The Tibetan word for dream is mi lam རྨི་ལམ༏).
Mi means manifestation, lam means path. During the day we release thousands of thoughts, considered by dream practitioners as waves or manifestations.
While we are sleeping our consciousness makes its transition allowing these thoughts or waves to become dreams.
Considered to be reflections of our thoughts, dreams are also much more, being a treasure trove of our mind; our deepest self. Through our fantasies, dreams take us into a magic world where the night spirits communicate with us.
Dreaming is Important
Some people think they don’t dream, but actually everybody does even if their dreams can be unclear or easily forgotten. With specially learnt methods dreams become clearer and easier to remember. In rare, well-trained practitioners, the energy moves from the heart chakra into the central channel, where it stays. Usually the energy does not remain here but quickly goes to the left and right channels, where our dream experience begins.
Dreaming is important for all for various reasons, although many people don’t attach much importance to their dreams. They therefore would not understand how dreams reflect our physical and mental health, nor its importance to our well-being.
Through dreams we understand the links with illness. Both Freud and Jung wrote extensively about dreams, basing their analysis from a perspective of mental illnesses, their research leading to the development in the West of different schools in dream analysis and therapies.
In Tibetan medicine the importance of dreaming lies in five main areas:
- Health protection
- Life guidance
- Inner guru
- Revealing knowledge
1. Health protection: Just as our physical immune system protects us from external attacks, dreams act like a mental immune system protecting us from outside mental forces.
2. Life guidance: By bringing up past experiences, current situations, or events yet to happen, dreams deepen our understanding of key aspects of our life, for example in relationships or work.
3. Self-awareness: All that manifests in dreams comes from self. When learning about dreams we become aware of these subconscious issues which may not be apparent during waking time. A dream no matter how unusual issues from self, with us ultimately no stranger to it.
4. Inner guru: Spiritually, dreams may come from an inner master teaching and allowing us to experience the true nature of all phenomena. For instance, as a dream is a perfect illusion, it may therefore be our only chance to directly experience real illusion without words.
5. Revealing knowledge: In dreams we go beyond space and time into other deep realms - an infinite treasure house, full of hidden knowledge.
In Tibet a tradition exists, called therma, which refers to this hidden treasure, and can be found both in the material and mental dimension. The mental [mind therma] is where great practitioners go and find hidden knowledge through their dream or meditation experiences.
Dreams: Indicators of Health
Tibetan medicine practitioners use dreams to analyse mental problems and assess if a person’s mental health is well balanced, and to uncover physical problems. The body is viewed not only physically but also as connected to a person’s energies and the five elements of Tibetan cosmology. Tibetan doctors using their knowledge of the interrelationship between a person’s body, energies and the elements are able to use symbols present in dreams to help in curing or preventing health problems.
Dreams may contain warnings linked with future events - giving us messages about what is about to happen to us but to friends, family or even work colleagues.
Being forewarned prepares us to respond more aptly to a particular situation or obtain a better idea of what is important in our present life. A special purpose of our dreams is to increase our wisdom and understanding.
Prophetic dreams and teachings in our sleep state fall under this category In our daily life, we may encounter situations or problems we are unable to solve, concerning work, study, and people issues.
The ability to find solutions through dreaming is a major help in dealing with everyday problems. This is why dreams are very important for our health and mental well-being. In a twenty-four hour cycle we spend an average of seven or eight hours sleeping and dreaming. Some dreams are unpleasant and people naturally dislike bad dreams.
However, negativity is part and parcel of living life so it is crucial to try and understand even bad dreams. To explore how dreams manifest we need to firstly understand the basic components which make up our dreams.
Components of Dreams
Dreams manifest through our chakras, channels, subtle energies and our consciousness. We have to know what these basic elements of dreams are before starting to interpret them.
The main components of Dreams are:
1 - Lung (Wind): Vitalizing energy of life force (biological motion)
2- Consciousness Reactions of the consciousness
3. Energy Paths: Channels, Chakras
Lung (wind in tibetan Medicine)
In Tibetan cosmology and medicine all phenomena are based on the Five Elements:
They can be further explained simply as: Th e Five Elements are represented in the Buddhist mandala.
As space is the base of the other elements these can be reduced to the Four Elements as seen in ancient Greek philosophy or “Unani” Greek medicine. Within space, earth and water (both cooling) combine to become phlegm. The Three Elements or Three Humours system is used in Tibetan Medicine and Ayurveda. Phlegm and wind combine, becoming hot and cold. (Ref: Traditional Chinese Medicine Yin and Yang).
As shown above, the three humours or energies derive from the five elements, of which rLung (wind) is the most important:
• Air or wind energy; Loong is the energy of movement sometimes referred to as the dream artist or the actor of our life
• Heat or bile energy; mKhris pa
• Water and earth energy, phlegm energy; Bad kan
In all Tibetan and ancient East Asian studies, understanding rLung is very important especially in dreams as rLung plays a significant role. This energy is also known as prana (Indian), chi (Chinese) and ki (Japanese). rLung can be divided into gross and subtle.
EXCERPTED FROM Chenagtsang, Nida. The Tibetan Art of Dream Analysis
For more information on Dreaming and Dream Yoga, we would like to point out that this weekend 16 and 17 April Dr. Nida will give a teaching on this subject. The title of the Course is SLEEPING & DREAM YOGA. YOGA OF SLEEP AND DREAMING. Online teaching in English with simultaneous translation into Italian by Dr. Emilio Gallotta (also in Spanish - Portuguese - Russian). From 11 April to 25 April we are pleased to offer all readers of the blog a coupon discount on all courses on the vivere.sowaripga.it platform as a spring launch offer and inauguration of the new e-learning site. Each video purchased provides access to the association's 2022 annual membership card and all free services included including articles, translations in-depth video downloads, audio as well as discounts and offers and the possibility to view course units and recordings throughout the year.
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