What are Lucid Dreams?
To put it simply lucid dreams are those vivid moments when you realise you are physically asleep and dreaming. As a result of becoming 'lucid' or aware - you can then take control of everything that happens within the dream realm. Most people don't remember their dreams, however in a lucid dream - every detail is stored in your active memory – as you are not mentally asleep. Additionally, many Lucid Dreams can feel just as real as waking life! Often, people have dreams that are so vivid - where they brush their teeth and prepare breakfast, only to wake up with a shock when their alarm goes off! We call this a ‘False Awakening’ in the LD community.
Contrary to popular belief, Lucid Dreaming often dubbed as LDs nowadays is not a new practise. Lucid Dreams have been used by many ancient cultures throughout the world, and many stories still remain today. Such as the Australian Aboriginal 'Altjeringa' known as 'Dreamtime' which tells the story of how the world was created from dream (or spirit) to physical. To the Australian Aboriginal people, the Dreamtime is the beginning of knowledge, and this sacred space is inhabited by the ancestors who have been granted super natural abilities of creation.
The Tibetans call it Dream Yoga - in which the ultimate goal of this practise is enlightenment. In Dream yoga they say that consciousness comes and goes every 12-18 hours, however there is something that is always lucid and aware - that is your spirit - if you can train the mind to connect with the spirit which is always awake and aware - then reaching enlightenment becomes much easier! There are literally hundreds of variations of lucid dreaming practises across all continents and all cultures; some are more openly defined, while others more obscure and secretive - passed down only to those who are willing to prove their worth.
Why would I want to Lucid Dream?
People use lucid dreaming for a variety of empowering and fun reasons, such as;
If you are learning a new skill, language or to play an instrument - you can invoke a Lucid Dream each night while your body rests and practise, practise, practise! There are many people who actively use Lucid Dreaming to conjure up a skilled guru and hone their real life skills. When you are Lucid Dreaming, time tends to move differently in the real world. As an example I once had a lucid dream that seemed to last all day and night, even though I had only slept for about 6 hours.
I have spoken to people who have used Lucid Dreaming as a safe platform to confront their fears. Whether those fears are of spiders, heights, a specific scenario or even a person you know in waking life. Lucid dreaming is completely safe and you are always in control. If you were having a bad dream and were able to become lucid – you could transform your nightmare into a beautiful meadow just by thinking about it.
Always wanted to travel to the moon? Or run with a pack of wolves as their leader? During a Lucid Dream you can literally go anywhere, do anything and physically transform into any anything you can imagine. Imagination is key - if you can think of it, you can do it! During a Lucid Dream I once transformed into a perfect sphere - it was cool to be able to see in every direction at the same time!
Dream sharing is a reality, we are all connected more intimately than most dare to imagine. I have shared dreams with several people over the years - where I became lucid and made my friends lucid so we both remembered the dreamland adventures! I will cover dream sharing in a separate article as there are several factors to consider to effectively connect to each other.
Many people use Lucid Dreaming as a springboard to reach the higher frequency of Astral Projection. Essentially, the only difference between a Lucid Dream and any type of out of body experience, is the frequency and awareness you bring to it. In my view dreams take place outside the body in a personal non-physical space that we manifest to act out our dreams while our bodies take rest and our spirits reconnect with source energy. I will cover Astral Projection in a separate article as the methods used are very different.
How do I have a Lucid Dream?
The basic element of becoming lucid in a dream is recognising dream patterns and creating a habit of testing your reality. Additionally, there are supplements that aid Lucid Dreaming…
If you are prone to have reoccurring dreams, you can use this as the baseline to figure out when you’re dreaming. The first step is to familiarise yourself fully with your reoccurring dream by detailing it in a dream journal. Once recorded, read every detail of the dream over and over again until you know the story inside out. Each night when you go to bed, read your reoccurring dream story and set your intentions to become lucid as you fall asleep; when you have the same dream you will recognise it and hopefully become lucid.
Dream Journals play a vital role, even if you do not have reoccurring dreams. One of the problems with having Lucid Dreams, is that many people tend to fall back into a full dream state after first becoming lucid. As a result of falling asleep – you may not remember all the details of your Lucid Dreams! Writing in your dream journal as soon as you awaken, increases your ability for dream recall. As you begin to write, you will find that many details you couldn’t initially remember will come back to you, and fill your journal pages with colourful stories.
