I am copying part of a chapter from the book The Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep. What this portion is trying to teach is a powerful skill for lucid dreaming, dream yoga, and waking life. It ultimately leads to a state where you can have awareness with little or no thoughts running through your mind. It takes practice to reach this. It has tremendous value in lucid dreaming, and achieving this state as a regular state of mind will lead you to become spontaneously lucid in almost every dream in your life.

"A successful dream yogi must be stable enough in presence to avoid being swept away by the winds of karmic emotions" karma is basically the biases at play in your mind that causes habitual thinking that happens in your mind " and lost in the dream. As the mind steadies, dreams become longer, less fragmented, and more easily remembered, and lucidity is developed. Waking life is equally enhanced as we find that we are increasingly protected from being carried away by the habitual emotional reactions that draw us into distraction and unhappiness, and can instead develop the positive traits that lead to happiness and that support us in the spiritual journey. All yogic and spiritual disciplines include some form of practice that develops concentration and quiets the mind. In the Tibetan tradition this practice is called calm abiding (zhiné). We recognize three stages in the development of stability: forceful zhiné, natural zhiné, and ultimate zhiné. Zhiné begins with mental fixation on an object and, when concentration is strong enough, moves on to fixation with out an object."

To elucidate on the kinds of zhiné take a moment and try this: suppress all thoughts rising in your mind. How long does it last? Do you feel stress? If it is short lived and you feel stressed this is forceful zhiné. If it lasts for more than 30 seconds with little stress and minor distraction it is natural zhiné. If you can do this with no or almost no distraction and with no stress at all it is ultimate zhiné. When I dream I can occasionally do this with out end. When I am waking and in most dreams I can do this for about 10 minutes to half an hour, get slightly distracted, and come back to it. To move past forceful zhiné into natural zhiné the chapter goes on with a great meditative practice. Calm abiding and a lack of thought are not the same thing, but a lack of thought is often the result of calm abiding and vice versa.

"Begin the practice by sitting in the five pointed meditation posture: the legs crossed, the hands folded in the lap in meditation position with palms up and placed on top of each other, the spine straight but not rigid, the head tilted down slightly to straighten the neck, and the eyes open."

If you are adverse to taking proper posture for what ever reason you can gain benefit from sitting in another posture. Posture has immense effect on your breathing and mind so it is important, but not 100% necessary.

"The eyes should be relaxed, not too wide open, and not too closed. The object of concentration should be placed so that the eyes can look straight ahead, neither up nor down. During the practice try not to move, not even to swallow or blink, while keeping the mind one-pointedly on the object. Even if tears should stream down your face, do not move. Let the breathing be natural."

At first you are going to move, going to swallow, going to get distracted. Keep bringing your focus back to the object you have chosen. This is part of training yourself. The chapter recommends looking at the letter A (it further specifies that a sanskrit A is preferred) because it holds spiritual significance with in Tibetan Buddhism and it is a book heavy on Buddhism. You will find it easier to use something that isn't complicated to look at. Eventually you should move on to looking at something empty, like a sky, or a blank wall. Then move on to looking at nothing at all, just having focus with out an object to focus on. If you are doing this for long periods of time it is common to start to see things as is the case with any sensory deprivation. It may seem weird to relate this to sensory deprivation but it is very similar. Over enough time you might start to see persistent things like aura. This is also normal.

Have you ever stared at something and felt like you're staring through it? Then you focus on it and the sensation goes away? You can make it happen but your focus makes the phenomenon stop? This is how you learn to do that with out losing the phenomenon. In the dream yoga academy on this site, basic lesson 2, it goes over "diffuse vision". That phenomenon is the same as what I just described. As simple as it may all seem at first there is a great deal of depth and difficulty to this.