Dream Yoga: The Art and Science of Perception
Tibetan syllables used in dream yoga

Dream-yoga – The Art and Science of Perception

The Aro gTér practices of clear light, lucid dreaming, and illusory wakefulness are techniques for finding self-luminous awareness in every moment of the day and night – whatever our state of consciousness. Both awake and asleep, we lack authentic awareness. During the day, we are distracted by expectations, obligations, and avoidance. In dreams, we lose conceptual consciousness, and in our stupor we are at the mercy of bizarre imaginal events. In deep sleep, we seem to have no awareness at all.

The practice of dream yoga allows access to ‘lucid dreams’ in which we are aware we are dreaming – and are thus able to perform ‘miracles’. Choosing to experience anything we can imagine – dreaming becomes a luminous adventure. The practice of clear light allows us to retain awareness through the process of falling asleep and into the deep sleep without dreams. This practice liberates us from addiction to familiar form and enables us to experience pure awareness without sensory or conceptual content. The practice of illusory wakefulness connects powerfully with dream yoga through sitting meditation in waking consciousness, thus revealing the ‘one taste’ or essential sameness of experience in both waking and sleeping. Together, these practices free us from conceptual limitations of time and space, and allow us to experience the simultaneous continuity and discontinuity of experience.

“The Yogas of Niguma take us beyond the frontier of conventional human experience: to sleep, perchance to dream – perchance to wake in the dream. To wake into life – perchance to penetrate the illusory nature of what we took to be concrete reality. The mundane and the miraculous become a seamless experience in which eternity shines through every moment.”

Khandro Déchen

Recommended reading: Dream Yoga and the Practice of Natural Light; The Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep.

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