Lucid Dreaming Secrets Unveiled: Step by Step Guide to Lucid Dreaming
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Lucid Dreaming Secrets Unveiled: Step by Step Guide to Lucid Dreaming

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Lucid Dreaming Secrets Unveiled: Step by Step Guide to Lucid Dreaming Lucid Dreaming Secrets Unveiled: Step by Step Guide to Lucid Dreaming Document Transcript

  • YOUR GUIDE TO LUCID DREAMING ABOUT THIS GUIDE Lucid dreaming has the power to expand our minds, to bring deep insights and spiritual understanding. It is an extraordinary and exhilarating state of consciousness which can be attained by almost anyone who is prepared to dedicate time and persistence to learning and practising the techniques described in this guide. Learning the art of lucid dreaming has enormous benefits and this guide provides you with tips and techniques to teach yourself to have lucid dreams, as well as how to maintain lucidity once achieved and what you can do when in your lucid dream. ABOUT THE ACADEMY OF DREAMS The Academy of Dreams is a specialist dream centre dedicated to the teaching of dreaming from a number of perspectives. The Academy runs regular training courses, dreams groups and eBooks on the many different aspects and perspectives of a dream. The Academy of Dreams was set up by Debbie Winterbourne, an experienced and qualified dream expert in several fields including interpretation of dreams, lucid dreaming and dreaming from a spiritual perspective. Debbie has four degrees including a Masters Degree in Mysticism and Religious Experience and a degree in psychology. Page 2 of 35
  • YOUR GUIDE TO LUCID DREAMING CONTENTS The Meaning of Dreams ............................................................. 4 Sleep Cycles............................................................................. 7 What is Lucid Dreaming?............................................................ 9 What can you do with a Lucid Dream?........................................ 11 Lucid Dreams and the Psychic ................................................... 12 How do you know if you are having a lucid dream? ...................... 13 Are there any dangers to lucid dreaming?................................... 14 What is an out of body experience or astral projection? ................ 15 Remembering Your Dreams ...................................................... 17 How to check if you are lucid using State Tests ........................... 18 Seventeen techniques on how to encourage your lucid dreaming capability ............................................................................... 20 Maintaining Lucidity................................................................. 27 Recovering Your Dream Eyes .................................................... 29 What to Do in a Lucid Dream .................................................... 31 Conclusion ............................................................................. 35 Page 3 of 35
  • YOUR GUIDE TO LUCID DREAMING ANONYMOUS DREAM FABLE A dreamer found himself in an amusement park, confronting a magnificent roller coaster with a sign that read, ‘LIFE.’ The dreamer took a seat in the front car of the coaster and handed his ticket to the operator. "Ready to go?" the operator asked the dreamer. "You know, it's a hell of an illusion!" "I'm sure I can handle it," the dreamer said. "I've been on this ride before." With this, the roller coaster ride commenced. The scenario of the amusement park faded, and the dreamer found himself being born as an infant in another reality. Before long, the dreamer saw himself growing up, going to school, graduating, developing a career, getting married, having a family, growing old, and eventually dying. All of this seemed to cover a life span of roughly 70 or 80 years. As the dreamer finally felt his life fading away, he heard the sounds of the roller coaster slowing down in the background. In a moment, he found himself back in the amusement park, looking up at the ride operator from his seat in the roller coaster's front car. "Well," the operator asked him, "how was it? Learn anything?" "That was pretty incredible," the dreamer said, suddenly aware that he was experiencing this alternate reality in a dream. Now thoroughly lucid and hoping to take the dream further still, he handed the operator another ticket. "This time," he said, "I'd like to be someone else." The roller coaster started again, and the dreamer immediately woke up. Page 4 of 35
  • YOUR GUIDE TO LUCID DREAMING THE MEANING OF DREAMS We spend up to one third of our lives sleeping, yet few of us pay attention to the vast realisations that are available to us through our dreams. Some Tibetan Dream Yoga practitioners believe that paying attention to your dreams is another way to begin your quest on the spiritual path. With the average sleep time of seven or eight hours per night, all of us have the opportunity to use this time to pursue our own path to enlightenment. The stereotypical Western way to analyse the purpose of dreams is to believe that the dream is not ‘real’ but rather a metaphor that describes what is going on emotionally in your waking world. If we can understand the coded metaphor of the dream, we can begin to have a better understanding of what goes on in our waking worlds. This approach started with Freud and is still a mainstream part of psychology and psychotherapy today. But there is another way to view your dreams. If we can step back from our egos and emotional responses to the dream, then a very different perspective arises. The issue is not to understand the content of the dream, but rather to look at the very stuff of which dreams are made. Becoming lucid in your dreams gives you consciousness in a world that is an illusion. Tibetan Yogis believe that if we attain a realisation that our dream is not ‘real’, then it is just a short step towards questioning the same about the waking world. With pure lucidity or awareness in both the dream and waking worlds, we can even prepare for the experience of death, whereby at the point of dying we might also recognise the illusory quality of the death state and become enlightened. A lucid dream is therefore Page 5 of 35
