Dreams and Afflictive Emotions

I first heard the question during the visit to Dharamsala in 1990 I narrated in The Jew in the Lotus. What are the methods for dealing with “afflictive states of mind”?  In this hour long teaching, which I presented recently to the IMSB (Insight Meditation South Bay) I begin with a succinct presentation of HH the Dalai Lama responding to Indian students who asked, how do you deal with difficult emotions? Half of his answer is to deal with the nature of phenomena as “empty” of inherent reality. Other teachers speak of the “dream-like” nature of appearances.  But what does “dream-like” mean if we have not looked carefully at the actual phenomena of dreams? This is what we do in Natural Dreamwork.

In this talk, I show how dreams can help us see the difference between afflictive states of mind (reactivity) and deeper feelings, and how deeper feelings are a way to overcome afflictive states of mind. (For instance to deal with anxiety, we have to learn how to feel our awe.) I then also show how dreams I call “collapsing dreams”  can present to us a direct experience of the lack of inherent reality in phenomena.

Please take a listen.. and let me know in the comments what you think. Dreams can help us overcome emotions that afflict us: rage, anxiety, guilt, shame.. that’s very good news… If you want to learn more please visit  our website  The Natural Dream.