I’m pushing 70. That a long time spent reifiying my dreams, right?
Here’s an example from last night. I was with someone who I dearly wished to spend time with and when he asked me a question I said, “Just so you know…I’m dreaming this right now.” Interestingly, he said, “I’ve heard of that”. So I said, “I’ll show you,” and I put my finger through my palm. But it did not just pass through…it was difficult and there was flesh and a little blood.
Then I knew it was time to go and looked for a door…but when I opened the door it was blocked with a cement block wall. I could not walk through it. Instead I pushed my fingers into it and pulled out chunks of it.
I wonder if it’s too late for me to ever fully de-reify my dreams. If so…I’m ok with that.
Those are both excellent and very helpful posts. Thank you!
I really need to think about this. I have been loathe to change the dream, especially when I am with dream characters who are special to me and, as you say, Barry…that seems to be a predominant feature of my dreams.
Here is a quote from Glenn Mullin in his excellent translation of Je Tsongkhapa’s A Book Of Three Inspirations:
“The dream yoga begins with the ability to retain dreams, which means the ability to recognize the dream as a dream while dreaming, without disturbing the flow of the content of the experience”
Perhaps I should not take that guidance fully to heart. I think I need to find the right times in the dream to start changing the experience. I do not wish to go down the path of recreational lucid dreaming.
Fantastic and thought provoking questions…
Many of my strong lucid experiences of late have been from establishing a strong vajra body presence during a WILD-esque period and then taking lucidity directly into the dream. These are not well controlled, however. This dream was different. It was more like lucidity blooming gradually as I realized who I was with.
This lucidity became full and quite strong when fully bloomed and I found myself faced with the decision to leave the dream as I realize that, even though these characters were emotionally important to me…they were, after all, only empty images. I was quite…emotional…when I came out of that dream.
Hmmmm…as I write this I am realizing that I actually was de-reifying that dream at the end.
Your dream is telling you very clearly what your obstacle is and you also clearly understand the message it’s giving you. The antidote to reification is what we’re all working on. Openness is the key that will dissolve your cement block wall. The more open and spacious the mind is, the less it will grasp at phenomena and fixate on it as real, solid, continuous, and independently existing.
I had another thought. Andrew said the ego is terrified of lucidity, and reification Is its mode of existence. It seems that ego is giving you “fake news” to sew doubt that these methods will work. It’s in survival mode. Maybe try a different tactic. Set your intention to fly like Superman and let ego have fun with that identity and power. Go for joy rides in a superman suit. If that works, try some other super heroes with special abilities you can act out in your dreams. Then try being a super hero who can walk thru walls. Wallah! Reification is subdued, and ego didn’t see it coming!
Just read what you said about not wanting recreational dreaming, and here I’ve just suggested something that sounds very much like that. Sometimes the best way to get a mule to budge is with a carrot, instead of pulling on that rope endlessly. I’m not suggesting a lifelong pattern of choosing fun over progress, but sometimes we can progress faster with a bit of fun involved.
Totally agree. I do lecture myself about pushing the river too hard and I constantly have to remind myself that I am mostly knocking on the door from the inside. I have gone for quite a few flights. These tend to happen when I get into a dream already lucid from a WILD. In these types of dreams I tend to change dream scenes by either flying or walking through a wall to a different scene. These dreams do not tend to be filled with personal characters. I have yet to establish the kind of control that is required for me to become any character that I wish. That goes back to @_Barry 's advice about changing up my goals a little.
I have another perspective on this. As I have mentioned, I’m a bit older and I have a ton of stored up karmic traces, as Tenzin refers to them. Perhaps I am running through these traces during many of these somewhat personal lucid experiences…and perhaps this is a good thing as they self liberate.
This is all good. I am thankful for the progress I have made in all facets of this endeavor in the just less then two years that I have been working at it. I am thankful for each dream and I am humbled by the amazing potential of dream yoga.
I think this is exactly right. We’re contemporaries so your perspective may be closer to mine than some others, that’s why I really value your insights and discoveries! I see myself being taught through these “traces” and coming out “thoughtful? learned? instructed?” the other side. Just had one last night where someone came up at the very end to finish the experience with the point of it all. Turned around and walked away. Could have been Tibetan or maybe an Eskimo elder. Blew me away all day.
Then if you walk through walls, this is not really an obstacle. I think maybe your cement bricks were just a temporary bit of resistance. Plough on. When cultivating a field, there are always a few rocks to contend with.
Ah yes…the trick seems to be in carrying strong enough conscious awareness into the dream to remember that the wall is really just a “luminous display from the deepest dimension of my own awareness”
You know, Barry…I was thinking more during the day about the karmic traces aspect of all this. Often during my WBTB’s I’ll imagine myself in the calm backwater of a fast moving stream. I’ll picture myself sitting there on the silted bottom, stirring up those karmic traces so I can watch them as they drift out into the current and get washed away…bit by bit.
I have been thinking about this, since this has also some implications for my own practice … here‘s what came up:
Karmically loaded imagery can activate our habitual patterns and therefore influence our level of lucidity.
Why is is that in one night we can easily pass through dream walls and the other night we have an issue with it?
Since the nature of the dream wall hasn‘t changed, there must be a difference in our self-referential mental configuration, i.e. state of mind.
Perhaps, when the wall seems solid, we are acting from a different state of mind than at other times - although at first glance we don’t notice this and it seems to be the same thing we are doing (i.e. passing through a wall, which we have done many times before).
The wall hasn‘t changed… but we have changed!
But since we don’t notice that we ourselves are energetically different that night, we are probably tensed up when passing through that wall and try to do it by will mixed with tension, that leads to reification of exactly that wall which is unreal. Subtle unconscious sabotage by a lucid state tainted by tension…
I like B.Alan Wallace‘s exercise of watching other people‘s children play little league softball. One is not invested in the game and in which team wins and can practice to attentively watch the game.
I guess this state of mind would be an excellent base from which one can start to modify dream content (non invested, stable, lucid).
So…I have been working on maintaining a steady point of reference to both the waking state and the dream state (and even the deep dreamless sleep state) by trying to abide in that elusive fourth state of consciousness (Turiya) where, through maintaining a state of pure awareness, I can witness the states of conscious as they go through their changes.
Theoretically, as my conscious shifts from awake to a’dream, my awareness will remain constant and I will be better able to avoid being influenced by that karmically loaded imagery.
This is, of course, all theoretical in nature…trying abide in Turiya and bear witness to the changing states of consciousness…so “fake it til you make it” rules apply.
Btw…I like that B. Alan Wallace imagery. That goes along with my Turiya witnessing protocol.