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The Yoga of Dreaming
By Kerry Leigh
In the Yoga Sutras Patanjali defines what Kriya yoga is right in the first sutra. This sutra is about the practice of yoga so that we can become the master of our universe! Many of us are living as unaware victims of our karmic patterns as we entrain them evermore with our emotionality. The good news is that we have many tools available to us to be able to change and soften this karmic patterning through our sadhana of self-discipline, self-study and conscious attunement to our dreams to expand our awareness.
Do you often ask why certain events happen to you? Have you considered looking deeper to discover their causality? Even if you get to the how, you can often be at a loss to explain that. Getting yourself extricated from certain situations is no guarantee that you won’t just repeat the same mistakes again as you have not learned the lessons or done anything differently. Acknowledging that you are the creator of your life through your thoughts is a huge step in realizing the amazing truth that wow, life can be different!
You spend 1/3rd of your life dreaming. Becoming aware of the power of your dreams to help you shift from being in a state of just playing out and re-creating your karma day after day through your life experiences is a powerful tool for answering the ‘what can I do’ to change. I have noticed that I have a theme or pattern that runs through my dreams from year to year, and it is all about developing my will. I see where my karmic patterns are expressing themselves without much conscious thought on my part in various aspects of my life and through different ways of being in relationship. It was discouraging at first to realize that what I thought I was, a person going through life making conscious choices, was actually my karmic patterns and energies just expressing themselves. It’s important to realize that your karmic patterns are not just patterns of actions, but originate in your thought patterns. It was like I was just going along for the ride not even aware of the destination.
The sadhana or spiritual practice of dream interpretation is the kriya or conscious action that will lead you into an awareness of where you want to go, exactly, to improve your relationships with others and with yourself. The art of dream interpretation is a kriya that will take you to where you want to be very quickly.
To develop your will, you need develop a real awareness of your whole self. That means to look at your dreams unemotionally to see the message and momentarily push your ego self to the side. This is where you begin to really see how the karmic patterns have you functioning as a puppet in the world. Don’t forget, you are also the creator of your karmic patterns! As a practitioner of hatha yoga, you are beginning to see your unconscious patterns emerging as you practice your poses ever deeper and expand your awareness of your potential.
Every person, place, event, or thing is a trigger we react to. A Course in Miracles has a lesson in it that states that ‘I have given everything I see...all the meaning that it has for me.” Once we recognize our attachment to our ways of thinking and the emotions that we give our thoughts we are truly on the path.
So what is the real dream? What if you recognized that your dream is a dream and your life is a dream. Ahh... now you can see every person, place, event or thing in your dreams as a symbol. You can use your dream awareness to cultivate a dispassionate look not only at your dream symbols but at your waking dream symbols. I woke one morning a few years ago from a dream, and wrote at the end of my journal entry “Then I woke up and lay thinking of my dreams and that my life is a dream, and I should translate my life in the Universal Language of Mind for an even better picture of me. Is this life a type of lucid dream I am creating?” Believe me, I am not the first to have this thought. A yogi had a dream one night of being a butterfly. When he awoke that morning, he was in awe and wonderment, still in the feeling state of ‘butterfly’, and said to his wife, am I a man being a butterfly? Or a butterfly being a man?
Dream interpretation is an important tool in your self study. Your subconscious mind is always talking to you and telling you how you are doing. You can begin to use your free will in studying your dreams as a sister practice to your other practices. May you be blessed on your journey.