Most people use their dreams to work through their issues and questions.
Some people with highly-developed minds use their dreaming time to go to places and do things that they can’t do with their human bodies.
Only a small percentage of people can do this, but those who can, understand – on some level – what’s transpiring. Your higher selves conduct these excursions for you, so as you improve your human connection with your Higher Mind, the more actively your human awareness engages in these enterprises.
When people fall asleep, their minds become more subtle.
This means you shift into a different type of awareness, in which appearances flow and express multiple layers. This happens when you’re dreaming in REM sleep.
At other times, when you’re sleeping deeply, your mind actually leaves your body and goes to “heaven” (or “hell”, in the case of nightmares). It works this way for most people; you simply don’t remember (with your brain and body) what happens to you once your mind leaves body. You need your brain in order to remember, so when your mind leaves your body, because your physical nervous system wasn’t involved in that activity, your body can’t help you recall what happened.
Dreaming uses your physical nervous system, and that’s why you can recall dreams, including through hypnosis.
The neurons and pathways can reconstruct dream events in your brain so you can recall the dreams with your brain and mind.
Then, when you return to remember the ‘dream’, you again engage in your virtuous activities, but now you’re using your brain as you recall. This way, you’re training your physical neurology to familiarize itself with virtue.
Now, how do We know all this is true?
No ordinary sleep study could detect your mind once it’s left your body.
‘Mind’ in this context refers to conscious awareness, not autonomic function. Your body functions continue autonomically regardless of where your mind goes, as long as your body’s in adequate health. So there’s no way to prove that what We’re saying is true.
Even if scientists could develop a mechanism to detect when the mind leaves the body, that mechanism could not detect where the mind goes, unless it were also able to travel with the mind. At present people on earth don’t have such a mechanism, and given the current state of affairs of human consciousness, that is probably a good thing.
Perhaps one day mankind will be ready for that mechanism, once We can be certain that it would only be used for good.
Now these places that your minds travel vary: some are physical, and some are not. Once you understand how the mind creates its own world, this statement will make more sense. For now, We can just say that these places may be worlds outside ‘your own’.
Manjushri and Naropa would like for you to know that if you want to learn more about this, you should learn to meditate.
Only through sitting quietly with no distractions will you begin to understand and observe how your own mind works.
Everyone’s minds differ; don’t ever believe it if a ‘teacher’ tells you otherwise.
Once you teach your mind to settle, then you can move on to more advanced lessons, and this way Enlightened Beings can help you. That’s why many traditions use prayer: to ask for help. You don’t have to ask for help, but things go much quicker and easier if you do, so We highly recommend it.
Also, making requests creates karmic connections to Enlightened Beings, and that can be very helpful too.
You don’t need a teacher in order to learn to meditate. All you need is a good intention and your mind.
Once you begin to meditate, you’re on your way to Enlightenment. Once you realize Enlightenment, your mind spontaneously performs whatever actions are most beneficial to the greatest number of beings. You may not be fully conscious of your actions or their impacts, at least not with your waking mind, but that doesn’t lessen their effect.
Until you’re Enlightened, you need to tell your mind where you want it to go. This is the first step in learning to meditate.
Now, dreams come in many forms and types, and it’s helpful to know a little bit about the variations. Not all dreams are lucid, and that’s okay. You can use your dream time to be very productive if you want, and simply observing that you’re dreaming isn’t very productive. So it’s fine if you want to check from time to time to see if you’re dreaming, but please have a more productive goal in mind when you go to sleep.
All of humanity needs your help – they don’t need to know whether you know when you’re dreaming.
We mention this because many people who can dream lucidly, but choose to make recognizing their lucid dreaming a priority, could be engaging in much more beneficial activities.
Everyone likes good dreams, and no one chooses to have a nightmare, but nightmares can actually be very beneficial. If you always have only good dreams, you certainly enjoy your sleep more. But nightmares can teach you more than pleasant dreams ever could, because nightmares show you the things you still need to work on.
For instance, if you Dream that you’re in hell, then take the time to wonder why.
Perhaps you’re simply reliving a memory, but maybe something in your karma threatens to send you to hell in the future. Since you can’t really be sure, you can safely assume that you’d better get to work earning some merit and dedicating it to attaining Great Enlightenment. To attain Great Enlightenment, you need a lot of help from Enlightened Beings, so that dedication will naturally create strong karmic connections between yourself and Enlightened Beings.
Also, you’re protected by your good intention. When you make requests of Enlightened Beings, They begin helping you immediately, even if you can’t notice it.
Sometimes, when you need a break or some encouragement, Enlightened Beings send you particularly pleasant dreams, and these dreams show you what’s possible. Enjoy these dreams, knowing that they’ll come true in one form or another, in one lifetime or another.
Sometimes your dreams act as premonitions, although here We get into some muddy water.
Premonitions can be vague or very specific. Only an Enlightened Being can be certain which situation applies for any given dream.
Often when you look at your dreams, you can’t discern much meaning until later. It helps to keep a dream journal and write down even the most ridiculous or insignificant dreams, as you remember them. It may be months or years before you finally get all of their meanings, but many times you find the messages to be very meaningful and powerful.
It’s best not to be attached to assigning any particular meaning to dreams, because it’s not uncommon for one dream-incident to have several meanings, which may be relevant at different times in your life. Over time you’ll come to know the full significance of the dreams if you record them as objectively as possible.
For some people, a voice recording works better than writing. In any case, keeping some record of your dreams can prove very helpful.
