Lucid Dreams as a Bridge Between Realities: Chongtul Rinpoche at TEDxFultonStreet (Transcript)

Namaste.

Audience: Namaste

Hello. So I am trying to talk about Tibetan dreams and lucid dreams. So in our tradition actually, I am a Tibetan lama and I grew up in India at the Refugee Way. Then during my life, I studied the Tibetan Bon tradition. Bon is the indigenous culture and indigenous tradition of Tibet before Buddhism came into Tibet from India during the 7th century. Before the 7th century all Tibet is the Bon tradition and I am the follower of the Bon tradition.

So in the Bon tradition we have, one is the Sutra teaching, and one is the Tantric teaching, and one is the Great Dzogchen teaching, and this dream we are mostly about from the Tantric teaching, and it is also related with the Great Perfection, which is the Dzogchen study.

Dream is about coming from your own experience that come from the past life or in the present life. Most of the dream is divided into the karmic dream and one is the wisdom dream. So karmic dream always we know that every single day we are having something every night, while you are sleeping, you are having a dream, those are the karmic dreams. And wisdom dream is that sometimes in the daytime, even if you are not sleeping, and you will feel something that you are not in the real life, but you are falling kind of dreaming that you are totally into a different place, and you have such a feeling and such an experience that is beyond the present of your own experienced life.

So those are actually also made from yourself. We very much believe those are the wisdom dreams. Not necessary that dreams must come into the dreams that you have in your sleep in our tradition. Dreams can be while you are alive, while you are not asleep, and also in the sleeping time. So most of the lucid dream is while you are dreaming about life, without any sleep, also in the sleep, that in the dream, you will see so many different people.

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You will travel into the nice places, you’re also having a different kind of experience that you may feel that I have done in the past time, or I’ve done, or I met this person sometime, but you never remember, and you have no idea where you met those people and where you’d done these things. Those are the lucid dreams, and at the moment when you are feeling, you are totally traveling into your journey of what it is that are you are feeling. And most of those are coming not from the karmic, it is coming from your own wisdom, and what is the wisdom? Mostly we talk about it is your own consciousness, and your own experience of the five elements into your body: fire, air, earth and all the space. Those, when they’re turning into your body, sometimes fire can be in touch with your consciousness. Sometimes wind will be stronger with the consciousness.

Sometimes earth will be stronger with the consciousness. Each element, when they are strongly connected with your consciousness, then you are feeling a different kind of dream. So especially on the lucid dreams, those five consciousnesses, when they are strong with that consciousness, then sometimes you have your own experience, very strong awareness, and it is beyond your own “principal mind,” we call it. It’s the principal mind, which is always – it is running, running. That running mind is what normally we call the principal mind, but sometimes it’s very busy.

Most of the time, that mind is so busy and is always running, in the teaching, in the textbook, especially in the Dzogchen teaching, we call that monkey mind. So it is always running. But, how can we get a little training to that mind to be stable? And that way, lucid dream in the Tantric system, is the best way to control or make your mind a little bit stable. So from the lucid dream, how can you get into the lucid dream? So we already talked about the five elements and consciousness. Within that – so you just sometimes in our teaching, we have Ra, La, Sha and Sa. Four words.

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Before you go bed, or you want to do meditation, just reset your body in the position of meditation or relaxing, just relax on the nice sofa, and try to find out your mind. Within that, you’re trying to find out the mind, maybe once you’re looking into your mind, within a minute, you may feel something different than your own busy mind. That is the sense of what we call in Dzogchen, self-liberation, or sometimes we call the Buddha, or sometimes we say Buddhahood. Buddhahood is nothing outside

We are not looking for outside, we are always training our mind, the mind is within us, mind is the Buddhahood, mind is our mentor, mind is our teacher. Unless we don’t train our mind, we will never get into Buddhahood. If we train our mind, then mind will be out of the monkey “exercise,” then the mind is very stable. Once our mind is very stable, then you have a little sense of how you can train it into the lucid mind. Once mind is stable, little stay, little stay, so you check in within yourself, if mind is out of my body or mind is still with me.

So if once you have a little feeling that mind is really now with me, then you can look into your own experience of behind from your five elements, they will increase into your body, into your life. Within that experience, when you look into it, then you will feel so many different experiences, maybe 100 years back.

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