The Art of Dreaming

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The Art of Dreaming
The art of dreaming.JPG
Cover of HarperPerennial edition (paperback)
AuthorCarlos Castaneda
CountryUnited States
Publication date
Media typePrint (Hardcover and Paperback)
Preceded byThe Power of Silence 
Followed byMagical Passes 

The Art of Dreaming is a 1993 book by the anthropologist Carlos Castaneda.[1] It details events and techniques during a period of the author's apprenticeship with the Yaqui Indian sorcerer, don Juan Matus, between 1960 and 1973.


The Art of Dreaming describes the steps needed to master the control and consciousness of dreams. The Toltecs of Don Juan Matus' lineage believed that there are seven barriers to awareness, which they termed The Seven Gates of Dreaming. In The Art of Dreaming Castaneda describes extensively how a state called Total Awareness can be achieved by means of dreaming.

According to Castaneda there are 7 Gates of Dreaming, or obstacles to awareness, which when overcome yield total awareness. Four of the Gates of Dreaming are discussed in The Art of Dreaming. What follows is not so much a technique in achieving lucidity, but rather the practical application of lucid dreaming. By acting a certain way while dreaming, one can cause psychosomatic changes in one's being, including an alternate way of dying.

What follows is a point-form summary of the philosophy surrounding Toltec dreaming as a way of "Sorcery that is a return to Paradise".[This quote needs a citation]

  • 1st Gate of Dreaming (stabilization of the dreaming body): Arrived at when one perceives one's hands in a dream. Solved when one is able to shift the focus from the hands to another dream object and return it to the hands, all repeated a few times. Crossed when one is able to induce a state of darkness and a feeling of increased weight while falling asleep. Location in the body – in the area at the base of the V formed by pulling the big and second toes of one foot to the sides.[citation needed]
  • 2nd Gate of Dreaming (utilizing the dreaming body): Arrived at when one's dream objects start changing into something else. Solved when one is able to isolate a Scout and follow it to the realm of Inorganic Beings. Crossed when one is able to fall asleep without losing consciousness. It is also referred to the activity of dreaming together with other practitioners. Location in the body – in the inside area of the calf.[citation needed]
  • 3rd Gate of Dreaming (traveling): This is what is often known as an "Out of body experience". Arrived at when one dreams of looking at oneself. Solved when the dreaming and physical bodies become one. Crossed when one is able to control the dreaming body in the physical realm and move around at ease. Location in the body – at the lowest part of the spinal column.[citation needed]
  • 4th Gate of Dreaming (sharing): This is the last gate explained in the book as such, and crossing it consists of being able to share the intended dream reality of other people. One has to have gathered enough strength into the dreaming body through the previous gates in order to travel to other people's dreams.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Castaneda, Carlos. The Art of Dreaming. New York: HarperCollins, 1993.