Mankind has flourished for a little over 5000 years on planet Earth. All the while, we’ve seen a lot of transformations, iconic people were born, epics were written, holy books were penned down and people as human as us were treated like Gods. But one question that still lingers us to date is whether all of this was really a truth or merely a work of fiction? Did someone actually see the gods? Why did our elders spend decades meditating under banyan trees or, how were the societal rules of today established? Was it by mere chance that all of them became so influential or was there something special about them which others could never comprehend? How come people like Einstein and Tesla possess so much of intelligence? Were they aided by alien forces or just pure intellect? Did Dante actually tour hell in the late 14th century? Is the world around us real or just a magnified illusion? All such questions come as pure speculations to the common man, some jumping in support of the argument whereas some opposing them as far-fetched attempts at fear. Although man continues to spend a fortune every year in search of answers, it seems that almost everyone today ignores the intricacies of life. But how could they possibly unravel such mysteries without unraveling their own selves?
If you must sleep through a third of your life, why should you sleep through your dreams too? – Stephen LaBerge
For as long as we’ve been able to talk about our dreams, we’ve been fascinated by them and want to understand them. There’s something about our dreams that catches our awe and leaves us wondering even in our conscious state. We see all sorts of people, do all sorts of stuff yet we can neither control who we see nor what we do. Infact we can barely even remember our dreams after we wake up.
What is Lucid dreaming?
A Lucid dream is a dream where you become aware of the fact that you are dreaming while still being in that dream. As a result, the entire dreamscape built by your subconscious becomes a playground for the conscious mind to indulge in. At high levels of lucidity, a person can control every single aspect of this dreamscape, starting from the environment, to the people he comes across. Furthermore, we are able to remember all that we dreamt.
A person can achieve such a lucid state either naturally or purposefully. There are certain events in a dream that are capable of triggering such a realization, such as witnessing things that could never be. Flying or having a conversation with someone who is long dead are a few of the notable examples. At these points in our dream, something strikes us as unusual and suddenly we realize that we are dreaming! But unfortunately, such a lucidity is often short lived. The enthusiasm leads to a sudden state of collapse and consequently we wake up.
On the other hand, there are artificial ways to stimulate lucid dreaming, which when mastered allow anyone to achieve the state at any point of time. No equipments needed, nor any privilege. One just needs to sleep and it’s all good from there!
But why is there such a rush for lucidity?
Lucidity is one of those rarely dwelt in phenomenons that can change a person’s life once he gets to know of the same. Very few people will stumble upon it, but those who do spend their entire lives in an attempt to gain on this state. So let’s peek a boo at some of the awesome things one can do with lucid dreaming before we indulge in them at greater depths later in this article!
What all is awesome about lucid dreaming? Benefits of lucid dreaming
Pure happiness: One can finally fly, soar above the skies, ‘Potter style’, visit any place in the world or summon any dream personality; past present or future and interact with them all.
Sexual desires: Yes, it’s true. A lucid dreamer can summon any person and make love with them. And by any, we mean any! Plus the experience feels just like the real thing. But there’s a catch, as it seems your subconscious won’t allow for this erotic fantasy to be fulfilled unless you do so in a somewhat clever manner. More on this here.
Self-awakening/ inner peace: There are times where we are unable to come to terms with our own selves. Our mind and our heart are never at peace. There’s an inner voice deep within whose presence can be felt but cannot be comprehended. A lucid dream gives us the freedom to confront our subconscious in a conscious state and get answers to all such things in life. All we need to do is to conjure a mirror. In our waking reality, we see through our eyes but whilst dreaming, we see through our subconscious. Thus the reflection in the mirror is bound to be somewhat removed from what we actually look like, to what we’ve always wanted to look like! Be it a particular hairstyle, or a nose-job, we see ourselves exactly as we wanted us to be, yet somehow kept it stored at the back of our mind for long. We can ask questions and none other than our own subconscious will answer these out. Such a clarity wakes us up to a wonderful life ahead with no regrets or doubts in our mind.
A permanent cure for phobias: Similar to the self-awakening part, lucid dreaming enables us to confront our phobias in real time. So if there is something that has terrified us for long; a fear of flying, a fear of darkness, racing cars or human shadows, we can ask our subconscious for help. If there’s something buried in the back of our mind, we can truce out with it or if there’s something we’re dead afraid to try out in reality, we can do so here without any risk whatsoever. Such a medium works wonders in correcting such long kept fears and insecurities. Infact this is the only permanent cure for a phobia!
