CAPPADOCIA Göreme National Park by Feridun F Alkaya
CAPPADOCIA Göreme National Park by Feridun F. Alkaya

Dream state is a curious place. Mainly, dreams are about processing your day. Mental digestion, we could say. It can also be processing some unresolved past. Like digesting food, it all gets mushed together.

An attached mind doesn’t like to have emotions for no reason as this suggests it’s not in control (it’s not). As a result, the mind plays random stories for the processing to play out in.

Shallow dreams are much like the mental babble of the day. Deeper dreams call on deeper levels of the mind, making them more archetypal. Themes and story-lines switch as what is arising shifts.

Some people are fans of remembering your dreams and dream analysis to look into the subconscious. You can read books that tell you what various dream content means. Personally, I’ve not found the associations made sense to me. But if you can distinguish the emotional content from the play, the themes may be insightful.

I’ve taken the approach that dream analysis is like going through the trash.

When I first started witnessing dreams (being awake within while the dreams played out), I found I could manipulate the content. This was mildly entertaining, but I realized I was interfering with the process and let it go. I fell back to the witness rather than getting into the content.

After awakening, the mind’s need for control fell away and there was a gradual trend to dreams without a story. Like ripples that never solidified into forms.

Dream Levels
Just as there are levels of being, dreams have different levels of expression.

– The big dramatic ones are more memorable, be they fun or dark, especially if they wake us up
– Routine dreams that come and go or shift disjointedly
– Background babble that’s not enough to trigger a theme
– Quiet impulses that come and go, like waves on the shore
– transcendent silence

Each stage has less mental content and more pure digestion until it is peace itself.

You may notice a similarity with levels of speech.

More recently, I’ve heard a few awake people mention they don’t dream anymore. (This is distinct from not being aware of dreams.) I can’t say that’s true here. On reflection, there are fewer dreams and none of the dramatic ones. But there is still digestion of the day and old baggage coming up here and there.

How quiet is your life and mind? If there is little to digest, there will be few dreams. That’s much less likely with a busy life or in some cycles of time where more of the past is being brought up to resolve.

I wouldn’t say minimizing dreams is a goal or symptom of importance. Just an interesting trend. There will be tremendous variation in how this unfolds for various people and at various times.

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  1. Gina L

    I wondered what it would be like to meditate during dreaming. So one time I ‘sat down’ during a dream and began my mantra. But with the first thought of the mantra, I woke up! I’ll never do that again, because I couldn’t get back to sleep. So I just kept meditating.

  2. George

    1. Here, among all the dreams that play out, there also seems to be a few that can come back, again and again.
    2. I am proof positive that you don’t have to be self-realized to gain a knack for being able to recognize that a dream is happening, and even playing around with the content of it; yes, it’s amusing.
    3. Then there are the flying dreams that, here, usually start with running, then each step gets a little longer and lighters, eventually resulting in being able to move about in the air, at will, with total control and absolute fearlessness…actually quite a pleasant experience.
    4. There seems to be an element of violence in many dreams, with me being the target, not the doer.
    5. In dreams, “I” compose and enjoy some of the most beautiful music I’ve ever heard, and sometimes I can see it, too (I know, weird but nice).
    6. As for those who say you can’t dream in color, step inside mine sometime.
    7. I’ve also built in a kill switch: if any dream gets to be too much, or I can’t find my way out of an unpleasant situation, I key myself to opening my eyes and waking up, along with the thought, “they can’t get me here.” Then, I can go back to sleep, or sometimes back into the dream with the knowledge that I’m safe and have the ultimate power to continue or not.

    The possibilities are endless, of course, and I place no meaning to any dream. I just figure as long as I’m locked in, I might as well have some fun. I expect you’ll get quite a response to this post, or maybe not. I do agree 100% that it’s all trash; call me a most reluctant dumpster diver, I guess. Remembering past lives, too, borders on abject boredom. I look forward to not wasting my time with it all, being established instead as the silent witness.

    1. Hi George
      Yes, there can be themes or favorite stories the mind regurgitates, but keep in mind the story is just the mind setting the stage for the processing. It often has little to do with what is being processed. That’s in the emotions.

      The senses are joined at the source. When you settle into refined senses, they can cross over.

      Dunno who would say you can’t dream in colour. If there is visual content, why wouldn’t it be? More vivid even?

      The kill switch idea is interesting. Simply recognizing it’s a dream and changing stories can do the trick too. But again, it’s not really about the story but the energy behind that. It’s the energy seeking resolution. You don’t want to culture resistance or interference with the process. But yes, sometimes you want to pull the plug. The point is rest, after all. 🙂

      I’ve never found prior lives boring. Often, they’re pretty intense as its the strongest experiences that can be the doorway into remembering. These days, it’s more like a memory prod when meeting someone or recognizing prior connections. That can be insightful. But then, i am a nerd about this stuff. (laughs)

  3. Jeff

    Most of my dreams are triggered by a full badder. So the content is generally walking endless paths looking for the exit. But I also have many flying dreams which are a lot of fun. I also have dreams where I slay demons. The demons are slayed by my darshan, or the silence of the self. It’s fun to watch them become more refined and eventually transcend into pure consciousness. These are usually triggered by stresses being unwound in the body.

    1. (laughs) Actually, the bladder is probably making you more wakeful and thus noticing dreams, Jeff. Similarly, people are more likely to remember dreams as they’re waking in the morning.

      Ah, stresses as demons, dissolving in presence…

  4. Kerri Heffernan

    Hi David. Lately more and more I end up waking up in major fear and just continue to lay there and process. These dreams I don’t seem to remember as I do with most. I just wake up because the feeling is so intense which is a good thing so I can process it. I also continuously wake at 3am. Is this something you’ve experienced?

    1. Hi Kerri
      Actually, remembering the dream content isn’t important. Being with the emotional content so it can resolve is the important part. Then you can help it leave. Sometimes, really big stuff surfaces that takes a few rounds to resolve.

      You may also find it useful to ask yourself “is this mine?” Sometimes, big waves can be stress coming to the surface in the collective. Your attention on it can help resolve some. But if it’s not yours, try not to make it personal and take it on. Just because it’s coming up doesn’t mean it’s personal.

      Sometimes, waking at a certain time is just a habit because it’s happened prior. However, there is a time just before dawn called nubaswan. Essentially, there is a wave of wakefulness that rolls around the globe just before sunrise. Some are attuned to that.

      1. Kerri A Heffernan

        Wow David, thank you as always. I will have to ask that question because I definitely did not consider that before. I found your blog on Fire the Grid – I am gonna check it out. Take care.

    2. Lorey

      Since awakening it is very very rare to have dreams, and if I do they have been participatory or point to something that needs to be resolved and let go.

      Once there was a very clear awareness that all the levels of consciousness are always always there. This seems the same as your words: “awareness aware of awareness aware of itself .” The waking state was then different and remained.

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