Lucid dreaming: awake while we sleep

by Lindsay on September 2, 2010

in Dreams, Spirituality

I love dreaming. I just adore my dreams  and look forward to sleeping every night just so I can wake up and recall what I dreamt the night before. I love what my dreams tell me, the messages they carry and the symbolism that runs deep in each dream. I keep a dream journal on my bedside table and write down everything I can remember before my feet even hit the ground. My dreams have carried messages and told me about many events about to happen.

Dream interpretation is a hobby of mine. So naturally when I heard about lucid dreaming, I had to learn more. It just sounds cool. Leonardo DiCaprio’s latest movie, Inception, brought this subject to the mainstream.

So what is lucid dreaming?

To have a lucid dream means that you become aware within your dream that you are dreaming – you become conscious within your dream.

The word lucid means ‘mentally clear’. You’re able to think clearly & logically. If you have a lucid dream, you know who you are, you know what day it is and you know you’re dreaming. A lucid dream can almost feel more real than your waking life.

Wondering how to have a lucid dream?

  • Realize you have several dreams every night. Become conscious of the fact that you dream every night, even if you don’t yet remember them.
  • Put the intention out to remember your dreams before you go to sleep. Keep a dream journal and write down all of the dreams you can remember when you wake up.
  • Practice becoming conscious while you’re asleep. This is the hardest part. You have to work at it. Lie on your back, arms to your sides and try to ‘catch’ yourself falling asleep. I do this when I wake up in the wee hours of the morning but need to go back to sleep. Or when I am about to have a nap.
    • Lie awake and be conscious – feel yourself falling asleep. Allow yourself to go, but be as conscious of this as possible. This helps your conscious mind stay awake while dreaming.
  • Stay calm once you are in a lucid dream. Don’t get scared and jerk yourself away. There’s nothing to fear in a lucid dream – you’re the one in control!
  • Once you are aware you’re in a dream, try willing something into existence: your fantasy man/woman, an ice cream cone, new shoes – doesn’t matter.
  • Practice, practice, practice. As with anything, we won’t get it right the first time.

Why would anyone want to have a lucid dream? Why bother?

Well, besides the obvious (you can FLY in your dream if you want to!) here are some other benefits to lucid dreaming.

  • Improve your creativity: Before you go to sleep, you can set a dream intention. If you’re an artist, set the intention to create the most amazing piece of artwork you ever have. Wake up feeling inspired and ready to create that piece of work in your waking life. Your subconscious is far more creative than you can imagine – let it go wild and see what it comes up with! You can use this increased creativity for almost anything.

  • Increase your confidence: If you have a fear of public speaking or are terrified to ask your boss for a raise, why not practice within a lucid dream? Lucid dreams are a playground for experimentation. You can try out any scenario imaginable.

  • Face your fears head-on: Conscious dreaming allows you to face your fears in a controlled setting. You’re in control in a lucid dream. Have a fear of heights? Go up in a hot air balloon or sky-diving in your dream! Face your fears head-on in a completely safe environment controlled by no one but you.

  • Practice new skills: Have you always wanted to play the drums but never had the time or money? Try it out in a dream! Wanted to go snowboarding but are afraid of falling? Go snowboarding in your dream world just to give it a shot!

  • Skip the symbolism in dreams. Get to the heart of the matter by asking the subjects in your dream what it’s all about. Find out directly what your subconscious is trying to tell you within a lucid dream. Dream interpretation books aren’t necessary when you can take control within a dream and get to the bottom of ‘why’.

Want to learn more?

Check out Robert Waggoner’s book “Lucid Dreaming: Gateway to the Inner Self” Waggoner says lucid dreaming is the “gateway to the inner self”.

If you’ve had a lucid dream, share your experiences here!

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{ 13 comments }

Melissa September 2, 2010 at 9:30 am

Very cool subject! I discovered how to do this long ago, but I didn’t know it had a name. It might have been in middle school that I figured it out. I used to have bad nightmares. I don’t remember if I read it or heard it somewhere. But I would start having a nightmare and be faced with a monster or something and tell myself I could control my dream and make the monster disappear. Or I would jump really high and kind of fly- super jumps.

I don’t remember as many dreams as I used to, so I may try your idea of the dream journal and see if I can remember more if I have the intention of doing so. Hope it works!

Lindsay September 2, 2010 at 5:36 am

Wow that is awesome. I really think children have an easier time with this sort of thing and it's remarkable that you discovered how to do this naturally without even really trying at such a young age! You'd definitely be able to get the skill back (hopefully it's like riding a bicycle?) with a little practice!

