Dream Yoga: transformation processes announce themselves mainly in dreams

Illustrations of practitioner of ancient Tibetan yoga. US public domain via wikimedia
Illustrations of practitioner of ancient Tibetan yoga. US public domain via wikimedia

Carl Jung understood that psychic transformations presents itself in dream form. He says: “Natural transformation processes announce themselves mainly in dreams.” (Carl Jung 9i para 235)

For Jung, dreams are coincident with the process of psychic transformation. Such transformation is a “long-drawn-out process of inner transformation and rebirth into another being. ” When Jung speaks of this ‘other being’ he is speaking of ‘the other person in ourselves-that larger and greater personality maturing within us, whom we have already met as the inner friend of the soul.” (ibid)

Both analytical psychology and Tibetan Buddhism encourage the use of the dream as a place and space of psychic transformation. In the image above, we see what appears to be an illustration of Tibetan dream yoga. Dream Yoga is a Tantric practice of Tibet. Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche says: “In dream yoga we are concerned with an even subtler psychic energy that underlies both wisdom and negative emotion.” Developing the “stability of mind” is the aim of the practice, as well as transformation of karmic traces.

In dream yoga, the understanding of karma is used transform the minds reaction to experience, “resulting in new karmic traces from which are generated dreams more conducive to spiritual practice.” (ibid)

Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche  says: “Dream yoga cuts attachment by reorganizing the perception and understanding of the object or situation, by altering the view and thus allowing the practitioner to see through the illusory appearance of an object to its radiant, light-like reality.”

There are four main foundational practices in dream yoga: Changing our karmic traces (transformation); Decrease grasping and aversion; Strengthening the intention to practice meditation; Developing joy happiness relative to the practice.


  1. Carl Jung, Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious – CW 9i  (1934–1954) (1981 2nd ed. Collected Works Vol.9 Part 1)
  2. The Tibetan Yogas Of Dream And Sleep by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, Mark Dahlby