Some Thoughts on Personalizing Reality Checks/Dreamsigns

Discuss lucid dreaming techniques including dream recall, MILD, WILD, meditation and other ways of attaining lucidity in dreams.
fineganswaker
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Some Thoughts on Personalizing Reality Checks/Dreamsigns

Postby fineganswaker » 21 Jul 2011 23:18

I had a lucid dream the other night where I recognized one of my dreamsigns--which in turn caused lucidity. Prior to this, "going lucid" has always been a hit or miss, spontaneous, thing. It got me thinking about some things I thought I'd pass on.

There for a while I'd been using Stephen LaBerge's weekly list of reality check items during the day ("next time you hear a telephone ring", "hear a dog barking", etc.). The results turned out to be consistently bad for me. When I scored myself at the end of the day I always got a big, red "F". I hardly ever remembered to do a check when any of the items occurred.

After a while I just gave it up--but I still felt that reality checks during the day were a good thing to do. When I looked over my dream journal a week or so ago, it dawned on me that none of the things on LaBerge's weekly list tend to enter into my dreams. Phones don't ring and dogs don't often start barking. It made me wonder that, even if I did score well on those reality check items, there was a damned good possibility I would never have an occasion to use them in a dream--simply because they most likely would never occur.

But I also noticed in my journal that there were things that appeared or occurred in my dreams that did tend to occur during the day. For example, dream figures tend to appear who are physically attractive, and I noticed that a certain amount of my daily aggravation tends to spill over into my dreams as well (driving, work situations).

So I decided I'd try getting more personal with my reality checks. The result? Voila--a much better score (B-pluses to A-pluses), and like I said above, it helped me in recognizing a dreamsign (not to raise any eyebrows, but the appearance of a very attractive dream figure of the opposite sex caused the other night's lucidity--bonus!).

I would also tend to say that the more personal the dreamsigns/reality checks, the better. For example, I have this strange quirk where certain, older architecture will give me this very strong, positive feeling about a happy period from my adolescence. I have no idea why this is, but I noticed that this was another theme in my dream journal. Just Last night I had a dream that an old friend of mine--from that period of my life--and I were walking around a town that had a lot of those kinds of buildings and houses. That feeling from my youth was really in the air in this dream--and, odd as this sounds--lucidity felt close. I'm surprised it didn't happen. So, more grist for the mill, so to speak.

By the way, just as a disclaimer, I'm not trying to put LaBerge or his technique down. I think his book is essential reading for anyone who wants to get into lucid dreaming.

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Peter
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Location: New Zealand

Re: Some Thoughts on Personalizing Reality Checks/Dreamsigns

Postby Peter » 22 Jul 2011 03:58

intersting post and think you may be right in making the checks personal. I will give this a try

Peter
Who are you I asked, the reply "dont be silly, we are your daughers" many years before they were born

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inkpoet
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Location: http://dannygenerate.com/haveluciddreams

Re: Some Thoughts on Personalizing Reality Checks/Dreamsigns

Postby inkpoet » 22 Jul 2011 16:46

fineganswaker wrote:I had a lucid dream the other night where I recognized one of my dreamsigns--which in turn caused lucidity. Prior to this, "going lucid" has always been a hit or miss, spontaneous, thing. It got me thinking about some things I thought I'd pass on.

There for a while I'd been using Stephen LaBerge's weekly list of reality check items during the day ("next time you hear a telephone ring", "hear a dog barking", etc.). The results turned out to be consistently bad for me. When I scored myself at the end of the day I always got a big, red "F". I hardly ever remembered to do a check when any of the items occurred.

After a while I just gave it up--but I still felt that reality checks during the day were a good thing to do. When I looked over my dream journal a week or so ago, it dawned on me that none of the things on LaBerge's weekly list tend to enter into my dreams. Phones don't ring and dogs don't often start barking. It made me wonder that, even if I did score well on those reality check items, there was a damned good possibility I would never have an occasion to use them in a dream--simply because they most likely would never occur.

