The Art of Lucid Dreaming

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posted on Jun, 12 2008 @ 04:43 PM
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"He felt that his whole life was some kind of dream, and he sometimes wondered whose it was and if he was enjoying it"

- Douglas Adams


This is written in the assumption that readers already know a bit about lucid dreaming. Please note that lucid dreamers do not practice contemporary “dream interpretation” but dreamscape exploration. Also note that this post does not refer to regular dreams which are nothing more than a processing of the days events. "Lucid Dreaming" describes the ability to be aware that you are dreaming while you are dreaming and hence experience dreamscape in a more vivid way and also be able to take influence on it. The potential implications will be described in another post.

Definition & Theory

There are scientific definitions for LD but I will be using the esoteric/buddhist/yogic interpretations as these sources have been exploring the concept for thousands of years as opposed to psychology who has only started exploring it. If others wish to add the science-definitions they may do so.

Between the physical plane of existence and the non-physical plane there is the plane of night dreams. Dreams show how consciousness projects worlds that the mind experiences as “real”. When you are dreaming you are often convinced that something is taking place “out there”. But when you wake up you realize it was a dream, you realize that it all took place within you.
Some eastern philosophies, such as Buddhism, believe that our waking life (physical reality) is no different than this self-created dream except in density and inertia. This means that things happen more quickly and realities shift more fluidly and obviously within dreamscape, but that there is otherwise no difference between “dream” and “reality”. It is our label of physical reality as “real” and “solid” and “meaningful” and our labeling of the dreamscape as “unreal” and “vague” and “insignificant” that makes most of the difference, according to these sources.

Lucid dreaming means to become aware that you are dreaming while you are dreaming. It is in this awareness that you suddenly realize you can change, stop, create or explore the dreamscape according to your own intent.

Some people believe it is "all happening in the mind", while others believe they are travelling to explore other planes of existence, planets and dimensions while lucid dreaming. Some claim to be able to share lucid dreams with others (in a telepathic sense) or to have pre-cognitive dreams of events to come, while others claim they use it to practice movements of golf or tennis with subsequent real-life results.

But even without these fantastic possibilities LD is fun and can enhance ones life experience without which one would instead waste half of ones life sleeping.

Learning lucid dreaming is simple: Become more interested in and more aware of your dreaming. After waking up in the morning pay attention to what you dreamed and let the whole movie repeat in your head a few times. Otherwise you forget it and its as if nothing ever happened. Some more disciplined people do this in writing, but its enough to just let the dream repeat a few times until you've transferred it to your waking life memory. Thats fairly simple. The only reason not to be paying attention to your dreaming is the belief that dreams are somehow not important. As you become more aware of your dreaming its only a matter of time until you become more aware within your dreaming.

A therapeutic aspect of lucid dreaming involves allowing oneself to experience scenarios without having to experience them in waking life. It seems that confronting something and turning it around in your dream spares you the pain of having to deal with it in waking life. In this sense some believe Lucid Dreaming to have healing qualities. Or, you can live a secret desire that you wouldnt allow yourself to in waking life.

Buddhist/Hindu philosophy claims that the reason you can experience the most fantastic and exhilarating things on dreamscape is because the mind, which acts as a reality-filter and censor, is asleep and its only the soul that is active here. The mind cant censor and the soul can do whatever it wants (or whatever has been suppressed by the waking-life mind).

If we were to identify levels of dream awareness on a scale it might look something like this:


Scale of Dream Lucidity


1 Totally Unaware

After waking up you don't even remember you dreamed.


2 Unaware

Its only after waking up that you notice you dreamed. The dream-indicators only become obvious after the dreams already over, rather than during the dream, where you dont question anything that is happening but just let it roll over you. If its a nightmare you feel quite helpless. But on this level you can at least recap the dream. The morning recap helps you rise to higher levels of dream awareness.

