Dream Yoga

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
[N.B. This is the forum that was called ‘Exploring Buddhism’. The new name simply describes it better.]
narhwal90
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Re: Dream Yoga

Post by narhwal90 » Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:31 pm

I summarize the dreams I remember, particularly if they are a recurring theme. lol, and/or when I remember to. Maybe a paragraph if they seem especially significant in some way.

Simon E.
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Re: Dream Yoga

Post by Simon E. » Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:40 pm

narhwal90 wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:31 pm
I summarize the dreams I remember, particularly if they are a recurring theme. lol, and/or when I remember to. Maybe a paragraph if they seem especially significant in some way.
There is no one right way to do it, however I would be hesitant to let my conscious mind decide what is significant personally.
I think some of the time the dreaming mind is calling us from a deeper level...It smuggles in messages that the conscious mind finds uncomfortable.
“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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Matt J
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Re: Dream Yoga

Post by Matt J » Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:27 pm

Well one is often encouraged by teachers to distinguish karmic dreams from dreams of clarity. Do you not find that to be the case?
Simon E. wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:40 pm
narhwal90 wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:31 pm
I summarize the dreams I remember, particularly if they are a recurring theme. lol, and/or when I remember to. Maybe a paragraph if they seem especially significant in some way.
There is no one right way to do it, however I would be hesitant to let my conscious mind decide what is significant personally.
I think some of the time the dreaming mind is calling us from a deeper level...It smuggles in messages that the conscious mind finds uncomfortable.
"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

TrimePema
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Re: Dream Yoga

Post by TrimePema » Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:30 pm

it depends on what time you are having dreams.

Dreams at certain times come from certain things and have to do with certain things - like even telling the future. That's partially why it's important to journal. The journal becomes a form of wisdom before one develops the dream yoga wisdoms...

Things one can journal:
time of waking, number of dreams, what you did before sleeping (whether or not you used a visualization - how clear it was, when you fell asleep did you instantly black out or were you aware of parts of the dissolution, whether or not you used tsa lung before you slept, whether or not you meditated before you slept, whether or not you ate or drank). Especially important to track dreams that occur just before, at the time of, and after dawn. Likewise important to track, once you have 4-5-6 dreams every night, the time of the dreams. You will exit this bardo, enter the dream bardo, the dream bardo may or may not manifest into a dream, and you will exit it and briefly come back to this life bardo, and then you can enter the dream into your journal with the time (the time of dreaming has to do with what type of dream it is peaceful/wrathful etc) and do this 4-6 times every night............... but until that happens its good to just start tracking whatever you notice and use the tracking to help you train positive patterns to notice that will lead to wisdom later.



My favorite day time practice is jumping. You just think "Am I dreaming?" and jump a little bit. In a dream, you will cut the dream by asking if you are dreaming, and then by jumping you will end up flying or defying gravity in some way - depending on how solid your dream is.

Again, lucid dreams are whatever. If you have them, probably best to just abide in the dream and continue awareness as you let it dissolve into dreamless sleep and experience the luminous clarity and vastness that is the nature of your mind, and rest in that as it transitions back into the extremely reified bardo of this life.

Why change dreams? Just enjoy them with clear and vivid awareness

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Miroku
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Re: Dream Yoga

Post by Miroku » Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:01 pm

TrimePema wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:30 pm
Why change dreams? Just enjoy them with clear and vivid awareness
Because we can use them to gather merit. Once I had a semi-lucid dream about my dead father. I have realized I was dreaming and that my father is actually dead, so I tried making offerings to buddha Amitabha on his behalf as I saw this as an auspicious opportunity. However, I was not lucid enough to do much.
“Observing samaya involves to remain inseparable from the union of wisdom and compassion at all times, to sustain mindfulness, and to put into practice the guru’s instructions”. Garchen Rinpoche

