lucid dream

The correct mental state for Zen and mindfulness meditation

There’s a scene in the movie, The Family Man, where Nicolas Cage is sitting in a chair and trying to stay awake, because he knows that when he falls asleep his “glimpse” will be over.

The moments just before passing out are like that. Assuming that you’re not panicking, you’re vibrantly aware of everything around you — colors, smells, etc., because you don’t know if you’re just passing out or this is Game Over.

The end of a lucid dream can also be like that. You can be in the dream, know that you’re dreaming, and then know that you’re starting to wake up. You don’t want to leave, but you don’t have a choice, so you pay great attention to the environment because you know that you may never see it again.

To the best of my knowledge, all of those are also the correct mental state for Zen and mindfulness meditation. As Shunryu Suzuki says, “The true practice of meditation is to sit as if you are drinking water when you are thirsty.”

(Namaste)

It’s a Wonderful Life meets St. Elsewhere alvin December 22, 2017 - 4:57pm

Introduction: After a long hiatus, during the last week I finally got back into a consistent meditation routine. As usual, this helps me remember my dreams better, and to also have lucid dreams. Last night that combined with something else I had thought about casually recently: Wouldn’t it be nice to be young again, and if I was young again, what would I do differently?

Christmas gift exchange (part of an ongoing dream series)

In one of my ongoing dream series I’m a young man who works at a restaurant at night. Two nights ago I was working there when a female co-worker told me she bought a Christmas gift for me, and wanted to see if we could do a gift exchange. I hadn’t gotten her anything yet, so I said something like, “I, I ... I can’t do it right now because <insert excuse here>. How about tomorrow?”

After work I went out to buy something for her. “Think, think,” I said to myself, probing my dream memory, “what would be a nice gift?” Then I remembered that a few weeks ago she told me about something she always wanted when she was younger, so I went out and found that item, and wrapped it up.

Last night we exchanged gifts during a break at work. She opened hers first, and when she saw it she began to cry. “Uh-oh,” I thought, “now you’ve gone and made her cry. This might not be good.” But then she said it was beautiful and thoughtful, and said her gift to me was nothing compared to it.

Tonight I think I’m going to call in sick to work, or maybe just stay up all night and binge-watch Stranger Things.

Living another lifetime in a dream alvin November 12, 2017 - 9:33am

I meditated last night until I started falling asleep. I kept trying to fight through the sleepiness, but it was to no avail.

I got up, went to bed, and almost immediately had one of those “You’re not Al, you’re somebody else” dream or dream-like experiences (like when Captain Picard went unconscious on the bridge and lived another life). After a long period of time I woke up in a bed with tears streaming down my cheeks because of what had just happened. (A friend died in my arms.) I sat up, looked around, but couldn’t figure out who or where I was. With my body/brain/mind rejecting the situation, I barfed into the trash can by the bedside. I was glad someone put that there.

After somewhere between thirty and ninety seconds I remembered who/where I am. With my body shaking as usual after one of these experiences, and not wanting to go back to sleep, I bundled up and went for a long, cold, after-midnight November walk. The clear sky was beautiful, and I was glad to be alive, even if I felt like crap. I made a note to myself that I need to take midnight walks more often, I appreciate the solitude.

~ November 12, 2015

Thought it would be fun to play tennis again

I was working on my bucket list last night while I was sleeping, and at one point I thought it would be fun to play tennis again. I recalled the last few times where I played tennis, and it was in a park, closely surrounded by tall evergreens. The first time I went there I had to wait for some other people to finish up, so after that I would go a little later and there was never a wait.

It was only when I woke up and tried to remember how to get to the park that I remembered that I haven’t had a tennis racquet in almost ten years, and I realized that those courts don’t exist on this planet.

~ November 2, 2016

A ringtone I never heard before

I wasn’t feeling well this afternoon, so I decided to lay down for a while and just focus on my breathing.

A little later in the day I was standing in my kitchen, cutting some vegetables and humming Tina Turner’s “Peace Mantra” song, when my phone started playing a ringtone. I liked the ringtone, but it was a song I had never heard before.

I set my cutting knife down and started wiping off my hands so I could answer the phone when I thought, “Wait, I laid down to take a nap, and I don’t remember waking up from that. This is a dream, isn’t it?”

~ October 28, 2016

When everyone in a dream keeps asking why you’re snoring alvin August 20, 2017 - 7:20pm

I hate it when everyone in a dream keeps asking why you’re snoring. At first it’s embarrassing, then after a while it’s more like, “Bah! Leave me alone.”

What is dream yoga and how do I do it? alvin August 19, 2017 - 11:09am

If you’re into lucid dreaming, LionsRoar.com has an interesting article, What is dream yoga and how do I do it?

I Still Forgive You

We were playing at our camp when my older brother — who was standing on higher ground than I — saw something in the distance. He stood upright, then perfectly still. After a few moments he turned to me in a look of panic I had never seen before, pointed in a direction opposite from where he was looking, and screamed, “Run! Run!” I was startled at his behavior but I knew that something was very wrong, so I ran. And I ran.

I ran as fast as I could, weaving through the brush and constantly changing my course as I was chased by a white man on a dark horse. I thought I might be close to safety when I darted through some bushes, but I ran right into a creek that was too wide to jump across. As I paused for a moment to decide how to continue, the white man shot me in the back.

In intense pain and sudden shock, I stumbled forward into the creek, bent over with one hand in the creek. As I attempted to stand up and regain my balance, I was shot in the back again. This time my body flew forward towards the opposite side of the creek. I tried to control my fall but could not, and my torso slammed against the land. The right side of my face was pressed against the ground, my eyes still open. My right arm was trapped under my body, my left arm was somewhere down my left side. My legs lay in the creek’s water.

Waking up in a strange bed with a Cinnabon

I woke up on the left side of a king size bed this morning. It wasn’t my bed, but I was blanketed in a thick, soft comforter, which felt wonderful. I looked around briefly. Wherever I was, the room seemed very nice. It was light outside.

As my other senses came to me, I realized that what woke me up was a strange woman standing on the right side of the bed, yelling at me. She wanted to know where I got the warm Cinnabon that was on the nightstand next to me. More accurately, she rather forcefully wanted to know if someone brought that for me, and if so, who.