I am always astonished when Westerners drawn to Buddhism tell me that in what they know of that tradition, dreams are regarded as illusions from an unclear mind, for which the Rx is to cleanse and purify the mind, in order to dream no more.
Serinity Young, a leading scholar of Buddhist dreamways, observes in Dreaming in the Lotus: Buddhist Dream Narrative, Imagery, and Practice, “without dreams and dreaming there would be no Buddhism”, since it was his mother’s dream of the six-tusked white elephant that announced both his coming and his nature. Especially in Tibetan Buddhism, dream yoga is a practice for raising and focusing consciousness, and a training ground for death and the afterlife journey.
Text adapted from The Secret History of Dreaming by Robert Moss. Published by New World Library.Tibet; 18th century
Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton Rubin Museum of Art
Gift of Shelley and Donald Rubin)