Lucid dreams - lucid simply meaning “clear” - occur when you consciously realize you are dreaming, and find yourself capable of making deliberate choices within the dream and guiding your subconscious through the dream realm. In a typical dream, you accept the consequences of whatever happens unthinkingly. Even the most absurd situations are normalized. Lucid dreams, and their more advanced counterpart, psychic dreams, occur when there is a balance between waking and sleeping consciousness. In these dreams, we can ask direct questions of our subconscious and find the solutions that our waking consciousness craves.
How to Have Your First Lucid Dream
For most who have never lucid dreamed before, it’s important to mentally prepare and do some research before an attempt. If you’re interested in taking the first step, begin by writing in a dream journal. This will help you be more mindful of what you’re experiencing in your sleep. Try to write down at least one dream you have throughout the night. Meditation is also helpful. Many cultures around the world practice meditation to become more self-aware, focused, and reflective and you will undoubtedly find that these skills will in turn enhance your visualization capabilities and improve your ability to achieve deep relaxation. Meditation also gives you time, away from the hectic routines of everyday life, to make up your own inner world and create strong mental images.
Some people find that before they begin an intentional lucid dream journey, it’s important to establish an “objective” or a question. Keep it simple, and as dreams are slippery things, remember to keep a notepad or tape recorder by your bed for this exercise.
Each night, set your alarm clock a half hour earlier than you normally would. When your alarm goes off in the morning, focus on your question and press the snooze button.
In the dream that follows, your mind will attempt to answer and make sense of what you have asked it. When the snooze goes off, refocus on your question, evaluate what you were dreaming, and go back to sleep. Continue this until the half hour is up.
Afterwards, closely record as much as you can remember. As you progress, try to remember certain dream “signs” that trigger lucidity. Lucid dreaming takes practice, but gaining access to your subconscious creations can yield fantastic results.
Why Try Lucid Dreaming?
Lucid dreaming can lead to personal growth and development in a variety of areas. Clear, inspirational dreams can spark creativity and boost confidence, and help you formulate plans for initiating change in your waking life. Positive dream states can help you overcome long standing fears, or simply heal and re-energize you to help you see a more positive path into the future. The power of visualization has been tested and demonstrated in many different studies. Research has shown that almost anyone can learn to lucid dream. Scientific surveys of college students worldwide performed in 2008 indicated that between 47% and 97% have experienced at least one lucid dream throughout their lifetime.
Lucid Dreaming in Popular Culture
Lucid dreaming has become a household word over the last few years, due at least in part to the number of Hollywood films that have explored the growing popular interest in subconscious realities. Fantastical films like Vanilla Sky, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Paprika explore the appearances of reality through lucid dream-like states of consciousness. The dream architects of Inception are perhaps the best-known lucid dreaming film characters, though the term “lucid dreaming” is never actually mentioned in the film. For those who haven’t seen it in a while – or at all – and are interested in seeing the act of conscious dreaming presented through the lens of pop culture, the film is available to stream on YouTube. Dream movies stir the imagination, and whether or not you’re a practiced lucid dreamer, you can indulge in the fantasies of celluloid any time you want.
If you need personal help on dreams and how to practice lucid dreaming contact me and I will guide you through the process.
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