dream yoga and supplements, pills, some questions

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dream yoga and supplements, pills, some questions

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:27 pm

So I got a dream yoga/phowa practice teaching and i'm all fired up. I've tried in the past with teachings from books, but didn't quite sustain anything.

Questions for those that do similar practices:

Is there some trick (that you can publicly disclose) to lucid states other than simply generating the desire to have them?

Is it pretty much necessary to keep a journal?

Have you found that pills or supplements for sleeping interfere? I have taken melatonin for years due to years of a graveyard job permanently knocking my rhythms out of whack.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: dream yoga and supplements, pills, some questions

Postby futerko » Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:34 pm

If you are sleeping during daylight then letting a little sunlight come into the room can be helpful.
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: dream yoga and supplements, pills, some questions

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:37 pm

futerko wrote:If you are sleeping during daylight then letting a little sunlight come into the room can be helpful.



naw I don't work graves anymore, but I still use the pills...
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: dream yoga and supplements, pills, some questions

Postby disjointed » Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:52 pm

Your instructions should have very specific answers to these questions.

For the lucidity, I read, there are 2 points of light to visualized inside the body.
External light source like candles may help.
I have heard, though it is not in the text I know of, that you can write "this is a dream" all over the place and that helps.

But I really don't know about this subject so I feel silly responding.
If there is a radical inconsistency between your statements and the position you claim to hold,
you are a sock puppet.
Make as many accounts as you want; people can identify your deception with this test.
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Re: dream yoga and supplements, pills, some questions

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Tue Oct 15, 2013 12:30 am

disjointed wrote:Your instructions should have very specific answers to these questions.

For the lucidity, I read, there are 2 points of light to visualized inside the body.
External light source like candles may help.
I have heard, though it is not in the text I know of, that you can write "this is a dream" all over the place and that helps.

But I really don't know about this subject so I feel silly responding.


Yes, the "this is a dream" was talked about, as well as other stuff. I'm asking other people who practice what their experiences are, especially with having to take supplements etc., not really asking about instruction per se as those were covered solidly.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: dream yoga and supplements, pills, some questions

Postby disjointed » Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:04 am

Yep. Rereading I see that now.
If there is a radical inconsistency between your statements and the position you claim to hold,
you are a sock puppet.
Make as many accounts as you want; people can identify your deception with this test.
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Re: dream yoga and supplements, pills, some questions

Postby ClearblueSky » Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:03 am

I've had insomnia for years so I've pretty much taken every sleep supplement in the book. As far as how they effect dreaming, though some heavier ones might make you dream less, a lot actually make you dream more, and especially melatonin which you mentioned. If I take it after not using it for a while, I tend to have crazy dreams. One thing to look out for though, it's advised that it's best to take breaks in melatonin use. Doesn't have to be big, but it's good to take a week or so off every couple months. Maybe it'll even kick-start your practice when you start up again. Also a far as remembering dreams, I find that writing them down as soon as you wake up kind of puts you in a pattern that helps you be more aware of them in general.
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Re: dream yoga and supplements, pills, some questions

Postby asunthatneversets » Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:14 pm

Some people are of course more naturally predisposed to lucid dreaming etc., but for the most part I think the lucidity in sleep eventually flowers as a direct result of one's stability in the natural state. If you read some of the gradualist texts in Vajrayāna for example - which discuss the stages of realization - at a certain point the waking and dream states begin to intermingle on their own.

A friend of mine who is a good practitioner also said that after a certain point his ability to be lucid in dream and deeper sleep simply occurred naturally. That isn't to say we shouldn't attempt dream yoga as beginners, I think there's great value in it. And there are cetainly good habits which promote lucidity along with herbal supplements and activities that coordinate energy. But I think some of these issues with dream practice begin to naturally resolve themselves with time well spent in practice.

