Why can't I see hypnogogic imagery? I have been trying the WILD technique for several days now and every time I am able to completely relax my entire body and feel myself slipping away from it.
But as soon as I try to fall deeper into that state by counting in my head "1, the next scene will be a dream, 2 the next scene will be a dream" and so on, I never witness any hypnogogic imagery. I end up drifting into other thoughts that are more like daydreams than anything and then I have to focus on the counting again. Are there any tips or something I should do so that I can actually start to dream while I am conscious?
Rebecca says: Usually if I can't see any hypnogogic imagery, it's because my mind is too active. Counting or running any kind of internal monologue in your head can sometimes be counterproductive, especially if you have a "loud" inner voice. This may be what's preventing you from consciously entering the hypnogogic state. Its just too distracting mentally.
I find it best to focus on relaxing every muscle group and visualizing parts of my body dissolving, melting or becoming invisible. This helps induce the sleep paralysis which sends my body to sleep. This can take anywhere from 5-20 minutes (longer than that and I get bored and give up). Provided my mind is still holding onto a thread of consciousness, I will be mentally relaxed but still aware enough to start developing my own dream imagery. By this point the hypnogogic state has begun automatically; but it's not something you need to look out for. In fact, some WILDers recommend ignoring the hypnogogia altogether, and focusing on the mental space beyond your field of vision.
So, try to create a calmer, more quiesced inner state as you practice WILD. Like meditation, keep your mental activity to a minimum so it becomes very still like the surface of a pond, without any disruptions. The counting method can certainly come in useful for focusing your unconscious intention to lucid dream, but that is probably better for a MILD experience. With WILDs, you need to work at maintaining the meditative state in which your mind is clear, focused - and quiet.
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?