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Buddhadharma : Summer 2015
summer 2015 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly 79 reviews become aware of the dream and observe what is happening, can be trained by learning not to identify with thoughts or images presented by the awakened ego self or the dream- ing ego. The examination and manipulation of dreams has existed in Buddhism since the time of the historical Bud- dha over 2,500 years ago. Unlike other books dealing with similar themes, the author doesn’t provide instructions for the practice of dream yoga itself; rather, he uses knowledge derived from dream yoga to corroborate certain subtle states of consciousness. Thompson suggests that the examination of dreams is not only about harnessing control; dreams can also reflect the mind, the identity of the “self,” and broader con- sciousness. In that sense, he argues, it is through dreams that we can learn to understand the self to be an ever-changing, interdependent entity. But is consciousness present during death? In Tibetan Bud- dhism, Greek mythology, and the Old and New Testaments, dying is often compared to sleeping. There exist accounts of death provided from the Tibetan Buddhist practice thukdam, a type of death meditation practice. Such accounts provide anecdotal evidence for the argument that some types of aware- ness can be maintained during death. Further, Thompson brings light to some preliminary scientific studies on near- death experience that could point toward the mind perceiving while undergoing the dying process. Thompson includes a meditation on death from Buddhist chaplain Roshi Joan Hali- fax, along with an account of the author’s personal experience during the practice. Waking, Dreaming, Being is an exceptional and intriguing contribution to the exploration of consciousness as a mul- tidimensional self and makes a convincing argument for the usefulness of philosophical, experiential, and scientific approaches to understanding consciousness. Thompson does more than give a nicely summarized digest of theories; by sharing heartfelt personal anecdotes about his experiences with dreams, meditations, and scientific inquiry, he also takes the role of a character with whom the readers can easily relate. He describes growing up learning meditation with his father, William Irwin Thompson, a notable cultural philosopher, and how his passion for contemplative science led him on a path of academic inquiry. Thompson begins many of his chapters with first-person narrative episodes, ranging from his travels through India to beautifully detailed descriptions of his own dreams. His treatment of Buddhist metaphysics enhances, rather than obscures, understanding by linking the seemingly esoteric philosophy to common human experiences. MARISSA kRIMSkY is a graduate student of clinical psychology at the university of Miami. In 2010 she received a Fulbright grant to investigate the therapeutic role of Tibetan Buddhist teachers in Nepal, focusing on the use of dreams in a therapeutic context. Jodo Shinshu Correspondence Course INTERNATIONAL ON-LINE PROGRAM Term: 2-Year Computer-based Course Tuition: $360.00 per year Subjects: •Origin & Development of Buddhism • Shinran Shonin’s Life and His Teaching • Sutras & Masters of the Pure Land Tradition • History of Jodo Shinshu Visit: jscc.cbe-bca.org Jodo Shinshu Correspondence Course Office 2140 Durant Avenue Berkeley, CA 94704 USA Phone: (510) 809-1441 Fax: (510) 809-1459 E-mail: email@example.com 906_CBE_SummerBDH.indd 1 3/10/2015 1:54:35 PM