Part of the issue is that the all-basis [skt. ālaya, tib. kun gzhi], expresses itself as the deep unknowing states which occur in sleep, fainting etc. The all-basis is what falls away when we recognize our nature. It's sustained by karmic propensities and dualistic habitual tendencies, so some traces still remain latent even after recognition, but there is an increase in lucidity as those propensities fall away due to resting in vidyā.
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Re: dream yoga and supplements, pills, some questions

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Wed Oct 16, 2013 12:10 am

Thanks, I don't mind not being good at these things, I understood from the in person teaching I received, it's just something you do for a while before getting "results" I suppose. I think also I maybe need to spend a bit of time before bed relaxing and see if it helps the pre-sleep visualization.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: dream yoga and supplements, pills, some questions

Postby asunthatneversets » Wed Oct 16, 2013 1:04 am

In the Dröltig Gongpa Rangdröl it states that even up until the path of no more learning (which is equivalent to aspect of non-meditation in Mahāmudrā and accords with the fourth vision of thögal) there is remnants of delusion in sleep:

"With the exhaustion of striving for mindfulness, meditation and post-meditation are completely mixed. Though subtle stains of delusion remain during sleep; this is called the lesser yoga of no more learning [lesser non-meditation]."

Then the next degree:

"Throughout the day and night, you become entirely at one with the luminosity; the subtle luminosity of sleep arises as experiences; this is called the medium yoga of no more learning [medium non-meditation]."

And the last:

"The subtle stains of the object of cognition, dualistic appearances, are exhausted, and the luminosities of ground and path are mixed into one; this is called the great yoga of no more learning [greater non-meditation]."

Great yoga of no more learning and great non-meditation are also called 'crossing over, without any difference in day or night, to the state of the inseparable three kāyas'. In Dzogpa Chenpo sem sde this stage is referred to as 'the experience of spontaneous presence transcending the boundaries of ordinary contemplation'. These three sections span stages [skt. bhūmi, tib. byang chub sems dpa'i sa] 8 to 16.
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Re: dream yoga and supplements, pills, some questions

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:16 am

Thanks, that was very interesting. I know next to nothing about Dzogchen really, I need to read up.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: dream yoga and supplements, pills, some questions

Postby asunthatneversets » Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:32 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:Thanks, that was very interesting. I know next to nothing about Dzogchen really, I need to read up.

It's good stuff. The info above spans Mahāyāna, Vajrayāna and Dzogchen.
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Re: dream yoga and supplements, pills, some questions

Postby futerko » Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:33 am

asunthatneversets wrote:The all-basis is what falls away when we recognize our nature.


Could you elaborate on this, or provide a reference please?
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Re: dream yoga and supplements, pills, some questions

Postby asunthatneversets » Wed Oct 16, 2013 3:41 am

futerko wrote:
asunthatneversets wrote:The all-basis is what falls away when we recognize our nature.


Could you elaborate on this, or provide a reference please?

The nature of mind is 'non-dual emptiness and clarity', so either (i) clarity (cognizance) must be recognized as empty, or (ii) emptiness must be recognized as non-dual with clarity. 

The all-basis [skt. ālaya, tib. kun gzhi] essentially represents non-recognition of our nature, and so is naturally implied if we aren't in recognition of our nature. Differentiating mind and vidyā, or the all-basis and vidyā, mind and the nature of mind, ālaya and dharmakāya, etc., is a common theme in Dzogchen. 

Clarity (cognizance) alone implies a subtle reference point and a subtle grasping, but when clarity is sealed with emptiness that reference point is freed up and the grasping is cut. cl
Clarity alone (divorced of the recognition of its emptiness) is merely the neutral indeterminate cognizance of the ālaya. All sentient beings function from the standpoint of the ālaya.

There's (i) non-fixation which is resting in the clarity of mind (as a reference point), and then there's (ii) non-fixation resting in the nature of mind (free of a reference point). Confusing the former for the latter causes a lot of issues. 

