Just wanted to share with you a personal insight…
Reflecting on one of @Andrew ´s webinars, it dawned on me that one of the main reasons why so many nights remained unlucid for me was… that most experiences during the dream and during the day seem to tire my mind.
And where to relax from that and not be bothered if not during dreamless sleep?!
Since a number of years I was already aware that in my conscious experience most objects of experience seemed to create a sort of subtle emotional friction.
When I came into contact with dharma teachings, I understood that it was my dualistic mind judging each sensory or thought experience in a split second and „tainting“ it with a more or less subtle emotional attribute, which could either be counted as like or dislike.
Personally, it seems to me that the sum of all these tainted engagements - which seemed to cause friction/tension in my mind and body - can add up on certain days, so that the ego is just not willing to engage consciously in even more tension,
during the night (i.e. dreams).
Even though lucid dreams for me contain way less friction than non-lucid ones, I believe that deeper levels of my mind/body still associate dreams generally with tension and therefor just don‘t want to be bothered too often.
Learning to change the perspective on (dream) experiences, whereby engaging them in a lucid way, can surely „convince“ the mind/body by proof of actual repeated experience that this is so.
So it becomes clearer to me that the practice of Vipashana - a practice which radically changes the perspective from ego to non-duality - is key to convince my deeper mind levels and bring lucidity into the dream state. A practice - which I can imagine - can lead to a perspective which radically notes and accepts all experiences and probably peaks into frictionless, lucid experience of phenomena.
Just wanted to share this since I find that this forum is a such a supportive environment of people with who one can share and exchange.
Thanks, Nightclub for offering so many resources and supportive materials!
[quote=“KhyungMar, post:1, topic:1696”]
So it becomes clearer to me that the practice of Vipashana - a practice which radically changes the perspective from ego to non-duality - is key to convince my deeper mind levels and bring lucidity into the dream state.[/quote]
After a year or so of intense daily (and nightly) practice I was feeling something similar. I had experienced enough success at being present and lucid in the dream that my inner self was now not handling the more samsaric parts of my existence very well…the emotional friction that you so well described.
I found myself looking to the dream for refuge and that was creating a bit of tension within me.
It was at that juncture in my training that I immersed myself more in a Dzogchen perspective and began the use vipashyana as a way to bring my days into harmony with my nights.
Working toward the goal of creating that unbroken continuity of consciousness between the waking state and the dream state has created a nice day/night balance for me now. My daytime lucidity has become just as important as my dream lucidity.
These days I honestly feel as though I am…living the dream.
I am also thankful for what I have learned here. I would not have come into this harmony this quickly without this most excellent resource.
I have a few ways that I practice Vipashyana. The one you described tends to be the main practice for me. I let thoughts come as they will and I identify them as such while at the same time asserting that I do not need that thought as I come back to my breath.
I think of thoughts like birds alighting in a bare winter tree…they come…they linger…they go.
Recently I have practicing more, though, by concentrating on body sensations in that same way. As an itch or a cramp develops I identify it and invite it in, concentrating on it until it dissipates. This can lead to some interesting bodily sensations as the entire body kind of wakes up to the attention. This is good for developing mind/body inseparability.
Another interesting Vipashyana is a walking meditation. I did that just this morning. After sitting for 20 minutes or so just before sunrise, I went for my morning walk on the woods trail and continued concentrating on my breath. As I did I also concentrated on each time I lifted my foot.
I have not had the opportunity to take any formal training. Fortunately there is a wealth of knowledge out there to be taken in. I know that I end up developing a somewhat personalized style without formal training so I need to be cautious of that a bit.
I do like the S. N. Goeinka component of concentrating on the feel of the breath on the upper lip. I do that but I really like concentrating more on the abdominal movement as all of my years of training in T’ai Chi and Aikido have really focused me on breathing from the center.
Called Anapana, this constitutes the first five and a half days of the standard ten day retreat. Many people tire of doing it while waiting for the “good stuff,” but Goinkaji said the concentration on the breath is a needed preparation (Shamatha) to focus the mind for the practice of Vipassana throughout one’s body.
It is intense. I’ve done a few over the years. Nine and a half days of “Noble silence,” fourteen hours of meditation and a strong sense of accomplishment and growth at the end. On the last day of a course in Kathmandu I spoke a member of large group of Indians who had bussed/walked up from India (100+ miles) to attend the retreat. I asked why they had come to Nepal rather than go to the much closer center at Igatpuri (India). He smiled and said very slowly, “the vibrations.”
That was my first Vipassana retreat with Goeinka-ji. Took place at Swyambuth in Kathmandu, March '81. I’ve done others in Nepal and here in the USA. I’ve since learned that there are different definitions of Vipassana in different traditions. For example, in Mahamudra, what we learned from Goeinka-ji is considered a deeper form of Shamatha. Different perspectives!