Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Waking Lucid Dreaming

I have discovered that a method I have used in the past for inner work which as it turns out is one that has been practiced by Tibetan monks.  They use it apparently to enter into a lucid state where they can direct dreaming.  While I am sure that this will work and will work for a range of things,  I'd like to tell you about how I came across it as well as to relay its use to you perhaps so that it might be of some use to you in your own inner work.

I find that in the afternoon, around three, I tend to get very tired.  Not just tired, I sometimes get sleepy. Not always does this happen, but enough for me to have taken what I thought of as a power nap.  These power naps had some interesting side effects or features....

What I found was that I could trick my brain into thinking it was falling asleep.  My brain would literally shut down if I sat quietly long enough.  This always helped when I was tired and just a tad sleepy. For some reason, this has only worked during the day for me, not at night. The Tibetan technique involves waking up after five hours of sleep and then going back to sleep without actually falling asleep.  Perhaps my method will work better for you if you find yourself feeling sleepy during the day.

What I do is I feel myself getting sleepy.  I will sit down most often.  I do not lie down because for me this will signal I am ready to fall completely asleep.  I think I need something to keep me ever so slightly aware so I do not drift off completely and then start to snore (really asleep).  Sitting up does the trick. I will let my head go forward and I will kind of slump down all comfy in the chair.  I have found I need about forty-five minutes worth of time before the curtain drops.  I need enough time to allow myself to get very relaxed.  During this time I let myself drift and I am very still through all of this.  After a certain amount of time something happens. I feel the curtain drop. What this is, I always felt, was my brain going into another brain wave pattern.  Being awake I can observe its effects and for me its quite clear.  I get a buzzing feeling in my body somewhere around my head. It feels like some part of me is literally shutting off or tuning into a different frequency much like how you tune a radio from a station into static. If I can simply let this curtain drop, this heavy wall of static buzz, I will feel myself shift into something else. this something else feels wide open.  It feels as though my consciousness has shifted gears.

The result of this is that if I wake myself up, I will feel as though I have had a couple hours of sleep.  I feel completely refreshed and I no longer feel sleepy in the least. The brain has decided it can check out, turn off a certain channel of waking consciousness. I used to use this method for doing a power nap.  I never really fell asleep and this was better than having to lie down for a bit. The trick was I had to feel tired during the day.  This got me feeling like I was falling sleep except falling asleep during the day is hard for me actually.  However, if I can couple sleepiness with some degree of alertness while being very still, this normally happens for me most times than not.

So a power nap.

Fast forward a few years and I am in the midst of an awakening.  I am having a hard time.  I am smack dab in the middle of a dark night of the soul. I was having some real egoistic problems what I call a contraction of consciousness into the individual awareness. This is actually very hard. It feels as though your energy is being frozen or solidified after having been flowing like water. It creates tension in the subtle body that gets translated to the body as physical pain and a certain degree of anxiety and dread.  Not the greatest feeling as you might imagine.   It was afternoon and I was struggling.  I sat down in a chair and let myself drop off the edge of the ocean.  As I did this I noted that I was doing that sleep trick of mine.  I though maybe this might make me feel better. So I let it go.

As I let go and drifted and interesting thing happened.  I suddenly felt as though I was out of my body. I was near my body, slightly above it looking down.  As I did, I saw my body being suffused in a yellowish honey-like substance that was like a halo or aura. It had a thickness, a substance to it as I felt its energy all around me. I was aware of this happening and felt as though the energy field that was surrounding my body was of a character that something was clearing blockages in me.  Then, in the usual way that these things tend to happen, I stumbled across some article somewhere while not looking for it that described how this higher order energy will present itself and that this golden glow is often connected to bodhi's or enlightened beings, something that they carry. I don't think I am a bodhi of any kind, and I think in truth that whatever this energy was it is a natural result of where one is in awakening.  We tend to want to attribute certain significance to these things sometimes, but my sense is that as we all move into these realms of our larger self, everyone will begin to experience similar things.

When I exited the experience I no longer felt harried like I had before.  I had really been having a hard time with this contracting energy that was making me feel horrible. I felt bad for feeling it.  I felt a kind of shame, like I should not be feeling this way.  I learned that this is just a step along the process of becoming, and there should be no shame in that.  We are all realizing what we are deeper down and any efforts towards that is laudable.

This technique apparently can be used to enter into lucid dreaming while awake. You simply stretch your arm out of your body or roll out of your body and you are now in the dream body and can direct your experience.  I suspect that this would wind up being something akin to an out of body experience, but I also suspect that the dream world and astral travel are one and the same.  The difference is that the dream body is creating imagery which is naturally symbolic and helps to relate deeper information to the waking consciousness in the form of dream imagery. If "awake" I also suspect that one may experience a combination of dream and waking imagery, or one may also have no imagery at all.

When I cam across the article discussing this technique which the Tibetan monks had used for centuries, their suggestion was to do this after having slept for about five hours in order to keep from falling too deeply asleep.  This might work for some people.  For me, I think my tendency has been to simply fall back asleep.  I will say, though, that the bulk of the experiences that I have had during awakening involving beings who have come to aid me have all come very early in the morning around 4:00 or so.  I suspect that it is during this time that I am exiting an active stage of dreaming and entering into a more silent state of rest.  It may be that if your sleep patterns are the same, this kind of timing may work for you.  You may want to give both a try, especially if you can take an hour "nap" in the afternoon when you are feeling sleepy or tired, in order to see how both work. 

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