Lucid Dreaming Tips

I have been meaning to write this blog for a while. So here goes my tips for Lucid Dreaming!

 

  1. Practice mindfulness. Throughout the day check in with yourself/become your own personal narrator. Describe how you are feeling. Describe in detail what you are doing presently. Describe your environment paying special attention to each of your senses. State your intentions/goals for the day. If possible speak out loud. Point out anything beautiful/intriguing/unusual that you happen to come across throughout your day. Get in the habit of asking yourself questions. Breathe consciously. Feel yourself inside of your body. For many people it helps to set a specific cue to test for wakefulness. I bite my tongue or cheek.
  2. Practice mindfulness when asleep. This will be much easier if you have established the habit in your waking life. Ask lots of questions! Fact check with yourself. Who am I? When is my birthday? Where am I? Approach the characters in your dream. Unlike in real life dream characters will sometimes struggle to provide basic information particularly about their identities. They may also give nonsensical or nonstandard answers to basic questions such as “What is your name?” and “How are you doing?”
  3. Check in with your senses. If you notice that your senses are impaired this can be a good indication that you are in an altered state of consciousness.
  4. Once you have identified that something weird is going on. Try asking yourself “Is this a dream?” Usually the question alone is enough to elicit awareness. I ask myself this when I am awake and spaced out as well. Once you feel pretty sure that you are asleep, say confidently “This is a dream.” Just saying those words should leave you feeling pretty empowered.
  5. Once you have established that you are asleep, focus on your body. Focus on your feet in particular. Imagine the ground underneath them as solid. In dreams it’s suggested that you float around, don’t float walk (you can fly later).
  6. Once you have centered yourself and you’re comfortable in your dream body then you can start exploring. Before you change anything I recommend exploring the dream in progress. I find it difficult to stay asleep during a lucid dream because of the heightened sensory input. You need to give yourself time to adjust.
  7. Before you make major changes start with smaller changes. Explore what your body can do. Try jumping really high or flying around.
  8. If you want to dream about a specific person, invite them into your dream. Say it out loud before bed and then in the dream ask for them by name. Ask the dream characters if they have seen so and so or if they are so and so. Look for so and so behind doors and in various places you might expect to find them, maybe in places where you have met them in real life. Call them or text them in the dream and invite them to a location just as you would in real life. Consent is important even in a dream! Always treat them with respect.
  9. To manipulate the content of your dream it is important for you to understand what type of learner you are. I am a read/write learner which means that if I want to program myself to dream about a certain thing it works better if I write down in detail what I want to dream about or if I read about the places I would like to visit during the day (for some it works best to do it right before bed). If you are a visual learner you will have a lot more success looking at pictures or watching movies. Obviously it helps if you can visualize well in your waking life. The more senses you can recruit in your visualizations the better but for those of you who are very one-sided, one-tract learners like me you can achieve faster results by focusing on what you are best at.
  10. It can be enough to simply state your destination in the dream. “I want to go to Paris.” Your brain should already have plenty of stored information about Paris to aid you in your re-creation. 
  11. Ask the dream characters to perform certain actions and/or favors for you. Dream characters can get stuck on a script and be somewhat inflexible like NPCs in a game so you might not have much luck talking to them in an active/conscious way but stating what you want can still help it to manifest.
  12. Meditate daily. I have a lot of success using Lucid Dreaming Meditation Music which can be found on Youtube.
  13. Keep a dream journal. Keeping a dream journal can give you little insights and clues that will aid you in detecting dreams, it also sends a message to your brain that dreams are important and worth remembering.

 

Special Notes Nightmares

 