  • YOUR GUIDE TO LUCID DREAMING more likely to be telling us something about the nature of consciousness itself than helping us to resolve our personal traumas. Page 6 of 35
  • YOUR GUIDE TO LUCID DREAMING SLEEP CYCLES Let us begin our lucid dreaming journey by learning about sleep cycles. The average sleep cycle lasts 90 minutes and takes us through five stages of sleep. It is the fifth stage which scientists refer to as ‘REM’ or Rapid Eye Movement. This stage signifies the onset of dreams, and although dreaming can occur in other parts of the sleep cycle, it is thought that the most vivid dreams occur during the REM period. Since the REM stage signifies the onset of dreams, it is thought that those who say that they do not dream, probably in fact just do not remember them, as their bodies still go through the REM stage of sleep. The period of REM in each sleep cycle becomes longer throughout the night, from about 10 minutes in the first sleep cycle to around 45 minutes in the last sleep cycle. Scientists have described the sleep cycle in five stages as follows: The Five Stages of Sleep Stage One – this is a transition state between wakefulness and the beginning of sleep. At this time we often experience ‘hypnagogic imagery’. These are simple images or geometric shapes that flash before our eyes. These images gradually get more and more complex until we move into Stage Two. Our brain waves have shifted from the waking ‘beta waves’ to the slower and more drowsy ‘theta waves’. The shift into Stage Two takes just a few minutes. Stage Two - during this stage the body gradually falls into sleep; the muscles become paralysed (with the exception of our vital organs including breathing and eye movements). Our brain waves become larger (‘alpha waves’). Page 7 of 35
  • YOUR GUIDE TO LUCID DREAMING Stage Three - this usually occurs 30 to 45 minutes after we fall asleep and is signified by the beginning of slow ‘delta’ brain waves. Stage Four - is where these delta waves are largest and slowest. This stage is often called “deep sleep” or “delta sleep”. The heart beats the slowest and there is the least brain activity. It is during this stage that sleepwalking usually occurs. Stage Five - after Stage Four, the stages reverse and we move back through Stage Three, Stage Two and then instead of awakening, we move into the fifth stage of sleep which is known as REM sleep. In contrast to Stage Four, during REM sleep the brain is not inactive but almost as active as being awake. Our eyes are moving rapidly backwards and forwards under our eyelids. This could be because we are scanning our dream environments. But our bodies are paralysed to prevent us acting out our dreams. At the end of the first period of REM, we sometimes wake up briefly, although it is rare to remember this in the morning. Then we start the sleep cycle all over again. Page 8 of 35
  • YOUR GUIDE TO LUCID DREAMING WHAT IS LUCID DREAMING? The term ‘lucid dream’ was created by a Dutch physician, Frederick van Eeden, who wrote about his own experiences in the Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research in 1913. The basic definition of lucid dreaming is: ‘dreaming whilst being aware that you are dreaming’. This awareness is a kind of conscious knowing that you are in a dream. It is thought that almost everyone has probably had a lucid dream at least once, without knowing the term for it. If you have never had a lucid dream, or only one or two in your life, then it is possible to become more proficient at lucid dreaming by taking the time to learn about the techniques described below. As there is awareness or consciousness in a lucid dream, the dreamer believes that they have much more control over their dream. Certainly dream lucidity can be compared to our lucidity in the waking world. If you believe that you have control in your waking life, there is likely to be the same level of control in your lucid dream. Others believe that the only thing we really have control over is ourselves. Thus it could be said that everything in both the waking world and the lucid dream is out of our control, except for our own behaviour. Consciousness or awareness of our state makes us less of a passive observer of the dream (or waking life) and lends us a hand to reflect upon our world and our part in it. Even scientists cannot deny the existence of lucid dreams as they have actually been scientifically proven to exist and occur during REM sleep. Scientists have attempted experiments such as connecting lucid dreamers up to electroencephalography (EEG) machines and measuring their brain and eye activity in laboratory conditions. EEG is Page 9 of 35
  • YOUR GUIDE TO LUCID DREAMING the measurement of electrical activity produced by the brain as recorded from electrodes placed on the scalp. Prior to sleep, the dreamer agrees to attempt to have a lucid dream and when he/she does so, to signal using their body to the outside world from the dream world that this is happening. As the body is largely paralysed during REM sleep it was initially difficult to work out what signal could be used. However the eyes are not paralysed, so it was thought that the lucid dreamer could, upon attaining lucidity, signal with her eyes that she was lucid. The dreamer is told to roll their dream eyes vertically three times, or to point their eyes left and right in quick succession. This is because vertical eye movements are rare in ordinary dreaming and so are unlikely to occur by chance. Another signal used is to tense the dream muscles in your dream hands. The tensing of the muscles can be done in a kind of Morse code signifying dots and longer dashes, thus even spelling out a word. It should be noted that all these signals are done by the lucid dreamers when they are, according to the EEG machine, sound asleep. The experiments proved that dreamers were able to send a message to the waking world when they were lucid in their dreams and has been verified and tested against scientific conditions. From these scientific experiments there is strong laboratory evidence that indicates that what happens in the inner world of dreams — and lucid dreams especially — can produce physical effects on the dreamer's brain no less real than those produced by corresponding events happening in the external world. This fits with the notion that dreams are normally experienced by the dreamer in just as real a way as the waking world, and sometimes dreamers report (especially with lucid dreams) that the dreams seem more real than physical reality itself. Page 10 of 35