3 Semi-aware

While dreaming you do sense or realize that something is strange, but you don't question it. There might be tiny flickers of awareness on what meanings some aspects of the dreams have but you don't quite get around to acknowledging the dream as a dream. On this level you at least remember your dreams when you wake up.

4 Semi-lucid

In this pre-lucid state you notice that “something is going on” during the dream. Certain hints and indicators make you think you might be dreaming. You try to question it but never get quite lucid. Its as if one part of you, in the background, knows its a dream, but another part of you does not quite summon the energy to intervene or care. Sometimes the question “Is this a dream???” arises but is quickly forgotten in the mist of the dreamscape stimuli. Sometimes we don't reach this level from the lower ones but descend to it from the higher levels, as in: We were lucid before but then descend into semi-lucidity. One example of this is knowing that you are dreaming but then having a “false awakening”. Now you believe you are awake, but you are still dreaming. This seems to be some type of subconscious-protection-system.


5 Lucid

Because of certain indicators or a heightened level of awareness or other triggers and circumstances, you become aware that you are dreaming (or you drift into the dream already aware that it is one). You recognize the dream as a dream. “Ah, interesting. I'm dreaming”. On this level the realization and its accompanying feeling of lightness or curiosity is enjoyed like a movie rather than your dream-self getting actively involved.


6 Very Lucid

This is a state of pleasant clarity in which you understand what is happening even more clearly. Furthermore, you become aware that you can influence the dream. Possibilities for action and behavior, your own role and mission within the dream become more apparent. This is the lucid dreamer who can actually fully enjoy the dream.

7 Luminously Lucid

This is crystal clear lucidity and well-being which sometimes tips over into euphoria and various states of bliss. Here you take active control of the dream or, alternatively just let it play out and enjoy it. This is the realm in which you can use the dream to explore various planes and adventures, act creatively, or apply therapeutic measures to your waking-life-self.

8 Illuminatingly Lucid

Awareness of different meanings and layers of what you are currently experiencing. Not only knowing what you can do but also knowing the purpose of the dream and doing it. Reports of high states of bliss, "feeling high", recognition of real-life solutions and "communication with other beings" are reported frequently on this LD level.

Don't take this scale as “gospel”. I just invented it as a general outline for contrast and comparison.



Inducing Lucid Dreams

Generally lucid dreaming, comes about by investing interest into it. And what if you are not willing to invest interest? Then don't. But don't be pretending you are going to lucid dream then. Take note that its the interest itself that will produce lucid dreams and that it doesn't take that much effort. Some people lucid dream only due to having talked about the subject to someone during the day. Believing that you need all kinds of practice and technique before you can enjoy this natural ability is a falsehood that will stifle your progress. Be interested. Let it happen.

There are many ways to invest interest. One of these was already mentioned: Repeat the dream movie in the morning, right after waking up. Commit it to memory. If you' re more intensely interested in this than the casual reader, then you can have a “dream journal” lying beside your bed in which you write everything down. The dream journal technique will actually be enough for most people to gradually induce lucid dreaming. Why? Because as you become aware of dreamlike during waking life, you become aware of waking life during dream life. Lucid dreaming is nothing more than being aware that there is “another reality out there called waking life”. There is not only this dream you are dreaming but another one which you will later wake up too.

To be continued in later posts.

Additions, Corrections, Comments, Questions welcome.




[edit on 12-6-2008 by Skyfloating]




posted on Jun, 12 2008 @ 05:11 PM
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Other Lucid Dream Induction Methods

Continued from first post.

An added benefit of writing dream journals is that some dreams actually contain hints on what to do or purchase in order to enhance dreaming.

What follows are some ways others go about inducing Lucid Dreams. I dont use any of them myself, but others might want to.

