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Lucid Dreaming?
Answer
7/27/10 9:31 AM
Hi I've been doing mindfulness meditation before I go to sleep and when I wake up. I do a body scan and I find that when I'm in between sleeping and awake I get VIVID images in great detail almost like photographs yet much of these images are patterns or nonsense or people I've never seen before in locales I've never been to. They go away after a few seconds. Is this just lucid dreaming from concentration, or some insight artifact?

RE: Lucid Dreaming?
Answer
7/27/10 9:11 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
In the Lucid Dreaming world, that's called hypnogogic imagery. It's quite common, and it is sorta a gateway to Lucid dreaming. In fact, in my own experience, the more I lucid dream, the more the differences between dream life and waking life seem to blur, and this type of imagery becomes more common in waking hours, and a sense of being awake becomes more common in dreaming hours.

I believe in the Insight world, however, it's simply another thing to notice the three characteristics of.

RE: Lucid Dreaming?
Answer
7/27/10 10:55 PM as a reply to Daniel Johnson.
Daniel Johnson:
In the Lucid Dreaming world, that's called hypnogogic imagery. It's quite common, and it is sorta a gateway to Lucid dreaming. In fact, in my own experience, the more I lucid dream, the more the differences between dream life and waking life seem to blur, and this type of imagery becomes more common in waking hours, and a sense of being awake becomes more common in dreaming hours.

I believe in the Insight world, however, it's simply another thing to notice the three characteristics of.


I agree that they are impermanent and I certainly wouldn't even know how to make them permanent if I tried. emoticon

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypnagogia

Sights

Among the more commonly reported,[23][24] and more thoroughly researched, sensory features of hypnagogia are phosphenes which can manifest as seemingly random speckles, lines or geometrical patterns, including form constants, or as figurative (representational) images. They may be monochromatic or richly colored, still or moving, flat or three-dimensional (offering an impression of perspective). Imagery representing movement through tunnels of light is also reported. Individual images are typically fleeting and given to very rapid changes. They are said to differ from dreams proper in that hypnagogic imagery is usually static and lacking in narrative content,[16] although others understand the state rather as a gradual transition from hypnagogia to fragmentary dreams,[25] i.e. from simple "eigenlicht" to whole imagined scenes. Hypnagogia can be induced with a Dreamachine, which uses light pulsing at a frequency close to that of alpha waves to create this effect. Descriptions of exceptionally vivid and elaborate hypnagogic visuals can be found in the work of Marie-Jean-Léon, Marquis d'Hervey de Saint Denys.


It seems harmless enough. Though when you say that in lucid dreaming you feel more awake at night and less awake during the day and see hypnogogic dreams that does sound disorienting. I hope I don't have that at work. emoticon I suppose if one were to meditate before bed these "alpha waves" are the cause.

RE: Lucid Dreaming?
Answer
7/29/10 1:32 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Richard B:
Though when you say that in lucid dreaming you feel more awake at night and less awake during the day and see hypnogogic dreams that does sound disorienting. I hope I don't have that at work. emoticon I suppose if one were to meditate before bed these "alpha waves" are the cause.


I didn't say I feel less awake during the day. It's more that the imagery and feeling quality of dream life becomes more apparent in daily waking hours. Not, the sleepiness of dream life. In fact, dreamlife can be quite awake, it seems, even though the body is asleep.

Anyway, I think it may also relate to "formations" as in the Equanimity nyana in the post I just replied to in another thread.

Recently, I've had lucid dreams something to what I read Daniel I. describe in some other post which I doubt I could even find, but it's not even like a dream, but rather just flashing images, like a constant flow of hypnagogea without any story line or content. And, in fact, I'd be curious to hear his take on how those may or may not relate to what he's defined as "formations

RE: Lucid Dreaming?
Answer
7/29/10 2:30 PM as a reply to Daniel Johnson.
Daniel Johnson:
Recently, I've had lucid dreams something to what I read Daniel I. describe in some other post which I doubt I could even find, but it's not even like a dream, but rather just flashing images, like a constant flow of hypnagogea without any story line or content. And, in fact, I'd be curious to hear his take on how those may or may not relate to what he's defined as "formations


Very interesting. Do you feel well rested after lucid dreaming and is it better than typical sleep?

RE: Lucid Dreaming?
Answer
7/29/10 2:35 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
I'm not an expert at this or anything, so take it all with a grain of salt. I'm sorta kooky too, so whatever.

