Achieving lucid dreams through experimentation: my story

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Joined: 20 Mar 2015 16:38

Achieving lucid dreams through experimentation: my story

Postby Wulframm » 20 Mar 2015 20:26

Well here I am, and here you are. =3 as I said in my introduction, I have begun attempting lucid dreams for about a week and a half. These are the experiments have done to help lucid dreaming happen along with the various effects that they have had on my dreaming. Ultimately this lead to my first FULL lucid dream, and I hope that my experiences and definitions will help some people out. Bear with me if this is a bit long; I’m trying to make clear my state of mind during the week in hopes of helping someone replicate it as well as share some of my experiences. I hope I’m putting it in the right place sorry if I didn’t. :/ I’m putting it here because it has a little bit of everything.

The Background (for context)
I have always thought that I was genuinely a lucid dreamer. I thought this because I often either exhibited control over my dream or knew I was dreaming and kind-of both at the same time. The former was a skill that I developed in response to nightmares that may actually be a result of my attitude towards the world. Every time that I died or something was chasing me, it would trigger my ability to control my dream and rewind it back before I died/someone else died and replay it again for a better outcome or create a narrative to get away... holy crap I just realized that's what I do in my head for every TV show or movie... I like to imagine a lot of stuff. (This might be relevant to helping achieve lucidity and control in that it gives experience in controlling an imaginary environment. If you don’t already, try to imagine different timelines or insert yourself into your favorite TV show and try to come up with a new ‘timeline’). Anyway, I had recently realized that I didn't remember my dreams as much as I used to and my attempts to remember would usually fail within the first minute of waking up even if I knew that I had dreamed. This caused me to re-evaluate my dreaming abilities and thus started my training.

Note: It has occurred to me that others may have made the same kind of mistake that I made in evaluating their lucid dreaming capability. Pointing out my own mistake might help some out who were stuck in the same boat as me. It also brings to attention the tricky nature of dreaming in general.

Methods and Meanings

Method 1:The thing I decided to try out first was the old self check during the day trick. Every time I remembered what I was trying to do with lucid dreaming i would expand my 'sphere of awareness' as a response. (I figure if I sometimes have an inclination that i am dreaming then when it does happen I’ll gain some control with it.) very soon after beginning i added snapping my fingers to help solidify it as an action in my head.

Result of method 1: The result was an immediate and completely unforeseen improvement in dream memory retention. I never did experience the trigger in my dream and it didn't seem to provoke a lucid dream even when the circumstances were extreme such as being a wookiee on the millennium falcon trying to go to light-speed to save Chewbacca but failing because that damned giant baby is playing with the millennium falcon going 'vroom vroom'.

I did end up experiencing one almost lucid dream. I was with a friend’s dad and they were eating ketchup I think. We were there with a counselor I once knew and she was trying to resolve our problems. All of a sudden I went “[email protected]#$ it!” and flew off… literally. It was that moment that I became aware that I was dreaming. I could control a bit where I wanted to go, but I was afraid of losing it. It’s almost like there was a haze blocking my view, like my brain just wouldn’t take in my surroundings in their entirety. I tried removing the haze (it’s not a physical haze it’s more like the absence of perceiving my environment) from my eyes but it stood stuck. I didn’t found myself back in my bed and was afraid to move or force the haze away and disrupt the dream. It didn’t take long for me to wake up. But it was then that I noticed something extremely crucial. The layout of my room had changed back to its original layout. I had been dreaming the whole entire time! My fear of waking up must have taken me to my room in my dreams.

Method 1 Conclusion:This result seems to suggest that encountering the trigger wasn't as important as focusing on my awareness and observing details in normal life that are irrelevant such as the creases and scratches on the floor, imagining the full layout of the house as I walk through it, looking farther into the distance when I'm outside and visualizing the shape of the hills (great opportunities for joggers and bikers). Even if this technique itself doesn't trigger lucidity it certainly made it easier to evaluate my state of mind throughout my normal dreams and at least remember my dreams.
The almost lucid taught me that I shouldn’t be afraid of disrupting the dream. The chemical that paralyses you as you sleep will keep me from acting out my dreams, opening my eyes, and thus waking up. I was so close.

