You are on page 1of 12

The Foundations of Taoist Dream Practices

This week by ‘synchronistic’ chance,
I stumbled on this great written article by expert Taoist Dreamer, Juan Li.

Juan studied at the ‘Jung Institute’ in Zurich and travelled all around the world to learn many
types of Conscious Dreaming.

When I read this article last night, it really spoke to me and immensely inspired me.
The information can be used as an introductory eye opener for the beginner, and could give an
advanced viewpoint to the experienced dreamer. I feel it speaks out to everyone who reads it.
The sacred Taoist teachings give you a strong foundation for your practice and can deepen your
senses even more.
Before last night I was looking for my next synchronistic step and pondered in how I could go
deeper into my dream work, especially in a more ‘spiritual sense’. Now, for the first time in a
long time I feel completely inspired and ‘In-Spirit’ to go forward and learn the ancient ways of
Taoist dreaming.

One of the key focuses is healing the body completely inside and out before taking the necessary
steps to become Lucid. This is very different in comparison to the many western methods out
there today, which teaches you just to dive in! They focus on the ever-present, subtle and sacred
energies that are within and around us.
It is not just a method in dreaming; Taoism is a complete way of living…
N. Barrett

Playing With the Clouds: The Foundations of Taoist Dream Practices
The beginnings of dream practices in China are lost in the depths of antiquity. It is said that the
emperors of the Shang Dynasty some 3500 years ago had attached to their court a category of
ritual performers called Zhan Meng in charge of interpreting dreams and facilitating dream
divination. These dream specialists worked together with the shamans and other ritual specialists
interpreting omens which appeared either in the clouds, natural events or in dreams so as to chart
the best human course of action for the emperor and other government officials.

From the subtlest which is invisible to the eyes and can only be perceived with the most refined sensitivities in states of mental calm and heightened awareness. but simply because one very important aspect of their self cultivation was withdrawal from ordinary society so as a to cultivate a point of view radically different from most people. The physical body we all can touch and feel is only the densest aspect of the life force. Very little is known about these Taoists. Energy was understood as a vital force. There was a group of individuals who in the inaccessible recesses of the sacred mountains. A modern analogy would be from radiation. The ancient Taoists would sense all these states not as separate but rather as a spectrum of variable intensities. Over the centuries the Taoists developed a highly efficient and coherent system of practices aimed at realizing the full potential of human beings. The Way of Energy A fundamental aspect of Taoist practices is the concept of energy or life force. even in China. which is at the foundation of all phenomena. manifests in a wide spectrum of variable intensities or frequencies. and living a quiet life. which they chose to call QI. the grossest aspect of the energy spectrum. because they carried out their practices in utmost secrecy. through electricity that gives a good shock to a stone that is easily felt as very hard. was not only confined to the government. explored the infinite potential of dream state. The Taoists were not content with having good health. Not because their practices were dangerous and had to be hidden.The interest in the experiences. These practitioners were those who followed the way of nature back to its origins living a simple life in accordance with the rhythms of nature. far removed from ordinary human interaction. Their practices were aimed at developing not only the physical aspect of their being but also most specially the subtle and invisible aspects called the energy body. After years of practice they were able to chart the flows of the life force in their subtle bodies with precision through what is called the energy meridians. which took place in dream state. Constantly aware of this energy that animates everything the Taoists went on to explore the nonphysical aspects of the life force in their own bodies. . Like the ancestry of the dream practices. Some ancient Taoists by remaining focused on the subtle energy for hours day after day were able to sense the life force circulating through their bodies. Every time a Taoist sits down to calm the mind and meditate something very peculiar takes place. both physical and subtle. There are increasingly subtle aspects of the spectrum where the life force never reaches densification. The focus of the five senses and the mental attention begins to shift gradually from the dense physical to the more subtle aspects of the body. This energy. from the word Tao meaning path or natural way of living. there have been Taoists in China for over 4000 years of recorded history. The longer the practitioner is able to remain calm without distracting thoughts arising or getting drowsy the more refined the sensitivity to the life force becomes. to increasingly denser aspects that we begin to perceive as emotional states to the densest aspects as solid matter. They were called Taoists. which we are unable to sense consciously.

