Aborted Travels, Earthbound Dreams

 

 

For reasons not fully known, I became interested in the past few days with the notion of astral traveling in the sense of outright out-of-body transportation like I experienced spontaneously when I was about 18 or 19, and like I experienced more profoundly during the stream entry event August 8, 2014. I was motivated by a vague feeling that the texts are not telling the full truth about my current practices, that I am missing a piece of information that I may need. Even so, as I prepared to experiment with astral travel, I felt this undertow of lazy disregard for doing much effortful work merely to fly.

Here in this post I’ll document what unfolded, although I’m redacting parts about my current formal practice, which is documented in a journal that remains private for now.

Powers-y Fun Back in the Dharma Underground Days

In contrast to my current, demotivating No Problem-ness, as DreamWalker calls it, back in the old Dharma Underground days, in our intimate little exclusive tree fort secreted below the Overground, we used to have the most fun experimenting and dreaming of the days when our “arahatship” would be “done” and our siddhis would stabilize. 

From my voluminous private correspondence with Daniel Ingram, moreover, it was evident to me that he was more excited over western magick, and any evidence of its results, than he was in furthering his own awakening, which he publicly states has “gone as far as awakening can go.” (Despite his public stance, in October 2015 he messaged me on Skype indication that he had privately and thousands of times taken Bodhisattva vows and didn’t know how to finish the work toward full enlightenment, meaning buddhahood.) I never believed in magick before I met Daniel. He was “out” about his interest in it and at least some of his results from it. That made it okay and even interesting for me to follow him into a magickal view of reality. Truly, the influence Daniel Ingram had on me in just one year was intense and life-altering.

After I experienced the Mahamudra awakening of July 29, 2015 (equal to MCTB Revised Fourth Path), I found, by contrast, that the prospect of siddhis motivated me enough to act with pointed intention only rarely, during intense flares of some oddly emergent A&P stage, which is the only cyclical insight stage I notice anymore. I’ve had some amazing psychic stuff open for me in the past, but, oddly, never from my worked up intent – only by accident, as documented in my blue Dharma by Dark Night journal, which, by the way, is my favorite journal, which I’ve been adding to over the past two weeks steadily.

Well, all powers were accidental unless my resolving hard for 3 months to attain nirodha samāpatti and then attaining it counts as successful intent.

The past 24 hours has shown that this pattern of accidental-only powers hasn’t changed. The post-awakening exceptions to this are some incubated dream experiences, some lucid dream-visions, and a new ability I seem to have to directly know other people’s minds and emotions (a power that turns on automatically, especially when someone is lying to me).

My current formal practice may be thought of as siddhi-related, although what is required seems almost anti-intent on my part.

I think that the lesson here regarding feats like astral traveling is that I’m simply not to pursue power on a separate track, as something that is “mine.” My path departs from Daniel’s specifically in this respect, among several others: I’m serious about cultivating conditions for buddhahood and what it requires or entails regarding surrender to the whole. I must leave everything alone and allow this awakening to proceed to buddhahood naturally. I return to resting into what naturally unfolds when I come home from work and have time and natural inclination to practice.

A Highlight from Last Night’s Practice

My first sit last night was in an Epsom salt bath, as usual, which I know sounds like a strange way to practice, but it has worked best for me over the past 6 months, and every night I’m called to it. I was preparing to draw my practice to a close when I thought about an astral travel video Kurt and I had watched the night before.

Now, pertinent here is that for a few weeks now I’ve been helping this young man I know, one of my son’s lifelong friends who grew up in our neighborhood, addressing some medical issues that no one seems to be helping him with. This guy is a follower of Steven Greer, the UFOlogist, and a follower of many other conspiracy theories. He meditates. He thinks he is a star seed and he follows some “ascension” practices. He says he personally has seen UFOs, and in particular told me about his once seeing a huge one in his back yard at night. It consisted of three white spherical lights in triangle formation.

So as I was sitting there in the bathtub, thinking I was missing some piece of information about my current practice and thinking that I should ask this young man for a link to traveling instructions, I suddenly saw in front of me three small white-light spheres in triangle formation! This happened the instant I thought this young man’s name.