  • YOUR GUIDE TO LUCID DREAMING WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH A LUCID DREAM? Learning the art of dreaming lucidly has enormous benefits. These include: 1. Practising and improving on skills from the waking world such as public speaking; 2. Become a creative explorer. Visit a museum in your dream and wonder at the works of art; compose a melody or a song and bring them back to the waking world! These dreams can be a true source of inspiration! 3. You can heal old conflicts. Meet up with a former partner / your parents. Have that conversation that you wished you’d had. You can even visit deceased loved ones and say the things that you had no time to say or were too scared to say; 4. Just explore! The dream world is a fascinating world to investigate. Travel where you want; meet who you want. Have fun – go on holiday, fly to the moon, find the end of a rainbow. Flying is the number one pleasurable activity of dreamers new to lucid dreaming. It is the one skill that humans would love to master! 5. Healing. Many people report that if they have an illness in the waking world, then they can visit the lucid dream and seek the help of a ‘lucid doctor’ or shaman. Or even try to heal themselves. From the scientific experiments we know that dreaming can have an effect on the physical body. Therefore a healing technique used in the dream could actually have a direct healing effect on the body in the waking world; 6. Find the meaning of life! Ask your dream what the truth is; who God is; what the purpose of life is; Page 11 of 35
  • YOUR GUIDE TO LUCID DREAMING LUCID DREAMS AND THE PSYCHIC Many people think that lucid dreaming is some kind of ‘psychic’ activity. Before we answer that question, it is a good idea to specify exactly what we mean by the word ‘psychic’. At The Academy of Dreams we believe that the word denotes another kind of a sense that exists outside of our five ‘normally recognised’ senses. There is plenty of current scientific research that is trying to prove the existence of a sixth sense such as telepathy. As the findings so far are not replicable in laboratory conditions 100% of the time, they cannot be said to accord with the current scientific paradigm. Nonetheless, the experiments do often produce results which are significantly greater than chance. In a lucid dream, we are not using our ‘five physical senses’ yet we do still somehow have the experience that we are seeing, hearing, touching etc. What are these dreams senses based on? Is this what we might call a psychic ability? Page 12 of 35
  • YOUR GUIDE TO LUCID DREAMING HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU ARE HAVING A LUCID DREAM? The best way to check whether you are lucid in the dream world is to do a ‘State Test’ (sometimes called a ‘Reality Test’). Examples of state tests include attempting to fly or switching on electric lights. Sometimes people remark to their dream characters that they are dreaming. This is a good signal that you are on your way to a lucid dream. We shall discuss state tests in more detail later on, but basically state tests are used to test whether the world before you is the dream world or the waking world. Most of us do not give a second’s thought as to whether we are awake or dreaming. As the dream world can seem just as ‘real’ as the waking world, it is important to understand the differences between the two worlds so that you do not ‘sleepwalk’ through your dreams, or indeed your waking life. Page 13 of 35
  • YOUR GUIDE TO LUCID DREAMING ARE THERE ANY DANGERS TO LUCID DREAMING? Some people think that by learning lucid dreaming, they are somehow ‘playing with their mind’. But there is no evidence to show that lucid dreaming is injurious to your health. On the contrary many lucid dreamers report joyful feelings whilst lucid, feelings which they carry back with them to the waking world. One potential side effect however, is that you may disturb your notion of what ‘reality’ is. The borders between waking and dreaming are weakened, and dreamers can become unsure of the difference between their conscious and subconscious minds, or reality and fantasy. Sometimes you need to make an effort to distinguish your waking memories from dream memories. This can be a bit unnerving for some people. However experience of the lucid dream is – in my view – a step towards true enlightenment. Recognising the lack of reality or illusory quality of the dream world, and then applying the same recognition to the waking world is an important step in many spiritual traditions such as Buddhism. If you find yourself becoming a bit disorientated from the practice of lucid dreaming, take a break for a while and relax. The lucid dream can be so exhilarating for some because they believe that they have absolute power over the dream world in a way that is more difficult in the waking world. For example as it is possible to make objects appear or disappear, or walk on water, you may begin to feel that you are invincible. Be careful that this sense of power does not carry over into the waking world in a way that may mean that your ego is becoming too controlling. Page 14 of 35
