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    Thread: Ichorid's Workbook: A Deep Dive in Dream Yoga

    1. #1
      Don't be afraid to care Ichorid's Avatar
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      Ichorid's Workbook: A Deep Dive in Dream Yoga

      Greetings, here I will take a dive into the vast field of awareness, in the form of dream yoga exercises. I meditate frequently for the last 2 years and I feel that my mind is more open than before. Here I'll post my experiences and questions on dream yoga. As it's the first time for me to keep a public log of such an inner work, we'll see how it goes

      Dream Yoga Basic Skills - Lesson #1: Sensory Awareness Meditation

      For this lesson, I have decided I will do Versions 1 and 2, as it seems that my teeth hurt when eating candy.

      Version 1 - Level 1
      Before intentional awareness, I noticed usual sounds such as traffic noise, the music from my girlfriend's headphones as she studies and drips from the sink faucet.

      Then I closed my eyes and moved my awareness around. The procedure lasted for about 20 minutes (no timer) and I caught multiple sounds, the majority of them being of a short duration, not constant:

      - The quiet humming of my laptop's fan
      - Random clicking noises from the fridge
      - A short horn from the traffic outside
      - Sounds of turning pages and quiet sighs
      - A horse trotting on the asphalt outside and someone shouting
      - A bus stopping on the traffic light and moving on
      - Some bumping noises from neighbors upstairs, a constant bass thump, probably music
      - A doorbell sound from downstairs

      I decided not to sit in a formal pose of meditation, just sitting tilted a bit backwards on the couch, resting my head on my pillow. Somewhere in the later half of the practice I felt a brief feeling of bliss and became aroused. I caught myself clinging to this feeling and tried re-focusing on the sounds again. Eventually it became less intense.

      I feel I can proceed to Level 2, as I feel I can maintain my awareness for an extended period of time.

    2. #2
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      Great! I am glad you have joined up and made a note book. I am not one to push formal poses. If you feel you have to sit all formal, then of course you are less likely to do it at all. Keep posting and feel free to ask questions if any arise. The first stuff is straight forward, so with your experience I bet you will be doing the more advanced levels fairly soon. Thanks- Eric
      Last edited by sivason; 05-12-2012 at 12:31 PM.
      Peace Be With You. Oh, and sure, The Force too, why not.



      "Instruction in Dream Yoga"

    3. #3
      Don't be afraid to care Ichorid's Avatar
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      Dream Yoga Basic Skills - Lesson #1

      Version 1 - Level 2

      12/5 afternoon ~10 min - Sitting on a bench, my eyes were open and fixed on a nearby spot. I began listening to sounds and connecting them. I heard 3 constant fans, people talking nearby, steps, a bird picking the trash. The sounds connected, almost like a symphony. By keeping my sight fixated on the pavement, the patterns seemed to dance around, until the moment I blinked, then again.

      12/5 night ~15 min - Tried again lying on my back on the couch but couldn't hold more than 4 sounds in awareness simultaneously. I was constantly distracted by other thoughts and becoming drowsy because of the late hour.

      13/5 afternoon ~20 min - Sitting cross-legged, I concentrated on multiple sounds (traffic, fridge, shuffling pages) while visualising them as points connecting to each other, forming a triangle. As time passed and I entered deep relaxation, I stopped counting the sounds and just let go, letting the sounds play their symphony, while catching them all in my ears. Again I was distracted by a brief arousal and re-focused on the meditation.

      Lessons learned:
      - When meditating at night, I'll sit in a formal pose to retain stability and awareness.
      - I think that setting a number of sounds as a goal distracts me, as I tend to count instead of listening.

      Question:
      - Is it ok to let go and just be aware of the multitude of sounds and their different pitches, for as long as possible?

    4. #4
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      Quote Originally Posted by Ichorid View Post
      Version 1 - Level 2

      Lessons learned:
      - When meditating at night, I'll sit in a formal pose to retain stability and awareness.
      - I think that setting a number of sounds as a goal distracts me, as I tend to count instead of listening.

      Question:
      - Is it ok to let go and just be aware of the multitude of sounds and their different pitches, for as long as possible?
      Good job, it sounds like your having a good time with this. Yes, I want you to take the meaning out of each lesson and not worry about the wording. I agree that counting could be taking away from your experience. Try something where you only kkeep a rough idea of how many sounds you are able to hold focus on.
      I want to clarify that experiencing the noises is not the same as being aware of them. This is an awareness exercise. Relax and do not worry about counting, but let each sound be clear as a thing you are focusing on. It is hard enough to focus on even 4 items, so you are doing it correctly. Good job.
      Last edited by sivason; 05-14-2012 at 04:26 AM.
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      "Instruction in Dream Yoga"

    5. #5
      Don't be afraid to care Ichorid's Avatar
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      Dream Yoga Basic Skills - Lesson #1

      Version 1 - Level 2

      14/5 afternoon ~15 min - Sitting in a cafe outside, I was able to concentrate and connect voices of people talking to each other, leaving the place, others entering, with a constant background buzzing of ventilation fans.

      15/5 afternoon ~15 min - At this time, the sound of the traffic, random and variable, made it difficult for me to focus on other very subtle sounds (I could only distinguish the sound of my pc and that disappeared when traffic came).

      Lesson learned:
      - In cases where there is no sound that can compete with that of the variable traffic, I find it difficult to expand my awareness. Next time I'll try to put some background music to serve as my base anchor.
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    6. #6
      Don't be afraid to care Ichorid's Avatar
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      Dream Yoga Basic Skills - Lesson #1

      I've been rather busy these days, but I've managed to practice a bit:

      Version 1 - Level 2
      Here I found that, as another student has posted, my expectations influenced the results. There have been times when I couldn't move to 3 sounds, because of a mental block. Also, because the majority of the sounds aren't constant, I've been incorporating elements of Level 1, to identify subtle noises.

