Dream Gates

Dream Gates


Enter lucid dreaming like a sleeping tiger

posted by Robert Moss

- sleeping tigerChen Tuan (871-989) was a celebrated Taoist sage who lived a secluded life in mountain caves in China, where he created kung fu and a method of conscious dreaming. He was an ardent student of I Ching. He reputedly wandered the country in disguise, and sometimes provided warnings of impending events such as the flooding of the Yellow River.

Legend has it that Chen Tuan, won Mount Hua  – sacred to the goddess, and a center of Taoist practice up to the present day – at a chess game. Chen Tuan, beat Zhao Kuangyin, who later made good on his promise to deliver the mountain if he became emperor of the Tang dynasty Emperor, which he did in 960-976. Chen Tuan presided over a revival of Taoist practices, and is especially famous for his dream practice. There is a cave at the Jade Clear Spring Monastery where he lived his later years, and today it is a shrine with a statue of him in the classical dream practice pose (lying on right side, right hand supporting the head, like a sleeping tiger). His followers claimed he would lie in this position for days or even months while he flew about  in his dream body.

He taught that to dream well, we want to develop the practice of shifting attention from the physical to the subtle.  For neophytes, this is best attempted when you are not so tired you’ll just crash. Preparation includes releasing negative thoughts and  emotions and bodily complaints. There is a Taoist technique for that which centers on directing an “inner smile” to complaining parts of the body.

When we dream, the Taoist master taught, we enter realities beyond the physical. The core practice is to remain conscious as you relax your body in sleep position. You issue yourself a “sleep command” directing where you intend to go and what you intend to do. And you arrange your body in bed in the posture of a sleeping tiger.

The instructions for that can be given as follows:

Lie on your right side. Extend your left arm along your left leg. Your right hand may be cupped over your right ear, or tucked under the pillow. Bend your right knee. Leave your left leg  loosely extended. This posture shifts breathing to the left nostril and this is believed to activate right brain activity, facilitating strong visual and intuitive experiences and smoothing the way to states of brainwave activity associated with dreaming or meditation.

This posture is not unique to Taoists; it has been widely adopted and recommended in many dreaming traditions, sometimes as an ideal posture for entering death. The Buddha, at the moment of death, is depicted in Asian art as lying in the posture of the sleeping tiger.

Like tigers, a dream master may take plenty of “power naps” in the course of an day. This was a preferred technique of Chen Tuan. He would keep visitors waiting while he grabbed fifteen minutes in the sleeping tiger mode.  Chen Tuan is revered in Taoist tradition as “Ancestral Teacher”. He liked to call himself  Fuyao Zi, which means “one who soars high through the sky”, like a dragon or flying tiger.

 

Sleeping tiger posture.



  • Lorraine Wilcox

    “if he became emperor of the Tang dynasty Emperor,” I believe this sentence needs a little fixing. Nice article on Chen Tuan. 紫微斗數 Zǐ wēi dòu shù astrology is also attributed to him.

Previous Posts

The departed are dreaming with us
One of my driving purposes in writing The Dreamer’s Book of the Dead was to help  some of the many people in our society who are hungry for confirmation that communication with the departed is not “weird” or “unnatural”, let alone impossible, and that it is possible to extend love and for

posted 4:39:32am Dec. 17, 2014 | read full post »

Dream dates: Sir Christopher Wren dreams a cure
An intriguing account by John Aubrey of how the celebrated architect who recreated St.Paul's after the Great Fire of London dreamed a simple cure for a kidney ailment. I'll leave the narrative in Aubrey's voice. Note that "reins" in late 17th century English (as in modern French) means "kidneys".

posted 11:27:57pm Dec. 10, 2014 | read full post »

The origin and power of the shaman's drum
The shaman’s primary tool for journeying is the single-headed frame drum, the type we use in Active Dreaming circles. I am constantly astonished, though no longer surprised, by how quickly this ancient instrument can help even the most rational, cognicentric Westerner to enter another state of bei

posted 6:15:48am Dec. 10, 2014 | read full post »

Thanksgiving and affirming
I am in favor of affirmations. At a certain period in my life, I did not think much of selp-help gurus who were pushing them. I still have major reservations about affirmations that seem to be pitched from the head instead of the heart, and either project ego-driven "gimme" agendas or , alternativel

posted 1:54:18am Nov. 26, 2014 | read full post »

Jung's underworld journey
Let's be candid: Jung's Red Book is not for the faint-hearted. Yes, there are passages of incandescent beauty, perhaps beyond any other of his writings. There are also vertiginous falls into places of rank terror and screaming madness. In my own reading, there was a moment when I wanted to throw the

posted 9:49:30am Nov. 25, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.