  • YOUR GUIDE TO LUCID DREAMING WHAT IS AN OUT OF BODY EXPERIENCE OR ASTRAL PROJECTION? IS IT THE SAME AS A LUCID DREAM? This is a rather thorny question! People who experience an ‘Out of Body Experience’ (OBE) often report that ‘they’ are floating above their bodies and seeing their bodies in the ‘physical world’. A typical OBE might happen as part of a near death experience where the mind or organ of perception has somehow separated from the physical body. But what type of perception is enabling them to see their physical bodies? Some believe it is ‘normal vision’ but that sense of vision has separated from their bodies. Others believe that their mind has travelled to the ‘astral plane’ and they are therefore viewing their physical bodies from the astral. But if they are viewing their physical bodies from the astral plane, are they seeing their bodies as they would see them with their physical eyes, or are they seeing an ‘astral counterpart’ of the physical body? If the latter, then how is this different from viewing your physical body from the dream state? As perhaps the astral plane is the same place or state of consciousness as the dream world. Many reports of OBEs or astral travel occur when the person is drowsy or asleep, perhaps further indicating that the OBE is the same thing as a dream experience. Whatever terminology we use, it could be that what we mean by both lucid dreaming, ordinary dreaming, astral travel and the OBE is simply a shift in perception to the world beneath its material physical appearance. There are many different ways to induce an OBE, astral experience or a feeling of the mind separating from the body. They mostly all involve doing something to keep the mind awake as the body falls asleep. You need to pay attention to your conscious awareness whilst your physical body falls asleep. In this way you can go straight from Page 15 of 35
  • YOUR GUIDE TO LUCID DREAMING the waking state to conscious awareness that you are dreaming (i.e. a lucid dream). You will be able to witness yourself going through the stages of sleep paralysis and you may get a tingling and buzzing sensation. As you become body starts to become paralysed, try to separate your dream hand from your physical hand. This will eventually lead to two separate bodies, a dream one and a physical one. Now you can try to roll out of bed into your dream world and completely detach yourself from your physical body. Page 16 of 35
  • YOUR GUIDE TO LUCID DREAMING REMEMBERING YOUR DREAMS It is worth persisting in techniques to help you with dream recall, as if you cannot remember your ordinary dreams, the chances are that you will not remember your lucid dreams either. Research shows that those who have regular lucid dreams also have a good recall of their ordinary dreams. One good technique for trying to ‘catch’ your dream is to wake yourself up with an alarm clock in the middle of a REM period within the 90 minute sleep cycle. For example if you go to sleep at midnight, you will have completed five sleep cycles by 7.30am and six sleep cycles by 9am. If you set your alarm for 7.15am or 8.45am, then you will catch yourself one hour and a quarter into your last sleep cycle during the REM period and the chances of remembering your dreams are higher. Keeping a dream journal is also an important technique for encouraging dream recall. Page 17 of 35
  • YOUR GUIDE TO LUCID DREAMING HOW TO CHECK IF YOU ARE LUCID USING STATE TESTS As mentioned earlier, the best known way to check if you are lucid is to do a `State Test’, also referred to a `Reality Test’. Some prefer the words ‘state test’ because ‘reality’ can be a controversial word which is more ‘real’, the dream world or the waking world, and how do we measure ‘reality’? State tests are a way of checking whether you are in the waking world or whether you are dreaming. It is based on the premise that there are interesting differences between the waking world and the dream world and you can use various tests to find out. Here is a selection of state tests for you to try: Reading The reading test is one of the most reliable to use as a state test. First you need to find a text to read, read it once and then read it for the second time. If you are reading a text in the waking world, it will usually read the same when you read it for the second time. However in the dream state, texts often mysteriously change their format and when you attempt to read a text for the second time, the letters will probably have morphed into some other form, providing you with a clue that you are in the dream world. Some researchers have speculated that as dreaming engages the creative right hemisphere of the brain rather than the more linear left hemisphere, tasks such as reading become somewhat more difficult in the dream state; Memory Try to recall what led up to the present moment in your dream. This is quite difficult to do in dreaming and may act as a trigger for you that you are dreaming. Page 18 of 35
  • YOUR GUIDE TO LUCID DREAMING Gravity Jump in the air! In the waking world, gravity will pull you down to earth. In the dreaming world, the Newtonian laws of science do not appear to operate in quite the same way, and you may find yourself floating back down to earth, or flying! Light switches This is a very common lucid dreaming technique because electricity quite often fails to work in the dream world. Try turning on an electric light switch or looking at a digital clock. There will some quite strange manifestations of this in the dream world such as morphing figures! But beware some quite common sense ‘dream logic’ reasons why the electric light switches are not working – you can quite easily justify to yourself in the dream that you need to change the bulb! Try pushing your hand through a solid object This can be quite tricky as the dreaming mind can still be blocked by what is consciously recognised as an ‘impossibility’ in the waking world. However, persist with this, and you may find that you can do this in the dream. Choose the state test that works the best for you and which you will do regularly. Do the state tests when you are awake as well as when you are dreaming. The important thing is not to rely on your ‘common-sense’ to tell you whether you are awake or dreaming. Dreams are so life-like that often people fail to do a state test because they are sure they are awake and they are in fact dreaming! It may help to choose a state test which works fast. Sometimes it is not so easy to find text to read or a light switch in a dream. Although both the reading test and the electric light switch are reliable and excellent state tests, their downside is that they are not always readily available. Page 19 of 35
