HERMETIC  - ESOTERIC - MYSTICAL PHILOSOPHIES


    DREAM YOGA 

 


 

 TEACHING IN DREAMS

There are numerous examples in the Tibetan tradition of practitioners who received teachings in dreams. Often the dreams come in sequence, each night's dream starting where the previous night's dream ends, and in this way transmitting entire, detailed teachings until a precise and appropriate point of completion is reached, at which point the dreams stop. Volumes of teachings have been "discovered" this way, including many of the practices that Tibetans have been doing for cen­turies. This is what we call "mind treasure" (gong-ter).stabilize in consciousness without identifying with the conventional self. The practitioner whose clarity is unobscured by karmic traces and samsaric dreams has access to the wisdom inherent in conscious­ness itself.

Authentic teachings discovered in dream do not come from the intellect. It is not like going to the library and doing research and then writing a book, using the intellect to collect and synthesize informa­tion as a scholar might. Although many good teachings come from the intellect, they are not considered mind treasures. The wisdom of the Buddhas is self-originated, rising from the depths of conscious­ness, complete in itself. This does not mean that mind treasure teach­ings will not resemble existing teachings, for they will. Furthermore, these teachings can be found in different cultures and in different his­torical periods, and can be similar even though they do not inform each other. Historians work to trace a teaching back in time in order to point out how it was influenced by a similar teaching, where the his­torical connection took place, and so on, and often they find such a link. But the underlying truth is that these teachings arise spontane­ously from humans when they reach a certain point in their individual development. The teachings are inherent in the foundational wisdom that any culture can eventually access. They are not only Buddhist or Bon teachings; they are teachings for all humans.

If we have the karma to help other beings, the teachings from a dream may be of benefit to others. But it may also be the case, if we have karma with a lineage, for example, that the teachings discovered in a dream will be particularly for our own practice, perhaps as a spe­cific remedy to overcome a particular obstacle.

Imagine entering a cave and finding a volume of teachings hidden inside. This is finding in a physical space. Mind treasures are found in consciousness rather than in the physical world. Masters have been known to find these treasures both in dreams of clarity and when awake. In order to receive these kinds of teaching in a dream, the prac­titioner must have developed certain capacities, such as being able to stabilize in consciousness without identifying with the conventional self. The practitioner whose clarity is unobscured by karmic traces and samsaric dreams has access to the wisdom inherent in conscious­ness itself.

If we have the karma to help other beings, the teachings from a dream may be of benefit to others. But it may also be the case, if we have karma with a lineage, for example, that the teachings discovered in a dream will be particularly for our own practice, perhaps as a spe­cific remedy to overcome a particular obstacle.

(From The Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep by Tenzin Wangyal Rimpoche)

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