Some people go about this is by not sleeping quite as deeply as normal. A typical block to lucid dreaming is being so exhausted during waking life that the night is spent completely “wiped out” and far from any awareness.For not sleeping quite that deeply many oneironauts (what lucid dreamers call themselves) have suggested many different things. Some take in unusual yogic postures while sleeping. Others hold heavy weights that will fall down if they drift too far off into sleep. Yet others use caffeine, Vitamin B6 and melatonin or heavy foods before falling asleep in order to stay half-aware, half-active. Oftentimes sleeping at a new and unfamiliar location will induce changed levels of dream awareness.

Some oneironauts (lucid dreamers) practice and teach “falling into a lucid dream” beforehand rather than “waking up into a lucid dream”. This can be done by talking to yourself while you fall asleep. Once you´re unable to move your mouth because your body has fallen asleep, you continue talking to yourself in your mind. Another way to do this: Focusing on and loosing yourself in pleasant imagery while falling asleep but catching yourself every time you fall too deep. There is a state between waking and sleeping called “hypnagogic state” in which all kinds of muddled and confusing and sometimes outright trashy mind-material are processed. Once you have reached the hypnagogic state its actually too late to “drift into a lucid dream” because you've already lost most of your awareness. I find this technique or similar “wake-induced-lucid-dreams” difficult and don't actually practice them. I do however apply “focusing on pleasant imagery while falling asleep” because this will have a beneficial effect on the quality of my dream. But I don't do this with the forced intention of staying awake and aware. When practicing “guided imagery” while falling asleep, it can be advisable to emulate things you would be doing if you were lucid (to lucid dream before you lucid dream!). So you´d be doing the stuff you´d want to be doing on dreamscape, in your imagination first, teaching yourself what it is like to experience something.

Achieving a lucid dream state can be somewhat tricky because its contradictory: On the one hand you can only experience it if you fall asleep, on the other hand you can only experience it if a part of you is awake and aware.

The technique proposed by most lucid-dreamers out there is to frequently question yourself and your surroundings. Oneironauts call this “reality-tests”. “Am I dreaming?” “Is this a dream?” “Is this real?” “Whats really going on here?”. While Ive never really applied this technique for longer than a day myself, I can understand that it as its effects. By getting used to questioning what is happening, the habit rubs off on the dream-state and you find yourself asking “Am I dreaming?” - and become lucid. This seems to be even more effective when unusual events occur in daily life. Something strange happens and you say “Is this a dream?”. The reason for this is that we often become lucid in night dreams because of the weirdness of it all. “This isn't for real, is it?” Its the strangeness that prompts the dreamer to question it. Therefore oneironauts often walk around in waking life asking “Am I dreaming” and even answering “Yes, this is a dream” or “Yes, I am dreaming!”.

To be continued...



posted on Jun, 12 2008 @ 05:58 PM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 


Hi Skyfloating,

Congratulations on the new forum - I'm sure it will be a real eye opener (excuse the pun)!

I was wondering what the general impact on one's fatigue is whilst practising LD over a period of time.

Whilst it appears to have mediating properties, there appears to be some effort (if that is the correct word) in obtaining and maintaining the stage of lucidity. (I.e. can it be emotionally draining given the experiences that one may achieve)?

Also, could LD be described as 'natural' or 'addictive' (oneironauts appear to live for this). With this, are there any adverse side affects of lucid dreaming, even situations when a person is in, or falls into a 'nightmare' state? Is this possible?

Thanks in advance.

Starred and flagged

Brei




[edit on 12-6-2008 by Breifne]



posted on Jun, 12 2008 @ 06:12 PM
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Originally posted by Breifne

I was wondering what the general impact on one's fatigue is whilst practising LD over a period of time.

Whilst it appears to have mediating properties, there appears to be some effort (if that is the correct word) in obtaining and maintaining the stage of lucidity. (I.e. can it be emotionally draining given the experiences that one may achieve)?


My actual experience on this is that its draining and exhausting to force lucid dreams to come about.

Thats the reason I hardly practice any techniques and just "let it come" when it comes and if it doesnt, I dont mind. So there are phases of high LD activity and then months can go by without any LD activity.

