Understanding Spiritual Dreams
Enlightenment Experiences in Dreams Explained
Dreams are dreams and Spiritual Enlightenment Experiences which often take place in the silence of the night, sometimes co-mingle with dreams, but are certainly real. As the website has grown one of the great benefits for me personally is the fascinating stories and experiences I get to read from spiritual aspirants globally. These personal tales of transcendent experiences validate much of what is found in the spiritual texts, but more than anything else they inspire me to further deepen and expand my own practice. I often share these testimonials with you and will do so again in the next few days, but today I want to explore the phenomenon of spiritual experiences that take place deep in the night and which often intermingle with our dreams.
To understand what I mean by enlightenment experiences you can read, Understanding Hinduism, Buddhism and Non-Duality.
I have pointed out previously that napping or the phase between wakefulness and sleep is a very conducive time for enlightenment experiences (3 Simple Tips to Invite Enlightenment), but it is also true that sleep in general is a time when many enlightenment experiences occur. I would say that even for you now this is true, even if you don’t have such experiences during meditation or wakeful hours. It’s just that you don’t recall or remember these experiences in the morning. Add a bit of awareness and you will be quite amazed at all that is going on within you at night.
Many enlightened masters actually point to experiences that took place at night while they were asleep to be the major catalysts for their awakening, J. Krishnamurti included. Other masters have pointed out that a lot of the spiritual work gets done during these nighttime hours, when the conscious mind sleeps. I have myself found that the majority of enlightenment experiences take place either when one is very relaxed, during meditation or during sleep. The skeptical will say, oh it was just a dream, but let me tell you, these are not dreams. Far from it, they are the most real experiences one has and in this article I want to explain that sometimes these experiences mix with dreams and that can lead to mis-interpretations.
My Dream Encounter and My Spiritual Self:
As an example I will use a late night enlightenment experience which mixed with a dream experience I had a few days ago. I am a big fan of Ayurveda and one of the Ayurvedic Doctor’s whose teachings I admire is Dr. Vasant Lad (The Ayurvedic Institute). For some time I have wanted to visit his clinic but have not had a chance to do so. In any case a few nights ago I had a dream where I met Dr. Lad.
In the dream, he eschewed normal greeting protocols and instead looking me in the eye, placed his hands on my shoulders. Soon I noticed that he was applying downward pressure to my shoulders and I figured he was checking the state of health by measuring my physical strength by this technique. He had a bright, mischievous smile on and continued to press down and I started to feel my knees buckling.
I tried to stand but realized that the pressure was too great and it was impossible to control my body and stay standing. The effort continued for a few minutes and finally I completely surrendered. Here the experience actually is an “out of body” or experience of the spiritual self taking place.
Suddenly upon total release, when I let go of the physical body, I realized I was extremely light, light as a feather and a great divine presence was evident. This was the spiritual aspect of oneself and now it was being experienced, as the body had been forsaken. Mystic master Osho has often pointed to experiencing oneself as weightless and that is what was happening now. This spiritual aspect was enormously blissful, free, weightless and expansive. Utterly in awe I bowed in complete devotion to it and attempted to bow to Dr. Lad as well. The experience and dream ended shortly afterwords.
I understand one of Dr. Lad’s Gurus, Vimalananda (Biography: Aghora – At The Left Hand of God), was reputed to have many psychic powers and abilities, including that of visiting others in their dream. Now I am not sure if Dr. Lad has embraced these powers , but I would say the aspects of this experience involving Dr. Lad are indeed a dream, but the experience of bliss and the spiritual self, were indeed very real.
Of course, having experienced this dimension many times previously when awake (The Miracle of Self Awareness – I AM All, The Time My Body Disappeared – Osho Retreat) means I know it was not imagined, but I assure you if you were to have such an experience and remember it, you too will know that it is not a dream at all.
Interpreting Spiritual Experiences During Dreams:
So there are a few lessons to learn from such experiences, weather they take place in conjunction with dreams or during wakeful hours.
1. Sleep is an Opportunity:
Sleep time is a golden opportunity to develop your awareness and discover deeper and higher aspects of your being. The key to this is maintaining awareness during sleep. By doing so you will develop the wonderful skill of Lucid dreaming, but more importantly you will get a chance to experience hidden spiritual aspects of yourself, which are usually covered by the thinking mind during waking hours.
2. Night Time Enlightenment Experience and Dream Interpretation:
Often the enlightenment experiences you have at night will intermingle with your dreams and this can lead to wrong interpretations and misunderstandings. Be aware that certain components of your experience might actually be a dream component, which has interlaced with a transcendent experience that is blossoming. Of course, it is also well know that dreams can “mix” with real life experiences and this is just such a case where the dream is mixing with an enlightenment experience.
3. You are Not the Body, You are Blissful, Free and Divine:
You are not the body, you are spirit. Such experiences allow you to first hand see the Truth of things for yourself. So you do not have to simply believe spiritual texts or the teachings of Masters. Such experiences then further inspire you to continue to work towards constant God Realization which is the same as Self Realization. This is the highest purpose of human birth. Do not waste this opportunity.
God Bless You All.