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What is lucid dreaming?

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What is lucid dreaming?

Post  Shael on Wed Jul 07, 2010 7:22 pm

Lucid dreaming means dreaming, while knowing that you are dreaming. So practically, it means being aware that you are dreaming. In most of the cases, people become aware that they are dreaming, at some point during the dream. This usually happens when they see something that just cannot exist in the real world ( such as a traffic light with purple and blue lights or a red cat). Other times, lucidity is triggered when the dreamer feels intense emotions during the dream, for example when their life is endangered or when they dream a beloved person being hurt. And there are times when lucidity simply happens, at some point during the dream, with no apparent cause.
There are two levels of lucidity. When lucidity is on a high level, you are aware that everything you dream is only in your mind, that there is no real danger and that you are asleep in bed and will wake up soon. In the case of low-level lucidity, you may be aware to a certain extent that you are dreaming. You are, however, not sure of it, there is an amount of doubt or confusion. It is not enough, in order to realise that you can suffer no physical damage or realise that you are actually in bed.

There is a confusion between lucid dreaming and dream control. It is important to know that lucid dreaming is not synonymous with dream control. Lucid dreaming, as said before, simply means being aware that you are dreaming. This can happen with, or without having the ability to control what happens in your dream. However, it is true that being lucid is a premise of deliberately influencing your dream.
Conversely, one can have a great del of control over the dream, without knowing that they are dreaming.
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Re: What is lucid dreaming?

Post  Shael on Fri Jul 09, 2010 12:54 am

There are two types of lucid dreaming: Mnemonic Initiated Lucid Dreams (MILD) and Wake Initiated Lucid Dreams (WILD).
In the case of MILD, the dream starts as a normal dream and at some point, the person becomes aware they are dreaming. This is the type of lucid dream which happens most often. MILD involves setting the intention to have a lucid dream before going to bed, which makes it more likely to happen. In order to perform MILD you have to improve your abilities to recognise dream signs, which give you the hint that you are dreaming.

WILD occurs when one goes directly from the normal waking state into a dream state, with no lapse in consciousness. Within the border of being awake and being asleep, there is a state called the hypnagogic state. The key to WILD is recognising the hypnagogic state, and therefore remaining aware of yourself. In other words, the aim of WILD is to fall asleep counsciously. There are a few steps that can halp achieve WILD:

1. First of all, lye in bed and relax your mind and body, don't think of any problems. Then repeat this over in your mind: "One, the next scene will be a dream. Two, the next scene will be a dream.Three...", until you feel you have completely set the intention to keep your mind alert while your body drifts to sleep.

2. Observe your hypnagogoc imagery. This occurs after 5-10 minutes and is the beginning of the dream state. You will see blobs of color, swirling and floating around behind your eyelids. Then you will be aware of voices and sounds. Hold on to this state, while focusing on your intention to recognize the dream state when it occurs.

3. While your body falls asleep, you may hear a loud vibrating or humming sensation in your head. This is the point of transition from the waking state to the dream state.

4. By this phase, your body is asleep, but your mind is aware. You will notice a dream scene emerging in front of you, after the transition from waking to dream state. Now, you can simply step into the picture, so that it becomes 3D around you, by pushing your awareness deeper into the dream scene.
WILD takes some practice and it's not easy to do when you are very tired before going to bed and you can't focus on these steps. So it's ideal to try it when you are not exhausted after a hard day of work. WILD is harder than MILD, but it is also a very relaxing and interesting experience.
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Re: What is lucid dreaming?

Post  Shael on Mon Jul 12, 2010 8:57 pm

There are many techniques which help achieve lucid dreams. I will focus here on those more fit for Mnemonic Initiated Lucid Dreams, the type in which you achieve lucidity during the dream.
1. The first technique is identifying dreams signs. Dream signs are elements of a dream, which indicate that you are dreaming. Dream signs are, in most of the cases, personal, they are different for each person. So, you have to identify dream signs by analysing your dreams. This way you can become familiar with your own personal dreamsigns and set your mind to recognize them and become lucid in future dreams. Just as an example, dream signs can be: a red cat, a malfunctioning device, miraculous flight.

