My wife uncharacteristically read my dream journal

And surprise! It was disturbing to her.

Anyone ever encountered this? I sincerely trust that her curiosity was innocent, I just felt helpless in my ability to respond in a meaningful way that respected her feelings and was true to my practice.

My only coherent explanation was that a certain level of difficult honesty is required to do this type of work; that writing down a dream regardless of the content is the most effective means for me to enhance recall and lucidity at night. Also, that there is a difference between witnessing lucidity and agency.

I suppose I am curious if other people have had similar experiences and what a reasonable response might be. Also, how has it impacted your practice?

:pray: John

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Sometimes these worlds shouldn’t collide, I get that. I respect journals, diaries and a personal computer as sacredly private—though my handwriting is so bad no one could ever read my writing. Heck, sometimes I can’t read it myself.

My wife, though Tibetan Buddhist, has other beliefs about dreams. It took her a year to be convinced it is legit Dharma. Now she’s glad I am studying Dream Yoga but it’s not for her. When I’ve told her about dreams her reactions have been pretty opposite from mine. Lesson learned.

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While I definitely agree with Barry about the sanctity of the journal, it seems that the horses are out of the barn here so perhaps there is a way to make this into a positive thing.

As one who has experienced more than one marriage I’m thinking that this could be a chance to expand things in the relationship. Perhaps you might ask her if she remembers any of her dreams and, if so, if she would consider sharing any of them with you.

I like that…

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Horses out of the barn is exactly what I’m feeling. She has a natural tendency to recall her dreams without journaling or a meditation practice, it might be the right opportunity to see if she has interest in either practice. We’ve been together for 11 years and I’ve casually pitched meditation before, with no interest, but she did say in the course of the conversation last night that she liked hearing about my dream work. Thanks for pointing at the gate! I don’t think the horses need to get back in the barn…we just have to get used to them having a little more space and a little less security.

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Of course, this was the rare page in my journal that we both could easily read. When I hand write my dreams, I’m typically writing so frantically that letters stack on top of each other and words fall onto the page in little puddles.

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Sounds like the opening that Steve was describing. Some of the films we’ve been watching on Saturday Movie Night also make for great lucid dreaming conversation starters.

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Thank you! That’s a good idea.

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In my opinion, no one is responsible for their dream content. While it is probably true that dream content arises from past karmic causes, from a reference point of „right-now“ there is no reason to take moral responsibilty of dream contents that arise and perhaps feel bad or embarrased about them. One is dealing perhaps wirh the fruits of the seeds once sown, okay. But one of the goals of dream yoga is to realize that one is much more than the chaotic, creative, non-lucid expression of the substrate consciousness.
It is something different when one lucidly performs harmful actions in a dream… then it is really one‘s own responsibility of what one does and the results one reaps, just as in waking life.

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I think this is an excellent commentary…particularly concerning the goals of dream yoga.

I think we need to be aware that any lucid agency (perfect word for this!) in the dream, both positive and negative, will be creating more karma. That is a responsibility that we need to accept if we choose to be actively lucid.

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The creation of karma due to lucid actions in dreams really gives me pause. My understanding of karma is rudimentary, but I assume that ignorance of the law is no excuse here. Day before yesterday I concentrated all day on the intention of entering the body/mind of the first being I encountered in my dream. That night I lucidly entered a canine creature*. Admittedly, we were kind of clueless as to what to do once we were conjoined; but did the mere action of combining being create some kind of karma?

*In the dream I have no body because I am waiting for a being whose body I can enter.
I am a lucid, vivid presence - faint luminosity hovering above a translucent surface suspended in a black void.
On the surface are two toruses: one blue, one yellow.
My disembodied self is frustrated because a torus does not fit my definition of a “being”.
Then a very thin canine creature - a dog, coyote or wolf - comes padding silently upon the translucent surface.
I am now vibrating with lucid intensity.
I focus upon the canine.
A flashing momentum propels into him.
He still occupies his being but I am there too, cohabiting his body/mind.
We pad about silently.
We are very thin.
Our belly is hollow; our fur short and dusty.
We are empty inside.
We are looking intently about, searching.
We are light.
We are ready to go somewhere.
We are at a loss as to where to go.
Then I wake up.

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Can you recall your thoughts within that body manifestation? What did the environment appear like?

I thought I would be entering a whole being, a solid body. The canine creature was alive but like an old oak tree hollowed out in the center. He barely responded to me, hardly knew I was there. He was beyond caring. An old being - worn out and not replenished. His vision was watery, bleary. We could just make out the edge of the translucent surface and the void beyond. If we were going to go somewhere it would have to be me to provide the motive energy. But I was at a loss. There was seemingly nowhere to go. For the briefest moment I remembered two things that Andrew Holecek had said. A person had wanted a lucid dream, but right when they got lucid, the dream ended. He said to the person: well, you asked for a lucid dream; you got exactly what you asked for. So, I had asked to enter the first being I met in my dream; I got exactly what I’d asked for - no more, no less. Also, once I heard him mention a diurnal practice in which you try to remember what you have just been thinking; to go back as far as you can in that chain of thoughts. Where had the canine creature been before he came into my peripheral vision? Before I could even try to puzzle that out the dream vanished and I was awake.

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Everything we do in the dream creates karma…more so in the dream state than in the waking state. But I think that when we go with the primordial flow of the dream we actually allow karma to self liberate.

You set a fairly passive intention and then you rode out that wave once you caught it. I always judge the karmic effect of my dreams from how I feel upon waking. There is an amazing feeling of bliss and lightness when a dream has released more karma than it created.

I would have to say that it came from within you.

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only one more thing to add to the comprehensive prior comments in this thread:

I understand that, de-reifying dream phenomena releases karma.

Reifying dream phenomena, creates karma.

When lucid, one has the choice to de-reify phenomena.

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…in both the dream state and the waking state.

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This is a good habit to reiterate and practice. Just curious, are dogs part of your life?

I’ve never owned a dog or known someone else’s dog. I can see why it may be said that the canine came from within me, but he really seemed more like one of the beings I perceive when sitting zazen and floating off on that luminous tether into the distant cosmos of multicolored lights inhabited by countless other beings. I’ve never had one of them come to me before, but I thought perhaps it might be so because of this dreamwork I’ve been doing recently. But why it would be in the form of a canine is beyond me.

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I’m going to have a different perspective here. I do a lot of dream analysis in my work as a psychologist. One of the main presets of dream work is to realize it’s all metaphorical. And it’s all personal. And yes there are dreams that are big dreams! And they are not personal. But these don’t sound like big dreams. They sound like personal dreams and they need to be respected as inner characterizations of metaphorical parts of yourself.

So, for instance, a dog could be representing a companion who is the instinctual side of the self. Just some thoughts to chew on. Obviously, what Andrew is teaching is operating at a completely different level! Hope this is helpful. Candida

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And to continue with metaphors that might evoke difficult responses in a partner, having sex in a dream is all about integration of a part of you that has not yet been fully integrated. So, as a woman, if I have a sexual relationship with a man in a dream, I am trying to integrate what that man represents as a part of my big Self. I hope that’s relatively clear.

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Thank you! This is a helpful perspective.

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