Auspicious Dream Thread

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Auspicious Dream Thread

Postby Nilasarasvati » Fri May 17, 2013 3:31 pm

As usual my subject line is misleading. I'm in no way inviting people to share their auspicious dreams.

Instead, I'm wondering--many Lamas (including Patrul Rinpoche) say if you have an auspicious dream, you should leave it behind like spit in the dust. Not with a sense of aversion, I suppose, but with the sense that it's worthless. Furthermore, somewhere I remember reading that encountering a great Lama in your dreams, especially as a beginner, could actually be a Mara/gyalpo attempting to derail your practice.

Simultaenously, many other sources list common dreams that are a watermark for the attainment of some level of accomplishment with a practice. I.E. H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche lists "dreams in which you vomit or purge, are washing, are dressed in white, cross a wide river, fly through the sky, see the sun and moon rising, and so forth, are signs that you have purified negative actions." at the end of the Vajrasattva section of A Torch Lighting the Way to Freedom.

I'm not too worried about a specific dream or something, it's just a matter of curiosity because I think sometimes these things can be very inspiring and impel us to practice (in which case I think they must be a boon) othertimes they clearly bring some pride, infatuation with ones own identity as a yogi, or false feelings of security (in which case they are clearly "demonic")

(((I.E. Geshe Tonpa to Potowa on page 260 of Kunzang Lamai Shelung:
"If it counteracts negative emotions it is Dharma. If it doesn't, it is non-Dharma. If it doesn't fit in with worldly ways, it is Dharma. If it fits, it's non-Dharma. If it fits with the scriptures and your lama's instructions (Mengak) it is Dharma. If it doesn't fit, it's non-Dharma. If it leaves a positive imprint, it is Dharma. If it leaves a negative imprint, it is non-Dharma." ))

What have other teachers said?
Anybody agree/disagree?
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Re: Auspicious Dream Thread

Postby T. Chokyi » Fri May 17, 2013 4:57 pm

Nilasarasvati wrote:As usual my subject line is misleading. I'm in no way inviting people to share their auspicious dreams.

Instead, I'm wondering--many Lamas (including Patrul Rinpoche) say if you have an auspicious dream, you should leave it behind like spit in the dust. Not with a sense of aversion, I suppose, but with the sense that it's worthless. Furthermore, somewhere I remember reading that encountering a great Lama in your dreams, especially as a beginner, could actually be a Mara/gyalpo attempting to derail your practice.

Simultaenously, many other sources list common dreams that are a watermark for the attainment of some level of accomplishment with a practice. I.E. H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche lists "dreams in which you vomit or purge, are washing, are dressed in white, cross a wide river, fly through the sky, see the sun and moon rising, and so forth, are signs that you have purified negative actions." at the end of the Vajrasattva section of A Torch Lighting the Way to Freedom.

I'm not too worried about a specific dream or something, it's just a matter of curiosity because I think sometimes these things can be very inspiring and impel us to practice (in which case I think they must be a boon) othertimes they clearly bring some pride, infatuation with ones own identity as a yogi, or false feelings of security (in which case they are clearly "demonic")

(((I.E. Geshe Tonpa to Potowa on page 260 of Kunzang Lamai Shelung:
"If it counteracts negative emotions it is Dharma. If it doesn't, it is non-Dharma. If it doesn't fit in with worldly ways, it is Dharma. If it fits, it's non-Dharma. If it fits with the scriptures and your lama's instructions (Mengak) it is Dharma. If it doesn't fit, it's non-Dharma. If it leaves a positive imprint, it is Dharma. If it leaves a negative imprint, it is non-Dharma." ))

What have other teachers said?
Anybody agree/disagree?


I find that people discusss things they hear about with this "curiosity" you are talking about, nothing wrong with that, thats what forums are for "discussion", but the practice of "Dream Yoga" is for more than discussion on an intellectual level, it is actually an important practice within Vajrayana generally, Nyingmapa & Kagyu etc, and within the DC (Dzogchen Community), the best way to actually know this practice, and also keep ones ego in check (as you've mentioned that concern), is to learn it under your qualified teachers guidance, have the blessings of your Guru to practice, then practice and learn what it is for yourself.

