Classic and Contemporary Buddhist Works

Nightly Wisdom - Preface

Buddhist Inspirations for Sleeping, Dreaming, and Waking Up

Preface

Human beings the world over have always found the nighttime—and its attendant activities of sleeping, dreaming, and waking up—mysterious and rich with mystical possibility. The Buddhist tradition has explored this realm in particular detail. In fact, the name Buddha means simply “the one who has awakened” and enlightenment itself is often literarily portrayed as the radiant full moon, lighting our way through the blinding black of night. Buddhist masters have for centuries held out the intriguing possibility that sleep itself can be yet another form of practice, another field for us to cultivate wisdom and compassion, while playing freely in the samadhi of dream.

Nightly Wisdom goes deep into the wealth of Buddhist inspirations on these powerful topics, offering encouragement  and clear teaching on lucid dreaming and Tibetan “dream yoga”; gentle guidance on relaxing into restful sleep and awakening from the suffering dream of separateness; as well as nighttime poetry and prose whose sources span time and space from ancient Asia and the Buddha himself to some of the brightest lights in Buddhism’s Western skies.

I invite you to place Nightly Wisdom on your bedside table, so  that you can make a practice of reading a passage or two before you close your eyes for the evening. Let the sage words of these accomplished explorers of the mind sink in, and let your sleep be suffused with a virtue that can be renewed in the morning and carried on throughout each day.

May this book become a helpful guide, a trusted companion, for anyone who has ever dreamed of waking up to the entirety of life or wondered how to best fill with luminous wisdom that third of our lives we all spend in bed.

Josh Bartok
Wisdom Publications
Somerville, Massachusetts

 

How to cite this document:
© Josh Bartok, Nightly Wisdom (Wisdom Publications, 2008)

Creative Commons License
Nightly Wisdom by Josh Bartok is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at http://www.wisdompubs.org/book/nightly-wisdom.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.wisdompubs.org/terms-use.