A Note from the Editor:
This guest post by Cormac Reynolds of Astral Zen is a particularly helpful introduction for those who have never heard of the concept of Lucid Dreaming and are interested to find out some more about the topic. It is also ideal for those who have come across the subject on some occasions but were never given a good intro to it. In both cases this would be an ideal concise but power-packed kick-starter!
Having said this, I would still highly recommend this article to those readers who are already fairly acquainted with the subject or who are lucid dreamers themselves. Sometimes when we re-read basic stuff we come to realize that in our excitement on following a particular path we have missed a basic but key idea on the matter. I often fall victim of this oversight myself.
Lucid Dreaming is by far one of the most interesting topics to research, discuss and practice in your daily life. It opens up new horizons in your personal development, insights about yourself, mind and consciousness and let’s face it a great deal of fun! How about becoming conscious and controlling your dreams – fully immersed in a 3D hyper-reality? Flying over enchanted landscapes, visiting other worlds and dimensions or travel through the past and future? On a higher level, and more importantly, Lucid dreaming is a powerful aid in pursuing your spiritual path. How would you like having insightful discussions with your subconscious or enlightened masters, visiting childhood memories, healing energy blocks and unleashing hidden abilities and talents?
I can vouch for this extraordinary phenomenon we all have access to – as I am a newcomer in the growing crowd of lucid dreamers myself. I am looking forward to share more with you on the subject in later posts 🙂
What is lucid dreaming and how does it work?
[GARD align=left]Lucid dreaming is most definitely an elusive sleep pattern for many, with some people never having experienced a lucid dream in their entire lives. In this brief guide we look at what lucid dreaming is, how it works and how you can try and invoke a lucid dream for yourself.
Lucid dreaming is, at its most basic level, being able to control your dreams. Whilst such an idea sounds bizarre to those that have not experienced it, it most certainly exists; in fact, it’s even possible to work on techniques that evoke lucid dreaming.
The defining difference between lucid dreaming and normal dreaming is that you are aware that you’re asleep and in a dream. During a lucid dream their will become a turning point where you switch from unaware, to aware that some of things that you’re experiencing cannot possibly by real. This is the point at which you’re able to take control of what happens during the dream.
Lucid dreaming occurs during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep; this stage of sleep is the dreams stage, lucid or otherwise. However despite extensive research, scientists have been unable to get to the basics of what is occurring within the brain during lucid dreaming down to provable facts; some scientists argue that controlling your own dream is impossible, and others argue that it absolutely is. However, with so many lucid dreamers commonly claiming that it does happen, it is up to you to explore your lucid dream world for yourself.
How to invoke a lucid dream
Whilst there is no sure fire way of invoking a lucid dream each and every time you sleep (or even at all), there are a few of methods we know at Astralzen.com that seem to encourage them:
Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreaming (MILD)
This technique, created by sleep expert LaBerge, involves a process that must be repeated over a considerable period if it is to stand a chance of invoking a lucid dream. Here are the steps you should take:
Whenever you wake from a dream, you should try and remember it in its entirety. Running through it once more, trying to recall as much detail as possible. Once you think that you’ve remembered as much as you’re going to, you should go back to sleep, keeping the last point of the dream in your mind. Your aim is to return to this dream point, and continue where you left off.
If you can return to your dreams the aim is to notify yourself that it is a dream. To do this you can try to stay aware of elements that show your current reality to be a dream.
Take some nap time!
This will come as welcome news to nap lovers; try waking yourself up earlier than usual, staying awake for around 20 to 30 minutes, and then going back to sleep. This process, because you don’t fully wake up in between, can encourage lucid dreams through the mixing of reality and dream worlds.
Test your reality – Even when you’re awake
By continually asking yourself ‘am I dreaming?’ throughout the day, you are more likely to become aware of when you are in fact dreaming. This can be the turning point within a dream that turns it from normal, to lucid.
Lucid dreaming is much disputed in the science realm, with many being pessimistic about whether or not people can in fact control their dreams; however the only way for you to find out exactly what they are, and if you can indeed control your dreams, is by trying to invoke one using the tips in this article.
[Editor’s Foot note: Being a concise intro, Cormac has focused mainly on the MILD technique which is one of the most common techniques approached by beginners. There are other important techniques that are worth having a look at later on such as Dream Induced Lucid Dreaming (DILD), Waked Induced Lucid Dreaming (WILD) – The Holy grail of Lucid Dreaming and Astral Projections – and many others.]