Lucid dreaming is often a topic that’s shrouded with debate and contentions. While most rationalists would consider it a form of pseudoscience, it is truly debatable since there’s no proof to refute these subsequent claims.
As such, it is often best to find it out yourself! To help you with that, we’ve prepared a simple 4-step guide to lucid dreaming. By employing these tried and tested methods, you can experience this first hand!
In this article, you’ll learn about:
- What Lucid Dreaming is all about
- The Mysterious Experience of Lucid Dreaming
- 3 Benefits of Lucid Dreaming
- Guide to Lucid Dreaming – 4 Simple Steps
What is Lucid Dreaming?
Lucid Dreaming is often defined as the act of gaining awareness within one’s own dream space. The word Lucid itself can be traced back to the Italian word Lucere which pertains to shine or light.
When dreaming, we presuppose a state of non-awareness. As we subconsciously enter this, we are unaware of ourselves as we become spectators in our own dreams. This is why when we’re dreaming, we’re not really aware of who we are. Most importantly, we are often unable to perceive that we are dreaming.
As images flash before us during the dream state, we experience a flurry of vaguely defined states and conditions. Ranging from nightmares to happy endings, dreams can come in all forms and sizes, mostly not to our choosing.
However, during a Lucid dream, these presumptions change. Just as the name suggests, our dream becomes elucidated with the ability to gain one’s consciousness within dream space. While most dreams can be involuntary and arbitrarily generated, Lucid dreams are far more complex as we are consciously aware of our state of mind.
The Mysterious Experience of Lucid Dreaming
Upon entering the state of consciousness within dream space, we experience a mystical encounter.
In a world where we are the masters of the universe, lucid dreams can become a playground of endless ideas and possibilities where we are in control. While the ability to navigate can still be quite limited as compared to astral projection, lucid dreaming is certainly a step forward in exploring dream space.
Within this dream space, you will experience a certain level of omnipotence – the ability to change the situation, storyline, and particulars in your own dream. This will create a new kind of experience, one that allows you to navigate through pseudo-real space.
After all, when we dream, we are simply unable to create clear boundaries between realities and dream space. Distinguishing between dreams and reality can be a tall order, especially when both appear to be quite similar to each other.
But one thing is certain – the ability to retain one’s consciousness within dream space can truly expand the depth of your existence!
3 Benefits of Lucid Dreaming
Lucid dreaming can bring a ton of benefits. This is due to the fact that navigating and controlling dream space can create modified experiences, at least within your own mind. In fact, lucid dreams have become a subject of sci-fi movies (hello Inception!) due to their infinite possibilities.
Here are 3 known benefits of lucid dreaming:
#1: Dealing with Anxiety and Inner Issues
Just as all of us have that pandora’s box within, there’s surely a trove of unwanted feelings, thoughts, and emotions in our subconscious mind. When faced with a fight or flight response, opting for flight means that we’re likely to simply bury our own insecurities and issues instead of dealing with them.
But with lucid dreaming, we can safely deal with these struggles. Instead of waiting for these “shadows” to manifest, this method of dreaming presents a way to address your inner issues from within.
#2: Improved Creativity and Problem-Solving Abilities
Lucid dreaming can improve your creativity and problem-solving abilities. For one, the ability to navigate dream space is like having the perfect canvass together with an endless amount of color paint variations with it. Whether you’re a master or a beginner, having the right conditions can allow you to create your own unique craft.
Add to that, this can also be a space for you to improve your logical thinking skills. Naturally, dream space can manifest itself as thought puzzles. Think of it as having the opportunity to solve mazes and sudoku puzzles without consuming real-world time.
#3: Increased Mindfulness
Perhaps the best benefit of lucid dreaming, increased mindfulness allows you to access your brain even further. By retaining your consciousness during dream state, your mind is operating in a super-charged mode.
As a result, you’ll experience a different kind of awareness – one wherein you can see life from a clearer perspective. With lucid dreaming helping your journey towards self-development, your mind can achieve that heightened state of focus more often. Thus, your waking experience becomes much more fruitful than before.
