Dreaming Yourself Awake
Dreaming Yourself Awake

Dreaming Yourself Awake

You are not carried away by distractive thoughts and emotions. You can observe their appearance, continuity, transformation, and fading with perfect clarity. (Location 84)

Awake to the potential of every situation, you become the master of your destiny. Dream practice can heighten creativity, solve problems, heal emotions, or provide scintillating inner theater—the ultimate in entertainment. (Location 86)

The seventeenth-century English philosopher and physician Sir Thomas Browne, who could witness and control his dreams like a movie director, said, “In one dream I can compose a whole Comedy, behold the action, apprehend the jests and laugh my self awake. . . (Location 89)

Lucid dreaming is simply being conscious that you are dreaming. Many people, especially in childhood, have had lucid dreams and have described them. (Location 98)

Once greater control has been developed you can use the dream space as a laboratory to achieve psychological insights, overcome fears, do creative work, entertain yourself, or meditate in the virtual environment of your choosing. (Location 103)

The practices of dream yoga are based upon a three-tiered theory of consciousness. (Location 132)

Dream yoga seeks to gradually penetrate to primordial consciousness by way of realizing that everything, oneself included, emerges from and is of the nature of this primordial, enlightened ground. (Location 138)

With shamatha, the basic idea is to increase one’s relaxed concentration to a point where one can easily sustain the attention on a chosen object. Concentration on the inflow and outflow of the breath—a method favored by the Buddha—is one such technique. One can also concentrate on a real or imagined visual image, bodily sensations, mental phenomena, or awareness itself. Once having attained a degree of stability (Location 158)

Although a general sleep cycle for human beings has been discovered by psychologists, there are subtle differences among individuals. (Location 165)

WHAT ESSENTIAL ELEMENT distinguishes a lucid dream from an ordinary dream? In a lucid dream you are aware, in real time, of the nature of the reality you are experiencing. (Location 178)

Shamatha is a practice that stabilizes our attention. Stability of attention is a crucial step to freedom—the freedom to transcend normal dream consciousness and recognize we are dreaming, then to maintain that lucidity, and to transform our dreams into a laboratory where we can carefully explore the mind. By gradually learning to focus our attention, confusion is replaced by an ongoing coherence—we develop command over the dream environment. Although in shamatha we are developing concentration, it is achieved not by force but through deep relaxation. (Location 184)

for hours on end.1 That stability is an ideal platform (Location 191)

The techniques leading to successful dream practice include prospective memory (preparing to remember something in a future dream), retrospective memory (remembering sequences of dream events from the past), remembering cues that alert one to the dream state, and steady, relaxed concentration on visual images. (Location 192)

We may learn that deliberately reentering a dream after one of these intervals can lead to a lucid dream, but if we don’t remember to do so, we will continually miss these opportunities. The clarity and stability of a mind trained in shamatha is a reliable basis for remembering to take these opportunities. (Location 201)

using typical dream events (called dream signs) to remind us while asleep that we are experiencing a dream. (Location 204)

With the achievement of shamatha, the practitioner will be able to concentrate effortlessly on a chosen object continuously for at least four hours. (Location 217)

At one time, in calm, pastoral societies such as Tibet’s, well-balanced minds were more common, making the achievement of shamatha possible in a shorter time span. But in today’s speedy and agitated global civilization, such minds are exceedingly rare. (Location 222)

The first is mindfulness of breathing. Here one develops one’s attention by observing the inhalations and exhalations, passively witnessing the tactile sensations throughout the body associated with natural breathing. (Location 244)

For the next three stages—five through seven—I recommend settling the mind in the natural state. (Location 248)

observes all appearing mental events—thoughts, mental images, and emotions—neutrally, objectively, without any involvement. (Location 249)

Previously we have been focusing on an object, that is, a sign. (Location 252)

Keep the length of your practice session to twenty-four minutes (called, in Sanskrit, a ghatika, which was considered the ideal length for beginning meditation training in ancient India). (Location 287)

mindfulness and introspection. (Location 298)

is “the repeated examination of the state of one’s body and mind.” (Location 300)

narrowing our focus to the rise and fall of the abdomen as we breathe, promoting stability of attention. (Location 319)

The overall strategy, then, is to allow stability to develop from relaxation and vividness to emerge from stability. (Location 423)

The sleeper usually awakens briefly fifteen times or more during the night, though these awakenings are rarely noticed. They, too, can be used to enhance the practice of lucid dreaming. Furthermore, it has been discovered that the sense of the passage of time within lucid dreams closely approximates the sense of time in the waking state. If it seems you have dreamed for half an hour, that is probably the case. (Location 504)