  • YOUR GUIDE TO LUCID DREAMING Once you are proficient with the state test, you need to encourage yourself to have a lucid dream. SEVENTEEN TECHNIQUES ON HOW TO ENCOURAGE YOUR LUCID DREAMING CAPABILITY Here are 17 techniques you can use to help you trigger your lucid dreaming capability. Remember these techniques require practise and patience. 1. Try interrupting your sleep cycle. It has been shown that if you wake up two or three hours before your usual wake up time, stay awake for around 30 minutes and then go back to sleep, then this is prime time to have a lucid dream. As you are going back to sleep after the 30 minutes awake, set your intention by saying ‘this is a dream’ or ‘the next time I see something I will be dreaming’. However this technique can disrupt your sleep cycle, so if this is difficult for you, it may be better to use another technique 2. Try drinking lots of water before you go to sleep as the diuretic effects will make you want to go to the toilet during the night. Similar to the interruption to your sleep cycle, when you return to slumber it is recognised prime time for lucid dreaming. Of course it may result in you having a dream that you need to go to the toilet, rather than waking up which can lead to rather uncomfortable feelings in the body! 3. Read books or other literature about lucid dreaming before you go to sleep. It is amazing that what is imprinted in the mind before sleep can have quite an impact on the dreams you have. 4. The Reflection Technique. German psychologist Paul Tholey, developed a number of techniques for inducing lucid dreaming. His ‘reflection technique’ is basically a matter of getting in the habit of frequently asking yourself during the day, "Am I awake or am I dreaming?" The repeated examination of the qualities of your Page 20 of 35
  • YOUR GUIDE TO LUCID DREAMING ongoing experience leads to a sensitivity to your state of consciousness and a carrying over of the habit of questioning into dream states. Eventually the answer will be "Yes ", and lucidity will result. 5. Link a habit or an action to the question of whether you are awake or in a dream. For example ask yourself whether you are awake or dreaming every time you brush your hair or every time you wash your hands. Another good technique to try is to write a letter such as ‘C’ (for conscious awareness) on the back of your hand in waking life. Then train yourself into a habit of looking at those Cs on the backs of your hands every one hour in the waking world. Hopefully this habit will spill over into your dream world, and you will soon find yourself checking the Cs on your hands in the dream. In the dream, quite often those Cs will be missing. This should act as a trigger to shift you into the realisation that you are dreaming. 6. Dream signs. By perusing your dream journal you will find that there is a repetition of dream symbols and signs. Keep a record of your personal recurring dream symbols. Common dream signs include flying, seeing a deceased relative or being in an old house. However, anything that is personal to you and that repeats itself can be considered to be a dream sign. The trick is that when you see these dream signs in your life, do a ‘state test’ to find out whether you are awake or dreaming. Then when the dream sign appears in your dreams, you will be able to realise that you are dreaming and gain lucidity. 7. Counting. Another technique to use whilst you are falling asleep is to count up to 100 in your head, optionally adding an “I'm dreaming” between each number. Alternatively, you can imagine going down stairs, and, on every floor, reading the floor number from 100 down to 0. Try to make this image as vivid as possible. Include not only what you see, but also what you hear, feel (touch Page 21 of 35
  • YOUR GUIDE TO LUCID DREAMING the banister), and smell. At some point this image should continue into a dream or you will begin to get sleep paralysis as described above. Keeping the awareness alive should lead you into a lucid dream. 8. Incubating Dreams. This technique has been successful in scientific research. To incubate a dream about a specific topic, you should first think of a phrase that summarises that action or topic, for example “I want to fly to the Moon”. It may help to write the phrase down. If you want to become lucid in the dream, then you should probably write something like “When I dream of [whatever your topic is, i.e. the Moon], I will remember that I'm dreaming.” Immediately go to sleep and focus on your topic phrase. Visualise yourself dreaming about the topic and realising that you're dreaming. Think about your phrase and topic and intention to become lucid as you fall asleep. 9. Chaining Dreams. Dream-chaining or ‘chaining dreams’ is a method to re-enter your dream after you've woken up. It can work for lucid and non-lucid dreams, but you will probably want to enter your dream lucid. The technique is: once you wake up from a dream, stay still and keep your eyes closed. It doesn't matter if you move a little or open your eyes, it's just that the less movement, sensory stimulation, and less time awake, the better. Ideally, it should feel less like you've woken up, and more like you've taken a 30 second break from dreaming. Once you're prepared to go back to sleep, close your eyes and either visualise yourself back in your dream, or use the ‘Spinning Technique’ outlined in the next section to imagine yourself spinning back ‘into’ your dream. Be sure to keep the awareness that you are dreaming, or you may lose your lucidity while falling asleep. Page 22 of 35
