Enriching your life in Christ through profound Christian Meditation
Bringing Ancient Buddhist Technique to
Modern Christian Meditation
Conclusion - Bringing it all together
We’ve gone through a lot of material in this article: day time habits, sleep habits, dream logs,
keys to interpreting your dreams, means to aim your dreams at your concerns, and so on.
There is a lot to work with and I hope that those interested in using their entire day to
deepen their relationship with the Triune God will make good use of it all.
With as much information as we’ve covered it’s easy to miss the ‘forest for the trees’. We
are not simply plying psychological gimmicks for the fun of peering into our subconscious,
and we are certainly not aiming for the titillation of simple wish fulfillment. Each of those
activities can be accomplished through these practices, but the real pith of what we do in
this practice is to more acutely hear what God shares with us each night, and to actively
reform how we relate to that sharing.
The biggest lesson to draw from dream practice is a bit oxymoronic: we are not studying and
working with our dreams simply to become more effective in our daily life; instead, we are
working with our sleeping dreams to begin to come to terms with the fact that we are
generally dreaming all the time! Think about your most recent dreams; in those dreams
were you acting in rational way, behaving as a waking person would have? When
something clearly nonsensical occurred did you take it at face value, as Alice does in
Wonderland, or did you suddenly say “Whoa! That can’t be!”, realizing your true situation?
Unless you are accomplished in the art of lucid dreaming, chances are you simply went with
the theme of the dream, only upon waking realizing the craziness of the situation.
Now compare that to your waking life. How many times every day do you do something that
is obviously not wholesome or to your benefit. Here in the United States a classic example is
how most of us eat. Leaving aside obvious eating disorders like anorexia or bingeing, the
vast majority of North Americans eat way too much, and food that is clearly not good for us.
It’s no mystery to most of us, either: some of the hottest retail sales items every year are
books and programs teaching us how to lose weight, and claiming to show us which foods
we really need to be healthy.
Isn’t that crazy? Aside from breathing, what should be me the most natural thing in the world
to us than eating in a way that makes us stronger and healthier? If that isn’t dream
behavior, I don’t know what is. We live in a time and place where food has never been more
plentiful or in such healthy variety, and we use it as a poison, perhaps shortening our lives
and certainly reducing the quality of those lives. Of course, this is just one example of
humans floating along in unthinking acquiescence with mindless appetite. The same can be
said for the language we use with each other, the way we use fantastic technology to
encourage laziness, regularly coming to blows with one another out of simple ethnic
identification, etc. The list goes on and often consumes entire lives.
More subtle than physical behavior is our dreamlike emotional reactivity. We swaddle our
perceptions of reality in habitual thought and feeling, often living in a world that exists no
where outside our own heads. I'm reminded of an example in my own life from a couple of
years ago. I'd been in a particular position with my company for 5 or six years, and for a
variety of reasons, was growing increasingly unhappy with it. During the last couple of years
I found myself occasionally having trouble sleeping and being cranky with co-workers. In
retrospect, it's apparent that I was even a drag on the emotional tone of my family.
Eventually, I moved into a new role in my organization and my emotional landscape
immediately improved. But why did it take me so long to do something about a situation that
was so clearly unsatisfactory? Mostly, because it wasn't that clear at the time. I went
through each day, addressing each urgent need as it arose as I had each day before that.
Everything was following the logic of life as I understood it and the sense that I should be
doing something differently was only a dull nagging feeling which was easily ignored. In
other words, I was stuck in a waking dream world of my own creation. Much as I've been
stuck in dreams where nothing happened as it should, but where I'd bought into the overall
story line and was following the script, unaware that I could wake up at any time.
How do we break out of this kind of entanglement? The first step is simply to wake up to the
fact that we are in some sense trapped. Isn’t it ironic that one of the most effective ways to
‘wake up’ in our daily lives is to wake up in our sleeping lives? The day time practices, such
as the mindfulness exercise, work to remind us of what's really going on. Then with the
lessons we are offered on a nightly basis by our Father we can not only reclaim a missing
third of our existence, we can energize our search for true happiness in this life and ultimate
happiness in the next.
This is the primary gist of everything here at TantricChristianity.com – God is always there
for us. He is always whispering to us, telling us of His love and helping us to live in a way
that makes the worldly now a wonderful adventure, and prepares us for the beauty of the
timeless that waits for us when we are finished with this life. Our biggest road block to
hearing Him is our own mistaken fascination with the mundane and neurotic compulsions we
willing chain ourselves to. Through time tested methods of prayer, meditation, dreaming,
and so on, we can get out of our own way and catch some glimpse of the beatific vision
Best wishes on that journey!
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