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Increase in lucid dreams after intensive meditation

raiwraiw Australia New

I recently attended a 10 day Goenka Vipassana meditation course which involved 10 hours of meditation a day (much more than I am used to). I found that I was having the most intense, lucid dreams during the course. Now that I am home and my daily meditation regime is down to 2 hours a day, my lucid dreaming has dropped back considerably. What is the connection between meditation and dreaming?

Comments

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    I'm going to go out on a limb and talk solely from personal (somewhat esoteric) experience here. I'm not sure if there is an official Buddhist standpoint for this...

    It's a bit difficult to put into words. But from what I have seen and read highly energistic spiritual experiences in a group can result in the transmission of techniques, knowledge, and emotion from one person's higher self to another person's higher self, or from the ordinary self to the higher self. The Tibetan phowa comes to mind as an example. Energies can also move to empower parts of the higher self to become more active. It depends a bit on how sensitive you are.

    All of that can result in changes to your dream life, periods of heightened intuition, greater emotional sensitivity. It's the mystical, spiritual side of you coming to life, which takes different circumstances and amounts of effort for different people. But as meditators have said since olden times, "good meditation, it passes, bad meditation, it passes".

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    It is not abnormal for that to happen. Meditation and other contemplative activities bring us inward. That is the point, afterall. That doesn't stop when we go to sleep, so that inward direction carries on into our sleep life. I have always been a lucid dreamer, but they are much more detailed and vivid and common when my meditation and yoga routines are in place. I have never meditated for 10 hours (I'm not sure at this point that I'd want to, kudos to you for all of that effort!) but when I stop meditating, my lucid dream are very rare. The more I meditate the more common they are. And the more I remember my dreams. Keeping a dream journal also seems to increase my ability to remember them. I read an interesting little book about it on my kindle not long ago (I think it was a freebie) called Tibetan Yoga of Dreams and Sleep, if you are interested in another take on it.

    raiw
  • raiwraiw Australia New

    @Kerome said:
    It's the mystical, spiritual side of you coming to life,

    I like this viewpoint. I could certainly feel it throughout 10 days. A sense of peace, inner joy and increased awareness that pervaded my days. But I wasn't prepared for the nightly dreams which were intense to say the least.

  • @raiw said:
    What is the connection between meditation and dreaming?

    Meditation is a technique that allows one to foster and maintain alertness.
    Lucid dreaming is being alert within an unconscious process.

    One way to reinforce the latter is to engage in processes that promote alertness.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited November 2016

    @raiw ...I'll let you into a little secret...Life is one big lucid dream...
    And where there's a will there's a Tao/Dao :)

    Am I a Human dreaming I am a butterfly...Or am I a Butterfly dreaming I am a human ?

    raiw
  • @raiw said:
    What is the connection between meditation and dreaming?

    Hello <3
    Intense meditation can provide the rest and recuperation that the sleep cycle provides. In a sense the mind does not require to be unconscious, so we remain in greater awareness during sleep/dreams.

    People react differently. I tend to not need much sleep/dreaming during intense meditation periods.

    DhammaDragon
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @raiw said:
    I recently attended a 10 day Goenka Vipassana meditation course which involved 10 hours of meditation a day (much more than I am used to). I found that I was having the most intense, lucid dreams during the course. Now that I am home and my daily meditation regime is down to 2 hours a day, my lucid dreaming has dropped back considerably. What is the connection between meditation and dreaming?

    I have heard other people talk about this, and it is something I have experienced when doing a lot of meditation. I assume it is mindfulness/awareness extending into dream activity.
    2 hours a day at home is very impressive by the way. ;)

  • raiwraiw Australia New

    Thanks to everyone for their comments. In addition to the lucid dreaming, I also didn't need anywhere as much sleep as normal, so the comments about meditation mirroring the sleep state (albeit with awareness) seem to be right. I used to only meditate about 30-40 mins a day, but after the 10 day Vipassana course, I found it easy to meditate longer as well as to commit to absolute stillness for the hour. The advice given at the end of the course was to meditate an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening and I have continued this practice since the course. I just get up an hour earlier than normal (I haven't missed the sleep). This feels right for me and I intend to continue. I am now really enjoying my meditation - although each session is unique. The lucid dreaming however is now a thing of the past. Weird.

  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran

    I've found that meditation helps me dream less and I get a better sleep for it but I dream far too much.

    Shoshin
  • upekkaupekka Veteran
    edited November 2016

    @raiw said:
    I recently attended a 10 day Goenka Vipassana meditation course which involved 10 hours of meditation a day (much more than I am used to). I found that I was having the most intense, lucid dreams during the course. Now that I am home and my daily meditation regime is down to 2 hours a day, my lucid dreaming has dropped back considerably. What is the connection between meditation and dreaming?

    it tries to tell you
    'to see we don't need eyes'
    1. when we sleep we see things (dreaming)
    2. when we meditate we see things

    this is the first step toward the Truth

    during the day too we can see without eyes

  • smarinosmarino florida Explorer
    edited November 2016

    In my life, my dreams seem to be affected about many things, If I hear a noise in my sleep it can go into a dream, if I watch something on the internet before I go to sleep it can also come into my dreams, so it makes sense that what happened to you happened. Your mind was simply responding to a different way of operating when you were meditating so much, and when you went back to your usual meditation schedule, it went back to it's usual manner of dreaming. This is just a theory, I actually have no idea of what is going on w/ your mind, nor w/ mine in most instances.

    This is a little off topic, but it is very interesting hearing about people that follow a Vipassana discipline of daily 2 hour sitting. Twenty to twenty five minutes once or twice a day is all I seem to be capable of, but that's Zen "just sitting", so maybe that's a different sort of deal. On Sundays at my sangha I can do a two hour sit pretty easily, but that's because it's broken up into 20 minutes of sitting followed by 10 minutes of walking meditation. A 2 hr sit daily, wow, I can't even fathom that.

  • AkashaAkasha New
    edited December 2016

    What is the connection between meditation and dreaming?

    Interesting.I am not quite sure.I always wanted to know this.I practice samadhi meditation.And its purpose is too still the mind.When i first started to meditate i did experience a lot of lucid dreaming and OBE.very uncomfortable.I had to fight a lot of fears to continue meditating because it was not pleasant experience.But as i continued developing samadhi through out the years it just gradually died down.There was one phase i remember clearly,i didn't need to sleep much and i had no dreams.It was really strange.I can always recall my dreams but that phase was dreamless.And now,dreams have returned but it's just a quieter subtle wispy version, i do dream now but the minds not interested in dream phenomenon or waking ones it just keeps returning to the meditation object by default (which is the breath for me).I think perhaps the mind and body goes through a purification process when you do intensive meditation.And perhaps this translates as lucid dreaming.The minds not used to being trained to stay with the meditation object of your choosing.But i know that if you continue with it it will "get used" or "adjust" to it and the lucid dreaming stops.It stopped in my case.

    Oh i have to add meditation and OBE's did cost me my job.And i had to go to the doctor to prescribe sleeping pills since the mind wouldn't go to sleep.I had to stop meditating in the evenings or before i went to bed.Because i was awake while the body was going to sleep.

    In meditation,you can stay aware while everything else goes,but during sleep process,it's very unpleasant.staying awake while body goes to sleep.I don't recommend that for anybody.

    But it's all fine now.When it's time to sleep i just go to sleep.I am not up for lucid dreams and OBE's it's hard enough dealing with waking phenomenons,why give the mind more work in the dream state.

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