Michael Katz Psy.D. author of the introduction to, and editor of the book "Dream Yoga and the Practice of Natural Light" has been featured in Discovery channels' series "The Power of Dreams" and apppeared in a taped segment on Good Morning America. A student of Tibetan Buddhism for more than 25 years he is the only Western student authorized by renowned master of Dream Yoga Chogyal Nasmkhai Norbu to teach Dream Yoga, since 2002.
Michael has lectured extensively including at Harvard university, Smith college, and Amherst College. He has also taught "Dream Yoga" and "Lucid Dreaming" in the USA and internationally in more than 10 countries and on four continents thus far.
Michael is also the author of "The White Dolphin" a fictional book featuring dream communication between a dolphin and an environmental activist female character, and "The Crossing" a book of poetry. He is also currently completing a non fiction book about his experiences with Chogyal Namkhai Norbu and while teaching Dream yoga.
Excerpt the preface "Dream yoga and the Practice of Natural Light" 2nd edition
According to the masters, progress in the practices of dream yoga and the Dzogchen practice of natural light will allow us to realize a form of enlightenment as we become lucid and aware during the moments of sleep. Conversely, continued ignorance within the states of sleep and dreaming will ensure only continued rebirth within one of the realms of samsara.
One of the important messages of Dream Yoga and the Practice of Natural Light is the distinction between the Dzogchen awareness referred to as rigpa which arises from the practice of natural light, and the more relative but still important experience of lucidity. The lucidity experience, which may arise as a by-product of rigpa awareness or spontaneously due to karmic causes, assists in understanding the unreality of phenomena, which otherwise, during dream or the death experience, might be overwhelming. In the same way, we believe a nightmare to be real, but if we were to watch a similar scene within a movie, we would not necessarily be frightened.
Great Yogis who have mastered Dzogchen awareness meditation are able to liberate themselves directly into the great clear light at the moment of death. Practitioners who have at least developed the capacity for occasional lucid dreaming may still recognize the apparitions that arise within the sidpai bardo as illusory. Reportedly, at the time of death when the mental body is uncoupled from the physical body, all experiences are magnified by a factor of seven. At these moments, according to our teachers, there is still a possibility of achieving a form of liberation.
Even a few experiences of lucidity or, more ideally, seizing upon the lucid Dream State as an opportunity to practice meditation may lead to great opportunity. Alternatively, those who fail to recognize the illusory nature of the hallucinatory visions are apparently blown by karmically induced waves of desire and fear until they are reborn in one of the forms within cyclic existence