Yesterday I was at Whole Foods drinking a Yuengling and reading The Joy of Living by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche in the outside cafe. This book is the best I’ve found so far on Buddhism – especially because it intertwines an understanding of quantum physics and neuroscience into a Buddhist framework for understanding the mind and the nature of reality. I love it!
Anyhow, I found this gem of a passage that I want to share where the author compares lucid dreams to our experience of reality while awake.
On page 82, we learn that:
“…clinical studies indicate that the practice of meditation extends the mechanism of neuronal synchrony to a point where the perceiver can begin to recognize consciously that his or her mind and the experiences or objects that his or her mind perceives are one and the same. In other words, the practice of meditation over a long period dissolves artificial distinctions between subject and object – which in turn offers the perceiver the freedom to determine the quality of his or her own experience.”
What does last bit remind you of? Ah-hah! Lucid dreaming!
As soon as one becomes consciously aware in a dream that they are dreaming, they understand that nothing in their experience is separate from the mind, and furthermore, the response to the experience becomes something you feel you have great control over.
He says this better when he continues with:
“In a dream, if you recognize that what you’re experiencing is just a dream, then you also recognize that whatever you experience in the dream is merely occurring in your own mind. Recognizing this, in turn, frees you from the limitations of “dream problems.” “dream suffering,” or “dream limitations.” The dream still continues, but recognition liberates you from whatever pain or unpleasantness your dream scenarios present. Fear, pain, and suffering are replaced by a sense of almost childlike wonder: “Wow, look what my mind is capable of producing!
He finishes by saying:
“In the same way, in waking life, transcending the distinction between subject and object is equivalent to recognizing that whatever you experience is not separate from the mind that experiences it.”
I read these paragraphs, literally, 5 or 6 times in a row trying to take it all in. Even now, I’m still digesting this.
What do you think?