Not every teacher teaches this practice exactly the same way, and some don't offer this practice right away, it could be many years until it's offered, so it depends on doing what your teacher shows you how to do, also discussing this with him/her. You could learn in an intellectual way what some of the teachers have said about "night practice" from books, there are some very excellent books on the practice of night or "dream yoga" which can be bought online, however having even a good idea about it is one thing, but actually learning from a qualified teacher and implementing those teachings and practices every night for the rest of your life are two different things.

If you have a good relationship with your teacher you can discuss your practice of night, in other words, you can see how you are progressing and take instructions from your teacher, those instructions aren't always in books, this element of discussion with the one who taught you is also important otherwise perhaps one could misinterpret. This capacity to get with a qualified teacher and stick with a teacher to the point one can learn "dream yoga" for instance and implement it with results maybe something a practitioner needs to cultivate the wish for first, then making an effort to get with such a teacher and really learn the practice and practice for many years in an unmistaken way, keeping a relationship with that teacher, then its more than just conjecture about Dream Yoga, because your teacher is also checking, the practice can become a part of your life, integrated with your life.
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Re: Auspicious Dream Thread

Postby Nilasarasvati » Fri May 17, 2013 7:08 pm

I wasn't really wondering about dream yoga, night practices, lucid dreaming and all that---I actually have no curiosity about such advanced and complex practices.

Just wondering about spontaneous events and signs that pop up in one's dreams and what other teachers think of that.
For example, my Lama mentioned he had a nightmare with a ghost; he blurted his mantra and the apparition went away. He said those sorts of experiences could help have faith in the triple jewel and a sense of conviction that the practice was mixing with one's mind.

That's not necessarily dream yoga correct?
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Re: Auspicious Dream Thread

Postby yegyal » Sat May 18, 2013 1:07 am

I recently worked on translating a series of texts that had long lists of these types of "signs of progress" many of which appear in dreams. The main thing, as you alluded to with the Paltrul quote, is to not be attached to them, in which case they are more likely pitfalls or deviations. The good signs are usually specific to different types of practices and are often mentioned at the ends of sadhanas and the like. However, most of what we could call good dreams are in fact obstacles and one is told to not pay them any mind. For example, dreaming of buddhas and bodhisattvas, that you are teaching the dharma to large crowds of disciples, being able to read and understand any text you wish, and so forth were all listed as the bdud kyi las, ie the work of mara/demonic in origin, in the text I was working on. Again, the quote you mentioned works here; if it causes attachment or pride then it's an obstacle.
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Re: Auspicious Dream Thread

Postby T. Chokyi » Sat May 18, 2013 2:04 am

Nilasarasvati wrote:I wasn't really wondering about dream yoga, night practices, lucid dreaming and all that---I actually have no curiosity about such advanced and complex practices.

Just wondering about spontaneous events and signs that pop up in one's dreams and what other teachers think of that.
For example, my Lama mentioned he had a nightmare with a ghost; he blurted his mantra and the apparition went away. He said those sorts of experiences could help have faith in the triple jewel and a sense of conviction that the practice was mixing with one's mind.

That's not necessarily dream yoga correct?



Ah ha! That is a very good question...

Like this:
Board index ‹ The Way Of The Bodhisattva ‹ Tibetan Buddhism ‹ Dzogchen

That "Dzogchen" part of where you placed your question maybe kind of important for answering the question. For example, does one rest in one's real nature during the night, that is important to many a Dzogchen practitioner.

I'm not one to say if a Vajrayana Lama's dreams are his karmic vision or if it is his dream of clarity, only the Lama knows for himself such an answer to the question, that is of course also our respect of a Lama's "dimension" and we all have our "dimension", in other words, how we are, I don't know how your Lama is, but it seems he is explaining his clarity in the dream, so I coudn't say anything about it, but I can guess a little. So firstly we "pay respect" to what a Lama is saying about his dream, although his dream could be from what is called his "karmic vision" (this includes what we refer to as high Lamas dreams too) they can have that kind of dream, where the dream maybe from some kind of scare in the past and then you have a dream in the present that is inspired by some small or large fear, although what you said does not sound too much like that.