The body is literally boiling over with energy. dietary practices and meditations. Then when eventually fatigue overcomes the body and the person falls asleep. The Taoists noticed that our emotional states have a profound effect on the quality of the life force circulating through the meridians. In order to keep energy circulation at an optimum level the Taoists created a large variety of exercises. One of the simplest practices discovered was that of the Inner Smile. Another very powerful practice which developed was that of the Six Healing Sounds. but rather that the quality of the dream shifts from restless to harmonious and pleasant. The Emotions And Dreaming One of the great insights of ancient practitioners was the fact that. where certain sounds are made which induce the vital organs to vibrate more harmoniously thus releasing tensions and blocked emotions in the organs. It was noticed in antiquity that if a person goes to sleep with a tremendous amount of unresolved anger.The discovery of the energy meridians brought a level of refinement to the Taoists practices where soon it began to have a profound effect on healing the body. often accelerating. In their refined exploring of the subtle energies the Taoists were able to feel where the emotions. In the case of anger it was noticed that profound changes took place in the liver. This organ not only became more hot. There is mental agitation and the person is talking internally for hours. in time a physical malady would appear precisely in those areas affected by poor circulation. if a daily regimen of energy practices is maintained-specially refining the emotions-the quality and quantity of dreams changes. first of all falling sleep becomes extremely difficult. If a person is very angry there is an increase in the heartbeat and the circulation of the blood. there is invariably a succession of dreams where anger predominates. whereby the practitioner sends a smile of appreciation to any part of the body along with a continuous wave of positive feelings. Illness was understood as arising when the circulation of the energy was blocked from reaching organs and glands. However the quality of the energy boiling over is very poor due to the negative effect of anger. However good circulation is not enough to maintain good health. sometimes to the point that they disappear completely. This does not mean that the person ceases to have dreams. The rate of breathing changes. . arise in the body. both positive and negative. Body temperature and muscle tone also increases accordingly. but it could also become constricted and blocked so much that the circulation of the life force required so much effort that pain was felt on the side of the liver. It was observed that from the blockages at the subtle level of circulation. With the discovery of the profound effect that emotions have upon the quality and circulation of the life force the Taoists created an entire branch of practices to refine the emotions. If a person goes to bed after having cleared the vital organs from unresolved emotions the amount of emotional dreams and nightmares dramatically decreases.

The Taoist would not call it fantasizing but rather shifting attention from the physical to the subtle. they turn inward. Dreaming is not an action which is confined to falling asleep. Sometimes if our focusing is intense enough something unexpected may happen: the phone rings! It is our friend calling from the other side of the planet to tell us they were thinking of us just at that moment. If this day dreaming went on for a long time. So energy is not limited by space. It could not be because the physical is just one aspect of the energy spectrum. doing something which was not real in a physical sense. . As the senses turn inward. Just as in deep states of meditation if the body is fatigued the practitioner may fall asleep and go unconscious. One of the insights which opens as one begins to consciously shift mental focus from the physical to the subtle is that the life force is not limited by physical reality. There is the rest of the spectrum operating simultaneously beyond the physical. as a person begins to fall asleep and the senses gradually disconnect from the physical world. nor time which is also a function of space. Then as the teacher continued talking we gradually began to go with our minds somewhere else. the consciousness which was focused on the physical world through the senses also turns inwardin the direction of the subtle energy body. We may not be consciously aware when we shift our conscious focus to the subtle body. Our conscious focus was far away from the classroom and the teacher. When we shift our mental focus onto someone far away at that instant we are in direct contact with the subtle body of that person. Every time we let go into sleep our consciousness shifts its focus from the physical dense body to the subtle energy body at the other end of the spectrum. We dream 24 hours a day. with predictable inability to answer the question properly. paradoxically. For the Taoists falling asleep is an open door for playing fully conscious with the subtle energy body and carrying out energy practices without the limitations of the physical body. A process akin to having a good meditation.One of the greatest insights gained exploring the connection between dreams and energy practices was that dreams are experiences taking place at the level of the subtle bodies. so going to sleep has to take place. however we all do that many times during our waking hours. We began to dream with the eyes open about doing something far more enjoyable at that moment. we had to forcefully bring back our mental focus to the teacher. Our awareness at that moment may be focused on a friend that is at the other side of the planet. Ordinarily we say we were fantasizing at that moment. A word for labeling the unexplainable. If we speak of sleep then it is of the physical body. A part of our consciousness which is not fully engaged in the physical plane dealing with day to day problems is focused on the subtle aspects of the body. and all of a sudden the teacher asked us a question. The subtle energy aspect operates 24 hours through our lives. In other words. The Taoists consider falling asleep as a process no different from entering into a meditative state. since the subtle aspects never falls asleep. For the Taoists familiar with the full spectrum of the life force this is not something unexplainable. just as when we are dreaming in bed. The geographical distance is irrelevant. Many times a day we shift conscious focus from physical reality to subtle reality. For example we all had the experience when we were children in school of sitting bored through an uninteresting class. when one is not fatigued. Has this happened to you? Ordinarily we call these happenings `coincidence’.

