Lucid Dreaming…and so can you! Nicole Carnarius

lucid_dreams_by_nadavdov

This week we had a very interesting lecture about consciousness and the consciousness of animals. I have a fascination with dreams, and so I wanted to research why it is so hard to remember your dreams. Not much came up. Basically the best ways to remember your dreams are if you are aroused during your dream, if you wake up during your dream or shortly after, or if you practice a technique to build your awareness of dreams. The method for building awareness of dreams is known as lucid dreaming. Lucid dreaming is the art of being awake while you dream. It was first developed in Tibet when monks, already mastering awareness of two consciousnesses, one of normal living and the other of deep meditation, began investigating other realms of consciousness. Through will power, these monks would awaken in their dreams, where they would have limitless potential. They usually would meditate in their dreams once they reached lucidity so they could achieve enlightenment even faster. There are certain methods of meditation and concentration that they would perform just before sleep that can be found in the book Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep.  However, in order to lucid dream, it is not necessary to perform these methods. Most people have already become lucid in their dreams by accident, and it is usually remembered as a very pleasurable experience. When you are lucid, you have the ability to control what happens in your dreams. People who have really mastered the techniques can fly, make flowers grow, may things multiply, basically do anything they want. You can also interact with dream characters, and they will interact back with you. This puts into question what the identity of these dream characters is. It is commonly believed that dreams are based on the memories of what happened during they day coming into contact with the memories of the rest of your life. The whole expanse of your subconscious and memory is open to you when you lucid dream. There are dream communities online who report meeting dream character who have taught new techniques for lucid dream. Members of these dream communities also participate in “group dreaming.”

There are some tips for lucid dreaming that anyone can use. First it is a good idea to keep a dream journal to help your grasp on the memory your dreams. Next, try to develop a consistent sleep schedule, which will allow you to have more dreams at night. Before going to bed each night, say affirmations to yourself such as, “Tonight I go to sleep with the purpose of dreaming. I will realize that I am asleep, and I will become lucid.” Repeat this ten times. Next you have to learn to recognize hypnogagia. Hypnogagia is the jumble of random images, sounds, and physical sensations that you experience as you are first falling asleep. This mixture of sensory projections is meant to send your conscious mind into a trance. People normally experience this every night when they go to sleep and seemingly the next moment wake up. If you are able to stay conscious during the period of hypnogagia (saying your name and full address was recommended), you can easily stay lucid as you transition into actual dreaming. If you do not stay conscious than your only option is to recognize you are dreaming. Try asking yourself, “Is this a dream?” Ask yourself this even when you are awake in normal life or in a lucid dream. Finally relax and stay open to the experience. Let go of your physical body and trust that it will go on breathing and taking care of itself.

 

A method that my friend, Bobby Wickersham, felt was very successful was to stay up very late until the body is desperate for sleep. Drink coffee during the night so the mind is active even though the body is exhausted. Lay in bed in a position where you won’t want to move for a very long time. You might not feel tired, but lie in bed without moving, focusing on lucid dreaming. Say the affirmations in your head and focus on the black space in front of your eyes. You should start to see the hypnogagic images. As they get more intense stay detached from them. Focus on seeing in the blackness. In the dream, remind yourself that you are lucid. Flick a light switch on and off or open and close a door. Stay lucid as long as you can. Keep reminding yourself you are in a dream. Go out, meet dream characters. You can do what ever you want in your dreams! 

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