Now, you might wonder where your dreams come from; obviously they come from your mind, but clearly there’s more to it than that.
When you dream, your mind pulls material from your experiences and your potentialities.
Based on your karma and your merit, you each have your own specific bank of both experience and potential. Just as no two people have the same karma and merit, no two people have the same dreams. In dreaming, your mind, aided by your guides, constructs whatever you need to experience in your dream world at that moment.
You might receive instructions, review events, or see things that could happen. Or you might be guided to meet others, if that benefits you most at the moment.
‘Moment’ is an apt choice of words because, as much dream research indicates, dreams are very momentary, very brief.
The constructs of physical time, space and activity don’t restrict your dream worlds. Nerve synapses can fire instantaneously, and can store a vast amount of information in just a second of conventional time. Remembering and recording take place within conventional time, though, so as you recall your dreams the sequence of events becomes elongated, so to speak.
In your dreams – in fact, even in your conscious mind – you can mentally live an entire lifetime within the matter of a few seconds.
And that’s precisely because there’s no ‘matter’ involved; dreaming is an activity purely of mind.
Even though some dream practitioners believe they can actually go to real physical places or transform their physical bodies in their dreams, although it feels real, it’s merely a product of mind. This doesn’t make these experiences invalid; We’re just making the distinction that dreaming occurs independently of physical time and matter.
You can meet people in dreams, but this is a meeting of minds, not of bodies. And the ability to ‘meet minds’ must be developed; it doesn’t come naturally to most people. We’d also like to note that when We say ‘mind’, We’re referring to the ultimate or very subtle mind, not the subtle energy body.
Energy is still physical, no matter how subtle it may be.
When you dream, many things happen in your physical body. Your body relaxes completely, and only your autonomic functions continue. Your mind steals the show, manifesting many things that the body wouldn’t normally allow. We say ‘allow’ deliberately, because your waking body possesses a mind of its own.
While awake, the body communicates with the mind, helping sort through and process sensory input. This instinctive function keeps you out of physical danger. All eight – yes, eight – senses function fully (to the extent that they’re intact), and all of your sense organs keep attention.
While all of this happens, you can’t unplug your minds and go off dreaming… or can you? As We mentioned before, the powerful mind can multi-task.
Its three Super Senses run like background programs, undetected by scientific measurements.
Some people unplug without falling asleep, and We call this visioning. Most people have to fall asleep to shut down the first five sense awarenesses, and then the super-conscious dreaming mind takes over. The term ‘super-conscious’ better reflects its activity than ‘sub-conscious’ when discussing the dreaming mind.
The vast and over-arching super-conscious mind pervades your experience – including your conscious awareness.
‘super-conscious’, ‘ultimate’, and ‘very subtle’ mind all refer to the same phenomena, and this mind abides with you constantly, usually working in the background while your conscious mind thinks and takes care of busy-ness.
Now you’re perhaps wondering about these extra Super Senses that We just mentioned. You already know about the first five senses: Sight, Smell, Touch, Taste and Hearing. And many of you know of a ‘sixth sense’, or ‘telepathy’.
Actually what most people call the ‘sixth sense’ includes three separate super-conscious senses, and We call them ‘super-hearing’, or clairaudience, ‘super-seeing’, or clairvoyance; and ‘super-knowing’, or gross omniscience.
We’d like to add that all people already possess these three additional sense awarenesses.
Anyone can cultivate perception, understanding and processing through these super sense awarenesses. When We say “all people”, We mean humans, animals and spirits. These sense awarenesses receive and process their input regardless of the state of your sense organs, and they continue to function until the death of the brain or body. Even someone who lacks all five ordinary senses perceives through the super-senses, even if they’re unconscious.
Please account for the three super-senses if ever you must make decisions about medical life support for someone.
Anyone who’s made this difficult decision for a loved one knows exactly what We mean. Also please remember that a good intention can overpower any ‘mistakes’ you feel you’ve made in life.
So let’s talk some more about dreaming versus visioning. Dreaming occurs during sleeping; you vision while waking. Please note that ‘waking’ is not a passive activity as implied by the expression ‘being awake’. It’s by far one of the most active verbs you can use.
When you dream, only your super-senses functioning, but they serve very well to alert you, when needed, to activities going on outside or inside your body while you sleep.
Once your body awakens, for most people, the super-senses then go to sleep.
However, if you train yourself in dreaming and visioning, you can also train your three super-senses to remain awake while you’re waking. This may happen naturally, or you may actively develop these skills. Many good books exist on training in extra-sensory perception, so We won’t delve into that.
The three main points We wish to make here are that you all possess these three super-senses, you can cultivate more clear and conscious perceptions through them, and most people use these senses more actively while dreaming.
If you wish to go visioning, you may find many good books and teachers on that subject.
We’re focusing on how you can use dreaming and visioning to attain Enlightenment, so please follow your inclinations and allow your Inner Guide to lead you to the materials that best complement your path.
How do you attain Enlightenment using dreaming and visioning?
First, please check your motivation. If you dream and vision for the benefit of others, then you’re off to a good start. If you dream and vision for amusement or personal gratification of some other sort, then your dreaming and visioning activities will not necessarily make you a better person over time.
In fact, if you do it merely for your own benefit, you run the risk of getting into many perilous psychic situations. If you do it for others, then Enlightened Beings protect you while you dream and vision. If you do it for yourself, then you have only yourself for protection, and that may not be enough. You live in a world with many unseen beings and forces.
So now We’ve also covered motivation a bit.