Life certainly is an art, the greatest art. And the shortest formula is choiceless awareness – applicable to all situations, all problems.
Since I began reminding myself to be aware in my dreams, three things are coming up. First, my dreams seem to be retreating deeper into the depths of my sleep. Second, when awareness comes to the dreams, I immediately wake up. This can happen several times during the night, and then I am faced with trying to fall back to sleep again. Third, there seems to be a part of me that enjoys being entertained by the dreams and gleefully encourages the whole show as soon as sleep takes me over.
Can you shine your torch on this shadowy corner of my basement?
You have taken note of three things, but actually four things are happening and the fourth is the most important – the one that you are missing in your counting. A certain part in you is aware, is watching That part takes note of all these three things: that dreams go deeper into the unconscious; that you wake up every time you become aware that it is a dream; that there is a certain part in you which enjoys dreaming. All these three are true, but not as significant as the fourth – the one who has noted these three.
So go on doing what you are doing, just become aware of the fourth too. Pay more attention, give more juice to the fourth, because that is the only real thing in you – the watcher.
All these three things will slowly disappear. First, the dreams will slip deeper into the unconscious, but if you continue, they will come to the rock bottom of the unconscious – and then they cannot escape anymore, they will have to face you.
If you go on doing the exercise you will wake up each time because you become aware that “this is a dream.” It is significant that as your exercise become more and more solid, the number of times that you wake up will be fewer and fewer, because fewer and fewer dreams will be there.
Thirdly, as time goes on, you will see the one part which enjoys dreaming is really an unfulfilled part of your waking life which you have been not allowing. There are so many things to enjoy – many of them look childish, and you don’t enjoy them because of what people will say. Everybody enjoys a few things in his bathroom which he will not enjoy in public – making faces before the mirror….
If you allow this part of your mind which wants to enjoy…that simply means it is a repressed part from your very childhood that has been forced to be serious. No child is born serious. Every child is full of joy, and very ready for any entertainment. But the grown-up society wants him to grow up as soon as possible – if not in years, then at least in manners.