I started Lucid Dreaming in my early twenties around about the time I had my first Astral Projection experience. Having either causes a very profound shift in the way one views life. For me it showed that reality in the general populous sense of the word was entirely mistaken. Unfortunately when one discusses these new gifts with people who are grounded in their own beliefs causes a myriad of reactions, the main one being that you are quite mad. Now I am a lot older and not concerned with peoples perception of me, I don’t mind writing about my experiences. Lucid Dreaming is a fascinating subject and if one is interested it is quite easy to learn. Like anything it just takes time. Once you’ve had your first one, most of the fear subsides assuming you have any in the first place but you will probably be hooked. I was; forty years ago and still am.
So. “What is a Lucid Dream”?
A Lucid Dream is one where you are completely aware that you are dreaming while you are asleep and in that state you are able to do anything you wish including the ability to fly and anything else that you can imagine once you are well practiced. A bit like being Superman I guess!
Before I explain the methods of Lucid Dreaming I suggest watching this short video which may open your eyes more to the nature of dreaming.
How to Lucid Dream
Human beings sleep and during that sleep they dream. Some people say they don’t dream but they do, it’s just that they don’t remember and that is the first point in being successful. You will have to put some effort in to remembering your dreams, by creating a dream journal; this is crucial. Dream recall is the foundation for the practice. I will explain how later in an ordered list of things to do, so stay with me, its not as complicated as it all sounds. Secondly one has to develop a method of checking reality as in MILD (Memory or Mnemonic Induced Lucid Dreaming) by using a ‘dream-sign‘ and/or the ability to stay awake on entering ones dream state WILD (Wake Induced Lucid Dreaming).
- Take a pen and sketch pad with you when you go to bed and leave it where you can get at it easily. Make sure you have a light source like a bedside lamp, not too bright, close so you can switch it on.There are usually three opportunities to recall a dream and it is up to you to find the most desirable.
- As you fall asleep you wake back up and recall having a dream. If you go back sleep you will probably forget it as is the case for all these situations.
- During the night you may wake up temporarily and again recall a dream.
- In the morning just as you are waking up you can often recall dreams.
In all of these cases, if you don’t take the opportunity to record the dreams, it is likely that you will forget them later.
Whatever dreams you have, jot down in your Dream Journal what you can remember in the format of an “Explanation of Dreams“. Make it short and precise with keywords which will help you to remember later. You can even draw pictures if it helps. You don’t have to spend too much time with this because you will want to get back to sleep. This will greatly increase dream recall in general and start to make you aware of the meaning of dreams for you personally.
Sometime during the day when you get a chance, have a look at what you have written and see if it brings back the dream. Over time you will be able to modify what you write in order to bring back the dream more clearly. Make this a constant practice if you can at least till you have your first bona fide lucid dream. Keeping a dream journal like this will help to train the mind to become more aware of the dream state especially when you are asleep which is precisely what is needed for a lucid dream.
The next thing to do is to create a dream-sign for yourself. No not a placard! Here’s a typical one but you can make up your own. During the day and as often as you can remember, say to yourself,”Am I Dreaming” and check to see if you are.This is important! This will form a habit that will start to happen during your dreams. One of the ways to check if you are dreaming is to see if you can ‘lift off the ground’ literally. Sounds crazy I know but one day you will do this in your dream because of the habit you have formed during the day and to your amazement you will lift off and start to fly.
This experience is mind blowing and will make you realise that you can do anything you want in your dream and that the dream-scape is really, really real. It is likely that the excitement of it will wake you up at first and make you feel frustrated because you can’t go straight back into your dream, but if you can manage to keep calm during the dream it can last quite a long time and you can have a great deal of fun. With practice you can visit places beyond your imagination.
There are other reasons for practicing Lucid Dreaming such as problem solving, spiritual awakening and the meaning of dreams which is touched upon in the Buddhist video below and in the books shown.
A WILD (Wake Induced Lucid Dream) is when you try to stay aware while you fall asleep which immediately causes you to be in a lucid dream state. Another term which is used is “Body asleep Mind awake”. This takes a lot of practice but is more efficient than MILD if you can do it.
There are several other techniques for lucid dreaming but these are the most basic and successful ones. You can also enhance the quality and quantity of lucid dreaming using Lucid Dreaming aids. click on this link for more information.
One last note, this is not fantasy but it is fantastic and it is for real.
Below are some books that are my favourites and some interesting videos on YouTube to give you some more insight. By the way, people who practice this call themselves ‘oneironauts’, Cool!
.. An alternative book about Lucid Dreaming or Dream Yoga by “Carlos Castaneda”.
The blue book is Steven Laberge’s original and best selling book which is the Lucid dreamers bible. The other book by LaBerge is his recent title which is more simple and contains a CD with guided meditation to help with the practice.
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