Question for upcoming Interview with Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche

@Andrew @AlyssaModerator

I would like to propose a question to possibly riff on in the upcoming interview with Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche (which I have tried to wrap my mind around since some time):

In his book “The Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep” TWR writes on page 33:

"If we abide in awareness during an dream, we can allow the karmic traces to self-liberate as they arise and they will not continue on to manifest in our life as negative states. *
As in waking life, this will only happen if we can remain in the non-dual awareness of rigpa
, the clear light of the mind."*

For many lucid dreamers, it is possible to dream lucidly on a certain level from time to time and apparently not be in a state of rigpa. One is lucid, emotionally less involved with the dream content but there might not necessarily be the rigpa-qualities of bliss present.

  • How does the state of resting in rigpa during daytime and nighttime practice differ to “just” being lucid in a lucid dream?

  • During daytime practice, a pracitioner of Thekchöd rests in the nature of mind and does not follow phenomena of the mind.
    → If the pracitioner aims to practice dream yoga during the night, would this require to deliberately redirect focus and transition to a sort of Thögyal practice, but in this case with dream phenomena?

Thanks for considering this question for the interview.
I have my own thoughts on this but would greatly appreciate a riff by the experts @Andrew and possibly Tenzin Wangyal. :wink:


I, for one, would love to hear your thoughts as well.


Regarding the first question:
“How does the state of resting in rigpa during daytime and nighttime practice differ to “just” being lucid in a lucid dream?”, I can only speculate that, in the “regular” lucid state, there is still rigpa present, but the connection to / recognition of it is dimmed/obscured.

Like the analogy of the lamp with a dimmer: The lamp may be on but the light intensity is lower when the dimmer is on. I think it is not a digital “on/off” situation but moves along a spectrum.

I speculate that along that spectrum, a conventional lucid dreamer is on the threshold stage of being able to witness rigpa shining through as the dream experience but does not recognise it as displays of rigpa and has not yet established a self-recognizing, conscious connection to rigpa itself.

Also, the focus is “external” on the dream phenomena without a self-knowing connection of rigpa manifesting throughout the dream experience.

I am borrowing on the analogy of the movie theater but interpret this heavily myself:

Rigpa is like the light in the projector at the cinema.
The projector shines the light onto the screen.

As a regular spectator/dreamer one looses oneself in the story that the visual phenomena on the screen offer and completely forgets one’s surroundings.

As a lucid spectator one does not lose oneself in the spectacle but remains aware without forgetting that the phenomena are not real but only displays of light on a screen, while following the spectacle.

As a lucid spectator resting within rigpa - I heavily speculate - there are two modes depending on one’s deliberate focus, either:

a) one rests in rigpa itself with the focus on resting stably in this state by letting go all habitual reactions to sensory and mental phenomena and just being in this state, somewhat like Thekchöd practice. This seems to lead to sleep yoga.

b) one rests in rigpa but allows one’s focus to be inclusive to any phenomena arising and exploring inquisitively their nature while maintaining the continuous connection to rigpa, somewhat like Thögyal practice. This seems to be essentially dream yoga.

It is my hope that @Andrew might address this in the interview.


I really appreciate your perspectives on this @KhyungMar , particularly the cinema screen analogy. It is all too easy to forget that one is the projector.

I, too, hope to gain insight into this from Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche…having spent many hours contemplating this specific passage:

I hope you do not mind me sharing the glimmer of insight I have taken from that contemplation.

I think it is difficult to remain in rigpa while lucid when we first begin to achieve dream lucidity. The excitement and wonder of waking up in the dream spurs us on to so many feats of wonder. We look forward each night to exercising a degree of control over our dreams…not realizing that by doing so we are actually creating more karmic traces.

For me, it was not until that initial excitement was tempered that I realized that. I have come to the realization now that we must go into the dream in a state of empty awareness and let the dream unfold around us if we are to remain in a state of pure rigpa.

I agree with that. I have found that going to sleep in a state of empty awareness leads to rigpa dreams.


@Steve_Gleason Your shared insight makes great sense; the excitement and attachment can easily draw our attention towards the phenomena causing us to lose groundedness in rigpa.


I will make sure and pass that along to Andrew! He always is so grateful to get feedback from you guys and what your interested in.


