Lucid Dreaming

Very simply put, a lucid dream is a dream in which you are aware that you are dreaming. So long as you remain conscious of this fact you remain lucid (‘lucid’ is synonomous with ‘aware’ or ‘clarity’.) Lucidity is a sense or more a ‘knowing’ of your participation in dream reality, brought about by the realization that you’re dreaming.

The degree of your lucidity will vary between lucid dreams. You may be dimly aware that this is a dream, you may be consciously participating in a ‘normal dream’, you may have partial recognition and control, or you may be fully aware and awake inside your own dream world. This last is what most lucid dreamers aim for.

You’re likely to experience each of these in stages as you learn lucid dreaming, and each experience is a kind of breakthrough into greater awareness. As you increase this dreaming awareness, the more fully lucid dreams happen more regularly. For this reason lucid dreaming does get easier every time, just as with any practice you can get good at.

Lucid Dreaming implies a certain degree of dream control, though this also develops over time. Mostly because it takes a while for it to sink into your conscious awareness in a usable way that you can do anything, that you actually are control. But once you ‘get’ that, the possibilities are limitless!

Lucid Dreams can happen whenever regular dreams happen. When we sleep we go through a number of different cycle of consciousness, delving deep into our psyche and ‘resurfacing’ a number of times. There are typically around four or five major dream periods in a single night, approximately an hour and a half apart, but getting close together as the night progresses. Each period can contain multiple dreams, so there is plenty of opportunity to make the most of our dreams.

When we start training our dream recall, we can find ourselves becoming more conscious and even waking up in the periods in between cycles of sleep, where before we were unaware. This gives us an excellent opportunity to record dreams we would otherwise forget, furthering our dreaming memory, but not just that… It helps us to become lucid because we are becoming conscious at just the times which are most conducive to lucid dreaming!

Lucid dreams usually occur at around these times because we are far closer to our waking consciousness and able to activate our conscious mind more easily. Not only may we find ourselves becoming aware or fully lucid just prior to waking in these periods, they are also the times in which lucid dream induction can be the most effective. With practice you can re-enter the dream you just had consciously or instigate a new lucid dream through your intention, with little or no break in consciousness as you do so!

The really good news is that you can intentionally instigate or ‘induce’ lucid dreams. There are two main ways of doing this. With some training, you can enter directly into a lucid dream from the waking state. This is called ‘Wake Initiated Lucid Dreaming’ or WILD for short. This technique is very similar to many astral projection techniques in that you consciously transition from the waking to the sleeping state.

But most lucid dreaming techniques involve learning to ‘wake up’ within a normal dream, at which point you decide what you want to do from there. This is called ‘Dream Initiated Lucid Dreaming’ or DILD. There are a number of different ways of doing this, and some are more effective than others. Whatever you use to remind you that you’re dreaming, there is usually a point where your conscious awareness is triggered, or in other words you have a ‘lucid moment’.

For most lucid dreamers, various DILD techniques are the common practice, and with some experience one can then train in getting good at the WILD method. WILDs are typically sought after because they are on average as mind-blowing or moreso as fully lucid DILD experiences. They have also been called ‘Lucid Dream Projections’ because you are projecting directly into a lucid dream with full awareness.

Remember how I said *anything* is possible in a Lucid Dream? Well, it is, but only if you *believe* that. What you believe in a Lucid Dream is very powerful, because your thoughts will create that reality virtually instantly. And this includes limiting beliefs too. As Henry Ford said: “Believe you can, believe you can’t; either way you’re right!” And don’t forget: “the impossible is achieved by those who believe it possible.”

For example, you might be merrily flying along and think, “but this is impossible” – only to find the next moment you are plummeting to the ground – because you just *made it* impossible! But wait, you rethink: “it was possible a moment ago, so it must be possible after all.” Ah, now you’re flying again! See what I mean?

This has more subtle implications when we start to attempt greater dream control. Initially we may need to use tricks like looking away and back again to convince ourselves that the change we desire is possible. With more practice however, we can focus the power of belief and *will* changes to happen as we’re looking at them. It’s more convenient and it’s more fun to watch. Because I have to say, morphing dream objects, characters and environments looks *really cool!* (As does creating out of thin air.)

In your initial Lucid Dreaming experiences, you *may* have only limited control, but this is mostly due to unfamiliarity. We have become accustomed to the limitations of physical life. But as you try a few things and you start to find anything is possible, your confidence builds. And what is confidence if not a *belief* in your own ability?

It’s important to be very careful what you believe about Lucid Dreaming, especially to begin with, as it will affect your experience. Don’t take all the information that you read on the subject at face value if it implies a ‘cannot’ – you could just be blindly picking up someone elses limiting beliefs.

For example, can you say your own name in a Lucid Dream? Yes! But an early dream researcher and author wrote that you couldn’t, and whoever believed him couldn’t either! But dream researcher Stephen LaBerge put this superstition to the test without believing it and of course succeeded. Like Stevie Wonder said: “If you believe in things that you don’t understand, then you suffer. Superstition ain’t the way.”

