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Dreams as Purification

Dreams as Purification
Answer
2/16/18 3:15 AM
I don't think this approach on dreams has been tackled yet so would be interesting to hear other people's reasons.

My girlfriend has gone away for a couple of weeks so we can both individually look at our 'stuff'. For me this involves reorganizing the boat and clearing clutter, and doing the same with my mind, with the overall ambition of more peace and harmony.

I've noticed now that if viewed as a purification model rather than as part of the Progress of Insight, there appears to be a direct correlation between dreams and meditation practice, however I've not gathered enough evidence to conclude this.

My interest in this is because I occasionally suffer from parasomnia (a group of peculiar sleep disturbances such as sleepwalking, vivid or lucid dreams, false awakenings and night terrors), and it has been triggered off after a higher bar has been set with my meditation. (My practice hasn't gone so 'well' lately, so my mind has been noisier than it could be.)

In the past I've viewed dreams as an activity that naturally and automatically happens when synapses haven't been activated but is the path of least resistance, kind of like an itch or a twitch, and that seems to hold up. Like there are subconscious matter that hasn't been resolved and you're itching it during rem sleep.

Annoyingly (as I need deep sleep to recover my muscles for work), after a period of meditation that has calmed things down somewhat, my sleep patterns change in that I am abiding in what I believe to be primarily REM, stage 1 and 2, but rarely 3, despite the fact I often get up and worry about the boat for some unknown reason, look out the window etc. (Twice I've knocked the front door down in the past which is worrying, still yet to fix it the second time lol). I woke up around every 2 hours, and the rest felt like dreaming wierd shit most of the time. Definitely material in there reflecting unresolved psychological stuff.

I'm just interested to hear other people's opinions on this aspect of dreams as a necessary automatic process of purification. I feel intuitively that something is resolved, just hope it stops one day because is inconvenient and slightly worrying!

RE: Dreams as Purification
Answer
2/17/18 6:00 PM as a reply to Dom Stone.
Not sure I understand your question or if what I'll write addresses it properly. 
I don't see dreams as enough in themselves to resolve anything. I see many dreams as attempts to "metabolize" non-metabolized but emotionally significant mental contents. By non-metabilized I mean not brought fully to consciousness and engaged consciously with.

If dreams are left unengaged with consciously I don't think they can reach their goals. In other words, we need to consciously engage (i.e. once awake) with the dream images and see how they may express something about our life. As a therapist I do this almost daily, with my clients' dreams and my own, and it's fascinating to discover how dreams can express various aspects of our life we wouldn't think of normally.

So I would not consider dreams as "a necessary automatic process of purification" but rather attempts to achieve this that require the active engagement of the dreamer once awake.

As for dreams and meditation, I'm only beginning to explore this. I began to add a meditation session right before sleeping (in my bed in fact) and since then I've had intense meditation dreams. What I can observe sometimes is that in dreams the vibrations I feel as I meditate in the dream are way more intense than on the cushion while awake. Perhaps defense mechanisms are weaker in the sleep stage (deviating from Freud here as he believed they were still active) and the nana you were hitting before sleeping reaches powerful heights during sleep, without any blockages that were there while awake. I may be totally wrong here. 

Or maybe meditation dreams are attempts of the unconscious to integrate "shocking" insights we are having while meditating awake but don't necessarily realize we are having. 

In any case, I wish your sleep issues get resolved soon. Sounds difficult.

RE: Dreams as Purification
Answer
2/18/18 3:53 AM as a reply to Ben V..
My wording can be poor, my apologies! When I say they are necessary, I do not mean that they are necessary for anything else, but they happen as necessary as one moving ball knocks another ball which moves. It is necessary that the other ball moves or natural laws of cause and effect aren't in effect. Maybe it was my loose use of the word necessary...

I think what you mention with metabolizing non metabolized content resonates with me in a similar way, and is more or less what I am getting at. 

I agree with you about ñanas being more powerful in dreams. It is like when we are dreaming we sometimes 'forget' to break up experience with discursive thoughts. Had a very strong A&P experience a few nights ago, it was like a feedback loop of experience, which is something that would be interrupted in waking life.

Working on dreams sounds like a good idea, I try make sure I don't forget them through the day, however I believe that simply the act of having the dream has a useful effect of balancing potential, which is why we can remember things that we might not have remembered well before, like a brain defrag.

Potentially a result of assimilating shocking insight, though I get the feeling it's like when the wind calms down over the ocean. The ocean takes longer to settle, which happens during sleep. 

I've slept well the last couple of nights thank you emoticon

RE: Dreams as Purification
Answer
2/18/18 7:29 AM as a reply to Dom Stone.
Sorry for my misunderstanding.  Yes in the way you explain I also see it this way, that dreams are a necessary function of the mind (although there are beliefs in Buddhism that arahants don't dream).

Thanks for sharing your perspective about dreams and nanas. I've always been intrigued by those dreams.