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Andrew Holecek (Part 1) - The Remarkable Practice of Dream Yoga: How Lucid Dreaming Makes Sleep Endlessly Fascinating and Leads to Lucid Living (and Lucid Dying)
Episode 374th August 2022 • Deep Transformation • Deep Transformation Podcast
00:00:00 00:45:46

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Ep. 37 (Part 1 of 3) | Lucid dreaming expert, author, “curiouist,” and integralist Andrew Holecek explains how lucid dreaming opens the door to a greatly expanded understanding of our minds, our perception of reality, and human potential altogether. If we consciously explore our night lives practicing dream yoga, we can learn how to discard our habits, purify our karma, and discover beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are co-creators of our experience. What we do in dream yoga is not limited to nighttime action; it weaves back into our daytime lives, and ultimately our experience of dying.

Andrew describes how dreams are a powerful way to discover emptiness and openness, and fall into reality—like falling into love—our primordial contraction cast away. Besides being a life-changing discourse on the incredible potential of dream yoga, Andrew Holecek’s cheerful, well-informed, easy way of talking and teaching about lucid dreaming—relating it also to the wisdom traditions, our sense of identity, and human evolution—makes this a real pleasure to listen to. Recorded on April 13, 2022.

“Lucidity is a code word for awareness.”

(For Apple Podcast users, click here to view the complete show notes on the episode page.)

Topics & Time Stamps - Part 1

  • Introducing Andrew Holecek, master of Dream Yoga (01:44)
  • Andrew’s profound experience with lucid dreaming as a young man, with dreamtime becoming more real and daytime experience less real (04:08)
  • Retrofitting his understanding over time to make sense of his experience landed Andrew in Buddhism (06:25)
  • Buddha is literally the Awakened One in Sanskrit—awakened in relationship to what? (08:23)
  • Nocturnal practices became a real practice, a unique form of night school and a pedagogy of the future (09:24)
  • Overview of the 5 nocturnal meditations (10:55)
  • Liminal dreaming: getting into the witnessing perspective and watching how the mind goes offline, the ego structure comes undone (11:25)
  • Lucid dreaming: awakening to the fact that you are dreaming—used largely for self-fulfillment (12:44)
  • Dream yoga is where it transitions to self-transcendence (13:42)
  • Sleep yoga, or luminosity yoga, a primary practice of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism (14:30)
  • Bardo yoga, the “dream at the end of time,” working with the mind to prepare for death (16:03)
  • Where do you go when you die? You transition from one dream to the next: lucid dreaming leads to lucid living and lucid dying (17:52)
  • If you don’t wake up and take control of your dream and finally your mind, your unconscious, your habits, will control your mind (19:17)
  • Awake-centricity: in the West our understanding of mind and reality is derived solely from our experience in the waking state, versus the East’s more integral understanding derived from all 3 states, waking, dreaming, deep sleep (22:30)
  • The “awakened mind” is a mind that is lucid under all conditions (26:25)
  • The West has a single stage worldview—but multi stage cultures have a vastly larger understanding of ourselves and our reality; 90% of the world’s cultures are polyphasic (28:06)
  • Mullah Nasruddin, the Sufi story of the lost key (30:12)
  • Ignoring our circadian rhythms, we miss the opportunity the night offers to further our brain’s evolution (31:14)
  • Dreams manifest along a spectrum, from meaningless neurological noise to ones that shed light on our lives, transcending our sense of self (34:09)
  • Dream incubation practices: supplicating for guidance, for help (38:14)

Resources & References - Part 1

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Andrew Holecek has completed the traditional three-year Buddhist meditation retreat and offers seminars internationally on lucid dreaming, the art of dying, and meditation. He is the author of many books, including The Lucid Dreaming Workbook, Preparing to Die,  Dream Yoga: Illuminating Your Life Through Lucid Dreaming and the Tibetan Yogas of Sleep; Dreams of Light: The Profound Daytime Practice of Lucid Dreaming, and The Power and the Pain: Transforming Spiritual Hardship into Joy. Dr. Holecek is a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the author of scientific papers on lucid dreaming. His work has appeared in Parabola, Lion’s Roar, Tricycle, Utne Reader, Buddhadharma Magazine, Light of Consciousness, and many other periodicals. He holds degrees in classical music, biology, and a doctorate in dental surgery. 


Podcast produced by Vanessa Santos and Show Notes by Heidi Mitchell