When a Dzogchen Lama who practices dream yoga, such as Chogyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche who has given an example of his dream of "clarity" or his "dream of "karmic vision", which he really actually has given many times during teachings, and lets you know which it is by sharing with you that teaching about his dream, then you would usually know what he is pointing to concerning how you can apply that teaching to your own dreams, especially when he is teaching within the basic context of the entire dream.

I think maybe what your Lama was referring to is "more practice during the daytime" which could actually apply to what happens during the night, the bardos, they're all bardos anyway. So generally it is "example wisdom" what your teacher said imho and it involves yidam practice.

I suppose thats what I'd be looking at, the example, but usually there is a context of some kind, how the teacher is meaning to convey something about practice to us, in other words there is the teaching within the context of the dream itself. Dzogchen masters tend to point us to whether we are "present" when we fall asleep, or loose this "presence", also if our dream is from this clarity of being present while asleep and not loosing clarity, or whether we are having our "karmic vision" and loosing clarity, so generally we are aware..."am I present?" and that does not only mean "aware" it means you do not loose presence of your nature.

I do have this idea about what your teacher said, if a practitioner does not have this practice of the night, either through the Vajrayana Guru in whichever school they are in, or perhaps whether this is from a Dzogchen master such as Chogyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche, then if they don't have the night practice, the vast majority of dreams will be from a practitioners own personal "karmic vision", with some exceptions, I think, also there won't be any "control" in the dream, for example, your Lama showed control, he recites the mantra of his yidam and put the teachings he received into action, so maybe he's saying he did that and that is an example of not loosing the yidam practice, even in the "bardo" of the dream, so we as practitioners can do that in a dream also is what I think he is saying, then this shows that that mantra is a part of us, it can't be "lost" anywhere and we can do that practice of the mantra on this deeper level, when we are asleep, of course this also points to even more practice during the daytime so we can integrate our yidam practice if that is what we are doing and what we are practicing with our teacher, then we go deeper while we are awake, integrate, and we never "loose" that.

Some teachers stress yidam in waking & in dream, & some others stress keeping presence & actually turning into a yidam is kind of secondary.... :rolling:

You got me talking a bit....by the way, dream yoga is not all that complicated.

:anjali:
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Re: Auspicious Dream Thread

Postby Nilasarasvati » Sat May 18, 2013 2:28 am

Yegyal, that's exactly what I'm talking about. It makes sense that most of these are related to specific practices. Also, those signs don't necessarily have to be in dreams--they could be seen in meditation experience or even in ordinary affairs. That input was pretty interesting and I appreciate your translation work!

T. Chokyi, I now realize what you mean. This is the Dzogchen thread, and it makes sense that you'd naturally expect the questions here to be specifically related to abiding in clarity. As for all the stuff about my lama's experience or karmic vision or clarity, I guess I know what you mean, but I don't think you get what I'm asking in the first place still...which is--what do you do with positive signs/experiences in the dream state?

For a quagmire of distraction, compulsion, and addiction like me, abiding in clarity for a split second in an hour of practice is rare enough; abiding in clarity as I'm falling asleep/during dreaming is unfathomable. :tongue:
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Re: Auspicious Dream Thread

Postby T. Chokyi » Sat May 18, 2013 7:10 am

Nilasarasvati wrote:
T. Chokyi, what do you do with positive signs/experiences in the dream state?



On occasion I do contemplate a dream for a short while if a teacher of mine teaches in the dream, or communicates with me, but even then I don't make any kind of "big deal" over it, but I do consider seeing my teachers in dreams a blessing.

My teachers all had one teaching in common when it came to "signs" in dreams, just relax, don't "cling", let go of everything, no matter what it is during the practice at night or for that matter during waking hours, best to take a look and acknowledge what it is, but practice letting it go or what is called "non grasping".
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Re: Auspicious Dream Thread

Postby mandala » Sat May 18, 2013 3:06 pm

ahh, i think it's good to take these things lightly, in exactly the same way as experiences in meditation ... but personally, i feel it can be very heartening to have dreams of your Lamas, especially if they are not physically nearby, and serves to point your mind to your samaya and qualities of the Lama.
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Re: Auspicious Dream Thread

Postby Ayu » Sat May 18, 2013 4:47 pm

yegyal wrote:...For example, dreaming of buddhas and bodhisattvas, that you are teaching the dharma to large crowds of disciples, being able to read and understand any text you wish, and so forth were all listed as the bdud kyi las, ie the work of mara/demonic in origin, in the text I was working on. Again, the quote you mentioned works here; if it causes attachment or pride then it's an obstacle.

