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Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Tibetan Book of the Dead and Lucid Dreams

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In some cultures and civilizations, the sleep state is considered a dead state as our spiritual body is separated from the physical body in both states. The concept of multiple existences of human beings can be cited from different religions and history; in Buddhism, there is also a concept of three bodies. The human body leaves the physical body during sleep state and lives through realm experiences called dreams.

A type of dream that the dreamer is aware of dreaming and can also control is termed a lucid dream. In Buddhism, lucid dreaming is of great value and helps people improve their life skills as they get to prepare themselves for life after death through lucid dreaming. Buddhists have a complete book that they read aloud to help the deceased and support them on their way to a reawakening in life after death. This article will have a close insight into the book to determine the relationship between the book and lucid dreaming.

What is the Tibetan Book of Dead?

The book was initially written in the 8th century by Padma Sambhava; it was written in the Tibetan language “Sanskrit” and was titled Bardo Thodol. It was translated into English in 1920; the title was translated as “Liberation by Hearing on the after Death Plane,” but “Tibetan Book of Dead” is the famous name.

The book talks about different transitional states of human life, death, and life after death, called Bardo, that can be explained in simple words as:

  • Bardo of the moment of death
  • Bardo of during the death
  • Bardo after the death

According to the book, the three other intermediate states of living are:

  • Life
  • Meditation
  • Dream

Lama is the Buddhist teacher who reads this book aloud to the deceased human; they read it for 49 days when possible. According to Buddhism, the departed soul goes through different Bardo and needs guidance for the right path; reading this text provides mindful and conscious directions to the deceased. Lucid dreaming is also about consciousness and mindfulness achieved through practice during the REM state of sleep.

What is Lucid Dreaming in Buddhism?

Buddha followers are influenced by dream yoga; they gain clarity in dreams through practicing meditation. They consider three main interrelated aspects of life; awaken life, dream life, and life after death to prepare yourself for a skillful death. According to their belief, anyone can train themselves for a skillful death, achieving this through lucid dreaming.

How is Lucid Dreaming explained in the Tibetan Book of Yoga?

As mentioned above, there are six bardos of human beings, one of which is lucid dreaming. In Buddhism, followers believe in mastering the lucid dreaming skills for transitioning from death bardo to rebirth bardo.

They think that lucid dreaming can help them improve their life after death experience as it is the same as the lucid dreaming state when one can’t move the body but experiences the realm of the dream world.