Guide to Lucid Dreaming: 4 Simple Steps
While lucid dreaming may appear to be a gargantuan task, starting your journey doesn’t need to be as complicated. In fact, this task is something that you can do, as long as you dedicate your mind, heart, and soul to it.
To do so, follow these 4 simple steps:
Step #1: Begin with a Dream Diary
Perhaps the most vital step in beginning your journey, a dream diary is essential in order for you to induce the lucid dream state. While people often begin using the more complex methods such as hypnosis and REM sleep activation, dream diaries are proven to be a far better starting point.
Think of it this way – if you want to retain consciousness in your own dream, the best place to start is the boundary between dreaming and waking states. Upon waking up, the fragments of your dream are still fresh. However, failing to record them means that these thoughts will inevitably vanish as your day goes on.
But by doing a dream diary, you can consistently take note of the contents of your dream. As such, you can begin examining them, as you connect the dots. Here are some practical stuff that you can do:
- Outline the common elements among different dreams (e.g., masks, animals, symbols, etc.,)
- Take note of the contexts (e.g., place, situation, era, etc.,)
- List down your feelings and emotions
- Pick simple words to describe the feeling of being within the dream (e.g., afraid, aroused, confused, troubled, excited, hopeful, etc.,)
- Identify recurring themes within the dream
This list includes only a fraction of what you can do. Even then, the point is to keep it simple to ensure clarity on your end. Remember, the whole function of doing a dream diary is to consistently immerse yourself in dream space.
Step #2: Try out the MILD Technique
The MILD technique stands for mnemonic induction of lucid dreaming. Simply put, this technique seeks to associate certain signals or patterns as markers for dream state. Remember, in lucid dreaming, you are seeking to retain consciousness. Thus, having a totem or signifier certainly helps.
Here are some guidelines for you:
- Before falling asleep, pull-out your dream diary. This will help you recall signals, signifiers, and symbols.
- Think concretely of your dream signs, as they will become markers to regain consciousness within dream state. This can range from gaining certain abilities like flying or teleportation to seeing unreal entities like unicorn or chimeras.
- Ask yourself where you are right now, and try to rationally assess if it is logically possible.
- With all these combined, try remembering that you’re dreaming!
Step #3: The WBTB approach
The Wake Back to Bed approach is perhaps the simplest method to try out. Generally, this involves the action of consciously waking oneself, just enough to regain consciousness. By disrupting your current sleep, you can induce change that can retain your consciousness as you go back.
Here are some concrete steps that you can do:
- Set an alarm about 4 to 5 hours after your sleeping time.
- As you wake up, try some relaxing activities. Alternatively, you can also re-read your dream journal.
- Go back to sleep, and integrate the MILD technique.
Remember, the WBTB approach isn’t always guaranteed to produce the best results. Sometimes, it may falter and you may end up frustrated with your sleep being disrupted. Thus, it is crucial to get great conditioning before engaging with this method.
Step #4: Do the WILD Method
No, we don’t mean getting wild before going to sleep. Instead, WILD here stands for wake-initiated lucid dreaming. Simply put, the WILD method seeks to blur-out the difference between sleeping and waking states. By getting in between these two, you’re likely to retain consciousness as you sleep.
In doing this, experiencing hypnagogic hallucination certainly helps. During this state, you are practically in the middle of sleeping and waking. Thus, this can happen when you’re about to sleep. Groggy and dazed, this can help you become conscious as you snap back to sleep.
This is considered an advanced method, so constant practice certainly helps!
In this short piece, we’ve outlined what lucid dreaming is all about. We hope to have imparted some useful knowledge to you, as you move forward in your own journey. Remember, lucid dreaming isn’t guaranteed and much like everything, constant correct practice is key in perfecting this art!
The Individualogist Team is made up of archetype fanatics, individuation practitioners, and spirituality fans. Our humble group has banded together to deliver thought-provoking, life-changing, and growth-probing wisdom.