“Iguana bites those who don’t dream.”
- a man from “Waking Life”
Lately I often receive this question. Therefore, I decided to recap my thoughts.
1. Embracing death
Since my mid 20’s, I was keen to find a way of internalizing the notion of death, theoretically, emotionally, and physically. That intellectual curiosity became a fatal matter to me after dad’s death. I was immersed in a deep and stumbling exploration of death and life during the grieving and coping process . Tibetan Buddhism is one of few extraordinarily logical systemic (different from “realistic” or “viable”) methodologies that explicitly deal with death. Not all but many parts of the philosophy resonates me. I can easily relate to the world view that Tibetan Buddhism offers. Furthermore, I would like to cultivate capability of facing my own death, the art of dying. Tibetan Dream Yoga gives me a tangible technique for that. Every night, we are in a state as if we were dead. How to treat that state of mind and body and how to apply it to the time of our death?
2. Being in action for 24/7
Tibetan Buddhism utilizes the time of dream and sleep, in addition to the time we are awake, in order to optimize their practice. I hear that top-notch professionals and experts (e.g. musicians, athletes, dancers) spend in average 7 hours per day in practicing their skills. My instrument is neither a piano, a violin, nor a tennis racket. It’s my mind and body and its relationship. I want to excel at being connected to the consciousness and body all the time and expand the capacity. Why not practicing 24/7 as there is a method already!
3. Sleep is the most stormy time
The more calm, aware, and alerted I became able to stay during day time owing to my practice of meditation, yoga, and intellectual and spiritual journeys, I noticed that I felt most exhausted right after sleep, that is, when I woke up in the morning. My karmic traits; fear, anxiety, concerns, anger, past memories, unconscious influences from internal and external worlds, innate body functions, etc. were unharnessed. The purification and detoxication happened during sleep, though it was nothing like nightmare or anything. More like a lot of hard core exercise done, my body sensed. My ability of being meditative and mindful was all gone during sleep, because I was asleep! How could I maintain it? In general, it’s considered to be impossible. But, hey! Tibetan Buddhism has developed a way of advancing dreaming and sleeping time.
Last year, finally, a serene pond of inner peace was discovered within myself. I know how to get there, as long as I’m awake and conscious. How wonderful it would be to take a a walk there while I sleep as well. I’m determined to become, “I’m asleep and yet conscious.”