Method 2: After several days of the previous method I decided to experiment again. I should note now that I did not stop the previous method; I just concluded that it would help my retention while something else would help achieve lucidity. Plus it’s pretty cool that the world looks a lot bigger as a result of doing it. My next experiment was inspired by the concept of sleep paralysis. I’ve experienced sleep paralysis several times earlier in my life (although at the time I thought I was having a seizure =P) and I’ve even been able to replicate it once. An article mentioned that non-chronic sleep paralysis is more common in people who are attempting lucid dreams and that you can transition to one through it. I reasoned that it might be beneficial to try replicating it again in hopes of finding some understanding and further experience in the area of control.

I started by laying down and trying to relax while keeping a focus on my mental awareness. I focused on my heartbeat as it pushed against the bed and encouraged any feeling that seemed abnormal.

Note: this mental awareness is different from the spatial awareness I talked about in method 1. It’s more awareness of yourself relative to what you are thinking about.

This is similar to the kind of attempt someone would make trying to go directly from a waking state to a lucid dream state.(i think) I figured either sleep paralysis or the lucid dream could happen as a result of this method.

Result of method 2: Turns out neither happened. Ultimately I had some very weird nights that were almost entirely sleepless. What did happen though is I got close to sleep paralysis… I think. (Thanks to my cat opening the door I had to get up out of bed :/) The experience was rather early in onset that night. As I was listening to my heartbeat and the sound it made against the springs of my bed (I’m pretty thin) I felt some sort of sensation in my chest and a sort of humming on my whole body. This entire sensation wasn’t bothersome at all despite its description. Then the cat started clawing on the door handle and opened the door. When I got up to chase away the interloper and close the door I noticed my arm was slow to respond and heavier than usual.

Method 2 Conclusion: I determined that if I were to enter a lucid dream, I would have to slip into it rather than walk into it. Apparently brute force will just keep you awake. My next thought would be to focus on the things that come to my mind on their own and try to maintain a bit of balance between that and self-awareness.

Method 3: So I tried letting things flood my mind while keeping the idea of dreaming in my head. Same as method 2 just with less force.

Result of method 3: I fell asleep… yeah. So I ended up having a normal dream with the exception that I really had to pee and for the life of me could not get rid of that feeling. I ended up waking up and going to the bathroom. I swear those are the weirdest dreams. BUTT (pun intended) when I went back to my room to go back to sleep I did something I will thank myself for for the rest of my life: I slept on my back. I never sleep on my back. (or on my side for that matter.) The humming came back and all of u sudden I rose from my bed with the wind and started flying through dark grey clouds. I kept with it until I left the clouds behind and landed in the forest. Then I remembered not to be afraid about opening my eyes and I opened them. I have never experienced anything like this. The sun was out the forest was dense and clear. It was so lucid. As I went through the forest I could remember the path I took, I could remember clearing what was going on and that I was in fact dreaming. The first thing I did? Find Pokémon. I wanted to see a Pokémon in person. I managed to find an ampharos walking through the forest and followed it. It changed direction, saw me and walked past me. Then stopped and did a take. I stepped back and tripped over some branch or something and it giggled at me. Then I woke up because my body had gotten unnaturally hot. God I hate the spring near the equator. Might as well be summer. I’ll replace my comforter with a couple sheets tonight.

it's worth noting that everyone's brain works a bit differently so there it is best to have methodology developed by you for you.

So that’s where I am right now. I hope someone can glean some inspiration from this! I’m gonna try again for tonight but I don’t exactly expect it to happen every night for the rest of my life. looking back at this dream... i must be a sucker for cliche's. X3 that Ampharos looked so real in how it moved and it was so fuzzy!

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