Poor Concentration and Aborted Astral Travel Mission

After chatting a while with DreamWalker about traveling and shamanic soul retrieval, I decided to use what I was already good at as a platform for travaling: jhanas, especially formless realms. The plan was to ask for help in seeing what I need to know to aid me in practice and in writing a book to help others practice. Well, this session was terrible! My breath felt jerky, and no amount of adjusting it helped until I was about a frustrating hour into the sit, when I started deliberately taking very deep, slow in-breaths, and equally slow out-breaths.

Finally, I was calm, but then I had difficulty with the jhanas. I used to call them up and they would manifest on command. Not so now, and the more I tried to exert control, the worse the sit became. Finally, I decided to just drop all notions of jhana factors and getting anywhere. The sit still was less than stellar but I did get to some soft form of arupa jhana, either j5 or j6, though I’ve not been able to tell the difference between Boundless Space and Boundless Consciousness since second path, as documented in my blue journal. Maybe I can’t tell them apart because, ultimately, there is not any difference between space and awareness. Makes sense, yes? 

I never seem to get to j8 anymore, but I’m out of practice at that sort of thing and really have no insight to gain from it and no motivation to practice jhanas. J7 is an interesting state, but it takes quite a bit of wrenching intent for me to gain it anymore, and I’ve rarely tried. I didn’t see the point in trying last night. If I had had more time and no traveling goal, I think it would have been fruitful to simply watch the jhanas happen, without trying to call them up. But I’m short on time these days, and nights.

In fact, as the sit continued, I didn’t see much point in what I initially thought I was after. I was tense, and there was perhaps even some fear associated with traveling, but I’m not sure. I didn’t think I was afraid when I started. There was definitely a sensed undertow pulling me back down and away from the impulse to travel, though.

I finally opened my eyes and started my usual practice, which is always profound. Interestingly, this time nothing happened. Even after 15 minutes, it was more practice dessert! This was interesting and I took it as kind of a sign that down this traveling sidetrack wasn’t where I should currently be going.

Dream Incubation Spell

I extinguished the candle and crawled into bed. I decided on the spot that I would try a dream incubation since my travel plans were canceled. As I normally do with much success following,I wrote out an incubation to all the beings who care about these practices: 
Please bless me in my practice. 
Please take me in a dream to a teacher who can show me some truth that will aid my practice and my teaching others how to awaken in this very life. 

Through my chat with DreamWalker, I had settled in my mind mainly on an extraordinary-being teacher of cosmological-scale knowledge that will help with my writing a dharma book. Instead, my dream took me to Daniel Ingram, standing before a gallows on this planet Earth, about to hang an innocent child.

Dream Narratives

I am standing at the foot of a gallows in the middle of a green grassy field. It is early morning, springtime, and birds are singing. Daniel is standing up on the platform and is placing a noose around a blond little boy’s neck.

I’m looking up at Daniel’s face from below, sobbing, begging him not to go through with executing this pure child. Daniel blithely ignores me, humming to himself, and proceeds in workaday fashion to string up the child. As he does, I look down to my right and see a clone, or twin, of the first boy. Still crying hard, I pick up this little boy and hold him in my arms, tight against my body. I’m sobbing, furious, and scream at Daniel, “You will never take this one from me! You will never get away with such black evil again, not on my watch!”

I woke up from this dream. It was morning but I was still sleepy. I took out my incubation text and reread it. I placed it back under my pillow, and, after I lay back down again to sleep, I asked for another dream to clarify the first.

Arrive that dream did:

Now I’m driving in my car at night. Every few blocks, I see a young man in his twenties whom I know to be having mental health issues and to have no money or wherewithal to get help. I pick them up in my car and transport each to where he can get help. I give each money to pay for the services he needs.

Now I hear on the car radio news that MCTB2 has been posted for commentary. I suddenly have the impulse to stop the vehicle and email Daniel to ask him to consider removing his claim to arahatship from the cover and the book, and to tell the truth about the Actual Freedom era, when he admitted in an audio recording that he was not in fact “done” with his awakening. But then I think better of my impulse and decide not to have anything to do with him. I decide instead to drive to a little gym in a strip mall and get a workout on the elliptical machine.

I enter the little all-night gym. As I do, I’m surrounded by reporters who try to get me to comment on the posting of Ingram’s MCTB2 version that excludes our yearlong collaboration. I tell all of them “no comment” and push past them all to a stairwell at the back of the gym. I tell them that I’m going to the Women’s restroom, not to follow me, that I want to be alone, that being a woman has to pay off in at least this one respect.

