The Dalai Lama interviewed by the late writer, actor, and performance artist Spalding Gray. This was from our first issue and the unconventional discussion set the tone for things to come. To wit:

Spalding Gray: Do you dream?

The Dalai Lama: Yes. A few days ago, for three nights in succession, I had some very clear dreams. One night in my dream I met my teacher from when I was a young boy. He was seventy-five years old then. And in my dream he was wearing a Western suit. It was something unexpected (long laugh). As usual, he was very kind. Another night my mother was in my dream with my elder brother, my younger brother, and myself, three of us there in Dharamsala where I live now. I was in my room and my mother was there. In my mind, my mother already prepared one momo (a Tibetan dumpling). So then I felt, “Oh, my mother will give us those momos made in Amdo style, which are especially delicious.” Amdo is the province where I was born. So you see, this is a very happy dream.

Spalding Gray:
Do you ever try to make your own dreams or control them?

The Dalai Lama: No, that I can’t do. Actually you see, occasionally I experience an awareness that I am dreaming in the dream itself, like a lucid dream.

Spalding Gray: Do you try to create that?

The Dalai Lama:
No, not deliberately. But sometimes I have these experiences of lucid dreaming where I have the mindfulness that it is a dream state. Sometimes it depends on the physical posture that you adopt.

Spalding Gray: In sleep?

The Dalai Lama:
Actually there are some methods for experiencing lucid dreaming. You should not be in a deep sleep. Not quite awake, not deep asleep. Then there is the possibility of having a clear dream. Also it is related to what you eat. As a Buddhist monk, I usually have no solid meal after lunch, no dinner. So that is also a benefit.

Spalding Gray:
When I passed your room last night, I saw six empty ice-cream sundae dishes outside your door.

Translator (after much laughter): It was members of the entourage.

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