But I also noticed in my journal that there were things that appeared or occurred in my dreams that did tend to occur during the day. For example, dream figures tend to appear who are physically attractive, and I noticed that a certain amount of my daily aggravation tends to spill over into my dreams as well (driving, work situations).

So I decided I'd try getting more personal with my reality checks. The result? Voila--a much better score (B-pluses to A-pluses), and like I said above, it helped me in recognizing a dreamsign (not to raise any eyebrows, but the appearance of a very attractive dream figure of the opposite sex caused the other night's lucidity--bonus!).

I would also tend to say that the more personal the dreamsigns/reality checks, the better. For example, I have this strange quirk where certain, older architecture will give me this very strong, positive feeling about a happy period from my adolescence. I have no idea why this is, but I noticed that this was another theme in my dream journal. Just Last night I had a dream that an old friend of mine--from that period of my life--and I were walking around a town that had a lot of those kinds of buildings and houses. That feeling from my youth was really in the air in this dream--and, odd as this sounds--lucidity felt close. I'm surprised it didn't happen. So, more grist for the mill, so to speak.

By the way, just as a disclaimer, I'm not trying to put LaBerge or his technique down. I think his book is essential reading for anyone who wants to get into lucid dreaming.



I know what you're talking about, I lucid dream almost every night now and when I started I use to follow Steve's methods and rarely had any results. He is a genius though and has some great concepts. I filtered all methods and use one's that are the most effective and always gave me results. ALWAYS. So I made a webpage about it. I'm sure you already know this but. I teach people the number 1 thing to becoming lucid is to make sure you know how to repeatedly make yourself have vivid dreams. Everything else follows.
Here's How To Have Lucid Dreams Extremely Fast and Easy http://dannygenerate.com/haveluciddreams

fineganswaker
Posts: 98
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Re: Some Thoughts on Personalizing Reality Checks/Dreamsigns

Postby fineganswaker » 22 Jul 2011 20:40

Thanks inkpoet for your response and insights. I'm starting to think more along the same lines (i.e, stripping things down to what works toward the actual goal of lucid dreaming).

I like your website. It's succinct and to the point, and you bring up a number of very good issues and questions about traditional LD techniques.

For example, I agree with you about dream journals. I like keeping one--but they only seem to be good for recalling regular, non-lucid dreams. There's this idea about possibly not being able to remember your lucid dreams unless you're good at dream recall in general--but I don't buy it. My reasoning might seem a little circular, but unless I'm just completely dead wrong, I remember clearly *every* lucid dream I've had since I started into this. To me lucid dreams are quite vivid and memorable--simply because you've become conscious in them. You've, in essence, become awake in your dream, so of course recall of them is going to be 100% better.

Another good point: this idea of lying on your back. I tend to like to start off that way (just because it's relaxing to me), but there seems to be some confusion out there. This seems to be a good position for OBEs or possibly the WILD method, but all of the recent LDs I've had have occurred after I've rolled over on my side, got even more comfortable, and just fell asleep naturally. I mean, if you like sleeping on your back, go for it; but if not, don't sweat rolling over!

And, yes, I've found that the WBTB method seems to be the best so far for me (I've heard that WILDs are the holy grail, but that's further down the road for me--I can't wrap my head around that technique at all). And yes too, I've found that I don't have to stay up for a huge amount of time like some LD writers recommend. Longer periods don't seem to affect the ability to lucid dream for me.

In an odd way, though, maybe your best piece of advice is your mentioning the "placebo" effect. I'm finding that there are certain nights (mornings actually) when, after a WBTB, I'm just stoked about having a lucid dream. It's hard to describe--it's as if I'm in a mental state where I just *know* it's going to happen. When I'm in this state, with this much positive "will to power" as it were, I find that lucid dreaming does indeed occur.

LaBerge is a genius at this, but one of the best things he says in his book is that all these techniques need to be tweaked for personal use--good advice, there...

