Lucid dreams are a life-changing opportunity for all of us. If you want to learn how to have lucid dreams, this section gives a flavor of the mindset and the techniques you'll learn.
I'll be absolutely up front with you. If you're going to learn how to have lucid dreams, you need to inject three things in your life starting today:
It takes time to learn a new skill like lucid dreaming.
If your lifestyle is an insane rush between work and screaming kids and a severe lack of sleep, this is not the time to start having lucid dreams.
Learning how to have lucid dreams is a bit like learning to play a new instrument.
The early days don't tend to generate much gratification as you bash out three repeating notes on the piano to songs such as Mr Crocodile, Are You Hungry?
But you're laying the groundwork for much bigger things to come, and your early commitment now will pay great dividends later.
What subject did you hate most in school? How much effort did you put into that, compared to your favorite subject or hobby?
Passion makes learning a reward in itself, and when you combine that with the joy of lucid dreams, you have all the motivation you need to stick with your lucidity training until it becomes self perpetuating.
This is where my analogy to learning piano sometimes flies out the window. Because no-one can play like Chopin on their first attempt.
But surprisingly often, this can happen with lucid dreaming.
Lots and lots of my readers have written to me saying they had a lucid dream within 1, 2 or 3 nights of trying. That's because there is only one requirement for having a lucid dream: realizing you're dreaming. Of course, that's easier said than done.
Some people are already primed to become lucid dreamers and they just need a gentle tap in the right direction.
Others need to be hand-held all the way and that's where the need for discipline comes in.
Once you get the knack, having lucid dreams still tends to require some mental preparation. However, you know exactly what you're doing and it becomes much easier to have lucid dreams on demand.
One day you'll put in a fraction of the effort, and you'll be able to achieve long and intense conscious dreams, in which you can achieve anything you want.
I know, I know, you're raring to go! So...
I offer two routes for learning lucid dreaming:
Not yet sure if lucid dreaming is for you?
Let me summarize some of the training goals. You will:
You'll have more lucid dreams if you incorporate the techniques into your everyday habits. After all, your dreams reflect the content of your thoughts, experiences and emotions from waking reality.
That's why just thinking about lucid dreaming can produce a lucid dream tonight.
Here are five really easy techniques you can start right now to kick-start your lucid dream training:
Ok, go away and do steps 1-3 right now. Don't just read this and forget about it. Actually DO IT!
These techniques feel a bit strange at first, and you may ask yourself why you're doing them. That's normal. When you get to advanced techniques you'll be able to get instant feedback. And when you have your first lucid dream, it will all make sense why you're behaving like reality isn't real any more.
As you may know, I taught myself how to have lucid dreams when I was 14 years old.
I read Stephen LaBerge's classic book Exploring The World of Lucid Dreaming which, although written in 1990, remains a hugely relevant goldmine of information for would-be lucid dreamers.
At the time, I practised a number of beginner techniques to produce my first lucid dream. The key for me was total immersion and determination to control my dreams.
Today, my routine has evolved. I've already laid the groundwork, so I have spontaneous lucid dreams whenever I combine these techniques:
I've touched on a number of lucid dreaming techniques here but we've still only scratched the surface.
Jump in with both feet and explore the deeper world of lucid dreaming. Sign up to my online course and see if you have what it takes to become a master lucid dreamer.
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?