan "A" on the throat chakra. This should stabilize the dreams and make them peaceful. After I master it, I should then move on and visualize a white sphere (white tigle) on my ajna chakra, as this should "increase the luminosity of dream". After that comes the heart chakra (strengthening presence and generating "powerful" dreams) and lastly the secret chakra, where I must visualize a black sphere behind the genitals which creates so called wrathful dreams (developing fearlessness).
Johnny Dangerous wrote:Do you meditate, do some kind of other practice/have a regular teacher, etc.? If not, it might be worth considering that these practices are really part of a package deal. If you're not doing anything else, I imagine your capabilities will be more limited
I do all the practices presented in the book. When waking up I practice Zhine to stabilize the mind. Before sleep I do the nine purification breathing. Tenzin Wangyal wrote that I should also do a Guru Yoga meditation where I visualize a deity I admire/worship (I was always for some unexplainable reason drawn to Lilith, or should I say obsessed) and pray to the deity to bless me and imagine her merging with me. In the beginning I wanted to do the Guru Yoga meditation visualizing Buddha as a deity but I don't feel really connected with him.

Before lying down in bed to do the main practice (visualizing the red "A" on the throat chakra) I should go through all the things that happened during the day in my mind and recognize these memories as part of a dream. That's basically the whole dream yoga practice in a nutshell.

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Re: A question about Dream Yoga

Post by DarkenTheWorld » Fri Apr 19, 2019 9:42 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 7:43 pm
I think there may be some truth to the idea that it can be dangerous if you don't understand "this is a dream" the wider context of Dharma - it could easily turn to nihilism and possibly de-realization I supposed.
This is how I felt in the first week doing the practice. I had some sort of fake realization or should I say delusion where I thought to myself "if life is a dream, it is illusory and hence meaningless. Life must be samsaric stupidity and all the joy I feel is just as fake as the anger and sadness."
I can see now how easy it is to lose compassion for sentient beings. Just because I'm dreaming doesn't mean that the suffering of others is irrelevant, or that I shouldn't enjoy life and appreciate it.

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Re: A question about Dream Yoga

Post by Grigoris » Fri Apr 19, 2019 9:48 pm

pemachophel wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 7:41 pm
Greg,

"But we still have to get out of the way of moving buses."

When I received the transmission for dream yoga, the Teacher told a story about a yogi who was practicing dream yoga on the east side of Mt. Kailash. Having accomplished dream yoga, he realized that the bardo of waking life is no different than a dream and this led to him attaining siddhi. One day, he was floating over the valley at the base of Kailash where there is a small river. As he was floating over the river, he thought to himself, this is impossible. Immediately he fell into the river. The point being that, as long as he was totally in the samadhi of perceiving waking life as illusion, he was able to fly but, as soon as he reverted to the habitual assumption of the "reality" of waking life, his siddhi stopped functioning.

The Teacher I received dream yoga from has made dream yoga one of His specialties and, from listening to Him, it seems like He has a special talent for it. In any case, from the above story He told, it would seem that if one's realization of dream yoga is fully matured, maybe one doesn't have to get out of the way of moving buses. Certainly there are plenty of stories in Tibetan Buddhism of highly attained practitioners moving through solid objects. In fact that is one of the eight so-called ordinary siddhi. A propos of the above story, so is flying in the sky.

Any comment? :smile:

(Sorry if I've hijacked the thread. My bad.)
My take is that until one has perfected the practice, they will not only need to get out of the way of the bus, they will probably need to board the bus to get from the east side to the river.

