Dream Yoga

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
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Matt J
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Dream Yoga

Post by Matt J » Fri Sep 13, 2019 6:28 pm

I wanted to give a plug for Andrew Holocek's new offering, Night Club:

https://nightclub.andrewholecek.com/

As an on-again, off-again dream yogi, I have found this to be a fantastic resource.

Does anyone currently here practice dream yoga?
"The essence of meditation practice is to let go of all your expectations about meditation. All the qualities of your natural mind -- peace, openness, relaxation, and clarity -- are present in your mind just as it is. You don't have to do anything different. You don't have to shift or change your awareness. All you have to do while observing your mind is to recognize the qualities it already has."
--- Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

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明安 Myoan
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Re: Dream Yoga

Post by 明安 Myoan » Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:44 pm

Thank you for sharing. I'll check it out :thumbsup:

In a way. I aspire to practice in my sleep and concentrate on nembutsu or visualizations as I fall asleep.
I've had several teaching dreams, but they're rare.
More often, I become aware in nightmares and begin to practice. Then I wake up.
I remember reading about that being a challenge, gaining awareness without waking up.
I've had success practicing with sleep paralysis, but nembutsu is a purifying practice as well, so the paralysis is much shorter than it used to be.

I suppose this isn't technically dream yoga, but eager to read more about putting sleep and dreams to Dharma use. Lama Zopa Rinpoche says we can sleep with bodhicitta. :coffee:
With a heart wandering in ignorance down this path and that, to guide me I simply say Namu-Amida-Butsu. -- Ippen

The Fundamental Vow [of Amitabha Buddha] is just for such people as woodcutters and grassgatherers, vegetable pickers, drawers of water and the like, illiterate folk who merely recite the Buddha's name wholeheartedly, confident that as a result of saying "Namu Amida Butsu" they will be born into the western land. -- Master Hōnen

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Dream Yoga

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:14 pm

I've tried for years, a bunch of different methods learned from different teachers. Both dream yoga and simply "sleep of clear light", which is the same practice but the goal is not so much the dreams as resting in the nature of mind during sleep. According to Tenzin Wangyal (I did a teaching weekend on the Sleep of Clear Light with him) the dream practice is easier to begin with typically because it involves some kind of mental movement, and we are habituated to that.

Usually I don't meet with much success because I have sleep/insomnia problems and have to take things to sleep.

Still, I've had some pretty profound experience with sleep practices and am very interested in them. The most effective things I was taught was wearing a piece of jewelry to remind you "this is a dream" when you notice it throughout the day, and always journaling dream results immediately.
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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Matt J
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Re: Dream Yoga

Post by Matt J » Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:28 pm

I used to have sleep/insomnia problems, and still do on very rare occasions. I found that the study of sleep helped me make some changes that helped. A lot of my problems had to do with caffeine/nicotine/monkey mind/anxiety, so I had to address all of those. Of course, everyone has different issues. Actually, there are some webinars/interviews on the site about that, I haven't listened to it yet.

The most helpful thing I have come across is Richard Miller's iRest. It has proven effective for veterans with PTSD.
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:14 pm
Usually I don't meet with much success because I have sleep/insomnia problems and have to take things to sleep.
There is a large amount of work to fruition ratio. When I am going full bore, I may have 1-2 lucid dreams a month. However, the practices also help with meditation in daily life. And lucid/hyperreal dreams have probably have the most effective thing I have encountered to understand about emptiness and mind-created reality.
明安 Myoan wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:44 pm
Thank you for sharing. I'll check it out :thumbsup:

In a way. I aspire to practice in my sleep and concentrate on nembutsu or visualizations as I fall asleep.
I've had several teaching dreams, but they're rare.
More often, I become aware in nightmares and begin to practice. Then I wake up.
I remember reading about that being a challenge, gaining awareness without waking up.
I've had success practicing with sleep paralysis, but nembutsu is a purifying practice as well, so the paralysis is much shorter than it used to be.

