Apprentice I have always had a suspicion that I may be just dreaming all this – to the point of real fear in the past – but then Buddhism came along and it didn’t seem to matter so much anymore, because it was something I could work with even if it was a dream.

Ngala Nor’dzin There is a certain open quality about a dreamlike feeling – though we are sorry to hear that this was a fearful thing for you in the past. It is good that practice has changed your perspective. It would be best to regard it as a nyam – possibly interesting but not to be taken too seriously.

Ngala ’-DzinRegarding our daily experience as dreamlike is an aspect of the practice of illusory body (gy-lu / sGyu lus). We practice this as part of dream yoga (mi lam) when we first wake up. Another aspect of teaching that refers to dreaming is that from the perspective of realisation, our experience is a dream – this is virtual reality, or at least confused reality. When enlightenment sparkles through we get a clue about what it might mean to be awake. Buddha means ‘awakened’ or ‘complete open wakefulness’, which implies that if we are not ‘awakened’ then we are indeed dreaming.

Ngala Nor’dzinThe teachings also say that we should consider the problems of our own lives as dreams and not take them too seriously – but that we should regard the problems of other people’s lives as reality and actively try to help them.

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