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Dream Yoga

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:43 pm

At the teaching I participated inTenzin Wangyal explained that "sleep of clear light" is actually the more advanced (and typically difficult) practice, resting directly in the nature of mind during sleep. Dream yoga is more getting to that place by experiencing and working with phenomena. We talked a bit at the teaching about dreams of clarity vs. samsaric dreams, my impression was that you really need an expert to know the difference technically, and to have a definitive "meanings" but that you "feel" the difference quite strongly. Subjectively this seems to be the case to me. I know I have had what I believe are dreams of clarity where the meaning was unmistakable due to the format - a teacher etc. saying a certain thing or being quite direct.
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

Simon E.
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Re: Dream Yoga

Post by Simon E. » Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:15 pm

An experience I have had, and it might simply be my lack of facility, is a teacher is giving me instruction but it makes little sense.
But later in waking, day time life, sometimes days later, I remember it in a series of flashbacks or something akin to flashbacks.
Anyone else have something similar?
“Why don’t you close down your PC for a while and find out who needs your help?”

HH Tai Situ.

Sādhaka
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Re: Dream Yoga

Post by Sādhaka » Wed Sep 18, 2019 3:53 am

.
Last edited by Sādhaka on Wed Sep 18, 2019 4:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
The Bodhicittasopashika & The bsgrags pa skor gsum

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Dream Yoga

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Wed Sep 18, 2019 4:23 am

Simon E. wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:15 pm
An experience I have had, and it might simply be my lack of facility, is a teacher is giving me instruction but it makes little sense.
But later in waking, day time life, sometimes days later, I remember it in a series of flashbacks or something akin to flashbacks.
Anyone else have something similar?
Mine have all been exceptionally direct, personally. Even simple.
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

TrimePema
Posts: 242
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Re: Dream Yoga

Post by TrimePema » Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:32 am

Miroku wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:01 pm
TrimePema wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:30 pm
Why change dreams? Just enjoy them with clear and vivid awareness
Because we can use them to gather merit. Once I had a semi-lucid dream about my dead father. I have realized I was dreaming and that my father is actually dead, so I tried making offerings to buddha Amitabha on his behalf as I saw this as an auspicious opportunity. However, I was not lucid enough to do much.
What you have done is wonderful. However, if merit is your concern, the most essential and beneficial offering is using every waking and sleeping moment to abide by the flow of what is only dharmakaya.

TrimePema
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Re: Dream Yoga

Post by TrimePema » Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:36 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:43 pm
At the teaching I participated inTenzin Wangyal explained that "sleep of clear light" is actually the more advanced (and typically difficult) practice, resting directly in the nature of mind during sleep. Dream yoga is more getting to that place by experiencing and working with phenomena. We talked a bit at the teaching about dreams of clarity vs. samsaric dreams, my impression was that you really need an expert to know the difference technically, and to have a definitive "meanings" but that you "feel" the difference quite strongly. Subjectively this seems to be the case to me. I know I have had what I believe are dreams of clarity where the meaning was unmistakable due to the format - a teacher etc. saying a certain thing or being quite direct.
Even dreams about teachers may just be your own demonic obscurations.

It's hard to tell.

Usually depends what time it is.

For instance, I had a dream where HHDL said "I wont teach you. You arent ready." He came to the teaching and first thing He said was "sometimes dreams are good; sometimes bad. disregard your dreams. all phenomena are illusory." and the teaching began and lasted all day.
This dream was early in the morning after sunrise, generally a time for inauspicious dreams.

One of the fastest ways to reach the dreamless sleep practices is by NOT changing your dreams once you become lucid. Let them play out, but be completely aware of them. IME, if I dream about something like burglars and I'm lucid and letting it play out, they just stop, maybe someone pulls out a knife and stabs me, nothing happens, something happens, whatever, the dream ends, dissolves... maybe there's another dream, maybe I wake up, who cares? It's just the play of phenomena. It's not special to have dreams, it's not special to have lucid dreams or 5 dreams or 5 dreams that last 40,000 hours each or lifetimes each - to go through lifetime after lifetime or visit teacher after teacher in your dreams, or visit the mind-made pure lands etc and see the deities and so forth...