I suppose this isn't technically dream yoga, but eager to read more about putting sleep and dreams to Dharma use. Lama Zopa Rinpoche says we can sleep with bodhicitta. :coffee:
"The essence of meditation practice is to let go of all your expectations about meditation. All the qualities of your natural mind -- peace, openness, relaxation, and clarity -- are present in your mind just as it is. You don't have to do anything different. You don't have to shift or change your awareness. All you have to do while observing your mind is to recognize the qualities it already has."
--- Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

Simon E.
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Re: Dream Yoga

Post by Simon E. » Sun Sep 15, 2019 3:56 pm

A would second Johnny’s recommendation for the keeping of a dream journal. Record your dreams in as much detail as possible soon after waking ..they soon fade. This signals to the dreaming faculty the fact that you will listen carefully to what is being conveyed.
One technique I have found useful is to train yourself to see incongruous elements in the dream...elephants in the local supermarket, people with three eyes, you know, the usual dream stuff, and to use them as triggers “ hold on, this must be a dream.in which case I can direct it as I want”... In my experience you then either go lucid, or wake up.
“Why don’t you close down your PC for a while and find out who needs your help?”

HH Tai Situ.

TrimePema
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Re: Dream Yoga

Post by TrimePema » Mon Sep 16, 2019 2:51 am

Andrew Holecek is wonderful.

Dream yoga is a vital practice.

It's great to have lucid dreams, and there are many daytime practices that can create habits that will come to fruition as lucidity in your dreams, but at the end of the day it is more important to simply become aware of the bardos through meditation at the time of sleep, and then not to lose that constant awareness. Of course, when starting out, we simply black out. Then we become lucid... but careful because if one becomes attached to the powers of lucid dreaming, without keeping lucidity of awareness as they dissolve into deep dreamless sleep, lucid dreaming becomes a method for creating "super samsara".

On insomnia:
It's true if you have insomnia it might feel like dream yoga would be impossible. But that's not really true. If you can meditate, then you can go to sleep. The reason is because you can direct the energy of your focus to your throat, which will naturally cause you to fall asleep (has to do with subtle body energies). Andrew mentions this in a public talk on lucid dreaming that's on youtube - check it out!

Fortyeightvows
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Re: Dream Yoga

Post by Fortyeightvows » Mon Sep 16, 2019 5:06 am

Lama Zopa Rinpoche says we can sleep with bodhicitta.
LZR wants us to do everything with bodhicitta!

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明安 Myoan
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Re: Dream Yoga

Post by 明安 Myoan » Mon Sep 16, 2019 5:16 am

:thumbsup:

Simon E.
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Re: Dream Yoga

Post by Simon E. » Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:05 am

TrimePema wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 2:51 am
Andrew Holecek is wonderful.

Dream yoga is a vital practice.

It's great to have lucid dreams, and there are many daytime practices that can create habits that will come to fruition as lucidity in your dreams, but at the end of the day it is more important to simply become aware of the bardos through meditation at the time of sleep, and then not to lose that constant awareness. Of course, when starting out, we simply black out. Then we become lucid... but careful because if one becomes attached to the powers of lucid dreaming, without keeping lucidity of awareness as they dissolve into deep dreamless sleep, lucid dreaming becomes a method for creating "super samsara".

On insomnia:
It's true if you have insomnia it might feel like dream yoga would be impossible. But that's not really true. If you can meditate, then you can go to sleep. The reason is because you can direct the energy of your focus to your throat, which will naturally cause you to fall asleep (has to do with subtle body energies). Andrew mentions this in a public talk on lucid dreaming that's on youtube - check it out!
:good: and good advice.
“Why don’t you close down your PC for a while and find out who needs your help?”

HH Tai Situ.

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weitsicht
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Re: Dream Yoga

Post by weitsicht » Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:03 am

Simon E. wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 3:56 pm
A would second Johnny’s recommendation for the keeping of a dream journal. Record your dreams in as much detail as possible soon after waking ..they soon fade. This signals to the dreaming faculty the fact that you will listen carefully to what is being conveyed.
One technique I have found useful is to train yourself to see incongruous elements in the dream...elephants in the local supermarket, people with three eyes, you know, the usual dream stuff, and to use them as triggers “ hold on, this must be a dream.in which case I can direct it as I want”... In my experience you then either go lucid, or wake up.
Asking yourself during daytime VERY often "am I dreaming"? Helps, accompanied with a standard action like watching the wristwatch's hand moving forth, or pulling your skin with 2 fingers, watching the turning of a coin When doing the same during dreamtime and perception varies from the normally expected, this is how you can become lucid.

