Saturday, April 7, 2012

Dreaming, Traveling, Meditating, Dying and Living

For me meditating, traveling, lucid dreaming and trancing seem to come easily and naturally. In fact, I had to labor long and hard early in life to get control of the process, because it was playing havoc with my (then) present reality. Those of you who have experienced these trancelike states involuntarily know what I mean about them being inconvenient and at times downright dangerous. If you are driving car or riding a bicycle and you zone out, tune in or turn on, then quit possibly you could become someone’s hood ornament or a part of the landscape. Establishing some kind of control on this process was something I began to attempt at the age of five (sounds too young doesn’t it but children are some of the absolutely best dreamers that there are).

My older brother and I shared a bed and each night we would take turns scaring one another about all the shapes appearing in our bedroom in the moonlight and through the plants and trees. We also had competitions about who could control their dreams the best. My brother always strove to outdo me since I was the younger of the two of us. He generally told the biggest and the best stories about dreams and the adventures that he had. One particular dream of his was with a crazy man who attempted to kill him with a knife. My brother always won the fights because he assured me that if one was killed in a dream, then one would die in real life as well. I accepted this idea for a few months but something about it just did not sit quite right with me, so I decided to dream about a knife fight and to purposely let the adversary kill me.

A variety of results occurred:
  • I was killed and immediately became the person who had killed me.
  • I was killed and immediately became another person entirely.
  • I was killed and immediately started a different dream.
  • I was killed and immediately awakened.
  • I was killed and immediately became nothing but darkness.
Obviously, I did not physically die as a result of these dream deaths (at least that’s how it seemed to me then and that is still how it seems to me now as well). I did learn an early lesson from dreams that we can do anything through controlling our minds to the point that we can fly, change our surrounding reality, face and overcome horrors and even transcend death through passing from one body to another or even to another stage of being (even into nothingness for as long as the spark of will is allowed to be quiescent).

Other dream lessons and experiences involved facing my worst fears (including the ones that we don’t even know we have). These required me to look deep within myself to discover that I feared myself more than anything else, This realization led me to understand that we create our emotions on the most basic level and that those feelings we most strongly need and use can be our worst enemies or our best friends and allies, I also came to understand that each day of wakefulness seems to be shaped by the dreams that we have every night. By working with this understanding, I was able to know that dreams do come true at times or that they foreshadow things that occur in life (immediately and in the future).

Beyond my self-awareness and experimentation with dreams I also encountered the strong sense that I was being instructed in dreams and even controlled to a point. I would have dreams where I was in a crowd or a line of people who were basically sleepwalking and being herded around by other beings. Seemingly, I was the only one noticing this and would protest verbally and physically to the dream herders and instructors (as physically as one can get in a dream). They would ignore me until my protests became too noisy (to the point of awakening those around me) or I tried to get out of line or away from the crowds. At that point, they would exert more control over me until I was back in line again and they would smile or laugh at my feeble efforts. Even while under their restrain and control, I still retained a sense of independence and rebellion against being manipulated. That did not mean that I always succeeded in mastering myself or the dream teachers. After all, I was still a child of five or six and there were many lessons to be learned in dreaming and waking.

After years of being taught in a variety of schools and much study through additional reading in books and libraries, I discovered that there is actually an art and a science of lucid dreaming. This is not a new discovery as many religions and spiritual disciplines have taught about this ability and phenomena for thousands of years. In some forms of Yoga, the discipline of dreaming is one of the first steps toward realization that one as an individual must master the self before attempting to master anything else in what we often describe as reality or creation. When I read about these things ten to twenty years later, I was amazed that their practices basically mirrored or were the same practices and abilities I had discovered on my own as a child. This blog posting will be my journal of the other lessons in life that have come to me through dreams, consideration, concentration and realization.

I intend to place them here as time and energy allow me to report on them in hopes that when I catch them up to date, my spiritual studies and efforts can then move forward with any others who are in resonance with a quest for truth as it exists in any form of life.