If you are serious about becoming a lucid dreamer, then this blog is a must for you. I will teach you everything you need to know. If you are diligent in following these free lucid dream lessons, then you can start having lucid dreams in a relatively short period of time.
Journeys Beyond Belief
Imagine flying above a winding road in an old country neighborhood just above the heights of the telephone poles, soaring above skyscrapers in a large, metropolitan city, gliding through the incredible geological formations of the Grand Canyon, propelling yourself throughout a surreal, enchanted forest filled with dangerous creatures just out of your reach, blasting into the far-reaches of the universe and exploring bizarre planets, breathtaking nebulae, and spectacular galaxies. Consider being a member of the crew of the Starship Enterprise or any other cast member of your favorite television program or movie? Would you like to have the power and satisfaction to thwart off a group of thugs that are threatening you or your family’s safety? Wouldn’t it be fantastic to obtain helpful insight for problems or issues you may have with your relationships, school, work, or anything else? How about having an unbridled relationship with any partner you desire? These fantasies and others are possible through lucid dreaming. Lucid dreaming allows you to take full control of your dreams while remaining asleep. You can control and consciously communicate with your subconscious mind while you are sleeping.
Definition of Lucid Dreaming and Dream Control
A lucid dream is a dream in which a person is aware that they are dreaming while they are actually sleeping. This phenomenon is also known as conscious or self-aware dreaming. Dream control is actually the function that allows you to do what you want during a dream. The words “lucid dreaming” and “dream control” are often used synonymously, but dream control is what I am really discussing here and is where the fun, excitement and the learning happens. Lucid dreaming only means that you know that you are dreaming and dream control is when you are in control of what happens during your dream while you know you are dreaming. For the purpose of the lessons on this website, I will use the term “lucid dreaming” to mean that you know that you are dreaming and you are in control of what happens during your dream.
A lucid dream can seem extremely real and vivid. During a lucid dream, the dreamer can actively participate and control the entire dream. Lucid dreaming can truly be a fantastic experience. Just think how incredible it would be to do what ever you wish in a safe environment that feels as close to real as real can be, without the fear of consequences. On a more practical standpoint, a lucid dream is extremely therapeutic and psychologically helpful in many ways.
This blog website will provide you with free lucid dream lessons, which will show you exactly how to start having your own lucid dreams as quickly as possible. Later, more blogs will be posted on this website that will contain every aspect of lucid dreaming. Keep in mind that the more you know about lucid dreaming, the more lucid dreams you will have.
An Incredible Reality
About twenty-five years ago, I briefly witnessed a discussion on television about lucid dreaming. I only caught the end of the discussion and quickly wrote down the term “lucid dream.” It was the first time I ever heard the term, “lucid dream.” I had experienced lucid dreams prior to this television discussion, but not very often. This was during the mid-1980s when there weren’t many home computers around, let alone access to the Internet. As soon as I had the chance, I went to the book store and looked for a book about this intriguing subject. It took several trips to different book stores until I ran across a book named Lucid Dreaming, by Stephen LaBerge, Ph.D. I was thrilled to find this book. It was a treasure to me and read through it almost without stopping. This book and several others taught me what I needed to know to induce and increase the frequency of my lucid dreams. It only took me short amount of time to be much more successful. I now have lucid dreams on a very regular basis and as often as I want. I have been consistently experiencing lucid dreams for over twenty years. I consider myself an expert on the subject because of my extensive lucid dreaming experience and the massive amounts of research I have done on this subject. I can help you have your own lucid dreams, or if you are already having them, I can help you to have more.
In this blog website, www.luciddreamlessons.com I will provide you will free lucid dream lessons and share information I have learned with you so that you may have as may lucid dreams as you wish.
A lucid dream is like using a holodeck. For those not familiar with holodecks, they are facilities that simulate reality, generally located on starships like in the fictional Star Trek universe.
Lucid dreaming is not fiction my friends, it is a reality!
© 2009 – 2011 Gary Gardner, All Rights Reserved
Research has proven that everyone dreams several times during a full sleeping period. The problem is that you may simply don’t remember what you dreamed about or if you had any dreams at all. You simply forget. In order to enjoy and learn from your lucid dreams when you are awake, you must remember your dreams.
Having a positive attitude and being optimistic is the first step in remembering your dreams. Getting plenty of sleep is also very important. Keeping a dream journal will help you to remember your dreams and the details of your dreams. Other techniques explained on this website will assist you in dream recall.
Keeping a Dream Journal
A dream journal must always be kept when you are learning to have lucid dreams. It is also a good practice to continue keeping a dream journal even after you are an expert lucid dreamer. I do. Keeping a dream journal will help you remember your dreams and the details of your dreams. When diligently maintaining a dream journal, you will be surprised how many dreams you have and the vividness and detail of your dreams. Be thorough in keeping a dream journal every day, and you will eventually start remembering your dreams on a regular basis. You will probably not remember all of your dreams, but just remembering and keeping notes on a few dreams or even just small parts of dreams is very important. It will train you to eventually have great success with having a detailed and organized dream journal.
Here’s how it works. If you do recall a dream or even just a partial dream, write it down as quickly as possible. This includes lucid, non-lucid, partial dreams, dream fragments, and feelings you have about the dream. Sometimes feelings are the only thing you can remember about a dream. Dream fragments are tiny portions, feelings, or just a glimpse of the dream. They are usually vague, but can often be helpful. Include as much detail as you can, such as where you were, what you were doing, how you felt, people you encountered or talked to, music, animals, objects such as furniture, rooms, cars, airplanes, pencils, doors, clothing, etc., everything. If you recall part or most of your dream, I find it best to write it like a story. Give it a title and just write as much as you can remember. A title will help you remember the main idea of the dream. You will usually remember more detail when you write it down. You should even draw pictures, such as room layouts, paths or streets you traveled, etc. The key is to write about your dream as quickly as possible and everything you can remember. I keep a notebook and pencil right next to my bed. If I wake in the middle of the night, I’ll grab it and jot down a few key words that will help me remember when I wake up. I’ll then use my notes to enter a dream into my dream journal. The key words I write down in the middle of the night are a great tool to help me remember. Sometimes I even recall a dream or part of a dream several hours later, during the day. If I do, I write down what I remember and add it to my dream journal later.
A dream journal can simply be a notebook. Here are some suggestions of ways to keep a dream journal:
- Notebook or notepad
- Word processor or note-keeping software on your computer – Be sure to use titles, keywords, etc. Organize them in a fashion so you can easily reference them in the future.
- Dream diary software or personal diary software – Many are free, but some are not. Do a search on the internet. Some dream diary software can assist you in organization and help you with other key elements of lucid dreams. I’ll list some of these in another blog.
- An audio recording device – You can use a tape recorder, digital recorder or any other device to record your dreams
- A spreadsheet on your computer
Be creative and use whatever works for you.
Note: Dreams can be very personal, so you may want to protect your dream journal by locking it up or assigning a password to the files on your computer.
Having a Difficult Time Remembering Your Dreams?
Remember, getting plenty of sleep is the first step. Also, remember before going to sleep, put yourself into a very relaxed state. Think to yourself, “I will have a wonderful dream. When I awake, I will remember it.” Repeat this several times. If possible, keep thinking these words as you drift off to sleep. You can also repeat this to yourself throughout your waking hours, several times a day. The subconscious mind has much influence over you and your dreams because it is directly connected to your dreaming. It remembers what you think while you are awake and when you are asleep.
You may also recall dream fragments. You can remember dream fragments waking up in the middle of the night (or your normal sleep time), when you first wake up in the morning (or your regular waking time), or anytime throughout the day. You may vaguely remember you were at some location, talking to someone, being afraid or happy, or taking place in any activity. Sometimes a dream fragment is just a feeling you had. If you recall any dream fragments, you should ponder them immediately and write them down. Dream fragments are keys to dream recall. You will build your dream recall by using dream fragments, which includes anything you can remember, how ever small they may be. Make sure you are in a safe place while pondering and writing. I wouldn’t want you to have an accident while doing this.
One method that has worked very well for me when waking with a dream fragment in my mind is this: Quickly close your eyes and gently focus on the fragment to the best of your ability. Often, it will help you to remember the dream, including portions of the dream, or the entire dream in astonishing detail. You can be amazed on how focusing on dream fragments can help you recall the dream. You can also use this method if you remember a dream fragment during the day. Just close your eyes and ponder. It doesn’t always work, but it does for a good percentage of the time. Remember to write it down as soon as you recall any details. Also, remember that dream fragments can just be a feeling about the dream. Ponder the feeling of the dream and include it in your dream journal. Don’t forget to always be positive and optimistic!
Don’t Give Up!
Everyone is different. You may already recall great details of you dreams everyday or you may think that you never dream. For those that think that you never dream, you must be persistent. It may take a few days, weeks, or months before you recall your first dream or dream fragments. When you do, you will be pleasantly surprised!
- Stay positive and optimistic.
- Get plenty of sleep and think and believe that you will have a dream that you will remember before falling asleep and throughout your waking hours.
- Keep an organized, detailed dream journal, including dream fragments and dream feelings.
- Never give up. Think positive. It may take some time, but you will eventually recall your dreams!
The next lesson will explain how to induce a lucid dream!
© 2009 – 2011 Gary Gardner, All Rights Reserved
Dream Journal Success!
By now, you should be very diligent in keeping a dream journal. Perhaps you are now recording full dreams or just dream fragments. I recommend that if you have been keeping a dream journal for three or four weeks and you are just remembering dream fragments or no dreams at all, then continue to focus on working on your dream journal for a couple of more weeks and then come back to this lesson. If you can’t recall any dreams, then there is not much reason to obtaining lucidity. In the near future, I will add an extra blog containing more techniques that should help you progress in remembering your dreams.
If you have been successful in dream recall let’s move ahead now and learn how to induce a lucid dream.
Techniques to Inducing Lucid Dreams
There are many methods that will induce lucid dreams. In this lesson, I will focus on a two very essential techniques that have worked for a countless number of people, including myself. In my next blog, I will provide you with several more techniques, in case you are still struggling with experiencing a lucid dream.
Lucid Dream Induction Techniques
Since lucid dreaming has been around for a while, there are several techniques that have been developed and are regularly used in the lucid dream community. It is essential that you fully understand these techniques in order to successfully induce a lucid dream. I am only going to address two extremely important techniques in this blog. In my experience, “reality testing” (or reality checking) and “dream signs” are the two techniques that can induce lucid dreams quickly and easily.