This way it stays natural rather than becoming some kind of sports-like exercise of "achievement". It would seem that the ability doesnt like to be "pushed" but rather come and go when it wants to.




Also, could LD be described as 'natural' or 'addictive' (oneironauts appear to live for this). With this, are there any adverse side affects of lucid dreaming, even situations when a person is in, or falls into a 'nightmare' state? Is this possible?




That ties in with what I just said. If treated naturally on a come-and-go basis it remains natural and joyful. If forced in exaggerated discipline and can have adverse effects. But thats not the lucid dreaming having adverse effects but rather the person who is behaving in desperation to "get back into state". In that case the reasons for being in a "low state" in waking-life should be adressed, imo.



posted on Jun, 12 2008 @ 06:36 PM
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..wow...something is finally posted that I have intimate knowledge of...of course all "personal" knowledge..When I read the scale part I was thinking I've never seen this scale before...
...but...heck,..you made it up..I like it...I see myself as a true "luminously Lucid"...I have been manipulating my dreams for decades...It's almost fun to crash out at the end of a day...(or napping)...but, let me be clear...not every single time I sleep do I remember my dreams...let alone manipulate one..but it does occur a few times a week...And it is GREAT...
.......................I get up to whiz almost every hour after 4am...but, I can go back to my dream where I left off..As I dream..I clearly know it's a dream...This started for me back in the later 60's...I was into "feed your head food"...and noticed it then....I want to see what others will post...None of my friends can dream like I can...
...thank you



posted on Jun, 12 2008 @ 07:01 PM
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...what, only a few people are dreaming out there ??...When I'm in the mood for some serious dreaming..I think about the dream that has been going on forever...My looking for something or lost something....or I can't remember any of my surroundings types dreams...They are all fun..Why ?...Because I know I'm dreaming..I like to see where the dream will take me to...The last few years I have put flying into the mix..I float along 2-3ft above the ground..The sensation feels fantastic..As I can go what seems like slow to 40-50mph...It helps when I'm looking for things...I put the flying in my dreams...I can go on and on...All I do is lay on my back and cross my wrists.. then lock my thumbs...weird...And then I think very very hard about the feeling like I'm floating...lastly I count numbers,..in no particular order...Does anyone else see all the dotes/sparkles...when your eyes are closed in the dark ?..
.............Next thing I know I'm asleep...I love how authentic mine are as I purposely look around at things...the details...once a fellow had a 22cal Raven auto pistol pointed at me...It was so close I read the serial number...



posted on Jun, 12 2008 @ 07:17 PM
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I believe the lower consciousness will act as a governor of sort to avoid losing too much restful time. Lots of people have spontaneous lucid dreams in the last hours before waking rather than right away after beginning sleep.



posted on Jun, 12 2008 @ 07:30 PM
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What are the odds I would have talked to a Doctor friend of mine about this a couple of hours ago. He told me I had a lucid dream.

On many occasions I have known that I'm dreaming, and on one occasion I decided to try and fly, and I did. That is the only time I could make any changes in a dream.

This morning, I was dreaming that a piece of property next to mine was going to be inspected, and it had chickens on it. I happened by a nest and picked up an egg. I noticed it was warm, and I squeezed it. When it broke in my hand, I remember thinking, wow, things feel exactly the same in a dream as they do when you are awake.

Thanks Sky, I'm going to work on taking it up a notch. By the way, as a side note, I stopped taking fluoride and my dreams have become amazingly clear.

edit (sp)

[edit on 12-6-2008 by seawolf197]



posted on Jun, 12 2008 @ 08:04 PM
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I like this one as I am one of those people that has the ability to manipulate my dreams when I get a good hold of them and made them they way I want the to be and end.

