P1. Attention in Lucid Dreams is of paramount importance if you want to have great lucid dreams.
In our waking lives we make choices and accept the consequences and correspondingly in our dream-life we pay attention or we don’t, and that choice is the difference between being lucid and simply dreaming.
The problem in our dream state is that we so often forget to pay attention because we get caught up in the dream.
Paying attention or not is a balancing act since too much attention means we don’t sleep, but too little attention and we get lost in our dreams.
When I was a child in the 1960’s I bought a book on yoga which I studied and practiced every day for a few years until I was distracted in life by adolescent activities.
But I did learn something of real value which was to be able to control my attention better than most people. One immediate benefit I experienced was that the inner voices in my head, that were so loud and persistent, began to subside.
I also learned to control the migraine headaches that I had previously suffered from.
But most importantly I learned to have lucid dreams.
Little did I know at the time that there are also yoga traditions in Tibet that focus not so much on the content of dreams, but more on the process of dreaming. Hence you get teachers that say, “All life is a dream”, and such like.
What is Yoga?
There are quite a few different varieties of yoga but the aim of all of them is the same according to Patanjali from India, who lived sometime around the time of Christ.
According to his second yoga sutra the purpose of yoga is:
“To intentionally inhibit the spontaneous motion and fluidity of the mind”
Or in other words to control your attention and stop it jumping all over the place as it does for most people most of the time.
This is how yoga can help you to control your attention and help you with your lucid dreaming.
Incidentally, to understand this idea better, let me tell you of the state in yoga of Nirvana (Heaven/Paradise). This can be thought of as made up of 3 syllables that can be translated as “without the blowing of the wind at all”.
And what Nirvana is referring to is the state achieved by yoga which is also described as being like the surface of a pond which is smooth like glass because there is no breeze. And it is like a mirror that reflects the reality of the universe to perfection.
A similar view is described in the Christian (Gnostic) gospels where they say that Heaven is already available to us, but we don’t see it.
About a Boy Stirring Jam
I can’t resist airing this poem by the poet Janusz Szuber that touches on the subject of “Inattention” as follows:
A wooden spoon for stirring jam,
Dripping sweet tar, while in the pan
Plum magma’s bubbles blather.
For someone who can’t grasp the whole
There’s salvation in the remembered detail.
What, back then, did I know about that?
The real, hard as a diamond,
Was to happen in the indefinable
Future, and everything seemed
Only a sign of what was to come. How naïve.
Now I know inattention is an unforgivable sin
And each particle of time has an ultimate dimension.
It seems it takes a poet to address clearly the subject of focus vs inattention that crops up in every culture and every religion, everywhere.
But it is the attention in lucid dreams that is of concern to me here, as it is in waking life.