Reality testing is a common technique used to determine whether or not you are dreaming. It involves performing tests to determine if you are dreaming or not. By performing these tests while you are awake, it can become a habit to perform such a test while dreaming. If the reality test fails, then you may realize that you are dreaming and start having a lucid dream. Remember, the goal is to do these tests on a regular basis so they become a habit. Eventually, you will perform reality tests while you are dreaming if you practice doing them while you are awake. When I was learning, I did the tests about eight to ten times a day. I didn’t do all of them, but maybe two or three random ones.
Here is a list of common reality tests that I have read about and tried:
- Simply asking yourself throughout your waking hours, “Is this a dream?” Then make the decision weather or not you are awake or dreaming. It’s really that simple. This is a reality test that I use the most.
- Look into a mirror. During a dream, reflections from a mirror often appear different from which you would normally expect. Reflections can be blurred, distorted, or even frightening.
- Open book and look inside. Often, the pages will be blank during a dream.
- Squeeze your nostrils shut and if you are able to breathe without using your mouth, you are dreaming.
- Try to stick your finger through the palm of your hand. Of course this wouldn’t work during a waking state unless the unlikely even that you really had a hole through your palm.
- Look at your watch or a clock (remembering the time), look away, and look back. The time will probably have changed to a different time and you may see strange letters and characters. (Digital watches and clocks have a tendency to work much better than analog watches or clocks.)
- Look towards the ground beneath your feet or at your hands. If you do this while dreaming, the difference in appearance of the ground or your hands from a waking state is usually enough to alert you that you are dreaming.
- Flip a light switch on or off. The light usually doesn’t change as it should in a waking state unless, of course, the light bulb really burned out.
Use your imagination and test other actions. With practice, I’ll bet you will notice things that you can test that prove you are dreaming.
You can build up a habit of periodically asking oneself throughout the day if you are dreaming by performing one or several of the tests above. These habits will eventually cause you to test them during a dream, which will lead to lucidity when you realize that your actions or behaviors are not real.
When I was a teenager, my friends and I used to jump up off the ground to see how many time we could click our feet together before returning to the ground. Even with much practice it is hard to click your feet together two or three times. I think three was all I was able to achieve. In one of my first lucid dreams, I was able to jump up in the air and click my feet together about nine or ten times. This was a reality test that carried from my waking state right into my dream. I suddenly realized that this couldn’t possibly be real and immediately knew that I was having a lucid dream. This lucid dream carried on what seemed to be about twenty minutes. I had complete control over everything in my dream. I simply thought what I wanted to happen during the dream and it happened. What a blast I had!
Dream signs are clues that you are dreaming. They are things occurring in your dream that wouldn’t happen in a waking state. Before you recognize that they are dream signs, they will seem natural to you while you are dreaming. Once you recognize the dream sign, you will know you are dreaming and become lucid in your dream.
Dream signs may include things such as flying, a dog or cat talking to you, or several other abnormal events. Dream signs include out-of-the-ordinary actions or objects in your dream. They can also reflect wants, fears, hates, and embarrassing situations. They can manifest themselves in many different ways, depending on the dreamer. The key is that you recognize its abnormality. This is what makes you realize that you are dreaming.
There are many kinds of dream signs that will eventually become very evident to you. Here are some common examples that I have read about and experienced:
- You, another dream character, or an object does something unusual or impossible in waking life, such as walking through walls, flying, jumping extremely high, or breathing under water.
- You have a sensational loss of bodily strength. You are unable to move entirely or run away from something you are scared of.
- If you read a sign, book or any other document, look away, then look back, the words usually change.
- The place or situation in the dream is weird and includes fictional characters or places.
- You, another character, or an object changes shapes. This may include unusual clothing, hair, body parts, etc. You may even find yourself looking at your own self.
- During a dream, you may have a very unusual thought, a strong emotion, an abnormal sensation, a loss of normal logic, or an altered perception.
- If you move your head from side to side, you notice a strange motion of an image you are looking at.
- If you look at a clock or watch, look away, then look back, the time is usually different, it may have changed in appearances, or the clock or watch may be gone.
- You seem to have an abnormal number of fingers or other body parts.
Be conscious of your surroundings during your waking state and think about dream signs. This habit will eventually cause you to become more aware of dream signs during a dream. This will eventually lead into a lucid dream when dream signs are recognized.
Analyze your dream journal to determine your own dream signs and highlight or make a note of them.
Differences Between Reality Testing and Dream Signs
Reality testing and dream signs may seem to be a lot alike, but there is a difference. Reality testing takes place during your waking state and then carries over to your dream state. Dream signs are merely things that should only occur during dreams.
I rely much on dream signs because I have been using them for a long time. I also still perform reality testing as well. For you, as a beginner, I would recommend using both of these tools to their most fullest extent as possible.
The next blog lesson will cover more ways to induce lucid dreams.
© 2009 – 2011 Gary Gardner, All Rights Reserved
Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams (MILD)
The process of MILD, developed by Dr. Stephen LaBerge, involves committing to memory that you will realize that you are dreaming when a future dream occurs. You also need to set your mind when you awaken from a dream to recall as many details about it as you can. This requires practice.
When you are falling back to sleep, after awakening, focus your thoughts to remember that you are dreaming. While drifting back to sleep you should think to yourself, “the next time I am dreaming, I will recognize that I am dreaming” over and over until you fall back to sleep. I’ve also repeated in my mind, “this is a dream, this is a dream, this is a dream” while drifting back to sleep.
As you continue to focus on your intention to remember when you are dreaming, imagine that you are back in the dream from which you just awakened. (You can also focus on another dream you had recently if you don’t remember the dream you just had.) Imagine that this time you recognize that you are dreaming. Look for a dream sign (such as walking thorough a concrete wall). See Dream Signs in Lesson Two – Inducing Lucid Dreams (Part One). When you see a dream sign, say to yourself, “I’m dreaming” and continue having a wonderful lucid dream like I have had on several occasions using the MILD method.
The WBTB technique is a good way to encourage a lucid dream. I have had success with this method. The technique involves going to sleep and waking up about 5½ hours later. You can use an alarm clock for this. While awake, get out of bed and focus all thoughts on lucid dreaming, staying awake for about 30 minutes. Go back to sleep while practicing the MILD method. Rapid Eye Movement (REM) cycles get longer as the night goes on, and this technique takes advantage of the best REM cycle of the night. Because this REM cycle is longer, becoming lucid during this time can be more successful and may result in longer lucid dreams. REM will be discussed further, in an upcoming lesson.
Since everyone’s’ sleep patterns are different, there are various approaches to WBTB. Try adjusting the time you wake yourself up and staying awake shorter or longer periods of time. I find that going back to sleep after about 15 minutes works for me, but I know some that stay awake for about an hour. Experiment with sleeping and waking times until you find out what works best for you.
Cycle Adjustment Technique (CAT)
CAT was developed by Daniel Love. It is an effective way to induce lucid dreaming. It involves adjusting your sleep cycles to raise your conscious awareness during the early morning REM sleep phases. Set your alarm clock to 90 minutes before you normally wake up. Do this for one week to reset your body clock. This first step will usually not produce any lucid dreams. During the next week, alternate your wake-up time on a daily basis from normal to early, normal, to early, etc. each day of this second week. When you go to bed, set your intention to awake at the earlier time and check for dream signs. Even if you know you are waking up at the later time, prepare for an early start.
On normal days, your body will expect you to get up early and your mind will already be stimulated and more likely to become lucid. This technique improves your chances of having more lucid dreams in a week – hopefully every other day.
WILD refers to any method that involves falling asleep consciously. These techniques are similar to self-hypnosis. The key to this method is recognizing the hypnotic stage, which is within the border of being awake and being asleep. If you are successful in staying aware while this stage occurs, you should enter the dream state and achieve lucidity.
It is much easier to use this method in the early morning, after waking up, or during afternoon naps. Once you practice using the WILD technique and have a good success rate, you can try to induce them at other times.
Lucid Dream Induction Devices (LDID)
Lucid dream induction is possible by the use of a physical device such as The NovaDreamer and other similar devices. The NovaDreamer is a lightweight, comfortable mask that will signal you while you are dreaming. It does so by its sensors detecting your eye movements. When your eyes are moving rapidly from side to side, the device determines that you are in REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. At this point it flashes red lights in your eyes for two seconds. The unit will flash again every five minutes while you are in REM sleep. “While you are dreaming your mind will detect the flashing lights into your dream. You may see twinkling jewels, a firework display, a flashing clock radio display, etc. By learning to detect changes in light during your waking state, and then doing a few simple checks to see if you are really awake, you will soon learn to recognize what the lights are in your dream from the device and become lucid.” (Quote from: www.lifetools.com/novadreamer/novadreamerinfo.html)
Another lucid dream induction stimulus is vibration. A device that can detect REM sleep will activate a small vibrator placed on your hand, arm or ankle.
With a lot of practice, a timer can also serve as a signal to trigger a lucid dream. There are generally five periods of REM sleep during an eight-hour sleeping period. During REM sleep is when you normally have lucid dream so you have five chances to have a lucid dream during this sleep period. If you can carefully plan when you are in REM sleep, a timer with a short sound that is not very loud may signal you to become lucid.
© 2009 – 2011 Gary Gardner, All Rights Reserved
Congratulations on becoming lucid during your dreams. For some of you it may have been easy, but for others, it may have taken weeks or even months. None the less, you have succeeded! Remember to always keep entering your dreams into your dream journal. Highlight all of the dream signs. This will help you to remember them the next time you are dreaming. Also, continue to practice and study about lucid dreaming. I will continue to provide you with lucid dream information on a continual basis.
Now that you have successfully had one or more lucid dreams, you may have noticed that it can be hard to stay asleep and remain lucid. This lesson will address things that can happen during a lucid dream and provide some techniques to help you remain lucid.
Waking Up Too Soon
During the first few lucid dreams you may wake up very soon after becoming lucid. This is normal. The excitement of realizing that you are lucid is enough to wake you up immediately. Don’t worry, it gets easier to remain lucid the more times you become lucid. There are two proven ways two help yourself in remaining lucid.