PS: I tend to want to stay away from supplements and such--but I like the idea of the apple juice and will try it.

rdubya
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Re: Some Thoughts on Personalizing Reality Checks/Dreamsigns

Postby rdubya » 22 Jul 2011 21:24

fineganswaker wrote:
For example, I agree with you about dream journals. I like keeping one--but they only seem to be good for recalling regular, non-lucid dreams. There's this idea about possibly not being able to remember your lucid dreams unless you're good at dream recall in general--but I don't buy it.



There is nothing to buy, it does indeed occur and it will happen to you. How many times have you said I need to remember this, and you forget, but you remember that you needed to remember! It will happen in lucidity too. My last one I distinctly remember being lucid but I cannot for the life of me remember what I did!

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Peter
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Location: New Zealand

Re: Some Thoughts on Personalizing Reality Checks/Dreamsigns

Postby Peter » 22 Jul 2011 22:34

thanks for the link, I will give your site a good browse later in the day. Apple juice - I have had some good results using this and with some supplements as well. Dont use that often because of the intensity of the dreams but do so at times. I have not posted much on supplements as I feel the results are so strong that if you are new to LD you will not really get what is going on.

Peter
Who are you I asked, the reply "dont be silly, we are your daughers" many years before they were born

fineganswaker
Posts: 98
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Re: Some Thoughts on Personalizing Reality Checks/Dreamsigns

Postby fineganswaker » 22 Jul 2011 23:36

There is nothing to buy, it does indeed occur and it will happen to you. How many times have you said I need to remember this, and you forget, but you remember that you needed to remember! It will happen in lucidity too. My last one I distinctly remember being lucid but I cannot for the life of me remember what I did![/quote]

I wish I had that problem! :D But, yes, I think for a lucid dreamer who's as adept at it as you are there are going to be times--after you've been lucid dreaming so often and for so long--when it will be hard to remember each and every occurrence, scene and detail.

Back when you were working on your lucid dreaming techniques, did keeping a dream journal help you become more lucid more often--in other words, did it help fast track you to your goal of lucid dreaming more frequently? Also, would making a dream journal entry after that last lucid dream have helped you to remember it?

Please forgive me if it sounds as if I might be trying to bait you here--I'm not. I'm really interested in hearing more (much more) from an experienced lucid dreamer. I'm certainly not anti-dream journal, and this last week I feel like I'm on the cusp of becoming lucid much more often; but it also seems like that feeling could also slip away. Discussion really seem to help!

rdubya
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Re: Some Thoughts on Personalizing Reality Checks/Dreamsigns

Postby rdubya » 26 Jul 2011 15:44

Keeping a dream journal started after I had my first Lucid Dream. But keeping a dream journal definitely helped me recall my dreams. I always get out of bed and type up my dream, even when I am still in a tired state. It is amazing how many dreams start coming back. I set my alarm for 15 minutes after the first alarm so I know to start getting ready for work. I literally close my eyes and just type. Typos + stopping does not help you keep the flow. There are dreams where you will note are different, lucid or not, and you'll know if you are supposed to make note of it. Do so, and then come back and write in what happened that day. Many times when a dream feels like just a dream, my day is as normal and routine as any other. but dreams with strong emotion almost always have a connection with something that will happen that day. At least for me that is what i have found. And i always note in the morning in the journal what it was.

It is crazy how much your desire and intent control your dreams and dream recall. For the last week I have been busy moving and not focused at all on dreaming, and just like that I can't remember my dreams. But I am not worried, when I get settled and refocus myself on my dreams they will come back. It will take a while to make remembering dreams second nature rather than a forced habit.

fineganswaker
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Re: Some Thoughts on Personalizing Reality Checks/Dreamsigns

Postby fineganswaker » 27 Jul 2011 01:06

rdubya wrote:Keeping a dream journal started after I had my first Lucid Dream. But keeping a dream journal definitely helped me recall my dreams. I always get out of bed and type up my dream, even when I am still in a tired state. It is amazing how many dreams start coming back. I set my alarm for 15 minutes after the first alarm so I know to start getting ready for work. I literally close my eyes and just type. Typos + stopping does not help you keep the flow. There are dreams where you will note are different, lucid or not, and you'll know if you are supposed to make note of it. Do so, and then come back and write in what happened that day. Many times when a dream feels like just a dream, my day is as normal and routine as any other. but dreams with strong emotion almost always have a connection with something that will happen that day. At least for me that is what i have found. And i always note in the morning in the journal what it was.