Another example I’ve seen online is “lucid dreamers do not have complete control over their dreams.” This is truly a terrible thing to tell beginners, because they might believe it and not even try! No, while it’s certainly true that not all lucid dreamers have complete control, I want to stress it is a *learnable skill*! I’ve had many Lucid Dreams where I’ve created the dream landscape *as* I’m walking through it, and countless others where I’ve changed *any* facet of the dream I like.

So that’s the Third Key to Lucid Dreaming: *BELIEF*. Use it, don’t be used by it.

Probably the greatest thing about Lucid Dreaming is that once you recognize you’re inside a dream, you can change or create whatever you like. By becoming aware of your ability to choose and exercising that will, you can experience just what you want to experience! If you consider that for a moment, you’ll see it’s a very powerful idea. Not many people get a chance to experience their desires with such little effort.

It really is like your own ‘Personal Virtual Reality’, a holodeck with flexibility and realism far exceeding the most advanced of computer simulations. The possibilities that open up for exploring the your own fantasies, ideas, inventions, creativity, knowledge, self-growth and insights are truly mind-boggling to begin with. With so many options and applications, it can easily become a matter of where to start!

But at the same time, I think this is best thing about lucid dreams – you can do anything, and I mean anything! There aren’t any limits or boundaries to your experiences as there are here in the physical world. Nor is there a time delay to what you decide to manifest – everything is created virtually instantly as you put forth your desire for it. It’s hard to describe just how fulfilling and freedom engendering this kind of experience is. Not to mention really really really fun!!!

There is an important underlying factor that makes all Lucid Dreaming techniques work. Whatever you do to induce a Lucid Dream confirms to your mind that you are serious about having one. The effectiveness of any technique comes down to this: how strongly are you confirming your intent to have a Lucid Dream with it?

Perhaps the simplest technique is to tell yourself as you are going to sleep, “I will wake up in my dreams tonight.” And yet, depending on the emotion you put behind this statement, your subconscious might not take you all that seriously… Other techniques that require more effort have greater success rate because they send the message far more strongly and/or consistently.

What this means is; it is the *intent*, rather than the techniques themselves, that will trigger a Lucid Dream. Of course, this doesn’t mean you can abandon these practices and hope for the best, on the contrary, it simply means you are proving your intent by keeping them up. The best results will thus be achieved if you use a combination of practices on a regular basis, showing your unwavering intent.

Initial Lucid Dream experiences can happen when you’re not expecting them, often because your mind has got the message already and has been busy in the background tweaking the conditions that will allow for lucidity. To put it another way, there may be a few psychological factors that need to be rearranged by the mind through normal dreams first, and this process is put in motion by your intent.

There are a few other simple ways to amplify the strength of your ‘intent signal’. The first is through associating significance. Think of the most important thing in your life, then think about Lucid Dreaming at the same time, emphasizing the sheer importance of both in your life. Next, think about something you desire more than anything else, and emphasize you yearn for Lucid Dreaming with equal strength.

Both of these will put more emotion into your intent, and emotion is energy in motion! The more emotion you are able to muster up, the greater you create a focussed mental energy state of pure intent, causing the desired result to manifest itself. A mindset of ‘I will achieve my desire no matter what’ is actively in motion.

One more optional way to amplify your message it to quiet your ‘internal dialogue’ while practicing any technique or the exercise above. Without other thoughts competing for attention, your mind can focus far more directly on your request. This is also the basis for hypnosis, where a specific thought or belief is given total attention, allowing it to take root without any competing thoughts.

One great thing about intent is that once you put it in motion it is self-reinforcing. Through intent you keep up with your practices, and practicing confirms your intent! The only tricky part is starting, and that’s where *you* putting in as much emotional yearning and significance will really help get things going.

Now we have the Second Key to Lucid Dreaming: *INTENT*.

It’s actually quite tricky to use words to describe the sense of wonder that comes with a fully lucid dream… Well, let me try to explain anyway…

Once you’re lucid, the whole feeling and experience of your dream reality changes. All the colours become bright and vivid, and the sounds become crisp and clear. Both your mind and body are buzzing with inspiration and energy, and your dream world has amazing detail and clarity! Everything is as real as waking life, or more so.. The transformation is beautiful and instantaneous… The feeling of a lucid dream is nothing short of exciting, empowering and envigorating all at once!

Of course, not all lucid dreams are like this, the quality of lucidity varies, especially for beginners. But the great things is, as you have more and more lucid dreams, your dreaming focus and dreaming attention will improve consistently, which basically means just about every lucid dream you have is better and clearer. This kind of development stays with you, and once developed, will produce awesome lucid dreams on a regular basis!

Imagine the wonder and joy of waking up inside your own dream reality simply by realizing that you’re dreaming – knowing you can consciously create whatever experience you desire… and doing it, instantly. Now that’s what lucid dreaming is all about!