Dreamlike Quality

Recently I found myself lost in the desire to be chosen. It was something that could be considered a once in a lifetime experience. I knew that there was little I could do to influence a decision that would be made outside myself. The decision would be made by others as to whether they wanted me as a participant. The only control that I had was if I allowed it to agitate me, and whether I became consumed by my desire. I found a way to calm myself, to see that in reality what I thought I wanted was just an illusion. That in real life whether I was chosen or not chosen, one was not better or worse than the other. I recalled my research into Dream Yoga, the Tibetan Buddhist practice.

According to this practice our dreams have just as much importance for our spiritual growth and enlightenment as our woken moments. And while I was definitely interested in being chosen to experience something that seemed desirable, I remembered to tell myself “this is a dream, I am dreaming, the world is illusory.” The illusion is that we think that when something in particular happens, it is some kind of milestone, where we have achieved something. Of course this never happens because once we have the achievement, it soon fades and becomes unimportant. The consequence of our achievement is that there are disappointing aspects that come with every experience, including winning a prize, or being successful. In our minds we create this false idea of how amazing things will be once we pass this goal, then as we pass the finish line we notice that it’s not all we thought it would be.

In the end I was chosen to participate. Now as I participate I try to recall that desire. Because day to day I am now part of that group, the chosen group. There are undesirable elements in belonging to this group. I work on remembering the sweet details, to maintain a feeling of gratitude. This group I am a part of is a great experience, it would have been fine if I had not been chosen but it is actually quite nice that I was chosen. In conclusion, reflecting on this has been useful because I realize that I have not been practicing, I need to continue to repeat to myself while participating in this group, as a way to wind down the excitement and agitation that I have been experiencing as result of my membership in this group : “this is a dream, I am dreaming, the world is illusory.”

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Dream Yoga

Dream yoga comes out of Tibetan Buddhism, in which it is thought that we are most asleep in our ordinary life, and most awake during the night, or when sleeping. When we don’t exercise it, the mind can keep us asleep and in a state of suffering; keeping us oblivious to the connection, and peace that is found in awakening to the present moment. Yoga means to unite or yoke, and that is where we stop masking over things with labels, labels like good, bad, like and dislike. With dream yoga you can learn how to wake up in your ordinary life to how illusory the world we live in really is.

Stretching your mind is how it becomes more flexible. It can help you to transform emotions and thoughts that stifle you, freeing you to experience your true potential. With dream yoga you will be learning how to become lucid while you dream. This lucidity is experienced when you are having a dream and you become aware that you are dreaming, then you start to control the dream. One dream yoga exercise is to transform an object in your dream. It could be anything like a tree or a flower, now you transform it, it could change colour or size. This is how the mind strengthens and stretches, finding out that it is capable of transforming what you perceive as real. Without the lucidity in your dream you did not see that the tree was an illusion, when you transformed it you now became aware of how powerful your mind is.

This can later be experienced in your waking life when you are confronted by an experience that arouses a negative feeling. Now you might remember that you have a powerful and flexible mind, and this can help you to transform the negative feeling into something less negative and possibly even something positive. Having lucidity in your waking life, allows you to see that your reactions to objects, events, and people are something that you can transform.