I am not quite there yet most of the time, but I am very aware of the phase when the bardo of dreams closes down. A recollection and summarization of what has been experienced takes place. I an sending a little prayer of thankfulness to those who brought this recollection to me. This appreciative mood helps a lot to "signal to the dream faculty" as Simon puts it.
Ho! All the possible appearances and existences of samsara and nirvana have the same source, yet two paths and two results arise as the magical display of awareness and unawareness.
HO NANG SRI KHOR DAE THAMCHE KUN ZHI CHIG LAM NYI DRAE BU NYI RIG DANG MA RIG CHOM THRUL TE

moonbun
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Re: Dream Yoga

Post by moonbun » Tue Sep 17, 2019 12:01 pm

Oh yes, keeping a dream journal close by when one wakes up to write down whatever is remembered, and constant dream checks will really help. Like pinching your nose, and trying to breathe through your nose at the same time. If one can notice the weirdness of breathing through this, it will help one become aware of the dreaming state.

Every bit of a dream recollected will help in the long run. I can slip into lucid dreams occasionally, but reading inside a dream is hard for me. The text looks like a finely scrambled captcha image unless I'm meant to notice a particular passage.

Simon E.
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Re: Dream Yoga

Post by Simon E. » Tue Sep 17, 2019 12:09 pm

Same here. I know someone who overcame this by fashioning a pair of dream glasses! But I have not been able to do that.
“Why don’t you close down your PC for a while and find out who needs your help?”

HH Tai Situ.

narhwal90
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Re: Dream Yoga

Post by narhwal90 » Tue Sep 17, 2019 12:16 pm

I find journalling dreams helpful as well, particularly with respect to identifying and observing changes in recurring themes. I've only managed recognizing the dream story and interrupting it with practice a couple times. Perhaps more interesting though are those occasions when its possible to respond with compassion to fear in a progressing bad dreams or nightmares. OTOH maybe there is not much to distinguish between in those cases.

moonbun
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Re: Dream Yoga

Post by moonbun » Tue Sep 17, 2019 12:18 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 12:09 pm
Same here. I know someone who overcame this by fashioning a pair of dream glasses! But I have not been able to do that.
Dream glasses? Thanks for the idea. I haven't thought of that. I might give that one a try sometime. :twothumbsup: Or maybe a special dream monocle eyepiece. Hahaha.

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Matt J
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Re: Dream Yoga

Post by Matt J » Tue Sep 17, 2019 12:31 pm

That used to be a dream sign for me. Same with not being able to turn on lights, or feel things with my hands. Over time, my dream mind has filled these things in. I can read. I can turn lights on. What I do not tend to notice is the gross impermanence of the dream.

Going between dreams and waking really drives home the point that there is no essential difference. Becoming more familiar with dreams has de-solidified the waking state. As my dreams have become more realistic, my waking state appears more dreamlike. As with dreams, we often don't notice the ongoing impermanence even if it is not quite as extreme as in dreams.

I like feeling that I am using my sleep/dream cycles for practice. I also work with liminal dreams, or the fleeting images that sometimes appear when we fall asleep or wake up. It can be a form of napping meditation-- which is also useful for becoming familiar with mental chatter. Turning the entire spectrum of consciousness into practice just seems like the right thing to do. State checks can also be times to return to mindfulness or nature of mind practice.
Simon E. wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 12:09 pm
Same here. I know someone who overcame this by fashioning a pair of dream glasses! But I have not been able to do that.
"The essence of meditation practice is to let go of all your expectations about meditation. All the qualities of your natural mind -- peace, openness, relaxation, and clarity -- are present in your mind just as it is. You don't have to do anything different. You don't have to shift or change your awareness. All you have to do while observing your mind is to recognize the qualities it already has."
--- Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

Pero
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Re: Dream Yoga

Post by Pero » Tue Sep 17, 2019 3:52 pm

Huh... Years ago I read in a book about lucid dreaming and OBE's that it's impossible to read texts in a dream. I thought that was very strange since I have been able to do so and my teacher had no issues with that. Although the sample size for me is very small haha, I think I only had one or two dreams where I was reading something in my entire life, maybe if I had more I also would not have been able to read in all of them. Anyway seems like it actually is a thing ha. Interesting solution Simon, thanks for mentioning it.

