Erin Pavlina became an accomplished lucid dreamer in her early teens and by the age of 15 learned how to astral project at will. Later, Erin began developing her abilities as a psychic medium and appeared on the Criss Angel Mindfreak show where she demonstrated her abilities for 1.7 million TV viewers.
In this exclusive Erin Pavlina interview, we hear some techniques for becoming lucid every night and some of Erin's favorite lucid dream experiences. She also discusses the validity of psychic dreams and how to use lucid dreaming as a gateway to astral projection.
Erin Pavlina: I was doing a science fair project on dreams back in junior high school and I came upon a concept called lucid dreaming, knowing you are dreaming while dreaming or maintaining your consciousness while dreaming. I was utterly fascinated with the idea, so I began working on it every night. It took me 3 months before I had my first lucid dream.
Erin Pavlina: You always remember the first right? Well I sure do. In the dream I was in the passenger seat of a car that my mom was driving. She got out of the car and I didn't, even though I knew I was "supposed" to get out of the car too. I stayed in the car and pinched myself. I felt nothing. Then I tried slapping myself, and that didn't hurt either. I excitedly concluded I must be dreaming. I looked around hurriedly but my excitement woke me up. I think my lucidity lasted all of 3 seconds, but it was enough for me to realize that lucid dreaming was more than possible, it was a reality, and all I had to do was continue to work at it.
Erin Pavlina: If I wanted to I could easily have at least one lucid dream every night. Sometimes I spend my entire night lucid dreaming, but I don't think it's fair to the unconscious mind to hijack its opportunity to send you important information, so I limit myself considerably. Usually I let myself lucid dream 3 nights per week, give or take a little. Or I allow myself one lucid dream per night and let the rest of my dreams happen the way they want to happen.
Erin Pavlina: In the beginning I used to keep my eyes open until the last possible second before falling asleep. This allowed me to take some of my consciousness into the dream state. Consequently, my lucid dreams would usually happen in the beginning of the night. Telling myself that I will become lucid helps a lot. And experience is really the best way to become lucid. Now that I've had hundreds if not thousands of lucid dreams (it's been almost 25 years!) I can trigger one fairly easily. I'm at a point now where I can pre-program a dream, which is where I imagine ahead of time exactly the dream I want to have so that I will either have that dream outright or I can trigger it the moment I become lucid. Or I just determine the general content (flying dream, celebrity dream, superhero dream, etc) and let the lucid dream unfold as it wants to.
Erin Pavlina: It's vital that you can at least remember the dreams you're already having. If you can't remember your dreams you probably aren't ready for lucid dreaming. Either keep a dream journal or a recorder by your bed and start making your regular, non-lucid dreams a part of your consciousness.
Next, intend to have a lucid dream. Before going to bed, tell yourself that you will become lucid during at least one of your dreams.
Create dream triggers. Knowing that you'll be questioning oddities in your dreams may help trigger lucidity, whether that's a two-headed person, seeing the sun and moon in the sky together, not feeling pain, flying, being on a date with Brad or Angelina, etc. I once had a dream that I was back in school (common) and couldn't remember my locker combination and was late to class. I remember thinking in the dream, "Wait a minute, I'm not in grade school anymore, this must be a dream." Even though I was lucid, I couldn't make the dream conform to my will. So I marched into the principal's office and said, "I want to talk to the person in charge of this dream." The dream froze, a man walked out of the office and said, "Okay, let's talk." I then discussed with him what the purpose of the dream was, skipping the symbolism and panicky feelings of being late to class. It was an amazing interaction with the dream construct itself.
Don't give up. Keep going. Once you've attained lucidity you can do it again. Keep trying. And have a plan for what you'll do when you find yourself lucid.
Erin Pavlina: Oh there's so many it's hard to choose, but lately I've been enjoying spending time with the Winchester boys from the Supernatural tv series. I go ghost hunting with them. In fact, I've dreamed entire episodes of Supernatural complete with commercials and scenes to next week's episode! I was so annoyed at the commercials in my dream that I lucidly installed a Tivo so I could fast forward through the commercials. Recently I was lucidly dreaming the Smallville series finale, which hasn't even aired, and it was so intense that I actually paused the dream, backed it up, and watched it again. It's utterly amazing what you can do in a lucid dream. The sky's the limit! It's great exercise for your mind.
Erin Pavlina: In my dreams I sometimes connect with other conscious entities inside my dreams. I wasn't expecting that, and it's thankfully rare. I've always seen the dreamscape as my own personal playground. To know that other beings can communicate with me while I'm in the state was surprising and sometimes unnerving.
I've also had experiences where I've shared my dream with another person who was also dreaming. And it was because of lucid dreaming that I was able to make the transition to astral projection. Once you've located and identified your conscious mind it makes astral projection easier because you can identify which parts of you are your body versus your conscious soul.
Erin Pavlina: I've had many psychic dreams. Sometimes I felt like I was just a witness to something of importance. In one dream I was driving down the street and looked in my rearview mirror to see my trunk was up. The next day I was actually driving down the street, remembered my dream, looked in the rearview mirror and saw that my trunk had mysteriously come open. It was trippy. For more about my precognitive dreams, read this article.
