Dreams are successions of images, ideas, emotions and sensations occurring involuntarily in the mind during certain stages of sleep. The content and purpose of dreams are not yet understood, though they have been a topic of speculation and interest throughout recorded history. The scientific study of dreams is known as oneirology. Throughout history, people have sought meaning in dreams or divination through dreams. Dreams have also been described physiologically as a response to neural processes during sleep; psychologically as reflections of the subconscious; and spiritually as messages from gods, the deceased, predictions of the future, or from the Soul. Many cultures practice dream incubation with the intention of cultivating dreams that are prophetic or contain messages from the divine. Recent studies indicate that dreams could be controlled by a learning response. Just imagine that for an instant. It looks feels and sounds exactly the same as ‘normal’ reality, except that you know that it isn’t. You know that you are perfectly safe; you cannot die or get injured, that is Lucid Dreaming. There are no normal rules and regulations about what you get up to! It is truly your own ‘Individual Virtual Reality’, with a depth of realism far beyond the most sophisticated computer imitation. Let’s see how.
10. Motivation & Set the Intention
Lucid Dreaming is the ability to have vivid self-awareness while dreaming. On entering this scientifically proven state of heightened consciousness, you can experience and control your dreams with surprising richness and intensity. Imagine waking up in your dreams with the ability to do anything, meet anyone, go anywhere… and all in vivid detail with your five senses fully alive. It is an exhilarating experience where all your dreams vividly come true. Everybody has the capacity to learn how to have lucid dreams – it just takes motivation and practice. The more skilled you become at meditation and entering altered states of awareness on demand, the easier it is to go lucid at will. And once you make the decision to become conscious in your dreams, it has the potential to completely change your relationship with your inner self forever.
9. Your Sleep Posture and Relaxation
Close your eyes and lie on your back. Take three deep breaths in and out. Feel your body sinking into the bed, and let go of all the tension in your muscles. Enjoy the feeling of relaxation, and focus on your intention to control your dreams. Allow any thoughts to pass you by, without interacting with them. Keep your body totally relaxed and still. Repeat over in your mind: “One. The next scene will be a dream. Two. The next scene will be a dream. Three…” etc. This will set your intention and keep your mind alert while your body slowly drifts back to sleep.
You can have more success with certain sleep postures over others. Best would be the common fetal position (on side, with knees and elbows tucked in) as well as flat on back. It can be strange to be walking around in a lucid dream one moment, then lying curled up in bed the next. Sometimes you even wake yourself up because you’ve moved your arm in the lucid dream and accidentally triggered real life arm to move and hit the bed. This can be disorienting and cause a sudden shift in awareness from one body to the next, but if you stay still and close eyes again, you can often return to the same lucid dream from the exact same place you left off.
8. Spontaneous Lucidity
Until you have your first lucid dream, the whole concept may seem too elusive, causing people to give up before they’ve begun. So I thought it would be helpful to define exactly how to enter the lucid dream state. This is the most common kind of lucid dream in beginners. In fact, your first lucid dream was probably caused by spontaneously lucidity. This occurs when you suddenly realize “I’m dreaming!” for no apparent reason. Or perhaps your dream became so strange that your conscious self awareness kicked in. Spontaneous lucidity relies mostly on luck. However, by increasing your self awareness during the day time you can train yourself to recognize the dream state better, and thereby learn how to become lucid in dreams with ease. Through regular meditation and lucid dreaming, you can become a lot more self aware. This helps to recognize the dream state even when it is mimicking real life, because you can pick up on more subtler clues.
7. Dream Characters
The prevailing wisdom says that dream characters are part of your unconscious psyche (as opposed to conscious beings interacting with your dream). So this method relies on your subconscious mind helping you out. Here’s how it works. I set the intention to lucid dream by meditating before I go to sleep and firmly telling my subconscious “I will lucid dream tonight.” I wake up around 5am (naturally, or with an alarm clock) and repeat my intention. For the next 2-3 hours I’ll have long periods of REM sleep with vivid dreams. This is when I’m most likely to lucid dream, and if I’m lucky, a dream character will tell me so. For instance, once a psychology professor came up to me in a dream and said “let’s try some lucid dreaming now.” It worked! The professor triggered my conscious self awareness into action and my dream became lucid.
6. Dream Themes
This is similar to the concept described above. Simply do some lucid dream incubation before you go to sleep (meaning, tell your subconscious that you want to recognize the next time you are dreaming). Then go to sleep thinking about what you might do inside your next lucid dream. When a dream event triggers you, it’s usually because you are dreaming about lucid dreaming! You may not have this kind of self awareness in dreams yet, but as you improve your dream recall and have more conscious dream experiences, you’ll find this is a neat way to become lucid in dreams.