During the dream, try as hard as you can to stay calm and focus your attention on the dream rather than giving in to the excitement of reaching lucidity. You can also prepare yourself while you are awake by using the power of suggestion. Throughout the day, say to yourself, “If I become lucid during a dream, I will remain calm”, or something to that nature. You will be surprised how influential the power of suggestion really is.
If the dream shows signs of ending, such as loss of the vividness, detail, or even just having the feeling that you are waking up, spinning can help you remain asleep in the dream state. If you feel the dream fading, spin your dream body like a top, around and around, over and over again like you may have done as a child. You should then be taken back into the dream. When you stop spinning, look for a dream sign or perform a reality test to verify your lucidity.
Be aware that sometimes you may think that you have awakened from a dream when in fact you may be still dreaming. You are essentially dreaming that you have woke up. Once again, look for dream signs or perform a reality test even though you think you might be awake. What an intriguing phenomena it is to dream that you have awakened from a dream. Perhaps you were in a second-level dream state returning to a first-level dream state. We will discuss this more, later.
With some practice, you can remain lucid and be able to identify if you are experiencing a false awakening. Be sure to record all the details of struggling with remaining lucid and any false awakenings you may encounter into your dream journal.
© 2009 – 2011 Gary Gardner, All Rights Reserved
The Astonishing Lucid Dream
The things you can do during a lucid dream are virtually endless. Lucidity is the jewel of the dream world, the golden key of the subconscious mind and the paradise of fantasies. With practice, you can have ultimate pleasure, mind-boggling fun, breathtaking relationships, immense understandings and incredible problem solving skills. Once you learn to become the master of your dreams, the items mentioned above will just become a matter of falling asleep. What an incredible gift, indeed!
Your First Lucid Dreams
Now that you have some control over waking up too soon during a lucid dream and the ability to recognize false awakenings, you can remain lucid and start experimenting with the lucid dream world. During one of my first lucid dreams I decided to fly. Flying is a fairly common desire for beginning lucid dreamers. So, I laid down on the ground and spread my arms out like an airplane. Bare in mind that up to this point I’ve never been one to enjoy being on top of tall buildings and looking down. Skydiving has never been on my list of desires. I decided to start out by flying low to the ground. I flew around my neighborhood about six feet above the ground for several minutes. I bumped into a few things and even crashed a few times, but eventually I had a fair amount of control. I even stopped when I came to street intersections. It was strange how I still observed safety even though I was completely lucid. This was because this was very new to world to me. It didn’t take long in future dreams before I was flying higher and higher until I was above the telephone poles and was swooping up and down at will. My point is that it takes time to become adjusted to the lucid dream world. However, there are some people that have a natural talent to progress very rapidly in controlling their dreams.
While lucid dreaming, things are happening like in non-lucid dreams, but the difference is that you now have the power to change the course of the dream and basically do whatever you want. For example, during another early lucid dream, I encountered a group of guys that I knew were going to attack me. Well, I could have probably just controlled them to become nice guys, but I thought it would be more fun to teach them a lesson. I decided to show off some of my devastating Kung Fu moves, which I most certainly don’t possess while awake. At first, I wasn’t having a great deal of success. I became frustrated and almost woke up. I tried hard to remain calm and soon, I was jumping, kicking, spinning around and attacked my unwelcome dream muggers just like you may have seen in a movie. I knew that I wasn’t really hurting anybody so what the heck! They immediately retreated like cowards. I woke up later with a feeling of power and excitement that stayed with me throughout the day. The key thing here was that was able to stay calm even though it was a very exciting situation. This sounds like a contradiction in terms, but it’s really not. Try staying calm during your lucid dreams and you will have a better understanding of what I mean.
Controlling Your Lucid Dream Environment
During your first lucid dreams you should be able to control things like changing the some situations or controlling some of your own actions, but it will take practice and experience to have complete control of your dreams. You will find that changing some things is easier than changing others. It can be difficult at first to know how much force or desire is required to do or change something. Don’t become discouraged, because with practice, you will improve. Try to remember to stay calm during a lucid dream and things will eventually become easier to do.
To make things happen during a lucid dream you must believe that you can do it. If you don’t believe you can do something, then there is a great chance that it won’t happen.
In the lucid dream world there are new concepts to accept. You can now do things in your dream that you would never think possible while you are awake. Once you conquer this new dreaming belief system, you will become successful at what you want to do. For some of us this will be easier than it will be for others. The key here once again is to never give up. Believe and it will eventually happen. Try doing easy things at first and build up to more complex desires. For example, if you are having difficulty with flying, then just try to float a little bit off of the ground. If you are having a hard time completely changing a dream scene, then just try changing a small portion of it. If you don’t have success with something, try something else. If it just doesn’t seem to be working out, just try observing instead of controlling, but always keep in mind that you are in a lucid dream.
Take it slow. It just takes more practice for some than others. Never worry, it can work for you!
© 2009 – 2011 Gary Gardner, All Rights Reserved
I want to cover a few topics that closely relate to lucid dreaming. As I mentioned before, the more you know about lucid dreaming and related topics, the better chances you will have to refine your skills to achieve lucidity, longer and more often. You will also increase the control over your lucid dreams the more you know about this phenomenal skill.
The Stages of Sleep
Sleep is divided into five stages. It is driven by natural cycles of activity in the brain. Sleep consists of two basic states, non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep (stages 1 – 4) and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep (stage 5).
During sleep, the body changes between non-REM and REM sleep. You will usually start the sleep cycle with a period of non-REM sleep followed by periods of REM sleep. Dreams and lucid dreams occur during the REM stage of sleep.
Non-Rapid-Eye-Movement (NREM) Sleep
Each stage of NREM sleep can last approximately 5 to 15 minutes. You will generally go through the four stages of NREM sleep before REM sleep occurs.
- Stage 1: Your eyes are closed and you can be awakened easily. Stage 1 may last for five to ten minutes. Many may notice a feeling of falling during this stage of sleep, which may cause you to wake with some degree of panic.
- Stage 2: This is a period of light sleep. Your heart rate slows and your body temperature decreases. At this point, your body prepares itself to enter a state of deep sleep.
- Stages 3 and 4: These are deep sleep stages. Stage four is a deeper sleep than stage three.
- Stage 5: This is the period of REM sleep and your opportunity to have lucid dreams.
Sleep does not progress through these stages in order. Sleep begins in stage 1 and progresses into stages 2, 3 and 4. After stage 4, stage 3 and then stage 2 are repeated before entering stage 5, REM sleep.
During the deep stages of NREM sleep, the body repairs and regenerates itself, which is obviously a very important benefit of sleeping.
Rapid-Eye-Movement (REM) Sleep
REM sleep can begin approximately 90 minutes after you first fall asleep. During this stage your eyes move rapidly in different directions. Intense dreaming occurs during REM sleep as a result of heightened brain activity. The first period of REM sleep normally is fairly short. Each recurring REM sleep period occupies a longer period of time. Your final REM sleep periods may last up to an hour or so. REM sleep periods can occupy 90-120 minutes of your night’s sleep. You will typically experience about five periods of REM sleep during a full sleep period. Your heart and breathing rate are irregular during REM sleep, similar to you waking state. REM sleep gives you your golden opportunity to become lucid.
Polysomnograms are used in sleep labs to show brainwave patterns while you are sleeping. While you are in REM sleep, your brainwaves are similar to what they are when you are awake. This is the relationship between REM sleep and lucid dreaming.
Sleep and dream well.
© 2009 – 2011 Gary Gardner, All Rights Reserved
I don’t claim to be an expert on the history of lucid dreaming, but once again, I bring this to you with the intent of keeping you involved in all aspects of the incredible lucid dream.
My research shows that lucid dreams have been around for quite a long time. Some claim that St. Augustine is the earliest record of lucid dreaming in the form of a written letter in 415 A.D. I really can’t dispute this, but my research found earlier accounts of the practice of lucid dreaming. Lucid dreaming spans thousands of years, and a multitude of religions and geographical locations.
Here is a condensed list of lucid dreaming over the centuries:
* 1000 BC: Upanishads, the Hindu oral tradition of spiritual lessons, philosophy, and proverbs include lucid dreaming
* 1000 BC: Bonpo, the oldest spiritual tradition of Tibet, claims that lucid dreaming has been used during meditations for over 12,000 years
* 1000 BC: Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, is another ancient Hindu region that describes how to become conscious during a dream
* 350 BC: Aristotle wrote, “when one is asleep, there is something in consciousness which tells us that what presents itself is but a dream”
* 3rd Century: Saint Denys, a Christian martyr and saint claims to have been a prolific conscious dreamer
* 415 A.D: St. Augustine, a Christian philosopher and priest referred to lucid dreams in a letter
* 4th Century: Mohammed’s Laylat al-Miraj is an account of a nighttime vision that provided him with spiritual initiation
* 8th Century: Tibetan Buddhists – The Tibetan Book of the Dead described of a form of yoga designed to become conscious while dreaming
* 12th century: Sufi Ib El-Arabi from Spain suggested that controlling thought in dreams is an essential skill for aspiring mystics
* 15th Century: Sir Thomas Browne, a philosopher and physician stated his ability to lucid dream
* 15th Century: Rene Descartes, a French philosopher, mathematician, scientist, and writer wrote avidly about his lucid dreams in a private journal known as the Olympica
* 17th Century: Pierre Gassendi and Thomas Reid are two philosophers that discussed becoming awake while dreaming
* 1867: Marquis d’Hervey de Saint-Denys published his book Dreams and How to Guide Them
* 1913: Frederick Van Eeden wrote A Study of Dreams on lucid dreaming to the Society for Psychical Research and he coined the term “lucid dreaming”
* 1935: Walter Y. Evans-Wentz translates a section of the Tibetan Book of the Dead
* 1977: Stephen LaBerge, Ph.D continues to do a tremendous amount of research on the topic of lucid dreaming today
I admit that my research was short, but my intention was to provide you with a general idea of how much lucid dreaming occurred throughout the ages. I am quite positive that my list only includes a small amount of those that practiced lucid dreaming. Volumes could be written on this subject.
© 2010 -2011 Gary Gardner, All Rights Reserved
The more good sleep you get, the greater chances you have of experiencing more lucid dreams. The quality and length of your lucid dreams will increase as well. Here are several tips to make sure you are getting the required amount of quality sleep to improve lucidity.
A consistent, calm bedtime routine prompts your brain that it is time to relax and get ready to go to bed. This will make it easier for you to fall asleep.
