Salvador Dali, “Dream Caused By The Flight Of A Bee Around A Pomegranate Only Seconds Before Awakening”
Your departure lounge for dream travel is open to you anytime you are ready for adventure. Do you want to go on a dream vacation or engage in a steamy romance with an astral lover? Would you like to communicate with a spiritual guide or experiment with your ability to make intentional journeys beyond the body? Or scout ahead through time to prepare for the job interview next week? Or get your own close-up view of the surface of Mars? This is the right place to begin.
You departure lounge is the twilight zone,
the half-dream state on the cusp between waking and sleep, and
between sleep and waking. Frazzled by the pressures of everyday
life, many of us tear through this zone without pausing to notice
what is there.
In the language of the sleep scientists, the twilight zone is the realm of hypnagogic and hypnopompic experiences. Hypnagogic literally means “leading toward sleep”; hypnopompic means “leading away from sleep.” You may enter the twilight zone before and after sleep, but you may also enter it wide awake, with no intention of sleeping. It is not the relationship to sleep that defines the twilight zone; it is its character as a border county. In this borderland, you will find the gates to other worlds opening smoothly and fluidly — if you let them and are prepared for what may follow.
From this departure lobby, the great
explorers of the imaginal realm have used many gates and flight
paths. This is why the twilight state has such vital significance in
dream yoga, in shamanic training, in the Western Mystery traditions,
in the “science if mirrors” of the medieval Persian philosophers,
and in other schools of active spirituality.
First and last, experiment in the twilight zone is wonderful fun. Think of this as your cosmic playground. If you are ready to play, here’s how you might start:
Beginner’s mind, please. You are simply going to have fun and open yourself to an inexhaustible source of creativity that is available to you any day of your life. If there is any area in your life where you feel blocked, this exercise may help you to get round those blocks by getting into flow.
2. Cover your eyes, shutting out all external light.
3. Notice how long (if at all) your inner screen remains dark.
4. Allow shapes, patterns, colors, to rise and fall spontaneously. Maybe you’ll get the sense of forms shaping in the grainy dark, curving like the wall of a cave, or the eye sockets. Of a tunnel or trapdoor emerging within the dark. Of phosphene patterns flashing off and on. Luminous dust, points of light, spiral whorls, waves, and streamers of color. Of more complex and stable patterns like tree bark or webbing or woven cloth or embroidery. Or waves of color, dancing spots. Perhaps a rush of cartoon images, childlike drawings, photos.
5. Notice changes in your perception of light. What do you suppose is the source of the light that brings images into resolution and bathes the scenes that emerge?
6. Notice changes in your perception of depth and texture. After a time you will probably be looking into scenes that appear to have autonomous life. You can step into one of these scenes and explore it from within or interact with its characters. You may allow your consciousness to merge with one of the players or stand apart.
7. You will come to a point where you either pull back into physical focus or go further in, along the path of a developing dream. As you go deeper into the dream — or into dreams within dreams — you may lose the awareness that you are dreaming. But there is a good possibility that, staring from this entry point, you will be able to embark on a conscious dream journey and bring back a full travel report.
© Robert Moss. Adapted from Dreamgates: Exploring the Worlds of Soul, Imagination and Life Beyond Death (New World Library, 2010)