  1. The first step is to create a safe haven for yourself during your daily meditation practice. This can be an actual place or an imagined place. During the day whenever you are feeling stressed take a time out and visit your safe haven for a few minutes. With enough practice you will be able to visit your safe haven when asleep. You can also try closing your eyes within the dream and calling up a happy memory.
  2. Go into the dream knowing every character you meet is yourself (unless you have invited someone into the dream and this isn’t really possible unless you have a special bond). 
  3. When possible take the opportunity to do a little trauma therapy. The “villain” in any dream is just a wounded and/or neglected part of yourself. Ask them questions in a genuine attempt to get to know them better. Invite them back into your life. If possible attempt to brighten the space they are in (open the blinds, turn on the light, take them to a location with lots of natural light). Offer them comfort (a hug, a shoulder to cry on, a hand to hold, an ear if they want to talk). Offer forgiveness/acceptance. If at some point doing your therapy session you discover that they represent a younger version of yourself treat them as you would any child you wish to bond with and comfort.
  4. If someone is chasing you say “Goodbye” and walk away normally. If you scream or run they will just pursue you. If you come upon a terrifying scene close the door and move on.
  5. Say “I don’t like this dream. I want to dream of something else.” This works wonders for me.
  6. Use humor to diffuse the situation. If a villain is chasing me I will stop, turn around and run after them instead. You could even try turning it into a game by tapping them on the shoulder and saying “Tag your it!”
  7. Confuse them. Kiss or tickle them when they least expect it. Be prepared though if you kiss them they can occasionally turn quite amorous.
  8. If you’re really not feeling the dream vibes use lucid dreaming to change the scene altogether or simply wake up and try again! If the dream is really scary I will stay awake for several minutes before returning to sleep. If you wake up on your back, roll over. Sleeping on my back does improve my chances of lucid dreaming but I am also more likely to have nightmares when sleeping on my back.
  9. So what happens if the bad guy attacks you? Talk to them if you can try to deescalate the situation. If you can’t just kick their ass. It’s your dream and in a dream your power is unlimited.
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keep your coat on

I debated fiercely with myself today. Should I write? Should I post?

Yesterday I had a therapy session. So far we’ve only worked on relaxation techniques. I find relaxation unsettling, particularly in the company of other humanoids. Lowering my guard leaves me damn right paranoid and so even before the sessions begin I am worked up (it’s the expectation of exposure). We started out playing instruments, my therapist specializes in musical therapy and trauma. I have no musical sensibilities whatsoever, no sense of rhythm but I do like music just the same. I chose the Marimba. I felt a mix of emotions seething insecurity and childish wonder/joy were the top two. I found that I lost focus quite a bit and whenever I did I could tell because the notes became muddied and I lost whatever tune I had concocted. The therapist accompanied me using an African drum and whenever I listened to her playing I instantly forgot what I was doing and my hands became utterly alien to me.

After the music session I had to write a time line. We started with the first five years of my life. The first five years were very difficult and even though I was told not to give too much detail about the events it is impossible to speak of those years without mentioning trauma. Many of my early childhood memories are negative, so negative that even the positive memories make me queasy.

The therapist asked me if there were any positive figures who were predominant in my life. I found that a difficult question to answer. I do have relatives that are sane and kind but I spent very little time with them. I was able to think of one person though, a younger cousin. Growing up she was my closest friend, a kind of surrogate sister if you will. I’ll call her S for sister. S was born with a birth defect, a dangerous black growth on the back of her head. She had surgery after surgery after surgery growing up. She was horrifyingly thin, like the children on charity commercials, just bones with a canvas of thin delicate flesh, almost like a spider’s silk. She got sick often. She had chronic headaches. She was bullied mercilessly for her partially bald misshapen head. She stood up for herself and made friends. She was a very happy, affectionate child. She was innocence personified. She is my hero. Because of her condition she will always be at a high risk for tumors and has in her adult life dealt with her share of cancer scares and chemotherapy. She is tough and I don’t mean hard, I mean she is strong and resilient. She is a very devoted mother. She is also outgoing and confident which means we are completely different.

When I was talking about her the therapist said that I am also strong but I have never found myself so. How does one define weakness? What about strength? Am I strong because I didn’t die? Because I didn’t turn to addiction? Because I am not continuing the cycle, the path my genetics and wiring would have me repeat? If that is strong I guess I am reasonably but I would not call myself a “success story” either. I have a lot of fears and while I am courageous in some respects in many others I am a total coward. I knew I shouldn’t have taken off my coat when I came into the appointment. I have been wearing my coat each time but yesterday I wore a thicker wool coat and removed it, I think it gave a false impression.

Anyways yesterday was a tough session and I am feeling fragile and hostile. I can’t even exercise because I am so nauseous from the stress. One thing I am not good at, is letting go and switching gears. Once I start to open up, I mount an attack against myself in retaliation. I get locked into some morbid obsessional loop that I can’t seem to break free of unless I perchance to have a good night’s sleep. I did not have a good night’s sleep. After the session Sam came to pick me up for lunch and my mind was all over the place. When he left I did a little shopping but I lost so much time wondering around that I was nearly late to greet my daughter from school. I called my MIL just encase I didn’t make it in time and I only barely did.

That is why I am not posting any poetry today I am feeling too vulnerable and emotional. If I do write anything today I will need to sit with it a little longer than I usually do.

(Sam is sick he’s had a high fever all night so I am going to make him stay home today.  I thought my stomach problems were stress related but since he is also having stomach problems I think we might have gotten some bug.)