2. The next technique is based on studies that have shown that the best time to practice MILD is after awaking from a dream, before returning to sleep. When you awaken from a dream, recall it as detailed as you can.
While returning to sleep, concentrate only on your intention to remember to recognize that you're dreaming and let go of any other thought. Tell yourself: "Next time I'm dreaming, I will remember I'm dreaming," repeatedly, like a mantra.
While you continue focusing in order to remember to recognise that you are dreaming, imagine yourself in the dream you have previously woke up from. If you don't remember that dream, you can also try with an other dream you had in the past. While you imagine yourself in one of your previous dreams, look for dream signs. When you see a dream sign, say to yourself "I am dreaming" and then continue your fantasy. You can even make plans for your next lucid dream.

If you haven't managed to fall asleep, just repeat this exercise two or three times. The last thing in your mind before falling asleep is your intention to remember to recognize the next time you are dreaming. So, it's important to let go of all other thoughts.

3. An other method is the Napping Technique. You have to awaken one hour earlier than usual, stay awake for 30 to 60 minutes, and then go back to sleep. During the short wakeful period, you can do one of the following: read about lucid dreaming, practice recognising dream signs, repeat in your mind that your next dream will be a lucid dream. During this small break you can also try the previous exercise from 2. in which you recall a dream from the past and set your mind to remember to recognize you are dreaming.
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Re: What is lucid dreaming?

Post  Shael on Thu Jul 15, 2010 4:09 am

One of the most important things when it comes to lucid dreaming is remembering your dreams. Remembering your dreams is essential, because lucid dreaming is an interesting and exciting experience and what would be the use of having this experience, if you cannot recall it?
Remembering your dreams helps you study the dreams. This way you can recognise your own personal dream signs, and therefore recognise them. And, as said before, recognising dream signs is one of the easiest ways to lucid dreaming.
There are some tips, which help remembering dreams. Right after you wake up, remain in bed a few minutes. Try not to move and don't open your eyes. Right after you wake up, the dream is still fresh in your memory and now is the perfect time for dream recall. It is best to keep your eyes shut because light can drive your memories away easily.

It often happens that you cannot remember the whole dream after you wake up. Sometimes it is enough to remember one or two scenes or details. If you focus on them, the rest of the dream may come to mind easily. Just think intensely about a scene and gradually ask yourself "Well, what happens next?". Stay relaxed and try to remember the emotions you felt during your dream: love, fear, amusement etc. Remembering your feelings and trying to relive them also helps dream recall.

Keeping a dream journal also helps dream recall. Keep your dream journal near your bed, so you can reach it easily in the morning after you wake up and write things down, while they are fresh in your memory. You don't have to write the whole dream right after you wake up. Just write what you remember. Later, if you recall other elements, add them to the first notes.
There are some ways in which you can make a dream journal more fun and useful. First of all, use a notebook which is for dream recall only. It is also good to write down the date of each dream. You can also add sketches of strong immages from the dream. Sketches cah help you visualize and remember more details of the dream.
If you are writing down a lucid dream, remember to write an " L " or any other personal sign in front of the scene or element of the dream which triggered lucidity.
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Re: What is lucid dreaming?

Post  Shael on Sun Jul 18, 2010 8:06 pm

There is no rule which tells how fast a person can learn lucid dreaming. This depends on many factors: your motivation, your power of concentration when you practice lucid dreaming techniques, how tired you are when you go to sleep and the amount of time you have in order to practice it. Learning to lucid dream also depends on how good you can recall your dreams and recognise your personal dream signs. This is why it is recomended that, before practicing lucid dreaming, you have to improve dream recall.

