Day 38

Sutra 1.38

स्वप्ननिद्राज्ञानालम्बनं वा॥३८॥

svapnanidrājñānaālambana vā


  1. Or, support the mind with knowledge of deep sleep and dreams.- CT
  2. Or by concentrating on an experience had during dream or deep sleep. -SS
  3. Or [the mind can become steady when it has] the knowledge attained from dreams and sleep as its support. -EFB


svapna- dream
nidrā- deep sleep
jñāna- knowledge

Key Concepts:

The list that we are discussing now is the means for cultivating a peaceful mind. 

  1. one-pointedness, fixing the mind on one object {OM being the highest object} 1.32
  2. appropriate attitudes of friendliness, compassion, delight, and dispassion 1.33
  3. working with the breath 1.34
  4. one-pointedness on a supersensuous experience 1.35
  5. one-pointedness on a luminous and blissful cognition 1.36  
  6. one-pointedness on a great soul 1.37
  7. one-pointedness on dreams and deep sleep 1.37        

There are three different takes on this sutra. Patanjali doesn’t offer much explanation, however, some commentators have made speculations as to how this sutra should or could be interpreted.

Dreams of the divine. Sometimes at night, we have dreams of the Divine, or we have dreams about something Divine. When we wake we can remember these dreams, and it brings peace to our mind. 

The tranquility of sleep. When we sleep we experience the cessation of thoughts {sometimes}. In our waking life, we can mimic this state, bringing stillness to our mind. 

Realizing the dream of the awakened state. When we dream, it often feels very real to us. Even after waking you may still feel the emotion of the dream, you remember the dream. This is an opportunity to realize that what we experience in our waking life is a dream as well. 


1. Sankalpa

2. Prayer Ritual

3. Asana:

Practice 10X Rounds

4. Mantra:

  1. Use your mantra. 
  2. Say your mantra to yourself 5 times out loud. 
  3. Say your mantra in a whisper 5 times. 
  4. Say your mantra silently in your mind 5 times.      

*When you catch your mind engaged in an activity that you find harmful, use your mantra to reset your mind. 

5. Pranayama:

Dirga Pranayam

Dirga Pranayam is the full Yogic Breath. 

  1. Start ujjayi, create a nice long breath, balancing the inhalation and exhalation. 
  2. Visualize in the space between the bottom of your ribs and your navel as the central point of your being. 
  3. As you inhale feel the energetic body expanding out, spherically, in all directions. (3-Dimensionally)
  4. Pause-Kumbhaka- spontaneously
  5. Let the exhale come naturally, feel the energetic body contracting back into the body at the central point of your being. 
  6. Kumbhaka -spontaneous pause.
  7. Reapeat for 5 minutes noticing the feeling of continual expanding and contracting of your being in a rhythmic way. 

6. Meditation:

  1. Draw your attention into yourself. Removing your awareness of the objects of your senses.
  2. Focus your minds eye on your object of meditation or on OM.
  3. Practice for 10 minutes. 
  4. When you feel your mind wander be so gentle in bringing it back. *Remember we are like infants in this journey. Treat yourself as you would your own child. 
  5. End by touching your heart and repeating your name 3 times. 

7. Reflection

Practice for a few days and come back later to reflect on the experience.

Dream Yoga (Look back at day 10 for more info.)

  1. Process your days events prior to sleep.   
  2. Sleep on the right side. 
  3. Scan your body and release any tension. 
  4. Extend the right hand out with the index finger lifted. 
  5. Rest your mind in your heart, maybe you touch your heart. 
  6. Slowly bring the tip of your finger to the tip of your nose. 
  7. Pray, ask for guidance and the ability to remember your dreams. 
  8. Sleep.
  9. Upon waking do not move right away, reflect. 
  10. Set an attention for your day. 

As you get better with this practice  you will be able to  recognize yourself as dreaming, when you are having a dream. The next step once recognizing the dream is to practice meditation in the dream. Whoa! 

This translates to recognizing that our waking life also has qualities of a dream. (This is a very advanced yogic practice. If you are interested practice daily and you will get better and better, eventually being able to control the dream and meditate in the dream)

  1. Do you ever have divine dreams?
  2. Have you ever had a dream that felt so real that when you woke up you were not sure if it was a dream or not? Or have you ever had the emotional state of a dream continue one you are awake?
  3. What do you think these experiences are? 
  4. Come back later, after you have had some time to practice dream yoga, and reflect on your experience. 

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