Awakening to the Dream

The nocturnal landscape of lucid dreaming and Tibetan dream yoga

B. Alan Wallace

Wisdom Collection

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Check out more on dreaming in this month's retreat, "A Field Guide to Lucid Dreaming."


In dream yoga, once you learn to recognize the dream state for what it is through lucid dreaming, you can begin to explore the nature of the psyche—your own conscious mind within this lifetime. At a more fundamental level, you investigate the nature of the substrate consciousness (alayavijnana), the individual continuum of consciousness out of which the psyche develops during gestation in the womb and into which it dissolves at death. In the highest stage of dream yoga, the ultimate, "clear light" nature of consciousness, or pristine awareness (rigpa), is revealed, the realization of which is central to the Tibetan teaching known as the Great Perfection (Dzogchen). Each stage of dream yoga practice leads to ever-deepening self-knowledge, finally resulting in Buddhahood itself. The Great Perfection teachings declare that the only difference between buddhas and ordinary sentient beings is that the former know who they are, while the latter do not.

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