There are also the ones who have a natural predisposition for dream recall and lucid dreaming. Some people simply achieve lucidity at some point during their dreams, without having to practice lucid dreaming techniques. In their case, it happens naturally. But most often, they too are adviced to practice special techniques, if they want to have a lucid dream at will.
So, it might take a month, it might take an year. But you don't have to be discouraged if you fail the first times. Everyone can learn to have lucid dreams! Smile You don't have to be born with special skills or unknown talents, it is in the power of human beings.
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Re: What is lucid dreaming?

Post  Shael on Wed Jul 21, 2010 9:53 pm

If you are asking yourself "Why have a lucid dream?", there are many answeres, besides the fact that it is simply fun and entreaguing. A lucid dream is different than a normal dream. The images look more realistic and dense, the colors are more vivid.

If you can achieve a high level lucidity and after you have mastered dream control, you can create your own world inside a dream. You want to swim in the sea? If you manage to control what happens in the dream, you can go for a swim! You can fly if you want to, or even experience what is like to have superpowers.

You can use lucid dreaming in order to prepare yourself for a future event which makes you nervous. You can rehearse a public speech or imagine an unavoidable confrontation, which you know will happen. This brings you courage. After having dreamt these difficult situations, you will face them with more confidence when they happen in real life.

Lucid dreaming can help you face nightmares, even if it doesn't involve dream control. If you are lucid in a nightmare, you realise that nothing is real and nothing can affect you. Knowing a situation isn't real will attenuate the fear or intimidation.
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Re: What is lucid dreaming?

Post  Shael on Tue Jul 27, 2010 7:10 pm

One of the problems most encountered when lucid dreaming is that you tend to wake up right after becoming lucid. This happens especially in the beginning, when you have your first lucid dreams. There are some tips which help maintain lucidity and avoid waking up.
First of all, you have to keep your emotions under control. Lucid dreaming often makes you excited, and if this feeling is too strong it can cause waking up. You can enjoy the trill of lucid dreaming while staying calm and relaxed. Enjoy the lucid dream, but try to avoid being overwhelmed by it.

There is an other technique. In order to do this one, you must have just a little control over your lucid dream, only enough to control the movements of your body. All you have to do is start moving when you feel that lucidity is fading away. Spinning works very well. But other types of motion help: walking a few steps, running, jumping or letting yourself fall on the ground. Engaging motion makes the lucid dream last longer.
In my case, walking and running help. I would like to try spinning only it never occurs to me to do this when i'm lucid dreaming!
There are some signs which show when the lucid dream is about to fade away: loss of detail, vividness, and apparent reality of the imagery.
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Re: What is lucid dreaming?

Post  Shael on Sat Aug 14, 2010 8:56 pm

Besides WILD and MILD there is an other type of lucid dreaming: the Externally Induced Lucid Dream (EILD). In an EILD you become lucid at some point during the dream, with the help of external cues which you will recognise in your dream. These external cues trigger lucidity in a similar way to dream signs, only they are not the product of your mind.
Before going to bed, you will know what the external cue is and you will link it to the idea of lucid dreaming. Therefore, when you perceive the cue while dreaming, you will become lucid.
In order to achieve EILD a special device is needed. The most well known device is the Nova Dreamer, invented by the psychietrist Stephen LaBerge. The Nova Dreamer is a pair of glasses. The glasses emit soft blinking lights that you will see in your sleep and these lights work as external cues.
The Nova Dreamer also has an eye movement detector. It is known that dreams occur during the REM phase, so when the eye movements start, the device will produce the blinking lights. The Nova Dreamer has many types of cues, for the user to choose.
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Re: What is lucid dreaming?

Post  Shael on Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:24 pm

It is important to know that there haven’t been discovered any plants or medicine which enhance the likelihood of lucid dreaming. Scientists studying sleep are still looking for a possible plant or herbal medicine which would stimulate lucid dreaming.
However, lucid dreaming is stimulated by the person’s belief that something will trigger lucid dreaming! So the simple fact that you believe something will enhance the possibility of lucid dreaming, can work wonders. But this does not mean that this “something” is actually the cause of lucidity.
So whoever may sell you a “plant/pill/medicine that helps lucid dreaming” is lying and this must be known.
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Re: What is lucid dreaming?