Treatment for nightmares: Lucid dreaming can put an effective end to the plight of those who dream a lot of nightmares. When one starts learning this art, one must learn all that can be learnt about hallucinations and nightmares. Now when a person starts lucid dreaming, instead of waking up from a nightmare, they can be awake in that nightmare, shape it out as per their own liking or even peace out with any such images/creatures for good. Now when they wake up, it’ll be all about the feels rather than those pesky goose bumps!
Peace with people from our past: Sometimes we find ourselves filled with guilt after the passing of someone close. For a ton of personal reasons, we could find ourselves struggling to move on even after years of their passing. In such a scenario, we can summon them up in one of our lucid dreams and interact with them to our heart’s content. Although most of it will your own subconscious, there still are ways in which you can summon the real people, and all starts with the learning of lucid dreaming. More on this (telepathy) later.
Creativity booster: There are times when we feel stuck in our trade due to the absence of new and innovative ideas. Unlike clothes which we are able to try out prior to purchase, we aren’t able to try out new ideas before investing ourselves in them. Lucid dreaming provides any artist not only the opportunity to try out such things, but he can also ask his subconscious to help him with new ideas. For instance, have a look at this story where an artist asked his subconscious for the most amazing painting he could ever paint. Spoilers: His subconscious acted very generously!
A chance to be as great as our greats: We often find ourselves scratching our heads as to how some people like Einstein, Tesla, and Christopher Nolan could be so very gifted and talented! But what if I told you that a lot of this acclaim is attributed to their experiences with lucid dreaming? No matter your IQ level or your raw capabilities, you can always add on to them manifolds and soar above the rest. Famous personalities and how lucid dreaming helped them here.
Before we delve into the techniques of lucid dreaming, it’s highly recommended that you familiarize yourself with the basics. These are extremely important terms that you’ll often come across once you indulge in the world of lucid dreaming.
What is sleep paralysis? Many consider sleep paralysis to be an ailment, a sickness of sorts. They pre conceive it as a terrible thing that only happens to a few unlucky souls. But the truth is as polarizing as it can get. Every night when we fall asleep, our mind puts our body into a rest state so that we don’t act out anything that we may see in our dreams. This resting state is known as sleep paralysis. It’s a safety measure which protects us from unintended harm. Suppose you are running in a dream, sleep paralysis ensures that you don’t end up running in reality as well. Similarly you may find yourself jumping down your terrace if you see something similar in your dream. Thus sleep paralysis isn’t a disease, its absence is!
Why do people see ghosts or evil creatures in sleep paralysis? (Hallucinations Explained) Human body has an inherent mechanism using which our mind and body are both taken away from consciousness. The body is put to rest in sleep paralysis while the mind wanders about in the dream world. Both of these are programmed to return to the natural state together, at the very same time. But sometimes it so happens that the body might awaken from sleep paralysis but your mind would keep wandering, unaware that your body has awaken. Hence a person finds himself unable to move his body while at the same time he’ll see visuals and hear voices of fairies and demons, depending upon whether he was having a pleasant dream or a nightmare.
What do in such a case of sleep paralysis? A person must keep calm and ignore all such visuals and voices as they do not actually exist! Instead focus upon manually informing the brain of your waking state. Purposeful twitching of the fingers/toes and eye blinking should do the trick!
Infact the way a person is ousted from sleep paralysis is crucial. Dreams occur in the fifth stage of sleep, known as the REM sleep and if a person wakes up abruptly from this stage, he’s bound to feel sleepy and tired throughout the day accompanied by erratic mood swings. Thus any sort of an alarm clock is actually bad for your health! Learn more about this as well as the five stages of sleep here.
Although the in depth study is a complex phenomenon, in its essence, sleepwalking is nothing but a failure of sleep paralysis. The mind loses its paralytical grasp on the body somewhere in-between a dream and consequently, we start acting them out.
While lucid dreaming, one must be absolutely thorough with these two concepts so that they are able to better deal with the two lest they occur unintentionally. Infact a person must deliberately undergo sleep paralysis (and if you’re lucky enough, the demons as well!) if he is to achieve lucidity via the WILD technique of lucid dreaming. More on this later.
There are tons of websites/apps that promise lucid dreams instantaneously. But most of these claims are unkept or even distracting. Consider your aim of lucid dreaming as a house. Then like any other house, we need to ensure that the foundations on which the structure is built is carved carefully and is strong enough to withstand a few hiccups along the way. Thus it is of utmost importance that the basics should be absolutely clear and rehearsed every single day!
