Short article on dream yoga by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche

“How to Practice Dream Yoga,” by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche in Lion’s Roar
Link: How to Practice Dream Yoga - Lions Roar


My notes:

  • remain in vivid, open awareness of present moment
  • frequently ask “is this a dream?” and mean it, feel a quality of focus
  • if you have a negative reaction, soften this habitual reaction connected to grasping or aversion: relax, recognize everything as dreamlike phenomena
  • before sleeping, review memories of the day, seeing them as memories of dreams, strengthen intention to have lucid dream before sleep
  • upon waking, review dreams and celebrate successes, strengthen intention for daytime practice

Great article, thank you for sharing it, really liked these quotes:

“There’s greater freedom because, with increased awareness, you can choose to respond to experience positively and intentionally, rather than reacting from conditioning. There’s more beauty, peace, and joy.”

So true. And the more you react with awareness, the more you begin to realize just how much our lives and reactions have been conditioned.

" Lucid dreaming is the best-known feature of dream yoga, but waking up amid the dreams of the day is equally important"

I want to say more important, but I have often heard Andrew say the wisdom traditions believe that the dream of waking reality is equally as real as the nocturnal dream, or equally as unreal.

“Focusing on an object is a simple practice you can do to help stabilize the mind. The object of your focus can be the breath, a visual object, sounds, or sensations. Even a few minutes of practice, if done regularly and often through the day, strengthens concentration and helps to quiet and focus the mind. Over time, it’s helpful to practice for longer sessions. This lays the ground for, and benefits, all other practices.”

I have been doing this more and more in waking life, but still do not do it enough.

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"When you notice you’re having a negative reaction to people, situations, or your own thoughts, when you want the situation to be different than it is, realize this is an opportunity to practice. Immediately relax your body and center yourself in awareness. Observe the outer situation and what arises in your mind and body. Remind yourself that what you experience is a dream, that your reactions are part of the dream, and that your grasping and aversion are actions in the dream. Recognize this with a level of conviction strong enough to leave an imprint on your mind. Become lucid.

Further the practice by developing flexibility. Let go of your habitual reactions. Choose to respond positively and with kindness even when you’re in a bad mood or have been provoked. Choose to be calm when you are stressed. And so on. This will diminish the power of conditioning, deepening your practice and increasing freedom. You can be certain you’re doing this correctly if immediately on seeing your reaction as a dream, you become more present, and desire and attachment lessen."

Such wise words. When you put this teaching into practice and experience this lessening of desire and attachment, it shows how truely profound this lesson is.

The room is now for more than just sleep. It is a meditation room. Treat it as you would a practice room in a temple or retreat. Keep it clean and orderly. Perhaps create a small altar on a desk to inspire you when you enter the room. Include images of your teachers or deities, mandalas or icons that matter to you. If that doesn’t inspire you, use images that do. The beauty of nature, the night sky, people you love. Images that help you feel love, compassion, inspiration, commitment, or awe. Connect the room to your practice."

Love this tip, make it the most sacred space you own, other than the one between your ears.

“There are four main practices of the night meant to develop lucidity. They are: abiding in peace, increasing clarity, strengthening presence, and developing fearlessness. With the support of different chakras, postures, symbols, and breathings, the practices develop, in sequence, four qualities supportive of dream yoga and daily life.”

Great advice

“If you start these practices, you become part of an unbroken tradition that began a very long time ago. It’s good to think of those who came before, your spiritual ancestors. They faced the same difficulties you do, the same problems and setbacks, and many found freedom in realization. Also think of those who will come after you, who will be positively influenced by your practice. There’s support in acknowledging and connecting to the tradition.”

Love this!