What are you reading?

:books: There’s a few threads on book sharing, so let’s make it forum-official!

  • What book(s) are you reading right now?
  • What have you read and really enjoyed? Why?
  • What’s in your queue?
  • What do you recommend people here read?

Related: Would you be interested in a Book Club where we pick a book a month and share our thoughts together?

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And just so those posts are also here:

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Currently reading Conscious Business by Fred Kofman, and reading (well, listening to) The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. Both I would highly recommend, though neither is directly relevant to this forum.

I am very slowly reading Why We Sleep - as noted in another thread, I’ve had to mostly put it aside for now while I focus more on class-related material.

Books I have enjoyed and would recommend:

Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming - Stephen LaBerge & Howard Rheingold. Fascinating and foundational; I consider this essential reading for people interested in lucid dreaming.

Pathway to Ecstasy: The Way of the Dream Mandala - Patricia Garfield. What I loved about this book is that it took a very different approach to lucid dreaming. For example she talks about (dream)body sensations in relation to lucidity.

Studies in Dreams - Mary Lucy Arnold-Forster. An early work on lucid dreaming (early 20th century if I recall correctly). Gives an interesting perspective on the topic by someone who was basically forging her own path long before lucid dreaming was popularized.

Dreams and the Ways to Direct Them: Practical Observations - Marquis d’Hervey de Saint-Denys goes even further back. Saint-Denys was an extremely accomplished lucid dreamer and explored and wrote about them in a very meticulous and logical manner back in the 19th century. Also, fun fact! While most people credit Frederik van Eeden with coining the term “lucid dream” in 1914, half a century earlier Saint-Denys was writing about “rêve lucide” which is French for “lucid dream.”

OK, that will do, for now at least. Maybe I’ll think of more later. In my queue is Why We Dream by Alice Robb, and Mindful Dreaming by Clare R. Johnson

~ArthurG

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Great list! Thanks for sharing @ArthurG! Some of these are new to me, eager to check them out. My curriculum is quite long at the moment and I’ll share my thoughts soon.

I’m Currently reading The Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep - a must-read for those into Dream Yoga.

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Has anybody read “The Art of Dreaming” by Castenada? I know he was once an authority but now has a somewhat dubious reputation. I picked it up at the library and have skimmed a little, not sure if it’s worth finishing.

On the plus side, it seems to represent kind of a complete system for lucid dreaming and perceiving the energy body. It’s also a different perspective than I’ve seen so far. On the other hand, it’s pretty vague, it’s hard to tell which parts are valid advice and which are just fiction, and it’s hard to see how to integrate it with my existing practice. And there are so many other books to read…

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Hey @womp. I read The Art of Dreaming a very long time ago. I found it very entertaining but rather implausible. Some of the material I found quite unnerving, even frightening. While I didn’t believe it was literally true, I thought that it could cause me (or others) to have very frightening dream material based on suggestion – for example, potentially being attacked and possibly enslaved by hostile energy entities. There was also a point where Castaneda reframed a common experience that happens during sleep paralysis (WHOOSHING sounds) as being sensory evidence of a certain kind of entity flying around your head. This seemed very clever to me, in that if someone had had that experience (or subsequently did so) they might interpret it as, “My God! Castaneda is right!” and consequently find everything else he was saying much more believable. (It’s always possible that Castaneda straight-up believed what he was saying, but this is how it landed in me.)

Again, though, Castaneda was a hell of a storyteller, so if you want to read dream-themed entertainment that may or may not contain genuine nuggets of wisdom, it could be a good book to read. I’d recommend having a decent supply of salt grains on hand before getting started though. :wink:

~ArthurG

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@ArthurG much appreciated

excited to make friends, looks like we may be the only two on here

reading anything these days?

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@womp there are definitely others on here, but so far the participation rate in the forum is relatively low. Hopefully that will improve over time. People have a lot of distractions these days. Back in the day the Lucidity Institute forum was very lively once it got established, but that was also before social media as we presently know it. In any case for all we know a lot of people in Night Club are reading things, they are just not talking about it… :thinking:

Currently I’m still slowly reading Why We Sleep, also reading Clare Johnson’s Mindful Dreaming: Harness the Power of Lucid Dreaming for Happiness, Health, and Positive Change, which I’m very much enjoying (and looking forward to her upcoming interview here).