So underground I go. I enter a dim, dirty restroom and then enter a stall. On top of the commode tank, there is a box of chocolates with “Jenny” writ large on a Christmas card that is atop it. I open the card, which plays Christmas music, a glass harmonica, as I do. The card says to take one candy and to pass the gift on to others, anonymously. The card doesn’t say so, but I psychically know that the candy keeps replenishing so long as everyone who receives the gift takes only one piece and pays the rest forward. I also know psychically that my best friend since high school, Robyn, sent me the chocolates and card.

I leave the restroom with the candy and card. I walk down the basement hall until I find a door. I enter a conference room with a table in the middle. There are some high windows on the far wall. They are open and daylight is pouring down into the basement through them. Paige and a few other dharma students are sitting around the table. I place the gift and the card on the table, and I push them across to my teacher John, who is sitting below the windows. When I meet his eyes with mine, all the emotional pain surrounding Daniel and MCTB2 evaporates.

Again I woke from the dream. Again, I decided to go back to sleep once more. I asked once more for further clarification.

I am back in my car, driving away from the little gym with the underground dharma meeting. It is night. I resume my practice of finding young men who need help and transporting them to where they can receive appropriate help. But I have a new idea: I pull the car over, get out ,and look up at the night sky. Then visions begin in the sky, revealing psychically to me that they are maps of interstellar routes and tracking systems. Gradually, I understand how to read the sky visions as a map. It tells me where to find those young men in need. This quickens my work in locating and transporting them in my vehicle, which I resume doing. Then I awoke for the last time.

Dream Evaluation

The boy that Daniel hangs looks to be 3 or 4 years old. He has white-blond hair, but is not my son when he was small. The boy reminds me more of my son’s cousin, Matthew, when Matthew was small. Perhaps the connection here is that I have to attend a court ordeal with my son tomorrow, and his attorney’s name is Matthew.

In the scathing letter that Daniel wrote me on the day that my copyright registration of MCTB2 was approved, he referred to MCTB2 as his “baby” and to me as a criminal. In fact he compared me to a thief, a stalker, and a rapist. Mind you, this was my first mentor, dharma teacher, a self-proclaimed arahat, who wrote these devastating words to me. So one obvious meaning of the hanging of the boy is that MCTB2, his “baby,” was annihilated by Daniel, not me. And for Daniel the important point of the execution was that I watch it, bear witness to it, for it was all meant to punish me, not the boy. The clone of the first dead boy as a second living one that I picked up and protected is my own writing, own book.

Another meaning of the little boy and the young men I drive around to help derives from the fact that Daniel’s public forum, the Dharma Overground, consists mainly of young men.

The radio news, reporters, and attempts to question me point to Daniel’s fame and jealous-god-like attachment to fame and competitiveness. This dream is a warning against attachment to the Eight Worldly Dharmas. That is why the Christmas candy and card are anonymous and come with the understanding that we all benefit only if none takes more than his or her share personally. This dream is a warning against personal gain, personal powers, as ends and goals.

The basement room with the light-bearing windows around John’s head is a new Dharma Underground. The vision of John thus positioned reminds me of the painting by De Vinci of Christ’s last supper.

These dreams mark the first time in a long time that I’ve dreamed of my car as “vehicle” of awakening, something that occurred often for many months after the scene with Daniel exploded.

The sky as vision as map was just a hint of what I was initially looking for via travel or dream. It is saying to keep to my personal vehicle for traveling, which is to practice as I have been, that my current practice will  tell me where I need to go and how to help other beings. Power and fame and special feats are still a mere sidetrack. And that sidetrack leads to a dead end.

Dream of the Heart Lamp on the Dark Path

I’m a little frustrated with myself for not adhering to my dream yoga practice, but I’m scattered and have been since September 2014, when I began working on MCTB2 with Daniel. After that scene exploded, I had a hard time winding down from it. I sought replacements for him and for the Dharma Underground, which I considered my ragtag sangha. Meantime, my teacher urged me to stop. He told me I needed to feel my losses. He told me that the real sangha is always already with me, to feel that, connect with that. He told me to pull all my energy back into myself instead of playing the Helper, that doing so would deepen my practice. And deepening the practice, finishing the Path, is Mission 1.

