A lucid dream is any dream during which the dreamer is aware of dreaming. During lucid dreaming, the dreamer may be able to exert some degree of control over the dream characters, narrative, and environmentLucid dreams occur when you realize you are dreaming. “Wait a second. This is only a dream!” Most dreamers wake themselves up once they realize that they are only dreaming. Other dreamers have cultivated the skill to remain in the lucid state of dreaming. They become an active participant in their own dreams, making decisions in their dreams and influencing the dream’s outcome without awakening. Lucid dreams give us the ability to control our own dreams and steer them toward the direction we want. In the lucid state, we are more willing to confront threats and as a result, become more self-confident. When we achieve lucidity, we can use it as a tool to improve our sports game, to rehearse a speech, to fulfill our fantasies, or to solve a problem in our waking life. In fact, some athletes utilize their lucid dreams to practice their tennis serve, golf stroke or bat swing. Even in our day to day life, we can use lucid dreams to ask the boss for a raise, prepare for a first date, overcome phobias, get over writer’s block, etc. The application of lucid dreams is limited only to your imagination. Lucid dreams can help us visualize and rehearse the event in our minds before it actually occurs.
As consciousness is evolving to higher frequency of light and sound, so too are our dreams. With this comes the lucid dream in which you can control and alter the events in your dream time by realizing that you are dreaming. Because brain activity during the dream state is the same as during a real life event, what you “learn” or “practice” in your lucid dream state can be seen as training and preparation for the real thing in the waking world. Our neuronal patterns are already being conditioned.
When lucid dreaming we have dreams where we become aware that we are dreaming, and then gain an element of control within the dream. It’s a dream state where you can make decisions about how you want to manipulate your dreams, for example ensuring that nightmares have a happy ending.
Lucid dreams are usually more vivid than ordinary dreams. Dream images appear sharper and brighter, and are subject to your control.
At least half of all adults have had at least one lucid dream in their lifetime. Many have reported having lucid dreams without even trying. Often flying is associated with lucid dreams. However with practice, lucid dreaming can be learned and can be achieved at your will. If you become a lucid dreamer, this does not mean that all of your dreams are of this type. Dreams vary as with all things your consciousness experiences.
It should be stated that lucid dreaming is a learnt technique and it’s not possible to dream lucidly all the time. Relaxation, meditation and visualization are all excellent tools to master lucid dreaming, but it’s still not always possible to have lucid dreams on demand. Also, sometimes it appears that some parts of dreams can be lucid while other parts are not. Thus, it remains within the decision remains in the dreaming self rather than the conscious self.
Sometimes, a lucid dream happens for no apparent reason. The level of lucidity can also vary greatly. At one level you may be aware that everything you are experiencing in the dream is occurring in your mind, and you never feel threatened by anything in your dream. In a low-level lucid dream, you may be aware to an extent that you are dreaming, but you are not aware enough to radically alter the content of the dream.
Lucid dreaming requires training. If you have patience, you can have wonderful results in due time. Make sure to check out our lucid dreaming techniques page to learn more about how to have lucid dreams.
There are many methods to use to create lucid dreaming. Here are just a few.
Before going to sleep, tell yourself think, I am going to have a lucid dream. This phrase will remain in your mind. When you dream, it will activate and you will know you are dreaming.
Next you must find a symbol that when seen in dream time allows you to recognize that you are dreaming.
Let’s say your symbol is the ‘sun’. Whenever you see that symbol in a dream, your mind will realize that you are dreaming and begin to interact freely.
For example . . . you are dreaming that you are walking on the beach on a nice sunny day. You look up and see the sun! Your mind relays the message to you, this is all a dream. You now can stop alter the events of this scene, projection, or move to another. The important things are expanding your conscious awareness to the point that you perceive the dream as a dream time experience.
Lucid dreaming techniques isn’t complicated, but they do require patience.
The first technique is good preparatory exercise for lucid dreaming and the second exercise is more advanced.
This takes practice, but can be done. It will help you realize what is occurring on the other side when you sleep and the nature of dreams as projected illusion.
