Midnight Rambler

Quite often, after a dream or two, I’ll sit in a WBTB space and ponder what I have just done. Occasionally these midnight ruminations will cause me to jot down my (sometimes) rambling thoughts for further contemplation during my daytime practice.

This is where that rambling took me at 4:00 AM this morning: :slightly_smiling_face:

The waking story and the dream story are both born from karmic traces. The true self observes these stories from The Fourth state of consciousness (Turiya). The waking ego and the dream ego are parts of these story lines.
As more and more karmic trace are liberated, the waking ego and the dream ego fade and the true self begins to become more dominant. When this happens lucidity starts to become the natural state.

I’d love to hear what others might be thinking during breaks in their nocturnal meditations and adventures.


When I am fortunate enough to be in this situation I usually try to recall if my actions in the earlier dream are “enlightened” or did I revert to my old mental habits? Did I learn anything new by being in whatever situation I found myself in, or was it a replay of countless situations over timeless eons? Usually I find I have made some progress although I can see the karmic traces reflected in familiar knee-jerk reactions or thoughts that I come to realize that I believe I had discarded but sure enough, the still wiggle up, like worms upon a coffin.

PS. Now I am in-between dreams, a nice way of saying that I can’t sleep. It’s medicine that worked in reverse. Yeah. The last two clouds that drifted through my mind were oddly connected.

Next to last was one of my favorite childhood science fiction movie, “The Incredible Shrinking Man.” He was a victim of “Radiation” the zombie apocalypse of the 1950s, and he shrunk, and he shrunk, and he shrunk and he never came back! The last scene was him shrinking into the universe, shrinking into infinity or maybe into nirvana and beyond? I think I heard that the film also affected Spielberg too.

My last thought was something I either read in a Jack Kornfield book, or received in a fortune cookie, it said, Your’e not here to change the world, the world is here to change you. Wow, I’ve been mouthing that for a long time, but when I put it together with the Shrinking Man, I sort get the point, a point, actually, my point.


This rambling thought appeared in my journal this morning: :wink:

Consider the mind as a fertile field. When the field is open and clear and we are able to interact with our environment with clarity and pristine, non-dual awareness…pure perception springs forth from the open ground.

Over a lifetime of karmic conditioning, however, that field can get covered with unwanted plants and even choked with weeds. Through dream yoga protocols, instructional dreams can be cultivated, dreams that allow deep seated karmic traces to self liberate under the careful guidance of a dreamer who remains in the non-dual state of Dzogchen during the dream.

The choked field will clear over time as the karmic weeds disappear.


More Midnight Rambling last night:

I have a prism in one of the windows in my office. When the sun hits it early in the morning it sprays rainbows across the room.

The mind is like a prism that casts wondrous images on the walls of our world in both the dream and the waking state. When the prism is still we can attend to these images with pure perception. But when the prism is jostled into constant motion those images dance about wildly.


At a Dream Yoga retreat last summer I remember it being mentioned that everything is actually made up of *frozen light." Perhaps with “pure perception” one will view the world as the sum of all colors, pure white light.

1 Like

I really like that. :slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like

As I work my way through my personal encounter with COVID-19 I find myself with a great deal of time to organize the many thoughts that still come to me during my midnight ramblings.

I offer this synopsis of what I have may have learned over these months of training and practice here at the Night School. I am hoping that those of you who have time to read this will be kind enough to correct anything that seems misguided.

I hope all of you are well.

The world around us has universal form as all things are being constantly revealed by their interactions with other conscious agents. The leaves of a tree are being revealed by interactions with the wind and the sun. From a quantum perspective they take form because they are being measured by those interactions. From one perspective perspective, perhaps the leaf has consciousness. The consciousness of the leaf reveals the heat of the sun; it perceives it as heat and responds to it by turning toward it.

In the waking state these forms are revealed to us as images and we perceive them relative to our conditioning. We give these images specific form and substance though the editing of the autobiographical self. We invest them with an individuality and because of that, the relationship between the autobiographical self and its environment becomes dualistic in nature.

In this way we are creating our reality moment by moment, with the autobiographical self instantly reconstructing what has been revealed into images with characteristics that we give them. Our perceived reality is being constantly edited by this autobiographical self as, in an instant, we compare what has been pristinely revealed to what we have been conditioned to expect. We continually weave that dualistic perception into the tapestry of who we believe ourselves to be.

The primordial self (true self), however, is empty and clear. In the instant of pristine awareness, that primordial consciousness reveals the true nature of those forms around us as luminous images. Each image appears in instant clarity and is then gone forever. Nothing remains static. No image can ever be exactly the same as another and no two people can ever see the same image. This is the inherent non-dual nature of the relationship between the true self and its environment. They are inseparable.

When we can abide in the pure presence of non-dual awareness and pure perception we recognize the illusory nature of the waking state.

