Classic and Contemporary Buddhist Works

Dreaming in the Lotus - Praise

Buddhist Dream Narrative, Imagery, and Practice

“The author, a specialist of Asian culture and language and dream analysis, explores the powerful role that dreams play in Indo-Tibetan Buddhism. She also explores lucid dreaming and the complex function of dreams in the biographies of Buddhist figures. Highly interesting and practical in its applications.”—The Beacon

“Excellent. I strongly recommend it for anyone desiring to enter into the world of dream studies.”—Tibet Journal

Dreaming in the Lotus is a special gift to dreamworkers of the world from an outstanding scholar of Asian cultures. This unique book makes significant Indo-Tibetan texts available for the first time in English and the authors perceptive commentary renders them accessible to the general as well as the academic reader. Remarkable new insights emerge frequently, especially in regard to gender, ritual, biography as a genre, lucidity and early medical approaches to dreaming. We would have longed for such a book had we known it could be written.”—Carol Schreier Rupprecht, Ph.D., professor, author, and editor of Feminist Archetypal Theory and The Dream and the Text, and former President of the Association for the Study of Dreams

“Dr. Young has presented a brilliant analysis of the role of dreams in Buddhism based on the sacred biographies of important Indo-Tibetan saints.... A final though-provoking chapter studies the role of gender in examining dreams and their interpretations, looking at the roles that female figures play in the dreams and the ways that women's dreams are interpreted by men... Dr. Young has made many wonderful discoveries about the nature of dreams in Buddhist thought and practice covering an amazing number of texts and a broad timeframe...packed with rich interpretive insights.”—Dr. Natalie M. Hauptman, The Manhattan School of Music

Serinity Young has written a scholarly and very readable analysis of the function of dreams as an integral aspect of Buddhisms spiritual teachings and practices. After an informative analysis of how, in Buddhism, dreams shape the understanding of the waking world, she shows their specific role in both the public and private spheres of Tibetan Buddhism. Especially interesting is her discussion of how dreaming became the formalized practice known as Dream Yoga—a practice designed, as she says, to harness all aspects of human consciousness in order to direct it toward enlightenment. Anyone with an interest in dreams or dream interpretation—and especially how these have been vested with religious authority in Buddhism—will find many suggestive insights in Youngs book.”—Ainslie T. Embree, Columbia University, and former Cultural Affairs Officer, U.S. Embassy, New Delhi, India

“Serinity Young has written an elegant and engaging study of the vital role dreams and dreaming have played in the Buddhist tradition. Dreaming in the Lotus is a work of exceptional scholarship, analyzing and evaluating a wide variety of religious, medical, and literary texts which have never before been made available to a broad Western audience. The book includes especially compelling discussions of dreams as signs of spiritual accomplishment, elite versus popular views of dreaming, and the intriguing gender differences in dream imagery and experience. Young’s work will be of great value to scholars in religious studies, psychology, anthropology, East Asian studies, and many other academic fields. More generally, Dreaming in the Lotus should appeal to anyone interested in learning more about the mysteries of the dreaming imagination.”—Kelly Bulkeley, Ph.D., Religious Studies Department, Santa Clara University and author of Spiritual Dreaming: A Cross-cultural and Historical Journey

“This well-written and very thoroughly researched introduction to Indo-Buddhist dreaming should be a part of every dream researchers library. Particular emphasis is given to the role of women in dreams and gender tensions that underlie the abundance of female imagery found among male dreamers. Women are presented as empowered dreamers whose dreams are most frequently controlled by male interpretations. While there is no unitary view of dreaming in Buddhism, [Dr. Young] shows clearly that dreaming has long been central to the spiritual development of Buddhist practitioner, from dream narratives concerning the life of the Buddha to dream theory in contemporary Tibetan teachings. Not only does it offer important theoretical views on dreaming, but it gives a needed survey of dreaming that has long been needed for western readers. This is a major contribution to the rich and complex role of dreaming in the religions of India and Tibet-a crucial work which offers a diversity of perspectives while providing a clear guide to additional research materials in the area.”—Lee Irwin, Associate Professor, Philosophy & Religious Studies Department, College of Charleston and author of The Dream Seekers: Native American Visionary Traditions of the Great Plains

“‘There would be no Buddha and no Buddhism without dreams. Serinity Youngs thought-provoking study of dreams in the sacred biographies of Indo-Tibetan Buddhism makes a very strong case to support that sweeping claim. She has made an important contribution to Buddhist Studies and to dream research. The book will acquaint students and scholars of Buddhism with important issues about dreams and dream research and how they relate to the Indo-Tibetan religious context. This excellent work. offers dream researchers crucial historical and theoretical background on dreams and dreaming in Eastern religion.”—Journal of Buddhist Ethics

“A brilliant analysis of the role of dreams in Buddhism. Packed with rich interpretive insights. An important book that will be welcomed by many with an interest in evolving Buddhist perspectives on dreaming.”—Dream Network

A thoughtful exploration of dreams and visions in the context of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist practice. What distinguishes this book is the clear insistence on understanding these phenomena within their cultural context before embarking on cross-cultural exploration.”—The Middle Way

This scholarly yet highly readable and intelligent book examines the powerful role that dreams play in Buddhist culture and religion... Filled with interesting insights, sound research, and beautiful images, this book is an important addition to Buddhist scholarship.”—Choice 

"[A] complex and provocative study of dream in Tibetan Buddhism... Of particular interest is her extended treatment of gender in relation to dreams, revealing differences between what men and women dream about, how the culture validates their dreams, and the sharp contrast between female powers as experienced in men’s dreams and social reality.”—Shambhala Sun

Dreams play an uncelebrated but important role in the Buddhist tradition. Dreaming in the Lotus uses dream as a vehicle to understand Buddhism while simultaneously tracing Buddhism’s understanding of dreams. Full of examples of dreams and dream imagery from throughout Buddhist history, Dreaming in the Lotus shows that dreaming itself can be a practice for awakening... As Dr. Young progresses through Theravada and into the Tibetan tradition, her discussion becomes more and more intriguing.”—Tricycle