The basic concepts of lucid dreaming/ the prerequisites to lucid dreaming
People ask me why are there ‘prerequisites’ to lucid dreaming when supposedly, it is a cent percent natural process! We usually confuse the word ‘natural’ with the word ‘always’. Let me better explain my point with the help of an example. Think of life as a video game and lucid dreaming as a bonus round in the same game. In order to unlock this round, you need to be done with the regular rounds in a more thorough manner. That is, you need to be more aware of the game environment and do everything that must be done prior to unlocking the bonus round. Those who are accustomed to video games can vouch for me when I say that nothing is more satisfying or rewarding as a bonus round is. Some even spend days searching for the prerequisites to such a round. Now playing this round is never a compulsion as you are free to skip it and continue with the regular ones. Infact you can end the game without ever having played the bonus round. But if you decide upon unlocking it, you’ll be blessed with a superpower, a rare collectable etc. Similarly lucid dreaming might be a natural process but since it is not a compulsion, it lies on another level where it awaits someone who wishes to gain from it, who can do something to unlock it that the others usually skip upon!
1. Meditation: Awareness for own body and soul
Let us discuss why meditation is widely considered as the master key to lucid dreaming. Erroneously, it is often believed that meditation is a deep thinking state where we make use of the dual forces of ‘introspection and retrospection’ in order to achieve clarity of thought. In reality, the exact opposite is true. Meditation actually means thinking of nothing at all, i.e. trying to rid your brain off any thought, be it random or persistent as an attempt at achieving clarity.
How does meditation increase self-awareness? When we meditate, we learn the art of controlled breathing, keeping calm and staying still for prolonged periods of time. This enables our soul to exhibit a greater control on our mind and for our mind to exhibit a greater control over our body. Both of these are super essential for us to transition into dreams (zero body twitching in WILD) and in becoming lucid (heightened senses). Our senses become more aware of what’s around us and such a heightened state transcends into our dream world as well. Unless and until we learn to remain calm, we won’t ever achieve said lucidity. Even if we did, we would fail miserably at sustaining it for long enough periods. And, we all know how bad this can feel (Pun alert!). Infact this is exactly what happens in the case of natural lucid dreams which, due to the lack of proper training end up being terribly short!
How much meditation is required for lucid dreaming? Three exercises for half an hour, twice a day would be more than sufficient for beginners.
2. Reality checks: Awareness about the environment around you
Just as the name suggests, reality checks are a few tests that we can perform to determine if we’re awake or dreaming. For example, poking our right hand finger into the left hand. Now in reality, we’ll never be able to pass our finger through but if we’re dreaming, we’ll be able to do so with ease. Every person needs to constantly perform a couple of such reality checks on a daily basis. The idea is to make such tests a regular habit so that we end up performing them even when dreaming. For example, let us suppose that our work on a project has been ongoing for about a week, then it’s likely that we’ll start dreaming of the project as well. It has happened to all of us, be it exams or office assignments. Hasn’t it? On similar lines, if we consciously perform such tests, ‘regularly and with a genuinely questioning state’, the latter being very crucial, such a habit will transcend into the dream space as well. It is then we may realize that we are dreaming and can hence become lucid! Hence, meditation can prepare you for the task but it is only when you perform a reality check that you can actually turn lucid!
A few common reality checks are mentioned below:
- 1.Consciously gazing upon your hand: Our hands will always have five fingers and a normal appearance in real life, but in dreams we either are rocking a few extra fingers or missing a bunch. Furthermore, in the dream world, our hands look bizarrely fishy as if being viewed via a fisheye lens. Thus keep gazing at your hand from time to time while asking yourself the question, ‘Am I dreaming?’
- 2.Checking time on a digital clock: Astonishingly anything digital fails to work normally when dreaming. This is so because the part of our brain which processes numbers is shut off while dreaming.
- 3.Reading out from a textbook: Take a textbook, open up any page and read out the first sentence. Now look away and then back at that page and try reading out the same sentence once again. If you’re dreaming, then even if you’re Batman, then there’s no way you can find that same sentence once again! (Batman be like nananananana!)
- 4.Standing in front of a mirror: As I’ve earlier said, we use our subconscious as our eyes while dreaming rather than our actual eyes. Thus rather than viewing our actual selves, we are more likely to see our ‘always-wanted-to-be’ self. Thus a sudden moment of long hair glued to your head or a fancy nose job would be a fitting check for your dreams.
