When we are awake we know that a dream is just illusion. Yet, somehow, when we are in the illusion we don’t know that it is illusion. Our consciousness is so confused, so changeable! Through the practice of Dream Yoga we can learn to recognize the illusion. This helps us to understand that even our waking life is illusion.
With a combination of mantras and visualization techniques, dream meditation enables us to maintain awareness in our dreams in order to use them to our benefit. We can affect the dream in ways that shed light on the ultimate nature of reality and of the mind. For example, we can make small objects big and big object small. We can multiple objects and then unify them. We can change our body and transform it—like giving ourselves one hundred arms. We can see deities and make them disappear again.
Although what is seen in a dream is not real, what is experienced is real—fear, joy, etc. Not recognizing these experiences as illusion creates suffering. The definition of hell is illusion. So by learning how to understand illusion, we develop ourselves and our happiness in significant ways.
Throughout our lifetimes we spend about 240,000 hours sleeping. As Buddha taught, this is precious time that can be used to develop our spiritual practice.