@aalvarado Thank you very much! Greatly appreciated! :slight_smile:

1 Like

I was able to talk to Andrew about this and he wanted me to pass along the following:
“This is a perfect question for our Thursday Q and A – because it’s so involved, I don’t really have the time to address this in writing. So show up on a Thursday session and ask it live – so others can participate as well. Andrew”


@AlyssaModerator Thank you. I will try to see if I can make the Thursday call - need to check the time/time zone difference.

1 Like

We won’t have one tomorrow since its Thanksgiving ! But will be back next week

1 Like

Contemplating further the question „what is different between conventional lucid dream awareness and (lucid) rigpa?“ the following thoughts came up after re-reading The Tibetan Yoga of dream and sleep, especially the Prana section:

Conventional lucidity and Rigpa have respectively different constitutions of prana.

The respective constitution of prana shapes the individual experience (lucid) experience.

For conventional lucid dreaming the prana is probably of a neutral constitution (but still karmic prana) allowing an uninvolved observation of dream phenomena.

For Rigpa, the prana is non-karmic prana (wisdom prana (tib. Ye lung)) and more or less rests in the central channel during the experience.

For anyone interested, page 46 of TTYoDaS gives fascinating insights on pranas and the influence on experience.


Thank you KyungMar for mentioning this. I was just listening to some Tenzin Wangyal Ripoche this morning…so clear and helpful. Could you possibly elaborate on the qualities of each of these two a little, in your experience? Dream lucidity as neutral but still karmic, and Rigpa lucidity as non-karmic. I have experienced the observationsl dream lucidity with fair regularity. Rigpa lucidity? Have you applied specific practice to cultivate the central channel opening and found this to effect the quality of your dream lucidity toward rigpa lucidity?

I have this book on my wish list and I will explore the section you mention. Working on this at a very beginners level in my sparce and occasional observational lucidity especially in liminal space. I so love and apreciate Tenzin Wangyal Rimpoche! I hear there will be an Andrew interview with him soon…hope so. What a combination! Feel so lucky to have Night Club.


This resonates strongly with me (my emphasis).

I see conventional lucid dream awareness as an active state where one is engaged, at some level, in changing the dream. In this state we are actually creating more karmic traces.

In the state of lucid rigpa we engage the dream more passively and can observe as those karmic traces self-liberate.

…if I may chime in on this question…

This treatise strongly suggests Inner Heat Yoga as a path to achieving a rigpa based lucidity.

1 Like

Another idea would be to submit the question in advance here:

and then catch the recording!

1 Like

@lauragecko I mainly have “conventional” lucid dreams from time to time which have a quality of relaxed and awake quiescence. As compared to my daytime practice, I feel that to an extent the quality of joyous luminosity is missing in such dreams…
I speculate that in such dreams, my attention is not centered in the central channel but “riding” neutral karma which Tenzin Wangyal writes is located diffusely in the body.

Up to now I have only limited experiences in resting in rigpa during a lucid dream.
Once it happened during the practice of visualizing the “A” within the throat chakra while falling asleep. The arising lucid dream was different in its quality. I remember feeling my own joyous presence stronger than usual in that dream while the dream unfolded.
I speculate that by focusing softly on the throat chakra, chances are high that one may center also on the central channel, where ripga (wisdom prana) is located.

The other time was actually an experience when I became lucid during dreamless sleep. There were no images, just luminous, spacious joy - very similar to the daytime practice experience.
I got excited and somehow tried to “grab” it and paradoxically passed out instantly into unconscious sleep. I am pretty sure that in that experience I touched the experience of sleep yoga by chance.
Here I speculate that I was centered in the heart chakra (also aligned with the central channel), which has yet again a different effect on the experience, more self-anchored, self-sufficient, introvert.
During my daytime practice I mainly center in the heart chakra.

To that respect I still feel that I am at the very beginning and need to be more disciplined with the practice: I start by doing the ninefold breathing that really does positively affect the quality of my sleep and dreams in any case, although not being a guarantee for dreaming lucidly.
Then I practice the visualisation of the “A” in the throat chakra from the Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep which is aligned with the central channel.
I feel that a couple of factors would be needed for results to show more often, such as going to bed earlier, winding down before bedtime and more daily practice consistency.

The book is truely amazing. After reading this book and being blown away, I looked up Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche over the internet and met him at a weekend retreat he gave many years ago. I think that through this book, I actually connected to dharma.