Tips and Tricks to effective reality tests: As a reminder, you can attach notes of the sort ‘Don’t forget your reality checks!’ in places you frequent the most. You can also create desktop/smartphone wallpapers on similar lines. Infact the easiest way to remind yourself of these tests is to write down a ‘C?’ on one of your hands. This will make it easier for you to remember your checks. Furthermore, if you’re going to rely heavily on a wrist watch as your primary reality check, then make sure that you wear the watch 24*7, even while bathing so that for your subconscious, it becomes as much a part of you as your own body. Else your subconscious can omit this watch altogether from your dream.
Is Inception based on Lucid dreaming?
I’m positive that many of you would be reminded of the movie inception. But you’re not to be blamed for thinking of such congruences because even when the movie does not explicitly mention the term lucid dreaming, it is based upon the very same concept. Nolan for long wanted to make a movie out of the lucid dreams he kept having since he was 16 years old. Concepts like reality checks and the sub conscious thwarting upon itself are accurately portrayed but many others such as the PASIV machine and shared dreams aren’t. Infact the entire concept of a limbo, no matter how life-life, is purely a work of fiction. Greater details on how the 2010 super hit makes use of lucid dreaming and the accuracy of this portrayal can be found here.
3.Dream journal: Awareness of your dreams
Human infatuation with dreams is an age old phenomena. We often wake up to a scenario that has us absolutely amazed but just when we try and recall the entire thing, poof! Entire chunks of valuable information go missing! This deliberate process of ‘trying and remembering’ dreams is known as dream recall. More often than not, people are born with poor powers for dream recall, at times so very poor that many claim of having no dreams at all, which practically, is impossible! Everyone dreams, and not just once but a number of times in a single sleep cycle! Only the powers of recalling vary from one person to another.
Does everyone dream? When do we stop having dreams?
I know of a friend who swears that he does not dream anymore. He found them nonsensical and distracting to the point that he absolutely stopped giving any thought to them. Thus he would wake up from a dream and even with a few fragments still afresh in his mind, he’d force his thoughts elsewhere. Gradually he stopped having dreams altogether, or so he thinks! Dream recalling is a skill and just like any other skill, regular practice makes all the difference. We can hone it up or rust it out depending on how much time and attention we pay to it. What my friend did was deliberately rust this skill to the dust. But thankfully it is not a one way street. Whenever we decide we can work upon it and gain from the immense possibilities it holds.
How to improve dream recall? The secrets to keeping an awesome dream journal
Dreams happen to be the only place where our sub conscious and conscious minds are active simultaneously, thus making them extremely fascinating. As we keep making efforts at recalling our dreams, we keep blurring the line that separates said dream world with the waking reality. There are ways by which we can work upon our recall skills but the simplest and the most effective one is to keep a dream journal. Now there are tons of awesome reasons why everyone should do so but for those who wish to embark upon lucid dreaming, it is an absolute must!
Buy an adequately sized journal so that you can have it stuffed with you at close quarters. A good looking one can add up as an incentive for the proximity! Make it a habit and jot down whatever you saw in the dream from which you woke up. It can be entire story lines, plots or the setup. Heck it can even be a single word, just jot it down in this journal within five minutes of waking up (Post five minutes more than 90% of the dream is erased from our memories) Try and use the present continuous tense such as ‘I’m walking by the woods as the trees suddenly spring to life’. It’ll help you enter an immersive mode whenever you’d flick back to this dream. If there are certain pictures in your head, great! A picture says a thousand words. Just sketch them out quick without attempting a Mona Lisa! Furthermore make a thumb rule and jot down the time at which you woke down below. It’ll not only help in better analyzing the dream, but can also double up as a standalone reality check for lucid dreaming purposes. Lastly, tag your dreams with keywords so that it becomes easier to nit-pick one as and when required.
For the first week, just practice meditation. Twice a day for an hour in total. The next week you can also start with reality checks. Keep questioning the reality as much as you can. When you lie in bed, lie down straight and think of all that lucid dreaming could hold for you. As the days progress by the awareness in you and about you would keep on building enough for you to recall decent amounts of your dreams. It is then in the third week that you can start noting down your dreams in a proper journal format. All the three don’t work exclusively, but together and you’ll feel this for a fact more and more as you near the end of the month. If all the while you remain dedicated and determined about these basics, you’ll be all set to try out your hands at techniques that actually induce lucid dreaming! But remember to keep going slow, always! Remember? ‘Slow and steady wins the race!’