It is crazy how much your desire and intent control your dreams and dream recall. For the last week I have been busy moving and not focused at all on dreaming, and just like that I can't remember my dreams. But I am not worried, when I get settled and refocus myself on my dreams they will come back. It will take a while to make remembering dreams second nature rather than a forced habit.


Thanks for the feedback, rdbuya. This is really interesting stuff. So, do you feel that sometimes your dreams--where you note that something seems different--is a form of pre-cognition? That something...(searching for the right words here)...sort of comes to pass the next day that you dreamed of? Of is it more like something you dreamed "colors" your day? Either way, I'd very much like to hear more about that--and I want to start paying attention to that in my own dreaming, lucid or not.

I really do agree with you about how the practice of keeping a dream journal helps bring things back--I absolutely agree with that. The other thing that happens to me is that I'll see insights into and connections between things that happen in the dreams. For example, while journaling one of my more recent lucid dreams (after earlier journaling a pre-WBTB dream), I realized that--thematically--my lucid dream was more or less the same one I'd had earlier. It was just being played out in a different way and in a lucid state. It also amazes me how much "post-cognition" happens to me--where stuff from my waking day get inside of my dreams. That used to seem obvious and a little pedestrian to me, but now I think that's a pretty fascinating phenomenon--and a possible aid to lucid dreaming.

And, yeah--it really amazes me how, if you get your mind off track--off "desire'--how much that affects what goes on nocturnally. I'm not in the process of moving, but lately I've been so exhausted by the end of my day ('round midnight), that I just want to go to bed and *sleep*! It's not that I don't want to lucid dream, but rather that I'm just not thinking about making sure I recall what I've dreamed upon waking, and then making sure I get up to record it (Unfortunately, I've developed a bit of an "Oh f*** it" attitude lately).

As a result, well, it's as if something in my subconscious has responded in a negative way as well--as if it couldn't care either, as if it says Fine then--don't lucid dream--don't recall!. I was hoping that maybe slacking off might even jolt an unexpected lucid dream at this point in my development (or maybe just a very vivid dream that I'd easily recall). But no dice. Nada. I get much better results if I'm stoked about my night.

So, if you don't my asking, how long have you been lucid dreaming? Also, were you lucid dreaming before you started investigating into working on LD techniques? And finally, how long did it take you personally to where remembering dreams became "second nature"?

Thanks in advance.

rdubya
Posts: 175
Joined: 21 Jun 2011 21:15

Re: Some Thoughts on Personalizing Reality Checks/Dreamsigns

Postby rdubya » 29 Jul 2011 16:54

fineganswaker,

I am in the same boat lately with that attitude you mentioned! But I know the interest will come back around when it is ready to, I wouldn't worry about it too much, just focus on whatever has your interest at the moment!

I have been meditating for about 4 years now, almost 5. My path to lucid dreaming is rather ..odd.. but in short I accidently read about lucid dreaming quickly, and thought it was nothing. That night(about 4 months ago) I had a lucid dream and became astounded by what this means about our waking reality. Then after lots of research, I have found that all those gurus in Tibet aren't just a bunch of hippies!

Dreams are your spirits language which only you can decipher. Dream journals are basically your dictionary. You will learn which dreams are pre, post cognitive, just dreams, lessons to be learned, directions to take, etc. You can't explain to people what you saw in your dream because it won't make sense to them, just tell them what you decoded from your dream.


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