Dream yoga - Tibetan practice for conscious living and lucid dreaming
Nia Bennett | Jan, 23 2020
Our lives are so chaotic that we barely have the time to relax, meditate and stay in tune with our inner desires and wishes.
Sleep is the only time we subconsciously relax. Our deep state of sleep is a vital source of relaxation that invigorates our mind and the only invisible time where we forget all our worries, deadlines, financial woes, relationship problems and the mindless chaos that surrounds us.
Did you know that an average person who gets seven to eight hours of sleep is sleeping away one-third of their lives? So if you lived until 80, then 26 of those years has been spent on sleeping and dreaming.
Neuroscientists have proven that our subconscious mind has more knowledge and awareness than our conscious self. So, in reality, our brain solves problems before it reaches our conscious self. Milam or dream yoga is an ancient Tibetan Buddhists technique that teaches us the principles to tap into our subconscious mind, to harness the wisdom and awaken a spiritual side that can significantly heighten our mental energy and improve clarity.
Understanding dream yoga
Tibetan dream yoga is the original form of lucid dreaming. This yoga of reaching a dream-like state is an advanced tantric practise which enables us to explore various depths of lucid dreaming.
While we experience reality with all its joys and sorrows, our dreams have infinite possibilities which have the magnificent power to soothe our consciousness.
The primary aim of this practice is to awaken consciousness in the dream state.
Tibetan Buddhists have been practising dream yoga since the early eighteenth century and honing the skills to wake consciousness in a dream state. The aim is to have an unequivocal understanding of dreams and acquire knowledge and reality more than we possess today.
“Your body is asleep, but in your brain, your mind is bright and awake and awareness is now in your brain’s own created world.” - St.Augustine
Setting an intention
To achieve consciousness in your dream, you need to set a strong intention. It is about complete attunement. For example, sometimes we are so in sync with ourselves, that we manage to wake up without an alarm or any outside help. This happens when we set a strong intention. If you train your mind, you can set off your mental alarm to be awake in your dream and be aware of every thought that flows through your mind and attain knowledge which is hard to possess in your subconscious state.
Dream recollection is an important method to increase awareness of what goes through your mind and body. It is a conscious step towards spiritual enlightenment.
Every morning, journal everything you remember from the dream you had from the night before.
When we sleep our egos dissolve and our mind travels everywhere we did in our conscious state and beyond. So on some levels are dreams replay things or sights we saw in our conscious state but also can transcend beyond it.
To recollect dreams, it is important to journal as soon as you wake up. The only way this can be accurate is without much movement because as you move, the memories of your dreams fade.
You can also take advantage of prime-time dreamtime. To do this wake-up, two hours before you normally would, stay awake for ten minutes and then go back to sleep. Set a strong intention of being awake in your dreams. This is a very powerful method to achieve lucid state and this is why sometimes people can remember some dreams better than others. Chanting ‘RAOM GAOM’ as you wake up is also an alternative method to recall your dreams.
Awakening lucidity through dream yoga
Daily mindful meditations can heighten awareness. The practice of constant mindfulness can bring lucidity to every dream while practising dream yoga.
The key is to stay neutral to things in your mindful conscious, accepting things for what they are, without deeming them as good or bad is a good way to disassociate with negative and positive and trains your mind to do so in your dreams. This enables more fluidity in your dreams and increases your ability to tap into subliminal thoughts with total awareness.
Most of us have around three to five dream cycles every night, out of which we either remember one or none. Daily guided meditations can help you be more aware of your dreams, enabling you to tap into a plethora of unconscious wisdom and be more spiritually enlightened and experience a new reality in ways you have never experienced before.