One of the problems with lucid dreams is that you can be the first person in your dream and then turn into an observer in those moments when the dreams is reaching its peak, well I can manipulate and control mine and avoid waking up.



posted on Jun, 12 2008 @ 08:31 PM
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Just wanted to chime in here.

Though I do not practice lucid dreaming techniques, i can almost guarantee that if I raise my body temperature at night (usually because I have to many blankets and its hot as hell in my room already) I will have a relatively lucid dream.

Whats more interesting, at least to me is, the dream generally starts out the same, and that seems to trigger my recognition that it is in fact a dream and i can do whatever I want.

BTW, its about time this forum got started. When can we talk about consciousness expansion?



posted on Jun, 12 2008 @ 08:52 PM
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For me sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't, I can't seem to control "when". I'm always lucid enough to wake myself up, should things get too weird, and occasionally I go as high as 6 and 7. I hit "luminously" a few months ago, and when it happened it was like flipping a switch. SNAP, I was aware and in charge. I woke up from it so incredibly well rested.
Such a cool experience.



posted on Jun, 13 2008 @ 12:02 AM
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So what exactly is the purpose of lucid dreaming besides fun or entertainment? What can be gained in waking life by the practice?



posted on Jun, 13 2008 @ 12:20 AM
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reply to post by sc2099
 


I'm an art director by trade, and I would sometimes find myself experimenting with different graphic designs and copywriting in my dreams. I find this type of lucid dreaming to be very liberating, because it allows me to expand my creativity into directions I hadn't considered in my waking hours.

Now, if I can only get Matthew McConaughey to sit in with his bongos during one of my creative sessions...



posted on Jun, 13 2008 @ 12:59 AM
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Hi,
i seem to mostly be able to get to a semi lucid state quite a lot, but it seems when i get to" lucid", my mind seems to freak out a little and i wake up, it's very frustrating!
I guess it just takes a little more practice and patience, and a little leap of faith.
I didn't know about the other levels of lucidity, very interesting thanks for posting this



posted on Jun, 13 2008 @ 01:18 AM
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Originally posted by maria_stardust
reply to post by sc2099
 


I'm an art director by trade, and I would sometimes find myself experimenting with different graphic designs and copywriting in my dreams. I find this type of lucid dreaming to be very liberating, because it allows me to expand my creativity into directions I hadn't considered in my waking hours.

Now, if I can only get Matthew McConaughey to sit in with his bongos during one of my creative sessions...
It's funny you say that, because I have lots of romantic dreams with celebrities. Including Matthew!
I had one really good lucid dream once where I was in a glass shopping mall, and I was going around touching and feeling things. I told my self to remember that it is real. Completely real. When I woke up I remembered everything. I have also awakened with the image still in my eyes and after I open them. The image disappeared slowly. Since then my dreams have been more pleasant. I have also had a lot of UFO dreams but I have never seen one in real life.



posted on Jun, 13 2008 @ 02:41 AM
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Originally posted by sc2099
So what exactly is the purpose of lucid dreaming besides fun or entertainment? What can be gained in waking life by the practice?


If you concentrate on a subject, object, person or place right before you fall asleep eventually you will be able to program your dreams, they become lucid if you practice enough. I have taken it to several levels and you can solve problems or become better trained or better skilled at something in the real world or waking world as you put it.

For example: Years ago I used that technique to become a better athlete.
Being a skier I would watch videos of great skiers and then I would see myself skiing at a higher level effortlessly as they do. Then before I would go to sleep especially the night before skiing I would close my eyes and imagine myself skiing the way I wanted to do it. You have to completely immerse yourself and see it first in order to make it happen. Believe it or not it works as good or better than a simulator and you can take giant leaps in short periods.

In the waking world when I ski at a high level and my physical & mental abilities are in tune I become one with the mountain and gravity is my best friend. My equipment becomes an extension of me and I can feel each ice crystal as they pass under my skis, the cool clean crisp air against my face & in my lungs and I become not only one with the mountain but one with gravity, nature & the earth - my turns are perfect & the snow is perfect - just like it was in my dream. I wrote the dream - it's my world and welcome to it.