Let it happen, be aware. Have compassion. Remember sentient beings. Stay aware. Wake up, sleep, wake up, sleep... stay aware.

Sure, it depends where you are with your own capabilities and stuff but it also depends how hard you try. Just meditating for an hour every day will lead you to lucidity rather quickly. From lucidity, just let it dissolve. You can actually dissolve the dream directly into dreamless sleep if you want to once you are lucid, but it wont help you find your subtle obstacles. Letting the dream play out will help you flush out subtle obstacles to work with in waking life, and the dreams will be a barometer for progress, but most important is to let it all dissolve without blacking out.
Last edited by TrimePema on Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:42 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Dream Yoga

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:37 am

TrimePema wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:36 am
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:43 pm
At the teaching I participated inTenzin Wangyal explained that "sleep of clear light" is actually the more advanced (and typically difficult) practice, resting directly in the nature of mind during sleep. Dream yoga is more getting to that place by experiencing and working with phenomena. We talked a bit at the teaching about dreams of clarity vs. samsaric dreams, my impression was that you really need an expert to know the difference technically, and to have a definitive "meanings" but that you "feel" the difference quite strongly. Subjectively this seems to be the case to me. I know I have had what I believe are dreams of clarity where the meaning was unmistakable due to the format - a teacher etc. saying a certain thing or being quite direct.
Even dreams about teachers may just be your own demonic obscurations.

It's hard to tell.

Usually depends what time it is.

For instance, I had a dream where HHDL said "I wont teach you. You arent ready." He came to the teaching and first thing He said was "sometimes dreams are good; sometimes bad. disregard your dreams. all phenomena are illusory." and the teaching began and lasted all day.
Yes, it is hard to tell. However, it is not as if even dreams of clarity are going to give us some secret key to practice that we otherwise lack, so the inability to tell the difference between the two definitively is likely only important for exceptionally advanced practitioners, it seems to me.

I'm personally a lot more interested in awareness during sleep than the dreams, I found TWR's explanations convincing. One way to put it is that the "Lucid" part of the lucid dreaming is the more important one.
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

Simon E.
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Re: Dream Yoga

Post by Simon E. » Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:43 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 4:23 am
Simon E. wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:15 pm
An experience I have had, and it might simply be my lack of facility, is a teacher is giving me instruction but it makes little sense.
But later in waking, day time life, sometimes days later, I remember it in a series of flashbacks or something akin to flashbacks.
Anyone else have something similar?
Mine have all been exceptionally direct, personally. Even simple.
Well I’ll assume then that my experience is due to my lack of facility.
“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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Miroku
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Re: Dream Yoga

Post by Miroku » Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:13 am

TrimePema wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:32 am
What you have done is wonderful. However, if merit is your concern, the most essential and beneficial offering is using every waking and sleeping moment to abide by the flow of what is only dharmakaya.
Definetly, however we all should work on the level we are at. And while your advice is correct, it does not have to correspond. Not to mention one can meditate in the dream too and do many things. ChNN mentioned we can use dreams for practice and this is the main reason for dream yoga. To use it for practice, be it through different experiences or practicing GY or any other meditation one does.
“Observing samaya involves to remain inseparable from the union of wisdom and compassion at all times, to sustain mindfulness, and to put into practice the guru’s instructions”. Garchen Rinpoche

TrimePema
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Re: Dream Yoga

Post by TrimePema » Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:50 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:37 am
TrimePema wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:36 am
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:43 pm
At the teaching I participated inTenzin Wangyal explained that "sleep of clear light" is actually the more advanced (and typically difficult) practice, resting directly in the nature of mind during sleep. Dream yoga is more getting to that place by experiencing and working with phenomena. We talked a bit at the teaching about dreams of clarity vs. samsaric dreams, my impression was that you really need an expert to know the difference technically, and to have a definitive "meanings" but that you "feel" the difference quite strongly. Subjectively this seems to be the case to me. I know I have had what I believe are dreams of clarity where the meaning was unmistakable due to the format - a teacher etc. saying a certain thing or being quite direct.
Even dreams about teachers may just be your own demonic obscurations.