Erin Pavlina: I do sometimes receive psychic information either in a dream or in a lucid dream. Most of the time it's information, not a warning about an event or disaster, and it is very reliable. I've noticed that since I became a professional psychic I've begun doing actual readings in my dreams! I go through the same "tuning in" procedure that I normally do in my readings, then I read for someone in a dream. Sometimes I know who I'm reading for and it's a real live person and sometimes I don't know the person I'm reading for but the information comes through just as clearly as during a regular reading. I've actually had people write to me and tell me they received a reading from me in a dream! So I'm obviously out there "working" even while sleeping. My higher self sure gets around.
Erin Pavlina: My first encounter with astral projection wasn't the most pleasant.
But I soon got used to it and got myself to a point where I could project several times a week. I was often encountering negative entities on the astral plane, however, so I eventually adopted some tactics and techniques (along with an astral sword) that I used to kick some butt. I was like Buffy the Astral Demon Slayer. Fun times. As an adult, I was able to increase my vibration to a point where I stopped encountering negative energies. This became a much healthier way to use astral projection. I don't project much anymore, but periodically I check to make sure I can still do it. Gotta keep in practice in case something attacks.
Erin Pavlina: This is an area where a lot of people get confused. I ended up writing an article about the three different states of dreaming and being astral. Read more here.
Erin Pavlina: If I were trying to learn this from scratch, today, I would definitely learn lucid dreaming first, because you have to be able to step into your consciousness while leaving your body behind. In lucid dreaming you're stepping into your conscious mind and leaving your body asleep and in astral projection you're stepping into your conscious body while leaving your physical body behind. It's close but not quite the same thing.
Next I would connect clearly with my spirit guides or you can connect with your angels, because having someone on the other side watching your back while you project is just a good idea!
I would raise my vibration so that my default state is love, joy, peace, etc, not fear, anxiety, anger, shame or guilt, because you'll attract negative entities doing that.
And lastly I would have a reason for projecting. The body does not want to let go of the spirit, so it hangs on pretty tight. To overcome that tether you're going to have to have a pretty strong reason for getting out. I don't recommend toying with astral projection. It's not necessary to astral project to live a proper life. However, I completely understand the thrill of it, so project safely if you're going to do it.
Erin Pavlina: Learning how to lucid dream is totally worth the time and effort. What else do you have to do while sleeping? I'm so incredibly grateful to have this skill. I wouldn't give it up for anything. With lucid dreaming you get to experience anything you can possibly imagine, things that would otherwise be impossible for you in the waking world. You're only limited by your imagination.
To learn more about Erin visit ErinPavlina.com, a website dedicate to providing education, information and support to help you increase your consciousness within a spiritual context.
Here's a good question. If a lucid dream is any dream in which you know you're dreaming, then why aren't we always lucid in dreams? Why doesn't it just become the default state of dreaming? Why do we accept our dreams of flying pigs and dinosaurs as an extension of waking life? What is the mechanism for defaulting to non-lucid dreams? Intriguingly, scientists have approached this question from three different angles./p>
What do blind people dream about? Can they "see" in their dreams? Take a look at scientific studies into the dreams of the blind, colorblind, and black-and-white dreamers. In 1999, dream researchers at the University of Hartford analyzed 372 dreams of 15 blind people. They found that both the congenitally blind and those who went blind before five years old did not have any visual dreams at all. That's because our dreams are made up of real world experiences and our innermost thoughts, anxieties and desires. So for someone who has never perceived images or light (or can't remember any) their dreams simply can't manifest visually.
Not long ago, scientists at Frankfurt University discovered how to produce lucid dreams with electronic stimulation. It was a world first. And - astonishingly - it worked in non-lucid dreamers 77% of the time. Now you can buy the same technology for yourself. The foc.us V2 - which delivers the proven optimum 40 Hz transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) - was originally developed to increase working memory in video gamers and improve sleep.
As technology continues to move us towards more immersive dreamlike experiences, one can only wonder what digital wonders lay just beyond the horizon of tomorrow. We may also question just how the future of virtual reality will impact the study and practice of lucid dreaming. Are we, perhaps, the last generation to whom lucid dreaming will maintain an appeal?
Jeremiah Morelli is a whimsical fantasy artist and visual storyteller. He places conceptual fairytale creatures in vivid dreamscapes to capture the imagination. He's also a school teacher, and amazingly finds the time and motivation to create this huge gallery of artwork. Such light and dark fairytale paintings make beautiful places to visit in your lucid dreams.
Experts agree that everyone is capable of having lucid dreams. Dreaming itself is a normal function of the mind. We all dream every night, even if we don't remember. And we all achieve conscious awareness while awake every single day. So what does it mean to combine these states? Why, the amazing ability to have conscious - or lucid - dreams. Sounds simple, doesn't it? So why do I keep hearing from people who say they can't achieve their first lucid dream?