Do things that will help you relax you such as meditation, listening to gentle music, take a bath, read something relaxing, make your room darker, etc. Avoid activities such as watching television, which may cause stimulation. Relaxation techniques will help you to relieve your anxiety and tell your body it is time for sleep.
Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. Since we are regulated by our own body clock, this will help you to fall asleep easier. Even if you are tempted to stay awake later during vacations, holidays, weekends, parties, etc., plan and stick to a consistent, regular bedtime.
Your room should be quiet, dark and be a comfortable temperature.
- Keep your room dark when you are sleeping: Early morning light can tell your body clock that it is time to wake up. Outside lights can also enter into your windows at night. Use shades to block the outside lights from disrupting your sleep. You can try a mask to cover your eyes and block out light.
- Low Noise Level: Eliminate distracting noises. If needed, use a fan or some sort of white noise to block outside noise. White noise can also add a calming affect. I personally use an inexpensive air purifier with a fan that creates a soothing sound. I’ve even used recordings of soothing sounds such as waves, rain, running water, and soft, soothing music. These all work very well for me.
- Room temperature: Keep your room at a comfortable temperature. Being too hot or cold is not conducive to good sleep.
- Your bed is for sleeping and sex: Your bed should be reserved only for sleeping or sex. Sex has a calming, relaxing affect for most people. Don’t use your bed for any thing else such as writing to-do lists, planning for meetings, working on our finances, etc. If you associate your bed with events other than sleep or sex, it will only make it harder to relax when you are trying to fall asleep. You don’t want your brain to associate your bed for anything but sleep and sex.
Food and other items that can keep you awake
Try eating dinner earlier in the evening, and avoid heavy, rich foods before going to bed. Experiment with your food habits to determine what works best for you.
Here is a list of some food, drinks and other items that can disrupt your sleep:
- Caffeine will make it harder to fall asleep. Remember caffeine isn’t just in coffee and tea. Many foods and drinks contain caffeine.
- Alcohol can interfere with sleep by causing numerous awakenings.
- Too much food, especially rich food causes the digestive process to work harder and longer and can make it difficult for you to fall asleep.
- Too much liquid may cause you to wake up to use the restroom throughout your sleeping time.
- Smoking: Nicotine is a stimulant, which disrupts sleep, making it hard to sleep.
- Television can be a stimulant that keeps you awake even after you turn it off. If you have one in your bedroom, its best to remove it.
Exercise usually makes it easier to fall asleep and sleep better. Check with your doctor before starting an exercise program.
Amount of Sleep
According to www.sleepfoundation.org Adults should get between seven and nine hours of sleep per day. Teens between the ages of 11-17 should get between 8.5 and 9.25 hours of sleep per day.
Sweet Dreams Are Made of These!
© 2009 – 2011 Gary Gardner, All Rights Reserved
Even if you just live out your wildest fantasies during a lucid dream, it would probably be enough. However, I do encourage doing much more than just fulfilling fantasies during lucidity. I love to have pleasurable experiences like the next person, but there are much more productive endeavors you can take advantage of during a lucid dream. Let’s take a look at a few.
There are no social or physical consequences of your actions while acting out your lucid dream fantasies. You could do virtually anything at all without any apparent consequences. I would caution you with intimate fantasies. If you are married or have a significant other, it may not be appropriate to have intimate relationships with other partners even though they are not actually real. That’s up to you to make your own decision. Having said that, lucid dream fantasies are virtually endless, so enjoy your most pleasurable desires.
Lucid dreams may be a way to end nightmares. The fear you feel during a nightmare is real, but the danger is not. If you know you are dreaming, then you know that your nightmare cannot cause you any real physical harm. The best way to end your nightmare is to face the source of your fear. I mentioned in one of my earlier lessons, while I was lucid dreaming, I was being attacked by a group of thugs. Briefly, I did feel some fear, but knowing I was in a lucid dream the fear quickly vanished. I knew that I had nothing to worry about. I confronted all of the thugs and had fun doing it. After I defeated them all physically, I felt a sense of strength, bravery, but mostly, it was just fun because I knew that I really didn’t do any harm. The key to overcoming nightmares is to become lucid in your dream so you can realize there isn’t an actual danger. Then you can put an end to the nightmare by confronting and defeating the source of fear.
Creativity and Problem Solving
While dreaming, our thought process can engage in a variety of ways of thinking that are rare during waking life. Our creativity and problem solving skills can be extremely enhanced while dreaming. Tapping into this advantageous way of thinking through lucid dreaming can help us to create, invent, discover, build, and solve a problem. Lucid dreaming taps into our subconscious mind to assist in this process. Many lucid dreamers report using dreams for problem solving, creativity and artistic inspiration.
Many people use lucid dreaming to practice a variety of events in order to be successful in waking life situations. You can use lucid dreaming to practice:
- Public speaking in front of an audience of millions or just a few people
- Confronting someone that you need to face up to in waking-life
- Talking to someone you are attracted to, but are too shy to do so during waking life
- Practicing your athletic skills
- Memorizing information for presentations or tests
- Planning for the future
- I’ll bet you can think of several more. Give it a try
Physical and Mental Healing
The vivid positive imagery of lucid dreaming may be used to alleviate physical pain and emotional disturbances. Study has shown that some people have utilized lucid dreaming to alleviate physical pain, overcome phobias, anguish, and social and sexual anxieties. Greater self-confidence can also be archived by lucid dreaming.
Lucid dreaming can assist us in looking past everyday experiences and tasks. It provokes spiritual questioning and the desire to learn more about our own spirituality. This can be a tremendous assistant in spiritual awakening and increasing our spiritual consciousness. It forces us to look beyond everyday experiences and explore the positive realm of spirituality.
You can create your own dream guide that you visit during a lucid dream. A dream guide can be a person, a spirit, an animal, a tree, a rock, or anything you want it to be. It can be who ever you feel comfortable taking advice from. A dream guide can be a very powerful dream ally, advocate and adviser. Dream guides possess a vast amount of insight and wisdom. For many lucid dreamers, the primary advantage of mastering lucidity is the ability to summon and consult with their dream guide. Your father, mother or any other loved-one or friend can also regularly guide you, give you counsel and become your dream guide. Its totally up to you. You can even create a place to visit your dream guide to seek wisdom. Ask and listen for guidance from your dream guide. Your dream guide is your subconscious mind delivering you the ultimate personalized information and guidance that is custom-fit to you. After all, who knows yourself better than you! With that stated, perhaps your dream guide is more than just your subconscious mind!?
Dream guides will be discussed in more depth in a future lucid dream lesson.
© 2009 – 2011 Gary Gardner, All Rights Reserved
Dreams from famous people have been recorded throughout history. Scientists, inventors, musicians, writers, artists, and others have solved problems, created works of art, and have invented marvelous creations in their dreams. Although I don’t know how many of the dreamers listed below were having lucid dreams, it still shows the power of dreaming. These dreams are incredible, but think about what the power of lucidity may have added to those that were just having a regular dream.
Here are a list of a few:
Paul McCartney: In 1965, the melody for the song Yesterday came to Paul McCartney in a dream.
Mary Shelley: In 1816, the story Frankenstein was inspired by her dream and later written.
Otto Loewi: In 1920, Loewi dreamed of an experiment that led to the foundation of a theory of chemical transmission of the nervous impulse and led to a Nobel Prize.
President Abraham Lincoln: Dreamed of his assassination and described the dream to his wife just a few days prior to his assassination.
Friedrich August Kekulé von Stradonitz: Two of his dreams led to major scientific discoveries: The Structure Theory and the discovery that Benzene molecule, unlike other known organic compounds, had a circular structure rather than a linear one,
Madame C.J. Walker: Walker was suffering from a scalp infection that caused her to loose most of her hair in the 1890’s. She had a dream that informed her of the ingredients needed to solve her problem. Madame Walker founded a successful African-American cosmetic company that made her a millionaire.
Elias Howe: In 1845 Elias Howe invented the sewing machine. He had a dream that helped him understand how the penetration of the needle would work in his invention.
Robert Louis Stevenson: In 1886, the book Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was visualized in a dream. It was conceived and written in just 10 weeks following his dream.
Jack Nicklaus: In 1964 Jack Nicklaus discovered a new golf swing in a dream bringing him out of a bad golf slump.
Srinivasa Ramanujan: (1887-1920) One of India’s greatest mathematical geniuses made substantial contributions to analytical theory of numbers, worked on elliptical functions, continued fractions, and infinite series, and proved over mathematical 3,000 theorems in his lifetime. Ramanujan stated that inspiration and insight for his work came to him in his dreams on may occasions.
Louis Agassiz: (1807-1883) A Swiss born naturalist, zoologist, geologist, and teacher. While Agassiz was working on his vast work list of all known fossil fish, he came across a specimen that was not understood. He reports having a dream, three nights in a row in which he saw the fish in perfect original condition.
Stephen King: Dreams have an affect his writings including the thriller book and movie Misery. “Dreams are just another part of life. To me, it’s like seeing something on the street you can use in your fiction.”
Hitler: Hitler had a dream during the First World War that caused him to jump out of his trench at a moment’s notice before a shell stuck and blew up his trench killing everyone.
Sitting Bull: In 1876 Sitting Bull dreamed that soldiers were falling upside down from the sky into the Indian camp. As they fell he heard a voice cry “I give you these because they have no ears.” Sitting bull took it as a sign that the battle would be won and prepared for war.
Nils Bohr: This Danish scientist dreamed about “atomic structure” and then came up with the theories we use today in chemistry about the atoms and their structure.
Carl Jung: A Swiss psychiatrist, an influential thinker, and the founder of analytical psychology had a lucid dream vision that Europe was engulfed in a great flood and the water came right up to the mountains of Switzerland. Thousands of people drowned and the water then turned to blood. This occurred just months before the Great War began in August 1914.
Caligula: This Roman Emperor dreamed on the night before his assassination that he was standing before Jupiter’s heavenly throne, only to be kicked back down to earth by the God. This was see as a sign of his death.
Albert Einstein: His theory of relativity was inspired by a dream whereby he was going down a mountainside ever faster and watching the appearance of the stars change as he approached the speed of light.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge: This writer’s dreams inspired Kubla Khan and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.
Edgar Allen Poe: He regularly used dreams as the basis of his stories.
Dr. Frederick Banting: The cure for diabetes came to him in a dream. He won the Nobel Prize in Medicine.
