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02 April, 2009

Lucid Dream to Yoga Nidra: Entering into the Dreams

We normally spend one third of our life time in sleeping and almost half of it in dreaming. If a person lives for 60 years, s/he spends 20 years in sleeping and 10 years in dreaming. Then, how can we neglect what is happening during that long period! Dream, therefore, has been topic of speculation and interest for human race throughout time immemorial. Although the biological purpose and the causes of dream are not fully understood, it has attracted every culture with its own belief and interpretation.   For psychologists, oneirologists and  those who are interested in spiritual ascension, dream is useful tool to understand who actually am I in the deep subconscious level. From the nature of the dream, it is believed to identify the gross egoic body; the personality and the emotional motives hidden beneath the ‘dark’ layer.


(Photo courtesy)

What is Dream?

Perhaps, the most ancient explanation on dream is in Patanjali’s yogasutra. It says, our consciousness travels through four difference planes; turiya (total subjective awareness), ordinary conscious (day to day awaken state), dream (subconscious) or the sushupti (unconscious). Among these levels, the dream represents the subconscious and astral journey of consciousness. The degree of consciousness in dream is very low, and in general the notion of I is totally identified with the chitta (mind-emotion pattern). There are literally innumerable discussion and interpretation  on dream and are often controversial too. However, in this post I am sharing the perception based on my observation.

Type of Dreams

Generally, the dream can be classified in three groups. Mind based, emotional based and the existential based. The nature of mind based dream are very fluidic. They are very illogical, random, irrational and uncoordinated. They often appear as the parts of unrelated ‘events’ forming a chain, and sometimes be simulated externally. Perhaps, they are meant to natural washout the junk we collect everyday.


Emotion based dreams are very meaningful in psychology. They generally reflect the ‘personality’ we have created since our childhood and often are repetitive in nature. Continuously suppressed emotion, unfulfilled desires, personal aspiration- are the main causes behind this dream.  Dream of Flying, swimming, trying to cross river, lost of way/friends and wandering alone in jungle, sense of fear and being chased by someone, riding animals etc. fall under this category. The contents of this dream, help to discover our ‘personality’; what we have collected and dumped in deep subconscious levels with the course of time.


Existential based dreams are rarely dreamt and are quite intuitive too. Although we may not link any logic with them, they cause unknown but unforgettable sensation and, in deep inside, we are convinced that they are  trying to deliver some messages. If something happen to  those who are very near to us emotionally, from the level of existence (as  we are linked in this plane), the signal of empathy passes into us. At this level, consciousness can travel without the boundary of space and time, and leaves us few drops to taste. The sense of déjà vu, vision of unknown events yet to happen, are few examples of it. (see this link Osho discourse on "The Inward Revolution - The Psychology of the Esoteric who like to explore the esoteric aspects of dream in detail). The second and the third type of dreams are meaningful to us; second reflects who are we and the third delivers the message what is

My Experiment with Dream

Generally we are unaware of US in dream, thus totally identifying with the happening in dream. However, once a while, we all can identify that we are dreaming and thus be able to dissociate with the events there. I have found myself a lucid dreamer, many time I identify the dream as dream and guide the course of dream too (it is funny). Once you know you are dreaming, you have total control in it, as you are now the director of the movie. In lucid dreaming, consciousness is in faint state; if it becomes dimmer, ordinary dream happens, and if the consciousness becomes stronger, dreaming is no longer possible (we wake up). I found lucid dreaming as a healing tool, and try to be watchfulness while lucid dreaming. hehe.. Beyond the lucid dream, there is yoganidra (yogic sleep) where we can consciously enter to, be in and exist from the dream. Here, the sense of ME is present during the entire situation, and this experiment happens to me recently. When I started to sleep and gradually let-go the thoughts, I suddenly knew that am entering to the dream, and became aware of ME rather than the dream contents. Once I was aware of ME, I did not feel any pain and reactive emotions even in travelling across the fire, submerge into ocean, or being attacked by beasts (rather was curious passing through them), which could otherwise be nightmare. Especially the experience in the transition time (entering time and the exiting time) is very thrilling, peculiar (not pleasurable though!) and involvement of change in energy flow pattern. The observation of the astral travel in dream gave the great relief, unusual freedom and the interesting perception about mind-emotion mechanism. However, to live with that understanding and translate it for ‘day to day awaken’ state is still difficult.


What do you think?

Do you have similar observations?


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  1. Hi, came here from the Zen in You's blog.
    I found your post quite enlightening. I think I have had at least two lucid dreams in the past but hard to be sure. According to the research I did online they were, but I still don't know yet. I woke up too early in both, a bit shaken though not scared. Weird.
    Anyway, I love all the research and time you've put into studying dreams, I definitely also believe they're trying to tell us something.

  2. Didn't realize that one of my favorite photos is the name of your blog...LOL..."The Journey Within." Thanks for the comment you left on Barbs blog yesterday.

    This dream post is very interesting...You must check out Jay Frawley's's all about dream analysis, you'd love it!

  3. @Rightonmom- Welcome to this blog. Well regarding to the licid dream, if you were awared of yourself (or knew it was dream) and tried to manipulate it, it is lucid dream. However, it is not always possible to control the course 100%.

    @thezeninyou- Thank you for your link.

  4. Liked this post! specially, the classification of the dreams. Thanks for posting one of my favorite topics :-)

    Regarding the lucid dreaming, at times, it can be a lot of fun, but on the other hand, can take time to master, and we must be careful not to allow an attitude of impatience to penetrate our dream life. Lucid dreaming can provide an opportunity to deeply explore our own personality.

    But sometimes, the thinking may become too intense and we may think of taking a break. lucid dreaming is safe if used responsibly. However, there are good chances that we may feel excessively tired after attempting to lucid dream. What I think is, a careful choice of timing is important before we decide to enter into the 'dream' planet!

  5. Deependraji,
    You put thoughtful words. it could be nice if the intelligence can be used there. Actually, while diving into dream the 'judgement' and the 'care' are the final thing we like to consider. All appear as game...

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