In the past, I have become conscious rather frequently in my dreams. For example, last night I was interacting with a few of my friends and right when the conversation took its most exciting turn, I realized I was dreaming and gained control of the dream. The only thing I wanted to do was hear the next sentence! I tried to wait out the end of the conversation and even tried to let the dream continue, but now that I was conscious, I couldn't really be surprised by anything that was happening.
What suggestions might you have for actually reaching the part of dreaming where conversation with the unconscious becomes possible? I'm not too worried about the flying or breathing underwater yet (which I actually have done on occasion), but rather, is there a way to really let the dream continue with my conscious mind playing only a minimal part in affecting the actions of others?
Rebecca says: I applaud your desire to use lucid dreaming for something other than dream control. This can be a big distraction for most of us. Conscious clarity of thought and experience is actually the true meaning of lucid dreaming. It's not primarily about dream control but simply having the higher capacity of thought and self awareness to enjoy the dream in a more vivid and meaningful context.
When you become lucid, heighten your awareness (rub your hands together and remind yourself you're dreaming) but refrain from exerting any other conscious will over the dream. I find if I passively explore the dreamscape for a minute (walk round a corner, or pass through a dream door, anything which requires new imagery) the dream picks up again on its own and I become wrapped up in the story.
If you're hanging around and still nothing happens, try actively handing the dream back to your unconscious. Say out loud: "Show me something I've never seen before" or "Take me somewhere really cool". Tell the dream what you want... not specifically, but that you're open to anything happening.
Another option is to go somewhere busy and be an observer. Fly to a city, sit on top of a building and observe the streets below. Lock onto a dream character you find interesting and follow them.
Here's another surprise experiment you might like to try. Find a portal - a mirror, door or even a wardrobe - and jump through. Expect to find something amazing the other side (perhaps a house from the past, or a spaceship of the future). Having an expectation will admittedly start to shape the result but it is usually necessary. You don't want to be standing at the back of an empty wardrobe, having not traveled anywhere. But that seed plants new possibilities for the unconscious to create a new dream scene which will evolve new characters and developments.
So give your lucid dream a little nudge, keep exploring, and it will resume its own path.
If we're completely honest, lucid dreaming isn't really known for being the most social of interests. In fact, often it's a lone pursuit - just you, your dream journal and the landscape of your mind. But this technique called PAL (or Partner Assisted Lucidity) breaks down that wall and turns lucid dream exploration into a social event.
Members of our lucid dream forum have been asking how to create dream characters in lucid dreams. The most common problem is having characters who look nothing like they should. Or they seem disinterested in your company. Or they fail to show up on command altogether. So, how to combat this? It's a matter of finding creative solutions that bypass logical expectations.
To lucid dream, I recommend being able to remember at least one vivid dream per night. That will boost your self awareness in dreams (making lucidity more likely) and also means you can actually remember your lucid dreams. Which is nice. Here are four detailed tips on how to remember your dreams more frequently. And if you don't think you dream at all - trust me, you almost certainly do. It takes an extraordinarily rare sleep disorder to deprive someone of dream sleep.
It is estimated that these wise and wily Indians have been using mugwort in their healing and ritual practices for 13,000 years, where it is known as the ‘dream sage’. They use the herb to promote good dreams, which they consider an essential aspect of normal human functioning! But that’s not all...
Silene Capensis has been used for millennia by the Xhosa shaman of the river valleys in the eastern cape of South Africa, where it is known as Undela Ziimhlophe or 'white paths'. It's fragrant white flowers open only at night, when they emit a fragrant and almost hypnotising aroma. Also known as African Dream Herb or Ubulawu, Silene Capensis induces spectacularly vivid dreams - yet has never entered the mainstream and remains a fringe taste within western culture.
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?