Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep


If we cannot carry our practice into sleep," Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche writes, "if we lose ourselves every night, what chance do we have to be aware when death comes? 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.

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If we cannot carry our practice into sleep," Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche writes, "if we lose ourselves every night, what chance do we have to be aware when death comes? 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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book gives detailed instruction for dream yoga, including foundational practices done during the day. In the Tibetan tradition, the ability to dream lucidly is not an end in itself—rather it provides an additional context in which one can engage in advanced and effective practices to achieve liberation. Dream yoga is followed by sleep yoga, also known as the yoga of clear light. It is a more advanced practice similar to the most secret Tibetan practices. The goal is to remain awake during deep sleep when the gross conceptual mind and the operation of the senses cease. Most Westerners do not even consider this depth of awareness a possibility, yet it is well-known in Tibetan Buddhist and Bon spiritual traditions.The result of these practices is greater happiness and freedom in both our waking and dreaming states. The Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep imparts powerful methods for progressing along the path to liberation. A detailed guide to using our night-lives for awakening: thought-provoking inspiring and lucid."—Stephen LaBerge, PhD, author of Lucid Dreaming

"This explication of the dream and sleep practices becomes a window on the entire teachings of Tibetan Tantra and Dzogchen. I enjoyed this book immensely. . . . Powerfully and beautifully presented."—Martin Lowenthal, co-author of Opening the Heart of Compassion

"The most illuminating book on this topic to appear to date."—J. Marvin Spiegelman, PhD

"This is an appealing book not only for Buddhist dream yoga practitioners but for anyone interested in the whole area of lucid dreaming or dream work. The Tibetan syllables and the places they are to be visualized within the body are clearly illustrated; the practical instructions are well-placed within a theoretical framework; and the entire work has the flavour of direct oral teaching from an expert."—The Tibet Journal

"Extremely clear and detailed."—Shambhala Sun 

"Powerful methods for progressing along the path for liberation."—The Indian International Journal of Buddhist Studies

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781559391016
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/28/1998
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 220
  • Sales rank: 488,920
  • Product dimensions: 5.99 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, a lama in the Bön tradition of Tibet, presently resides in Charlottesville, Virginia. He is the founder and director of Ligmincha Institute, an organization dedicated to the study and practice of the teachings of the Bön tradition. He was born in Amritsar, India, after his parents fled the Chinese invasion of Tibet and received training from both Buddhist and Bön teachers, attaining the degree of Geshe, the highest academic degree of traditional Tibetan culture. He has been in the United States since 1991 and has taught widely in Europe and America.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Dream and Reality

All of us dream whether we remember dreaming or not. We dream as infants and continue dreaming until we die. Every night we enter an unknown world. We may seem to be our ordinary selves or someone completely different. We meet people whom we know or don't know, who are living or dead. We fly, encounter non-human beings, have blissful experiences, laugh, weep, and are terrified, exalted, or transformed. Yet we generally pay these extraordinary experiences little attention. Many Westerners who approach the teachings do so with ideas about dream based in psychological theory; subsequently, when they become more interested in using dream in their spiritual life, they usually focus on the content and meaning of dreams. Rarely is the nature of dreaming itself investigated. When it is, the investigation leads to the mysterious processes that underlie the whole of our existence, not only our dreaming life.

    The first step in dream practice is quite simple: one must recognize the great potential that dream holds for the spiritual journey. Normally the dream is thought to be "unreal," as opposed to "real" waking life. But there is nothing more real than dream. This statement only makes sense once it is understood that normal waking life is as unreal as dream, and in exactly the same way. Then it can be understood that dream yoga applies to all experience, to the dreams of the day as well as the dreams of the night.

Excerpted from The Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleepby Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche. Copyright © 1998 by Tenzin Wangyal. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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Table of Contents

Preface 11
Introduction 15
Receiving the Teachings 17
1 Dream and Reality 23
2 How Experience Arises 24
Ignorance 24
Actions and Results: Karma and Karmic Traces 26
Negative Karma 29
Positive Karma 29
Liberating Emotions 30
Obscurations of Consciousness 31
Karmic Traces and Dream 32
The Six Realms of Cyclic Existence 34
Hell Realm 37
Hungry Ghost Realm 38
Animal Realm 38
Human Realm 39
Demi-god Realm 39
God Realm 40
Why "Negative" Emotion? 40
3 The EnergyBody 42
Channels and Prana 42
Channels (Tsa) 43
Prana (Lung) 44
Karmic Prana 45
Three Kinds of Karmic Prana 45
Wisdom Prana 46
Pranic Activity 46
Balancing the Prana 46
Prana and Mind 47
Chakras 48
Blind Horse, Lame Rider 49
4 Summary: How Dreams Arise 52
5 Images from the Mother Tantra 53
Teaching Metaphors 56
1 Three Kinds of Dreams 61
Samsaric Dreams 61
Dreams of Clarity 62
Clear Light Dreams 63
2 Uses of Dreams 65
Experience in Dream 65
Guidance and Guidelines 66
Divination 68
Teachings in Dream 70
3 The Discovery of Chöd Practice 72
4 Two Levels of Practice 76
1 Vision, Action, Dream, Death 81
2 Calm Abiding: Zhiné 84
Forceful Zhiné 86
Natural Zhiné 87
Ultimate Zhiné 88
Obstacles 88
Agitation 88
Drowsiness 88
Laxity 89
3 The Four Foundational Practices 90
One: Changing the Karmic Traces 90
Two: Removing Grasping and Aversion 93
Three: Strengthening Intention 94
Four: Cultivating Memory and Joyful Effort 95
Consistency 96
4 Preparation for the Night 97
Nine Purifications Breathing 98
Guru Yoga 99
The Practice 101
Protection 102
5 The Main Practice 104
Bringing Awareness into the Central Channel 104
Increasing Clarity 106
Strengthening Presence 108
Developing Fearlessness 110
Position 111
Focusing the Mind 112
The Sequence 116
6 Lucidity 119
Developing Flexibility 121
7 The Obstacles 127
Delusion 127
Laxity 128
Self-distraction 128
Forgetting 129
Four Obstacles according to Shardza Rinpoche 129
8 Controlling and Respecting Dreams 131
9 Simple Practices 134
The Waking Mind 134
Preparing for Night 136
10 Integration 138
1 Sleep and Falling Asleep 143
2 Three Kinds of Sleep 145
Sleep of Ignorance 145
Samsaric Sleep 145
Clear Light Sleep 146
3 Sleep Practice and Dream Practice 148
1 The Dakini, Salgye Du Dalma 153
2 Preliminary Practice 157
3 Sleep Practice 159
Entering Sleep 160
4 Tiglé 163
5 Progress 165
6 Obstacles 167
7 Supportive Practices 170
Master 170
Dakini 170
Behavior 171
Prayer 171
Dissolving 171
Expanding and Contracting 172
8 Integration 174
Integration of Clear Light with the Three Poisons 174
Integration with the Cycles of Time 177
External Unification 177
Internal Unification 179
Secret Unification 180
The Three Unifications: Conclusion 181
9 Continuity 183
1 Context 187
2 Mind and Rigpa 188
Conceptual Mind 188
Non-dual Awareness: Rigpa 189
Base Rigpa and Path Rigpa 191
3 The Base: Kunzhi 192
Mind and Matter 193
4 Knowing 194
5 Recognizing Clarity and Emptiness 197
Balance 199
Discrimination 199
6 Self 200
7 Paradox of the Essenceless Self 203
Final Words 205
Appendix: Outline of Dream Yoga Practices 209
Glossary 213
Bibliography 218
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