Only in the past couple of months have I begun to really withdraw. Now it is hard to do anything but withdraw. Dharma scenes are not my scenes. Although I can touch into scenes from time to time and enjoy other people there as friends, gone is the notion that any are going to enrich my practice. Honestly, very few are practicing at the level I am now. There is nothing to talk about, therefore, and my journey will be unique from here on, less subject to mapping than what came before. I cannot even write here about my main practices, not yet anyway. I’m keeping a private journal again. Maybe it won’t always be private, but it needs to be for now. My teacher is right, you see.

Moreover, I’m more and more finding that I need to be metacognitively aware of how I’m interacting with those seeking my practice advice. Sometimes people pretend to want help, but then they reject the straightforward advice and want to spend time verbally pushing back against me. In short, they are externalizing a loop they are caught in, perpetuating; they are projecting onto me one end of the loop. Funny – I now understand well how I did the same thing to Daniel on some occasions. And when he was like a Refusing Wall over and over and over again, that actually ended up being what I needed. I was thrown back on myself and the “no escape” of the here-and-now of suffering. “It always amazes me – the lengths to which people with go to avoid looking at their own suffering,” I still hear him saying.

For the past two weeks, I’ve wanted almost nothing to do with dharma, including practice. Incidentally, I injured my knee while sitting in half lotus, and that has been an excuse not to practice. I’ve suddenly wanted to excel at my day job, watch movies with my husband, drink vodka martinis whose recipes I create, and plan trips to historic Savannah. I’ve done so. I’m moving further inward, back into my very human life. Even my dream practice hasn’t been appealing: I’ve wanted only to sleep deeply through the night, plunging into that holdout of Ignorance. I know my teacher would approve, strange though that may sound.

The Dreams

Over the past week, on four or so successive nights, I had a series of dreams that were part of a single narrative. I remember little detail about any of the dreams, but they all concerned my planning a solitary retreat into the dark woods. In one I was discussing matters with my husband, who wasn’t sure I should go. I told him I was going, that it would be fine. DreamWalker’s young daughter was in another of the dreams and was significant, but I’m not sure why. It was as if I were going into solitary retreat partly for her sake. 

The climax of the dream series, and the clearest part, was my going before some kind of oracle on a throne before departing onto the dark forest path. I had my backpack ready to go. I put it down and looked up at the throne above me. I told whoever this oracle was that I was going to journey alone into and through the dark and that I needed healing. Suddenly, I was looking down at my open palm in which lay an amulet with a long cube-shaped perfume vial. The vial was filled with my own tears.They had been transformed into liquid light. I tied the pendant behind my neck, and the vial fell between my breasts, at heart center. The light it gave off was brilliant, never dimming. I bowed and departed on my lone journey.

The Evaluation

Given all that I wrote before writing the dream narrative, there is little about this series to evaluate. One point I want to note, though, is that the lucidity of the amulet was self-illumination of the dream: It was the one part of the dream series that I remember with clarity and sharpness. If I decide to explore this dream further, it will be to learn more about who the oracle is. I feel it is someone I know but who remained hidden, cloaked, while bestowing the gift that was already mine. It is a Wizard of Oz or a Glenda the Good.

Dream of Surviving an Airplane Nosedive

This morning I had yet another dream combining the theme of traveling with siddhis.

The Dream

I am leaving some kind of high school reunion and am hugging my drama teacher goodbye. I rush to my hotel room to pack, but I have to remember where I’m going. Ah, I’m going to meet my husband Kurt in Barcelona. I have to fly, which I used to be unable to do because of phobia. I’m trying to remember the rules about what I can and cannot pack for an international flight. I end up with three bags, which prove hard to keep up. 

Instead of driving to the airport, I drive to UNC Hospitals. It seems that I’m taking this special jet, not a commercial airliner, and two women nurses come out from a nursing station and change into pilot uniforms. I’m a bit nervous and ask them if they are sure they have the credentials to fly. They are relaxed and cheerful, and say yes. So we board this jet. I’m sitting in the back of the small jet. The two women are in the cockpit. And there is a middle-aged man sitting in profile at a desk between us. He is staring intently into a computer screen and typing. 

The man makes me nervous. I get up and go to the cockpit and ask the women pilots what this man is doing on board. They say he is a doctor who is getting a ride to Europe with us and that he is fine. I say that I don’t trust him. I’m trapped now, though, as the plane takes off. 