St. Patrick: Claimed that two dreams guided St. Patrick to become a missionary.
Carl Perkins: This American rockabilly musician came up with the lyrics to Blue Suede Shoes in a dream. It began when Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins were waiting in a line to eat and heard someone in line the line say, “don’t step on my blue suede shoes.” Cash told Perkins that that would make a great song title. He turned the song over to Elvis who made it famous
David Parkinson: An engineer at Bell Laboratories had a dream in the early 1940s that help developed a potentiometer, which was an essential part of the anti artillery guns resulting in the new M9 gun used on V-1 missiles. This help change the course in WW2.
As you can see, amazing dreams are threaded throughout history. These are only a very small sample of dreams that inspired famous people. I am sure there are a plethora of dreams still occurring today on a regular basis that are influencing many people (famous or not) in a positive way. Just think about what the power of dreaming and the awesome power of lucid dreaming holds for you!
Have a lucid dream tonight!
© 2009 – 2011 Gary Gardner, All Rights Reserved
Many cultures believe in Spirit Guides or Dream Guides. They are often explained as entities that appear in dreams to deliver a message.
I need to first clear up the difference between a Lucid Dream Guide and a Lucid Spirit Guide. A Lucid Dream Guide can simply be an entity or object that comes directly from your subconscious mind (also known as unconscious mind). It is what is already in your brain, stored away (sometimes very deeply stored away) and retrieved during a lucid dream. In this sense a Lucid Dream Guide is not a Lucid Spirit Guide. Now don’t get me wrong, I am a very spiritual person and do believe in spirits… so I’ll continue. Your Lucid Dream Guide may be a spirit from the supernatural, afterlife, heaven, or whatever you believe in. In this case a Lucid Dream Guide can be called a Lucid Spirit Guide. Many ancient cultures strongly believe in spirit guides. I most definitely do not rule them out. For now, I’ll leave it up to you to decide if you are dealing with a non-spiritual dream guide or an actual spirit guide. For now, I will just address non-spiritual dream guides and refer to them as Lucid Dream Guides. I’ll have more to discuss on this subject later.
As a lucid dreamer, you may define and create your own Lucid Dream Guide. You create your own Lucid Dream Guide to your own specifications. It can be anyone you want it to be. It can be male or female, someone you know or have known, human or animal, organic or non-organic, a forest of trees, a mountain range or a waterfall, a super computer, or just a person. You are the creator of your personal Lucid Dream Guide.
The primary reason for a large population of lucid dreamers is to communicate and consult with their Lucid Dream Guide. Lucid Dream Guides are powerful creations that communicate with a lucid dreamer. They possess an enormous amount of insight and wisdom. Your Lucid Dream Guide can illuminate knowledge that you may have suppressed and lost somewhere in the vast prefrontal cortex of your brain. It can unravel the complexities of the information you have stored in your brain and deliver messages or wisdom to you during a lucid dream in a simplistic form. Since it is your subconscious mind, it stores all your previous life experiences, your belief system, your memories, you skills, all situations you’ve been through, and all things your five senses have ever experienced (see, hear, smell, taste and feel). A Lucid Dream Guide can have much influence over you, so it must only be used in a positive manner.
Your Lucid Dream Guide knows everything about you. It knows your likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, your level of intelligence. It knows your deepest hidden secrets. Your Lucid Dream Guide is your subconscious mind communicating with your conscious mind while you are experiencing a lucid dream. A Lucid Dream Guide is you!
You can define your Lucid Dream Guide while you are awake. You can decide on a special place where you meet with your Lucid Dream Guide. You can create a drawing, token or anything to help you to think about your Lucid Dream Guide while you are awake. This will help you to remember to summons your Lucid Dream Guide when you reach lucidity in your dreams. Ironically, the mere presence of your Lucid Dream Guide in your dream is in itself a Dream Sign.
Some lucid dreamers have had their personal Lucid Dream Guide appear to them for the first time while dreaming and introduce themselves along with their purpose. It is the lucid dreamer’s subconscious mind communicating with them and getting their attention.
Just think of the endless possible ways your Lucid Dream Guide can benefit you. There is nobody (unless you believe in God) that knows you better. What a spectacular event it could be to speak to, observe, and listen to your own subconscious mind! I’ll let you decide how you want to utilize this positive, magnificent power.
© 2011 Gary Gardner, All Rights Reserved
Sleep paralysis is when you have been sleeping and you feel like you are awake but unable to move. You feel as though you are paralyzed. This phenomenon is also called Awareness during Sleep Paralysis (ASP). It often leaves you feeling afraid, especially if you also see or hear things that are not really there or you feel like you are being choked or suffocated. You may feel frightened, but cannot call for help. Sleep paralysis may happen only once or you may have it frequently and even numerous times during your sleep and awakening period. It can be a truly terrifying experience in any event.
Some people consider sleep paralysis as work done by evil spirits. It has been referred to many different things including the “old hag” syndrome and alien abductions. Almost every culture throughout history has had stories of evil creatures that terrify helpless humans at night.
Modern science believes they have the answer to sleep paralysis. In order to understand how a body becomes unable to move or “paralyzed” while you are awake, it is necessary to understand sleep cycles. We discussed this in a previous lesson, but here is a recap. During sleep, the brain experiences two different states called non-REM (non-rapid eye movement) sleep and REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. During non-REM sleep our body only has a few movements such as tossing and turning around in bed and other actions such as talking in your sleep. Sleepwalking can even take place during this time. Heart rate and breathing occur at a constant rate during non-REM sleep and the eyes move slowly.
One cycle of REM and NREM sleep lasts about 90 minutes. Non-REM sleep occurs first and lasts about three-fourths of your overall sleep time. During non-REM sleep, your body relaxes and restores itself. At the end of non-REM, your sleep shifts to REM.
During REM sleep, dreaming takes place. Your heart rate and breathing vary at different rates and your eyes move quickly, but the rest of your body remains very relaxed. Your brain stops your muscles from moving during REM sleep.
During sleep, your body alternates between REM and non-REM sleep cycles. If you become aware before the REM cycle has finished, you may experience sleep paralysis.
Sleep paralysis happens when a person passes between stages of wakefulness and sleep. It probably occurs to prevent a person from “acting out” a dream and becoming injured or injuring someone else. Sleep researchers conclude that, in most cases, sleep paralysis is simply a sign that your body is not moving smoothly through the stages of sleep. Rarely is sleep paralysis linked to deep underlying psychiatric problems.
Preventing Sleep Paralysis
There’s no need to fear the “old hag,” evil creatures or alien abductors. If you have occasional sleep paralysis, you can take actions to control this disorder:
- Get the proper amount of sleep
- Relax before bedtime
- Relieve stress in your life
- Try new sleeping positions
- Go to your doctor if sleep paralysis occurs regularly
Leaving Your Body
Many believe that sleep paralysis is the gateway of astral projection or out of body experiences. After you enter sleep paralysis, you can separate your consciousness from your physical body and move your consciousness into your astral body. During sleep paralysis, your consciousness is associated closely with your physical body and not your astral body. Trying to remove yourself from your physical body will not happen. This will only take place when you are dying or dead.
To make astral projection occur, you need to transfer your consciousness from your physical body to your astral body. Close your eyes and keep them closed, then try to push forward with your consciousness and imagine that your consciousness is moving forward. Even though you may not feel any movement, your consciousness will eventually move forward into your astral body.
Focus your awareness on your face and concentrate on breathing slowly and gently. Don’t be startled if you feel vibrations or a rapid heartbeat, this is normal. It is important to remain calm during this period. If you become frightened or open your eyes prematurely, your awareness will immediately return rapidly back into your physical body then you will probably wake up. Keep your eyes closed and have faith that your consciousness is moving forward. Keep pushing forward with your consciousness as hard as you can until you are approximately ten or twenty feet away from your body. This distance varies among people. Once you are far enough away from your body and the vibrations and sounds are gone, you will be able separate your consciousness from your physical body and move into your astral body. You can get up or float right out of your body to begin your unbelievable travel experience.
What Does Lucid Dreaming Have To Do With Sleep Paralysis?
You may experience sleep paralysis if you become aware before the REM cycle has finished. This is an example of lucid dreaming because you are still in REM sleep.
Stephen LaBerge and other lucid dream researchers have found that lucid dreams happen almost solely during REM sleep. Also, it has been determined that the body is “paralyzed” more strongly during lucid dreams than during conventional REM sleep dreams, probably because the brain is more vigorous.
So every lucid dream is an example of Awareness during Sleep Paralysis (ASP). But lucid dreamers are only sometimes aware of the Sleep Paralysis. More often, the lucid dreamer focuses on controlling the lucid dream or focuses on something much more fascinating than being paralyzed.
You’ve awakened into the astonishing dream world!
© 2009 – 2012 Gary Gardner, All Rights Reserved
Why We Must Dream
Over the ages there have been several theories of why we must dream. I have read that dreaming has to do with fulfilling our wishes, problem solving, memory consolidation, increasing your overall brain efficiency, physiological benefits, assisting your brain’s neural functionality, or we dream for no reason at all.
Let’s take a closer look at what several prominent psychologists, doctors, scientists and other serious dream researchers believe about why we must dream.
- Sigmund Freud (Austrian neurologist, 1856–1939): Sigmund Freud presents his study of dreams with his publication The Interpretation Of Dreams. Freud analyzed dreams in order to understand aspects of one’s personality. He believed that everything people do is motivated by the subconscious portion of the brain and does not occur by chance. He believed that we all hold back our impulses and desires during waking life, but many of them are released through our dreams. Freud wrote that dreams are “…disguised fulfillments of repressed wishes…” Most of us heard of the term “Freudian slip”. Freud’s theory still adds to the popularity of dream interpretation today, however, research has failed to prove that his theory disguises the real psychological meaning of a dream.
- Carl Jung (Swiss psychiatrist, 1875–1961): Jung stated that dreams serve two functions. One function is to compensate for imbalances in the dreamer’s mind. Dreams produce subconscious contents that the conscious mind has either ignored or suppressed. For example, if a person is very timid, dreams will work to balance this conscious pattern by bringing forth images of the mind’s more aggressive-oriented contents. When the dreamer recognizes and accepts these subconscious contents, greater psychological stability is attained. Jung believed that the other function of dreaming is to provide possible images of the future. Jung does not believe that dreams predict the future, but that dreams can suggest what might happen and what potentials the future might hold for us. Jung believes that dreams look forward to anticipate what the dreamer’s future developments may be. Jung believed that dreams occur to promote the combining of the subconscious and the consciousness in a harmonious state of wholeness. He considered this process to be the most important development of life.
