Written By Hypatia
For Coven Life
15th April 2019
A 75 year old would have spent 9,125 days of their life sleeping!
In the ancient Hellenic world, dreaming, sleeping and death were considered all related, literally.
Nyx- (night) was the mother of brothers Oneiros- (dream), Hypnos- (sleep) and Thanatos- (death). All are related in mythology, in spirituality and religion. The rebirth, to die the philosopher’s death, the Shamanic death, the Tibetan Bardo Thodol etc…. The key is the symbolic death of leaving the old you and walking in the path of the awakened one. In fact that is what the word Buddha literally translates into, the ‘Awakened’.
Dying to sleep…..
In Tibetan Buddhism, dreams and death are considered to be very similar, much like the ancient Hellenic point of view. Dreaming is used by healers to diagnose and treat disease. These healers are the conduit between humans and spirits to find the cause of the dis- ease and treat the ailing person. Such practitioners use the dream state to practice Bardo, the art of liminal states between death and rebirth. Bardo is well documented and thoroughly explained in the enigmatic Tibetan Book of the dead.
In ancient Greece they were called Psychopomp and Iatromantis, in Siberia they are called Shamans, in North America they are called Medicine Men and Women and the list goes on. All have the ability to walk between the worlds.
A similar train of thought is practiced in many cultures from the Americas, to Australia and across Asia, Africa, India and Europe, in fact wherever there is still traces of ancient cultural practices there is the practice of dreaming to ‘Awaken’. In Australia we call this Dream Time.
Why do we dream?
Dreams have been a large part of my life ever since I can remember. I still recall dreams that I’ve had as a child till this day. Some prophetic, others bordering on ridiculous and or traumatic. My dreams have not subsided in any way as I’m getting older. In fact they are becoming more vivid.
As a way of controlling my dreams and using them for healing purposes for both myself and others, I have decided to take up what is called Dream Yoga. It is a form of lucid dreaming that you are in control of. In this controlled state you can begin to understand life circumstances and practice restorative health techniques for a healthier waking life in your Dreaming life. In other words you sleep to ‘Awaken’. Some cultures call this the ‘Remembering’. We ALL have ancestral links that go way back, no one culture is more superior than the next.
The ‘Remembering’ assists us to remember and connect with our ancestors in our waking life though our dream space allowing them to become allies to help us and others heal.
So why do we Dream? In reality experts can only speculate. However research is suggesting that when we do sleep dreaming can possibly be a method of memory recall and different stages of sleep are restorative for our mind, body and soul. In our dream state we are healing our body and our Psyche. Chemicals are released during different stages of sleep that support this evidence.
Does everyone dream?
This is the way our brain handles information. However not everyone has the ability to recall their dreams. Some dreams are far more vivid, others are fragmented presented in bits and pieces that really don’t make sense.
There are techniques that you can practice to help you remember and of course navigate your dream space such as Dream Yoga that will assist in your meditative processes, restore balance and peace in your waking life and your ‘Awakened’ state of dreaming.
Below is a wonderful link on practices and techniques to assist with Dream Yoga and master your dream space.