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Lucid Dreams

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 David Vardy
May 11

Gone with the Wind....

When I was very young I must have seen the film, ‘Gone With The Wind’. I say must have, only because when I saw it again at a later age I recognized much of the film, but particularly the staircases. After first seeing the film I began to have identical dreams off and on for the following 30 years, never questioning them, never wondering what they meant, but the experience in each dream was consistently fun.

The dream was merely an attempt to ‘fly’ up the staircases. That house was a gymnasium of sorts. I would furiously flap my arms enough to get a slight lift, then kick the legs back and start moving them like I was swimming the crawl while the arms flailed about. Must have looked hideous, but it was all I could do to keep afloat. The goal was to finally reach the top of the stairs. In thirty years I had never accomplished it, had never improved, was never frustrated by it, would always wake up feeling refreshed from the exercise thinking I just flew, I really flew, well at least a rendition of flying.

Then one night thirty years later, I met a man at a party who asked me if I had any experience with lucid dreaming. He described what it was, and my first thought was, “no, never, not me”. Then I told him about this dream and he popped up and said “that’s it. You’ve been practicing to fly but haven’t been aware of it.” I told him I must be a slow learner, figuring after 30 years without progress I was probably a hopeless case. He said, “you’re using the staircase like training wheels on a bicycle. You’re afraid of falling so you keep those stairs below you. How do you expect to be “Gone with the Wind” staying indoors all the time?” As a side note, wind has always been a love of mine. Up until a few years ago I was almost always depressed if the air was too still.

Well, that night I couldn’t wait to get to sleep. I knew it was going to be a momentous event from the get go. Imagine how it must have felt realizing that I had dutifully clocked in countless hours to get up this staircase? This was it, my chance. I was now aware of what it was I was doing, in a manner of speaking.

That night, to my surprise ‘I found myself’ in the Arizona desert. I had grown up in the Nevada desert, loved the desert, but this one was more majestic, huge mesas everywhere, the sky turquoise blue, the dirt and rocks brilliantly rusty with all that iron. I was now at the foot of a mesa which was very round but slightly oblong and completely vertical for hundreds of feet upwards. It dawned on me I had to fly up to the top of the mesa. I remember mumbling, laughing a bit too.....why can’t we just do the stairs once, and after accomplishing that, return to this place?

Then I suddenly noticed that if I circumscribed my way up the mesa it was the exact shape of the main staircase in the ‘Gone with the Winddream. That staircase had been preparation for this event after all. No problem, just take a deep breath and kick and flap all the way up the side of this thing and don’t look down. Well, as soon as I took off, there was this sensation of a warm current lifting me up. I no longer needed to flap my arms nor kick my legs. It was basically like flying the way a glider plane goes up the side of a hill following the warm current. At the top, my whole dream world had suddenly changed. No longer did I require effort to fly, no more stairs, no more fear; until in another dream soon after, I discovered that I was at the top of a mountain without knowing how to fly downhill. Sure enough, what showed up? A path covered in stone steps leading downwards. I didn’t have to flap my way down, just float, but the stairs were there just like in the first dream, for practice. All it took was one time and I had it down. Every dream thereafter, some form of practice would show up, I’d understand what I needed to do, then off I went.

Most ‘dreamers’ I’ve encountered stop here. The ego swells in the belief it can do just about anything in a dream. There’s enormous confidence derived from lucid dreaming that carries over into the waking dream along with this new found relaxation, but if the architecture, the blueprint, isn’t noticed there remains the belief that there’s someone making great achievements. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The whole thing is just a Mind trick.

There’s no one doing anything in either dream. In lucid dreaming, especially in flight, all it takes is noticing that the subject, the apparent dreamer is never moving in the dream. Apparent movement is achieved by looking alone. Look at a distant point, strike a pose, any pose if you like, and the entire scenery moves towards where you’re looking from and the sensation of movement occurs. You are always completely still. Once this is noticed anything is possible knowing nothing is really happening. The rules alone are what separate this waking dream from the night dream.

In a lucid dream there can be jumping from the ground to Mars in one leap, dropping back down to earth and bouncing back up as if you’re on a trampoline. All it takes is looking down at the ground and watch the earth recede and then see Mars come into focus. Shift the focus from the dream to your sleeping body and there’s noticing the body sleeping in the bed, breathing like a baby. Outside of deep sleep it’s all about where the attention is. Lucidity is just being awake. What’s happening is whatever appears to be happening in the moment.

I wrote this just a few days ago while waiting for a plane, ironically enough. Writing often can precede a newly discovered event. Focused thoughts have a way of bringing about new highlights in the dreamscape. There are two basic ways of entering a lucid dream. One way features you in a lucid dream while sleeping, often in the early morning before waking up. The other way is entering a lucid dream directly from the waking state. I almost entirely enter it via sleep, and on rare occasions from the waking state but that usually occurs during an afternoon nap.

