Last night I fell asleep and had a dream within a dream.
In the dream I had lain down and fallen asleep listening to music through some kind of speakers or earbuds, so I was deeply immersed, bathing, in the music when I fell asleep. When I woke up it was 3 in the afternoon the next day and the only reason I had woken up was because someone had come in my room (this is all in the dream) and sat on my bed- maybe to see if I was awake or up. I couldn't believe it was so late and that I had slept so long but I was totally blissed out. I had been dreaming that I was in a timeless place- or experience- of utter peace, bathed in a brilliant silvery golden light. A place of "enlightenment"... That was all I saw and felt. It went on and on but there was no time. I was happy to see the person who had come in my room, a dream character, someone I loved deeply. I was excited to tell him of my dream and share the wonder and gratitude I was feeling.
I woke up to this reality shortly thereafter. The experience of the vision was clear and strong and felt like the most real part of the whole experience of "dreaming". I was blissed out, still smiling when I woke up, still filled with joy and gratitude.
That was my dream. Beyond that, as I write this I have an awareness that something has shifted inside me since my birthday on January 8. I woke up feeling unexpectedly joyful that day and have had long periods of it since then. I am a strongly emotional person and I feel deeply but I have rarely, if ever, used the word "joy" to describe my inner state of being. I have said I am happy, I feel great, fantastic, wonderful, blissed out at times, but I don't know if I have ever said "I feel joyful today". I have used it to describe others, or to describe music, or some other experience but I don't think I have ever said it about myself! I like this feeling.
As an afterthought I need to add that I have been reading a pretty amazing book by John Edmonds from New Zealand who was clinically dead for around 25 minutes and had a near death experience. I have been reading his book Beyond the Horizon every night before I fall asleep. I kept drifting off as I was reading it last night and I remember that it crossed my mind wondering if reading these words could trigger an internal experience beyond just gathering information or a deeper of affirmation of things I already believe or on some deep level know to be true. When I woke up I felt that what I was reading had definitely influenced my visionary dreamstate.