It's hard to tell.

Usually depends what time it is.

For instance, I had a dream where HHDL said "I wont teach you. You arent ready." He came to the teaching and first thing He said was "sometimes dreams are good; sometimes bad. disregard your dreams. all phenomena are illusory." and the teaching began and lasted all day.
Yes, it is hard to tell. However, it is not as if even dreams of clarity are going to give us some secret key to practice that we otherwise lack, so the inability to tell the difference between the two definitively is likely only important for exceptionally advanced practitioners, it seems to me.

I'm personally a lot more interested in awareness during sleep than the dreams, I found TWR's explanations convincing. One way to put it is that the "Lucid" part of the lucid dreaming is the more important one.
It's also about signs in dreams. Knowing whether they are actually obstacle signs that appear legitimate or legitimate signs or even legitimate signs appearing in coarse ways requires knowing whether or not it is a dream of clarity.

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Dream Yoga

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:24 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:43 am
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 4:23 am
Simon E. wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:15 pm
An experience I have had, and it might simply be my lack of facility, is a teacher is giving me instruction but it makes little sense.
But later in waking, day time life, sometimes days later, I remember it in a series of flashbacks or something akin to flashbacks.
Anyone else have something similar?
Mine have all been exceptionally direct, personally. Even simple.
Well I’ll assume then that my experience is due to my lack of facility.
I wouldn't think so, I have no idea why they'd be different. I've had some cryptic ones too, they just usually involved other figures.
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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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Dream Yoga

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:32 pm

TrimePema wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:50 pm
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:37 am
TrimePema wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:36 am


Even dreams about teachers may just be your own demonic obscurations.

It's hard to tell.

Usually depends what time it is.

For instance, I had a dream where HHDL said "I wont teach you. You arent ready." He came to the teaching and first thing He said was "sometimes dreams are good; sometimes bad. disregard your dreams. all phenomena are illusory." and the teaching began and lasted all day.
Yes, it is hard to tell. However, it is not as if even dreams of clarity are going to give us some secret key to practice that we otherwise lack, so the inability to tell the difference between the two definitively is likely only important for exceptionally advanced practitioners, it seems to me.

I'm personally a lot more interested in awareness during sleep than the dreams, I found TWR's explanations convincing. One way to put it is that the "Lucid" part of the lucid dreaming is the more important one.
It's also about signs in dreams. Knowing whether they are actually obstacle signs that appear legitimate or legitimate signs or even legitimate signs appearing in coarse ways requires knowing whether or not it is a dream of clarity.
Short of regular audiences with a Lama who specializes in such things, this is precisely one of the reasons I am not that interested in interpreting many of the dreams.
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 » Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:01 pm

Are you claiming to be enlightened? Or at least an authorized teacher? Or are these posts just an attempt to make people’s practices less fun?

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying your dharma practice. Dry, austere, not-good-enough attitudes is not a dharma essential.
TrimePema wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:30 pm
What you have done is wonderful. However, if merit is your concern, the most essential and beneficial offering is using every waking and sleeping moment to abide by the flow of what is only dharmakaya.
"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

TrimePema
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Re: Dream Yoga

Post by TrimePema » Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:29 pm

Matt J wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:01 pm
Are you claiming to be enlightened? Or at least an authorized teacher? Or are these posts just an attempt to make people’s practices less fun?

