The ancient philosophy of Tibetan Buddhism and Tibetan Dream Yoga:
Gain more insight into lucid dreaming and get a taste of some dream yoga techniques.
Tibetan Dream Yoga is the first kind of lucid dreaming documented for at least 1,000 years.
Also known as the yoga of the dream state, or Milam, it’s a suite of complex tantric techniques.
Exactly like our Westernized comprehension of lucid dreams, the initial intention will be to awaken the awareness in the dream state.
As for what happens next, though, Tibetan lamas have more esoteric goals in mind…
The Foundation of Dream Yoga
In the tradition of tantra, it is usually passed on by a professional teacher, once the pupil has passed an initiation.
It is considered a passing on of enlightened experience instead of reading texts, and requires the student to acquire sufficient self-awareness to reach conscious lucidity during slumber.
Students are then required to complete set tasks to take them to the following degree. These tasks comprise:
- Receive initiations, empowerments, and transmissions
- See distinct areas, planes and lokas (worlds)
- Convey with yidam (an enlightened being)
- Meet with other sentient beings
- Fly and shapeshift into other creatures
- The ultimate aim in Tibetan dream yoga would be to apprehend the dream – and then break up the dream state.
When deprived of conceptual and physical stimulation from the dreaming head, you can find the purest form of conscious knowledge.
Dream Yoga Techniques
The philosophy of Tibetan Buddhism is not simple, but you don’t need to be an expert to practice dream yoga techniques. Nonetheless, you do need to show devotion; a technique is only of the same quality as you’re prepared to work at it.
One quite comprehensive but fundamental rule is this: continually compare your dreams to waking reality and understand what it feels like to be conscious. This increases your self-awareness, and you’ll find it easier to induce lucidity in dreams.
Here’s a good example of a dream yoga technique. You will find it comfortable because dream recall is the key to lucid dreaming which ever way you look at it, if you practice lucid dreaming.
Every time you get up, reflect on all the dreams it is possible to remember. In Tibetan Buddhism, it is considered that the ego travels around during slumber – revisiting areas we’ve been to in actual life, and repeating all our encounters.
So it’s vital that you meditate on your most recent dreams and recollections. If possible, remain still while you do this, because the “dream body” is affected by physical movement and the memories are lost.
Repeat the mantra as you meditate on your dreams: RAOM GAOM, accentuating the O and dividing each word into two syllables. This will help focus your consciousness on memories from the unconscious.
The Tibetan Yogas and Dream and Sleep – Further Reading
One recommended book is The Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche for more information about dream yoga. Unlike many other publications on the topic, Tenzin is concise and clear and offers lots of practical examples.
This book is aimed at beginners beginning with their connection with reality and the nature of dreams. He also emphasizes how you reap the benefits of the profound, lucid dreaming practice and can incorporate dream yoga into your lifestyle.