Mike November 26, 2010 at 10:02 pm

I am almost finished with Robert Waggoner's book and I will tell you that if you are interested in Lucid Dreaming it is definitely the first book to pick up. He also runs his own quarterly magazine. I myself began lucid dreaming as a child because I had chronic nightmares and I wanted to have some semblance of control. I had such a profound period of lucid dreaming in my late teens, that I'm writing a trilogy of novels based on them.

Lindsay November 29, 2010 at 5:31 pm

Wow Mike that's fascinating! I'd be interested in hearing more about this novels based on your lucid dreaming period. Make sure you keep me posted!

Anonymous December 6, 2010 at 10:43 pm

I've had lucid dreams my whole life, sometimes I recall being outside my body, like I hear the alarm and feel someone trying to wake me, but I'm above myself and my body is paralyzed.
I was told that being born with a "Veil" is what enables it.

Lindsay December 7, 2010 at 12:13 pm

Being born with a \”veil\”? What does that mean? I\’m curious!

anonymous December 6, 2010 at 10:43 pm

I meet random people, I get a very strong sense they aren't from my imagination. Some seek help, others…sometimes I take their place and see from their views, think what they think even tho it's nothing I would ever think or do.
You can say it's all an outlet. But I feel it helps me remain very perceptive, I can connect with strangers on all different levels, like I always get or empathize for them.
I dreamed of my friend's future husband, her new boyfriend looks exactly like the guy from my dream from over a year ago. I never met this person in my life, I can't make it up. I get the things that can happen…..It's just the things I've seen and been…..some great, some awful….I sound crazy. but I'm far from it.
I have them every night, let me tell you, I never wake up rested, I try to dull these dreams because I feel like I'm awake. I feel pain, pleasure, smell, taste. I don't sleep walk.
Explain that? because I don't think that is usual.

Lindsay December 7, 2010 at 12:14 pm

Lucid dreaming with that kind of frequency probably isn\’t usual. It sounds like you are doing a lot of soul work when you\’re sleeping. Like, you are meeting with other souls and doing just as much \’work\’ with them in your sleeping hours as you do during daytime hours.

If you want to turn it off some nights, don\’t be afraid to set the intention and ask your guides to allow you some rest for an evening (or several)!

You do NOT sound crazy at all. I think this is wonderful! Having prophetic & lucid dreams is just a sign of a soul in touch with your higher self.

Joe T February 12, 2011 at 9:16 pm

Lucid dreaming is a great experience to have. I was so happy that a movie like inception came out and helped people learn about this amazing subject.

Lindsay February 18, 2011 at 3:17 pm

True, I think a lot of people had no idea this was possible until they saw that movie. Actually, lots of the movie viewers probably still have no clue! 😉

Michael G July 31, 2011 at 6:28 pm

I remember my first Lucid Dream. I just randomly said “This is a dream” And ran away. I knew I had control,but it was a little bit out of my control. Second one was eve better! I saw a clock in my grandma’s bed room and it was acting funny,and that made me remember something I read about clocks being weird in dreams. So,I was like”A-HA,I’M IN A DREAM!” This one was better but still a little out of control too. I first made my sister’s ex-fiance levitate off the balcony. He told me to do it first,but I was a little scared,because I was a little bit doubtful of that being a dream. After him,I did too and it was awesome! Afterwards,(things got a little bit out of control… But still fun!) I was walking into my Grandma’s room where this snake came out of nowhere. I didn’t make it appear,but I took advantage of this and decided to use magic powers! I said “disappear” to make it poof away. Another one came and I said the same thing. Then,came a Two-Headed one. This were getting a little repetitive so I mixed it up a bit. A cast this “spell” where this swirling circle of fire went beneath the snake and the fire sprang up in a explosion which made the snake turn red and “disappear”, It looked like something from a video game. Another two-headed one appeared… I sorta realized that they were the same snakes from before… So I just started shouting “Death” to kill them quickly. I keep working but they just keep coming! After I thought I killed them off,I went on the bed,and another came and sprigged on the bed. I kept saying “Death” like I did for the others,but it wouldn’t work. I kept repeating and repeating but it wouldn’t work…The snake looked so funny while I tried to kill it. It was just there,wiggling around like if it was seeing a snake charmer play his instrument. And I was still saying the magic word,until it finally worked,probably from all the frustration. After that,I just woke up on my grandmothers bedroom. That dream I had is a few months old… But I remember it perfectly. It was a little out of control,but I guess I need to practice to have full lucidity. Oh well. :3

sherri January 22, 2013 at 10:42 pm

I have lucid dreams but then I wake up only to find I am still not awake and then I wake up and go about my day only to notice I am still asleep and about the fourth time this happens I am totally freaked out and wind up in sleep paralysis. Why does this happen?

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