Craving for dream and sleep improvement

Hi,

i am Lucy from Germany. Be very happy to meet this group. I took refuge 1988 in tibetan buddhism and practised all the time. Sorry for my bad english. Since the year 2000 i got big sleeping problems. This is a great disability. Since 2006 i am no longer able live of work because of this. I am in pension because of the sleeping problem. In my early twenty years i read a book about lucid dreaming and had immediately 2 very intense long lucid dreams or OBE. But i didn’t pursue it, because i thougt, i am not ripe for this. Then in the year 2008 i visited a seminar from Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, Bön about dream yoga. This was like open the door to the night/dream life. I could remember long dream stories from night and also had some long and intense lucid dreams, the first with the help of my buddhist teacher. Also short lucid dreams from time to time. I made it very intense till 2014. Then my buddhist teacher said, i should take no initiations from Bön and should not mix Bön and buddhist tantra. I can go there like to a therapist. So i changed my practice back to buddhist. But i nowhere found buddhist dream practice like this and the lucid dreams become very less. I know, that there is dream yoga of Naropa and Niguma and in Lamdre lobshey. But i can’t get the transmission till now. Then i found in November 2021 a 4 week online sleeping yoga course with Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche and had again extremly intense ghost dreams, that was a huge relief. Because the whole ghost dream burstet and was over. I had also this extremly intense ghost dreams from time to time, but this were attacks. These ghost dreams are much more real than reality. Because of all this, i have an intense wish and craving for developement in sleep and dream. If i could gain my health back in sleeping, i could work again and go for transmissions… but so i thougt, that i have to find my teacher and developement in dream and sleep itself. But alone it is very difficult. So i am very happy to find this group. Hope i am not considered as tooo crazy. Of course i am in psychiatrist treatment since long time. But it is not a solution. Now i make Bön Mantras, even if i should not mix the tantras. My buddhist teacher wished me improvement in sleep with this Bön practise. The Bön teacher sees now problem in mixing and considered this as human topic, not from the buddhas. Of course, i have a lot more buddhist teacher, but didn’t spoke with them about.

Thanks a lot for all, who share this efforts

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Greetings Lucy, great to have you sign on to the Night Club. Your long journey has been amazing and reading about it is a lot to process, so it may take a while for folks to respond in kind. I have taken courses recently with Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, probably the same one(s) you have, but with not nearly the same results. Andrew Holececk has quoted TWR many times and reportedly will be interviewing him as well, so that may be of interest you. Not sure about the mixing of Bön Buddhism and traditional Tibetan Buddhism but I have seen this discouraged in other communities. Have you read any of Andrew’s books, such as the on Dream Yoga? It draws from several sources from many Eastern and Western traditions.

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Welcome!

There are hundreds of really great resources on this site! I would highly recommend Andrews Webinars on this topic (he has like 60+ videos)

It is a really great community, I feel very blessed having found it

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Thanks for the encourage answer. I ordered the book from Andrew and will join the group. :revolving_hearts:

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Thanks a lot for the answer. I booked 1 year and so i have time to discover the recources. :revolving_hearts:

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There is an online bookclub that meets every other Thursday. Andrew reads from the book, elaborates on recent insights and answers our questions. You can catch previously recorded meetings here. Looking forward to seeing you online.

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Hi Lucy,

as Andrew often says “Nobody has a patent on truth”. There are several traditions which describe dream yoga practice, but are they essentially not all talking about taking lucidity to dreams and then working with the dreams in a beneficial way?
The way teachers like Namkhai Norbu or Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche taught/teach dream yoga is more in a universal dzogchen-style which I find is beyond (but inclusive) of traditional specifcs of this or that school.
Yes, it is said by most schools that it is important for progress to receive teachings from a qualified teachers and the blessing/transmission. If you did the seminar in 2008 with TWR then you received also the transmission to practice dream yoga. Why do you think you need another transmission?

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Hi! Sorry to hear about the sleep issues you are experiencing. It sounds like you are a very natural lucid dreamer. You have found the right group! Andrew is a wonderful teacher and submitting him a question or the sleep doctor a question based on your experience may be very beneficial.

As far as the ghost dreams… my personal -opinion- would be they may come from a place of fear. Possibly because of the current unknown nature of dreams and the past advice you have been given regarding your dreams. Andrew’s insights may help you over come this fear by helping make the unknown known. It can be difficult to overcome fear sometimes but i think understanding the dream process will help leaps and bound.

The opinion I have is from the nature of hyper realistic lucid dreams I’ve had while carrying a high level of awareness into them… dreams like this cause the subconscious thought to develop very rapidly and sometimes even instantly while you are observing them. Depending on the thought this can be tricky because the initial thought may start innocent enough but amplify in magnitude after your thought manifests directly in front of you dream eyes and if you are in a deep stage of sleep due to lack of REM it may be difficult to pull out if the dream (I’ve heard trying to lay down and sleep in these dreams might help you wake up but have never tried it).