I've also used the technique to solve problems at work by looking at them from different perspectives without the stress of the moment.

My dreams have brought me into telepathy where I can enter others dreams or thoughts and I see glimpses of the future on occasion especially events that effect many people. Another subject for another time.

[edit on 13-6-2008 by verylowfrequency]



posted on Jun, 13 2008 @ 02:55 AM
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The biggest problem that I have with dreams when they become lucid or I become aware that I am dreaming, is I have the tendency to spoil it and wake up because sometimes I get too excited or emotional.

I find that when I grasp that moment of lucidity I have to immediately move on, as if fixated on it I will lose it and awaken. If accidentally awakened, sometimes I can fall back asleep and continue where I left off, especially if I don't open my eyes or get out of bed, but usually it's just a wasted effort if your mind starts churning.

There is sort of a fence that you have to sit on too far to one side and you fall asleep or lose control, too far on the other side you awaken and lose it. That fence is where you can explore or make things happen.

My best lucid dreams can take place right when I go to sleep or right before I awaken for the day.

Often I find I can remember my dreams better if I wake up & then go back to sleep for a short period - say less than an hour or so. I discovered that when using the sleep function on my clock radio alarm.

If you want to remember your dreams, it's best to have a notepad near the bed and keep a log or have a notebook computer handy - but often you lose half the data waiting for the boot up process. Just the act of writing or keeping a log will also extend your waking memory capacity, and like a picture can bring you back and tie together portions of your life, the log can tie together dreams over time or at the very least make you aware of what works and what doesn't.

[edit on 13-6-2008 by verylowfrequency]



posted on Jun, 13 2008 @ 07:26 AM
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Originally posted by sc2099
So what exactly is the purpose of lucid dreaming besides fun or entertainment? What can be gained in waking life by the practice?



Not everything need be a matter of gain or achievement. There´s also the concept of fun. However, usually when I wake up after a lucid dream I feel energized and inspired, which does have some work-life advantages.



posted on Jun, 13 2008 @ 07:31 AM
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Originally posted by verylowfrequency
The biggest problem that I have with dreams when they become lucid or I become aware that I am dreaming, is I have the tendency to spoil it and wake up because sometimes I get too excited or emotional.

I find that when I grasp that moment of lucidity I have to immediately move on, as if fixated on it I will lose it and awaken. If accidentally awakened, sometimes I can fall back asleep and continue where I left off, especially if I don't open my eyes or get out of bed, but usually it's just a wasted effort if your mind starts churning.

There is sort of a fence that you have to sit on too far to one side and you fall asleep or lose control, too far on the other side you awaken and lose it. That fence is where you can explore or make things happen.




Thats true. I do the same. Get excited, yes, get too excited no. Otherwise you wake up. Its similar to when some boss gives you a raise and you thank him but you keep the overwhelming excitement to yourself. "OK cool, thanks boss".

Almost as if there´s some force saying: "OK, he´s too hysterical about it, not ready yet. Wake him up".



posted on Jun, 13 2008 @ 02:30 PM
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Kind of funny how you almost have to trick yourself in order to immerse yourself in the experience of lucid dreaming.

Like most things in life, learning technique that works for you is the key.

I started noticing or becoming aware of my lucid dreams after reading a book about them about 22 years ago. In the beginning I began to program my dreams for entertainment or just to see if I could do what the book claimed, that I thought was a bit outrageous at first.

Once I figured out it works it was not such a big deal and after awhile I didn't like where I was going and I consciously attempted to not remember or program my dreams. I've always been more conscious of my dreams since then, but I've never taken it too seriously or put much effort into it.

Though I have to admit at the times in my life that I'm single or am sleeping alone, the prospect of programing my dreams becomes more desirable.




Thanks for making the thread & forum, btw - sky.





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