~ArthurG

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@ArthurG cool! Just checked out Mindful Dreaming, will give it a look and let you know…

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In Love With The World: A Monk’s Journey Through the Bardos of Living and Dying

I usually get audiobooks but I decided to read this one because I wanted to take my time and really think about the concepts he explores in his travels. He leaves his high and well-protected position at a Tibetan monastery and experiences the world as a penniless traveller riding the trains in India and meeting people as an ordinary person. I love the way he explains various concepts from Tibetan Buddhism as he experiences the world first-hand as an anonymous traveller. I’m about half way through it and savor the slow pace. Anyone else read(ing) it?

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I am following this conversation and appreciate all of the recommendations. I’ve just finished up school for the year and I am looking forward to having the summer to read more.

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I read ‘In love with the World’ a couple of weeks ago. We did a book group discussion on it in my sangha. I thought it was amazing. His ability to describe in such a clear way his inner experience was amazing. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Hey @womp, did you read Mindful Dreaming? If so, how did you like it? I’m looking forward to the author’s interview on Night Club! :smile:

~ArthurG

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Currently reading Jennifer Dumpert’s Liminal Dreaming: Exploring Consciousness at the Edge of Sleep and quite enjoying it! For various reasons this seems like a good area for me to focus on at this time. I love how accessible it is. I’m looking forward to seeing Dumpert [pronounced DOOM PEAR] in San Francisco on July 10th. I hope she’s interviewed on Night Club at some point.

At the edges of consciousness, between waking and sleeping, there’s a swirling, free associative state of mind that is the domain of liminal dreams. As we sink into slumber, we pass through hypnagogia, the first of the two liminal dream states. In this transitional zone, memories, perceptions, and imaginings arise in a fast moving, hallucinatory, semi-conscious remix. On the other end of the night, as we wake, we experience hypnopompia, the hazy, pleasant, drift that is the other liminal dream state. Readers of Liminal Dreaming will learn step-by-step how to create a dream practice, integrating the deeply unusual half-waking dream states of hypnagogia and hypnopompia into their lives in personally meaningful ways. Working with liminal dreams can improve sleep, mitigate anxiety and depression, help to heal trauma, and aid creativity and problem-solving. Liminal dreaming practice is also far easier to learn than lucid dreaming practice, making it possible for the reader to begin working with these dreams this very night. [LINK]

~ArthurG

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I haven’t, been putting my reading / input on hold to free up mental space to do stuff.

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The Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa: A New Translation, by Tsangnyon Heruka (translated by Christopher Stagg). I’ve read other books about Milarepa but this is the easiest to follow and the most satisfying for me as a non-scholar but interested lay-person. The concepts that run through his songs are frequently woven into Andrew’s discussions and I find that I am getting a very personal view of this great Yogi and am savoring the experience. It’s my go-to-sleep/can’t sleep reading material.

A few years back there was an excellent Milarepa Bio (part 1) which ended just at the good part when he started on the journey to seek his teacher. It’s well worth watching too.

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I really like the sound of this book. Just out of curiosity, does she suggest we go through this stage as we first fall asleep or in later night time sleep sessions? I experience it if I wake up and go back to sleep but I’ve never experienced it at the beginning of the night when i first go to sleep. Hope that makes sense.

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I would LOOOOOVE a book club. I’m reading so much at the moment but only problem is my friends aren’t quite in the same headspace so think I just bewilder them when I talk about all this stuff.

I’ll put more book recommendations up later but for now I’ve just finished James Kingsland’s two books,

Am I Dreaming? and Siddhartha’s Brain: The Science of Meditation, Mindfulness and Enlightenment

I was first introduced to him through one of Andrews wonderful interviews and I really enjoyed both these books.

I also have The Mind Illuminated: A Complete Meditation Guide Integrating Buddhist Wisdom and Brain Science for Greater Mindfulness by John Yates Phd and Matthew Immergut. It’s detailed but an easy to read guide to starting a daily meditation practice.

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Good morning, Mutashi. :slight_smile:
I’d be interested to chat about books, too. I’m currently re-reading Clare Johnson’s Complete Guide to Lucid Dreaming and am also enjoying Where People Fly and Water Runs Uphill (which has a chapter on lucid dreaming), if you’d be interested to talk about either of those.

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Yes as @womp say, Castañeda is vage if we are looking for detailed guides.
At the same time, he introduces readers to such a rich world, images and sensations, that it becomes Art material for dreams…

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