Hope this helps a little.

Welcome to the forum!

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Hi KhyungMar,
thanks for your interest. Yes, i got some transmission obviously. But there are still initiations necessary in the long run. There are the dream and sleep goddess. One can make initiation and retreat. And of course is tantric. And origin another buddha. My teacher said also, its my decision. But of my own responsibility. This is the point. Its easy overwhelming and capturing and pull away, where i have no more control. And i can’t help myself in this areas, beside of stay awake. Then i would need some help.

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Hi Lucy,
thanks for clarification. Are you sure and decided that you want to practice Dream Yoga in a tantric style , which is of course embedded in a traditional specific lineage context including tantric deity?

If so, why?
What exactly do you feel are you currently missing that hinders you from progress and how?
Consider listening also to B. Alan Wallace’s teachings on Dream Yoga/Shamata, which are routed in authentic teachings (Nyingma, Gelugpa, etc.) but which are not based on tantric practice but on Shamata and developing the required mental qualities for effective lucid dreaming and dream yoga practice. No tantra required, in that approach.

If you chose to practice tantra, then it makes sense to follow only one lineage since alone from a practical practice point of view you would practice according to that lineage practice.

But, I would seriously consider to practice dream yoga in a universal dzogchen-style which is beyond lineage restrictions/commitments as taught by dzogchen teachers such as Namkhai Norbu or Tenzin Wangyal, B. Alan Wallace or others.

In the end, it basically seems to boil down to your decision if you want to practice lineage specific tantra or universal (rime-style) dzogchen.

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Lucy,

Generally I do not share my dreams but after reading your post I had an interesting one last night I thought was worth sharing.

Was having a normal dream then found myself in a bus. Took on the body of a female that was sitting in the front of the bus then I started doing the WILD technique. Became lucid when the WILD seemed to work.

It took me to a place where it was night time, people were dealing old items in a market and one in particular was glowing purple. I was flying over them watching for a bit then flew away and saw a high rise apartment, there were about 3-4 rooms lit up purple which gave me a strange feeling so I kept flying by then I came across a room that was lit up white. Flew into the room and there was some one contorted underneath a blanket the impression I got was they were chained up. Looked around on the floor and there was a glowing white phone close by. I grabbed it and broke it into pieces, it flashed disconnected then I flew out of the window shortly after something started chanting oms. A shrine with 4 drinks showed up in a flash at arms length, I drank two and left two. Flew away and there were beings trying to jump up and grab me I landed on a roof nearby, went to sleep and woke up in my bed.

This confirms to me that falling asleep inside of a lucid dream will wake you up to your physical body. Hope that is a handy technique you can use in the future if you ever feel afarid in a dream.

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Dear mbready,
The ghost dreams are unfortunately most not lucid. So i can’t change the dream, till it burstet, but from alone. But i agree with you, that the subconciousness trigger demons to defend itself. But i think, its great helpful to be no longer alone with it. Even if it is online
Thanks for your sympathy.
I think, i would prefer to change the dream and not to wake up. Because waking up is not a solution. But anyway, its also very exciting to dream all this stuff :grin::smiling_face_with_three_hearts::face_with_hand_over_mouth::rainbow::rainbow:

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Dream Yoga 3 book study had some great ideas that may help. One of the books Andrew recommended in it was Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior. Great book to read if you have the time to read it.

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@Lucy regarding the ghost encounters:
In Yungdrung Bön tradition (I am sure also in other buddhist traditions) there are appeasement/clearing rituals one can do - or have a lama do. Sangchöd (smoke offering) or Chöd are powerful practices which clear such situations. Usually these are done during the daytime, not necessary to do them while dreaming, you do these - or have them done - during daytime - or in case of Chöd in the evening. Did you ask the lama with which you are in contact with about those already?

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If you are open to sharing any of these Ghost dreams, I would love to hear them. You are in a great place for sharing, lots of experts here that give lots of great advice. I am still a novice, but finding this website was like finding an oasis in a desert. Its answered a lof of my questions and given me so much knowledge.

Andrew has a webinar on fear. It might help you with some of the things in your wake life that are causing you fear or anxiety. Often times those feelings will be unconsciously incubated into fearful or anxious dreams.

Do you meditate before you go to bed and completely clear your mind of the stresses of the day?

The Interview With A Sleep Doctor videos are also fantastic. He gives some really great tips on good sleep preparations, and how you can make bedtime more restful.

I agree with @_Barry , the Book Club is really informative. So much good knowledge.

Definitely write out questions for Andrew in the Q&A video section, you can submit them ahead of time, and he will answer them in the videos. I believe you can do this in the Sleep doctor videos too, and book club.