Dudjom Rinpoche points out the difference between the ālaya and vidyā [rig pa]:

"When the mind starts to rest, a slight diminishment of movement and thoughts constitutes a false semblance of stillness. When deep certainty arises that stillness is unborn and movement unceasing, and that stillness and movement are an equal taste, you have begun to meditate correctly."

The ālaya is the deluded reference point of mind which abides as the 'stillness' behind the movement of thought. This is also the clarity of mind. The deep certainty he's alluding to is the recognition of the mind's nature, where that clarity (i.e. stillness) is recognized as empty (or unborn as he puts it). Instead of the background stillness or clarity, it's recognized that the stillness was only ever precisely the movement of thought and phenomena, and that 'cognizance' is precisely the 'forms' of experience, at that point 'stillness and movement are an equal taste' as Dudjom Rinpoche put it, and that is knowledge of the mind's nature, which is vidyā [rig pa]. 'Meditating correctly' in this context means authentic vipaśyanā i.e. resting in the natural state.

The Reverberation of Sound Tantra explains the etymology of 'all-basis':
"The etymology of 'kun' [all] lies in it's subsuming everything.
The etymology of 'gzhi' [basis] lies in it's accumulation and hoarding (of karmic traces and propensities)."


The same text continues:
"Here I will explain the all-basis to start off:
It is the ground of all phenomena and non-phenomena."


The Tantra of the Self-Arisen Vidyā states:
"The all-basis [skt. ālaya, tib. kun gzhi] is adulterated by diverse cognitive processes
By force of it's sustaining neurotic conceptuality;
The all-basis is the real ignorance [skt. avidyā, tib. ma rig pa]."


Jigme Lingpa in 'Distinguishing The Three Essential Points of Dzogchen' states:
"The ālaya is the basis of all samsara and nirvana;
It is not unlike muddy water.
[In it], because of confusion led by latent ignorance,
The brightness of wisdom and gnosis has become hidden."


Elsewhere he states:

"Those who, not understanding this, mistake the ālaya for the dharmakāya, are like blind men wandering in the desert without a guide. Because of their confusion about the vital points of the basis and result, they have come to a standstill on the path that accomplishes buddhahood in one lifetime."
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Re: dream yoga and supplements, pills, some questions

Postby asunthatneversets » Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:04 am

The ālaya's aspects are defined as fourfold...

'The four in detal are:

[i] The primordial ālaya: the attendance of nescience upon wisdom - that aspect [of nescience] that from the beginning arises simultaneously with gnosis, like tarnish on gold; it serves as the initial basis for all samsaric phenomena.

[ii] The linking-up ālaya: the basis of karmic activity, the neutral basic support that links up and impels through one's individual karma to samsara and nirvana. 

[iii] The ālaya of various imprints: the neutral [basis] of diverse latent karma that generates the samsaric cycle of mind and mental factors. 

[iv] The ālaya of the body of imprints: nescience as a basis, a ground for the manifestation of three different bodies [a] a gross body that manifests as parts, whose limbs and organs are [composed of] minute particles, [b] radiant body of light, and [c] a body that manifests out of contemplation.'
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Re: dream yoga and supplements, pills, some questions

Postby futerko » Wed Oct 16, 2013 11:01 am

asunthatneversets wrote:The all-basis [skt. ālaya, tib. kun gzhi] essentially represents non-recognition of our nature, and so is naturally implied if we aren't in recognition of our nature. Differentiating mind and vidyā, or the all-basis and vidyā, mind and the nature of mind, ālaya and dharmakāya, etc., is a common theme in Dzogchen.


Sorry, I should've been more specific. On the "Emptiness and the two truths" thread you wrote,
"The view of Buddha nature I personally champion is the gzhi of Ati Dzogpa Chenpo; the inseparable three kāyas and their respective wisdoms. Primordial wisdom free from extremes."