      Version 2 - Level 1
      This was a very interesting practice, leading into a deep state of relaxation, as I was resting on my bed and feeling the force of my body lying on the bed. I also felt my heartbeat through my forehead and minor twitches in my hands. I had my eyes open in order not to fall asleep, but that didn't distract me at all, as I was staring at the ceiling.

      Question:
      - How can you tell when you can keep X sounds in awareness? Do they combine into 1 sound with multiple pitches? What do you do when there is no constant sound?

      Going to try Version 2 - Level 4 (before sleep) tonight, even though nearly all my previous attempts at something similar in the past have failed, due to me falling asleep! We'll see...

    7. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by Ichorid View Post
      Question:
      - How can you tell when you can keep X sounds in awareness? Do they combine into 1 sound with multiple pitches? What do you do when there is no constant sound?
      .
      I suggest you provide at least two constant sounds yourself if they are not naturally there. A ticking clock or an mp3 player on very low volume, anything like that.

      No, you do not want the noises to blend together. This is a hard exercise and you may need to spend about 3 weeks on it for good results. Each sound should stay clear and seperate. You should know what you are hearing and roughly where it is coming from/ I am going to expliain why in the lesson thread in my next post.
      Peace Be With You. Oh, and sure, The Force too, why not.



      "Instruction in Dream Yoga"

    8. #8
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      Hi everyone! It has been almost two weeks. I hope everyone got a chance to practice. The thread Dream Yoga Basic Skills: Lesson 1, has been updated. I have shared a few ways these skills will be useful in LDs, and the thread is now open to Q & A.
      Peace Be With You. Oh, and sure, The Force too, why not.



      "Instruction in Dream Yoga"

    9. #9
      Don't be afraid to care Ichorid's Avatar
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      Dream Yoga Basic Skills: Lesson 2

      Diffuse vision:
      Levels 1 and 2 were okay for me, I find that I can easily control the eye muscles and subsequently, the focus on the background or foreground.

      Now, level 3 is another story. I used it when riding my bike today and it blew my mind. I felt like my field of vision was expanded. As I rode the bike, I noticed people on the crossroad away from me, that I wouldn't have noticed otherwise. Not focusing on one object didn't have any impact on my general awareness; on the contrary. I could be aware of traffic lights changing colours, parked cars on the side, cars overtaking me, beautiful scenery... without ever focusing on them!

      Wandering mind recall:
      In the same bike ride I tried to focus on a specific thought (this is a dream) for ~3 minutes. I've been distracted multiple times, e.g. by thoughts about pedestrians, random noises and words I catch. I tried not to remember the distractions and re-focus on the thought. I have a feeling that I missed recalling some distracting thoughts when it was over, but I guess I'll never know :S

      So, can you ever get to a point when there are no distractions from the mind for, say, 10 minutes? Anyway, I think an interesting experiment would be to focus on the thought "this is a dream" for a long time within a LD, but trying to remember the distractions afterwards will likely prove to be very difficult.

      I will try diffuse vision - level 3 in a dream. I'm curious about what comes up. Maybe heightened visual awareness? We'll see.
      Last edited by Ichorid; 05-31-2012 at 10:33 PM.

    10. #10
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      Quote Originally Posted by Ichorid View Post
      Diffuse vision:


      Now, level 3 is another story. I used it when riding my bike today and it blew my mind. I felt like my field of vision was expanded. As I rode the bike, I noticed people on the crossroad away from me, that I wouldn't have noticed otherwise. Not focusing on one object didn't have any impact on my general awareness; on the contrary. I could be aware of traffic lights changing colours, parked cars on the side, cars overtaking me, beautiful scenery... without ever focusing on them.
      It is some amazing stuff. I often use this type of vision now during my normal day. I get a calming effect from it, and I enjoy the experience. It is a very powerful tool for martail arts; and it freaks people out if you spar with them, but are not looking at them..
      Peace Be With You. Oh, and sure, The Force too, why not.



      "Instruction in Dream Yoga"

    11. #11
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      Quote Originally Posted by Ichorid View Post


      Wandering mind recall:
      So, can you ever get to a point when there are no distractions from the mind for, say, 10 minutes? .

      It is probably possable. I have been involved in Yoga for many lifetimes, so I have access to "secret knowledge", but I am a regular guy as far as having to work all day, and keep my wife happy, and so on. If someone was in a setting like a quiet life away from distractions, then yes, after many years.

      How about, how long have I spent learning it, and how far have I got? I started practicing this one about 20 years ago. I often do this as I am falling asleep. So I have a good amount of praactice, just not enough to go 10 minutes. I can continue with very minimal distraction for 30 minutes or more, but thoughts are slipping through. I can go maybe as long as 3 minutes with no thoughts other than the phrase "Thank You"
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      "Instruction in Dream Yoga"

    12. #12
      Don't be afraid to care Ichorid's Avatar
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      Diffuse vision:

      Some interesting stuff here.
      - I tried diffuse vision in a lucid dream and it changed the colour of the sky. I guess expectations here play a major role about the experience, so I can't draw any conclusions!

      - I tried diffuse vision when looking at a schedule on the wall very closely. When I got at a certain distance (about 4-5 inches), I saw clearly the vertical lines of the schedule overlapping and a 3D object taking form in front of my eyes. I stayed there for a while and then pondered at how our experiences vary in relation to our awareness. Not sure it relates to the objectives of the lesson, but interesting nonetheless.

      - Many times inadvertently I fall out of binocular focus when I get lost in my thoughts, but as I am lost I have no awareness of visual stimuli. Because of this, I found that relaxing the vision muscles very easy, the challenge is bringing awareness into play.

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