The Taoists would call that a fragmented vision.Every time we place the head on the pillow and fall asleep our consciousness focuses its gaze upon a dimension which is not limited by time or space. As one begins to enter the twilight state of drowsiness the sleep command begins to function like a beacon guiding the consciousness across the threshold of the unconscious. the resulting imbalance manifests very clearly in the quality of one’s dreams. The sleep command is a powerful expression of willpower which is usually voiced over and over as the practitioner prepares to sleep. From that moment on until we finally awaken several hours later we lose awareness of where we are or that we are asleep. rather than mechanically or unconscious. In dream we have all experienced how in the fraction of an instant we can change from walking to flying across the landscape or being here and then on the other side of the moon. entering a twilight zone which rapidly eclipses into total darkness. feelings we dismiss into the dust bin of the not-real. Dream practices are not isolated from other modalities of Taoist exercises. Only when the meridian system is circulating properly and a degree of physical and emotional balance has been attained does one begins dream exercises. like all energy practices is to be done with complete awareness and mindfulness. but then physical existence is not the only realm of experience there is. Generally as the meridians are opened and one learns to regulate the emotions through specific energy practices. Opening Circulation The sleep command however is not the initial step in dream practice. What we ordinarily call reality is limited to physical experience and is just a fragment of the totality of being. there is a reduction of ordinary dreams. A dimension which is extremely fluid and efficient because it is not limited by time or the constraints of distance. A dream may not have any basis on physical reality. Usually a novice in the Taoist system will begin by learning to open communication with the life force through a series of exercises designed to open the flow of the energy meridians. Ordinarily as we begin to fall asleep and relax our senses disconnect one by one we become progressively unconscious. In Taoist dream practice one of the first things the practitioner does is make a firm decision to remain conscious as one enters dream state. This repetition of the sleep command. This initial step is done by voicing a mental command of what one intends to practice or experience during that sleep session. The practices developed by the ancient Taoists around dream state were designed to tap into the inexhaustible reservoir of possibilities that transcending time and space offers. fully conscious. Dreams. One begins to have less and less of turbulent emotional . It has been discovered since ancient times that if the circulation of the life force is not balanced. as an act of will. intuitions. The Practice of Dynamic Sleep A fundamental goal of Taoist dream practices is the ability to enter dream state deliberately. One essential notion they got rid of was the ordinary belief that dreams are fantasies with no basis on reality.

deep Alpha and in experienced meditators to Theta and even Delta. The Foundation of Calming The Mind Preliminary to dream practices are also the states of mental calmness brought about by long meditations. Dreams are more vivid. because the body needs the sleep for the basic function of resting the nervous system and the brain and repairing damaged tissues. This means that a regular meditator has learned to `fall asleep’ consciously seated quietly in a cushion. Most experienced meditators need less sleep than people who do not practice. After some time they also begin to experience greater clarity in dream state. The brain moves from polarization in Beta to greater integration in Alpha. This essential step is accomplished in the hours of the night when we cease activities and turn the senses inward like a meditator. We need to sleep in order to integrate the hemispheres of the brain and allow the nervous system to rest and repair itself. the brain. A practitioner. This sequence of changes is very similar to that taking place as we fall asleep. The nervous system. who for example has been keeping dream journals for several years. Theta and Delta. Instead of investing a great part of their vitality fighting illness and trying to maintain balance in the midst of fatigue and emotional upheavals. the vital organs are all able to function at a greater degree of harmony. the brain changes waves from active Beta to Alpha. then one discovers that nothing happens. As the quality changes one can also say that the potential of the individual changes. A Taoist invests years of constant effort bringing about such state. This is reflected as better health both physically and mentally. The state of energy abundance is fundamental for the unfolding of dream practices.dreams which originate from congested organs and in its place the luminous dreams of profound experiences begin to manifest from time to time. after a months of intense meridian exercises and meditations usually report very infrequent dreams that are very widely spaced apart. A sign of such people would be the absence of a bed in their house! The Sharping of Mental Focus . So if a person is meditating daily and able to integrate the hemispheres of the brain to some degree there is a resulting change in sleep patterns. Some advanced practitioners get by with only three to four hours and in the Tao system there have been many great sages who eventually transcended the need to sleep at all. If dream practices are attempted otherwise when the body is tired and fighting imbalances. the organism is operating in an energy surplus mode. As their practice progresses is not unusual to begin sleeping an hour less after a few months. the images more powerful carrying a sense of transcendence. When the senses turn inward in deep practice. In Taoist practice it is said that as we improve energy circulation and begin to harmonize the emotions in the organs there is a change in the quality of one’s energy from a gross state to a refined one. the glands.