But, from a very young age, I seem to have been doing what I used to call "dream work"... I didn't really know what it was until more recently, but it seems that it's mostly just a deep process of relaxing through subconcious material. And, the way it has manifested more and more actually resembles my meditation recently and resembles this idea of "equanimity with formations"... and it's basically just a complete letting go through all the imagery, light, sound - grasping none of it. This type of dreaming I find incredbily relaxing and restful. Incredibly so. The only thing is that until only very recently it was not a concious thing that I did, it was almost entirely unconcious and would only happen spontaneously.

In contrast to more typical lucid dreaming, it is much more restful. My experience with the typical form of lucid dreaming in which you wake up, get all excited and then run around trying to walk through walls, or fly around tropical paradises, or fuck lots of beautiful women... that kind of lucid dreaming isn't restful, and it's basically just like normal life in that it's has the quality of a constant chasing and running (ie. Samsara). I don't really think there's much value in that kind of lucid dreaming - at least in my experience.

The change between the two came about a year ago when I was at the Vipassana center and a friend recommended that next time I lucid dream, I just let it all happen without manipulating anything. Just let it all be. I thought that sounded cool, so I tried it, and I find it a much better approach. And, also a wonderful way to experience the three characteristics, just by observing the lights and colors and sounds and sensations come and go, arise and pass.

So, bottom line: for me, the more I really surrender and let go before and during sleep and as I wake up in the morning, the more rested I feel.

RE: Lucid Dreaming?
Answer
7/29/10 3:04 PM as a reply to Daniel Johnson.
My experience with the typical form of lucid dreaming in which you wake up, get all excited and then run around trying to walk through walls, or fly around tropical paradises, or fuck lots of beautiful women... that kind of lucid dreaming isn't restful, and it's basically just like normal life in that it's has the quality of a constant chasing and running (ie. Samsara). I don't really think there's much value in that kind of lucid dreaming - at least in my experience.


This is funny. emoticon I didn't think it was possible to manipulate dreams to that extent but the brain is vast so it shouldn't surprise me.

Well I'm glad you found a better way. Good sleep is so important and makes the day less cranky and makes meditation time more efficient because you're not nodding off.

RE: Lucid Dreaming?
Answer
7/29/10 5:30 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Richard B:
I didn't think it was possible to manipulate dreams to that extent but the brain is vast so it shouldn't surprise me.


Yeah, that's the stuff I was able to do, but some people who really practice are able to manipulate it much more (talk to dead relatives, travel to other universes, etc.). I think that's why it can be a dangerous trap where one can get seriously lost in entertainment and forget what it's all about. Luckily, I wasn't that great at it, and it took a bunch of effort - so I stopped trying to manipulate.

RE: Lucid Dreaming?
Answer
7/29/10 7:57 PM as a reply to Daniel Johnson.
Daniel Johnson:
Richard B:
I didn't think it was possible to manipulate dreams to that extent but the brain is vast so it shouldn't surprise me.


Yeah, that's the stuff I was able to do, but some people who really practice are able to manipulate it much more (talk to dead relatives, travel to other universes, etc.). I think that's why it can be a dangerous trap where one can get seriously lost in entertainment and forget what it's all about. Luckily, I wasn't that great at it, and it took a bunch of effort - so I stopped trying to manipulate.


Holy cow! That sounds like a scene in Inception where characters prefer their dream world to the real one.

RE: Lucid Dreaming?
Answer
7/30/10 6:34 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
For really trippy descriptions, check out Carlos Castaneda's
The Art of Dreaming
It reminded me of some stuff in MCTB about the 4th jhana and the powers

Some may say that most all of us prefer the dream world to the real one, as most people don't actually live in the real world.

RE: Lucid Dreaming?
Answer
9/1/10 12:23 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Richard B:

Holy cow! That sounds like a scene in Inception where characters prefer their dream world to the real one.


Yeah I'm sure Inception got some of its material from Lucid Dreaming experiences. I've done it a few times, and mostly done the running-around-excited thing. It is pretty awesome! You can pretty much do whatever you imagine with no consequences, so I can see how that would be alluring. What's also interesting is that a 20 minute nap can seem like it lasted 2 hours if you were lucid the whole time. I've definitely woken up from those well rested, even though I was running around trying to do things.

I'm not that good at controlling it, though. I'll try the more relaxed version next time I lucid dream, see what happens.