Every once in a while (or in my case, several times a year), I come across a rare book in Tibetan Buddhism which I wonder how it made its way to the public.
Personally I am very inspired by some Dharma stories of previous Tibetan Masters – like Dzo Khyentse Rinpoche or his student, Patrul Rinpoche. I love the book by Lama Surya Das – the Snow Lion’s Turquoise Mane. It is full of inspiring stories of Lamas making subtle or abrasive emphatic moral points, while practicing humility and grace. So very inspiring. That is not the book I am going to talk about here though.
I inherited a small library from a Dharma practitioner who recently passed away – early this year. I was amazed and awe-struck by how gracefully she passed through the hellish gates of cancer. And I am sincerely grateful for the Dharma artwork and the books she left for us. May her Dharma activities spread far and wide!
One of the those books is by Chogyal Namkhai Norbu, a Nyingma mater of Dzogchen and Dream Yoga. The title of the book is Dream Yoga and the Practice of Natural Light.
In this particular case, this is not a special retreat book – only for the eyes of people who have received special instructions or special transmissions or initiations. I have been fortunate to see a couple of those books, but the wisdom contained in Chogyal Rinpoche’s book is still vast and precise. It is not a long book. But he covers – very rapidly I might add – the basics of Dream Yoga and the stages that we might pass through as our practice stabilizes and our realization becomes more pure.
He does go so fast through some topics (which I am glad for) that it is very important that we find an authentic teacher to lead us through this complex and potent practice. One of my heart teachers, Drupon Thinley Ningpo teaches Dream Yoga – he is based near Tampa Florida (Drupon is also my root lama, so I am a little biased in recommending him). He is an incredible practitioner, his presence is so compassionate and wise and he is not afraid to tell you how he really feels – like if you are ready for the practice you are asking about. (You might not want to hear it but Dream Yoga is NOT a beginner’s practice. It is quite advanced. Without a foundation under us, we are just wasting our time trying for such a profound practice. It is highly recommended that we finish our Ngondro before attempting such a subtle practice.)
In Dream Yoga (the book), Chogyal Rinpoche talks about several dreams that he had when he was younger. Let me just say it is extremely inspiring to hear what is possible. Who knows, maybe if I apply myself diligently for fifty years or more, I might one day have a dream full of mandalas and dakinis like he describes!
If you can get your hands on this book – it is cheap on Amazon – I would highly recommend it. Even if you are not working on this particular practice, hearing about what is possible is very inspiring and motivating!
Good luck on your journey!
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