carrying forth the awareness and the intention like a candle in the wind. In other words consciousness which is used to being active only when awake in the physical learns to be awake in the subtle also. Generally we breathe through the right nostril from 45 to 90 minutes and activate the left hemisphere of the brain becoming more active. Then for a brief period of 3 to 5 minutes we breathe through both nostrils as the left nostril eventually takes over activating the right hemisphere of the brain. Eventually as the practice deepens and the brain becomes more integrated the breath takes place .If a practitioner has reached the level where the sleep pattern is changing through practices of concentration and circulation of energy then there is also an increase in the ability to focus the intention for long periods of time. Our breathing alternates from nostril to nostril throughout the day. This simple gesture opens the possibility of extending consciousness into areas where normally we go blank. The sleep command being voiced as one falls asleep is the first stage in training the intention to remain sharply focused through the ocean of the unconscious. Agitated states of mind are generated when the left hemisphere of the brain is most active. This is when we generate Beta waves. As the years go by the practitioner automatically develops greater capacity to remain focused without distractions when the attention is placed on something. The breath and consciousness are intimately connected and the change in brain waves that accompany a good meditation are in fact facilitated by a corresponding change in the gross breath passing through the nostrils. If the practitioner is activating the left hemisphere through the right nostril breath then the first change will be to switch it to the left nostril. inducing calmer states to manifest. This is an increase in mental power and also an intensification of the will or intention. When the right hemisphere of the brain is active we enter into a more relaxed mental state with less activity and less agitation. In meditation in order to enter into a state of calmness a change in the breathing pattern has to take place. In dream practice the intention which has been strengthened in sitting practice is then developed further in dream state. This is the subtle dimension which is operating 24 hours of the day. At the same time that the left hemisphere activates there is a predominance of breathing through the right nostril. an energy center or the circulation of life force in a meridian. The Breath And Calmness Ancient Taoists discovered that as the mind becomes calm during meditation a similar process of calmness takes place in the way we breathe. The Taoists view dream practice as an opportunity to train the intention and the will in conjunction with the subtle aspects of the body. The Taoist aims at entering the normally unconscious states of sleep fully conscious. In meditation when the senses are turned inward the attention is focused on something such as the breath.

The right hand may be cupped around the right ear or under the pillow. In the Sleeping Tiger position one lays on the right side of the body. In this posture the road is open to enter the calmer states of mind and eventually induce simultaneous nostril breathing. One lets go into the unknown voicing the command ready to accept whatever happens. there is also the conscious ability to let go into the unknown with the same deliberateness of a swimmer who jumps from a diving board. This is the state where Alpha. Taoists have traditionally brought about such changes by adopting the position known as `The Sleeping Tiger’. The Sleeping Tiger In dream practice the practitioner aims at entering calm states of mind as quickly as possible. The right leg is slightly bent at the knees. But not everything is tight control. The Practice of Deliberateness A novice after adopting the Sleeping Tiger posture and voicing the dream command will then have a long and rocky road still ahead. Whatever happens next is beyond our conscious control. The posture of the Sleeping Tiger was not confined to practitioners in China only. Normally we go to sleep without clarity of purpose. One goes unconscious as usual or if too anxious to accomplish the goal of the practice have difficulty falling asleep. The Hypogeum is believed to have been used for receiving prophetic healing dreams by practitioners who spend the night within its precincts. The same posture has been found in a sculpture of the sleeping priestess or goddess in the Hypogeum in the island of Malta dating from 3800-3600 BC. The same posture is adopted by dream practitioners in Tibet and India. The purpose of this posture is to press on the right side of the ribs upon certain acupuncture points which induce a rapid change of the breath from the right nostril to the left. Worse yet some practitioners keep waking up over and over without having a restful night of sleep. at the beginning usually nothing happens. The Sleeping Tiger posture is not only used for entering dream practice it is also the ideal posture for entering death. In dream practice the scenario is totally different. The practitioner has a clear goal and is carefully creating the right conditions to fulfill it. Theta and Delta waves begin to manifest. .through both nostrils at the same time. and the left leg is extended without making it totally straight. supporting the body. we simply cannot go on from fatigue and exhaustion so we lay down and close the eyes. What is lacking is a key ingredient of the practice which is going to sleep with deliberateness. In Asian art the Buddha at the moment of death is always shown lying on the right side with the right hand cupped around the right ear. The left arm is extended resting on the left side.