Whenever i had a dream of a Lama it gave hope, strength and comsolation to me.
But i think, i had no pride or attachment about it. It was just like a gift.
Because, if our mothers, who have been kind to us
From beginningless time, are suffering,
What can we do with (just) our own happiness?
From 10th of 37 Bodhisattva Practices
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Re: Auspicious Dream Thread

Postby Ayu » Sat May 18, 2013 6:06 pm

Ayu wrote:...it gave hope, strength and comsolation to me...


Edit: CoNsolation
Because, if our mothers, who have been kind to us
From beginningless time, are suffering,
What can we do with (just) our own happiness?
From 10th of 37 Bodhisattva Practices
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Re: Auspicious Dream Thread

Postby oldbob » Sun May 19, 2013 4:21 pm

T. Chokyi wrote:
Nilasarasvati wrote:
T. Chokyi, what do you do with positive signs/experiences in the dream state?



On occasion I do contemplate a dream for a short while if a teacher of mine teaches in the dream, or communicates with me, but even then I don't make any kind of "big deal" over it, but I do consider seeing my teachers in dreams a blessing.

My teachers all had one teaching in common when it came to "signs" in dreams, just relax, don't "cling", let go of everything, no matter what it is during the practice at night or for that matter during waking hours, best to take a look and acknowledge what it is, but practice letting it go or what is called "non grasping".


:namaste:

:good:

:twothumbsup:

The taking a look, acknowledging, and letting go, are not willful acts of mentation, but just a way of talking about an instantaneous non-dual process that does not take place in the realm of intensional mentation. This is the "practice" of Dzogchen, 24/7, which includes all dreams, auspicious and otherwise.

When I "loose it", I do my best to return to awareness, and so I apply, this or that, practice.

viewtopic.php?f=48&t=4052&start=3320#p165748

Not so complicated.

:smile:
Last edited by oldbob on Sun May 19, 2013 5:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Auspicious Dream Thread

Postby MalaBeads » Sun May 19, 2013 5:09 pm

When i lose it, I do nothing at all. Nada, nothing. i guess thats how much i trust the nature of the mind.

No secondary practices, nothing. To me, all secondary practices are a return to duality, and I'd rather not, thank you very much.

And THAT sir, is dzogchen 24/7.

Now, in our open society, there are of course consequences to this approach. It's no wonder that ChNN says "you do your best", which i often hear as "you do the best you can given the circumstances."

This is a very steep path.
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Re: Auspicious Dream Thread

Postby T. Chokyi » Sun May 19, 2013 5:12 pm

oldbob wrote:
The taking a look, acknowledging, and letting go, are not willful acts of mentation, but just a way of talking about an instantaneous non-dual process that does not take place in the realm of intensional mentation. This is the "practice" of Dzogchen, 24/7, which includes all dreams, auspicious and otherwise.

When I "loose it", I do my best to return to awareness, and so I apply, this or that, practice.

Not so complicated.

:smile:



:good:
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Re: Auspicious Dream Thread

Postby heart » Sun May 19, 2013 5:22 pm

MalaBeads wrote:When i lose it, I do nothing at all. Nada, nothing. i guess thats how much i trust the nature of the mind.

No secondary practices, nothing. To me, all secondary practices are a return to duality, and I'd rather not, thank you very much.

And THAT sir, is dzogchen 24/7.

Now, in our open society, there are of course consequences to this approach. It's no wonder that ChNN says "you do your best", which i often hear as "you do the best you can given the circumstances."

This is a very steep path.


You don't do guru yoga with a white ah? It is also secondary you know.

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
- Longchenpa
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Re: Auspicious Dream Thread

Postby MalaBeads » Sun May 19, 2013 5:28 pm

Not as a help for distractions.