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Dear KhyungMar,
Yes, i told my teacher. They gave wonderful instructions. There are more layers of panic and identity. And the main point is the limited mind. No teacher ever considered the ghosts as real and recommended rituals. I prefer in cases of nightly panic tonglen and Mantras all the time. This is most helpful. And in the day Sadhanas. I have commitments and so there is no change possible and its fine. But no ego, no problem is obviously the point. Also i think its linked to life story, biography

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Dear NightHawk999,
thanks for the recommodation of the fear webinar. I will look.
In the ghost dreams i am always in my real bed and bedroom. In 1 case i layed in bed in harmony with many ghosts. Suddenly one grasped my neck and created a huge pain. I woke up. In other cases they carry me out of the bed. I could feel it extremly clear, the movement, the hands with the long nails carrying me. This ghosts are spherical and strong and sadistic and no way to communicate. In the last dream the ghost rolled me on a roller board into another room over my head through the wall. There he started to create this huge pain sexual. This situation burstet and this new possibility was the great relief. Then sometimes its a man chasing and threatening me without any possibility to have a chance against it. Then sometimes i was fling around in the room like in washing machine in fling modus. This was multiple times. The ghost i didn’t see fling me heavily around in the room. Always my real bedroom. This was lucid. In the twentith in my second lucid dream a ghost flew over me and pulled me with him in the wall out of my bed. There i flew through the wall up out of the house. But this was no attack. In another lucid dream a ghost leaded me in a house, were in a closed room children lived without daylight. I had great compassion. Then the wall opened up like a shutters. This was a very intense experience. Very great. All this experiences are still very vivid in my mind. This is some of much more over the years. The ghost dreams came with the dream yoga practice from time to time. I tried to become friends with the ghosts, but not successful. The special feature is the hyper reality and the immense impact and energy
:ghost::ghost::ghost:

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In tibetan buddhist context, revisiting ghost encounters usually are thought to have concrete causes, e.g. retaliation for some disturbance that was caused by a person, or simply living very close to a power place, or due to other unsettled karmic debts, either from this or the previous lives. This view is common to most of the tibetan buddhist traditions. That is why I ask myself, why the lama did not mention or offer to do traditional alternative means of dealing with these recurring encounters (e.g. appeasement practices, where one “repays the karmic debt”.)
Which tradition are you following?
By the way, I did not mean that you abondon your practices, but perhaps - if these ghost dreams are already that frequent - you would consider having an appeasement practice done for you (with you) by a lama additionally.

Another question: I understand that it was your wish to also deal with these ghost dreams by means of dream yoga. The key to do that would be of course to be lucid during such an encounter and deal with these dream phenomeona from a lucid perspective, knowing that that ghost experience is just your dream. Lucidity empowers the dreamer to take back sovereignity which she/he forgot she/he has.
So, if it is your wish to use dream yoga to do that, then you need to learn to become lucid during such dreams.

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Yes, i thought the same. Bön often speaks from real ghosts and i know about this appeasement practices. Maybe nobody offers this, because i would prefer process it in a fine solution, instead of get rid of it. Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche also spoke of, the basis is to be open to all, that arise. Now in writing this, more ghost stories come up. Some in lucid dreams, which were no attacks, but help. So the main point is to become lucid. My Gelugpa-, Kagüy- and Sakya teacher also didn’t mention the thought of real ghosts to appease, but i didn’t spoke about this with them.

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That’s of course perfectly fine and I wish you all the best on your way.

Just some final comments on some points you made:

Well, that touches the point of what is meant by “real”. Nyingma and Yungdrung Bön both have their different vehicles, from a sutric/tantric vehicle view, ghosts exist - just as real as your neighbor exists.
From a non-dual dzogchen point of view, both the ghost and the neighbor (and our ego-selves) are empty phenomena, without inherent existence (which does not mean, that they have no energetic appearance).
So, are ghosts real or are they unreal?
Both.
That’s why I think for those of us practicioners who have not yet realized the emptiness of those phenomena, we should be careful to not negate those phenomena by labeling/negating them as “unreal”.
They are indeed “unreal” but in a different way than what we conventionally think “unreal” means.

In that context it is thought that appeasement ritual acutally equalizes and heals an energetically karmically disturbed relationship. It involves interacting with those energies and pacifying them. Actually the main goal is really that. The secondary result is “getting rid of the disturbance” since the causes for the disturbance have actually been removed by the pacification.

Yes, this is the dzogchen approach. The question is though if the practicioner has the stability in the nature of mind to be able to remain centered and open to host these energies when they arise.
Since you said that you are practicing tantra and not dzogchen, openness without being able to rest in the nature of mind (dzogchen) or in the energy of the yidam/khandro (tantra), will most likely not be stable enough to host these rough energies and pacify them that way.
In my understanding, dealing with these rough energies - if they are considered “real” or “unreal” - requires a stable state of openness as well as an enlightened quality (compassion) - either by means of becoming the khandro/yidam or by resting in rigpa.

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