Is Life Just Like a Dream
and the practice of Lucid Dreaming

Some sayings about dreams:

"Dreams serve as a communication line between the invisible and visible worlds. Or, if you prefer, between heaven and earth....A dream is a real-life experience an individual has on another plane of God....We, in our true nature as Soul, are able to have experiences in a far-reaching panorama of life."

--Harold Klemp

· “Dreams are a reservoir of knowledge and experience, yet they are often overlooked as a vehicle for exploring reality”- Tarthang Tulku Yoga Practice

· “All that we see is but a dream within a dream”- Edgar Allen Poe

· "A dream not interpreted is like a letter not read"- The Talmud

· “Dreams are real as long as they last. Can we say more of life?” – Henry Havelock Ellis

· “You beings on earth who are deep in slumber… Stop sleeping! Wake up! What are you waiting for?”- The Zohar

· “There are some who are awake even while asleep, and then there are those who, apparently awake, are deeply asleep” – Lalla

· “Do not sleep like an animal that mixes sleep and reality” - Tibetan instruction for dream yoga practice

· “Let sleep itself be an exercise in piety, for such as our life and conduct have been so also of necessity will be our drams” – Saint Basil

Always recognize the dreamlike qualities of life and reduce attachment and aversion. Practice good-heartedness toward all beings. Be loving and compassionate, no matter what others do to you. What they will do will not matter so much when you see it as a dream. The trick is to have positive intention during the dream. This is the essential point. This is true spirituality.


According to sleep researchers, we typically experience four stages of sleep.

• Hypnagogic sleep - the state of drowsiness we experience as we begin falling asleep
• Ordinary sleep- here, we enter a true sleeping state, but can still be easily awakened
. Deeper sleep - vital functions slow down, and we are more likely to sleep through disturbances
• Deep sleep - muscles are totally relaxed, and it would be difficult to wake us up (we only spend about fifteen percent of our sleeping hours at this stage)

It takes about an hour to cycle through all four stages; then we go back in reverse order to stage 1. Before beginning the cycle again, however, we experience rapid eye movements (REM) under our closed lids. Research shows that this is when we dream. We spend twenty to twenty-five percent of our sleep time in this state. In order to practice dream yoga, we must introduce awareness during the periods of REM sleep (which last from a few minutes to half an hour). If we can identify that stage while asleep -perhaps with the help of an assistant or a dream-light device - we can further incubate, develop, and enhance the awareness practice of becoming conscious and lucid within the dream state.

Tibetan dream yoga texts teach us that, in general, there are three types of dreams: Ordinary, karmic dreams, arising mostly from the day's activities, and from previous life activities, thoughts, experiences, and contacts.

• "Clear light" dreams: spiritual visions, blessings, and energy openings
• Lucid dreams, which are characterized by awareness that one is dreaming

Under these three broad divisions, dreams can be divided into a further six categories:

• Dreams of events that occurred while we were still awake
• Dreams about other people, alive or dead
• Forgotten elements emerging from the subconscious
• Archetypal content, evocative symbols, and so on
• Extrasensory perceptions, profound dreams, and omens
• Radiant, luminous, spiritual dreams

Recurrent dreams, nightmares, dreams of death, and other kinds of commonly reported dreams all fall within the first four dream categories. In the interests of developing deeper awareness of your dreams, you may find it helpful to identify the category that applies whenever you recall a particular dream.

Lucid Dreaming means dreaming while knowing that you are dreaming. This consciousness allows you to guide your dreams. Incidentally, how do you know that you aren't dreaming right now?

I dream vivid amazing dreams, and remember them practically every night

Quite often it seems that my dreams are often about fears of mine and or experiences during that day. Recently some of my dreams have been linked to experiences I had after the dreams.

To recall dreams just say out loud before sleeping, ' I will dream vivid dreams, about.............., and I will recall everything vividly' .

One way to develop Lucid dreaming (knowing in your dream that you are dreaming) is to ask self

'Am I dreaming' or 'Am I awake' or ' is this a dream'?

several times thoughout the day. this works because quite often our dreams are related to experiences during the day.

Thenif we ask this question in the dream , we may have the opportunity to wake up in the dream.

Tibetan Dream Yoga

"Tibetan Buddhism considers sleep to be a form of nourishment, like food, that restores and refreshes the body. Another type of nourishment is samadhi, or meditative concentration. If one becomes advanced enough in practice of meditative concentration, then this itself sustains or nourishes the body."