In the dream state luminous images arise within the emptiness of the primordial self, and the autobiographical self becomes the dreamed self. The dreamed self confers upon these images substance and form from the vestigial conditioned dualistic traces left from the waking state and the dream becomes an exercise in dualistic perception.

If we have developed sufficient skill in recognizing the illusory nature of our conditioned reality in the waking state, we can inhabit the dream as our true self. From this primordial-self perspective, the dreaming self and the dream images become inseparable. The dream becomes non-dual as we realize the illusory nature of these images. With sufficient skill, that can be developed, the dreaming self can control this lucid dream at many levels.

And this is one of the daytime mantras I have been bathing in of late:

Thread by thread, I unravel the tapestry of my autobiographical self until my true self is revealed.


First, very glad you are relatively ok to write this!

Secondly, I will think about what you write.

Thank you…for both. :slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like

Lots to unpack here (as Andrew would start off) but this paragraph reminds me of my friend Jerry (NC member too) who lived in town not far from me, where he ran into another friend of mine who had been conversing for years with a tree located nearby both their homes. My thinking is that duality is not really a bad thing in some cases because of such phenomena.

I am also reminded of an occurrence in Nepal last year where my wife and I spotted some baby owls on a ledge not far from us. The owls were crouching up and down, sort of stretching out, but in no particular pattern. After one flew away the other seemed to look at me as I was brightly dressed and staring back. I crouched and the owl did too. I waited and so did s(he). I did a double crouch and I swear, so did she. The pattern continued for maybe a minute or more with my moves being mirrored by the owl before it flew off. We project our minds onto the world, but I appreciate it when the waking world responds back non-traditionally. I did a reality check with my hand and all fie fingers were accounted for.

1 Like

I have done my share of conversing with trees over the years. :wink:

I think that if you can make the case that the tree has some level of consciousness (as I tried to outline above) then the tree also has a “primordial self” of sorts. Your friend may have been communicating with that tree on a level of pure, non-dual presence…sort of true self to true self.

James Low describes these kinds of non-dual conversations as two wings of a bird. Each wing is doing something subtly different from the other and in that manner the bird moves through the “conversation” in a wonderfully fluid and non-dual way.


I realized last night that when I look into the eyes of a dream character…and I mean a deep, meaningful and somewhat prolonged encounter…I may be looking into the depths of my own true self.



That resonates strongly with me. Thanks for these words of clarity.

Also it is interesting to hear that you and others also have those phases of clarity in the mornings.
I also have these from time to time and questions become clearer or simplified.

While loosely pondering the practice of Dream Yoga in this state; this pith explanation came from clarity this morning:

„The goal of Dream Yoga is to understand the nature of experience.“

Later, I started to actively think about these words from „nowhere“:
Yes, it is true that in Dream Yoga one plays with the dream and changes things (e.g. make objects smaller or bigger etc.) but why is this active changing of things important for understanding the nature of experience?
Maybe because by doing it, we realize that all things are fluid, changeable and unsolid - like all experiences. And by doing it more and more, we experience and trust and deepen this truth in our own subconscious which currently still doesn’t quite believe that this is true.

What do you think guys?

P.S. I am aware that most probably my subconscious was drawing this together from many sources (books, buddhist teachings etc) so by no means is this something new. Funnily, it seems that I love compact pith instructions or pith summaries which resonate and can be remembered and focused on.


Yes, it seems to me that the point of dream yoga is to realize the dreamlike nature of reality in general by first focusing on the nature of literal dreams. Changing elements of the dream emphasizes that what seems solid is, as you say, “fluid, changeable and unsolid.”



For me it’s about being able to break the grasp of karmic conditioning in my life. I think we live our lives constantly reacting to experiences relative to how we have always reacted to them.

Our perception of the phenomena that influence us in the waking state and influence us in the dream state is pretty much the same…we impute form and substance upon them. We are constantly editing them.

By learning to see the true nature of those images that we create in our dreams and then changing them we can learn to do the same thing in the waking state…and we can make tranformative changes in our lives.


Here is some more Midnight Rambling. I remembered this thread and so I thought to just add to it. This earlier dialog is really quite illuminating. :slightly_smiling_face:

I wrote all this down at 3:00 AM this morning:

The mind is the portal to the essence of reality that lies deep beneath the illusory world that we see.

We have not fully developed this portal. Dreams are where we can work on this. It may be that in the dream state we can connect with a collective human consciousness.

There are those walking among us who have fully realized this connection and are able to abide in this expanded reality

The natural world in which we live is filled with accessible energy that we can tap in to. That energy will assist us in this endeavor.

The body is the interface between the mind and the non-dual energy of the natural world.


Where does awareness fit in?

1 Like

@_Barry Which type of awareness do you mean? :wink:

Pure, non-dual awareness (rigpa) illuminates that primordial reality. It is something to strive for.

1 Like

It’s the paper that the diagrams are drawn on . . . (not)

1 Like