Posted by: Upāsaka | 03/23/2017

Sleep Practice

Four years I have toyed with the idea of dream yoga and have even made attempts to practice it through lucid dreaming. Unfortunately, for whatever reasons, I have never been able to have much success. But yesterday, after listening to a talk by Ajahn Achalo, it occurred me that I could use a technique from lucid dreaming to cultivate metta at night. 

One of the methods meant to cultivate awareness in dreams is to wake oneself throughout the night at different times. To do so I’ll be using my fitbit which has silent, vibrating alarms. Rather than attempting to enter a dream state with lucidity I intend to cultivate metta until I fall asleep again. 

Interestingly enough, I was able to practice this in dreams somewhat even though I didn’t have my fitbit set-up. I realized that I was having a dream about being poisoned by radioactive substance. Rather than waking myself up from up, I realized that this was a great opportunity to practice death contemplation and metta. The fear was real but I remember calming myself and then asking myself what state was most suited for this moment. I felt that spreading loving-kindness was the most appropriate thing to do so I began with that. 

I’m excited to see how this practice develops and I’ve got faith that it’s worth it which should help. When I have practiced for dream yoga in the past I was never quite sure of my motivation but this is much more clear. 

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