- His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama

"Dreams are the royal road to the subconscious. Dreams are the guardian of sleep." Sigmund Freud

"All that we see is but a dream within a dream." Edgar Allen Poe

"A dream not interpreted is like a letter not read." Talmud

"Dreams are a resevoir of knowledge and experience, yet they are often overlooked as a vehicle for exploring reality - Tarthang Tulku yoga practice

"In approaching illusory phenomena, one practices illusory practice in a illusory practice in an illusory way to attain the illusory state of illusory enlightenment." Khyungpo Naljyor

"Do not sleep like an animal. Do this practice that mixes sleep and reality." Tibetan instruction for dream yoga practice

There are some who are awake even while asleep, and then there are those who, apparently awake, are deeply asleep." - Lalla

"You beings on earth who are deep in slumber.....Stop sleeping! Wake up! What are you waiting for?" - The Zohar

A Dream Exercise

Dreams are an easy and natural way to pursue spiritual unfoldment. Here is an exercise you can try before you go to sleep. It can help you see your problems from a higher viewpoint to aid you in your life. Make a request. Before you go to sleep, write down a question about a problem that bothers you.

Ask the Dream Master or your own spiritual teacher for guidance on this question. Lie down, and close your eyes. Sing HU. Softly sing HU (pronounced like the word hue) for about five minutes. HU is an ancient name for God. It has the unique ability to lift you into a higher state of awareness. Singing HU connects you with Divine Spirit, which can be seen as an inner light or heard as sound.

Write down your experiences. When you wake up in the morning, write down any dreams, thoughts, or feelings, even if you don't think they are significant. As you go through your day, write down any new thoughts or experiences that relate to your problem.

Do this for three to five days. Then look over your notes. You may discover that images you first thought were unrelated now make sense and give you clues to the overall pattern of your life.

relate articles & sites:

Related reading

Tibetan Dream Yoga

Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, a Lama in the Bon tradition of Tibet, presently resides in Charlottesville, Virginia. He is the founder and director of The Ligmincha Institute, an organization dedicated to the study and practice of the teachings of the Bon tradition. He was born in Amritsar, India, after his parents fled the Chinese invasion of Tibet, and received training from both Buddhist and Bon teachers, attaining the degree of Geshe, the highest academic degree of traditional Tibetan culture. He has been in the United States since 1991 and has taught widely in Europe and America.

The art of Tibetan Dream Yoga, April 24, 2002
Reviewer: Shawn Regan (see more about me) from Atlanta, GA
This book delivers what the title says. The practices in this book are moderately sophistocated with the exception of a basic practice given to increase lucid dreaming which was to throughout your day to stop what you're doing and "realize" that this (your physical experience) is all just a dream. I read the same exercise in Osho's "Book of Secrets".

Another important point is that one needs to review the day before sleep to help remove or soften any karmic impressions received during the day. With these impressions softened or removed one should be freed from base karmic dreams and have more of the desired type of dreams.

I found the most important information contained in the last couple of sections of the book. Tenzin Wangyal elaborates on the end result and aim of the practices which is the constant abidement in rigpa. He writes as one who know this state well and not just one who's read about it.

see also dream section


osho & dreams

article - lucid dreaming exercise

> Cry of the Eagle - Theun Mares
> The Toltec Teachings - Volume 2 - 2nd Edition

> Cry of the Eagle describes the Toltec approach to achieving warriorship in
> one’s everyday life, and the art of dreaming is included as an essential
> part of any warrior’s training.
> The first part of the book shows how you can use the warrior’s techniques to
> overcome your challenges and build your self-belief.
> The book’s chapters on dreaming are of great value to anyone with an
> interest in the study of dreams and dream interpretation. They include how
> to set up Toltec active (lucid) dreaming, the different types of passive
> dreams, many examples of dream interpretation, and a full list of Universal
> Dream Symbols. (Download dream symbols below). They represent a fascinating
> and practical guide, as well as an important reference work on dreaming.
> >From a Toltec perspective, questions relating to the role and purpose of
> dreaming, can only be answered if dreaming is viewed within the context of
> an overall framework. To this end, the chapters that precede those on
> dreaming address such issues as, "What is life?" "Death - its nature" and
> "What are dreams?".
> The Chapters on Dreaming Include:
> The Technique of Dreaming: A description of Toltec active (lucid) dreaming,
> and how to achieve this state, safely and effectively.
> Passive dreaming, including the different types of passive dreams.
> A Guide To Dreaming: Including how to work with dates and time.
> A List of Universal Dream Symbols (download below)
> Examples of dream interpretation for both active and passive dreams.
> Cry of the Eagle is an invaluable book, not only for students of the Warrior
> ’s Path, but also for anyone with a serious interest in the study of dreams,
> lucid dreaming and dream interpretation.
> Cry of the Eagle - Theun Mares
> The Toltec Teachings
> ISBN 1-919792-13-9
> US$14.95

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