One interesting thing to me is that during a lucid dream I can became so engrossed in something that I forget it is a dream and it all seems real. Then after a while I get "oh wait, this is a dream" again. I figure this is actually kind of how we generally are in the waking state when we get totally lost in the appearances and grasp them as real.

How do you guys actually do the dream journaling? I have done this on and off, recollection certainly got better during those times, but the problem is that in the morning I don't have much time and sometimes it took me half an hour to write it all down.
Although many individuals in this age appear to be merely indulging their worldly desires, one does not have the capacity to judge them, so it is best to train in pure vision.
- Shabkar

Simon E.
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Re: Dream Yoga

Post by Simon E. » Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:51 pm

If it’s important to you Pero you might want to set the alarm 15 minutes earlier. You then immediately grab your journal and pen and write down without censorship everything you remember. Over time the unconscious mind notices that you are listening ( don’t ask me to explain that, but it’s true) and will cooperate, even waking you just before the alarm is due to sound..As you get used to the process you remember more dreams, the dream before last etc.
“Why don’t you close down your PC for a while and find out who needs your help?”

HH Tai Situ.

moonbun
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Re: Dream Yoga

Post by moonbun » Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:57 pm

Pero wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 3:52 pm
How do you guys actually do the dream journaling? I have done this on and off, recollection certainly got better during those times, but the problem is that in the morning I don't have much time and sometimes it took me half an hour to write it all down.
Aw. I still to work on my dream muscles. Having the ability to read whatever you want in a dream sounds awesome since I like reading.

If I may breakout into a musical number, and copy Disney's Aladdin movie, being aware whenever one is in a dream is a whole new world for me. Sometimes it's too beautiful, or eerie like when one is using a new video card, and monitor. Like, omgh4x. In one of my dreams, I saw an endless road of eternal autumn. I instantly realized I was in a dream because autumn means impassable floods in my area, and there won't be a movie set lane of picturesque orange maple leaves floating down.

As for the dream journal setup, I read it from somewhere, and I'm still using the advice: that once you wake up from a dream, you stay still trying to remember every detail you can from all the dreams you experienced before writing it all down.

If you don't have the time, you can record yourself, and then write it down later. Just making a record of whatever pieces you didn't forget helps to get you into a dream remembering groove. I learned to keep a habit of writing it down legibly as soon as I wake up. Of course, the first few times I woke up to write them down, and then when I tried to read it, they look like chicken scratches because I was still too out of it. Besides, it's really interesting to turn back, look at the old records as a testament of how far you've gone, and keep a fine control on those handwriting skills.

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Matt J
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Re: Dream Yoga

Post by Matt J » Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:04 pm

I gave similar problems: more journaling is less time for am meditation. I think at a certain point, you need it less. I am journaling dream summaries unless the dream is especially significant (99% are not IME). One expert would just tweet her dreams.
Pero wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 3:52 pm
How do you guys actually do the dream journaling? I have done this on and off, recollection certainly got better during those times, but the problem is that in the morning I don't have much time and sometimes it took me half an hour to write it all down.
"The essence of meditation practice is to let go of all your expectations about meditation. All the qualities of your natural mind -- peace, openness, relaxation, and clarity -- are present in your mind just as it is. You don't have to do anything different. You don't have to shift or change your awareness. All you have to do while observing your mind is to recognize the qualities it already has."
--- Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Dream Yoga

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:19 pm

Keep the journal nearby, -always- use it, even when recall is poor, write down what you can remember.

Just for recall that is, I think Matt is right that plenty of stuff is insignificant.
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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