Not finding the yak

From a point of view of wanting to deepen practice, I think remembering the next morning that one has had a lucid dream falls for me into the same category as remembering dreams in general (regardless if lucid or non-lucid).
Why is the ability to remember dreams so important in order to be able to dream lucidly? I can only guess that it has to do with priming our awareness to this specific state (dreaming) in order to become able to recognise it and become lucid in it.
It might be that by remembering dreams we put emphasis onto something which would normally be lost in subconsciousness.

From another view, one could perhaps say that for a tranquil and clear mind it would be natural to remember the dreams and that forgeting the dreams is only the result of the chaotic states of our untamed minds…


Cool, I was once at Serenity Ridge a couple of years ago. It’s a really nice, peaceful place. Although TWR now lives in California, I think there is at least once a year a major retreat at Serenity Ridge and several smaller ones, too.


I was thinking that remembering the lucidity of/in our dreams relates to the lucidity we cultivate in our daytime experience, that they are linked.


Good point! Agreed, they are linked.
I find B.Alan Wallace’s approach quite interesting to balance relaxation, stability and vividness through shamata practice as a daytime meditiation practice in order to increase stability and vividness in lucid dreams.


I was thinking about this as I woke up this morning (finger pointed directly at moon :wink: ) so it’s so cool to see this excellent discussion.

I think that we learn to understand rigpa through the practice of Mahamudra where we train our mind to function in non-cognitive awareness and we learn how to recognize relative emptiness.

Mahamudra practice leads us into Dzogchen where we learn to exist in non-cognitive awareness and absolute emptiness.


Hm… difficult to comment since I had no training or teachings in Mahamudra. To my knowledge Mahamudra is specific to the Kagyü lineage.

I think the discussion on the similarities and differences between Mahamudra and Dzogchen (as taught in each of the different traditions) is an extremely complex one, at least for me. When I tried to follow it once when H.E. Lopön Tenzin Namdak explained the differences of specific mind states, it was too high for me, since I was missing the academic background and teachings in Mahamudra.

What do you mean when you differentiate between training to function in non-cognitive awareness (Mahamudra) and existing in non-cognitive awareness (Dzogchen)? Do you mean that dzogchen does not encompass function?


What I have gleaned from my study of the two is that Mahamudra starts the process of understanding emptiness and it leads to Dzogchen. Dzogchen encompasses Mahamudra.

In Mahamudra training we learn how to understand the emptiness of dependent co-arising. We work with the phenomena around us to gain that understanding. That’s what I mean when I speak of “functioning”. That’s how I see it. We meditate on that until we exist in a state on non-meditation…or maybe omni-meditation.

Dzogchen is that state of omni-meditation on emptiness. In Dzogchen we understand the emptiness of all things in their essential nature…we “exist” in empty awareness.

This is how I am experiencing this.

Künkhyen Tsele Rinpoche puts it this way:

Mahamudra and Dzogchen
differ in words but not in meaning.
The only difference is that Mahamudra stresses mindfulness
while Dzogchen relaxes within awareness.


so…Mahamudra is to Dzogchen as Dream Yoga is to Sleep Yoga?


Two sides of the same coin?

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Wow! I really like that analogy…at least as far as my understanding of it goes.

In Dream Yoga we work with the images. In Sleep Yoga we rest in pure awareness and any images that do arise simply drift away and dissolve.

Hmmmm…kind of. Rigpa would be the coin.

To me, it feels as if Mahamudra is an interactive awareness where we train to be “aware of awareness” as forms appear. We work with those forms and develop non-dual awareness.

Dzogchen training, however, is not at all dependent upon external appearances. It is all about abiding in pure Rigpa while forms come and go. James Low has a wonderful metaphor for this. He speaks of the Dzogchen mind as a cornucopia where thoughts are continuously forming and continuously tumbling out into the void…always empty yet always full.