P1. If you want to do lucid dreaming tonight then follow my guidelines here. The two basic ways to become lucid in a dream are as follows:
- Enter sleep while maintaining consciousness: Often called Wake Initiated Lucid Dreams (WILD)
- Recognize you are dreaming during a dream: Often called Dream Initiated Lucid Dreams (DILD)
I have discussed WILD’s already here, so let’s take a quick look at DILD’s.
Lucid Dreaming Guidelines
The following three simple steps are helpful to be effective in successfully lucid dreaming tonight. They are
- Get to Know Your Dreams
- Intend a Dream Action
- Practice Becoming Lucid
Get to Know Your Dreams
The problem with becoming lucid in your dream is that it’s not normal for most people. Dreams trick us into thinking they are real. So the first place to start is to get to know your own dreams. To do this requires good dream recall and the time to consider what aspects of your dreams could be used to distinguish between dreaming and reality. They are different but in often subtle ways.
For example, if you switch on a light in your dream, does the light switch work and does the room get lighter? Often, with me at least, it does not and I use this as a prompt to tell myself that I may be dreaming. Other signs that one may be dreaming is the lack of stability of the scene, such as printed words changing; or maybe impossible acts, such as you flying; or perhaps meeting deceased relatives, etc.
So what you need to learn from this is that you need to know your dreams well enough that during your waking day, you can reflect habitually on whether the things happening around you show that you are awake or dreaming.
Intend a Dream Action
You need to come up with an action to do in your dream that you actually want to happen. This is a form of dream incubation where you focus on your intention to do that specific action in your next dream, as you are going to sleep.
The kind of action I am thinking of is something that you love to do, that involves movement, that is dramatic, that you can easily recognize, that you can focus your intention on, and that is also something you only do while you are dreaming. For example, flying meets all the criteria.
It is critical that you intend a specific action and not simply have a wish to become aware that you are dreaming. Actions speak louder than Words, and you will improve your success rate by focusing more on the action than perhaps the words that maybe “This is a dream”.
When all is said and done, you are conscious to a degree in all your dreams all the time, otherwise, you would not be dreaming. But being lucid requires intention, actions, and emotions.
Finally here, you need to realize that experienced lucid dreamers say that the best time to have a lucid dream is during the half an hour leading up to waking up. For example, for me, I wake each day at 5 am. So I intentionally wake myself up at 3 am and spend half an hour updating and reading my dream diary. Then at 3.30, I return to sleep with the “mantra” repeating and rolling around in my mind as follows, “In my next dream, I will fly around the room, and then also know this too is a dream”.
So if you want to do lucid dreaming tonight, follow these methods as I do.
Practice Becoming Lucid
Reading about being lucid is not enough. Wishing you could be lucid is not enough either. You need to practice being lucid many times a day, every day over an extended chunk of time. Even the pioneers of lucid dreaming spent hundreds of days of practice before they achieved being intentionally lucid. So don’t lose heart, as it often takes a lot of practice.
By practice I mean, frequently taking time out of your day to imagine that you are in a dream. You imagine that you are flying in that dream, feeling all the movements, seeing the room go by, hearing the wind in your ears, and making it as much a reality as you can. Then tell yourself that you are aware that you are dreaming and becoming lucid. Then imagine what you will do when you become lucid and how fantastic you will feel and how wonderful it will look to you.
I have found that the more exhilarating and terrifying the image of flying, the more it gets me lucid. So I remember when I was 9 years old living close to the Irish Sea. When it was stormy and the waves came crashing over the 30 ft high embankment I climbed on top of the 4 ft wall that formed the top of the embankment. It was 4 ft thick and fell away vertically on the seaward side into the foaming waves. I was already soaked to the skin in sea water as I ran along the top of that embankment for a “dare” with the wind buffeting my body. When a wave spewed spray all over me, I jumped back to the pavement on the safe side. It was the closest to flying I have ever experienced and I was also terrified because one slip would have been bye-bye into the waves below. Now that is an exhilarating memory of flying.
Incidentally, it seems that interrupting your natural stream of consciousness is essential in many areas of mind control. It is not surprising then that in learning to have lucid dreams, I recommend that you interrupt the flow of your day and ask yourself if you are currently dreaming. In fact, in your dream, you need to interrupt yourself to become lucid too.
Practice, practice, practice. For if you do you will soon find that you will do lucid dreaming tonight.
I just want to mention spontaneous lucidity. This is where you are dreaming and suddenly become lucid without any intention to do so. A common place to experience this is during a nightmare.
If you have ever had a nightmare that you have woken up from, consider what actually happened with your dream. For me, there was something that happened in the dream that really captured my attention and scared me to the core. At that moment, I was fully lucid because I was consciously aware that things were not good in the dream, and I had the capacity to wake myself up, which I did with a jump.
Now compare this experience with the standard methods of inducing a lucid dream. The standard methods are weak by comparison because they lack the fear factor and captive feeling. No, I am not saying that you need to have scare yourself out of your wits to have a lucid dream, but most people need to have some extra motivation to succeed in having a lucid dream.
Dream Yoga Methods
Finally, I want to distinguish between specific DILD’s, and Dream Yoga DILD’s. Specific DILD’s methods often use a single dream image to remind you that you may be dreaming. Whereas the Dream Yoga methods typically do the opposite and say that every dream image reminds you that you may be dreaming.
Again, I see controlling your attention as important to living in a state of awareness by many yogas. For example, mindfulness is a state of active, open attention to the present moment.
One way to practice mindfulness is to notice when you have lost your attention by interrupting what you are doing and remembering to get back to being a witness. It is been said that we are all asleep in the waiting room of life, so an interrupt would indeed be a wake-up call. Even in western legends of old, such as in the Grimm’s fairy tale of Briar Rose (aka Sleeping Beauty), everyone in the King’s court is asleep for many years because they were enchanted by the jealous fairy, and salvation only comes from an interrupt by the entry of a prince.
We will look at Dream Yoga techniques in detail elsewhere.