Post  MattDeluka on Thu Aug 26, 2010 8:25 am

WOW!!! thank you so so much for all of this lucid dreaming information. It's really the first time I have read it all as it's Casey's territory really. Thank you

One question to either of you and that is what is lucid dreamings importance?
we know that REM sleep is needed to be fully rested, so what is the importance in lucid dreaming.

Do you know?

matt
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Re: What is lucid dreaming?

Post  Shael on Thu Aug 26, 2010 8:47 pm

Until now it hasn't been proved that lucid dreaming helps with opening the third eye or spiritually evolving. It's importance varies from person to person.
I for example enjoy it, for the interesting experience which it is... and for the beautiful feeling which i have when i realise i am dreaming. And when i can control the dream, it's even better!
For other people is important to know they can control their nightmaires, turning them into a beautiful dream, or at least into a normal dream, with no fear, no scary things.
And when one is able to create a world inside a dream, i think it's great. I haven't managed to create the whole landscape of the dream when i am lucid, i can only control small details like the way i move, the way others move...
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Re: What is lucid dreaming?

Post  Shael on Fri Sep 03, 2010 4:56 am

There is an other method which helps achieving a lucid dream. It's called the Cycle Adjustment Technique (CAT). It consists of two steps:
1. Set your alarm clock 60-90 minutes before your normal wake-up time, every day, for one week.
2. From day 8, alternate your wake-up time on a daily basis: normal, early, normal, early, and so on. On a normal wake-up day, your body will expect you to get up early. So your mind will already be stimulated and more likely to become conscious while you are still dreaming. This improves your chances of having many lucid dreams in a week.

There are a few tips on the method.
It's recommended that you go to sleep each night at the same time. In the days when you wake up earlier, just do whatever you want to do, but do not go back to sleep...
But if you wake up earlier in a day when you should wake up normally, it's recommended that you stay in bed and try to fall asleep again until the hour when you should have woken up normally.
This method is quite simple. The hardest part is waking up earlier than normally!
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Re: What is lucid dreaming?

Post  Shael on Tue Sep 07, 2010 5:08 am


Here, i'm talking about lucid dreams, the dreams in which you acknowledge the fact that you are dreaming. These type of dreams are very uplifting. You just need a little practice, but it's not that hard. One of the simplest techniques ia the Cycle Adjustment Technique, which i described right here above.

When you are able to control the actions and scenery of your dreams, you can use this capability in order to create your own dream landscape. In your lucid dream, you can also try to face the situations which scare you in real life. This way you can have more courage to face these situations when they come for real! Very Happy

I know it's hard to change the scenery, but here are some tips:
- Start walking, or running. Whichever you choose, it's important that you change your location inside the dream landscape. This changing of location helps more than simply standing in one place and trying to make a blue wall become yellow Wink
- If there is a door, open it! Or why not try to create a door, and then open it?
- Imagine a landscape or scenery behind you, and then simply turn around

There is the question weather lucid dreams are tiring. In most of the cases, they are not tiring, but relaxing! Lucid dreaming may seem a bit tiring when you're a beginner and you're not familiarized with it. In your first lucid dreams, it may take more mental concentration in order to change scenery. But after a few lucid dreams, this sensation disappears.
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Re: What is lucid dreaming?

Post  Pronghorn on Tue Sep 07, 2010 7:56 pm

Merry Meet Shael!


Now about this lucid dreaming, Yes... I am aware of this but in my workshop we prefer to call it vivid dreaming. Vivid dreaming like lucid dreaming can be learned, and those are the ones that stick with us. I rarely remember a dream unless its real intense, or vivid.