Oddly, the plane flies very low and along the highway. In fact, it flies so low that it dips under traffic lights. I look out the window at the sky above us and see these strange aircraft up there. They look like gigantic steel blimps shaped like hand grenades. They seem like alien ships from another world. I now realize that my pilots are flying low in order not to run into one of these strange aircraft. 

After a while, though, our plane starts climbing steeply. The man in front of me is entering some code into his computer. I’m uneasy about him. I somehow know that he wants to steal this grocery bag of goodies I brought aboard to take to Kurt. 

The man quits typing and hits Enter, and suddenly the airplane starts a vertical nosedive toward the earth. I realize that I’m going to die.

Everything goes black. 

Now I’m waking up to UNC Hospital surroundings, but I’m not in a hospital bed. The two women pilots are back in their nursing uniforms. I’m incredulous at still being alive. I run up to them and start frantically yelling at them to tell me where that man ran to, that he stole my goods that I need for Barcelona. I rush around, but he has escaped with my belongings. I ask the nurse why we didn’t die from the plane crash. The blonde one asks, “Do you actually remember the plane’s crashing?” I say no, but that it was obviously about to crash and that was the last thing I remember. She says, “You blacked out.” I say, “Okay, but that doesn’t explain how I survived the crash unscathed.” She says, “Well, yes, it does.” I’m trying hard to remember something. I ask her, “Am I dreaming?” Like a creepy Stepford wife, she simply repeats, “You blacked out, so you are fine.”

One of the things in the bag that the doctor stole from me was an old clunky phone which I need to call Kurt, who is waiting in Barcelona for me. I wait till the nurses aren’t looking and call him from the nurses’ station. I scream into the phone that these people I’m with cannot be trusted, to help me get to Barcelona. He says he will.

The Evaluation

This is another traveling dream. I suffered longstanding phobia before stream entry, phobias concerning traveling by car on the interstate highways and by airplane. This dream combined highway travel with aircraft and a nosedive, so it was pushing my most intense fear buttons. The dream was filled with mysterious people who changed costumes. The doctor was silent and was sabotaging our safe travel. The beginning scene was one about leaving behind my schooling, another constant from yesterday’s dream. Moreover, it was the drama teacher I hugged last, and the dream before the last one was about role-playing and costumes. 

The blackout was kind of like a “fruition.” I escaped suffering by leaving consciousness. It also reminds me of a conversation I had with Kurt last night in which he told me he has had only a couple of lucid dreams but can always wake himself up from any nightmare. Yes, that is the root of this dream! He was telling me last night over dinner that during a scary dream he simply says, “Okay, I’ve had enough of this,” and awakens. In my dream, I seemed to have practiced this by “awakening” back in the place of departure. 

Unfortunately, that asshole doctor still made off with my things. They are irrecoverable.

Controlling a Dream Called Waking Life

The normal progression in attaining lucidity in dreams is this:

  1. Remembering the dream
  2. Realizing in the dream that it is a dream
  3. Controlling the dream

I’ve been having some, but by no means total, success with Nos. 1 and 2, but have not experienced No. 3 – until yesterday morning. Interestingly, I didn’t experience No. 2 while experiencing No. 3. Instead, my dream persona apparently concluded that waking reality is a dream and can be controlled through intent.

The Dream

I am younger and slim, a college student, and I’m going to school. I wake up feeling sensations of anxiety and misery, caused no doubt by my weaning myself off Cymbalta, an SNRI antidepressant. I drag myself to class, and it is in the same elementary school classroom featured in this important dream about my being led around by people in disguise: http://jhanajenny.com/post/140773014932/this-was-a-very-significant-clear-dream-i-later.

I am seated in a little child’s chair at a little table. My dharma teacher John is teaching at the blackboard. He stops talking and asks me what is wrong with me. I say I’m withdrawing from Cymbalta because it causes weight gain but the withdrawal is making me miserable. He tells me to go home and nap, so I leave, walking through college campus landscapes reminding me of Florida State and other similarly red-brick-loving universities of North Carolina.

At home, I nap. When I wake, I’m again anxious and miserable. But I start driving my red Honda Accord back to class. While driving, I remember John’s words from my recent retreat about how people who attain very hard jhanas can pass their hands through walls. As I drive, I say, “This is a dream,” but I don’t mean it is literally a nighttime dream. I’m simply doing Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche’s daytime practice, which is to say and feel into how waking reality is a dream made of dreamstuff, not solid.