I don't do any visualizing at all. I do guru yoga with the white Ah only to fulfill samaya (and sometimes i forget).

I know it is also a secondary practice. He alluded to that yesterday but did not pursue it as a topic.
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Re: Auspicious Dream Thread

Postby heart » Sun May 19, 2013 5:45 pm

MalaBeads wrote:Not as a help for distractions.

I don't do any visualizing at all. I do guru yoga with the white Ah only to fulfill samaya (and sometimes i forget).

I know it is also a secondary practice. He alluded to that yesterday but did not pursue it as a topic.


If you never are distracted from the natural state either you are fully realized or you haven't recognized the natural state yet. No other options I am afraid.

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
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Re: Auspicious Dream Thread

Postby oldbob » Sun May 19, 2013 5:57 pm

MalaBeads wrote:When i lose it, I do nothing at all. Nada, nothing. i guess thats how much i trust the nature of the mind.

No secondary practices, nothing. To me, all secondary practices are a return to duality, and I'd rather not, thank you very much.

And THAT sir, is dzogchen 24/7.

Now, in our open society, there are of course consequences to this approach. It's no wonder that ChNN says "you do your best", which i often hear as "you do the best you can given the circumstances."

This is a very steep path.


:namaste:

Malabeads is exactly correct :bow: :bow: :bow: : yes, ALL secondary practices (that is why they are called secondary practices) are a return to duality, but she is speaking from the view of awareness. From the view of awareness, there is nothing to be done, or not done. This is the famous "give up the sickness of striving."

http://www.keithdowman.net/dzogchen/cuckoos_song.htm

But for beings like me, who have the view of a frog at the bottom of well, I enjoy to distract myself sometimes with secondary practices.

When "all froggy eyes are looking up", then it is easier to see the sky, and so sometimes I practice, just to be reminded to "look up."

Yes, Dzogchen can be thought of as a very steep path, AND it remains for us to, "DO our best," and not be distracted.

Perhaps it is just easier to relax into contemplation, and not be overly concerned with what I should, or should not, do. :smile:

Then awareness can be maintained. Then dreams become awareness.

Then all dreams (good, bad, or neutral) will be auspicious, and also you can do many things with dreams of awareness.

Lord Buddha taught the 84,000 (means a lot) different teachings so there would be something for everyone.

:bow: :bow: :bow:
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Re: Auspicious Dream Thread

Postby MalaBeads » Sun May 19, 2013 8:23 pm

My apologies to you oldbob for the sharp retort. I got upset. And of course I only hurt myself in the process.

Really, I'm sorry.

:namaste:
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Re: Auspicious Dream Thread

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Sun May 19, 2013 8:58 pm

Doesn't seem to me like dream yoga is particularly advanced or complicated. or an entirely separate thing from one's main practice, just like with something like deity yoga you maintain visualizations even when not practicing, the goal also seems to be to bring the same non dual state to dream practice. Maybe it depends on the emphasis on Bardo practice? Anyway in Tenzin Wangyals book he mentions many times that the goal is to move beyond meaning or interpretation altogether as far as dreams go -the point is in the practice and not the appearances, just like meditation.

I've just read a few books, so not like I have any authority, but I don't get the impression at all that dream yoga is complicated, it is just an extension of one's practice. I've also seen initiations into dream yoga offered with no requirements, and were actually mentioned as being simple and accessible practices.

All I ever have since I started trying to recall dreams is bizarre, wholly samsaric ones. They are also really entertaining, but finding meaning in them would be stretching it, though probably a humorous exercise. I've had a couple dreams that I could sum up as a message of "keep trying" lol
"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: Auspicious Dream Thread

Postby Dronma » Sun May 19, 2013 10:58 pm

I remember that sometimes I have dreams of myself looking in a mirror. Although my faces are different than the one I have in "reality", the awareness of "me" is always the same.
I never think much about my dreams, neither trying to interpret or categorize them as "this" and "that". They are just entertaining visions, like all visions in this vast dimension of continuous manifestation.
"My view is as vast as the sky, but my actions are finer than flour"
~ Padmasambhava ~
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