How does a dream journal help in Lucid dreaming?
Our sub conscious has a tendency to overuse certain sequences while weaving a dream. A written document of your earlier dreams and experiences goes a long way in helping you achieve lucidity whilst in a fresh dream. Let us know how! Suppose you often witness yourself falling down a hill and you’ve got the same thing noted multiple times in your dream journal. Then there is a high probability that as soon as the same sequence repeats itself, you’ll end up recalling something of the sort written down earlier by your own self and can consequently become lucid. You can call it tricking your sub conscious or plain sorcery! In reality jotting down your dreams in a journal raises your levels of self-awareness by effectively helping you decode the thought process that your subconscious makes use of in dreaming. All in an overly conscious manner! As you keep getting better at maintaining your dream journal, you’ll find even those dreams easier to recall that took place in an earlier part of our sleep cycle! Amazing isn’t it?
Techniques of Lucid dreaming
Now with all the prerequisites clear, lets get down to the actual stuff. Similar to a mathematical problem which can be solved in many different ways, lucid dreaming offers many choices to the dreamer for the induction techniques to be used. All of these work along similar lines and are based on the very same concepts. They differ just at one single point, i.e. the way lucidity is finally achieved. Let us learn more about some of the most widely used techniques of lucid dreaming along with some video tutorials for the same.
1. MILD: Mnemonic Induction of Lucid dreaming
Thankfully, one of the quickest ways of inducing a lucid dream also happens to be a relatively easier affair. There is no conscious sleep paralyses to go through and neither is there any ‘sorcery’ required to be performed by the mind on the body and vice versa! Such an ease has a lot to do with our natural sleep system which fortunately is very much in line to what we are looking to attempt with MILD. An excellent tutorial for the same has been included below.
How the MILD technique for lucid dreaming works: The reasoning!
A lot of times we end up dreaming about the very same stuff that we were thinking about just before we actually fall asleep. Be it apprehensions for the future or something from the past, we often find the very same thread forming the storyline for the immediate dream. This is so because dreams are woven by our subconscious mind which in turn relies heavily upon its database for the dream construction. When we repeat phrases like ‘Tonight I’ll be lucid dreaming’ or ‘I’m going to be conscious in my dream’ we’re implanting an idea at the fore front of our sub conscious, that too at a time when more and more control is being transferred to this subconscious. When we finally fall asleep, the subconscious checks its database for dream cues and quite naturally, there is a high probability for the last few additions to this database making the cut as the selected few. Now in our case as we had originally planned, this last addition is the intention of gaining consciousness in our dream, something we need to be heartily determined about right before we doze off.
In your dream (but only if you’re observant enough!) you’ll find a lot of signs pointing towards some oddities in the dreamscape. Furthermore, if you remain calm and I mean really calm! You can even actually hear or feel voices reminding you of your desire to be lucid! Once you find something odd enough to put you in the questioning state, perform a reality check and boom! You’ll find yourself lucid as you intended to be!
2. FILD: Finger Induced Lucid dreaming
At times we stumble upon such gold which even though maybe devoid of reasoning is able to perform marvelously without any fail whatsoever. The FILD technique for lucid dreaming is a perfect example. It is similar to WILD for the most part, with the only point of deviation being the reliance on one’s fingers in inducing a lucid dream rather than undergoing sleep paralysis for the same. And since it does not require sleep paralysis, it is easier going and way more relaxing to attempt than WILD. For greater details on how to go about lucid dreaming using the FILD technique, make sure to check out the excellent video tutorial below.
3. WILD: Wake Induced Lucid Dreaming
Celebrated as the Holy Grail among lucid dreamers, WILD is an extremely powerful and advanced technique for lucid dreaming. It is only in WILD that a person can enter a dream already lucid, from the word go! This is made possible by the trickery we master our brain to pull off against our body by falsely reassuring of its sleep state. The body then puts the body into a sleep paralysis mode from where one can directly blend into the dream, given that he remains super calm in his hypnogogic state (which can prove a tough affair for many!) Check out the video below which details a dead simple guide to WILD lucid dreaming.
How the WILD technique of lucid dreaming works: The reasoning!
