I recently joined and have been checking out the recorded webinars and interviews, and thought I’d go ahead and introduce myself! I’m Breana, and I’m very stoked to be here.
I have had an interest in Buddihism for many years. In 2015 I participated in the Humanistic Buddhist Monastic Life Program through a foundation called Wooden Fish. During this experience, myself and about 60 - 70 other international students traveled to China and lived in two different Buddhist monasteries and one nunnery (the largest in China!). Our days consisted of meditation, classes on Buddhism, chores, and simple meals. The last five days of the program were a silent retreat. Though it was an incredible experience, I feel was not at a place in my life to adequately absorb or integrate it. But currently, I feel as though I am ready to absorb some of these teachings further.
My interest in lucid dreaming began in 2020. I don’t remember exactly how I came across it, but 2020 was the year that I decided to stop drinking. (Which became an exercise in extreme willpower once quarantine began.) I think I found lucid dreaming because of the severe boredom I was experiencing, and I just wanted to find anything to make it stop. When I stumbled across Andrew Holecek’s book Dream Yoga, worlds collided in the best way. I was so excited to bring lucid dreaming, which felt like real magic, and my spiritual interests together. While I had some success with lucid dreaming during this time, like a true Westerner, I became impatient with my slow progress and gave up after a couple of months.
Recently, I have returned to lucid dreaming and dream yoga. I am not sure what brought me back, but I’m glad it did. I have started to slowly make progress, and every facet of my life is enriched. I am enjoying more daytime and nighttime lucidity, and I feel confident that I’ll stay on the path this time. While I am currently only at the beginning stages of merely trying to become lucid and sustain lucidity, I am experiencing a lot of benefits with even my modest success.
I am so glad to be here with all of you, and I look forward to participating more fully in this wonderful community!
It’s a pleasure to meet you! My name is Alyssa and I am Andrew’s administrative assistant and event host! This community is full of such wonderful and knowledgeable people. I’m so grateful to have you here. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns!
First welcome, good to have you! I noticed you mentioned Dream Yoga which is a fantastic book but have you read through Dreams of Light? It is an excellent book companion to pair with reality checking etc.
I did the same with lucid dreaming as far as leaving and coming back. I think that separation is helpful in allowing the practice to be integrated in the long term. Welcome back!
Tough time to go sober, but definitely a wise decision. Sounds like as a reward for that healthy decision the universe connected you to Andrews work, and the powerful ancient spiritual practices of dream yoga and sleep yoga.
Growing up (with hippie, new-agey parents), I would occasionally do mantra meditations. My mantra of choice was Om Namah Shivaya, though I didn’t really know what I was saying. In China, we began with samatha meditation, with the meditation object being the breath. Then we were taught to do body scans.
This is the first time in my life that I’ve actually set out to develop a consistent meditation practice. Because my previous experiences with meditation were a bit all over the place in terms of methods, I returned to the cushion a bit confused. I bought a book called The Mind Illuminated by Culudasa (John Yates, PhD), and it’s been a really great meditation manual! It melds neuroscience with Buddhist wisdom and the author presents a 10-stage path for the meditation practitioner while drawing on techniques from multiple Buddhist traditions. Each stage provides you with obstacles and antidotes, as well as a “goal” (though the author doesn’t like to use that word) that will indicate when you have “mastered” (he doesn’t like that word either, haha) the stage. I’ve found it to be so helpful.
Currently, I am at the earliest stages of the path, and am working on narrowing my attention on my breath (right at the point where the air comes in and out of my nose) while maintaining peripheral awareness. As long as I can keep my breath solidly within my scope of awareness, it’s a win!
Depending on your membership you may be eligible for the Book Study Group videos. Andrew has gone though Dream Yoga over a period of several months and is about ⅔ of the way through it now. If you get Night Club updates you will see every other Thursday is a live Book Club reading at 8PM EST, where Zoom participants listen to Andrew read the book and then ask questions. He did the same thing with Dreams of Light last year and that is all archived online here at the Night Club.
Will have to check that book out. You are definitely in the right place if you are looking to advance your meditation and spiritual practice. Andrew is brilliant, Imfound his answers to my questions and his work to be immensley helpful.