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what do we mean by "trying too hard?"

Posted: 14 Dec 2012 04:15
by lumencryster
Often I read a forum where somebody asks for help having a lucid dream. it seems like they do all the things that this site tells you to have a lucid dream every day but still aren't succeeding. the most common thing i hear is that the person is trying too hard. it does seem to be true, but i don't think that's what we mean. i think what we mean is that there is a certain technique, and what we normally think of as trying too hard(possibly regarding control) is poor technique. by this i mean how we normally force ourselves to do something is improper technique to both meditating and lucid dreaming. whereas my success in both comes from the opposite, a feeling of letting go of control. i actually think it takes more work to learn how to have proper technique than to just "try really hard" to have a lucid dream which is why i do not think its correct to say they're trying too hard. imagine you're trying to teach yourself to play the guitar. you are not going to get anywhere if you start off with poor form. you need to learn that first, and then try to play the guitar.

sorry if my thoughts seem so scattered, its hard for me to organize them. i just want to know what you think.

Re: what do we mean by "trying too hard?"

Posted: 14 Dec 2012 05:27
by lucidinthe sky
I agree with what you are saying for most cases. For most people, trying hard is really necessary to lucid dream, but more importantly you have to try right. If you are using bad techniques, it doesn't matter how hard you try. It's possible to do the right things, but be so anxious or stressed that you can't lucid dream, but that's probably less likely than just doing it wrong. If you fail you are probably doing it wrong which of course is very easy to do. I do it all the time.

From my limited experience, I sometimes fail from trying too hard, but almost always fail from not trying hard enough. My advice to people is not to be concerned about trying too hard, just be concerned about using the right techniques.

Re: what do we mean by "trying too hard?"

Posted: 15 Dec 2012 09:51
by HAGART
lumencryster wrote:the most common thing i hear is that the person is trying too hard.


I'm guilty of that. But I think I have always followed it by stating: you are too conscious of it and that kicks you out and you wake up. You must 'let go' in order for it to happen. It was like you were 'trying too hard consciously'. It's like trying to go to sleep saying to yourself, "Am I asleep yet? When will I sleep?Maybe... NOW! No. Now?" Doesn't work and I think we have all been there before if trying to WILD. Which I still can't do and yet have lucid dreamed many times. It's a mental hurdle that is hard to cross.

The guitar analogy is good. For a beginner you must learn all the chords, and notes on the fret, but that is just practice. A foundation of knowledge is important.

Now pick of the guitar and play music. That is a different story.

But eventually through practice the guitar becomes an extension of your mind and as soon as you think a note, you can play it, and even think of upcoming riffs and licks to play in the near future and the next thing you know you are playing improv and playing a guitar like a pro.

No matter what we learn, it is always the same process and we can learn anything.

Re: what do we mean by "trying too hard?"

Posted: 19 Dec 2012 07:14
by lumencryster
HAGART wrote:I'm guilty of that. But I think I have always followed it by stating: you are too conscious of it and that kicks you out and you wake up. You must 'let go' in order for it to happen. It was like you were 'trying too hard consciously'. It's like trying to go to sleep saying to yourself, "Am I asleep yet? When will I sleep?Maybe... NOW! No. Now?" Doesn't work and I think we have all been there before if trying to WILD. Which I still can't do and yet have lucid dreamed many times. It's a mental hurdle that is hard to cross.


haha i definitely know that feeling. maybe we just don't quite have the control we think we do.

Re: what do we mean by "trying too hard?"

Posted: 19 Dec 2012 08:26
by KylePK
I strongly agree with the sense of letting go of control. We trick ourselves everyday; we are in control. Well half the time we aren't. Letting go of that sense of control would help to induce a lucid dream I would think. It has helped me reach some nice meditative states.

Re: what do we mean by "trying too hard?"

Posted: 19 Dec 2012 14:10
by rothgar
I think this is a great topic and critical to lucid dreaming. All experienced LDers probably have experienced "trying too hard" and getting nowhere. It is one of the first mistakes we make because our desire is so great we force it. Let me propose that "will" is different from "intent". I have often willed myself, all night long it seems, to have an LD to no avail, only to give up if you will, and then the next night LD without much effort. The difference is that I didnt "try" to have an LD I just intend to have one. It is sort of tied to mneumonic memory as LaBerge discusses. "Trying" is something you do in the present tense, whereas "intent" is something you set for the future. Not sure if that makes any sense but seems to work that way.

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Re: what do we mean by "trying too hard?"

Posted: 21 Dec 2012 03:54
by lumencryster
so i have a question. if trying harder doesn't put you in the state of mind you're trying to reach, then does that mean you're simply trying to do something you don't have conscious control of? in that way we need our unconscious mind to take over for those things. so what is the point of lucid dreaming. i mean, what are we practicing? what should we be practicing, figuring out how to have conscious control of our minds, or figuring out how to have control of our subconscious mind so that it can do the work we're trying to do? i'm trying a new technique of meditation which is what gave me this idea, so here's the story.

i was laying in my bed, just taking a nap. i was wondering why, when i try visualize things, my inner vision is always a cloudy, like i'm trying to overpower the input from my eyes. all of the sudden i was staring at a huge door. not like it was this cloudy visualization, but it looked like a real door in front of my eyes. i believe this happened after a brief loss of consciousness. i did not control this, but i think i can learn something. that is my brain is capable of producing an image just, if not more clear than my eyes can. however when i normally visualize things in waking life, i try to toy with the image itself, try to push it into clarity. but i think a different approach is required to get that same amount of clarity from my mental image. instead of focusing on the mental image as hard as possible, since this doesn't seem to work very well, i should be focused on learning how to switch my attention from my eyes to my mind's eye. anyway, now i'm working on a meditation technique that will help me do that and i will post what i did on the lucid dreaming technique section when i'm done.

so i guess how this relates to trying too hard is that if i focus on trying to dream, its never going to happen. its too large of a leap and my brain doesn't have the power to consciously do that. but if i work on switching from the waking state of mind to the dream state of mind, it will be much easier for me. i know it takes time to learn, but my brain is not wired for this type of behavior. guess it's time to change that.

Re: what do we mean by "trying too hard?"

Posted: 22 Dec 2012 01:24
by rothgar
I think you explained that very well. Makes perfect sense to me.

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