The dream journal should be written in even if you did not manage to become Lucid. Dreams tend to follow a pattern – even the dreams that seem brand new may have a related pattern to previous dreams you’ve had. The best way to recognise the pattern is to write about it, and compare several dream entries. Once you figure your dream pattern, you’ll be that much closer to becoming lucid!
Reality checks are right up there with dream journals. This single technique has aided millions of Lucid Dreamers world-wide live out their fantasies from the warmth and comfort of their bedsteads. It is the same key that gave me many Lucid Dreams.
In waking life get into a habit of testing your reality throughout the day. Simple tests such as trying to levitate, poking your finger through your hand or other hard objects work best (just be careful not to hurt yourself – safety first!!). The trick is to do reality checks so often that the habit carries into your dreams... then bam!!! You become lucid and go on an unimaginable adventure! Reality checks are used in the film Inception by actor Leonardo Di Caprio, he uses a spinning top to tell the difference between physical and dream states of mind – if the top spins indefinitely then he knows he is dreaming! Be creative and find what is easiest for you. Some of my fellow Lucid Dreamers use looking at their phones as a reality check, as they report being unable to read anything digital during their nightly dreams - I on the other hand have no problems reading my phone or anything else when dreaming.
Sleeping with crystals such as clear Quartz, Labradorite, Lapis Lazuli, Blue Tigers Eye or Amethyst have given me some powerful experiences. These crystals are excellent conduits for having vivid and vibrant Lucid Dreams. Quartz and Amethyst can have sharp edges so be careful – I highly recommend getting yourself some palm stones, which are smooth and extremely affordable. From many trials working with these stones, I found the most effective to be Labradorite, and I also find they work much better alone – rather than combined. Find which one works best for you as we are all wired differently. Place the stone just above the centre of your eyebrows in the location of the third eye as you fall asleep. These crystals also provide many other interesting attributes which will be covered in a separate article on working with crystals.
Pictured above, Labradorite for Lucid Dreaming
Picture above, Amethyst for Lucid Dreaming
Pictured above, Lapis Lazuli for Lucid Dreaming
I've never tried this... but many people are reporting that consuming vitamin B6 2 hours before bed time increases the likelihood of having a lucid dream. Taking this supplement has been linked to improving memory recall and having more vivid, colourful dreams according to a wealth of reports by conscious explorers all over the world. Please remember to consult a qualified physician before taking any supplements.
Mugwort is one of the universal herbs known in all most all corners of the ancient and modern world for its many positive properties. Not only does drinking or smoking this herb aid in lucid dreaming, it also has many other effects; as recorded by the ancients; the Native Americans, Japanese, Romans, Chinese and English all used Mugworts tea or the herb for the following:
- As a smudge stick to cleanse the spirit and remove disease
- Under the pillow to aid with Astral Travel
- Smoked it to provide a dreamy & calming effect
- Drank it as tea to aid psychic powers and divination
- In rituals to protect against negative energy
- In sandals and shoes to increase endurance & relieve aching feet
- To ease menstruation pains as it relaxes the uterus
- Expel parasites from the body
- Aid in digestive and liver functions
- Natural abortions without trauma or pain – pregnant women should stay away from Mugworts in all forms for this reason!!
I cannot verify this last claim – however many herbal companies selling Mugworts have placed this warning in the description of the product. As a precaution I would speak to a qualified herbalist and your physician before taking Mugworts in any form.
Consistency is key
Like any new practice – you need to be consist, patient and passionate in your approach to Lucid Dreaming. Everyone has a different speed of achievement. For me Lucid Dreaming took a while to get right – months and months of reality checks and dream journals before I had my first planned Lucid Dream. On the other hand, I was able to Astral Project within a week once I was taught the correct techniques by my good friend Caz Coronal – founder of Conscious Explorers.
I will in due course share some of my Lucid Dreaming logs to give you some insights on what fun you can have with this easy to learn technique.
Thanks for reading and I hope you are able to enjoy all the benefits of Lucid Dreaming!
I look forward to writing for you again, until then…
Stay lucid, stay positive, stay healthy, live with passion and compassion.
Much love to you all,
Aborignal Dreamtime - one of my favourite stories of creation and Lucid dreaming combined - a very good read: http://aboriginalart.com.au/culture/dreamtime2.html
Tibetan Dream Yoga - also a good read: http://www.dreamyoga.com/about-dream-yoga