Dream the Dream


By Trish Reyburn

I’ve had several dreams that have stayed with me. Some of them occurred during sleep and some during my waking hours.
The first dream that I vividly remember was when I was small, probably five or six-years-old. A wild man – who looked like a wolf snatched me out of my bed while I slept and drove me away from my house as I yelled for help, terrified. The dream ended when my big brother came into my room to soothe me and to try to convince me that it was just a bad dream. I still remember the wolfman’s face gazing wildly upon me as he drove the car away.

According to yogic literature, there are four states of consciousness.

Mandukya upanishad

Waking consciousness is now – while you’re reading this, you are awake. Dreaming consciousness is the level where we process through all the waking conscious experiences that didn’t get fully absorbed in our psyche. Deep sleep is the third state, where we drop our identities completely and are no longer female or male, a mother or a son, and no certain age or religion. In dreamless deep sleep we lose all attachments to the “real world.” The fourth state is pure consciousness or Turiya, which is translated literally as “the fourth.” It is the space behind all the other levels, the part of us that is always awake and always aware.

Waking consciousness is also a type of dream. Yes, it is real because we are experiencing it and yet each moment passes like a dream. Memories are not happening right now and yet we remember them as real events. Remember the last time you were in a public yoga class with students filling the room? Did that really happen? If you view it from one perspective it is as real as the dream you had the other night. Dreams seem so real when you are in them, but after they are over and you awaken, how real were they? The same is true for the waking dream, those moments are gone (or have not even happened, if you are in fantasy).

So how real were they?

Scientists have proven that when we dream, our bodies very much believe they are experiencing real life. Studies have found that the brain is as active during the dreaming state as it is during the day when we move through our waking life. We dream during the REM (rapid eye movement) sleep state and our eyes are actually following the pictures in our mind as we work to process our life.

Similar to lucid dreaming where one can consciously shape the course of a dream while sleeping, we can also affect our waking dreams with consciousness. I began practicing this universal principle a couple of decades ago. It is something to play with  — use the power of your mind to consciously manifest ideas into reality and make your dreams come true! 

My best tip I can offer as you practice this principle is to remove doubt from your mind. I know, it’s a lot easier said than done. But when you allow yourself to dream of something (a physical object, a relationship, a quality of being), you must get in touch with how you will feel when you achieve your dream. Physically, how will it feel in your body? Mentally and emotionally, how will you feel when you have what you desire?

Once you can master those feeling states, you start to live in them before the dream has arrived. You act as if you already have what you want. You literally imagine it into being by creating a feeling state in your body. And most importantly, you put your doubts aside whenever they arise. You may notice the doubts but do not give them any energy. If you feel doubt, consider it your cue to amplify the good feelings you will have when your dream is made manifest.

A while back I was living in an apartment building right next to Blissworks Yoga studio. It was a perfect, half-block commute to work and I loved living downtown. The downside was that my second floor studio apartment was directly above a ballroom that was often rented for weddings and other events. Because I like to go to bed early, it was a drag to hear the music and bass pounding through the floor when I wanted to sleep.  I did my best to practice calmness and yogic breathing but I also realized that I did not want to sign another year-long lease. When I told the manager I needed to look for a new apartment, she informed me there were several available in the same building that they could show me.

The first I saw was a corner apartment on the top floor facing the water. As soon as the door opened to the apartment, I said YES! This was it!

It was perfect and I wanted it!

The assistant showing it to me said, “Well, someone has already signed a lease for this apartment but I can talk with him and see if he wants to give it up.” Immediately, I had doubt and frustration. Why would she show this to me if it was not available? Why would anyone want to give up this apartment?

Just as quickly, I replaced my doubt with possibility. Just because I could not understand someone wanting to give up this apartment didn’t mean it couldn’t happen.
I believe in the power of intention, so why not put it into action? 

I called in the troops to help me manifest my dream into reality. I dismissed any doubt and wrote the same text message to about 15 of my supportive friends: “Please visualize me in my new penthouse apartment overlooking the water.” Many responded with words of encouragement and I continued to make myself feel the excitement and wonder that I would feel when I got to move into my amazing new apartment. It was a mere two hours later when I received the phone call – the gentleman had agreed to take another apartment instead and I could move in right away!

Not everything we dream about manifests in two hours, though, other things can take 20 years or longer. But if you direct your consciousness in the right direction, then you can create a wonderful dream in your waking life. We experience these moments and then they pass on. Yoga offers the opportunity to live through our days and sleep through our nights in a more conscious way. Once we achieve our dreams, we can imagine new ones and these will keep us learning and growing throughout our lives. 

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