…Yes I WAS dreaming BUT I WAS FULLY AWARE that I was dreaming!
This was my 5th and so far, most significant Lucid Dream. The feeling of joy, excitement and being part of a ‘greater reality’ was indescribable.
Lucid Dreaming, the art of being conscious whilst within a dream, was formerly the domain of Tibetan Buddhist monks practicing the ancient methods of ‘Dream Yoga.’ However it is now practised by numerous people in the West, and the phenomenon is firmly backed up by decades of scientific research.
BENEFITS OF LUCID DREAMING
Numerous benefits of Lucid dreaming have been discovered and more are been discovered. These include:
Improvements in the ‘awake state’ athletic performance of those who “train” in their dreams. Even muscle mass has been found to develop whilst “training” in the dream. The brain does not differentiate between wakefulness or sleep and in the dream state neurological pathways continue to grow.
Long standing psychological issues such as phobias, fear and anxieties have been resolved whilst asleep in the lucid dream state. Reoccurring nightmares have dissolved permanently as the ‘conscious dreamer’ now realises that these are but harmless facets of their own psyche.
Whilst practicing lucid dreaming, obese people have lost weight over a period of time,. In one study obese women enjoyed “feasting on huge cakes” in their lucid dreams. In their awake state the cravings had diminished considerably with subsequent weight loss.
Creativity has grown in artists, as has self confidence in people who have used lucid dreaming to bolster their confidence and careers.
Paralyzed people are finding an increased sense of self esteem and freedom as they “run again” in their dreams and the blind “see” again with their “dream body eyes.”
Spiritual seekers are finding resolution in their searching as they knowingly enter and explore a boundless “dream universe” full of possibility.
Whilst for some, lucid dreaming comes naturally, for most of us, training and effort is needed. Essentially some degree of integration between the concious and subconcious mind is needed. In this respect mediators have a head start. Training is available in the form of books, audio and video talks and there is extensive coverage with a number of good websites on the Internet.
There are many good books now available on the subject.
Two books I’ve personally read and which after a re-read I intend providing a review on, are:
“Dreams of Awakening” by Charlie Morley
This book covers lucid dreaming both from both the Buddhist and Western perspective. An excellent well written, easy reading, for the beginner and experienced alike containing adequate training material on the subject.
Charlie is a devout Buddhist of the Tibetan Buddhist school and an experienced lucid dreamer. He holds lucid dreaming retreats and other meetings on the subject. There is a good video interview with him at the end of this page.
“Lucid Dreaming – Gateway to the Inner Self” by Robert Waggoner.
This long book provides extensive coverage of the subject with training in the appendix.
Robert is a Psychologist and President elect for the Association for the study of Dreams and has been a lucid dreamer since his teens. He also publishes the free quarterly journal, Lucid Dream Experience.
Apps, Devices and Supplements
Apps both free and payware are available on the Net.
The only one I have some experience of is “Lucid Dreamer” which is available free with limited functions or as payware with full features. I have yet to put it through it’s paces but will update when I’ve had some usage. All I can say currently that it shows promise and that I have been in contact with it’s author Mathew Silber whose communication and feedback has been excellent.
Devices include those such as the “Nova Dreamer” which give visual cues to the dreamer and others are also being developed.
Dream Supplements are available which enhance dream recall and vividness. A local dream herb I am aware of is Silene Capensis which has it’s origin within the Xhosa tradition of South Africa. I have used it on occasion and find it indeed enhances the dream experience, however I’ve yet to have a lucid dream using it. From what I have ascertained all these need to be taken sparingly and with a degree of caution and medical consultation.
I hope to have more on lucid dreaming as I gain more experience and information on the subject.
“The sailor does not control the sea, nor does the lucid dreamer control the dream. Like a sailor, lucid dreamers manipulate or direct themselves in the larger expanse of dreaming; however, they do not control it. Lucid dreaming appears to be a co-created experience.” – Robert Waggoner