What is the buddhist perspective on lucid dreaming? I am very curious about my first lucid dream last night.

  • I suppose if its something that just happens spontaneously to you, there's nothing wrong with it. You could even use the opportunity to try and meditate in the dream state. But beyond that, I would be willing to say that acting to antagonize this state to come about would lay outside the Buddhist path. Not really an answer, just my initial thoughts.
    – Ryan
    Jul 25, 2015 at 10:52
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    In both Mahayana and Vajrayana lucid dreaming is a big deal. There are meditation manuals on how to do intensive sitting visualizations over a period of about a month with the intention of inducing a dream of a Buddha, Bodhisattva or a Pure Land. Your question is tagged early-Buddhism, which usually means Theravada, which probably would not try to lucid dream on purpose and would ignore it if it happened. Jul 25, 2015 at 12:32
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    Lucid dreams that lead to liberating insight or do something to craft one's enlightenment are a big deal. Lucid dreams that just open the doors to a new reality are less important, but still useful in loosening our grasp on this material world. So the answer is it depends on what happened in the dream. Did you say for example happen to lose fear of snakes as a result of the dream? That would be useful versus just having a trippy dream.
    – Buddho
    Jul 25, 2015 at 15:45
  • Charlie Morley is a lucid dreaming teacher based at Kagyu Samye Dzong in London, his website or courses might be what you're looking for. london.samye.org/programme/all-events/…
    – user10515
    May 6, 2017 at 6:32

5 Answers 5


Lucid dream is a place where you can do more work, more Buddhist practice. For example, if you are afraid of fights you can pick a fight with anyone, man or monster. It's a safe place to try things you can't try in regular life.

Reference: Tibetan Buddhist teacher Tarab Tulku. For more information read Chapter 19 of The Psychology of Awakening anthology by Gay Watson and Stephen Batchelor.


When you sleep, your mind is in somewhat of an uncontrolled state. I understand this to be the reason why monks sleep so few hours. The importance of lucid dreaming to your practice will likely depend on what tradition you adhere to and other aspects of your personal situation. For example, if you align with the Theravada tradition, lucid dreaming may be a helpful exercise in the way that you will be able to spend more time observing the actions of your mind. Beyond that though (in terms of Theravada), I don't think there could be many other benefits of lucid dreaming. If you get all caught up in the dream world and all that you can do while present there, the lucid dreaming may distract you from the real goal of your practice, and ultimately become just another addiction/attachment. But that's just my thought, I've never had a lucid dream so I can't say for sure!


Tibetan Dream Yoga is the original form of lucid dreaming documented for at least 1,000 years. Just like our Westernized understanding of lucid dreams, the initial aim is to awaken the consciousness in the dream state.

The Basis of Dream Yoga

Their aim is to harness the power of the lucid dream state by "apprehending the dream". Students are then required to complete set tasks to take them to the next level. These tasks include:

Practice sadhana (a spiritual discipline)

Receive initiations, empowerments and transmissions

Visit different places, planes and lokas (worlds)

Communicate with yidam (an enlightened being)

Meet with other sentient beings

Fly and shape shift into other creatures

The ultimate goal in Tibetan dream yoga is to apprehend the dream - and then dissolve the dream state.

When deprived of physical and conceptual stimulus from the dreaming mind, you can observe the purest form of conscious awareness.

Dream Yoga: Lucid Dreaming in Tibetan Buddhism


  • Dreaming Yourself Awake: Lucid Dreaming and Tibetan Dream Yoga for Insight and Transformation, by B. Alan Wallace
  • The Tibetan Yogas Of Dream And Sleep, by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche
  • Dreams of Awakening, by Charlie Morley (Charlie Morley is a Buddhist but his books are not solely focused on Buddhism and dream yoga)
  • Thank you for the references. It's ideal if you can also answer the question ("What is the buddhist perspective on lucid dreaming") perhaps by summarizing, introducing, or quoting an extract from what you referenced.
    – ChrisW
    Mar 19, 2017 at 1:11
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    Buddhists use lucid dreaming to prepare for dying, so they can be lucid and ready for whatever comes next.
    – Amadeus
    Mar 20, 2017 at 22:57
  • Tibetan Dream yoga books are all good. Spiritual practice becomes multiplied in lucid dreams.
    – Ahmed
    May 6, 2017 at 17:19

We have passed through the Samsara with no beginning, through these rounds of birth and rebirth we have come across many peoples, things with what we now in this life sometimes face again and again depending on our karma. In accordance with our morale, concentration and panna-wisdom, we see these reflections sometimes in the lucid dream. If one come across like that, one should note them with mindfulness, at the same time contemplate the effect of karma and dreadful knowledge of long long samsara passing through and try to cut off these attachment working hard for emancipation by means of nothing but insight meditation.


lucid dreaming is like going to another world.you could be in a happy place. or facing your fears it all depends on you.this is my opinion

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    Please address the questions which is: "What is the Buddhist Perspective on Lucid Dreaming?". See also How do I write a good answer?.
    – user2424
    May 5, 2017 at 20:02

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