Author Topic: Dreams or Past Lives?  (Read 93 times)

mobius

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    • vipassana
Dreams or Past Lives?
« on: November 18, 2020, 03:10:32 AM »
I may have brought this up before around here but I don't think I ever made a topic asking the question specifically.

First of all; since I began meditating I've been remembering my dreams far more often. But not only do I remember a dream I dreamt recently. I've been remembering dreams I had years ago; some when I was a very young child. While may of these; I'm not certain at all when I had then (or if they are dreams at all, more on that in a minute) but I know a few that I am certain are a dream or dreams I had when I was say, 7 years old;  because some I also had remembered all my life, even before this recent change in memory.
Often I just get these sudden flashes of memory, they're very intense, but brief. Often afterwards I can't even remember anything of what I just remembered but the memory of the intense feeling remains. This has happened so many times now; I must have remembered snippets of hundreds of dreams. So many memories that had previously been forgotten... it's like a whole other life I led that I was in the dark about (sort of).

That got me thinking... what if that's all there is to the issue of 'past lives'? What if all these memories people thought they had of a past life/lives were really just remembering their dreams? It is a very weird experience, sometimes it feels strange... like another life.

Or... am I actually remembering past lives of mine and mistakenly thinking are merely dreams? Is there even a difference in the end?  :D

If anyone's had similar experiences, please share.
"Not knowing how near the truth is, we seek it far away."
-Hakuin Ekaku

"I have seen a heap of trouble in my life, and most of it has never come to pass" - Mark Twain

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Dreams or Past Lives?
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2020, 03:26:27 AM »
I don't think it is helpful to contemplate if these are past lives. That is rather abstract - you don't have concrete evidence for it, and, if you were to develop the faculty to know this directly, that is probably some way off in your journey.

However, in the present, you are becoming more aware of current dreams, and past dreams. This can be something you leverage to increase your insight. This is something you can work with.

The best way to do this is to practice and improve your ability to remember dreams in detail. You can do this by keeping a dream journal. It is best to keep this by your bed with a pen, and only use it for this purpose. When you awake, write a few lines about each dream you can remember. Then starting on a new page for each dream write every detail you can recall. This two stage process brings back the dreams to short term memory and then allows you to access them before the mind lets them go.

After around ten days to three weeks of doing this you will find you recall your dreams in greater detail, and more of your dreams. You may start to see patterns, but also the act of doing this will change the nature of your dreams. You are building a bridge between waking consciousness and dreaming consciousness. You are building your insight.

You only need to do this for 20 minutes or so each morning to make a noticeable change in your ability to recall and access your dreams. Over time this can give you greater insight into your subconscious mind, where dreams are processed.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

dharma bum

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  • Certified Zen Master (second degree black belt)
    • vipassana
Re: Dreams or Past Lives?
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2020, 03:38:59 PM »
I use a computer analogy when I think of such things. All the sensations and thoughts in your mind that you have ever felt or thought leave their traces in the brain in the form of memory. None of this is static or permanent because this is protoplasm after all, and they undergo changes all the time. Memories get mixed up with other memories, some get refreshed, some forgotten, some mixed up in narratives (thoughts) we invent. There is a constant churn as we go through our lives, even when we sleep and/or dream.

In long retreats I find myself thinking of people I hadn't thought of in a long time. I think it's a process of the brain accessing memories through pathways that are not usually accessed because in meditation retreats the mind is quieter than it usually is in normal life.
Mostly ignorant

Thanisaro85

  • Member
  • When thoughts, sensations, feelings arise,know it
    • Reverend father Jaran, Pramote. Theravada
    • Still breathing.
Re: Dreams or Past Lives?
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2020, 03:28:07 PM »


The best way to do this is to practice and improve your ability to remember dreams in detail. You can do this by keeping a dream journal. It is best to keep this by your bed with a pen, and only use it for this purpose. When you awake, write a few lines about each dream you can remember. Then starting on a new page for each dream write every detail you can recall. This two stage process brings back the dreams to short term memory and then allows you to access them before the mind lets them go.

After around ten days to three weeks of doing this you will find you recall your dreams in greater detail, and more of your dreams. You may start to see patterns, but also the act of doing this will change the nature of your dreams. You are building a bridge between waking consciousness and dreaming consciousness. You are building your insight.


Hi Matthew,

Could you expand this a little further, as in, what is this process for?

I am asking as I always have dreams that had episodes. Like working in a office that i never worked before, with some familiar faces. The dream could continue itself after every few weeks or months. Though i find it amusing because of the continuous episodes, sometimes i can wake up feeling very taxing.

Regards.
A Mind Unshaken, when touches by worldy matter, sorrowless, secure and dustless, this is the ultimate great blessing~ Mangala Sutta

Dhamma

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  • May we all fulfill our deepest wish for happiness
    • Zen/Tibetan/Theravada
Re: Dreams or Past Lives?
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2020, 03:29:33 AM »

I am asking as I always have dreams that had episodes. Like working in a office that i never worked before, with some familiar faces. The dream could continue itself after every few weeks or months. Though i find it amusing because of the continuous episodes, sometimes i can wake up feeling very taxing.

Regards.

Dear Thanisaro85,

How are you dear, friend?

Have you ever heard of Dream Yoga in Tibetan Buddhism?

Yutthadammo Bhikkhu, a Theravadan monk,  talks about past lives in his videos. They may help you.


Love and enlightenment,
Dhamma
You are already Buddha

May we see clearly the emptiness of all phenomena

 

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