Tibetan dream work has an extensive history incorporating pre-Buddhist folk religion, Bon and Buddhism. Tibetans who experience problems with Nature spirits use dreams to resolve these, in addition to consulting with Oracles. The use of spirits and oracles is entrenched in Tibetan culture; there is a State Oracle, and each person has a birth spirit or protector spirit, which helps the person throughout his or her life. When people were disturbed by a negative spirit, they would call on their helping spirit, and whether this occurred in the waken state or dream state made little difference. This facility of working with spirits in the dream state still prevails amongst Tibetans today.
In our common view we see birth as some kind of beginning and death as the end, like some kind of cessation or disappearing, as if it was a straight line with a definite beginning and ending.
The Buddhist view however is circular. Birth is a new beginning, then we have being or existence, followed by death, which leads again to new creation, a new birth. So there is a connection between the end of something and a new arising, there is no break in between.
Any kind of phenomenon, all dual existence, is transitory, which implies that it is subject to change, to continuous change. But the change is never in a straight line, it is always attaining a circular movement.
Editor’s Note: Tarab Tulku, L.R.G.S, Dr.Phil., is a Tibetan lama, the eleventh in-carnation of the Tarab Tulku. Tarab is an abbreviation of the much longer name of a monastery in Tibet. Tulku means "reborn." He has been educated in Tibet at the University of Drepung Monastery, where he received the highest degree, Lharampa Geshe, in Buddhist philosophy and metaphysics, as well as in meditation disciplines (including Tantra). At present Tarab Tulku is the head of the Tibetan section of the Royal Library and of the Tibetan department of Copenhagen University. On the basis of his own profound experience and accumulated knowledge, Tarab Tulku has modified the original Tibetan Buddhist techniques and developed therapeutic meth-ods adapted to Western approaches, still integrating the essence of the esoteric meditation practices of Tibetan Buddhism.
Ancient knowledge and Western science Already in the 1930ies and 1940ies a well-known Tibetan scholar, Gendün Chöpel, expresses the view that there are important links between science and the ancient knowledge or wisdom of Buddhism. After Gendün Chöpel travelled in India and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), he wrote a book about his encounters. In it he mentioned that there was a Buddhist Pandhita living in Sri Lanka, who gained incredible faith in Buddhism only after he had studied Western science. Apparently the Pandhita had said that “Buddhism and Western Science go hand in hand”, and that “if they run together, they will support each other”, and “that they can even make great leaps together”.
Questions to Tarab Tulku Rinpoche about the common basis of eastern wisdom tradition and western science, about their future collaboration, as well as about globalization and the consequences of an application of universal knowledge to personal development.
Question: What is your aim for the outcome of this conference?