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 [Sitting Practice]


 

Iddhi: The Dreaming Body

With the settled-down heart pure all round, clean all round, unspotted, shut off from the stench, grown soft and workable, steadfast, unshakably fixed, he bends down his mind to the conjuration of, the making for his own experience of a mind-made body.

Pali: So imamhā kāyā aññaṃ kāyaṃ abhinimmināti rupiṃ manomayaṃ sabbaṅga-paccaṅgiṃ ahīnindriyam.|| ||

He, from this body, conjures another body, material, mind-made, totally complete of limb, endowed with higher powers.

In the same way as a man pulling a reed from it's sheath would know, "This is the reed, this is the sheath," or,

In the same way as a man pulling a sword from it's scabbard would know, "This is the sword, this is the scabbard," or

In the same way as a snake sluffing off it's slough might know, "This is the slough, this is the snake."

With your settled-down heart pure all round, clean all round, unspotted, shut off from the stench, grown soft and workable, steadfast, unshakably fixed, bend down the mind to the conjuration of a mind-made body. From this body, conjure another body, material, mind-made, totally complete of limb, endowed with higher powers.

For those familiar with Castenada, this is analogis to the dream body only with the difference being that this is conjured from a deep meditative but awakened state rather than from within a dream.

Don Juan had described dreaming to me in various ways. The most obscure of the all now appears to me as being the one that defines it best. He said that dreaming is intrinsically the not-doing of sleep. And as such, dreaming affords practitioners the use of that portion of their lives spent in slumber. It is as if the dreamers no longer sleep. Yet no illness results from it. The dreamers do not lack sleep, but the effect of dreaming seems to be an increase of waking time, owing to the use of an alleged extra body, the dreaming body.

Don Juan had explained to me that the dreaming body is sometimes called the "double" or the "other," because it is a perfect replica of the dreamer's body. It is inherently the energy of a luminous being, a whitish, phantom like emanation, which is projected by the fixation of the second attention into a three-dimensional image of the body. Don Juan explained that the dreaming body is not a ghost, but as real as anything we deal with in the world. He said that the second attention is unavvoidably drawn to focus on our total being as a field of energy, and transforms that energy into anything suitable. The easiest thing is of course the image of the physical body, with which we are already thoroughly familiar from our daily lives and the use of our first attention. What channels the energy of our total being to produce anything that might be within the boundaries of possibility is known as will.

— Carlos Castaneda, The Eagle's Gift, pp 28-29.

Note that this is also helpful in understanding the statement for the 'wakeful watch' that:

During the majjhima (middle/magic) watch of the night, lie down in the lion posture (on the right side, with the head supported by the right arm, and with the legs one on top of the other so that one foot is over the other — bone on bone!) and, clearly conscious and wide awake, focus the mind on the time of rising up again.

and in developing memory while living in a body in the Satipatthana Sutta where it is said:

Again, beggars, deeper than that,
a beggar, departing or returning does it with cognizance; looking at or looking the other way, he does it with cognizance;
stretching or flexing, he does it with cognizance;
wearing cloak, bowl and upper-robe he does it with cognizance;
eating, drinking, biting, or tasting he does it with cognizance;
passing matter or passing water he does it with cognizance;
On the go, standing, sitting, asleep or awake, speaking or becoming silent he does it with cognizance.


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