My experience with the practice is that it is really rapid and one gets obvious signs and results really quickly, but if one has not developed sufficient bodhicitta, the resulting "powers' can be just another samsaric trap.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: A question about Dream Yoga

Post by Grigoris » Fri Apr 19, 2019 9:58 pm

DarkenTheWorld wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 9:30 pm
(I was always for some unexplainable reason drawn to Lilith, or should I say obsessed)
Shall I assume that you have not taken Refuge in the Triple Gem?
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: A question about Dream Yoga

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:03 pm

DarkenTheWorld wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 9:30 pm
Grigoris wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:38 pm
But we still have to get out of the way of moving buses.
This is exactly what I meant when I mentioned "physical limitations". There are certain "laws" that make waking consciousness different from dream consciousness, but that doesn't make it more "real" or "unreal". The former is Shinay Bardo, the latter Milam Bardo, but both are Bardo. Two sides of the same coin, both having their own rules. Don't worry, I do know that in waking consciousness I shouldn't jump down from a skyscraper. I'm only 21, too young to die (and I can't afford to die before I reach liberation :D)
I do not know Tenzin Wangyals method, but the method that was taught to me required specific visualisation practices before falling asleep
The author wrote that while falling asleep one should visualize a red tibetan "A" on the throat chakra. This should stabilize the dreams and make them peaceful. After I master it, I should then move on and visualize a white sphere (white tigle) on my ajna chakra, as this should "increase the luminosity of dream". After that comes the heart chakra (strengthening presence and generating "powerful" dreams) and lastly the secret chakra, where I must visualize a black sphere behind the genitals which creates so called wrathful dreams (developing fearlessness).
Johnny Dangerous wrote:Do you meditate, do some kind of other practice/have a regular teacher, etc.? If not, it might be worth considering that these practices are really part of a package deal. If you're not doing anything else, I imagine your capabilities will be more limited
I do all the practices presented in the book. When waking up I practice Zhine to stabilize the mind. Before sleep I do the nine purification breathing. Tenzin Wangyal wrote that I should also do a Guru Yoga meditation where I visualize a deity I admire/worship (I was always for some unexplainable reason drawn to Lilith, or should I say obsessed) and pray to the deity to bless me and imagine her merging with me. In the beginning I wanted to do the Guru Yoga meditation visualizing Buddha as a deity but I don't feel really connected with him.

Before lying down in bed to do the main practice (visualizing the red "A" on the throat chakra) I should go through all the things that happened during the day in my mind and recognize these memories as part of a dream. That's basically the whole dream yoga practice in a nutshell.

I don't recall him saying you should just pick a random deity, but ok, maybe he did. There are Bonpo Guru Yogas that are really beautiful, and many Bon teachers teach them openly.

Maybe you should pursue the Bon Dzogchen tradition, TWR travels all over, and has online offerings as well..some which are free, from time to time at least.

Personally I think jumping into something like the practices he teaches without a grounding in the tradition his is teaching is bound to eventually be tough. This is the same sort of thing he has said himself - you have to be honest about your own confusion, and when you are feeling confused, that is the time you must set limits on yourself. Trying to do a Bon or Buddhist practice without some larger grounding in these traditions seems like it willl eventually bring you to a point where you have to..........poop or get off the pot, frankly. There's a whole view that goes a long with these practices, if that view is foreign to you, I imagine the results could get weird.
His welcoming
& rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
Knowing the dustless, sorrowless state,
he discerns rightly,
has gone, beyond becoming,
to the Further Shore.

-Lokavipatti Sutta

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Re: A question about Dream Yoga

Post by pemachophel » Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:30 pm

Greg,

I did say that, in the story, the yogi had "accomplished dream yoga," i.e., had, in your words, "perfected" the practice. The story I recounted also clearly showed that even a momentary lapse in that accomplishment made the yogi susceptible to all the habitual rules of samsara. No argument on that score.
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Re: A question about Dream Yoga

Post by Grigoris » Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:37 pm

pemachophel wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:30 pm
Greg,

I did say that, in the story, the yogi had "accomplished dream yoga," i.e., had, in your words, "perfected" the practice. The story I recounted also clearly showed that even a momentary lapse in that accomplishment made the yogi susceptible to all the habitual rules of samsara. No argument on that score.
Yes, I know. I wasn't disagreeing with the tale.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: A question about Dream Yoga

Post by DarkenTheWorld » Sat Apr 20, 2019 10:03 am

Grigoris wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 9:58 pm
DarkenTheWorld wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 9:30 pm
(I was always for some unexplainable reason drawn to Lilith, or should I say obsessed)
Shall I assume that you have not taken Refuge in the Triple Gem?
No I haven't.

