Dreams emerge from the depths of our unconsciousness. They reveal secret desires, fears as well as abilities we may not be aware of. Not rarely, we even surprise our own self with what our inner self conceals in the realm of dreams.
If dreams possess such an inherent power, is it possible to use them as a means of spiritual awakening?
In yogic tradition, there is a concept called sadhana. The modern spiritual teacher and yogi Sadhguru defines the term in these words:
Everything can be sadhana. The way you eat, the way you sit, the way you stand, the way you breathe, the way you conduct your body, mind and your energies and emotions – this is sadhana. Sadhana does not mean any specific kind of activity, sadhana means you are using everything as a tool for your wellbeing.
Hence, we can use dreams towards our awakening. This may sound contradictory. Yet, it is throughout possible!
Lucid Dreaming and Dream Yoga
‘Buddha’ means ‘The Awaken One’ in Sanskrit. But awaken from what? The whole life is a short of dream, since we are in the state of Maya, or Cosmic Illusion. As our life is all dream-like, dreams are not less illusory as our state of “wide-awakeness”. However, dreams are somehow more candid, and they resemble the spirit while this processes to death.
In Tibetan tradition, Lucid dreams and Dream Yoga can incite an experience from transmission from the level of this existence to its sequence. But also, dreams are truth-tellers and they can teach us how to cope with spiritual issues of our daily life.
Lucid Dreaming and Dream Yoga are interrelated but not identical terms.
In Lucid Dreaming a person is aware of the fact that she/ he is dreaming. The person then can experience every dream in a way that responds to our physical body. This can be fun! We may have intensive erotic dreams or dreaming of being invincible and or flying. The lucidity of the dreams enables us to term them not merely to phantasy but to a short of experience.
To achieve Dream Lucidity, one has to channel its consciousness towards this goal. This is a meditative process and demands devotion that comes after time. But once Lucidity is achieved, the ability to trigger this sort of dreams will be yours!
And this is where the “yoga part” should make the scene. Quiet like what we do with other activities, we can turn our dreams to a yoga exercise of the mind. This can lead us to a higher awareness gradually. Dream Yoga is a way to train our mind into operating in a distinct mode. Consciousness will not surrender to oblivion and lethargy, but it will actively transform itself.
There are certain techniques to practice dream yoga. Basically, what is required are:
- A strong will to practice yoga through Lucid Dreaming
- Good Dream Recall and Mnemonic methods
- Induction techniques during the day, like marking dreamsigns, meditation and a proper healthy diet that boost memory.
Three Types of Yoga Dreams
Yoga dreams can be classified into three Categories:
Carmic or “Samsaric” Dreams with no innate meaning. These are open for us to bring them a meaning towards our spiritual objectives. They derive from our psyche and expect for us to interpret our inner wishes.
Non-Carmic Dreams are the ones that can transform our lives. They are a sort of mental call and reveal our spiritual destiny.
Clear Light Dreams are difficult to interpret from a dualistic point of view. They suggest a higher state of awareness and connection with the Absolute.
Much of our information came from this marvelous work written by Andrew Holecek:
Dream Yoga: Illuminating Your Life Through Lucid Dreaming and the Tibetan Yogas of Sleep
Here is a description of the publication:
Have you ever wondered what happens when you sleep and dream? Desired to wake up in your dreams and have the time of your life? Or wanted to use your sleep hours to fully explore these dimensions, heal, and evolve? Dream Yoga answers these questions–not academically but directly–by showing you how to access this profound universe for yourself.
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