This section lists practical instructions on how to have lucid dreams - including my favorite lucid dreaming techniques for beginners. Enjoy...
Before you begin, it's important to understand exactly what lucid dreaming is. Though the media portray lucid dreams as sex, instant gratification, and total dream control, the reality is a little different. Three main points:
1) Lucid dreaming is the ability to "wake up" in your dreams. It is the conscious stirring inside an unconscious dream world. So the most significant thing about lucidity is conscious dreams are perceived like real life. They are much more tangible, vivid, and real. It's the difference between watching a movie with a bad TV signal - and actually starring in it.
2) Lucidity stems from the realization that you are dreaming, which makes you become self-aware. This gives you the full mental faculty to consider the dream in context, while it unfolds. You have the power to control your own movements in the dream (just like waking life).
3) With a little experience, you can accomplish all kinds of feats, like flying through space, creating new worlds, summoning characters, and having sex with anyone. But dream control is only the start. There are many more things to do in a lucid dream that will blow your mind, like allowing the dream itself to deliver subconscious messages to you.
The majority of lucid dreaming techniques train your mind to these ends:
Having frequent lucid dreams becomes a way of life. You'll be more successful in your efforts if you incorporate these techniques into your everyday habits. After all, your dreams reflect your thoughts, experiences and emotions from waking reality. That's why just thinking about it can produce lucid dreams the same night.
There is no guaranteed method of having a lucid dream tonight. However, there are many tried-and-tested techniques which can certainly increase your chances.
To get into the habit of practicing lucid dreaming techniques, begin with these simple exercises. They could even produce a spontaneous lucid dream tonight...
Here are five very basic techniques to kick-start your training:
These beginner lucid dreaming techniques are very simple but powerful ways to spontaneously have a lucid dream.
But don't just read this and forget about it - actually DO IT!
Once you've spent a day committing to all five techniques, it's time to move on to some advanced techniques like the ones described in my lucid dreaming course.
I've been lucid dreaming since I was 14 years old and I've spent the last four years researching and writing about lucid dream control.
Understandably, I get a lot of emails and forum questions from beginners, and by far the most common one goes like this:
Of course, if there was just one ultimate method, by which every single person in the world could learn how to have lucid dreams - don't you think I'd share it? :)
The truth is there are lots of methods, and usually they produce lucid dreams by combination. One person might have a lucid dream simply by dream journaling and doing lots of reality checks. Another might achieve lucidity by meditation and incubation. Another yet might just adjust their sleep cycles.
There is no "best way" to have lucid dreams that applies to everyone.
I know that isn't a very satisfying answer, even if it is undoubtedly true...
So I'm going to share the best way for me to have lucid dreams. Take what you want from this - try it yourself, by all means - but don't ignore other techniques because they may deliver spectacular results for you personally.
Over the years I have found that these techniques, both individually and in combination, allow me to have the most lucid dreams:
1) Night-Time Meditation - There is a wonderful half-sleep state I like to go and explore, just before falling asleep or just after waking up. I lie perfectly still and relaxed and allow my mind to drift. I hold on to that thin strand of consciousness while allowing my body to fall asleep.
Not only is this deeply relaxing, it creates all kinds of interesting phenomena, like out-of-body sensations, memory impressions, auditory hallucinations and emerging dream scenes. This method is great for increasing your self-awareness, visualization skills, and walking your mind directly into a lucid dream.
2) Dream Journaling - If there were one technique that is absolutely essential to frequent lucid dreaming, it is to keep a dream journal. Spend 10 minutes writing down your dreams each morning and you will find that, not only your dream recall and intensity increase, but you will have many more moments of spontaneous lucidity in the dream world.
3) Incubation - There are many ways to incubate a lucid dream. They can range from simply thinking "I will have a lucid dream tonight" to spending quality time meditating before bed and repeating affirmations like "The next scene will be a dream".
Another way to incubate a lucid dream is to daydream about what you might do... by visualizing a powerful wish in detail, your subconscious mind may play back this same scenario in your dreams tonight. The memory of having done it all before may well trigger self-awareness on the spot.
For beginners, this may all seem quite overwhelming. I've shown you quite a few different techniques - but where to start? If you feel unsure, check out my complete course for beginners, entitled The Lucid Dreaming Fast Track.
This provides structured training for anyone wanting to learn how to have lucid dreams. You'll learn a systematic approach for priming your brain for lucidity each night - I highly recommend it for beginners.