The WILD technique of lucid dreaming demands an in depth understanding of the way we fall asleep and then learning to counter it just at the right point. Our mind and our body are together responsible for the completion of a plethora of tasks. Many of these happen in sync with one communicating with the other to carry out the required action (such as moving your hand up and down) but there are a lot of other processes where the mind is unaware of what your body is doing (The involuntary processes of digestion, pumping blood etc.) Sleeping is one of the latter. If it weren’t I’d be an amusingly disastrous affair. Imagine jamming to a song and suddenly in the middle of everything you ask your body to sleep. What if it complies with such a foolish whim? Hence for more sane purposes, the body has its own mechanism for sleep as does the brain. But such an independence does not mean an absolute lack of communication between the two. Once our mind starts wandering and we halt all bodily motions, our body is left clueless of what our brain is up to. It feels that the brain may have slept and in order to confirm such an assumption, it’ll send along a few signals in the form of jerks. These are the very same jerks we feel at night when we’re on the verge of sleeping or we already have. If the mind is awake, it’ll respond to these signals and will make you twitch as a message that it is still awake. If it doesn’t then the body sends one final jerk before it shuts off to sleep.
Now the above is the way we fall asleep every day. But if we are to lucid dream we need to counter the above procedure right where we are expecting those jerks. If we train ourselves well enough, we can resist moving to those jerks for a few minutes and the body will be tricked into believing that the mind is asleep. Now the body keeps shutting down one part after the other while at the same time we keep entering something known as the hypnogogic state. In this state a lot of random objects, figures and voices start forming in our brain. In the next few seconds, they’ll become even more pronounced. At this point, if we’re able to resist an urge to open up our eyes to say footsteps or voices (often dead scary!) calling out our name and can somehow remain calm, we will start feeling an invisible pull taking us closer to our dream. It is at this point that we can take control of how our dram shapes up to be and wake up in our dream lucid!
Why is WILD considered to be the best technique for lucid dreaming?
- Control of the dreamscape: The setup of the dream along with the people you meet, the places you visit and the adventures you undergo can all be manipulated by you from the very start. You don’t even need any reality check to induce this lucidity!
- Right from the word go: You are lucid in your dream right from the moment it starts. Hence you’re freed off the need for any reality check or from apprehensions about locating down a suitable oddity!
- Every single time: Since you are already lucid even before you enter your dream, you can end up having lucid dreams every single time you successfully conclude WILD. If anyhow you fail, you won’t fall asleep as you’d in other techniques. You can then have a choice to try other techniques. Hence blind reliance upon factors inside a regular dream are minimized.
- You master sleep patterns: Only those thorough with their knowledge about the human sleep system can ever think of success at WILD. You can now fall asleep faster, stay awake longer and experience amazing things like witnessing your body slowly shutting itself down in sleep paralysis. Furthermore, you feel more in control of your state both when you sleep and when you wake which could boost productivity levels to new heights!
If you’re a beginner to lucid dreaming, MILD is the way to go. It is only once you start feeling comfortable with the whole thing that you should try your hand at WILD. For amateur lucid dreamers, WILD is an absolute no-go! This is because the WILD technique of lucid dreaming requires a certain level of expertise which takes many months/years to level up to! Even if you are dedicated and hard to work with these techniques but still haven’t worked enough on the basics, in the long run you’ll end up losing more than just an attempt. As I’ve stressed earlier, these pre requisites form the foundation upon which you’ll be building your lucid dreaming house. If you won’t cement it well, if you’ll try and rush your way to the top sooner than you could, you’ll find your house crumbling to the ground for good.
Furthermore, these pre requisites once learned will aid you in every single technique of lucid dreaming. Let’s find out how!
- Meditation: Filtering out distractions, aiding a calm enough state during the transition and in stabilizing the dream once you achieve lucidity.
- Reality checks: Helping you in becoming more observant about the intricacies of your dream world so that you can successfully hunt down an oddity.
- Dream Journal: Helping you be more aware of your previous dreams so that if a sequence repeats you are at a better chance of finding it odd. Furthermore, it also determines how much you can remember of your lucid dream!
TIPS and Tricks which make lucid dreaming easier
- No matter the technique, remember to attempt lucid dreaming after ‘waking back to bed’. What this essentially means is that you first sleep a few hours, get up and out of bed, spend about 20-40 minutes reading or thinking about lucid dreaming (so as not to drift off topic) and then finally lying down once again. Now your mind will be conscious enough whereas your body would be dying for the sleep which was suddenly snatched from it! Furthermore, when you wake back to bed, it is usually at a time when you’ll be closest to the REM part of your sleep cycle. Thus not only will you directly enter the REM stage, but you’ll experience a lot of dreams one after another which obviously increases of your chances of turning lucid. Naturally, WBTB is the most effective in the case of WILD technique for lucid dreaming where entering sleep paralysis becomes way quicker than normal!