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying your dharma practice. Dry, austere, not-good-enough attitudes is not a dharma essential.
TrimePema wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:30 pm
What you have done is wonderful. However, if merit is your concern, the most essential and beneficial offering is using every waking and sleeping moment to abide by the flow of what is only dharmakaya.
Did I say not good enough? No.

Did I claim to be enlightened? No. I just claimed that the most essential and beneficial offering is to abide in dharmakaya awareness 100% of the time.

Regarding the notion of what's meritorious and what isn't I'm pulling from this sutra below.
I don't really care what practices other people do, but here we are talking about dream yoga and in talking about dream yoga everybody who wants to do it should know what the essential practice is, which is to abide in dharmakaya while transitioning from this bardo to the dream and sleep bardos and back again, in preparation for the time of death etc. The rest of the practices mentioned above are sort of stop-gap things that can be done before one gains that kind of awareness capacity - which I don't have but am just talking about here. But since lucidity is dangerous, if you do end up lucid it's good to know the best thing to do is just to abide in that lucidity and not make it into a thing - which is probably just a proliferation of your conceptual mind. "Oh, I'm lucid! Let me go see my teacher!" That's great - but my Teacher would much rather I just develop awareness rather than talk with my projection of Him in my sleep, because developing awareness in this way leads directly to liberation at the time of death.

Here is a quote from the Mahayana Chaan text Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch:

Lord Wei asked, “The doctrine Your Reverence has preached—it must be that of Great Master Bodhidharma?”
The master said, “So it is.”
Wei asked, “I have heard that when Bodhidharma first taught Emperor Wu of the Liang, the emperor asked, ‘Throughout my entire life I have constructed monasteries, had monks ordained, and held vegetarian feasts. What merit is there in these?’ Bodhidharma said, ‘In fact, these are without merit.’” [Wei said,] “Your disciple does not understand the principle of this, and I ask you to explain it for me.”

The master said, “‘In fact, these are without merit’—do not doubt the words of the former sage. Emperor Wu was heterodox in mind and did not understand the correct Dharma. To build monasteries, have monks ordained, and hold vegetarian feasts is to seek blessings, but one cannot convert blessings into merit. Merit exists within the dharmakāya, not within the cultivation of blessings.

The master also said, “Seeing the nature is ‘effort,’ and universal sameness is ‘virtue.’ To be without stagnation in successive moments of thought, to always see the fundamental nature, [to possess] the wondrous functioning of the true and actual—this is called ‘merit.’ To be humble in the mind within is ‘effort’; to practice ritual without is ‘virtue.’ For the self-nature to establish the myriad dharmas is ‘effort’; for the mind-essence to transcend thoughts is ‘virtue.’ To not transcend the self-natures is ‘effort’; for one’s responsive functioning to be undefiled is ‘virtue.’ If you would seek merit and the dharmakāya, just rely on this, and [you will create] true merit. Those who cultivate merit must be without disparagement in their minds but always practice respect for all. Those whose minds always disparage others will not eradicate their own [false views of the] self and are themselves without ‘effort.’ [Those who consider the] self-natures to be empty and false are themselves without ‘virtue.’ It is only because they consider themselves to be great that they always disparage everyone else.
“Good friends, to be without any suspension of one’s continuous thoughts [of inner humility, etc.] is ‘effort’; for the mind to practice universal directness is ‘virtue.’ To cultivate the nature oneself is ‘effort’; to cultivate the body oneself is ‘virtue.’
“Good friends, merit must be seen within the self-natures, it cannot be sought in donations and offerings. Therefore, blessings and merit are different. Emperor Wu did not understand the truth of this, it was not that our patriarch [Bodhidharma] was wrong.”

TrimePema
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Re: Dream Yoga

Post by TrimePema » Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:31 pm

You know, Matt, it's kind of like this...

One may really enjoy finding a Buddha rupa and putting it on one's shrine.
But without filling it and consecrating it properly, it will actually have ghost energy which will be a hindrance.

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