What does “lucid dreaming” mean?
Even though the term “lucid” means clear, lucid dreaming is more than just having a clear dream. To have a lucid dream you must know that it’s a dream while you’re dreaming. That’s it. It doesn’t require that you can control anything in your dream, though control is what beginning lucid dreamers often aim at. People get attracted to lucid dreaming because they want to be able to do things they could never do in waking reality, for example, taste fire or fly to the sun. More and more experienced lucid dreamers are realizing the benefits of lucid dreaming. You can use it to explore the boundaries of your own agency and the limits of the universe.
In normal dreams, even though they can be profound, your self awareness is asleep and the memory of the dream can be hard to retrieve. Which is why most dream work recommends keeping a dream journal for better recall. Lucid dreaming happens during altered states of consciousness. The conscious mind is awake while your body is sleeping and your mind is having adventures. To me, this says the soul never sleeps. The body obviously needs sleep, the mind sleeps, but the soul seems to be doing its own thing while we are unconscious. This kind of dreaming can open up a whole new world, one that can greatly benefit your waking world and you can apply much of it to growth and expansion of yourself.
So how do we make this happen? Many of you have had lucid dreams before, or at least have good dream recall. If lucid dreaming is a desire of yours, simply having the desire is planting a seed in the mind that you want to experience this. There are many techniques that can be applied to achieve lucid states of mind. The key is in recognizing the dreamstate. It is firstly realizing that you are dreaming and then staying in the dream instead of waking up. Then when you are in there, you can fly, you can float, you can do anything you want. whatever you think of is created instantly (so mind your mind).
Some of these techniques include meditation, reality checks, journaling, self-hypnosis, visualization, mnemonic techniques, binaural beats, and herbs that are dream inducing.
Lets take a look at some of these. Meditation and self-hypnosis are widely used and there are many ways to do both of those. You may already meditate regularly so this could be something you add to your regular routine.
1. Journaling is always a good idea for dream work, and it is important to write them as soon as you wake up from them, before your feet hit the floor, because even this act will trigger things in your brain to wake up and you will lose much of the dream or even all of it within half an hour. So keep one by your bed with a pen that works, because you don’t want to run out of ink in mid dream recall.
2. Reality checks are what you do when you are already in the dream and you can’t tell is you are really awake or dreaming. Pick something easy like poking your finger through your palm. If your finger goes through, then you are obviously in dream and now you are lucid and can have your adventure. Personally I use a token, mine is a thimble, and throughout the day I hold it in my palm and look at it and say aloud, “I am awake”. I do this 10-15 times a day. Then when I am in dream, and I look at my hands, and the thimble is not there, I know I am asleep and I am about to have a wonderful lucid experience.
3. Mnemonic techniques are really tools to help improve your memory. The idea behind using mnemonics is to encode difficult-to-remember information in a way that is much easier to remember. Our brains respond more to images and colors and symbols than written word. There are many websites that go into great detail about Mnemonics is you are interested in incorporating this technique in your quest for lucid experiences.
4. Binaural beats are readily available on youtube for lucid dreaming and for many other things. Binaural beats were originally discovered in 1839 by physicist Heinrich Wilhelm Dove, who discovered that when there are two different frequency signals are played separately to each ear, your brain recognizes the variation and tries to reconcile that. Thus inducing a third frequency. For example, if a frequency of 100 Hz is presented to your left ear, and a frequency of 105 Hz is presented to your right ear, your brain “hears” a third frequency pulsing at 5 Hz, the exact difference between the two frequencies. This is probably one of the easier and more effective ways to change brainwaves. Headphones should be worn when using this technique.
As far as the herbs go, you will have to research that for yourselves and decide if it is something you want to try. there are literally thousands of websites on herbs that are very in-depth and you should also consult your medical practitioner before taking any herbs.
I hope you try going Lucid in your dreams. It is a very natural human ability and it can have profound changes on your life…