- As you lay down make sure to avoid breathing through your nose as humans have the tendency to strain their jaws in the process. Such a strain keeps our body from being truly relaxed and hinders the induction of a lucid dream.
- In the case of MILD, make sure that the phrase you repeat is short and conveys whatever you wish to achieve in your dream
- As you lay down and try to relax, recall a dream from the recent past. Try and visualize it once again in as immersive a manner as can be. Tell yourself that you’ve become lucid even when you haven’t and continue with the dream. Before you’ll know, such a thought process would take shape of a full blown dream with more chances of spotting an oddity than ever!
- If you do become lucid, take time to familiarise yourself with the environment around you so that you can add time to your lucid dream. Casual strolling or moving in circles can do the trick. Make sure you take your fantasies one at a time or you’ll abruptly wake up to the excitement!
Artificial stimulation of lucid dreams via smartphone applications
Call them lazy or less daring, they call themselves smart. People who use applications can get too lucid dreaming without having to do anything of the above. Just an app, a REM stimulator and they are good to go. Everything is done by the app. It checks body motion and accordingly plays music to stimulate lucid dreams.
Logic for the REM mask and the music along with a brief mention on effectiveness levels
Are lucid dreams real? Can we learn new things while lucid dreaming?
Our dreams are a product of our imagination. The entire dreamscape, including the people, things and places are all constructed by our subconscious mind. The bits and pieces our conscious mind picks up in our everyday life are stored at the back of our mind, better known as our subconscious, and it is this very information that is made use of in the construction of our dreams. Thus it is quite possible to experience new things, such as flying (having seen Harry Potter/Superman movies), learning new languages (because of an earlier exposure) and touring far off destinations (due to interactive media) but they are unlikely to be/feel like the real thing.
What I mean to say is that if we become lucid enough, we can take control of our dreams and ask for anything as per our wish, but the accuracy would vary proportionately to our prior knowledge and experience of the issue. Thus we can fly over the Grand Canyon if we want to, but the experience of our flight would be limited to ‘how we think flying feels like’. On similar veins, the details of the Grand Canyon can only be as accurate as in our memory. Similarly, it’s not possible to learn ‘actual Chinese’ whilst in a lucid dream. Whatever we may learn, may sound as Chinese to us but upon verification, most of that would not hold up as real Chinese. Similarly, if we meet up with a dream celebrity, the conversation will be a mixture of the facts we already know along with a few fillers by our own subconscious mind. Thus if we count on lucid dreaming alone, we can’t learning anything new or better put, won’t learn anything not already stored in our subconscious.
Does this make lucid dreaming purposeless?
Absolutely not. The beauty of lucid dreaming goes far beyond ‘the accuracy of our dreams’. It may not resonate the absolute truth in cases of people or places, but our interactions with our subconscious are real and thus all the benefits we discussed earlier regarding the same are all real. Furthermore, lucid dreaming also opens up doors to the psychic state, a scenario where we can actually summon up people outside our own dreamscape and hold meaningful discussions. The knowledge we gain here will extend beyond the limits of our own imagination and hence we can learn about new things of which we previously had no clue (or implant/extract things!) This brings us to our next topic, the mystic art of telepathy.
Once we master the art of lucid dreaming, once we get stable enough to level up one more time, we are rewarded with the godlike powers of telepathy. But unfortunately, only a very small percentage of lucid dreamers have ever reached this state. But the perks and the endowments are reasons enough for anyone to keep trying, even if it takes a lifetime of efforts.
How is Telepathy based on lucid dreaming? Lucid dreaming can be said to form the foundation for telepathy. All the pre-requisites for lucid dreaming match up with those for telepathy, just multiplied manifolds. Meditation for about an hour maybe crucial for lucid dreaming, but in the case of telepathy, it is required for more than 5 years straight. Similarly reality checks and proactivity should not be a conscious effort, they have to be involuntary habits. The levels of self-awareness must match up with those of saints and Buddhists. It is only then one can ever hope of achieving telepathy.
What are the benefits of telepathy?
