When I was a college student and later in my early professional career, I often suffered from sleep deprivation, just trying to do too much in a 24 hour day. Long interested in hypnosis, I wondered if there was a way I could use auto suggestion techniques to double the value of my sleep hours. I first practiced yoga relaxation techniques as I first went to bed and then started repeating the suggestion “let each sleep hour count twice” as I drifted into the drowsy (hypnagogic) state prior to sleep. It worked! Not indefinitely, but it worked for a few days. I would wake up after four or five hours and feel as though I had slept a full night.
The single goal of meditation practice is to awaken to our present moment experience; it is from this awakening that all other benefits of meditation come to our waking lives. However, as we sleep a third of our lives away, another form of practice involves lucid dreaming which can greatly empower everything we do while awake, including augmenting our meditation experience.
If, like me, you are interested in consciousness in all its forms, you will be fascinated by this dhamma talk which is available on YouTube and is part of The Doctor’s Farmacy, a podcast series by Dr. Mark Hyman. Lucid Dreaming: How to Learn, Grow and Heal While You Are Asleep is a conversation between Dr. Hyman and Charley Morley, an internationally known teacher of lucid dreaming techniques. Why I refer to this presentation as a dhamma talk will be apparent as you listen, but if you are searching for a Buddhist connection, the Tibetans have a long tradition of dreamwork techniques which Charley was authorized to teach by Lama Yeshe Rinpoche. I found his work with veterans suffering from PTSD particularly poignant.
Here is a link to the YouTube video; you can also find The Doctor’s Farmacy wherever you get your podcasts.