Program 19.08.15

13:30 Coffee / tea

14:00 Henk Blezer. Melancholia, Black Bile and Brown Phlegm
A complex ailment is in Tibetan called ‘bad kan smug po’ (phékèn moekpo): brown phlegm (disease). It seems rather typical for, if not exclusive to Tibetan medicine of the turn of the first millennium CE (it was not known in AyurvedicIndia at the time and as far as I know also not in China). I will however
argue that brown phlegm disorders are related to the better known Graeco-Arab category of black bile (μέλας χολή) afflictions, and hence to our melancholia—but, quite intriguingly, without the marked connotation of mental and mood disorders that the Graeco-Arab and European versions of
melancholia have.

15:00 Break

15:30 Valentina Perdomo. Tibetan Sleep & Dream Yoga
Keeping in line with the Tibetan Theme, this talk will be on Tibetan Sleep and Dream Yoga, also known as Dream Yoga and the Practice of Natural Light. Somewhat analogous to the western notion of Lucid Dreaming, these advanced meditative practices aim at maintaining awareness through (wake and) sleep. The greatest difference lies in the level of lucidity practitioners achieve. As per definition, lucid dreams are thought to occur exclusively during REM dreams. However, with Sleep & Dream Yoga practice, practitioners are taught to fall asleep entirely lucid and maintain this lucidity throughout deep sleep and dreams. This phenomenon goes against a basic premise in sleep research that sleep, aside from the occasional lucid dream, is an unaware affair. In this talk I will shortly elaborate on the background and phenomenology of this practice and describe a potential future research project to measure the Polysomnography (sleep EEG) of advanced Tibetan Sleep & Dream Yoga practitioners in a collaborative project with dr. Nida Chenagtsang (Sleep & Dream Yoga teacher) and dr. Lucia Talamini (sleep researcher).

16:30 All. Open discussion

17:00 Closure. Informal gathering