Tag Archives: mind

On lucid dreaming (and being afraid of your own mind)

This night I woke up around 4:00 feeling a bit thirsty, so I got up, drank some water and walked around for like 5 or 10 minutes. Then went back to bed and fell asleep. For those of you familiar with lucid dreaming techniques, this is one of them, as around that time in the night we are usually in the REM period, and bringing our mind to a more awake state will increase the chances of lucid dreaming. But I wasn’t really thinking about it, it just happened naturally.

Anyway, I started dreaming and pretty quickly got myself into a lucid state inside the dream. It’s  not new for me, I started practicing it more than 10 years ago and then quitted. But had quite a few lucid dreams over the years. It’s been quite some time since my last lucid experience so I got pretty excited about it, which, in lucid dreaming “rules, is something you should never do.

When we get excited our breathing changes and our heart beat accelerates, which makes us break the dream state quite quickly. Usually my lucid dreams are always short due to this excitement, I never got enough experience to control my emotional state and keep calm in order to maintain the dream. Yesterday was no exception, the dream must have lasted some 30 seconds to a minute, but it’s really hard to tell as in the dream world time works in a different scale… 1 minute might well be 1 second in the real world.

This morning, while I was doing meditation, I was wondering why I get so excited when I start lucid dreaming… and then I got to an interesting conclusion…

You know these people who don’t know how to be alone? Or, when with other people, don’t know how to be in silence? These are people who don’t deal well with themselves, are uncomfortable with their own minds, don’t know how to just *be*. So they just fill out the silence and the gaps, with random talking or random doing.. so that they don’t have to deal with it. I’m *not* one of them. I love being alone, I appreciate being in silence, even in the company of others.

But!… while I was wondering why I get so excited at the beginning of a lucid dream, I got this thought that maybe  I do it on purpose because in the dream world, I am afraid of that same situation! The difference is, in the real world I have control (or at least it seems like), whereas in the dream world I feel the control is not totally mine (sounds confusing, I know). Entering the dream world is like entering the Matrix.. a world where all the rules fall apart and everything is possible… it’s exciting and intimidating at the same time. I think I “fill” myself with excitement and hurry up in doing lots and lots of things, so that I don’t have to deal with that “silence” or loneliness.. because the thing that will probably pop up, will be my own unconscious mind.

Remember the movie Inception? That’s it! I fear my own Mal will show up and who knows what she might do?

I’ll take this as a challenge, next time, whenever it happens, no action… just being and observing… who knows what we might learn about our own self.

I recall reading this experience from a lucid dreamer, which goes more or less like this:

“I used to have a recurrent dream, or rather, a nightmare. I would be in a random place, and then suddenly feel a lot of fear. I felt I was being chased by someone or something, so I started running and running so that thing could not catch me. It was awful and I just wanted to wake up.
When I started lucid dreaming I thought I had a chance to control that dream and find out what it meant. So, one night I had that dream again, I was running with fear, I went under a bridge for hiding and, while I was there, I managed to “wake up” inside the dream and it became a lucid dream. I decided to step out and face whatever was coming at me. I discovered that what was chasing me was a small girl. I faced her and asked her ‘Who are you?’, she replied ‘I am your fear of the unknown'”.

Do we need rules in spiritual practice?

Over the years I’ve seen many people running away from spiritual paths (especially my own) due to inherent need to follow certain rules and regulations, do’s and dont’s.
Anyone who might have studied or read spiritual biographies or stories will understand the need for these things, especially when this instructions are coming from the spiritual aspirant’s master himself. Sometimes they are easy and understandable, other times they are void of any logic or reasoning, but still, it is in the disciple’s best interest to follow those instructions.

I guess this allergy to rules is just one of those things of these modern times, a side effect of this so called “new age” mentality, that wants you to be “free”. And, as such, working for this “freedom” seems to imply that you only do whatever you want to do. “Listen to your heart”, they say. That’s nice and sweet talk, but that won’t get you far.

Let me use a simple analogy here. If you have Continue reading Do we need rules in spiritual practice?

Cleanliness of mind

In the moral values of yoga (yama and niyama), there is one called “Saoca”, which we can translate as “cleanliness” or “purity”. Its application is two-fold, internal and external.

Externally, it’s easy to understand the impact that a pleasant and harmonious environment can have on our state of mind, not to speak in terms of physical health.
But the internal part is the most interesting and yesterday I got to experience a little bit of it, from the negative side.

Those who know me, know that I’m a person that likes extremes. What Continue reading Cleanliness of mind