  • YOUR GUIDE TO LUCID DREAMING 10. Visual Induction of Lucid Dreams. First make sure you're relaxed using a relaxing technique. You can also imagine your brain emptying out and becoming sleepier. If you have a hard time falling asleep quickly, it could help to read a book (preferably about lucid dreaming) until you feel very sleepy. Now, you need to visualise a dream which you had prepared earlier. Here's an example of a prepared dream: “I am in a green room with a door. A friend next to me asks me to show them what a state test is. I do a state test and it shows that I am dreaming. I tell my friend that I am dreaming, and head towards the door.” Make sure you know exactly what the dream would be like, such as which friend, the exact words they say, and which state tests you do. State tests that require no props, such as books or clocks, are recommended as these props may not materialise in your dream. Visualise this dream slowly three times, to make sure that you know every detail. Then, start going full-on and visualise the dream. If you find your thoughts drifting, ignore them and continue to visualise the dream continuously. Eventually you may find yourself dreaming lucidly. You will need patience for this — don't just give up if you think it won't work. 11. Ask for help in the Lucid Dream. To use this technique, you need to have a lucid dream in the first place, but it can help you to get more lucid dreams. The idea is to do something in your dream that will help you to become lucid the next time you are dreaming. For example, you could ask a dream character for help. Ask them to meet you the next night and tell you that you're dreaming. If it works out the way it should, then the next time you are dreaming, the dream character will walk up to you and tell you that you're dreaming, and so you'll hopefully become lucid. Page 23 of 35
  • YOUR GUIDE TO LUCID DREAMING There are many variations on this technique. You could set up signs in your dream world that remind you to do a state test or eat lucid pills instead! This technique can work because it relies on the chance that you'll subconsciously induce the reminder (i.e. the dream character or sign) during some later dream and become lucid because of it. 12. Adjust your sleep cycle. For one week go to bed at the same time each night and get up 90 minutes earlier than you usually do. Upon awakening and for the next 90 minutes each morning do reality tests every 2–5 minutes. This sets up a habit of doing state tests in the morning. Thereafter, on alternate days get your usual full nights sleep, but make sure that when you go to sleep at all times you set the intention to do state tests when you awake. This will hopefully cause you to operate the state test upon awakening half the time when you are awake and half the time when you are dreaming. You will also be doing the state test early in the morning which is of course prime time for dreaming sleep. 13. Some Tibetan Buddhists practice what is known as Tibetan Dream Yoga. Probably the most time consuming way of inducing lucid dreams, it is also, according to the practitioners, the most rewarding. The basic practice is ‘Awareness’. Awareness should be practiced while sleeping as well as when you’re awake. Meditating on the question ‘who is aware?’ might catapult you into a higher degree of awareness. Keeping this level of awareness is another matter. The Tibetans have developed many yogic exercises and disciplines to practice maintaining conscious awareness as you fall asleep. Maybe the most interesting difference between Tibetan Dream Yoga and western modern methods of lucid dream induction is the Tibetan claim of the possibility to be aware during deep sleep as well as in the REM periods of sleep. For the reader who is Page 24 of 35
  • YOUR GUIDE TO LUCID DREAMING interested in these methods a good place to start is to begin to regard all experience as a dream. After all, our nervous system tunes in only to a small fraction of the enormous amount of information in the waking world. If you believe that we create our own reality then this practice should feel natural. 14. Make yourself thirsty! Set your intention to do a state test every time you take a drink. Then avoid drinking for a while before going to sleep. Fill a glass of fresh cold water and take it with you back to bed. Hopefully, you will dream of getting something to drink and at the same time do a state test to gain lucidity. 15. False Awakening. Every time you wake up in your bed, train yourself to do a state test. Placing a digital alarm clock at your bedside can be helpful. A common side effect of increasing lucidity is to have ‘false awakenings’. In other words you think you have woken up but you are still in the dream. But because you have linked this to a state test, the next time you awaken you will soon find out whether you are awake or in a lucid dream. 16. There are various foods and drinks that you can consume which seem to have some effect on sleeping and dreaming. For example, warm milk includes the amino acid tryptophan which is a precursor for the hormone serotonin, and has been proven to help you fall asleep. Vitamin B6 and others of the B group are important for neuronal functions. Melatonin is another hormone with neuronal effects. 5-HTP or L-5-HTP is a supplement that is related to serotonin, which some claim has induced lucid dreaming on approximately half the nights it is taken. Page 25 of 35