This is made possibly because there is a surplus of energy and sleep is not being used primarily to rest and repair the body. the ancient Taoists warn. The body has to be rested and balanced for dream practice to unfold. Beyond the constraints of time and space in a dimension that it extremely fluid. From that one follows with the command to remember dreams or simply to awaken at a certain time without alarm clocks. Second because excessive force is a quality which has to be balance with yielding in order to develop the energy practices to their highest potential. The body will be mainly occupied with maintenance without a surplus to `play in the clouds’ as the Taoists would say. Power naps consist in taking short naps several times a day. one is headed for trouble. It is said that visitors had often to wait while the master completed power naps. Power Naps of The Sleeping Tiger It is generally assumed that dream practice is best done at night time when the day is done. One of the greatest Taoist dream practitioner of the past was Master Chen Tuan of Henan province in China. lasting anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. . If one is fatigued or carrying a heavy burden of unfinished emotional situations then progress will be very very slow. The frequency of power naps allows the practitioner to develop the necessary skills at entering dream practice very rapidly. Taoists dream practitioners are not content to have only one opportunity per day at entering dream state consciously so the practice of power naps was developed early on.The Stages of Dream Practice If the desire to succeed in the practice is excessively strong then. From those simple commands then one can eventually build up to the monumental task of becoming conscious within the dream that one is asleep. Chen Tuan is said to have realized the highest levels of Taoist practices in dream state. It is suggested in dream practice that we begin with the simple command to have a restful sleep regardless of how many hours we sleep. The ability to become conscious that one is asleep in the middle of a dream requires that the awareness focuses with such intensity that it is not only possible to maintain the thread of the dream but also at the same time step back to realize that one is dreaming. He lived during the 10th century and practiced power naps in a cave at the sacred mountain of Hua Shan in west China. First because frustration and impatience is going to develop as we fail to reach our goal. spending months at a time in deep conscious sleep. A by product of power naps is that the body is truly rested so sleep is truly deliberate and not out of fatigue.

If in a dream we have a very strong experience of loving someone. The ability to remain conscious in dream state is for learning to play in the dimensions without time and space. transform ourselves into something else. One very common problem practitioners have to overcome is the unconscious projection of physicality into the non-physical dimensions.The Realm of Fluidity The physical dimension is the portion of the energy spectrum most affected by time and space. In the fluid state of conscious dreaming it is possible to have direct experiences in an instant. It is extremely hard for physical beings to imagine the state beyond time and space. there is a house instantly. And Taoist dream practices have nothing to do with dream interpretation. This is totally different from the dense physical dimension where the thought of a house. It is a dimension where there is a tremendous gap between wish and fulfillment of the wish. One of the habits the dream practitioner learns is to be present all the times speaking the language of the instant that has no past or future. In conscious dream state anything that is imagined is experienced simultaneously as dream reality. We all have experienced in our sleep the extremely fluid nature of dreams. Experiences which are as real and powerful as physical reality. If one thinks of a house. There is a tremendous gap between imagination and manifestation. become objects or simply turn into pure consciousness without a body. `hurrying up’ and `coming back tomorrow’ and so on. We speak of `going somewhere’. We are able to fly. move great distances. Dimension where imagination and reality are one and there are no limits. If dream state was pure fantasy there would be no powerful impressions to carry during the day and no emotional residue to recall. Time and space are not a limiting factor and play no role whatsoever in phenomena. This is why Taoist say that the physical dimension is very dense and very inefficient when it comes to manifesting reality. Master Chen Tuan during his long naps learned to transcends the mental limitations of time and space. As we all know the thought of a house might take years of effort to manifest. . as we awaken into the physical dimension we still carry the emotional impressions of that love experience throughout the day. These are all random experiences of transcending physical corporeality. or between imagination and realization. and the mental image of a house does not manifest a physical house right away. As mentioned before dream practices are not truly aimed at working with ordinary dreams arising from unresolved emotional states or poor energy circulation. just eternal now. It is a dimension where anything we do is limited by time and at the same time takes time to accomplish. One of the direct experiences which arises out of consistent dream practice is that time and space have no influence whatsoever in the subtle energy dimensions. When describing dreams or talking to ourselves in dreams we are limited by the language of time and space. specially if we have no direct experiences of subtle energy in our bodies or consciousness.

