This depending on the approach you are using, on retreats it can be very helpful to maintain mindfulness at all times. The idea is not lucid dreaming, it is continuity. If one maintains mindfulness as one falls asleep it is easier to pick it up on awakening.
Yana wrote:Don't maintain awareness near sleep/in between sleep/or half sleep.When you sleep,sleep.Feel the drowsiness,let go and sleep.
I understand the importance of maintaining continuity having practiced this before,
but it is a set back if you haven't developed one pointed concentration. It is much better to develop mindfulness in a wake position than it is near sleep.Because,
What Happens When We Meditate?
Sometimes our mind wanders off but that's okay because we can bring it back to the object of our meditation.when we are near sleep we gradually lose control of our ability to bring the mind back to our object of meditation.So chances are we will run away with our wandering thoughts which often manifests itself through lucid dreaming because the mind,through active awareness is alert.
Lucid dreaming is wonderful experience for some people but not when we are aware of entering it.Often bringing up, just like Mmm mentioned,the sensation of being pressured out of the body,pulsing,etc
or terrifying images.Most people even those actively seeking to lucid dream have trouble or can't discern the beginning of a dream but given the amount of intensive training Buddhists have in meditation, mindfulness and in developing powerful concentration it is within our reach or beneath our reach
talking in terms of mental abilities and Right View.
Of course there is nothing wrong with maintaining continuity if you have developed one pointed concentration and can let go of every seriously strange things you encounter whether imaginary or real But if you haven't got to that stage yet than it can get in the way of your practices.For someone who is an extremely advanced mediator and only losses awareness during those few moments of deep sleep this is not a problem,he notes the beginning of the dream,the middle of the dream,and the ending of the dream.In fact he doesn't discern the dream as being any different from the waking state.He doesn't react to any thing he sees,any sounds,any beings, anything he just notes it and lets it go.because it's just a continuity no different from the waking state.
But If your not at this stage then you can just imagine the problem,when you start to see strange things and because one pointed concentration is not strong enough, you can't note and let go of it.This can give rise to fear,worry,restlessness and attachments.And in sleep it's twice the burden because you don't have your fully normal waking abilities to maintain concentration or pull yourself back together
.Unless of course your a very advanced meditator or just feel like your up for the challenge, which unfortunately i am not.
We all should practice Mindfulness but it's better to practice it in a position where there are less distractions,obstacles and hindrances.
When you meditate do you find a quiet and solitary place to meditate?
Of course there's nothing wrong with being thrown in the middle of a busy street with crowds of people,loud music,cars,smoke,fumes,noise,while sustaining a cut wound on one leg etc..
So why don't you?Because It's hard to concentrate.
The only thing that can guarantee success in both situations is our ability to maintain one pointed concentration.
If you have this then doesn't matter where you are.
If you don't then you should seek environments that can support,give rise to,and sustain one pointed concentration.Otherwise you'll end up dreading sleep like i did in the past,or still attached to the phenomenon like Mmm.Different people need different approaches and maintaining mindfulness of the breath near sleep is not for everybody.I know through personal observations that it's not for me.. not until i progress at least.The truly fortunate ones in my personal opinion are the people who can practice meditation and mindfulness in peace without experiencing any of these obstacles.