Steve Racicot – The Root Bottom in Lucid Dreaming

For several days before I had the following dream, I had been reading The Three Pillars of Zen by Phillip Kapleau. In this book I was fascinated by the Zen Master Bassui’s sermon on One Mind. In this talk Bassui exhorts his students to resolutely push on to the root bottom where they would discover that their own mind is itself the Buddha, the Void-Universe.

The Dream

…we are walking down a stairway inside a house. At the bottom of the stairs are two doors. It is clear I have a choice. I choose the right hand door and open it. Behind it is another door. There are many pictures hanging on this door. I open this door, too, and again behind it is another door. I open this door and behind it is another door. At this point I realize, “Oh, this has happened to me in dreams.” Then, “Oh, this is a dream!” I open this last door and find myself outside, fully conscious that I am dreaming.

I dive into the earth and begin swimming down through the earth. My idea is that I will swim down to the root bottom. I will discover my true self. The earth is very thick around me, yet I move easily through its thick darkness. Again I resolve to go on to the root bottom and discover my true self. Far ahead I see a light and I head towards it. Instead of swimming I am now flying. I have the feeling that this light ahead of me is the sun. I am moving fast down a tunnel toward the light. Bright gold light streams up the tunnel past me. In the light there are many black birds flying toward me.

When we meet, the birds fly past, all around me. The light is getting brighter. Now I have the thought that maybe the light is the real sun and I am waking up, but I tell myself, I never wake up with the sun already risen. (My wife and I are early risers.) I conclude I am still dreaming. I resolve to go on. I focus on the light, but I feel some outside influence awakening me. “No, no,” I cry. I feel I am getting close to the source and don’t want to be awakened. (In the waking world, my wife, Anna, has gotten up and come back to bed. She tells me this when I really awaken. This was probably the “outside influence.”) At any rate, I now dream that I awaken back on the ground near where I dove into it. I am weeping and distraught because I wanted to go on.

My wife and son are there and Anna asks me what the matter is. I tell her I was getting close to the source and something woke me. I experience a couple of more false awakenings and then really do awaken…

When I really woke up, my body felt hot and cold and shaky all at the same time. All I wanted to do was to meditate and pray, but I forced myself to record my dream for our dream group. It was very difficult to write. I kept using the wrong letters, etc.

Then, after recording my dream, Anna and I meditated. I began experiencing a constant feeling like a sexual orgasm, but I felt this orgasm in my heart instead of my genitals. After meditation, as the morning progressed, I kept feeling orgasmic waves of energy in my heart and occasionally also in my sex center at the same time.

At breakfast I didn’t feel like eating. I just had no desire for food. I was not in my normal state of consciousness most of the morning. Later that morning at an event where we interacted with many people, I experienced an unusually strong sense of appreciation for everyone I talked to. Then, sometime around mid day, there came a moment where I actually felt a change in my consciousness and found myself back in my regular way of perceiving life.