Monday, January 26, 2009

Do You Dream Of Becoming A Lucid Dreamer?

By Lesley Groft

So you want to lucid dream. Well that's a good start, at least you know what you want to do; but how exactly do you go about it?

You also need to think about exactly why you want to become a lucid dreamer. What are the benefits of dreaming lucidly? To help us find the benefits, let us first look at 'normal' sleep.

Have you ever considered the process of sleep before? Every night you make preparations, crawl into bed and go to sleep. You may have dreams or nightmares or all may just be dark for a few hours, it is rather boring isn't it?

Instead of having to observe passively, you could be the person who leads your dream to be whatever you would like.

Lucid dreamers are in complete control of their dreams. This allows them to explore new worlds in their mind and expand the scope of their dreams. Lucid dreamers can also conscious choose not to have nightmares - they just change the dream.

If you want to become a lucid dreamer, there are two major ways to accomplish it. The first way is called DILD, or dream-initiated lucid dream. That's when you're in the process of having a dream, realize that it's happening, and retain your sense of consciousness inside the dream.

The second way is having a wake-initiated lucid dream (WILD); where the dreamer goes from being awake, to being asleep with no change in consciousness. In other words, the dreamer enters their dream as if it were a door, rather than just "waking up" in a dream.

So, what methods are used to induce both of these kinds of lucid dream experiences?

Dream Recall

A simple place to start when you would like to lucid dream is in dream recall. This is where you can remember and perhaps recite your dream in part or in whole. You are very likely to have the same dream more than once in your life and being able to remember them will alert you the next time you have that particular dream.

The way to practise dream recall is by keeping a dream journal. The dream journal is meant as a tool to write down anything you can remember about your dream, in order to recall it for the future. This should be done right after waking up; otherwise dreams will become harder to remember.

Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams (MILD)

This technique was developed by Dr. Stephen LaBerge, one of lucid dreaming's lead scientists. The method used here is telling yourself that you'll remember something in your dream. Once in the dream, you'll see this object, recall what you told yourself, and realize you're dreaming.

Wake-Back-to-Bed (WBTB)

To use this method, first go to sleep. Set an alarm beforehand to wake you up a few hours later (about five or six). Once you wake up, don't go back to sleep. Read for a little while, or think about lucid dreaming for a while, then head back to sleep.

According to LaBerge, this technique has about a sixty percent success rate. That's because you wake up in the middle of your sleep cycle, with your mind not fully aware, and are still in the middle of your REM cycle. This results in something a lot like telling your mind you want to dream lucidly and having it obey!

Cycle Adjustment Technique

This was created by Daniel Love, and what it is, is setting your alarm to wake you up an hour and a half before your normal time. Once you've adjusted to waking up early, alternate your alarm to wake you up normally and early. During times you are to wake up normally, you're body will already be ready to wake up early, and therefore, you will be likely to be awake in your dream.

Wake-Initiation of Lucid Dream (WILD)

When you consider all the methods and techniques wake initiated is by far the most intriguing way to enter lucid dreams. What you have to do is manage to keep the brain aware while the rest of you falls asleep. You can enter your dreams much like entering a theater. You go into watch the movie, set down and the light go down, (sleep) dark envelopes you just before the movements on the screen appear.

To get into this correct frame of mind if you will there are a few tricks you can use. Focus seems to be key so try to focus your mind on things like your breathing, counting, perhaps chant or meditate. In a way, you are practicing self-hypnosis. Use this technique when you are not extremely tired, perhaps during a late nap.

Technology has moved on in recent years, and there are various devices like dreaming masks and other scientific appliances which contain such things as strobe lights to induce lucid dreams.

The most reliable and easiest way of inducing a lucid dream may be listening to binaural beats sound frequencies through headphones.

These work by synchronizing the two hemispheres of the brain and have the effect of almost instantaneously changing your brainwaves to the REM frequency needed for a lucid dream to occur.

Combined with the self hypnosis sessions and affirmations to prepare your subconscious mind beforehand, becoming a lucid dreamer is something that everyone can now experience!

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