The night after I began to write this I discovered a doorway into a lucid dream that has now become a fixture, not different from a fixture in a house. Any opportunity for a consistent fixture in a dream is welcome. It’s like a zabuton for meditation, a familiar seat. As the body begins to fall asleep, there’s a moment where you can be aware of falling asleep. It’s like being drugged. The body gradually becomes more numb and just as there’s no more feeling there can be the feeling of being awake experiencing the body sleeping. The key is in the breath. We all exhale a deep sighing breath right as we fall asleep. If you have a partner, stay awake longer than her/him and listen for that breath. It’s easy to notice. Young kids are particularly expressive. When you experience it, it’s a deep shift in breath, into a new very relaxed rhythm. If you are in a state of ‘absence’ (Rigpa) aware already of that relaxed state, it’s just the experience of the body falling asleep without a gap in the breath because you’ve been featured in that sleeping/awake state already.

So this doorway. Here I was in a dark space, a dark room as it were. After all, I had just closed the eyes and there is that darkness as the body falls asleep. From that room there’s suddenly a doorway a throughway; no door attached. From that opening is now a beachfront. It’s a place I’ve visited religiously every Sunday for the last 25 years at Point Reyes Seashore. The view is identical to a place I like to sit. It’s become the place I can always relax in, count on for being a consistent state of absence; a kind of timeout. So there was no surprise that this was the place that showed up in the dream though after all these years, it was the first time I’ve seen it in a dream, ironically enough.

As I poked my head through the doorway the wind was rough coming in from the ocean, freezing cold. This was obviously a wake up call, knocking the cobwebs loose. In the distance are two figures, human figures dressed in white. I can’t make out who they are but their dress made it seemed as if they were female. I think of my wife and daughter, as one is much smaller than the other. I feel so at home, even though I’m freezing. I’m aware it’s time, knowing I have to pass through the opening. So I ease out and woosh, I’m forced out by the wind but feeling so experienced after all these years, I just let it do it’s thing. It seems each time there’s a new event, there’s forgetting that nothing is really happening, that there’s no one who’s flying. We get taken away by newness, lost in the rush of seeing anew. Fun is after all, feeling awake, yet mesmerized by the content; Half awake, half asleep. Aware of the emptiness of content, fun is replaced by blissfulness.

Gone with the Wind.... When I was very young I must have seen the film, ‘Gone With The Wind’. I say must have, only because when I saw it again at a later age I recognized much of the film, but particularly the staircases. After first seeing the film I began to have identical dreams off and on for the following 30 years, never questioning them, never wondering what they meant, but the experience in each dream was consistently fun. The dream was merely an attempt to ‘fly’ up the staircases. That house was a gymnasium of sorts. I would furiously flap my arms enough to get a slight lift, then kick the legs back and start moving them like I was swimming the crawl while the arms flailed about. Must have looked hideous, but it was all I could do to keep afloat. The goal was to finally reach the top of the stairs. In thirty years I had never accomplished it, had never improved, was never frustrated by it, would always wake up feeling refreshed from the exercise thinking I just flew, I really flew, well at least a rendition of flying. Then one night thirty years later, I met a man at a party who asked me if I had any experience with lucid dreaming. He described what it was, and my first thought was, “no, never, not me”. Then I told him about this dream and he popped up and said “that’s it.

You’ve been practicing to fly but haven’t been aware of it.” I told him I must be a slow learner, figuring after 30 years without progress I was probably a hopeless case. He said, “you’re using the staircase like training wheels on a bicycle. You’re afraid of falling so you keep those stairs below you. How do you expect to be “Gone with the Wind” staying indoors all the time?” As a side note, wind has always been a love of mine. Up until a few years ago I was almost always depressed if the air was too still. Well, that night I couldn’t wait to get to sleep. I knew it was going to be a momentous event from the get go. Imagine how it must have felt realizing that I had dutifully clocked in countless hours to get up this staircase? This was it, my chance. I was now aware of what it was I was doing, in a manner of speaking.

That night, to my surprise ‘I found myself’ in the Arizona desert. I had grown up in the Nevada desert, loved the desert, but this one was more majestic, huge mesas everywhere, the sky turquoise blue, the dirt and rocks brilliantly rusty with all that iron. I was now at the foot of a mesa which was very round but slightly oblong and completely vertical for hundreds of feet upwards. It dawned on me I had to fly up to the top of the mesa. I remember mumbling, laughing a bit too.....why can’t we just do the stairs once, and after accomplishing that, return to this place? Then I suddenly noticed that if I circumscribed my way up the mesa it was the exact shape of the main staircase in the ‘Gone with the Winddream. That staircase had been preparation for this event after all. No problem, just take a deep breath and kick and flap all the way up the side of this thing and don’t look down. Well, as soon as I took off, there was this sensation of a warm current lifting me up. I no longer needed to flap my arms nor kick my legs. It was basically like flying the way a glider plane goes up the side of a hill following the warm current. At the top, my whole dream world had suddenly changed. No longer did I require effort to fly, no more stairs, no more fear; until in another dream soon after, I discovered that I was at the top of a mountain without knowing how to fly downhill. Sure enough, what showed up? A path covered in stone steps leading downwards.

