I have some questions about meditation and its use on lucid dreaming.
1. Is meditation necessary in order to have a lucid dream?
2. Why should I meditate?
3. How many of you meditate? and how often?
4. Will I achive a lucid dream faster if I practice meditation?
5. How does meditation aid lucid dreaming?
6. Where can I learn meditation? Is it hard?
7a. Is there different versions/techniques?
7b. If yes; what do you recommend?
Thanks for the awesome answers!
2. Because it's healthy for you psychologically, physiologically, emotionally, spiritually, inetellectually, all the -ally's.
3. I meditate (and love it!). Every day.
4. Oh, yes.
5. It makes you more lucid and chilled out throughout the duration of your day. It puts your mind in the brainwave state you would be in if you were in a lucid dream.
6. Pretty much anywhere. I can teach you if you like. It's not hard at all.
7b. Relaxation meditation. Once you're really really deep, begin mantras such as Tonight, I will realize that I'm dreaming.
Be careful about following specific meditation instructions for too long without attending to the results you're getting. I've struggled for years forcing myself to do a particular type of meditation that wasn't working for me. Once I began to reach out to other methods and tweak my practice until it began to work, it became very fruitful.
I believe because of individual differences there are different practices that would work better for each person, so you must discover them for yourself. That said, I am biased towards more embodied and mindfulness types of meditation to support lucid dreaming. Mantra, esoteric visualizations, or devotional type meditations don't seem relevant towards lucid dreaming. Although Jungian active imagination and dreamwork can be helpful. There's a great Jungian self-help book called "Inner Work" out there.
I have played with meditations such as Zen (zazen), Vipassana (traditional mindfulness), "sittings" from the Gurdjieff Work, Centering Prayer (a Christian type meditation), and the body focused Vipassana style of S.N. Goenka. Personally I find Vipassana that is focused on the body and the breath as a means of focus to be the most beneficial, but that's my experience. There are also many simple ways to meditate that are not affiliated with a particular religion or spirituality.
I also recommend a little book called: "Self-Observation: The Awakening of Conscience" by Red Hawk. This is a nice introduction to the main practice in the Gurdjieff tradition: self-observation, where you work to split your attention between inward sensation and reactions and outward attending to your world and senses as you go throughout your day. Unlike meditation, you work to keep a sober and open view of things throughout your waking moments and not just in formal meditation.
Good luck and keep experimenting.
One thing I keep hearing about meditation is about "closing the inner chatter of the mind" or something like that. I'm not really sure what it means literally, can someone explain please?
Quit often when I read my eyes are following the text but then I realize I've been thinking about something completly different and have to re-read the whole paragraph. Like my eyes have been reading but my mind hasn't picked up anything? Is that mind-chattering?
My fist lucid dream will be awesome!
I also recommend learning a psychological technique called "Focusing." I've been practicing this for years. Recently I found a lucid dream author who recommends Focusing. It's a great way to work through bodily-emotive material that can come out negatively in dreams. Go to Focusing.org.
That whole myth of battling with the chattering mind is such a cliche in the meditative world. Personally I feel that willfully quieting the mind is a waste of time. Just like all the other abstract goals that meditators are taught: enlightenment, stillness, presence, light... they are taught to war with their mind but no one ever asks why the mind is like this in the first place. Maybe the chattering mind is trying to get at something but in vain and it is just not understood. Maybe there's a deeper force driving it, such as bodily, emotional tensions that one is not aware of. This is why contemplation of the body and sensation is so important. I had a teacher once who said that he attempted to fight with his mind but eventually just learned to relax it like a muscle that is always tight.
Try not to get hung up on the Buddhist ideology or symbolism, they are all just words. What's important are what they mean.
So, in we go with meditation. Sit down, chillax and watch the breath, or whatever else helps you focus - the breath is just good because it's always there.
So now that you're sitting down, you've got two problems. The elephant and the monkey.
-The black elephant is your mind. It is black, because it is out of control. It is wild, dangerous and completely untrained.
-The black monkey is a little bastard. It runs all over the place, constantly excited, chattering and in need of stimulus (food, shiney things, sex, etc etc): this is the chatter in your mind, that you talk about.
-Taking up the rear, is you - the new meditator - the dude who's sitting down, trying to figure out why the stupid elephant is chasing the monkey.
So, the more you sit and try to control the mind - the more you realize it is impossible. You need to just watch it. Eventually, if you do not give the monkey mind any stimulus, it will get bored of itself and shut up. This is inevitable - this is quiet/stillness and is represented by the monkey turning white - you learn how to control the monkey, by not controlling it and just not paying attention to it (this can take a while, but not that long - it's simply realizing that you - the observer/meditator, are not your thoughts...you just observe your thoughts)
Eventually, you will leave the monkey mind behind for good and you'll be liberated from constant internal chatter, even when you're not meditating (actually, you'll just have learnt to stay in meditation no matter what you're doing...driving, walking, having sex etc) and you will now lead the elephant / the mind.
After that, is probably what people call enlightenment. When the mind is quiet and disciplined (the cave) and the observer/mediator sees reality for what it is - it can use the white elephant, who is now well trained and powerful, to fly off into the world on super psychedelic rainbow beams and explore the universe from within - this, to me, can be seen as a sort of path to fully conscious OBE - living in two worlds simultaneously through conscious effort, and it is achieved by practicing meditation.
There's also some other stuff - the tools in the dude's hands represent awareness (coming back to the breath when the monkey mind strays) and mindfulness (being mindful of what is happening, yet being unaffected by it) and the rabbit has to do with boredom or something else...but the main thing to remember is...
Just breathe. Don't try and do anything. Don't have a goal - Just be aware - meditation leads to viewing reality as it is, and when you're aware of your breath, and aware that your mind is straying, and aware that monkey chatter is natural and will improve with practice...then you are meditating.
My first year or so of meditation was not actually meditation - it was sitting down trying to focus, and in doing that I was sitting down, trying to focus - not meditating. Maybe I've said way too much and just confused you...but just remember, breathe, monkey, elephant....super lazer rainbow Jesus with a sword of awesomebawsness.
Happy breathing \o.
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