Six Dharmas of Nāropa - 14 The practise of the Illusory body or Dream Yoga – How to overcome the rambling type of dreams
Type of Spiritual Experience
The instruction on the Dream-Illusory Body Practice falls into four divisions:
(1) how to recognize the dream;
(2) how to purify and develop the dream;
(3) how to overcome the rambling type of dreams and recognize them as illusory manifestations;
(4) how to practice on the real nature of dream.
A description of the experience
The practise of the Illusory body or Dream Yoga – 3 How to overcome the rambling type of dreams and recognize them as illusory manifestations;
When the yogi one sees a fire or flood in a dream and becomes frightened, he should think to himself, recognizing the dream, "How can the fire and water of dream ever harm me?" Also, he should try to jump the fire and cross the flood. To learn the illusory nature of dream means to realize the non-existent nature of the vase, and other objects of dream-visions. This is accomplished by recognizing the dream. But one is not able, merely through the understanding, to realize the non-existence Śūnyatā of the self-nature of the dream. For instance, in the waking state, when he sees the reflection in a mirror, though he knows that the reflection is illusory, he still cannot realize the Suchness of the reflection.
One's incapacity for recognizing the dream is like that of a child who believes the reflection of his face to be his true face; while in recognizing the dream, one is like an adult who knows the reflection is unreal although it appears to be his actual face. This example is an illustration of the underlying principle, and is a good one to express the principle of the Voidness-as-Reflection (literally the Voidness of the face-like reflection in the sense of the nonexistence of the "true" face in the reflection). According to this principle, one should know that all Dharmas are Void in their self-nature—self-nature in the sense of real self-existence. One should also understand that all Dharmas are dream-like and have no substantiality whatsoever.
With this understanding definitely in mind, the yogi should acquaint himself with the nature, manner and characteristics of the Clinging-of-Existence, and also familiarize himself with the reasons for the non-existence of this (illusory) Clinging. With such an understanding, the yogi learns that all the visions, objects, and subjects that he sees in the dream are identical with (Buddha) and the Two Mandalas; they are void in nature yet manifest (freely) as conjurations. Further, the yogi should understand that all these visions are absorbed in the bliss-void, as one has experienced during the daytime.