I sit here reading through my very first dream diary, and my eye is quickly drawn to the dog-eared, book-marked page near the end of the book. I instinctively turn to this page and begin reading… This was my very first lucid dream… as I read through the details all the memories come flooding back like it was yesterday. I remember how enthralled I was with the idea that I could do anything I could imagine by lucid dreaming and that it could feel just as real as the real / awake world. It took several months and a lot of research, but I was able to teach myself to lucid dream and I know that you can discover how to teach yourself to lucid dream as well.
I had read everything I could get my hands about lucid dreaming… you name it and I had either bought it, borrowed it, or read it on the internet… I read books by Carlos Castaneda, Stephen Laberge, Robert Moss, Celia Green, Carl Jung, and many others. I did the research and had the desire… and now it was just a matter of waking up in my dreams.
The ability to awaken mid-dream is an acquirable skill, and there are concrete things you can do to improve your chances of waking up in a dream and then taking charge of your dream world and making it what you want. You might think of this ability to awaken in your dream like a muscle, you need to exercise and practice and you must have patience and diligence, and in due time you will find it easier and easier to take control of your lucid dream experiences and shape them as you wish. Here are five easy steps to lucid dreaming to get you started on your journey into the realms of lucid dreaming and unlocking the potential that exists in this verdant art form. Using these tools, you will discover how to train yourself to lucid dream.
1. Get a full night’s sleep.
This is the most important key to lucid dreaming. Plan to get at least a solid eight hours of undisturbed, quiet, restful sleep. If you are able to sleep for longer periods of time, then by all means do so. Lucid dreams are much more likely to occur after you have gotten six or seven hours of sleep… we actually dream more and have longer lasting dreams the longer we sleep.
2. Begin keeping a dream journal.
Next to your bed you should keep a notebook and a pencil. Whenever you wake up, record everything you can remember about the dream you were having just before you awoke. The more and more you do this, the easier and easier it will be to remember your dream experiences. The muscle analogy is apt, your ability to remember your dream is just like a building a muscle; at first you may only remember bits and fragments of your dream, but as you practice and exercise, you will start remembering more and more details; soon you will be able to recall more and more of your dreams. Oh…and do not get trapped in trying to record your dream chronologically, just write down as much as you can remember in the order that you remember it, then make sense of it after you have recorded everything you can remember.
3. Test reality.
We usually dream about the events of the previous day, so to improve the odds of realizing that you are dreaming, while you are dreaming, you should regularly test reality. A few times an hour, during your normal day you should stop and ask yourself: AM I DREAMING? Then test reality. There are several thing you can do to see if you are dreaming:
- Jump: just a little hop; if there is anything that seems different about the height, duration or manner of your jump, you might be dreaming.
- Read text: find something short to read, read it, and then re-read it. Oftentimes when you are dreaming, the text will be different the second time you read it, it may even change from standard English letters to something that looks more like Egyptian hieroglyphs or odd shapes and forms. If the texts changes between the first reading and the second reading, you will definitely be dreaming.
- Turn on/off the lights: It is surprisingly difficult to change the lighting of your dreams. So throughout the day, ask yourself if you are dreaming every time you turn on or off the lights. If you flip the switch and the lighting remains the same, you might be dreaming.
- Look at yourself: every time you see your reflection in a mirror take a moment to ask whether anything looks different, is there anything unusual or out of place? If so, this means you might be dreaming.
4. Have a plan.
Take some time to write down what you want to happen if you are able to break through and realize that you are dreaming. Think of your wildest fantasy and write it down, include and as many details as you can think of, remember to include all of your senses, what do you see, hear, feel, smell and taste. As you work on strengthening your dream muscles periodically go back and revise your fantasy, add more details and develop the story.
5. Visualize / prepare yourself.
Every night as you are laying in bed preparing to fall asleep, visualize yourself testing reality and realizing that you are dreaming. Think positive thoughts and tell yourself that you WILL wake up in your dream and take control of it. Also visualize your fantasy dream, and be prepared when you realize that you are not merely imagining it but actually dreaming it.
This is all you need to know to start lucid dreaming. With time, patience and a little practice you will strengthen your dreaming muscles and begin to remember more and more of your dreams. Then one night you will realize that reality is not as real as you thought and with that you will make your fantasy dream come true.
I look back at my journal and laugh at my first lucid dream… I did everything right except for one thing… I wasn’t prepared and I had no plan or idea what I wanted to do in my lucid dream. Basically, I was dreaming that I was at work when my coworker touched her face and molded it like clay… and at that instant I realized that I was dreaming. I was so excited that I had realized that I was dreaming that all I could do was jump really high into the air before I woke up. In my excitement at realizing I was having a lucid dream, I excited myself right out of sleep.
Today, I can have a lucid dream almost at will; all I need is a solid eight hours of sleep and a little forethought. I guarantee that if you employ these lucid dreaming steps, after several months you will be able lucid dream at will as well.