- Edgar Cayce (American psychic 1877–1945): Cayce believed that the dream state is an experimental playground which gives you a chance to explore and express emotions without the usual inhibitions you may display in your waking life. Dreams are the presentations of the experiences necessary for your personal development. Dreams provide an avenue of expression for the part of yourself that knows both your history and your potential as a spiritual being. Dreams are another way the universe provides guidance about relationships, careers, and health problems. Through dreams you may find answers to your spiritual questions and even receive encouragement to some challenge in your life. While some dreams may allow you to release bottled-up emotions from your day’s activities, others can lead to profound insights in a psychological or spiritual way. While dreaming, we experience different levels of consciousness and receive input from the different realms of the spirit world. Through dreaming, we have special access to our spirit within. According to the Cayce, there is not a question we can ask which cannot be answered from our sub-consciousness. Cayce believed that dreams may include the health status of our bodies, telepathy, clairvoyance, prophecies, astral projection, memory of past lives, communication with those that have died, spirit guides, angels, Christ, and even the voice of God.
- Deirdre Barrett Ph.D. (Author and psychologist who teaches at Harvard Medical School): Barrett believed that dreams are for problem-solving. Since dreams can be very visual and illogical it makes them the perfect state of mind for “out-of-the-box” thinking for solving problems and resolving confusing thoughts we may have while we are awake. Barrett stated, “Whatever the state we’re put in, we’re still working on the same problems.” Barrett has also conducted research on lucid dreams.
- Matthew Wilson (Neuroscientist at the Picower Institute at M.I.T.) In the early 1990’s, Wilson was recording neuron activity in the brains of rats with a sound recording device as they tried to find their way through a difficult maze. He left the rats connected to the sound recording device after they completed the task. After becoming tired, the rats fell asleep. Wilson then heard something extremely unanticipated. Although the rats were asleep, the sound produced by their brain activity was almost exactly the same as it was when they were in the maze. The rats were dreaming what they just had done in the maze. After more research it was concluded that the dreaming rats are consolidating their new memories, embedding these memory traces into their neural network. While we are asleep, the mind is filtering through the disorganized thoughts of the day and trying to figure out what we need to remember and what we can forget. Dreaming may be part of the process that changes important bits and pieces of the day’s experiences into long-term memories.
- Francis Crick (English molecular biologist, biophysicist, and neuroscientist 1916-2004) and Graeme Mitchison (Quantum computing researcher and computational biologist): Crick and Mitchinson proposed that a reverse learning mechanism in REM sleep sifts through information gathered throughout the day and throws out all unwanted material in our brain. It removes certain undesirable modes of interaction in neural networks within the cerebral cortex of our brain. The cortex is made up of connected neural networks that have the ability to stimulate other neural networks. It is believed that memories are encoded in these neural networks. When one point of the network is stimulated, a pulse travels through the network which prompts recall. If there is an overload of incoming information the network can malfunction. They believe that too many memories in one network can produce fantasies, obsessions, and hallucinations. To deal with information overload, the brain needs a mechanism to debug and tune the network. This method is REM sleep that is needed for the daily cleanup of the neural network. They claim that this is why if you don’t write down your dreams you will forget them because your brain is still working to clear these memories out.
- Jan Born (PhD in Neuroscience, of the University of Lübeck in Germany), Through a very tedious mathematical experiment with a group of students, Born discovered that participants that were allowed to sleep were more likely to resolve the math experiment. A well-designed shortcut was built into the math problem. Less than 25 percent solved the problem with no sleep and 59 percent were able to solve the problem with sleep. Born argues that deep sleep and dreaming “…set the stage for the emergence of insight…” by allowing us to mentally represent old ideas in new ways.
As we can see, there is much research being done on sleep and dreaming. Several different ideas have been presented here and there are plenty more. This is only a sample of my research. I personally believe that sleep and dreaming are extremely important to our health and development, both mentally and physically. Since lucid dreaming is also directly tied into the brain during sleeping and dreaming it is most definitely worth the research it deserves.
Dream Lucid My Friends.
© 2010 – 2011 Gary Gardner, All Rights Reserved
Lucid Dreaming, Out of Body Experiences, and other Dreaming Books
Here is a list of several dream related books and texts for you to look in to. I haven’t read all of them, but wanted to provide you with other sources and different perspectives of dreaming, lucid dreaming and out of body experiences. I am interested to hear from you about any of the books below that you have read or any other dream related books that you have read.
The books listed below are in alphabetical order.
- A Course in Lucid Dreaming by Staff Editors
- Advanced Lucid Dreaming: The Power of Supplements by Thomas Yuschak
- Adventures Beyond the Body: How to Experience Out-of-Body Travel by William Buhlman
- Astral Dynamics: The Complete Book of Out-of-Body Experiences by Robert Bruce
- Awakening to the Dream by Leo Hartong
- Beginners Guide to Lucid Dreaming – The Beginner’s Guide To Lucid Dreaming Techniques gives you the details, facts and specific techniques you need to start enjoying Lucid Dreaming for yourself! by E-Book Emporium and eBusiness Master
- Between the Gates: Lucid Dreaming, Astral Projection, and the Body of Light in Western Esotericism by Mark Stavish and John Michael Greer
- Cheat Codes For Life: How to Achieve ANYTHING With the Technologies of Success by Robert Crayola
- Conscious Dreaming: A Spiritual Path for Everyday Life by Robert Moss
- Control Your Dreams: How Lucid Dreaming Can Help You Uncover Your Hidden Desires, Confront Your Hidden Fears, and Explore the Frontiers of Human Cons by Jayne Gackenbach, Jane Bosveld, and Jayne Gachebbach
- Cosmic Connection: Messages for a Better World by Carole Lynne
- Creative Dreaming: Plan And Control Your Dreams to Develop Creativity, Overcome Fears, Solve Problems, and Create a Better Self by Patricia Garfield
- Daring To Dream: A Guide To Lucid Dreaming, Astral Travel And Spiritual Growth by John Stone
- Do_OBE How to lucid dream, astral project and have out-of-body experiences by Donald DeGracia
- Dream Cultures: Explorations in the Comparative History of Dreaming by David Shulman and Guy G. Stroumsa
- Dream Work: Techniques for Discovering the Creative Power in Dreams by Jeremy Taylor
- Dream Yoga and the Practice of Natural Light, Revised by Namkhai Norbu
- Dream Yoga: The Practice of Lucid Dreaming as a Path to Enlightenment by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoch
- Dreamgates: Exploring the Worlds of Soul, Imagination, and Life Beyond Death by Robert Moss
- Dreaming Realities: A Spiritual System to Create Inner Alignment Through Dreams by Julie Silverthorn and John Overdurf
- Dreaming While Awake: Techniques for 24-Hour Lucid Dreaming by Arnold Mindell
- Dreams: A Reader on Religious, Cultural and Psychological Dimensions of Dreaming by Kelly Bulkeley
- Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming by Stephen LaBerge, Ph.D. and Howard Rheingold
- Get High Now (without drugs): 175 Sensory Trips and Tricks for Visual Stimulation, Compressing Time, Lucid Dreaming, Meditation, and More by James Nestor
- Group Dreaming: Dreams to the Tenth Power by Jean Campbell
- Guide to Lucid Dreaming: Start Lucid Dreaming (Volume 1) by Lisa Brown
- Healing Night: The Science and Spirit of Sleeping, Dreaming, and Awakening by Rubin R. Naiman
- Lucid by Katherine Angela Yeboah
- Lucid Dreaming & Meditation by Russell Smitheram
- Lucid Dreaming (Omniphonics Ser.) by Omniphonics
- Lucid Dreaming by George D. Parrish
- Lucid Dreaming by Pamela Ball
- Lucid Dreaming Dawning of the Clear Light by G Scott Sparrow
- Lucid Dreaming for Beginners: Simple Techniques for creating Interactive Dreams by Mark McElroy
- Lucid Dreaming: The paradox of consciousness during sleep by Celia, and Charles McCreery Green
- Lucid Dreaming: 99,000 Opportunities for Awareness by Teresa Martin
- Lucid Dreaming: A Concise Guide to Awakening in Your Dreams and in Your Life by Stephen LaBerge, Ph.D.
- Lucid Dreaming: as appears on Wikibooks, a project of Wikipedia by r3m0t, Evilshiznat, and Kaycee
- Lucid Dreaming: Dawning of the Clear Light by Gregory Scott Sparrow
- Lucid Dreaming: Gateway to the Inner Self by Robert Waggoner
- Lucid Dreaming: The Night’s Labyrinth Revealed by Lazaris
- Lucid Dreaming: The Paradox of Consciousness During Sleep by Celia Green and Charles McCreery
- Lucid Dreaming: The Power of Being Awake and Aware in Your Dreams by Stephen LaBerge, Ph.D.
- Lucid Dreaming: Use Your Psychic Powers to Explore the World of Your Dreams by Tony Crisp
- Lucid Dreams In 30 Days: The Creative Sleep Program by Keith Harary, Ph.D., and Pamela Weintraub
- Lucid Living: A Book You Can Read in One Hour That Will Turn Your World Inside Out by Timothy Freke
- Our Dreaming Mind by Robert L. Van de Castle
- Out the In Door: New Techniques in Lucid Dreaming by Michael Szul
- Psychology of dreams (lucid dreaming) / Psikhologiya snovideniy (osoznannye snovideniya) by Strannik
- Sleep Paralysis: A Guide to Hypnagogic Visions and Visitors of the Night by Ryan Hurd
- Sleeping, Dreaming, and Dying: An Exploration of Consciousness by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Francisco J. Varela Ph.D.
