Sherab Namgyal / July 17, 2012

Achieving the dream state in 30 days – Part 2: Nighttime practice


According to Natural Liberation by Padmasambhava it is possible to attain the dream state in only 30 days or at most in 2-3 months – at least once – even if one has broken Samayas (tantric wows) by doing Vajrasattva (tib. Dorje Sempa, eng. Diamond Mind) purification mantras. In this article Shiva Bear has summarized the ancient text into Sadhana form (loosely: meditation guide) for the readers convenience.

Padmasambhava Statue, Nepal
(cc) by wonderlane

The practice is in three parts:

  1. Daytime practice
  2. Night time practice (This post)
  3. Advice on overcoming difficulties

Apprehending the Dream state

Firstly practice at daytime what is covered in part one of this series while apprehending all appearances as illusion. Then, before going to sleep, cultivate proper motivation:

“For the sake of all sentient beings throughout space, I shall practice the illusion-like Samadhi (deep meditative concentration), and I shall achieve perfect Buddhahood. For that purpose I shall train in dreaming.” – Natural Liberation


Follow the cultivation of motivation by lying down with your head pointing north, resting on your right shoulder with the right hand under your cheek and your left hand on your thigh. Then imagine yourself as your chosen deity (yidam). This being Vajrasattva (tib. Dorje Sempa, eng. Diamond Mind), Buddha Shakyamuni or your Guru; the Karmapa, the Dalai Lama or any other genuine tulku. For the untrained student the bringing to mind of the deity might be unclear and if so:

“Establish the pride of thinking, “I am the chosen deity” ” – Natural Liberation

Golden Buddha
(cc) by degenie

At times imagine lying with your head in your Gurus lap while repeating wishes of proper motivation – if you find this helpful. Then when waking up in the morning consider the following:

“Not a single one of any of the dreams I had last night remains when I wake up. Likewise, not a single of all these daytime appearances today will appear tonight in my dreams. There is no difference between the dreams of the day and the night, so they are illusions, they are dreams” – Natural Liberation

Natural Liberation tells us to practice like this “many times” but if unsuccessful then imagine oneself as the chosen deity while also picturing the deity in the throat about the size of a thumb joint. Then, while falling asleep, keep the concentration “without forcing it” on the deity in the throat while “envisioning to know the dream state as the dream state”. Other more complex and difficult visualizations are also described in “Natural Liberation” and if so inclined the reader can study these on his own.

Lama Ole Nydahl
(cc) by diamondwaybuddhism.org

The above practice is equivalent to the “Clear Light” yoga taught in the Diamond Way and so students of the Diamond Way should simply practice “Clear Light” meditation as instructed by the Lama.

If this practice leads to no results one is encouraged to do Vajrasattva purification practice in order to purify broken tantric wows and in general to avoid “further non-virtues”. After apprehending the dream as dream one can then continue by training in dream emanation and transformation.

Dream emanation and transformation

 “Since this is now a dream-body, it can be transformed in any way.” – Natural Liberation

Train shapeshifting, fly in the form of a bird, lift in the form of an elephant or transform one into many – and many into one – only your imagination is the limit.

Practice viewing your present environment as a pure realm: Imagine being in a pure realm or call forth your deities. Do “impossible” things, walking through fires, jump tall buildings or be eating by hungry beasts.

In the last part of this series the dispelling of obstacles in dreaming will be discussed.

This concludes “Achieving the dream state in 30 days – Part 2: Nighttime practice” If you would like to read more Pure Teachings by Shiva Bear follow this link: http://pureview.dk/?cat=185 or for Dream Yoga http://pureview.dk/?cat=166

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