Steps to Improving Lucid Dreaming
Prepare yourself for Sleep
Make yourself comfortable in bed and give yourself the instruction that tonight you will have a lucid dream. You can do this by creating a simple affirmation, such as: ‘Tonight my dream will be lucid.’ When you first start practising lucid dreaming, it’s best to make the affirmation simply about going lucid. As you gain mastery and experience, you may affirm what you would like to dream about as well.Throughout the day, while you are awake, ask yourself, “Is this a dream?” anytime something odd happens or even when nothing out of the ordinary happens. The trick is not to answer the question with an immediate “Of course I am not dreaming!”. Come up with a consistent way to check if you are awake or asleep. For example, checking the time on a clock and then quickly check it again. If you are dreaming, the time will always dramatically change at the second glance. Or if you are reading something, look away and then read it again.
Again if you dreaming, when you look at it the second time, whatever you are reading will be completely different. As you keep asking yourself this question during the day, the question will become second nature. You will ask the question during your dreams. And when you do your check to see if you are awake or asleep, you are well on your way to lucidity.
Repeat your Affirmation
Repeat your affirmation to yourself in order to fix it in your own mind. It may help to do it out loud, since it assists you in focusing your mind on your intention.
Identify your dream signals. These are objects, images or actions in your dream that serve as cues or markers to let you know that you are dreaming. Anything can be a dream signal and is unique to each individual dreamer. It may help to read through your dream journal and select an image that seem to constantly appears in your dreams. By selecting a recurring image, then it has a better chance of appearing in your future dreams. When you are ready for bed, tell yourself that “when I see an apple, then I know I am dreaming.” or whatever dream signal you have chosen.
Hold your Intent in Mind
Keep your intention firmly in mind until you drift off into sleep.
Use your dream signs to let you know that you are dreaming. When an anomaly or something impossible occurs in your dream, instead of ignoring it or trying to rationalize it, let it be an indicator that you are dreaming. Some common dream signs include flying, walking through walls or the appearance of someone who is dead in real life. Record your Lucid Dream
Upon waking up, take note whether you’ve succeeded in having a lucid dream and record it in your dream journal as soon as possible. Write down how long you think you were in a state of lucidity. Your estimation may not be very accurate at first, but you will become more proficient in time.
Finally encourage your lucid dreams, but do not force them, as your efforts may have an opposite effect. It is important to relax and be patient. As you improve your lucid dreaming, you can even learn to “write” your own dream scripts. Your sense of smell and touch will become heightened. Before going to bed, tell yourself what you want to dream and what area you want to explore.
Lucid (clear) dreaming is the awareness that you are in a dream state while you are asleep. It is believed that there are some lucid dreams that you can control and some that you cannot. For example, you can influence the dream setting or the people and events appearing in it. Lucid dreams can heighten your ability to influence the twists and turns that are occurring in your dream.
Research shows that people have at least one lucid dream during their lifetime. These types of dreams are a natural occurrence. You can set the stage for your lucid dream, thus producing many potential benefits to your waking life. You can overcome fears, stop nightmares, heal your mind, body and spirit, solve problems, relieve stress and enhance your spirituality. Lucid dreaming can be learned by practicing techniques of dream recall and performing mental exercises. There are even electronic lucid dream induction devices available to help in the process. These devices send light cues to the sleeper and detect rapid eye movement (REM), the deepest part of sleep. When adjusted properly, these devices can assist in speeding up the process of learning to dream lucidly.
It is not a recent discovery — it dates back to ancient times. St. Augustine of Hippo, in 415 AD made reference to the phenomena and the Tibetan monks practiced Dream Yoga, where experiencing lucidity in dreams helped them to achieve enlightenment, or a higher consciousness. The term lucid dreaming was coined by the Dutch psychologist Frederick van Eden. In the 1960s, Celia Green explained the potential for self-awareness in dreams. The British parapsychologist Keith Hearne produced the first evidence of lucid dreaming in the 1970s. At Stanford University, Dr. Stephen LaBerge began experimenting with and researching lucid dreaming and published his findings. He founded the Lucidity Institute in 1987 to further explore the subject.
Lucid dreaming is a useful way of dealing with our own inner demons. It’s a good way of raising our consciousness and developing internal images to assist in emotional healing in a creative way.