How has lucid dreaming practices affected your sense of agency in real life?

Hi everyone. I tend to always run up against this question when interacting with non-lucid dreamers: how does lucid dreaming impact waking life? I, personally, have not achieved the level of lucid dreaming mastery where I can program the kinds of dreams that would help me confront fears or test out new scenarios.

Have any of you here changed your attitudes about your own limitations or opportunities in waking life that you attribute to lucid reaming practices? Please share examples, if applicable.

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Welcome to the community! Great question.

My background includes the following: Dharma work in the 1960s, familiarity with the popular psychedelics of the day, living in various Asian countries (Thailand, Nepal, Japan,Singapore, India), Vipassana Meditation instruction (Goeinka), Insight Meditation (IMS), Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and training in western mysticism (Rudolph Steiner) as well as a few other spiritually seeking activities. However, I was never able to tie all of this together until I started to study Dream Yoga.

I don’t separate lucid dreaming from Dream Yoga and the Tibetan practices that are embedded in it as well as the traditions of which it is a part. I started looking at DY a couple of years ago with Andrew’s Tricycle DY course in hopes of alleviating years of chronic insomnia. I thought there might be something I could learn that could help me get to sleep and stay asleep more consistently—the way it used to be years ago. I really didn’t think about any spiritual implications of the practices at all. However, after two retreats with with Andrew Holececk and one with Charlie Morley I am beginning to realize how important it is to use dreams to help me to better learn about and experience reality and to change myself to be a better sentient being.

I am am not a very accomplished lucid dreamer, more at a beginner level, but I use lucid dreams—any dreams—to help me work with my fears, understand my daytime thinking and help with my preparations for the Bardo(s). I average about one LD a month, though the quality of any one may vary widely from previous ones. These days, lucid days are a gift as well. In fact, I have been training for this CV-19 Bardo for most of my life, and Dream Yoga was the final piece in this life-long puzzle for me, putting everything previous into perfect perspective.

I have also come to appreciate the wider perspective, where Dream Yoga is but one of the Six Yogas of Naropa. Most people I know who are studying Tibetan Dharma are not very interested in Dream Yoga or Lucid Dreaming—and I know a scores of practitioners. In fact, I’ve been married to one for forty years, and when I first started talking about it she refused to believe it was a “thing.” Fortunately, many authoritative sources assured her that it is legitimate, just not very much out in the open until quite recently. So, she encourages the practices for me, but like most others, go for the more traditional devotions practiced from childhood.

I’ve changed many things due to my Dream Yoga/Lucid Dreaming efforts, particularly in my thinking. During the day there are always ways of thinking such as “I should react this way,” or “gee, what a terrible thought I have, glad no one can read my mind.” In my dreams, when confronted with various situations, my innermost thoughts are there, unfiltered by social conditioning, and when I truly feel compassion or the desire to help, it’s because I legitimately am compassionate and helpful. I know I can fool myself in the waking state, but in the nocturnal state, all is laid bare.

I also think I’m a better more complete person since I started DY. I hope this helps.

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Me too.

I have about 50 years less experience in all of this than Barry. When he was starting his Dharma work in the 60’s, I was still playing “Gloria” and Louie Louie" in my teenage rock band. :sunglasses:

But in the last year and a half of pretty intensive personal training in lucid dreaming and dream yoga my life…my being…has changed.

I have become more present, clear and aware in the waking state…which has translated reciprocally into the dream state. I have established a strong continuity of consciousness between the two and this has given me a much more relaxed and compassionate perspective on this crazy world in which we live.

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Good songs! Always wanted to learn to play music but ended up painting and drawing for expression, which I totally abandoned after my time in the military and didn’t pick up again until after I retired in’19 (48 years), started practicing Dream Yoga, and joined a veteran’s rehab effort using Yoga Nidra and Art.

I’ve been given several inspirations for paintings through dreams over the past year, including a dream last night with indications for a “book” of drawings which I will have to develop. I like to create paintings over time, in my mind, rather than to just go outside to paint, but I feel as Steve does, more present and purposeful in the daytime awake state.

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Hi,
for me, the illusionary nature of waking reality starts to become slowly more and more evident through lucid dreaming practice.
For example, in my dreams, I am a certain character, playing a certain role, interacting with other dream figures in certain patterns.
What is the difference to waking life?
There, I also „play“ certain roles, identify and react and interact in certain ways.
In the lucid dream, when I become lucid, I become free to break playfully out of this identity - and change the course of the dream experience. After all, it is a dream, it is fluid. This fluidity, I can experience during a lucid dream.
In waking reality, for example, when I become angry, I sometimes can also become „lucid“ to my emotions and can consciously relax - like in a lucid dream.
In waking reality, like in a lucid dream, I sometimes manage to remember to break out of my „unlucid“ habits/role/identity and playfully change the course of action.
Or put differently, what is the difference between following unconsciously my patterns during waking reality and unconsciously following my patterns in a non-lucid dream?
Additionally, I find it so helpful doing the illusionary form practice during the day and asking myself how „solid“ my views of the world and myself are. I feel that by doing the practices of illusionary form, the hindrances start to soften more and more and waking and dreaming solidity soften up.

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Oh, here you are, @_Barry ! Not such a newbie after all. Super modest, really. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: Feel like I now have a much better idea who I’m talking to.
Thank you for being an online friend.

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I hope to earn what you’re talking about in time, @Steve_Gleason. You and @_Barry are very inspiring to me.
Thank you so much, online friends :blush:

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'Louie, Louie" was going through my mind yesterday! Great song. I saw that band…

I have only just started sleeping well enough to dream at all, but I have been making a pretty consistent practice of illusory form. The effect is profound – it centers me in my own experience, moment by moment. When I’m really into it, there’s a fluidity, a water-like quality.

I am also starting to think this IF is also a powerful manifestation practice. Okay, this is a little spooky. A dream person became real, sort of. I’m working on a musical ‘radio’ play called ‘Hello Bardo,’ which is as much of a movie running in my head as anything else. I forget what andrew said about this twilight place in the imagination – seems like a certain kind of lucid dream, but I’m not asleep.

Anyway, I have had a very clear image of a female face from the time I started this.

Anyway, that anonymous face who stars in my musical transfiguration drama contacted me today on a dating sight. I wish I had a photo of my mental image to post side by side with this picture. Not all that long ago, this would have unraveled me. There’s a scripture somewhere : ‘in the dream, a boy meets a girl. She tells him she is dying. The boy is happy to meet the girl and sad that she is dying.’ (that’s the scripture – nobody is dying in real life in this scenario, except of course everybody).

I’ve pondered this a lot. It’s very poignant and I think perhaps describes an appropriate attitude toward phenomena. “Mono no aware” is a Japanese phrase that means ‘the sadness of time passing unnoticed’ that kind of captures it.

I have a touch of what Tibetan Buddhists call ‘Contaminated clairvoyance.’ It’s not particularly a gift. I blurt out strangers’ autobiographical details spontaneously, and have foreseen situations in stark detail, and also made decisions based on premonitions that have gotten me into enormous trouble. It requires a real practice of non attachment.

So naturally I proposed that we drive to Vegas tonight and get married in the Elvis chapel.

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What did she say? And this is very interesting. Thank you for posting this.

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Shockingly, I haven’t gotten a response :wink:
In my mental movie/radio play, she is the character of Jade Molotov-Garcia, who is the illegitimate granddaughter of Leon Trotsky and Aimee Semple McPherson.

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Just kidding! Although there was a stage in my life where I’d probably have done something like that.

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