- Teach Yourself to Dream: A Practical Guide to Unleashing the Power of the Subconscious Mind by David Fontana
- The Art Of Dreaming by Carlos Castaneda
- The Conscious Exploration of Dreaming: Discovering How We Create and Control Our Dreams by Janice E. Brooks, Jay Vogelsong, and J. Allan Hobson
- The Déjà vu Enigma: A Journey Through the Anomalies of Mind, Memory and Time by Marie D. Jones and Larry Flaxman
- The Dreaming Universe: A Mind-Expanding Journey Into the Realm Where Psyche and Physics Meet by Fred Alan Wolf
- The Inception of Conscious and Lucid Dreams by Daniel Oldis
- The Lucid Dream Manifesto: reprint of – Lucid Dreams, Dreams and Sleep Theoretical Constructions by Daniel Oldis
- The Lucid Dreamer: A Waking Guide for the Traveler Between Worlds by Malcolm Godwin
- The Lucid Dreaming Book How to awake within, control and use your dreams by Paul Devereux and Charla Devereux
- The Lucid Dreaming by Lisa Morton
- The Lucid Dreaming Kit by Paul Devereux and Charla Devereux
- The Master of Lucid Dreams by Olga Kharitidi
- The Mind at Night: The New Science of How and Why We Dream by Andrea Rock
- The Power of Creative Dreaming by Pamela Ball
- The practice of lucid dreaming / Praktika osoznannogo snovideniya by Stiven Laberzh
- The Secret History of Dreaming by Robert Moss
- The Sun And The Shadow: My Experiment With Lucid Dreaming by Kenneth Kelzer
- The Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche and Mark Dahlby
- The Ultimate Lucid Dreaming Manual: From Basics to Beyond by Marc Vandekeere
- The world of Lucid Dreaming by John M Fitzgerald
- Theories in Lucid Dreaming by Kaytee Thrun
- Transcendent Dreaming: Stepping into Our Human Potential by Christina Donnell, Ph.D.
Read yourself to sleep.
© 2010 – 2011 Gary Gardner, All Rights Reserved
Lucid dreaming was taken very seriously by some cultures during ancient times. For example, in the 8th Century, TheTibetan Book of the Dead described of a form of Yoga designed to become conscious while dreaming.
Yoga of the Dream State
“Milam,” the Yoga of the Dream State is one of many different types of Yogas practiced by Tibetan Buddhists. The intention of this form of Yoga is to help to attain spiritual power and enlightenment or “awakening.” The word “Buddha” means “one who has awakened.”
The Yoga of the Dream State or Tibetan dream Yoga is a philosophical practice that includes lucid dreaming. Just like lucid dreaming in the Western world, the objective of Tibetan dream Yoga is to awaken the consciousness in the dream state, however Buddhist monks have a more secret and deeper knowledge of the power of dream consciousness that is possessed or understood only by a few.
The goal of the Yoga of the Dream State is to control the power of the lucid dream and then complete tasks to enter into a higher level of consciousness. These tasks include:
- Practice a spiritual discipline
- Receive initiations, empowerments and transmissions
- Visit different places, planes and worlds
- Communicate with an enlightened being
- Meet with other sentient beings
- Fly and shape-shift into other creatures
The Practice of Yoga of the Dream State
A common element in Eastern and Western lucid dreaming preparedness is to compare your dreams to waking reality and understand what it feels like to be conscious. This will increase your self awareness and you will find it easier to induce dream lucidity.
Another common element of ancient lucid dreaming and lucid dreaming today is dream recollection. As soon as you awaken, reflect on all the dreams you can remember. Remain stationary and meditate on you dreams. Physical movement disturbs the astral body and can cause you to forget your dreams.
In Tibetan Buddhism, it is believed that you travel during sleep, revisiting places you have been to in real life, and repeating all of your experiences.
Dreams are mirrors of our spirit. Our dreams are a reflection of ourselves. We meet ourselves in our dreams. They can help us to better understand ourselves and reality. Dreams can show us other dimensions, worlds, other lives and our afterlife.
In Tibetan dream Yoga, the spiritual practice goes deeper than that of Western lucid dreaming. It helps us to better understand life and death. Tibetan dream Yoga teaches us how to find our way through the seemingly meaninglessness state of our existence. When we reach this deep level of consciousness, we can “see” through the deceptive nature of our mind and correctly experience the spectacular human existence. You learn the true nature of reality.
During waking life, we are like sleepwalkers or dream characters semi-consciously making our way through life in a chaotic fashion. We need to be awakened. Spiritual life is awakening from the dream of unreality. All of our spiritual practices are designed to awaken us from the daydream of illusion and uncertainty. Buddhists teach us to awaken to who and what we truly are. We can then recognize the difference between the real and the unreal in our daily life.
Tibetan Buddhism teaches how to reach lucidity and how to practice it spiritually. This is the core of Tibetan dream Yoga, and the center of all the practices associated with it.
Once you master the control of your lucid dreams, it is possible to dissociate your dream body from your physical body. During the normal dream state, dreaming occurs within the body. As you become a master lucid dreamer, the dream body can separate and journey to other unimaginable places.
© 2009 – 2011 Gary Gardner, All Rights Reserved
For some individuals it is very difficult to believe that lucid dreaming is a reality. They may not understand what lucid dreaming is and simply dismiss it as some phony fad. Unbelievers may also think that a lucid dream is just another dream where you think you are aware, but it is just another plain old dream.
If some one told you that they could jump up in the air and fly high in the sky you would probably think they were telling you a lie or they were simply crazy. If they explained to you that they obtained some sort of propulsion device that they strapped to their back, you would be more likely to believe them, but you may have some doubts. Lucid dreaming also requires an explanation.
If the unbeliever actually had a lucid dream, the figurative light bulb in their head would glow brightly and chances are they would believe in lucid dreaming. Experience is the key. Those of us that have the wonderful experience of lucid dreaming know without a doubt that lucid dreaming is unequivocally real.
In the 1970’s, Keith Hearne at the University of Hull in England experimented with lucid dreaming in a sleep lab. He would have a lucid dreamer signal that he was consciously aware while dreaming by moving his eyes from left to right a predetermined number of times. Since we have REM (rapid eye movement) while asleep, Hearne determined that a REM polygraph pad (a device that detects REM) would capture the intentional eye movements. In 1975, his lucid dreaming associate became lucid in the sleep lab and moved his eyes left to right the predetermined number of times to signal that he was consciously aware while asleep. Hearne observed the REM polygraph, thus scientifically proving that lucid dreaming is a reality.
A few years later, Stephen LaBerge at Stanford University performed a very comparable experiment by signaling his conscious awareness from the dream state through eye movements during a lucid dream.
LaBerge published his results in a scientific journal in 1981 and has continuously experimented with lucid dreaming research throughout his life.
Proof Is Positive
Most people do not realize that they are dreaming when they actually are in a full dream state. They accept every far-fetched and impossible thing they are doing or experiencing in their dream to be real. The lucid dream experience includes some very incredible and unique properties. When you reach lucidity in a dream, you simply know that you are asleep and are aware. This is often triggered by observing the far-fetched and impossible things happening in a dream and realizing that these things could only occur in a dream. Thus, the dreamer becomes lucid.
Personally, after I experience a lucid dream, it leaves me with a warm, pleasant feeling throughout the day. It is an invigorating experience that lasts far after awakening. Remember to document all of your dreams.
Often, when you realize that you are having a lucid dream it is so incredibly overwhelming that you wake up the moment you become lucid. It is upsetting to waste a lucid dream so read through all of my lessons to learn how to avoid premature awakenings and have long, wonderful lucid dreams!
© 2009 – 2010 Gary Gardner, All Rights Reserved
In my Lesson Two – Inducing Lucid Dreams (Part 1), I discussed how to induce lucid dreams. I went over reality testing and dream signs. As you recall, reality testing takes place during your waking state and then carries over to your dream state. Dream signs are merely things that should only occur during dreams. In this lesson, I will give you a few examples of lucid dreams that contain these triggers. This will allow you to visualize what a lucid dreamer experiences when trying to initiate a lucid dream. The dreams entered below will also be written in journal format so that you will also have the opportunity to see how a good, simple journal should be kept. There will be asterisks (*) next to the dream signs and reality testing that led to the start of the lucid dream. Each of these items will be discussed after each lucid dream.
Lucid Dream 1
I was walking down a path in the woods. It was very peaceful. There were large trees in every direction. I could hear running water ahead of me. I could also hear birds singing in the same direction. It seemed to be getting a bit late so I looked at my watch. The watch displayed *11:52 pm. “That can’t be,” I thought to myself as I looked up and could now see a rapidly moving river about 20 steps ahead. I looked back at my watch and it now displayed **4:30 pm. I looked at the river again and thought “now that’s much closer to what time I thought it was.” Something immediately caused me to look at my watch again. I now displayed ***6:22 am. I then realized that I was dreaming. I said out loud “relax,” several times in order to keep myself asleep. I was very excited (like I usually am every time I become lucid). Now it was time for some fun and exploration. I spread my arms out and began to fly low to the ground along the trail and then slowly across the river. I could see fish jumping out of the river up towards me. They were smiling at me. I interpreted there smiles to mean “we are happy to have you back into the world of lucid dreams again.” The fish were beautiful. Their bodies were multiple colors of the rainbow. As I made it across the river, I came to a clearing and seen about 20 or so magnificent, large white birds standing and looking at me. One of them spoke to me like a parrot would and said, “You lead.” I quickly jumped up towards the sky with my arms spread out (like I always do when I fly in my dreams) and flew up and over the woods. Still fully aware that I was dreaming, I flew fairly high up, just high enough to see the expanse of the magnificent woods. Since I was the lead flyer, all of the birds followed me and assembled into a V-Formation. I felt free as a bird and the dream continued for about 10 minutes with me as the led flyer. I was then awakened by my alarm clock. The entire dream lasted about 20 minutes.
*11:52 pm – This is a dream sign because it was too light out to be this time of the day. The reason I believe it didn’t trigger lucidity yet is my watch could have been broken and just displaying the wrong time.
**4:30 pm – This is a clearer dream sign because you are usually dreaming if your watch changes time when you look at it, look away from it and then back at it and it reads a different time. You notice how it quickly prompted me to look back at my watch a third time.
***6:22 am – This was the second time the time had changed on the watch. This was the convincing dream sign that brought me into lucidity. This really works!
