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