Daytime reality checks
Again, I did my reality checks as often as I could remember. I'm thinking and reading about lucid dreaming all the time, so currently I don't need much reminding to do my reality checks. However, in a week I will be going back to full time work, and I will likely have other things on my mind; that's when I will need some kind of prompting. After reading about a few other people's methods, I have decided upon a visual reminder - I may wear an extra piece of jewellery or something. Then whenever I look at it, I will remember to check.
I also need to get a little deeper with my reality checks. I have gotten into the habit of just looking at my hands and skipping the internal questioning. I must pair the two together. I will write some example questions here again to remind myself:
- Where am I? Is this place normal? How did I get here?
- What time is it? What was I doing before this?
- Who is with me? Why are they here?
- Can I read things correctly and see details close up?
Still being so exhausted from the day before, I went for a lie down in the afternoon. I'm not sure what my exact aims were - sort of a meditation, sort of an attempt at a WILD.
I decided to use Lavendula's method of counting backwards from 99 while envisioning a local park that I like. I intend to use this park whenever I need a location for a meditation or a lucid dream. I got comfy and tried to remain completely still. I did very well at that. I counted and it was deeply relaxing.
Again, when I got down to ~50, I noticed other thoughts entering my head. And again, I don't know if I was awake or asleep. I realized these thoughts were forming a dream (or daydream) and I drew myself out of them quickly, because they seemed entirely random and pointless. I wonder if I should have continued with them and actively changed the scene instead, but I'm not sure I was conscious enough to do that. I noticed that my extremities were tingling (probably from not moving at all) and that the noises going on around the house felt muted and distant. This was a good sign to me! I wrote the dream/daydream down, and got back to counting. Another short dream/daydream popped into my head later in my rest, and again I snapped out of it quickly. I fell asleep in the end.
I am quite pleased with this experience. I feel more confident in my ability to meditate (something I have only tried a few times before). I know now that I can remain still and mostly focus on one thought. I feel like I did quite a good job at remaining conscious but relaxed. And I was pleased to feel some of the sensations that others have reported (tingling in feet and hands). I felt like I was inching closer to my goal of having a lucid dream.
Falling asleep at night
I knew the house would be quiet and still last night, so I figured it would be a good time to meditate before sleeping. I made the bedroom dark, got nice and comfy under the duvet, set a scene in my head, counted backwards from 99, and listened to a Lucid Dreaming MP3 which I had just bought after reading this recommendation:
I have to be totally honest: the whole thing was a disaster. Normally I fall asleep within 5 minutes, but last night it took me over an hour to get to sleep, and my mind was racing the whole time. Old memories - most of them irrelevant or unpleasant - kept popping up into my head. I worried about trivial things coming up in the future. In short, I just could not relax. I wondered afterwards if I'd just gone to bed a little too early that night; I also wondered if it was because of the MP3. Re-reading Rebecca's review, it says that the best time to use the MP3 is when you've just woken up early in the morning, or when you're having an afternoon nap, because your body is more likely to dive straight into REM sleep at those times. However, she also says that it's good for winding down and meditating before sleep at night; I found the complete opposite to be true.
But I am no quitter, and I am serious about lucid dreaming, so I will try the MP3 again at different times. I will try it before a nap and upon waking in the early morning. They offer a money-back guarantee, so if after some experimentation I find that it is causing all the mind chatter, I will ask for a refund. Hopefully that won't be necessary though!
First of all, I woke up in the middle of the night, and as I was drifting off back to sleep I had another "mini dream"/daydream. It's so hard to tell the difference. Whatever it was, I knew it was a dream. There were two characters; I told them straight away that it was a dream and they had better conjure up a nice scene for me. They looked impressed and amused. The main character said, "Certainly", and waved his hand as if about to fill the scene for me. At that point I either woke up or fell asleep - I don't remember.
Again, I hesitate to call this a lucid dream because I don't know if I was awake or not and it was short and very hazy. I know I was certainly on the right track.
I had at least 3 'standard' dreams last night, and I think I woke up after each one. I remembered quite a bit about all of them: layouts, plots, characters, events, feelings, motivations, colours, and so on. My dream recall is getting pretty good.