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Re: A question about Dream Yoga

Post by DarkenTheWorld » Sat Apr 20, 2019 10:06 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:03 pm
I don't recall him saying you should just pick a random deity, but ok, maybe he did.
I didn't pick her randomly. The author wrote that I should pick a deity I feel most connected with.

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Re: A question about Dream Yoga

Post by Grigoris » Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:10 am

DarkenTheWorld wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 10:03 am
No I haven't.
If you have not taken Refuge and the deity you choose is a child eating demoness, then I don't see this practice leading anywhere positive for you.
I didn't pick her randomly. The author wrote that I should pick a deity I feel most connected with.
I am quite sure the author meant a Bon/Buddhist deity. Why don't you contact him and ask him?
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: A question about Dream Yoga

Post by DarkenTheWorld » Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:26 am

Grigoris wrote:
Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:10 am
and the deity you choose is a child eating demoness, then I don't see this practice leading anywhere positive for you.
Sure, if you mean the Lilith in jewish mysticism then you are right. She has many aspects and I'm certainly not praying to the perverted patriarchal depiction of her as a demoness in judaeo-christian folklore. I experienced her in my years of worship as a goddess that is completely different from the horror stories you read.
Grigoris wrote:Why don't you contact him and ask him?
I did contact him indirectly. A friend of mine attended a class of Tenzin Wangyal and since I couldn't because I had to write my bachelor thesis, I told him that he should ask him about his thoughts on worshipping Lilith. When he came back he told me that Tenzin said that she is the equivalent of Tröma Nagmo (the black wrathful mother), a dark feminine force that carries positive destructive energy but should be approached with caution. In my dreams I experienced her as unpredictable and fierce. She's anything but a demonic child eater to me. Btw, I'm not here to discuss the perceived "rightness" or "wrongness" of my faith as I don't believe in these categories anymore. Deities of any kind have to be experienced individually. I'm sure that if two people would pray to Kali, they might get very different results and thus judge them differently...

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Re: A question about Dream Yoga

Post by Grigoris » Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:41 am

DarkenTheWorld wrote:
Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:26 am
Sure, if you mean the Lilith in jewish mysticism then you are right. She has many aspects and I'm certainly not praying to the perverted patriarchal depiction of her as a demoness in judaeo-christian folklore. I experienced her in my years of worship as a goddess that is completely different from the horror stories you read.
Fair enough. But she is still a worldly deity. As such she can only take you so far (ie a rebirth in the Asura or God Realms).
I did contact him indirectly. A friend of mine attended a class of Tenzin Wangyal and since I couldn't because I had to write my bachelor thesis, I told him that he should ask him about his thoughts on worshipping Lilith. When he came back he told me that Tenzin said that she is the equivalent of Tröma Nagmo (the black wrathful mother), a dark feminine force that carries positive destructive energy but should be approached with caution.
Throma Nagmo is fully enlightened. I imagine Lilith could/would be a worldly manifestation of Throma Nagmo...
Btw, I'm not here to discuss the perceived "rightness" or "wrongness" of my faith as I don't believe in these categories anymore.
This is a Buddhist forum, as such Refuge in the Triple Jewel is where the entire deal starts. Doing a Buddhist practice without taking Refuge in the Triple Jewel is, at best, a waste of your time.

What you believe does not have much bearing. Under the influence of delusion people believe and reject all sorts of things.

I once saw a guy, who was as high as a kite on LSD, jump into the middle of a fire and grab burning pieces of wood believing it could not hurt him.
Deities of any kind have to be experienced individually. I'm sure that if two people would pray to Kali, they might get very different results and thus judge them differently...
Yes and no. The deity is an aspect of the practice because it engenders a particular view. When you do Dream Yoga there is a specific view associated with the practice. A view that develops out of an understanding of the Four Dharma Seals. If your Refuge (the basis upon which you do the practice and support your view) does not include the Dharma, well... I would stake money that worshiping Lilith does not include placing your trust in the Dharma and Sangha. So even if Lilith is a manifestation of an enlightened being (Throma Nagmo), the other two supports are missing.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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