How does mind project reality? If your paranoid, everybody looks suspicious. If your happy, nothing seems to bother you. The world changes according to the way you are looking at it. Same in the dream, but even the entire world itself changes according to thoughts and underlying mental impressions.
If there is a latent store of fear in the subconscious mind, it will create a fearful nightmare. If there is a latent store of humiliation, it will create a humiliating nightmare, etc. The nightmare is bringing these emotions to the surface to be addressed by the conscious mind. In order to end the nightmare, the underlying latent impressions which are both the cause and the feelings caused by the nightmare must be permanently removed.
These quick easy solutions may prevent the suppressed impressions causing the nightmares from uprising, but not necessarily end them :
• Do not eat several hours before sleep
• Get plenty of exercise and eat healthy foods
This more technical solution will allow you to transform the nightmare when it arises, but not necessarily prevent it :
• Master lucid dreaming. This will allow you to awaken to the dream while a nightmare is occurring and literally change the course of the dream entirely.
This more challenging long term solution to permanently remove the latent store of underlying impressions will allow you to cut off the root of the nightmares completely :
• Master a meditation technique which has the capacity to completely burn out the pathological disorder and latent impressions which are causing the nightmares. A meditation retreat followed by sustained daily meditation practice may bring up a lot of nightmares to the surface, but through persistence and sustained practice they will sooner or later come to an end. Several meditation techniques which will do this are : Vipassana, Kriya or Raja Yoga (the inner-yogas).
So if you’re plagued by nightmares – there are many ways to take action to prevent and even permanently stop nightmares, so there is no need to react with fear or distress. Creative problem solving with these and other methods can transform your waking and dream life into an amazing experience.
Breakfast time at the Zen temple. I asked Master Henry, referring to the many thoughts that arise during meditation :
Shin Pung : “Master, how do you stop the thinking?”
Master Henry : “Stop before stop. Stop after stop. Let the mind be natural… Natural mind.”
Interpretation : [You have to stop actively thinking before the thoughts will stop. Then you have to maintain not thinking after the thoughts have been stopped.]
Master Henry : “You feel pain? Pain is no pain. You think it’s pain. It’s not pain. No eye, no ear, no tongue… No pain. Let it be… natural.”
Easy in mind… Difficult in practice.
Zen Master Henry breaks the silence at the diner table and looks at me (Shin Pung) :
Master : Shin Pung. Your life. You have a life. You do whatever you will with your life. Do whatever you will. // See, my life, you see? I have a life. I do whatever I will with life. // You do whatever you will with life. You can do anything. Do anything. You understand?
Shin Phung : Yes sifu, I understand. You know… Sometimes I think you can read my mind.
He looks across the table wittingly.
Master : Yes.
They on the other shore would call that shore this and this shore other – but to even think in words of something as ‘other’ would return them to this shore. Thus to those to which there appear ‘shores’, that undescribable one remains eternally other.
Artists master visual perception
to create perfect illusions.
Programmers master high concept
to write efficient code.
Musicians master theory
to play beauty spontaneously.
Martial artists master balance
to defeat their opponents.
War lords master deception
to confuse and destroy their enemies.
Athletes master the body
to move as one with the mind.
Philosophers master contemplation
to describe the invisible.
And Bodhisattvas master themselves
to benefit all beings.
Contentment cannot be earned for any future moments -
it can only be experienced right Now.
The body is born seeded with natural desires.
Hunger, lust, and greed : mechanisms for survival of the species, establishing the mind squarely in the dimensions of space and time.
I constantly subdue them with a steady eye on the breath.
Society is born from programs in the mind.
Customs, class, identity.
From this grow artificial desires that seperate and define us from one another.
I cast it off like a bad dream, and cull identification with culture.
Family and friends horde us like a jewel.
To posses is to become possesed.
I cut ties within, and backtrack the path to liberation -
all beings share the same nature.
To clear sleeping karma
No one but this Self can be relied upon.
Where did Self come from?
To where it will return.
I am searching for Nothing – its difficult to find… Theres so much stuff in the way.
The body is a periscope into the world.
Through this I watch things come and go,
Meditating on the moment of release.
Time is not real.
Sensations deceive to no end
Always ripening into their opposite.
I watch the wheel turn, sipping on the nectar of mindfulness.
Pain is an illusion.
Thoughts enter my house like strangers,
Disturbing perfect reflection as ripples on a pond.
I cast them out and surrender as it settles.
This mind is not my own.
Awareness fixated inwards, it is clear,
The body is infested with desires.
I battle with them relentlessly – yet no victory comes until the mind is abandoned.
Death is the only assurance.
Energy and form are tied in an endless knot -
Nothing is what it appears to be.
Slowly I purify what is most real and migrate towards ultimate reality.
Form is emptiness.
Desires and their fulfillment
Turn the wheel of the world.
Like drinking salt water -
People consume desires, and their thirst only increases.
The sacrifice caused by ignorance,
Is an inferno of souls too great to bear.
I shelter my mind from the influence of others misery
Until the point of no return is reached.