I intended to use some new methods of recording my dreams, which I found on another site: http://www.consciousdreaming.com/lucid-dreaming/how-to-lucid-dream.htm
Specifically, I wanted to write on the left side of the page only, so that I would have space on the right to write down extra info as it came to me. However, this morning I got interrupted from my sleep twice and had to hurry downstairs to answer the phone and the door. So I ended up writing my dreams on the computer instead, and because there was a delay, there may have been some details missing.
New dream features
These things seem to be standard in my dreams now. I wonder if I have always dreamed up this stuff, and just didn't remember till I started keeping a journal?
- My first dream featured a new location - a garden with very low border hedges.
- It also featured a new character. He was my neighbour, but I didn't know who he was.
- I think I was a slightly different person in the final dream. I was a teenager, and I may have looked slightly different.
As usual there were lots of tell-tale signs that I was dreaming. A sample of some of them:
- I had a shed full of horses and farm yard animals who roamed my garden at night.
- I lived in a different house, had a different garden, and an unknown neighbour.
- A famous comedian appeared in my dream.
I can recall two occasions where I looked at things closely or looked at them twice, and I think I came close to realizing I was dreaming.
- I was cooking. When I looked a second time at the food, it had increased in quantity. My sneaky brain tried to cover this up: suddenly my Mum came into the dream and it turned out she had cooked the extra food.
- In the dream where I was a different person and in a different place, I tried to close the curtain, and it was a replica of a curtain from my real bedroom. Just so you know, my real curtain is hung up precariously on a piece of string nailed to the wall. If you aren't careful, the nail comes out of the wall and the whole curtain falls down. Therefore, I had to get close up to the curtain and close it very carefully. This was the last thing that happened in the dream before I woke up.
Overall it was an interesting 24 hours. My dream recall is going really well, I learned a couple of meditation tricks, and dreams are almost always at the forefront of my mind. One thing I must now be careful of is not sleeping too much. Lately I've been too keen to sleep and nap all the time just to increase my chances of having a lucid dream. But this is taking time away from my day and messing up my sleeping pattern. I always feel groggy when I have too much sleep so I can't make a habit of this. I have a waking life too!
Well, this is going to be a short update - I don't remember any dreams at all from Night 7! I know I had at least one, because I woke up afterwards. But I fell straight back asleep, and after that, who knows what happened? I have been waiting all day for something to jog my memory, but nothing has come back to me yet.
Hopefully tonight will be better!
I again didn't remember much of my dreams from this night, although this time I knew I'd had at least one. I woke up after it, was too tired to write it down, and you know how the rest of that story goes - an empty page in my dream journal.
I was just happy to know that I'd had a dream! I know we are told that we all dream every night, but to not recall a single glimpse of your dreams can be very alarming when you've been working so hard on dreams lately. So I was relieved.
I remember at least 4 snippets of dreams from last night. I know a couple of them had longer plots and that I just don't remember them yet. My dreams were all work-related - I think I'm getting a little anxiety about returning to work next week! There was one new location in one of the dreams and possibly some brighter, vivid colours than usual.
I think I may have become lucid in one dream, but I'm not sure. In it, I made fun of a young girl that I barely know, and then immediately afterwards I realized I had been rude to her and I apologized. After she accepted my apology and we walked away from each other, I was feeling awful. Then, I realized that 'I didn't really say that to her, everything is fine'. I didn't quite have the full awareness that I was dreaming - I just knew that I was in some kind of reality where things that happened may not have really happened!
The bad part is that again, I don't know if I had already woken up or not when I had this realization. I can't remember if I was still walking away in the dream, or if I was lying awake in bed. This blurry line between being asleep and awake is something I've got to gain more awareness of.
The next couple of updates may be short or late as I am travelling with my family over the next couple of days.
Although I have 1001 other things to do right now, I really want lucid dreaming to be a part of my life, even if it's only a tiny one! So I will try to continue my journey in this thread. First of all I'm going to read back over the previous posts and try to re-absorb some of the lessons I learned the first time around. Then I'll hopefully have interesting things to report again soon!
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