  • YOUR GUIDE TO LUCID DREAMING 17. There are various gadgets you can use to become lucid. They generally detect when you are in the REM state and are adjusted so that they do not wake you up but instead give you a signal such as a flashing light that you are dreaming. The signal will appear, maybe in some disguised form in the dream, and will hopefully trigger you into a realisation that you are dreaming. Page 26 of 35
  • YOUR GUIDE TO LUCID DREAMING MAINTAINING LUCIDITY Whilst you are in a lucid dream, the next problem is how to maintain the lucidity. Sometimes the sheer excitement of being lucid can be enough to immediately wake us up! Or you may find that the dream starts ‘fading’ which is characterised by loss or a weakening of any of the dream senses, especially visuals. If you wake immediately after becoming lucid (make sure you do a reality check to be sure you're not still dreaming!) you simply need to continue practising all your techniques. If you find that you are lucidly dreaming often, it will be less of a shock when you become lucid, and you'll be less likely to wake up. If your dreams fade out (or ‘black out’), you should try the methods set out below before your dream starts fading. Many of these techniques are based on the idea that it is important to energise your dream senses (sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste) to help you solidify yourself in the dream. 1. Hand rubbing. Rub your hands together and concentrate on the rubbing. You should feel the friction and the heat of your hands. If you can concentrate on the feelings that this action generates, your dream is likely to stabilise and cause the dream to become more vivid and detailed, along with some other effects. You can also keep one hand on your arm while exploring the dream for a constant sense of stimulation. This technique is most effective when used in conjunction with the ‘Slowing it down’ technique, by staring at your hands while rubbing them together. 2. Spinning. You spin around in your dream much as you would if you want to feel dizzy in real life. The sensation of movement is the key here to stabilising the dream. Although many people report success with this, this technique is likely to have some sideeffects on the dream, such as finding yourself in a totally different scene. For this reason, this technique is also effective in changing the dream scene. Page 27 of 35
  • YOUR GUIDE TO LUCID DREAMING If the dream scene disappears (e.g. becomes black), you need to visualise the dreamscape to return to the dream. 3. Slowing It Down. Some people like to stabilise the dream by ‘stopping to smell the roses’ and slowly stare at a dream object until it becomes clear. The dreamer would then look around elsewhere, noticing how detailed everything is, thereby stimulating the visual portion of the dream. 4. False Awakening. Try creating a false awakening to stabilise a dream. In order to do this, once you are losing lucidity in your dream, try going to sleep in the dream, and at the same time reminding yourself that once you wake up you must do a state test. Once you wake up, by doing the state test you might then be aware of having a false awakening which will be a trigger to become lucid. The general rule of dream-stabilisation is to stimulate the senses. If you listen for sounds, feel objects with your hands, and pay attention to what you see and smell, all these actions will stimulate your dream senses. As a result your senses will be loaded with stimulation from the dream which will then create a block preventing your senses shifting to the real world. If you close your eyes in the dream, this will not be helpful in maintaining lucidity as you are removing a great deal of sensory information from your dream eyes and you might wake up. Or if you hear something loud whilst dreaming but this noise is coming from the waking world, this may trigger your senses to shift to the waking world, causing you to wake up. Page 28 of 35
  • YOUR GUIDE TO LUCID DREAMING RECOVERING YOUR DREAM EYES There are a few things you can try to do if you lose your dream sight. You can also try these if you have just woken up and are lying in your bed. You may be able to return to your dream. 1. Autosuggestion. You can repeat over and over a phrase similar to “I can see my dream” or otherwise enforce in your mind that you can see a dreamscape. 2. Visualising. You can visualise the scene as it would be if you could see it. You could take this as an opportunity to change the dreamscape by visualising a different environment from the previous one in the dream. This can be made easier by spinning as you visualise. 3. Getting objects into your dream. There are many ways to generate any object you choose in a lucid dream, but each method takes practice and persistence, as well as a good deal of confidence and concentration. In the dream world, your expectations are sometimes as good as facts. You have probably noticed how everything you think about instantly takes form in the dream. A classic example is: “Uh oh, I hope there's not a monster behind that corner!” and then instantly you see the monster coming at you! Use this to your advantage, and ‘entice’ your brain to create what you want. Here are some methods to help you summon objects: You can imagine objects that are not within your field of vision. For example, you can say to yourself “when I reach into my pocket there will be a box of mints in there” and attempt to take a box of mints out of your pocket. There are variations of this, such as reaching behind you or reaching through a mirror in the hope of getting hold of what you want. Page 29 of 35