There is usually a deepening work in the area of the emotions. So in the physical dimension we become skillful at sustaining focus of the consciousness for long periods of time. which in this case is not awakening into the physical or going unconscious. The obstacles and lack of progress encountered in dream practice serve as a mirror revealing where the weak points and blockages are in one’s overall energy structure. and at the same time carry out the numerous exercises for developing the use of the will and the intention. Surplus Energy The fuel for dream practice is surplus energy-not only abundance of vitality but specifically a surplus of vitality to be invested in learning to sustain conscious focus in dream state. At some point the practitioner has to dig deeper into the available resources and learn to utilize them more and more efficiently. Beginners who are able to awaken within the dream do so for very brief instants before either awakening fully into the physical or going unconscious into deeper sleep. which is where a large portion of the available vitality is trapped in unresolved issues. So there is a progressive movement towards excellence and efficiency that gradually transforms the individual into a new being. One has to maintain a crucial balance for indefinite time. Fluidity in both the physical and mental state is cultivated through movement exercises such as Tai Chi and Qi Gong. This is so because sustaining focus in the physical dimension requires only a fraction of the energy it takes for doing so in the fluid dimensions beyond time and space. As we entered school we learned more and more to use our mental focus for longer and longer uninterrupted periods. A good analogy would be the difference between trying to run underwater and on the ground. As babies our attention span for concentrating on anything was very limited and could not be sustained for more than a few seconds. There is also a process of harnessing the energy outwardly spent through the senses. The preliminary energy practices mentioned before lay the foundation for starting dream work but they are not enough. A great teacher would be one who is able to keep the attention of the students fully engaged for long periods of time also. Usually the best students are those who from very early learned to focus their attention with intensity for long periods of time. The Mastery of Timing . talk and memorize in school.Sustaining Focus The ability to remain focused in conscious dreaming is made possible by the cultivation of mental power and increased vitality. In dream practice the ability to sustain focus is a skill that develops gradually with much difficulty and many set backs. Sustaining focus is very much like learning to ride a bicycle. As we grew up we learned to focus our attention in the physical world through all of the physical tasks such as learning to walk.

That is the transition of consciousness at the moment of death from the physical to the subtle body. The great insight of the ancient Taoists went even beyond life and death. For the Taoists the ability to embrace the full spectrum of the life force is the most important task a human being can accomplish in this lifetime. . One of the deciding factors in all energy practices is the recognition of the right timing. Someone who is consciously at home in the complete energy spectrum of the life force. Someone who is no longer fixed on the physical dimension as the sole reality worth exploring. The gift is the `luminous pearl’ of indestructible insight condensed through the alchemy of refining the intention and the will. Listening for that moment when the totality of one’s being points in one direction with uncompromising power. It is said that `If one realizes the Way in the morning one can die at peace in the evening’. The dream practitioner is someone who through sustained effort has learned to swim in the ocean of infinity without tiring or becoming scared. It is simply a beginning of another cycle of being. A new cycle which continues under different conditions from the physical and yet carries a precious gift from the world. The traveler takes only that from the crossing through this world. At the moment of death there is a separation of the consciousness from the physical body into the subtle energy body. Dream practice is the training ground for learning to utilize the intention. the ability to sustain focus through the subtle dimensions. In contrast when the action is riding the river of the right timing there is a minimum of effort needed to accomplish extraordinary things. Ultimate Purpose of Dream Practice The development of the intention and the will. So detaching the consciousness from the physical into the subtle dimensions is not an end in itself. This is the result of a decision taken fully conscious at some point in the past. A crossing from time and space into the ocean of infinity. In dream practice it means that one learns to listen to the body and the life force. If we carry out some action during the wrong timing then a monumental amount of energy is required to produce results and sometimes even that is not enough. Without a strong decision and a definite commitment there is no way to begin directing the life force in the direction we want to go. Listening to the right timing means that the Taoist is totally committed and available to the practice whenever it calls. the will and consciousness in conjunction with the subtle energy body. the harnessing of one’s vitality and the ability to become fluid and abandoned at the right timing are all directed at one important experience.One of the crowning insights of the ancient Taoists is the awareness that we are at the most fluid and efficient when we are operating at the right moment.