There are several ways we can use dreams to inform waking life.
DREAMS REFLECT PARTS OF OURSELVES
We can take the different dream elements as representing parts of ourselves, and explore it. This is typical dream work, and it helps us get to know the different dynamics and elements in ourselves, and relate to them in a more intentional way.
LUCID DREAMING AS A WAY TO NOTICE OUR NATURE
We can engage in lucid dreaming, and notice we dream as we dream. Here, we can intentionally notice everything in the dream as happening within and as consciousness – within and as what we are.
And we can bring that with us into waking life. In waking life too, we can notice all our experiences – the world as it appears to us – as happening within and as consciousness, within and as what we are.
(I personally prefer simpler and more direct paths, although I know some find this useful.)
EXPLORE WAKING LIFE AS WE WOULD A DREAM
We can approach waking life as a dream in two different ways.
We can explore waking life as we would a dream. What if my waking life was a dream? What if all the different elements in waking life mirrored me? What does it say about me? How can I get to know these parts of me? How can I relate to them more intentionally? How can I befriend these parts of me?
This is what we also do in projection work, when we explore our sense fields, and in practices like ho’oponopono and tonglen.
HOLDING OUR WAKING LIFE MORE LIGHTLY
We can use dreams as a way to hold our waking life a little more lightly (if we hold it tightly) and see it more as an exploration and adventure.
For instance, Alan Watts’ dream-related thought experiment can help us shift how we relate to waking life. If I could chose my dreams, what would I chose?
First, I would probably want to have wish-fulfilling dreams. Then, I would get a bit tired of it and add in elements of surprise and challenges.
And after a while, I may end up with dreams that are very similar to waking life – with elements of pleasure, contentment, challenges, surprises, and so on.
DREAM WORK INFORMING OUR WAKING LIFE
In each of these ways, and probably many more, dreams and our exploration of dreams can inform our daily life.
Dreams & waking life: transfering insights from one to the other
There are several ways to transfer insights between dreams and waking life.
lucid dreaming, notice all as consciousness, transfer to waking life / see waking life as a dream, hold more lightly, explore, adventure, / see waking life as a dream II – reflections of myself / explore dreams in conventional way, reflect me,