Okay, so my dream yoga process is going slow and steady. I'm following Rinpoche Wangyal Tenzin's suggestions in The Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep to the best of my ability.
What this entails:
1) Practicing, during my waking hours, becoming aware that my waking life is itself a dream. Because the whole point of Tibetan dream yoga, as I gather, is to become fully lucid - i.e., a Buddha - not just lucid in one's night time dreams.
2) Practicing zinhe, or calm-abiding meditation. Which is really hard for me. I get super-antsy when I'm told to just "follow my breath." I could do brahma-vihara practice for hours... but breath-watching... yeesh. This is how I know I'm getting serious about the whole bodhisattva trip ("meditative concentration" is one of the 6 perfections that bodhisattvas need to cultivate in order to fulfill their mission), because I could never be persuaded to do this sheerly for my own benefit. It's sooooo boring.
3) Doing a breathing exercise before bed designed to gather the awareness in the central channel of the body, which I'm pretty sure is known as the sushumna in sanskrit. I totally forget the Tibetan word for it.
4) Doing my rather half-assed version of guru yoga. It's a meditation that involves imagining that one is receiving blesings from one's guru and mind-heart-melding with her. I don't yet have an official guru to yoga with, but I'm very fond of Lama Thubten Yeshe because of his fantastic Introduction to Tantra which blew my mind, so I'm working with imagining him in the mean time. I think he's cool with it.
5) Imagining that I'm surrounded by protective dakinis as a fall asleep. Dakinis are enlightened tantric lady-beings. Actually, I've been imagining that I'm surrounded by whatever the male version of dakinis is. Dakas, or something like that? I find it a bit more reassuring. Not that ladies aren't tough, but I'm trying to work with my deep-seated conditioning here.
6) Imagining that there's a glowing four-petaled red lotus on my throat chakra, with a radiant Tibetan letter A in the center.
7) Telling myself that I intend to remember my dreams and be lucid.
Dream Yoga Progress
So far, I haven't gotten close to becoming lucid - but it's only Day 2, so that seems fine. And my dreams have been a little on the side of ho-hum.
Like, last night I dreamt that all these dudes were hitting on me and trying to woo me with kale-flavored ice cream. Lately, a bunch of dudes have indeed been hitting on me (note to dudes: I'm celibate this year and only interested in being friends, it's truly nothing personal), and I've been eating a ton of kale, so I think that qualifies as what the dream yoga tradition calls a "samsaric" dream - a dream that's just made up of karmic traces playing themselves out in the free-wheeling realm of sleep.
Samsaric dreams can be useful in that they reflect to us pretty explicitly what we're thinking and feeling. They do this at a more intense level than we may be able to allow ourselves to see in waking life. They make it hard to deny the forces of desire or aversion in ourselves, for example. But they don't contain any super-profound truths or revelations.
Truths and revelations are the realm of what the dream yoga tradition calls "clear light" dreams. Clear light dreams come from a deeper place than just our own personal karmic residues. They come out of a place that includes the collective unconscious and the teachings of nonphysical beings. Which is, you know, rad. They often involve clairvoyant perception of some sort.
We all experience clear light dreams randomly at times in our lives. As I gather, the point of the first stage of dream yoga is to increase the frequency with which we enter into clear light dreams, decrease the samsaric dreams, and gradually become lucid within the clear light dreams.
So I'll keep you posted. In the mean time, got any lucid dreaming tips for me?