Jul 07

Kalu Rinpoche | Wisdom Dharma Chat – Dream Yoga (Q&A10)

Host: And then Rinpoche the next course you’re teaching is on “Dream Yoga and I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about how “Illusory body practice” connects in with “Dream Yoga” and how that might work together ?

Kalu Rinpoche: The less illusionary mind you have, the more potential you have with the Dream Yoga. Is a very simple answer.

But then of course, within the Dream Yoga, there is a different categories of practice as well. There is a “jang”, “pel”, “drup”, “gyur”. There is a “refining it”, there is a “multiplying it” and then there is a “projecting a pure land”, there is a “going to the pure land” and so on. So there is different stages of the Dream Yoga. It is not just simply “Oh, I am in a dream so I have accomplished”. It is not that, it is basically using the time of your sleep also to do practice.

When I meet new Buddhist people or non-Buddhist people, I always say: “Ah yeah, take your time, no problem, it’s okay. You can’t do practice, it’s fine, no problem. You can do practice, absolutely, very good. You can’t do, ah yeah don’t worry about that, everything is fine”. Buddhism is all about guilt-free [haha], like dairy-free, vegan, guilt-free. So the Buddhism is about guilt- free. So I always try to make them feel in that way.

But when there is an individual who goes to 3Year retreat and I tell them in very strict “you have to do, you have to finish this one, you have to do it in a correct way”. I give them no room or excuse of going around. So that is the real version of myself when it comes to respecting the principle of the practice and the lineage and the tradition of how to do the practice, you know?

So the very simple answer for the Dream Yoga and the connection with “illusory body and mind” is that “illusory body and mind” is more like softening you up. You have to see it as softening your character and the Dream Yoga is seeing the preciousness of the time.

If you don’t understand the preciousness of time, there is no point of practicing Dream Yoga. Because the whole point about the Dream Yoga is not wanting to waste throughout the day and the distraction but also during the sleep you don’t want to lose your preciousness of time not to practice. You want to utilize all the time you have and shift and change it into Dharma practice. That importance of that mindset and that determination comes down to meaning of impermanence. Everything is bound to change, the life is precious, the time is precious, that you have right now you’re you are connected with the Dharma.

Like I said all the time to other people, that many people are born right next to the temple but they never visit the temple in their whole life. And then there is some Catholic, Protestant upbringing or Jewish children or Hindu children they have no Buddhism around whatsoever and then they fly the other side of the planet and then they become a Buddhist. That is all karmic connection, that is your previous lives aspirations. Buddhist we have a terrible marketing team [haha]. We don’t build hospitals, yes they do build hospitals, clinics, but not in the scale of other organizations. So people come only if they have a karmic connection, not based on the marketing connection. So like all that right.

Coming back to the “illusory body and mind”, if you really have, if you really wish to have “illusory body and mind” and the Dream Yoga practice, impermanence, remind of impermanence is very important. That is the core foundation of the “illusory body and mind” and of the Dream Yoga. That softened you up and that creates very strong boundaries between the distraction and what you really need to focus on in terms of the Dharma.

You can’t just say “I like this Niguma teaching so much” and you’re just jumping into this pool. It doesn’t work like that. You have to hold on with the Guru Yoga practice whatever, whether you are Drikung Kagyu practitioner, whether you are Drukpa Kagyu, Karma Kagyu, Taklung Kagyu, whatever, Gelug, Nyingma, Sakya tradition maybe, you do that, you do your Guru Yoga, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t mean that you have to practice the Shangpa Guru Yoga. Practice any type of Guru Yoga based on your tradition. But when it comes to visualization practice then you use Niguma’s teachings or the “illusory body and mind” and you use the Dream Yoga to apply to yourself.

But the core, the foundation of the Dream Yoga and “Illusory body and mind” comes down to the reminding oneself of impermanence and the importance of the Guru Yoga. The more you do that, the more it has a profound impact.


Wisdom Dharma Chat | Kyabje Kalu Rinpoche – April 2024 (28′ 07”)
During this Wisdom Dharma Chat host Daniel Aitken and Rinpoche discuss his Wisdom Academy course Illusory Body and Mind, along with his new and upcoming Wisdom Academy course on Niguma’s dream yoga, and much more.