I have been working with this. Here is how Tenzin Wangyal describes the experience of sleep and dreams:
“The normal process of sleep occurs as consciousness withdraws from the senses and the mind loses itself in distraction, thinning out in mental images and thoughts until it dissolves in darkness. Unconsciousness then lasts until dreams arise. When they do, the sense of self is reconstituted through dualistic relationship with the images of the dream until the next period of unconsciousness occurs.”
I have bolded that passage as that has been my experience of late during lucidity.
I have found that some very interesting things happen in the liminal space between dreaming and waking in this practice.
Just curious as to whether anyone else is dabbling in this.
@Steve_Gleason Yes, for me that is also a very interesting phase with many dynamics to be explored.
What fascinates me currently is the factor clarity, depending on the degree of clarity of awareness, how it is lost and arises again, and depending on its type of manifestation, fusioning with karmically-loaded imagery to become a sense of dream identity.
I have seen the nature of my dreams change over the last few months with regard to my dream identity. The imagery that continues to arise from karmic seeds has taken on the nature and “realism”, or clarity, of my waking state…so much so that I often find myself stepping back from the dream and letting it dissolve. I have not felt the need…or the desire…to make a classic “lucid move” in a dream in some time now.
I attribute this interesting change to my continuing diligent practice of the “Completion Stage” yogas of the Six Yogas, both in the day and at night.
This change has caused me to look beyond the dream itself. I have been able, in later sleep stages, to establish a sense of true emptiness as sleep approaches. When this happens the passage into sleep becomes the passage into waking almost immediately with a great deal of time having passed. It is in this liminal passage that I feel a connection to a deeper state of consciousness.
That sounds fantastic; very likely to be a result of your diligent practice! Since you are practicing the Six Yogas, I suggest that, if you have the opportunity and wish, you could consider talking to a Lama, if you feel that you want “specialist”-feedback on the experiences.
In this practice context, I’d ask a lama if your experiences could be connected to “illusory body” (tibetan: gyulü) and/or “impure illusory body” (tibetan: madagpai gyulü), even though perhaps if you may not visualize a specific deity. After all, this is a buddhist trantric practice.
I have been working with holding on to the the clear light moment between waking and sleep for as long as possible and finding that when done at the beginning of the night it leads into a kind of timeless and amazingly restful few hours before dreams first come.
Last night I took it a little further. I took 8 mg of galantamine at the beginning of my 2:00 AM WBTB. I stayed up for an hour practicing Inner Heat Yoga and then went back to bed and blended with the clear light at my heart chakra.
I stayed in that liminal space for what seemed like an eternity (turned out to be two hours or so). Toward the end of that time dream images began to flood in followed by a very powerful occurrence…that I am still processing.
I came from a dream fragment where a powerful man was in front of me. He was…wrathful. I was detached from him…just watching consciously.
I began to wake from that but in that liminal state a woman wrapped herself around me. I felt her physically…I remember the feel of her skin and the solidity of her body but it was not at all sexual in nature. She spoke to me…she said “He’s here. Please help me.” I told her it was ok…he’s not really here…and she dissipated. I spoke those words out loud into the dark of the bedroom.
Honestly…it felt as if I was in her dream…or maybe outside of it and witnessing it and she felt me and reached out.
I’m still processing all of that but I have an idea about it.
One interesting concept of “reality” is that of Analytic Idealism which posits (Kastrup) that a Universal Consciousness has evolved (and is still evolving) into a network of “conscious alters” ( ) who maintain their individuality through a boundary that is dissociative in nature.
This dissociative boundary contains an interactive field that extends into Universal Consciousness and also can extend across the boundaries of other dissociated alters. I have seen this referred to as a Markov blanket (Kastrup). Through this Markov blanket all of these alters can interact with each other and with Universal Consciousness.
One theory (Gleason ) is that in the dream state, and particularly in the liminal states between dream and sleep, the dissociative boundary becomes more permeable…it dissipates and possibly expands the Markov blanket…allowing for radically expanded inter-alter interaction within the field of Universal Consciousness.