Lucid dreaming is classified as the ability to be awake in your dreams. This incredible phenomena has been known to humanity for thousands of years. Tibetan Buddhists first cultivated and documented a process to achieving lucidity within the dream state. Their techniques, which I will further study later, paved the way for Western psychologists to formally study and analyze being awake in dreams.
Why Lucid Dream?
Learning to lucid dream can result in a multitude of beneficial changes to the conscious mind. To me, the most significant of these developments is a heightened capacity for self-reflection. The mind is a mysterious thing, and being able to consciously explore it may unlock some of our deepest fears and desires. Not only can a oneironaut, or dream adventurer, become aware of these feelings, he/she can actively actively work to resolve them in a holistic manner across all levels of consciousness. For instance, Behind most dreams, an inner thought is being portrayed. Peering into these thoughts can provide critical insight into altering both the subconscious and the waking life for the better. Now let's learn how to do it!
Step 1: Keep a Dream Journal
I cannot stress the importance of this enough. How will you ever know if you have a lucid dream if you can't remember it in the morning? Within days of starting to keep my dream journal, I began to regularly experience much more vivid dreams. Becoming lucid is only possible if one learns to recognize the content of dreams and what they feel like. Accurately remembering your dreams is the first step to lucid dreaming!
Step 2: The MILD Technique
Engineered by Stephan LaBerge, this method is very simple and has been proven to greatly increase the chances of a lucid dream occurring. MILD is an acronym for Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams. While falling asleep, you can practice MILD by repeating a mantra to yourself over and over. This mantra should be something that reminds your mind of becoming lucid -- for example, "I will recognize I am in a dream and become lucid."
Step 3: Meditate
There are many different ways to meditate. The word simply means to reflect on one's body and consciousness.You don't need to devote hours everyday to sitting cross legged in some sacred buddhist temple. Just take a couple minutes whenever you can to observe your surroundings and mental state. In my opinion, it is not possible to become a talented lucid dreamer without questioning the very grounds for defining objective existence. To lucid dream is to transcend beyond a frame of reality that seems irrevocably true at the time (the dream state). The more we can try to incorporate this type of thinking into our daily lives, the better.
Step 4: Read a Book About Lucid Dreaming
Or just constantly think about it. The more your brain thinks about lucid dreaming during the day, the more likely you are to absentmindedly think about it during the night. In fact, this is partly the reason I am writing about lucid dreaming right now! If you're looking for a great read, I would highly recommend "Lucid Dreaming" by Stephen LaBerge. It is a gripping and informative book detailing various methods to progress in your lucid dreaming quest.
Step 5: Lucid Dreaming Technology
Many beginning lucid dreamers may be attracted to products claiming to induce lucid dreaming. Remee, for example, is a type of sleep mask which activates red LEDs when the machine detects your brain has entered the REM state (begun dreaming). These lights are supposed to show up in your dreams, acting as a cue to let your dream ego know you're dreaming. I am sure that this type of mask can work in some circumstances. However, if you decide to take this route, remember that lucid dreams are by no means guaranteed. Training your brain by following through on the previous steps is still immensely important.
Step 6: Practice, Practice, Practice!
Now that you've learned these steps, go out and practice them! Also, don't be encouraged if you don't have a lucid dream on the first night. In fact, it took me around a month of performing these steps to have my first lucid dream. Lucid dreaming really is an incredible phenomenon that can change your life.
I hope you enjoyed this Instructable! If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to let me know in the comment section below!