Kinds and Uses of Dreams

Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche

If we make the mistake of believing that samsaric dreams are offering us true guidance, then changing our lives daily, trying to follow the dictates of dreams, can become a full-time job. It is also a way to become stuck in personal drama, believing that all our dreams are messages from a higher, more spiritual source. It is not like that.We should pay close attention to dreams and develop some understanding of which ones have import and which are only the manifestation of the emotions, desires, fears, hopes, and fantasies of our daily life.

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We will find, as practitioners, that a continuity develops in that part of our life we spend in dream. This is valuable in our spiritual journey, as dream becomes part of a specific process that reconnects us to our deeper selves, and matures our spiritual development.

While the use of dream yoga to benefit us in the relative world is good, it is a provisional use of dream. Ultimately we want to use dream to liberate ourselves from all relative conditions, not simply to improve them.

Originally published in The Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep, by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, edited by Mark Dahlby. Snow Lion Publications, Ithaca, New York, 1998. Republished here with thanks.

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