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Case History - Precious Jewel-Lucid Dreaming

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Case History - Precious Jewel- Lucid Dreaming

Twenty years ago I attended Tarthang Tulku's workshop on Tibetan Buddhism at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. Rinpoche ("precious jewel"), as we called the teacher, had been forced to leave Tibet when the Chinese Communists had invaded, and had "just gotten off the boat" from India.

He therefore spoke precious little English. The bits of his speech that weren't already broken were frequently broken with laughter. I had been expecting esoteric explanations of advanced theory, but what I got was something incalculably more valuable.

Rinpoche would indicate the world around us with a usual swoop of the hand and portentously announce;"This...dream!" Then he would laugh some more and pointing at me or some other persons or object, rather mysteriously it seemed, he would insist:


"This dream1"followed by more laughter, Rinpoche managed to get the idea across to us (how, I don't really know; I wouldn't rule out telepathy, considering how very few words were exchanged). that we were to attempt to think of all our experiences as dreams and try to maintain unbroken continuity of consciousness between the two states of sleep and waking.

I didn't think I was doing very well with the exercise, but on my way back to San Francisco after the weekend, I unexpectedly found my world was in some way expanded.

A few nights later, I had the first lucid dream I remember since the serial adventure dreams.I had when I was five years old. In the dream:It was snowing gently, I was alone on the rooftop of the world, climning K2.


 As I made my way upward through the steeply drifting snow, I was astonished to notice my arms were bare: I was wearing a short-sleeved shirt, hardly proper dress for climbing the second highest mountain in the world! I realized at once that the explanation was that I was dreaming! I was so delighted that I jumped off the mountain and began to fly away, but the dream faded and I awoke.

I interpreted the dream as suggesting that I wasn't yet prepared for the rigors of Tibetan dream yoga. But it was also a starting point, and I continued to have lucid dreams occasionally for eight years before I began to cultivate lucid dreaming is earnest.

Incidentally, my impulsive behaviour when I became lucid is typical for beginners. If I were to have such a dream now, I would not precipitously jump off the mountain. Instead, I would fly to the top of the mountain and find out if I was climbing it for any reason besides "because it was there."


INTENTION FOR WESTERNERS

Few Westerners are likely to feel at home with the Eastern idea of a guru, but the idea of intention should be familiar enough. Although most people report occasional spontaneous lucid dreams, lucid dreaming rarely occurs without our intending it.

Consequenly, if we want to have lucid dreams more frequently, we must begin by cultivating the intention to recognize when we are dreaming. If you are initially successful in your efforts, take heart from the Tibetan exhortation that it takes no fewer than twenty-one efforts each morning to "comprehend the nature of the dream state."

Paul Tholey has experimented extensively with a variation of the ancient Tibetan techniques of inducing lucid dreams through the power of resolution." Here is my adaptation of Tholey's method. 

Reference: Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming:Stephen LaBerge, Ph.D. & Howard Rheingold

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