Mindfulness and Dream

M1. Mindfulness and dream are related ideas, but in my view, are largely misunderstood.

According to Wikipedia, “The practice of Mindfulness involves being aware moment-to-moment, of one’s subjective conscious experience from a first-person perspective.”

As I have discussed elsewhere, dream consciousness is all about experiencing the present moment and you might think these terms mindulness and dream might be related rather intimately.

However this is not the case.


A lot is said these days about mindfulness meditation.

But the focus of mindfulness, as usually taught, is actually not about now but rather about very recent history. It focuses on witnessing your sensations and thoughts at the most recent moment which is always in the past. This is indeed the area of waking consciousness.

Beyond Mindfulness

To go beyond mindfulness is look at the present moment by actively anticipating the future. This is what dream consciousness is. It is about sitting on the front of the train of experience and looking forwards along the track. One sees potentiality. One experiences through intuition and not through the senses.

Musicians and sports people are certainly acquainted with the experience of anticipating the future in this way. They are in “the zone” or in “flow” at these moments and everything is intuitive and rather dream-like. Just ask them!

If they experienced mindfulness they would be behind the curve, like trying to go forward while looking in their rear view mirror.

My Experience

I remember visiting an art gallery in London and seeing a lot of pictures that moved me in various ways, emotionally and intellectually. But one picture I saw simply stopped me in my tracks. It was a picture of The Crucifixion, and I forget the artist just now, but I can see the picture perfectly in my mind even now, 30 years later.

Being stopped in one’s tracks like this is to experience a special moment that just takes your breath away. All time stops and all space disappears except for the image of the artwork. This is a moment, I believe, of experiencing with dream consciousness.

It has nothing to do with mindfulness. It has nothing to do with waking consciousness. It has nothing to do with the past, but is staring into the present moment.

I believe this experience I had was to open dream consciousness and bring it into my life for a few seconds. It is not something one can manufacture but happens out of the blue.

Unlike mindfulness, it does have explosive results more akin to a Lucid Dream.



One thought on “Mindfulness and Dream

  1. Yes, the spontaneous experience of getting lost in something can be very much related to dream consciousness. Your focus feel intense but at the same time comes easy. You lose track of time and activities around you. Nice post! 🙂


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