I didn’t have to flap my way down, just float, but the stairs were there just like in the first dream, for practice. All it took was one time and I had it down. Every dream thereafter, some form of practice would show up, I’d understand what I needed to do, then off I went. Most ‘dreamers’ I’ve encountered stop here. The ego swells in the belief it can do just about anything in a dream. There’s enormous confidence derived from lucid dreaming that carries over into the waking dream along with this new found relaxation, but if the architecture, the blueprint, isn’t noticed there remains the belief that there’s someone making great achievements. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The whole thing is just a Mind trick. There’s no one doing anything in either dream. In lucid dreaming, especially in flight, all it takes is noticing that the subject, the apparent dreamer is never moving in the dream. Apparent movement is achieved by looking alone. Look at a distant point, strike a pose, any pose if you like, and the entire scenery moves towards where you’re looking from and the sensation of movement occurs. You are always completely still. Once this is noticed anything is possible knowing nothing is really happening. The rules alone are what separate this waking dream from the night dream.

In a lucid dream there can be jumping from the ground to Mars in one leap, dropping back down to earth and bouncing back up as if you’re on a trampoline. All it takes is looking down at the ground and watch the earth recede and then see Mars come into focus. Shift the focus from the dream to your sleeping body and there’s noticing the body sleeping in the bed, breathing like a baby. Outside of deep sleep it’s all about where the attention is. Lucidity is just being awake. What’s happening is whatever appears to be happening in the moment. I wrote this just a few days ago while waiting for a plane, ironically enough. Writing often can precede a newly discovered event. Focused thoughts have a way of bringing about new highlights in the dreamscape. There are two basic ways of entering a lucid dream. One way features you in a lucid dream while sleeping, often in the early morning before waking up. The other way is entering a lucid dream directly from the waking state. I almost entirely enter it via sleep, and on rare occasions from the waking state but that usually occurs during an afternoon nap.

The night after I began to write this I discovered a doorway into a lucid dream that has now become a fixture, not different from a fixture in a house. Any opportunity for a consistent fixture in a dream is welcome. It’s like a zabuton for meditation, a familiar seat. As the body begins to fall asleep, there’s a moment where you can be aware of falling asleep. It’s like being drugged. The body gradually becomes more numb and just as there’s no more feeling there can be the feeling of being awake experiencing the body sleeping. The key is in the breath. We all exhale a deep sighing breath right as we fall asleep. If you have a partner, stay awake longer than her/him and listen for that breath. It’s easy to notice. Young kids are particularly expressive. When you experience it, it’s a deep shift in breath, into a new very relaxed rhythm. If you are in a state of ‘absence’ (Rigpa) aware already of that relaxed state, it’s just the experience of the body falling asleep without a gap in the breath because you’ve been featured in that sleeping/awake state already. So this doorway.

Here I was in a dark space, a dark room as it were. After all, I had just closed the eyes and there is that darkness as the body falls asleep. From that room there’s suddenly a doorway a throughway; no door attached. From that opening is now a beachfront. It’s a place I’ve visited religiously every Sunday for the last 25 years at Point Reyes Seashore. The view is identical to a place I like to sit. It’s become the place I can always relax in, count on for being a consistent state of absence; a kind of timeout. So there was no surprise that this was the place that showed up in the dream though after all these years, it was the first time I’ve seen it in a dream, ironically enough. As I poked my head through the doorway the wind was rough coming in from the ocean, freezing cold. This was obviously a wake up call, knocking the cobwebs loose. In the distance are two figures, human figures dressed in white. I can’t make out who they are but their dress made it seemed as if they were female. I think of my wife and daughter, as one is much smaller than the other.

I feel so at home, even though I’m freezing. I’m aware it’s time, knowing I have to pass through the opening. So I ease out and woosh, I’m forced out by the wind but feeling so experienced after all these years, I just let it do it’s thing. It seems each time there’s a new event, there’s forgetting that nothing is really happening, that there’s no one who’s flying. We get taken away by newness, lost in the rush of seeing anew. Fun is after all, feeling awake, yet mesmerized by the content; Half awake, half asleep. Aware of the emptiness of content, fun is replaced by blissfulness.

Source

dharmaconnectiongroup.blogspot.com.au