So it seems you've used the term "gzhi" in two different senses here. I take it that it is the ālaya that falls away and not the kāyas. I'm far more familiar with the second usage.
Thanks for the references, that gives me plenty to go on.
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Re: dream yoga and supplements, pills, some questions

Postby Clarence » Wed Oct 16, 2013 12:05 pm

Allan Wallace has a great book on dreaming which focuses a lot on how to become lucid in dreaming. A journal is pretty much a must.
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Re: dream yoga and supplements, pills, some questions

Postby asunthatneversets » Wed Oct 16, 2013 3:06 pm

futerko wrote:
asunthatneversets wrote:The all-basis [skt. ālaya, tib. kun gzhi] essentially represents non-recognition of our nature, and so is naturally implied if we aren't in recognition of our nature. Differentiating mind and vidyā, or the all-basis and vidyā, mind and the nature of mind, ālaya and dharmakāya, etc., is a common theme in Dzogchen.


Sorry, I should've been more specific. On the "Emptiness and the two truths" thread you wrote,
"The view of Buddha nature I personally champion is the gzhi of Ati Dzogpa Chenpo; the inseparable three kāyas and their respective wisdoms. Primordial wisdom free from extremes."

So it seems you've used the term "gzhi" in two different senses here. I take it that it is the ālaya that falls away and not the kāyas. I'm far more familiar with the second usage.
Thanks for the references, that gives me plenty to go on.

Yeah there's the basis [gzhi] which is the three kāyas, and then the all-basis [kun gzhi] which is the result of not recognizing the gzhi.
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Re: dream yoga and supplements, pills, some questions

Postby futerko » Wed Oct 16, 2013 3:10 pm

asunthatneversets wrote:
futerko wrote:
asunthatneversets wrote:The all-basis [skt. ālaya, tib. kun gzhi] essentially represents non-recognition of our nature, and so is naturally implied if we aren't in recognition of our nature. Differentiating mind and vidyā, or the all-basis and vidyā, mind and the nature of mind, ālaya and dharmakāya, etc., is a common theme in Dzogchen.


Sorry, I should've been more specific. On the "Emptiness and the two truths" thread you wrote,
"The view of Buddha nature I personally champion is the gzhi of Ati Dzogpa Chenpo; the inseparable three kāyas and their respective wisdoms. Primordial wisdom free from extremes."

So it seems you've used the term "gzhi" in two different senses here. I take it that it is the ālaya that falls away and not the kāyas. I'm far more familiar with the second usage.
Thanks for the references, that gives me plenty to go on.

Yeah there's the basis [gzhi] which is the three kāyas, and then the all-basis [kun gzhi] which is the result of not recognizing the gzhi.


Ahh, I see, thanks. :smile:
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Re: dream yoga and supplements, pills, some questions

Postby asunthatneversets » Thu Oct 17, 2013 6:34 pm

futerko wrote:
asunthatneversets wrote:
futerko wrote:Sorry, I should've been more specific. On the "Emptiness and the two truths" thread you wrote,
"The view of Buddha nature I personally champion is the gzhi of Ati Dzogpa Chenpo; the inseparable three kāyas and their respective wisdoms. Primordial wisdom free from extremes."

So it seems you've used the term "gzhi" in two different senses here. I take it that it is the ālaya that falls away and not the kāyas. I'm far more familiar with the second usage.
Thanks for the references, that gives me plenty to go on.

Yeah there's the basis [gzhi] which is the three kāyas, and then the all-basis [kun gzhi] which is the result of not recognizing the gzhi.


Ahh, I see, thanks. :smile:

Also, sometimes Bönpo Dzogchen doesn't differentiate between the basis [gzhi] and all-basis [kun gzhi], they'll just refer to the basis as 'kun zhi', I've also attended a teaching by Keith Dowman, for example, and he didn't differentiate the bases either. So that's something to watch out for because it can make things potentially confusing. Bönpo masters like Lopon Tenzin Namdak will differentiate the basis and all-basis, and Nyingma Dzogchen does as well.
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