  • YOUR GUIDE TO LUCID DREAMING You could say aloud or in your head in a lucid dream “when I turn around, so-and-so will be in front of me”, or “when I walk through this mirror, I will see...”, or “in a few moments, so-and-so will walk through that door (or around that corner)”. Stare at a point in empty space and think or say aloud that whatever object you want will materialise before your eyes. You will probably have to really concentrate for this one. Here's an example: “I am lucid in my backyard. The scene is night time, and it’s pretty dark. I don't like the dark in my lucid dreams because I'm more likely to wake up, plus there could be a monster lurking in every corner. I look at the horizon and concentrate on the sun rising out from below it. It doesn't happen at first, but I keep going and eventually I see a little light, and then the sun comes out. Strangely enough, the sun is white, but the surrounding sky is still black. I see a sky-blue ring around the white sun, and, in a quick motion, I point my hand to it and shout, ‘Blue!’ While this seems stupid now, my command actually got the blue light to spread around the sky, creating a daytime effect. Now I am off...” Some people have also had success by closing their eyes and just imagining the object they desire in front of them, and when they open their eyes, there it is! Remember to not doubt your control. If you believe you can attempt extremely hard things in a dream and have them occur and not wake up, you will have an easier time performing that action! Page 30 of 35
  • YOUR GUIDE TO LUCID DREAMING WHAT TO DO IN A LUCID DREAM This final section should see you off with a few ideas of what to do in a dream. But first, a warning! You should have a clear purpose for your lucid dreams whenever you go to sleep. In other words, every night consider what you want to do when you have a lucid dream, and select one thing, or perhaps two, or if you are skilled three. Avoid this: "What am I going to do… what am I going to do? I want to fly, walk through walls, eat until my stomach explodes, spy on my neighbours, drive in a car really fast. . . . . ” you’ll find yourself out of control! You will either end up doing none of these things in your dream or simply wake up from over-excitement. Now that that's clear, below is a list of things you could do, ordered in difficulty. This is a very rough guide. If you manage something in the Easy Section, then don't be scared to try for something from the Medium Section. Page 31 of 35
  • YOUR GUIDE TO LUCID DREAMING The Easy Section Fly Most people enjoy flying around in dreams. There are different styles of flight that people use, each with a varied level of success for each individual. Methods such as ‘swimming through the air, ‘Superman style’ with one arm outstretched, ‘Neo style’ with both arms at your side, and ‘Airplane style’ with both arms out are often used. There are a few methods of getting up into the air, such as simply jumping (you can jump really high in dreams if you believe it) or imagining a great force pushing you from your feet. Some people summon jetpacks and slip them on to fly. Be creative and dream up your own methods. Walk Through a Mirror or Wall You can pass through dream objects such as walls, glass, trees, and everything else. Confidence is really the key here. Some variations include going in slowly, wiggling your finger in first, or running quickly into the object and telling yourself you will go through it. Some people particularly like to go through mirrors because of the unpredictable effects this action produces. If you tell yourself you will end up at a certain location as you pass through a mirror, you may be able to use this to change the dream scene quickly. But be warned, some people experience nothing and wake up after passing through a mirror. You may want to hold your arm to keep yourself in the dream. Look At The Sky People often report amazing skies in lucid dreams. You can also shout colours at it and paint some sunrises. Page 32 of 35
  • YOUR GUIDE TO LUCID DREAMING Explore Your Dream World But be warned - you are quite likely to forget you are dreaming when exploring! Doing state tests often and muttering to yourself about how real everything seems can help to avoid this. You can also ask a dream character to tag along with you and remind you when you forget that you're dreaming. Show 0ff to Your Friends “Look everybody; I can go through this wall!” Do Plenty of Sports Such as trampolining, skiing, marathons, etc. The Medium Section Eat until you're near bursting - especially lovely if you are on a diet! Create some dream characters (possibly from a book or film) Try to find your spirit guide Experiment. Dream researchers will often want people of various skills to practise dream possibilities Body swapping (where you enter a different body) Morph into another form such as an animal Page 33 of 35
  • YOUR GUIDE TO LUCID DREAMING The Hard Section Have sex, although the excitement, or closing your eyes, can cause you to wake up. Try having 360 degree vision, sonar vision, etc. Compose music or poems or request them from your subconscious Build a fantasy dream world! Some people build a dream world naturally Have precognition. Your subconscious can be very good at predicting the future with relationships and career Experience death in the dream, and explore life after death Ask the dream to show you your worst fears/deepest traumas/etc but be prepared for some bad stuff to surface Page 34 of 35
  • YOUR GUIDE TO LUCID DREAMING CONCLUSION I hope that this book will encourage you to explore the fascinating world of lucid dreaming. You may feel amazed when you attain your first lucid dream. It is an extraordinary remarkable state of consciousness that challenges our understanding of reality. With all the techniques in this book, you may feel overwhelmed and uncertain of what to do next. Don't worry. Just choose a few techniques to map your way to lucidity and start! Although a few people might have some kind of natural gift for lucid dreaming, it is also definitely a skill you can develop. In any event we can all benefit from practice and effort in making the most of our dream worlds. Do you enjoy reading this book? If you do... then you'll LOVE this ONE: Page 35 of 35
  • YOUR GUIDE TO LUCID DREAMING