Sunday, June 8, 2014

Lucid dreaming in Buddhist Bali (Part 2)

Seven, Amber Larson, Wisdom Quarterly; Lillian Pierson; Robert Waggoner; Nina Persson
Stupa uncovered revealing Buddha inside a bell, Borobudur, Indonesia (
What does it mean, "lucid dreaming"?
Buddhist Indo looks over Indonesia
Lucid dreaming is the practice or ability to be aware of dreaming in a dream. There is astral projection, and there is mastering "reality." If life is an illusion, a "dream" (maya), then being lucid means becoming aware of how much we are controlling or contributing to what's going on.

Why Buddhist Indonesia?
Sakka, King (Indo) of the Devas
Ciara is going this summer, and we would like to go. But whereas she can go on a plane, we may have to find other means. For one, we can study history. "Indonesia" was once a Buddhist land, "Indo" being an apparent reference to Sakka, King of the Devas (a.k.a. Indra), the famous Buddhist raja-deva or "archangel" (Michael in Christianity, Maghavā of Macala in a past life when he performed the karma that resulted in being reborn as a "Sakka," which is a cosmic station occupied by various individuals), an "extraterrestrial" who looks after this planet from the celestial World of the Thirty-Three and the nearby Realm of the Four Great Regents or Sky-Kings.

I had my first transcendental meditation experience just now at The Yoga Barn, Bali. I was definitely in an altered state of body and mind... Some major blessings were received (a pink heart lotus), and some heavy fears were roused during the class (Lillian Pierson).

When was this part of Asia, thousands of islands spread over such a vast distance, Buddhist and Hindu?
Eventually Islam conquered and overran the island chain, approximately 400 years ago. But Bali is still partly Buddhist. DhammaCakraTra says Theravada Buddhism is indigenous. History books say it was once all Mahayana Buddhist and animist. Whatever the form of Islam, it is still very much influenced by its Dharmic past, as if it were an extension of the Khmer Empire, Cambodia, or Asoka's Indian Empire, which probably included modern Afghanistan, the land of the Buddha's birth and early life.

Borobudur Buddhas hidden in bell stupas, hazy Indonesia (Fuerst/
Why Indonesia today?
It may have been that Elizabeth Gilbert reintroduced us to this great land. Or it may be that it is miraculous that the largest Buddhist temple is here -- bigger than Angkor Wat, Cambodia, though maybe not as big as unexcavated Mes Aynak, Afghanistan -- at Borobudur. But dreaming now often gets romantic, as author Gilbert found out. Why do we travel thousands of miles to find a wise person living in a saintly hermitage only to ask her or him, "What do I do about my relationship?" We get out into the world, travel far, and that's still the main thing we think about? Apparently.

Do you think about that, too?
Yes. I mean, for all the other things I think about, this Cardigans song washes over me from time to time over someone I love or think I love.

Which song?
"Nasty Sunny Beam," which is infantile and über sweet:
Bali is a spiritual land of light and love, a healing, spiritual place for cleansing and renewal.
i can't get out of bed/ can't get my dreams out/ of my sleepy head/ i open up my eyes/ and wonder where you are/ but soon i realize/ that you're not real/and i am/ in between a day and dream/ life and death, a lazy stream/ in between a day and dream/ hello, goodbye,/ you nasty sunny beam/ i try to seal my mind/ and get back to where you were/ oh, you were that perfect kind/ you drove me crazy/ somewhere/ in between a day and dream/ life and death, a lazy stream/ in between a day and dream/ hello, goodbye,/ you nasty sunny beam/ i'm floating down again/ and my world is a syrup waterfall/ i can't remember when/ or where/ or why!/ in between a day and dream/ life and death, a lazy stream/ in between a day and dream/ hello, goodbye,/ you nasty sunny beam!
Lucid Dreaming Experience
Interviewer Robert Waggoner with Chad Adams (

First Meditation in a Lucid Dream (1997)
I stand on the beach, and small waves lap on the sand. It is dark out, and everything is tinged in a deep purple except the sand, which is a brilliant glowing blue. The sky overhead is luminescent with a vast [number] of stars and what looks like the Milky Way Galaxy.
I become lucid [aware that this is in fact a dream] and immediately want to try a new experience of practicing meditation while lucid in a dream. I sit down on the sand, cross my legs, and close my eyes. Strange that immediately upon closing my eyes I become extremely aware of my mind as bi-local, or being in two places at one time. I sense myself lying on my bed and here, meditating on a beautiful beach at night in a lucid dream. I push that thought away and begin clearing my mind of all thought. Time passes.
Tibetan Dream Yoga, Geshe Tenzin Wangyal
I feel a presence. I open my eyes and stand. Someone or something is standing above me. (I cannot recall what it looked like.) It doesn't speak; instead, it motions me to follow. We walk down a path winding through the sand dunes and enter a cave. The interior is lit with an orange light, which has no source. To our right a ramp leads up towards an archway, above which is a sculpture of an eye etched from the rock wall of the cave itself.

The eye is very reminiscent of the one on the back of a dollar bill. I know I am to go through the archway and go under what I later realized was a symbol of my third eye. I walk the stone ramp, underneath the eye. Suddenly, I lose my footing and I'm sliding down a slippery "tunnel slide" that has the texture and appearance of loose skin. It startles me, but doesn't yet scare me.
Guided Online Workshop, Robert Waggoner
When I come to a stop, I find myself in a tiny room the size of a small shower. On all six sides [up, down, and all around] I am surrounded by the texture and feel of skin flowing like a thick curtain. Again, there is a subtle light illuminating the tiny area, but I haven't thought of its source for I am beginning to panic. Everywhere I place my hand, my foot, everywhere I push, it gives slightly, like elastic. I am really scared now as there is no way out. The panic overrides the knowledge that I am in a dream, and I feel as if I am to suffocate and die in this place. It seems unending.

London, Ireland 2014 (
The realization of the utter uselessness of panic hits me. There is nothing to be gained in the fear. It has gotten me nowhere. And when the fear of enclosure dissipates, I am released. I slow down and slump to the floor.
At first I feel resignation then a bit of guilt for giving up, but it is quickly replaced by a feeling of complete peace. A feeling like a close friend is there and will always be there. The walls, the ceiling, the floor...fall away. I am infused by a blissful euphoria, floating in no-time. There is nothing around. Fear seems to be a historic past. I remember asking myself how I could possibly be afraid of anything that is wise, so teaching, so... More

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