By Jake Goin
(Continued from Part 1)
There are many places you can start. Many techniques that are great for learning to lucid dream, but they are not perfect. The WILD (Wake Initiated Lucid Dreaming) Technique is simple, easy to do, and very appealing to the beginning Lucid Dreamer. Its superior purpose is to trick the body into falling asleep, then watching the dream take form while you are still conscious, thus being lucid at all times. This sounds very nice, but it has great faults. For one, it is scary. In the process of tricking your body into falling asleep, you enter a state known as Sleep Paralysis.
The purpose of Sleep Paralysis is focused on dreams. Through the process of evolution, somewhere along the line our bodies decided to start paralyzing us so that we don’t act out our dreams. Sleep Paralysis is most commonly associated with REM Sleep; the stage of sleep that we dream in. Even the name of this stage of unconsciousness can be compared to the purpose of Sleep Paralysis. REM Sleep is called this because it literally stands for “Rapid Eye Movement Sleep.” For some unknown reason, the paralysis isn’t strong enough to manipulate our eyes, so we act out their movements. There are many people with REM deficiencies, meaning there is something about their brains that isn’t allowing the body to go into the natural state of Sleep Paralysis, so they act out their dreams. By first glance you may think you know nobody like this, but when I use some different wording you may change your mind. Sleepwalkers are the most commonly known one. Although, if you are a sleepwalker don’t fret, you don’t have to have something wrong with your brain for this to occur. It can also be brought on by stress, injury, light sleep, and even just phenomena. There are also the lesser worried about “Sleep Shouters,” and “Sleep Talkers.” People who may be talking or shouting in the dream, and from lack of paralysis, act it out as a result. There is no reason to worry about this one either, nearly everyone has done it from time to time. Sleep Apnea is also largely associated with REM deficiencies, for obvious reasons.
Also, the WILD technique offers no practice. You would have to do it the same way, every time. So I do not recommend using it. There is one technique, though, that I think is absolutely wonderful for learning Lucid Dreaming. This technique is called MILD (Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams). This term, as well as the technique was coined by a man named Dr. Stephen LaBerge of the Lucidity Institute. This takes a very long time to perfect, and a great amount of commitment, but I assure you it is well worth it.
There are four steps to MILD.
Step 1: Dream Recall- It is very important that you have a good dream recall rate- Remembering at least one dream every night. If you don’t have very good dream recall, you may want to start a dream journal. You have to keep great dedication to this journal, writing in it every night. The journal should also be specific to writing down your dreams and nothing else. The best technique for remembering your dreams when you wake up is not to move, keep your eyes closed, and revise in your head as many details as you can. Even if you are completely unable to remember any of your dream, write something. The mood of sleep, how you woke up, anything. Writing anything may induce remember of one of your dreams. Once you perfect dream recall, you can move on to step two.
Step 2: Reality Checks- Look around you, right now, and ask yourself “Am I dreaming?” Look at the details, is something odd. Not quite right? If you do find something odd, you may be dreaming, and this realization means you are aware, and awareness is lucidity. Good job, you are now in a lucid dream.
Of course, you can feel that you are awake. There is some specific feeling that causes you to know, but the purpose of asking yourself is so that, if you do enough, you may ask yourself in a dream, and if you do, you will become lucid. There are many different ways to do a reality check, but I recommend you pick one, and stick to it. One common technique is to look at a text, look away, and look back at the text. If, when you looked back at the text something is different, you are dreaming. Also, many people attempt to push their hands through each other. If they were dreaming, their hands would easily go through each other. There is also a very clever one taken from the movie “Inception.” This technique is to find a small, meaningful object that you can have with you at all times and use as a reality check. It is recommended that the item can do something that would be practical in the waking world, but would be strange in the dream. An example would be the character Cobb in the movie. He has a spinning top that would topple in waking, but spin endlessly in the dream.
Step 3: Lucid Affirmations- This step can be practiced at any time, and can even induce a spontaneous Lucid Dream. While in bed, preparing your mind for sleep, go through some lucid affirmations in your head over and over with the hope that one of the affirmations will be the last thought before sleep, thus inducing a lucid dream.
Some great Lucid Affirmations are:
- The next scene will be a dream
- When I’m dreaming I will know that I am
- I am now dreaming
- I will have a lucid dream tonight
The affirmations can be as long and hard, or short and sweet as you wish. The only thing you need to remember is to repeat it over and over. It’s almost a better way of counting sheep.
Step 4: Visualize- This step is similar to the affirmations, because both of their purposes are to make the last thought before sleep about Lucid Dreaming. Basically what you are doing is daydreaming, whilst falling asleep. You should be thinking and imagining about what you want to do in your Lucid Dream. Visualize in depth. So much so, that you fall asleep to it. Imagine very specific things. Things that you will hopefully see in a dream, and know that you created that thought while doing this. Think about specific abnormalities that you know will know to look for in the future, or even the dream about to happen.
Unfortunately, this is about all I can tell you as the beginning Lucid Dreamer I hope you to become. Past this you will find new things, out there, but once you have a few, you’ll know their potential.
Beautiful things await you in your dreams, you just have to go out and get them. Keep dreaming, my friends.