Sunday, December 8, 2013

Lucid Dreaming Workshop comes to Sydney

In Sydney we are getting very excited about the upcoming Dream Yoga workshop with Michael Katz in January on the 18th, 19th, from 9.30am - 5pm, at Redfern Town Hall, 73 Pitt St, Redfern. Bookings are open, but places are limited. BOOK NOW so you don't miss out.

Michael Katz is the editor of Dream Yoga and The Practice of Natural Light by noted Tibetan scholar and master, Chogyal Namkhai Norbu, and the author of Tibetan Dream Yoga, The Royal Road to Enlightenment. 

What is Dream Yoga?
Practices and techniques for realising and utilising lucid dreaming.

What is Lucid Dreaming?

Awareness while in the dream state, that you are dreaming.

Why practice Dream Yoga?
Stephen LaBerge, PhD, author of Lucid Dreaming says:"The goal is to remain awake during deep sleep when the gross conceptual mind and the operation of the senses cease. Most Westerners do not even consider this depth of awareness a possibility, yet it is well-known in Tibetan Buddhist and Bon spiritual traditions.The result of these practices is greater happiness and freedom in both our waking and dreaming states."

What to Expect from the Dream Yoga Workshop.
Since the 1980s, psychologist Michael Katz has been conducting retreats for the purpose of introducing and training lucidity in the dream state. In particular he has been amongst the pioneers in utilizing hypnotic induction for lucidity during "guided naps" for this purpose.

Additionally his retreats and workshops are characterized by the use of lucid dream enactment called  "Lucid Dream Theater Work" for the purpose of deepening the experience of the lucid dream state.

In the workshop Michael will show you how to create stable and long-lasting lucid dreams, so that you can reap the benefits of lucid dreaming’s immense potential for personal growth, healing and wholeness (as well as deeper spiritual benefits, see below).

Want to know more? 
Read Michael's enlightening article on Dream Yoga and Lucidity here.

What to Bring
Participants should bring writing materials, sun glasses, a small hand mirror and some props for psychodrama of dreams. When we have a powerful lucid dream we may choose to dramatize the dream and act it out. In order to do this we should have props such as fabrics, masks, sacred objects etc. if people bring a few things we will have enough for any possibility. Plenty of cafes nearby or bring packed lunch. NOTE: please bring your own meditation pillow and yoga mat.



"Buddha Shakyamuni often told his disciples to regard all phenomena as dreams. He used many examples, like an echo, a city in the clouds or a rainbow to illustrate the illusory nature of the phenomenal world. Dreams represent just one type of illusion. The whole universe arises and dissolves like a mirage. Everything about us, even the most enlightened qualities, are also dreamlike phenomena. There's nothing that is not encompassed within the dream of illusory being; so in going to sleep, you're just passing from one dream state to another." (1)

 Dream Yoga  or as it is known in Tibetan - Milam, is a series of practices and techniques used by various lineages of Tibetan Buddhism in the bardo of dream and sleep.

In the editor's notes to Dream Yoga and The Practice of the Natural Light by Tibetan Master, Chogyal Namkhai Norbu,  Michael Katz says:

"According to the masters, progress in the practices of dream yoga and the Dzogchen practice of natural light will allow us to realize a form of enlightenment as we become lucid and aware during the moments of sleep."

Dream Yoga as described by Chogyal Namkhai Norbu includes "specific methods for training, transforming, dissolving, disordering, stabilizing, essentializing, holding, and reversing dreams. In addition, he has presented practices for maintaining one’s practice throughout all moments of the day and night, as well as a practice to develop the illusory body, methods for transference of consciousness at the time of death, and profound clear light practices for developing contemplation."

"One of the important messages of Dream Yoga and the Practice of Natural Light is the distinction between the Dzogchen awareness referred to as rigpa which arises from the practice of natural light, and the more relative but still important experience of lucidity. The lucidity experience, which may arise as a by-product of rigpa awareness or spontaneously due to karmic causes, assists in understanding the unreality of phenomena, which otherwise, during dream or the death experience, might be overwhelming. In the same way, we believe a nightmare to be real, but if we were to watch a similar scene within a movie, we would not necessarily be frightened.

Great Yogis who have mastered Dzogchen awareness meditation are able to liberate themselves directly into the great clear light at the moment of death. Practitioners who have at least developed the capacity for occasional lucid dreaming may still recognize the apparitions that arise within the sidpai bardo as illusory. Reportedly, at the time of death when the mental body is uncoupled from the physical body, all experiences are magnified by a factor of seven. At these moments, according to our teachers, there is still a possibility of achieving a form of liberation."

Dream Yoga Workshops in Sydney (Jan 18, 19), Melbourne ( Jan 10, 11, 12) and Cairns (Jan 24, 25, 26),  are hosted by The Dzogchen Community of Namgyalgar.

See Michael's website here.

Info re The Dzogchen Community here.

(1)Shugchang, Padma (editor); Sherab, Khenchen Palden & Dongyal, Khenpo Tse Wang (2000). A Modern Commentary on Karma Lingpa's Zhi-Khro: teachings on the peaceful and wrathful deities. Padma Gochen Ling. 

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