Dream Yoga

Tags:

Yoga means "union" in Sanskrit. While in the West the term has come to denote the physical practice of stretching the body through various poses (Hatha Yoga), the true practioner of Yoga employs a variety of techniques to help her fully realize her unity with God/Buddha/the universe, etc. One of the premises of Dream Yoga, then, is that the sleep and dream states are no different from our waking lives. Both are illusory. If you can wake up to one illusion, perhaps you can wake up to the other.

 

Podcast Lecture: The Somniloquy

 

Readings:

Rinpoche, The Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep: Preface, Introduction, Part I, Ch. 1 and Part II, Ch. 2

 

Questions:

1. How did the author come to be interested in dreams?

2. What are some of the benefits to practicing awareness through dream yoga?

3. How will awareness in sleep prepare one for death?

4. What value do dreams have in the spiritual journey?

5. How did the author's mother use her dreams in her everyday life?

6. What are dreams of clarity?

7. Do practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism believe that the future is written in stone?

8. What are "mind treasures?"

 

Activities:

Film Clip-- "Waking Life," Chapter 10 "Dreams": Richard Linklater's 2001 "Waking Life" takes on the question of reality and illusion in a kaleidoscopic way. The main character floats (sometimes literally) from one philosophical conversation to another, never sure if he is awake or dreaming. Watch chapter 10 ("Dream") on the dvd or the last two minutes of this clip and the first 5 minutes of this clip here, and think about these questions:

--Which Buddhist themes or concepts do the characters mention?

--How does this particular clip play with the dream/reality distinction?

--How does the look and feel of the film's animation contribute to the discussion of dream and reality?