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Buddhadharma : Summer 2015
30 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly summer 2 0 1 5 mind, nothing is seen. It’s perceived as a total black- out, which is exactly what we perceive in dreamless sleep. In the education of the night, sleep yoga can be likened to graduate school. It gives you a sense of how far these nocturnal meditations can go. There’s one final destination of the night. Dream yoga and sleep yoga can develop further into bardo yoga, which is when you use the darkness of the night to prepare for the darkness of death. “Bardo” is a Tibetan word that means “gap or transitional state,” and in this case it refers to the gap between lives. If you believe in reincarnation and want to know what to do after you die, bardo yoga is for you. On one level, all of dream yoga and sleep yoga is a preparation for death. There’s an intimate relationship between the process of going to sleep, dreaming, and waking up, and the process of dying, the after-death state, and being reborn. The Dalai Lama says, “A well-trained person can recognize a strict order in the four stages of falling asleep and is well prepared to ascertain an analogous order in the dying process.” Bokar Rinpoche adds, “The energy governing each element ceases to be functional and is absorbed into the energy of the following element. This process of absorption of the four ele- ments into each other does not occur only at death, it also happens in an extremely subtle manner when we fall asleep or when a thought is removed from our mind.” GettiNG started Three key ingredients are needed to begin lucid dreaming. First, strong motivation to become lucid is critical and creates momentum (karma) that car- ries into the dream world. It’s as if you’re “seeding” the lucid dream, a technique that is basic to any level of dream induction or incubation. Have you ever had to get up early and not had an alarm clock? By setting a strong intention to get up at a certain time, we often wake up at that time despite not having an alarm. In the same way, we can set an internal alarm to wake us up within our dreams by setting a strong intention. Second, good dream recall is also essential and starts with the firm resolve to remember your If you’re in a nightmare and you become lucid, relate to your fear instead of running from it. This practice can show you that it’s not the contents of the nightmare that scare you, but your habit of taking the events to be solid and real. PHOTO | parKer Knight