The Tibetan Yogas Of Dreams and Sleep (Outline)
Note: this is my personal perception of Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche's book, The Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep. If you want more information or disagree, remember, I'm merely an ignorant savage with an oppinion. "*" indicates my personal observations and/or oppinion.
The Tibetan Yogas of Dreams and Sleep by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche is a reflection of some of the beliefs, traditions and techniques of Tibet Buddists. *Although the tibetan yogas speaks about lucid dreaming it is actually much more and way beyond that.
*The book is profound if one is interested in lucid dreaming or spiritual enlightenment. It is refered to by Stephen Laberg, Ph.D, author of world renound book Lucid Dream more than once. Laberg's mention and praise of Tenzin and Tibetan Buddhism led me to read this book.
The basic premise is this: if you can maintain awareness in dreams consistently chances are you can maintain your awareness upon death (upon death most people enter into [what the Tibetan Buddhist call] the bardo, afterlife, as in a dream like state in which the life they just lived is forgotten). This awareness can be developed through practice.
One of the most profound things that Tenzin says in the intro is to "look to your experience in dreams to know how you will fare in death. Look to your experience of sleep to discover whether or not you are truly awake." pg. 17
PART ONE: The Nature of Dreams
1. DREAMS AND REALITY
Tenzin explains that whether we know it or not we all dream. Dream are an important tool. The first step is to realize the great potential dreams have for spiritual development. Tenzin says: "There is nothing more real than dreams." Dreams and Reality are on the same level. This can only be understood if you realize that reality is as unreal as dreams.
*reminds me of The Matrix.
Morpheus: What is real? If real is what you can feel, smell, taste and see, then 'real' is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain.
Morpheus is the Greek god of dreams. The Matrix trilogy has layers and layers of meaning if you look closely.
2. HOW EXPERIENCE ARISES
One of the most difficult tennets to deal with is what Tenzin says about the origin of all dream and waking experience. He says that all experience comes from Ignorance. But not Ingorance as westerners think of it which would be ignorance = stupidity... although that would still translate, Tenzin is talking about ma-rigpa or ignorance/not knowing.
There are two types of Ignorance:Innate Ignorance - ignorance of the true nature of the self and the world.
Cultural Ignorance - Conditioned ignorance (i.e. religious belief, national pride, the school system ect.)
*We are taught early in life verbally and nonverbally that we are a certain race, gender, religion and must think, act and behave a certain way. Our interaction with the world is filter through the ego. The ego has been developed by interaction with our social environment. In a secular view, we own our car, a house, clothes and other material things and those material things mistakenly become an extention of our ego. We don't think about the fact that everything we "own" is temporary. Everything we are physically is on rental so how can we physically own anything. From a purely secular view, there is nothing but things to own, or have (i.e. material, thoughts, opinions). On a higher level things are as disposable as the objects in a dream. Mistaking them as an extention of ourselves is ignorance of the true self. The true self realizes the impermanence of this world and owns nothing.
ACTIONS AND RESULTS: KARMA AND KARMIC TRACES
We walk around with seeds of conditioning ready to bloom.
*Every action has an equal but opposite reaction. When we behave from a state of ignorance we reap the good and bad of this world. All action in this world is like a seed planted and later havested (experienced).
There is good Karma and bad Karma each is the result of their respective actions. So all Karma is like a domino effect. All Karma (even good) is like gravity that keeps us bound to ignorance as long as we participate. There is a way to burn the seeds or Karma: Liberating Emotions - "remain in non-dual awareness, free of grasping and aversion."
3. THE ENERGY BODY
Waking and dream experience are based on prana energy.
Channels and Prana
Channels are conduits of energy in the body. They can be affected by postures. The relationship of channels and prana to different chakras are like that of veins and capularies (channels) transporting blood (prana). Chakras are main channels (arteries).
3 Root Channels: (6 chakras are located on these 3 root channels)
Women have red channel on the right side, White Channel on the left and Blue channel in the Center. Men have the Red channel on the left, White Channel on the right and blue in the Center. The three root channels join 4 inches below the navel.
Negative energy goes through the white channel, positive goes through the red.
3 Kinds of Prana:
Soft (wisdom) -moves through the red channel, Rough (negative emotion) -moves through the white channel and Neutral prana -moves through the center, blue channel.
Pranic ActivityAccording to Tibetan teacher Long-chen-pa, there are 21,600 movements of prana in a single day. Taken literaly or not the point it that there is a lot of Prana activity and thoughts per day.
BALANCING THE PRANA
Practice for men:
Men should use the left ring finger to close the left nostril and exhale strongly from the right nostril. Imagine that all stress and negative emotions flow out with the exhalation. Then close the right nostril with the right ring finger and inhale deeply, very softly and gently, through the left nostril. After inhaling let all the air, prana, pervade your entire body while you hold the breath for a short period. Then gently exhale and remain in a calm state.
Practice for Women:
Women reverse the process.