Another version of WILD is to follow the hypnagogic imagery that often appears as we fall asleep. These images range from partial dreamlike scenes to elaborate geometric patterns. They are very subtle and require relaxation and sensitivity to perceive, but if you can maintain gentle attention on them once you see them, you can fall asleep consciously and experience both dreams and non-REM sleep lucidly. (Location 620)

lucid dreams, those attracted to extreme sports can go far beyond anything possible in ordinary life. One can also train physical skills in lucid dreams. This parallels the kind of mental training athletes employ using visual imagination to rehearse physical movements. Concert musicians have been known to train away from their instruments (for instance on airplane flights), fingering invisible pianos, violins, and so forth, while imagining or hearing mentally the music they are practicing. All of these techniques can be applied to even greater advantage in lucid dreaming because you can create the perfect virtual environments for training. If you’ve always wanted to play a Stradivarius, you can have one! (Location 647)

At bedtime, lay down in the supine position with your body straight, head on your pillow, arms at your sides. Rest your awareness in a purely witnessing mode, quiet and attentive, simply noting the tactile sensations arising within the field of sensations of your entire body. (Location 692)

Continue in this manner, waking up in ninety-minute intervals and trying either to fall asleep into a dream lucidly or to prime yourself to recognize anomalies and dream signs. (Location 863)

(1) adequate motivation, (2) correct practice of effective techniques, and (3) excellent dream recall. (Location 935)

State.” It wouldn’t be far-fetched to call Buddhism the “show-me religion.” The practices of Buddhism, including dream (Location 1149)

“Then as you lie down, rest on your right shoulder, with your head pointed north, your right hand pressed against your cheek, and your left placed upon your thigh. Clearly imagine your body as your personal deity.” (Location 1560)

“If your visualization is not clear,” continues Padmasambhava, “establish the pride of thinking, ‘I am the personal deity.’” (Location 1570)

Persons in the outer world are viewed as fully enlightened beings. (Location 1580)

The entire visualization represents the universe seen as a buddha realm bearing all of the attributes of enlightenment. (Location 1582)

Visualizing yourself as your personal deity, imagine that you possess those qualities of perfect enlightenment embodied in your yidam. In doing so you transform yourself and your environment into a template of enlightened awareness. (Location 1587)

“imagine that on your pillow your head is resting in the lap of your primary spiritual mentor; (Location 1590)

vividly focus your attention on Orgyen Padma [Padmasambhava] at your throat, the size of your thumb joint, with a smiling, lustrous countenance, appearing and yet having no inherent nature.” (Location 1590)

‘Bless me that I may apprehend the dream-state. Bless me so that I may recognize the dream-state as the dream-state.’” (Location 1593)

“Lie in the sleeping-lion position, and bring forth a powerful yearning to recognize the dream-state as the (Location 1595)

Tonight I am totally resolved to recognize the dream state! (Location 1597)

Normally after going to bed we allow the mind to just dither all over the place for a while, and then fall asleep in a state of semiconscious inner chitchat. (Location 1602)

For most people, the greatest challenge is to hold this visualization and still fall asleep. (Location 1608)

In such a lifestyle it is not so difficult to grow accustomed to having a relaxed and peaceful mind. (Location 1614)

First, recognize the dream. (Location 1641)

You could call this the “sorcerer phase” of dream yoga. You are in the dream, you know that you are dreaming, you are maintaining the continuity and clarity of the dream itself and the continuity of your awareness of dreaming. (Location 1655)

Next shift the size of objects—small into big and big into small. (Location 1661)

flowers. My teacher Gyatrul Rinpoche calls this the practice of “moving gross and subtle appearances of sentient beings and the environment back and forth,” suggesting you change objects “in any way that you like,” (Location 1664)

Utilizing this, students who have already fully accomplished shamatha and vipashyana7 may be able dwell in rigpa, or pristine awareness, in the dream state. (Location 1712)

being. So for those whose practice is immersed in Vajrayana, there is the possibility of traveling to buddhafields, encountering buddhas, and receiving teachings. (Location 1734)

Although remembering past lives may involve deeply accessing the substrate consciousness, siddhis such as clairvoyance (seeing things occurring at a great distance), clairaudience (hearing things at a great distance), (Location 1746)

In 1992 the Dalai Lama made reference to a practice that was possible for those who are very accomplished yogis and already quite advanced in the practice of dream yoga. (Location 1760)

Of course when it comes to pleasures such as eating and sex—or the pursuit of adventure—your imagination is the limit. As Stephen LaBerge says in Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming, (Location 1794)