You can finally go beyond the constraints of your own dreamscape and enter those of others. You can call on other energetic spirits, interact with them and learn things they’ve kept hidden even from their own selves. Suppose a child faces a long history of trauma and has turned to a recluse. A psychic can enter his dreams, interact with his subconscious and know about all that has kept him hidden from society. From then, it’s just a matter of counselling within or outside the dream and the child would be cured off his phobias and past fears. Similarly, if an adult has gone suicidal and won’t mention anything to anyone, one can infiltrate his subconscious and seek out the causes for the depression. As with any other super-power, if telepathy is misused for ill intentions, it can lead to an unprecedented harm as well.
Is telepathy real?
This is one of the most heated debates in modern science. Just when a bunch of scientists go about the length in denying the claims of telepaths/psychics, some extraordinary example shows up, leaving the issue in an extended limbo of sorts. I have my own opinions on the same, and I stress upon the word opinion for they reflect my own belief and are open to a healthy debate.
For long we’ve condemned diseases like autism among children. Yet it is often these very children who possess some extra ordinary skills. Be it artistic skills such as painting or mystical skills such as enhanced reflexes and sensual awareness. On similar veins, we often talk about a few animals who have ESP skills. They can either see the future (dogs) or they can communicate with infernal spirits (cats). We talk of how mice get premonitions of an imminent destruction. Despite of such privileges, we still keep ourselves, the Homo sapiens the most developed of species on planet earth.
In both the cases, the only area of inferiority is the lack of an established social structure. Animals can’t construct or go about in a ‘desirable’ manner. And those with autism cannot attend school and learn mathematics, science. But as is the case, what may seem as abnormal to some may come as normalcy to others. Thomas Edison repeatedly failed at school, so did Tesla and Einstein. Lord Buddha and other saints never went to a school. Yet all of them are today considered to be amongst the sharpest humans ever born.
So what am I trying to conclude by the above? As our beloved science notes, a human mind can only use 10% of its mind at any point of time. Most of this 10% today is congested by our education system. Consequently, we are never able to think beyond what is taught to us, and neither are our senses given the space to accommodate beyond the 10%. Unfortunately, telepathy, psychic, clairvoyance and other forms of ESP are located beyond this 10% that we use up in rational thinking. Hence we find no scientific evidence of telepathy today. When there were telepaths/psychics there was no form of established science and when there is science there are no telepaths. Hate to be a spoilsport, but i don’t see any of it as a coincidence. Many of our literary greats mourned this rising want for rationalism. Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s travels is a noteworthy example of the same.
So, did people really see the gods?
This is again based solely on my opinion on the matter. I believe that a few of our, tune up with a divine energy. Every human being has an energetic frequency within him that usually is capable of escalating manifolds when he’s dreaming. When someone has mastered the art of lucid dreaming, he becomes a psychic, a state where his energetic frequency is at its peak and the lucidity is at the bare minimum. This rare state then allows him to search for a particular frequency so that a connection could be established. This is my vision of how Buddha got enlightened. After having mastered his own self early in age from lucid dreams, Buddha now wanted to know certain answers that required a deeper level of meditation (More on this plus one more para) (150)
Dangers of lucid dreaming/ Criticisms against Lucid dreaming (4 points around 500 words)
- False memories
- Lose grip/interest in reality
- So much of focus required for an activity (sleep) that should be peaceful and relaxing
The objects around have a lot to convey but we often pass them off sans any thought. Once we start observing such intricacies, we feel closer to Mother Nature and start thinking about a bigger picture. Lucid dreaming with all its awesomeness, happens to be the perfect motivation one needs to once again focus on such intricacies.
Unfortunately, unlocking the art of lucid dreaming is getting difficult by the day. Children today are almost always glued on to electronic media and their entire life has succumbed down to a monotonous, pre-planned journey that they are expected to strictly adhere to, forever! Thanks to our rather bizarre societal definitions, someone who dares to break free and plans a different life route for himself is treated as an outcast and often made fun of. (Refer our greats!) Such a monotony has killed the self-awareness in man, making him more of a puppet than the master he could be. None of this is cool, but if rote learning of what others achieved centuries back is greatness, the 21st century houses way more greats than ever! Infact it is such a monotonous pre-occupation which has us comfortably nested in the negative when speaking of pre requisites to lucid dreaming. Unfortunately, the more aware we need to be, the lesser we find ourselves today. [I need to merge in a few more elements in this conclusion and blend it as an overall message] (100)