Book Review: Dream Yoga

“Dream Yoga and the Practice of Natural Light”
by Chogyal Namkhai Norbu
Published by Snow Lion Publications

Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche is one of the world’s leading master’s in the Dzogchen tradition. Born in Tibet, and recognized as two mind stream emanations, Norbu’s youth was jam packed with studies, empowerments, retreats, etc. Today his teachings reach a wide audience. Although his mainstay is in Italy he holds retreats all over the world. Some of his teaching styles are quite revolutionary in the Tibetan Buddhist world. There are a few who do this, but Norbu not only teaches via the web but also gives teacher to student transmission via the web as well. I have been lucky enough to have tuned in to a couple so far.

“Dream Yoga…” is a new concept to me and I am very grateful to have received the book for review here. Norbu teaches through various techniques, how not only to control our dreams but to bring our practice into the dream world. It is believed, as Norbu explains, that practice in this dream state is that more effective and meaningful because our minds are more focused on one thing at a time.

For those that have had some experience with Tibetan meditation and visualizations, this book is a valuable tool. The directions are not difficult, but it definitely would help to have done some sort of practice in this vein. To be honest, the book is more of a practice manual and I know by the end I could use a couple answers to some questions I came up with.

That being said though, some of the practices at the beginning of the book are easy enough to do, and although I cannot remember the dreams, I know I have awoken the next day with a bit more focus without the typical grogginess. Strangely enough, I used to drink 2-3 cups of coffee before heading out to work. Right at this moment, I have come to the realization that for about a month now I’ve barely been finishing one cup. Hmmm…

This edition of “Dream Yoga…” contains a new and unpublished bit Norbu has been working on for a few years. It also contains a translation of a powerful work on meditation and awareness written by the great master Mipham and a fantastic interview of Namkhai Norbu.

Although I said this book is similar to a manual, it is much more than that. It provides a valuable practice to help calm the mind in lucid, dreaming states so that we can truly deepen our awareness. “Dream Yoga…” is not just about awakening in the dream state but also bringing it together with our non-dream awareness as well.

Norbu says “In a real sense, all the visions that we see in our lifetime are like the images of a dream. If we examine them well, the big dream of life and the smaller dreams of one night are not very different. If we truly see the essential nature of both, we will find that there really is no difference between them. If we can finally liberate ourselves from the chains of emotions, attachments, and ego by this realizatrion, we have the possibility of ultimately becoming enlightened.”

I enjoyed this book and look forward to incorporating some of these practices into my life. :)

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