I step hard on the accelerator, and as I approach the brick schoolhouse at mad speed, I form the intent to drive right through the wall. I’m not trying to commit suicide; I’m convinced that John is correct, that all of reality is a dream. Indeed the car and I pass unharmed through the wall, and I turn off the car and exit it near the principal’s office. Then, instead of walking the halls, I simply pass through wall after wall, and through the ceiling, in a straight line to John’s classroom. 

I’m on a roll.

During class, John says I look like I feel better. I say, “Yes, but these little kids’ chairs are a bad fit.” Then, as he resumes lecturing the class, I stretch my body and float above my chair and recline back on the thin air in a sleeping position. Ah, that is much more comfortable. When I need to look at what John is writing on the blackboard, I roll over on my side the way that Wangyal instructs the lucid dreamer to for most of the waking intervals during the night. I’m floating about 3 to 5 feet above the heads of the other students. I feel that John is going to think I’m showing off, but when he calls on me to ask me to share my most recent realization, I say only this: “No harm will come to me if I live without Cymbalta.”

The Evaluation

The significance of this dream is obvious. Like my last dream about the Pokemon pantheon – this one is showing a radical shift in the wakefulness of my dream ego (”dreamgo”). Instead of being weak-willed and led along by others, I’m directing actions in accordance with my own intent. In the last dream, I refuse to wear the costumes and play the roles assigned me by patriarchy. I can leap unharmed from tall buildings to cut the root of delusion. In this dream, I can drive and walk through supposedly solid walls and levitate. 

Moreover, this dream takes place in the very same elementary schoolhouse, shown here, in the very same classroom, that this significant other lucid dream from 6 months ago did. This is the local elementary school close to where we lived when my son was small. I toured it once when I was considering placing him there, so I’ve seen the inside, the classrooms. A particular second-floor class room, leftmost, was the scene of two significant and interrelated dreams of mine had 6 months apart, the first one being audio recorded and titled “Deceptive Practices and Homelessness,” and my lucid dream yesterday which features a much more powerful driving Jenny:

In that earlier dream, I was deceived by a series of people, exited the school by conventional means, and was led by a Captain Kangaroo figure into a gypsy caravan that a disguised Daniel Ingram was driving. It was upon recognizing the true Daniel through his disguise that I became lucid in that dream and tried to work out our differences over MCTB2. But when I told that dream to John, he said, “No offense, but why the fuck would you get in the back of a van that some clown led you to? That is a dream of a little girl’s abduction.” 

John’s evaluation initiated a whole series of discussions I had with him about my need to evaluate the way my dreamgo moves through dreams and how my identification with the role of victim keeps me from embodying my realizations and power. He said, “If you can understand what obscures the ego in dreams, you will more clearly see where you are limited by the same obscurations in everyday life.” And this discussion led to my spending months opening the third chakra, the solar plexus, where dualistic fear/anger was hiding out.

And since the final blowup with Dan Ingram, I’ve had many dreams about traveling, whether by car, caravan, or truck. In fact, in daily life, while I’m driving in my car, I practice the daytime lucid dreaming techniques relentlessly simply because my Honda is such a potent triggering image that I may be dreaming. I’m not sure why traveling is such a constant dream theme. It may be because I am homeless: was abandoned by Daniel and banished from the Dharma Overground and Dharma Underground even though I had broken no rules, which Claudiu, who is a terrible moderator, admitted in writing to me. It may simply signify that I’m on a path.

So here I am now in real life, struggling to wean myself off Cymbalta, which I took for anxiety and migraines. I’ve never taken the officially therapeutic dose, and going from 40 mg to 20 mg, slowly, was fine. But dropping below 20 mg initiates a bad withdrawal syndrome, particularly in the morning before I’ve had my next dose. I wouldn’t bother trying to go off it right now, but my neurologist thinks it is causing weight problems, which is being shown to indeed be a side effect, which I definitely don’t need. When I’ve gone off it before, I quickly dropped 20 pounds without trying. When I have those feelings in the morning, I can do a rapid emptiness practice, which is useful, but the sensations are unpleasant for reminding me of my former nervous breakdowns viscerally. I have to tell myself that these are only sensations and that my life is going very, very well and there is no real threat. 

Most interesting to me about this current dream is that I never became lucid in the sense of realizing that I was moving through a nighttime dream. Instead, I began controlling the dream as waking reality, which, in the dream, I did not distinguish as essentially different from a dream, because it is not.