“Bardo” Video Conference
Teaching Day 2
Short Summary in English at 2:41:46
Now it is very late, I am almost one hour over the schedule. Anyway, I will summarize today’s teachings in English as briefly as possible. This is the second bardo, the dream bardo. Dream is taken for granted by all of us, because since we were born we have been sleeping a lot, and since we are sleeping, we are dreaming a lot. But this is a very special part of our life.
Because we are sleeping every day, because we are dreaming every day, as a result of that in our waking life we are much better in clarity and also our temperament. For example, in dream at night everything is an illusion, very clear.
When we wake up, as result of that experience, in our waking life’s time, when something wonderful happens, we get happy, but we still don’t get overwhelmed by it. And when something not so good happens to us, we don’t like it, but we don’t get overwhelmed by it [either], because we have the experience of illusion through every night when we are dreaming. That is one thing.
And another thing is: the dream has three stages. The first stage is that we relax physically and mentally. Then we fall asleep. The second stage is that we start to dream. The third stage is that we again end our dream and then we awake. Then the waking life starts. So going through sleep is similar process to what happens when we die, and waking up is similar process to when we were born. This is repeated every day, it is very healthy thing.
It is quite evident that if somebody can’t sleep for one week, the person will go little bit off the balance. And if somebody can’t sleep for 15 days, then they have to seek for mental help. This way it is very important part of our life, but since we all have it, we take it for granted. That is one part.
The practice of the dream as part of the dream bardo is as follows. First of all, when we relax and fall into some sort of non-dualistic state, at that stage we are somewhat free from this life’s dualistic karmic influence and defilements’ influence. It is not exactly enlightenment, but close to the natural primordial state of our essence, which is buddha nature or ultimate bodhichitta or primordial wisdom. Close to that.
And remaining in that state is called remaining in clear light. It doesn’t mean light like sun or electricity light. It is the light, which is not like darkness of ignorance. It is like the brightness and clearness of wisdom. That definition of light and dark, not the definition of light and dark like at daytime and nighttime, not that kind of light. That kind of clear light.
If we can maintain that throughout the night until we wake up tomorrow, that is excellent practice. I can say that, but it will take many, many years of serious practice to achieve that. But then, some aspect of that we can achieve starting from now. Some of you might be practicing that already, I don’t know.
The second part of this is: when we are dreaming, we should recognize and know that we are dreaming. That is the first step. The second step is that in dream we can manifest whatever we wish to manifest. So, if we are practicing Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva, or any other Buddha Sambhogakaya manifestation, which in English is translated as “deity” – I am not really sure if it is 100 % accurate translation or not – but anyway, Buddha Sambhogakaya, we are practicing them.
So, in the dream, actually when we practice such thing as visualization, we can become that, and then we invoke all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in the sky above us, in front of us they will manifest. In waking life we have to visualize them and also we have to visualize offerings etc., and also we have to visualize all the mother sentient beings and bless them by the compassion of all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, by their wisdom etc. to help them free from their suffering and to liberate them into Buddhahood ultimately.
All of these things we are very much imagining while visualizing, but in a dream it can really manifest. That way, if we can practice our waking life’s sadhana, day to day practice into the dream, then it is very sacred and beneficial practice. More beneficial than the waking life, because it becomes merged with the waking life.
The third aspect of the waking life is this: whatever we experience, realize and develop and mature in the dream, it should be embraced and mixed into the waking life. For example in a very simple way, in dream if something wonderful happens, we are happy, but we don’t get over attached to it. And if something not so nice happens, we don’t get overly angry with it. If something fearful happens, we don’t get overly frightened by it. Because it is an illusion, apparently, very clearly.
Once we notice this in the dream, in the waking life also we should be able to naturally get influenced by this, so that in the waking life we don’t have that much grasping. Something wonderful happens – it’s okay, we appreciate, but then we don’t get attached to it. Something not so nice happens – we don’t get overly angry about it. Our anger, jealousy, ignorance, attachment all become much more under control. So we are able to control our defilements instead of our defilements controlling us. That is the essence of the dream practice.
And the dream stage, which is very close to the ultimate primordial state, which I mentioned yesterday according to the text, regarding to the life bardo, this is the dream bardo. So that is: when we are in this state of dream, it is actually free from very strong karmic manifestation of the waking life, therefore it is closer to the ultimate primordial nature. This way it is described as dream bardo.
I don’t want to take much more time, I would like to close this, because it’s very late now. So, from the beginningless time until Buddhahood is the longest dream, the dream of duality, dream of self. And then, from birth to death is the second dream, dream of the ripening of many lifetimes of karma.
Dream and sleeping is the dream of sub consciousness, because we may be very peaceful person, but in the dream we might be fighting like mad. So, it is very contradictory, but that means in the sub consciousness there is some kind of aggression there, so we have to work it out. It is a sign that we will know we have to remedy it. This way we should be practicing the dream yoga, and here it is as part of the dream bardo. That is the essence of today’s teaching.
All the best to everyone and let us dedicate the merit of today’s teaching for the benefit of all sentient beings to attain Buddhahood.