Lucid Dream 2
Music from Heaven
I was at a workplace were I used to do construction work. I was just outside of the main office. There were the usual trucks, backhoes and other heavy equipment heading out to work sites. I was in the area where other work equipment was stored and was talking to several of my coworkers as they passed by. One of them said to me, “*This is a dream” as he quickly walked by. I promptly realized that this was indeed a dream. I started to wake up from the excitement from realizing that I was lucid so I used the “spinning” method to help keep myself asleep. It worked! I decided to fly around slowly in the work area. As I looked inside the back of one of the parked dump trucks, I saw one brightly colored red brick. As I looked at it, some incredible music was broadcasting from it like it was a speaker in a radio. The sound of the music was unbelievably beautiful. It was though it was like music that came from heaven. The word “extraordinary” falls way short of describing its peacefulness, softness and heavenly sound. I can’t begin to describe it. I was captivated by this music for about 5 minutes. I then woke up. The dream lasted about 15 minutes.
*”This is a dream” – This was from reality testing. I periodically ask myself throughout the day if I am dreaming. This carried on into my dream, but came in the form of someone telling me that I was dreaming. Pretty cool, huh?
Lucid Dream 3
Don’t Mess with Me
I was walking in a field and noticed a rather large metal building. I seemed that it was used as a factory, but was now obviously abandoned. I went inside and quickly noticed a group of five guys that appeared to be disturbed by my entrance. They approached me with the intention of beating me up. *Normal logic had escaped me at this point because I knew that I could beat all of them up with no problem. This very unusual thought caused me to know that this was a dream! I swiftly went into my karate stance and moved around the building like Bruce Lee. I jumped high into the air and came down and kicked one of the thugs right in the face. I then simultaneously hit two of the others in the chest with my fists. I picked up the two remaining muggers and threw them into some barrels across the other side of the building. I was an incredible karate fighter just like in the movies or in video games. They all got up and ran out of the building and were quickly out of site. “Don’t mess with me,” I yelled out to them. I stretched my right arm upwards and made a fist. Then I blasted straight up through the roof of the building as though I was Superman. I woke up after I was high in the air. The dream lasted about 10 minutes.
* Normal logic had escaped me… – This is a dream sign. Most of the time when logic doesn’t seem right, question yourself if you are dreaming. I caught on to this one immediately because I know I couldn’t beat up five thugs like I thought I could in the dream!
Reality testing and dream signs really work if you practice the lucid dreaming induction methods I have explained to you in previous lessons.
Lucid dreaming can take on many forms and what you do with them is your choice. Flying is one of my favorite things to do when I am lucid so it is usually part of most of my lucid dreams. Remember that lucid dreaming can be more than just having fun. Read through my lessons if you haven’t already, to get an idea of the many other things you can do during a lucid dream and how to benefit from them.
Now go fly off and have a lucid dream for yourself!
© 2009 – 2011 Gary Gardner, All Rights Reserved
I must admit I am skeptical when it comes to astral projection, astral travel or out-of-body experiences. I never experienced one and they seem rather unbelievable, but I am open to discover and research almost anything. I have mentioned throughout my lessons, that I have lucid dreams on a regular basis. So, it is easy for me to believe in lucid dreaming. I have a solid testimony that lucid dreaming is real. Just because I don’t have any personal experience with astral travel, I can’t just dismiss them as myths. I’ll share with you what I have discovered so far.
Wikipedia.org describes astral projection (or astral travel) as an interpretation of out-of-body experience (OBE) that assumes the existence of an “astral body” separate from the physical body and capable of traveling outside it. Astral projection or travel denotes the astral body leaving the physical body to travel in the astral plane.
I’ll refer to this phenomena as “astral travel” throughout this blog.
People claim that all senses are utilized during astral travel. Some people claim that they saw or heard things which they could not possibly have seen or heard from the actual positions of their bodies such as being in bed sleeping.
The term out-of-the-body experience was introduced in 1943 by G.N.M Tyrrell in his book Apparitions. Astral travel is recorded in history as early as ancient Egypt, 5,000 years ago. The Egyptian priests had knowledge of the existence of the astral body that they referred to as Kha. There are ancient Egyptians inscriptions and drawings on rock walls of many temples and buildings representing the abandonment the physical body during sleep.
Scientific Study of Astral Travel
From my research, the vast majority of scientists don’t believe that astral travel really exists. They believe that astral travel is simply a recreation of sensory feelings that our minds just make up. Through the use of virtual reality goggles, cameras, poking or touching a person, etc., scientists can recreate what it is like to experience real astral travel, if they do indeed exist.
Real Astral Travel?
Surveys show that about up to 35% of the population have experienced astral travel at some time during their life. One explanation of the astral travel is that consciousness or one’s spirit is a separate entity from the body and can exist without the body.
There are thousands of claims of astral travel and many Websites dedicated to people sharing their personal astral travel with the world. Those that claim to have experienced astral travel totally believe that they real and not something that is simply made up in their minds. They are truly convinced that there consciousness or spirit is temporarily leaving there bodies. I was truly amazed at the number of believable astral travel stories I have read. Just do a search on the Internet and you will see what I am talking about.
Lucid Dreaming and Astral Travel
Some believe that astral travel begins when a person loses contact with sensory input from the body while remaining conscious.
From Blackmore, 1988; LaBerge – Lucidity Letter; Levitan – Lucidity Letter: The person retains the feeling of having a body, but that feeling is no longer derived from data provided by the senses. The “out-of-body” person also perceives a world that resembles the world he or she generally inhabits while awake, but this perception does not come from the senses either. The vivid body and world of the OBE is made possible by our brain’s marvelous ability to create fully convincing images of the world, even in the absence of sensory information. This process is witnessed by each of us every night in our dreams. Indeed, all dreams could be called OBEs in that in them we experience events and places quite apart from the real location and activity of our bodies.
This is only the beginning of my research on astral travel. I will continue to research and share my findings with you. It is really much too early for me to draw any conclusions on astral travel other than there are just too many people that claim to be experiencing them. It makes no sense to me to simply dismiss them just because scientists can’t prove in a laboratory that they really exist.
Please feel free to share any experiences with astral travel that you may have had!
© 2009 – 2011 Gary Gardner, All Rights Reserved
When you first start having lucid dreams you may have experienced some difficulties such as:
- Waking up immediately
- Waking up too soon
- Having a false awakenings
- Difficulties remembering dreams and/or lucid dreams
- Having trouble controlling your dreams
In order to become an advanced lucid dreamer, you must master the items in the list above. You must also have lucid dreams frequently. Go to my earlier lessons to learn how to overcome these obstacles.
This lesson addresses how to become an advanced lucid dreamer by enhancing and enriching your lucid dreams.
Separation of the Dream Worlds
You must first remove the deceptive obstacles that separate you from the non-lucid dreaming world to the full lucid dreaming world. You need to “see” the extreme differences between these two dream worlds.
During a lucid dream stand still and loudly state “I am having a lucid dream”. State your full name, your age, your date of birth, your address and phone number. Also state what you did before you fell asleep. Always fully concentrate on all of your surroundings and pay close attention to every detail and everything that happens. Continue to do this exercise until you fully realize that you are in the lucid dream world and you no longer have the need to distinguish between the two dream worlds. It will help solidify the differences between the two worlds of dreaming and lead you to full dream control.
Advanced Dream Recall
One way of helping to remember to recall your dreams is by the power of suggestion. After all, when you are having a lucid dream, you have the ability to communicate with your subconscious mind. While lucid, firmly state out loud that you will remember everything about your dream. Be sincere and passionate while speaking. You will be surprised how your dream recall will increase.
Controlling and Extending the Length of Your Lucid Dreams
Make yourself completely part of the lucid dream-scape. Relax and feel the air flow against your body. Breathe slowly and deeply and feel the flow as you inhale and exhale. Feel your feet touching the ground and become part of the lucid dream by embellishing the effect of the dream-scape’s gravity. Embrace your surroundings by opening up your arms and allowing you to become one within your lucid dream’s positive energy. Practicing this will make your lucid dreams real and your surroundings become genuine. It will also permit you to be comfortable while lucid dreaming, thus giving you a richer and longer lucid dream experience.
Communicating with your Dream Guide
You should first make a connection with your Dream Guide. Go to or make your Dream Guide appear and ask “are you my dream guide?” Ask at least three times. By the third time your dream guide should answer you with the truth. Once the connection has been made with your Dream Guide, maintain the connection and develop and foster your relationship. With practice, your Dream Guide will appear before you by just calling out for him, her, or it. Your Dream Guide can help you solve problems and guide you to wisdom.
Studies have shown that practicing things (that you are already good at in waking life) such as playing musical instruments, song writing, dancing, skiing, mathematics, inventing, etc. during a lucid dream can improve your skills. In the book ‘Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming’ by Steven La Berge and Howard Rheingold there is a chapter named ‘Rehearsal for Living’ that discusses ways to develop your physical skills during a lucid dream. I would suggest reading this chapter and the entire book.
Wish Fulfillment versus Wisdom Enhancement
Lucid dreaming can be one of the most fun and fulfilling things you can do. It can be hard to put aside those things that fulfill wishes so that you can take time to practice skills and enhance your wisdom. Memory and self-awareness are essential in order to put the wish fulfillment of lucid dreaming aside for a while so that you may enhance your wisdom.
During non-lucid dreaming, your memory is greatly diminished or absent in many cases. This is why you accept things as being normal while you are dreaming. Just think about the many strange and impossible things that occur during a dream that you don’t even question. This is why reality checking is so important in the early development of lucid dreaming. Your memory can also be distracted during a lucid dream. Continue to perform reality checks while lucid dreaming and regularly remind yourself that you are dreaming so can remember to stay focused on the lucid dream world in which you have control, memory and awareness. You must continue to perform reality checks while you are awake as well.
Self-awareness is being totally aware of your surroundings and the effect that you have on everything and the influence it has on you. To obtain self-awareness, you must pay attention to everything and don’t lose your focus. This requires intense concentration on your behalf.
You can see why memory and self-awareness go hand-and-hand and support each other. Memorization and self-awareness can be a difficult to master while lucid dreaming, but intense practice is the key to success. Be passionate during every attempt you take to obtain this goal. Take the time to concentrate on every moment of memory and self-awareness development during a lucid dream.
Once you have mastered memorization and self-awareness during a lucid dream, you will be able to step away from the flightiness of a beginner lucid dreamer and develop into a focused and aware advanced lucid dreamer. You will be unrestricted to enhance your wisdom and skills.
Meditation during a Lucid Dream
Here is one final note. Try meditating during a lucid dream. Many who participate in meditation sessions while lucid dreaming acquire an amazingly profound level of self-consciousness.
Stay Focused Upon the Lucid Dream World!
© 2009 – 2012 Gary Gardner, All Rights Reserved