I can control my dreams when I am having one that's real vivid, and I realize I'm dreaming. That's fun, and can also be learned. I decided to buy myself a good book on dreaming, since I can actually control my dreams and even plan on where I would like to go.



Last edited by Pronghorn on Wed Dec 22, 2010 11:52 am; edited 3 times in total
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Re: What is lucid dreaming?

Post  Shael on Tue Sep 07, 2010 10:49 pm

Lucid dreams are indeed more vivid than normal dreams. The colors look more lively. So vivid dreams are a good name for lucid dreams. Smile
It's great if you managed to plan on what you will be dreaming. It takes a lot of experience and practice i guess. I am far away from achieving this lol. But i can control what i do in my lucid dreams and i can control what others do, too. I have more control over the actions than over the looks of the landscapes, i noticed.
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Re: What is lucid dreaming?

Post  Pronghorn on Wed Sep 08, 2010 12:54 pm

Merry Meet Shael

Personally I give very much on dreams. Cause dreams are first of all a perfect tool to communicate with my subconscious. I believe I can train lucid or vivid dreaming and than actively communicate with myself. Otherwise dreaming is just a one way street. I also use a dream to raise a lot of energy. And I recommend this for those who can't reach trance-states while awake. There are techniques to do the practice you intended even without being a lucid dreamer. We just need to learn to dream what we want and feel like you intend during this dream. A very powerful tool.
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Re: What is lucid dreaming?

Post  randwulf on Thu Sep 09, 2010 11:21 am

Hello Shael!

I think this thread must be a sticky one!!! Thres a lot of information here

Thank you for sharing with us!


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Re: What is lucid dreaming?

Post  Shael on Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:16 pm

Helo, Randwulf!
Glad you like this topic. Very Happy I have been interested in lucid dreaming ever since i had my first lucid dream. So i'm searching for practical, easy to apply information about lucid dreaming and hope you find it useful.
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Re: What is lucid dreaming?

Post  Shael on Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:20 pm

Reality checks are an other method which helps lucid dreaming. Reality checks are small habits which consist of verifying if the world around you is real and you are not in a dream. It is recommended that you do reality checks 4-5 times a day. It is a simple method and each reality check only requires about a minute of your time. If you obtain the habit of performing 4-5 reality checks during the day, you might also obtain this habit while you are dreaming. And if you find yourself performing a reality check while you are dreaming, the reality check from your dream will work as a dream sign, therefore triggering lucidity!
Here are some of the most effective ways to do reality check during your day. If done during the dream, they will work as dream signs:

- Look at a digital clock to see if it stays constant.
- Look at a body of text, look away, and then look back to see if it has changed.
- Flip a light switch. Most often in dreams, light switchers don't work properly.
- Look in a mirror. Your image will most often appear blurry or not appear at all in a dream.
- Try leaning against a wall. If you are dreaming, you might pass through the wall.
- Try to hold your nose and mouth shut and still breathe. No exaggerating with this one! Laughing
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Re: What is lucid dreaming?

Post  Shael on Sun Sep 19, 2010 1:57 am

There are a few tips on practicing reality checks, so as to make them more effective.
It is indicated to perform a reality check right after you wake up and an other one right before you go to bed. The rest of the reality checks will be performed during the day.

You can try to combine two reality checks together, like flipping a light switch and then looking at a digital clock. Sometimes the method works better this way.

Reality checks not only help people lucid dream, but also increase the self awareness. By self awareness i mean questioning the world around you and trying to understand it. By practicing reality checks during the day, you will obtain the habit of practicing them while you dream. In your dream you will recognize the reality check, and thus lucidity will be triggered.
But reality checks also give you a better awareness of the dreamworld. Therefore your lucid dream will be very clear and vivid, just like reality.This way, everything you see, hear and touch will be as close to reality as possible (because you know that in dreams things can get dark/shadowy/blurry sometimes, or your senses can be altered).
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