Consolidated Lucidity Advice

For general lucid chat - ask questions, share advice, set lucid dream challenges and explore the lucid realm together.
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Prince Demitri
Posts: 157
Joined: 30 Dec 2015 11:47
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA

Consolidated Lucidity Advice

Postby Prince Demitri » 08 Jan 2016 18:06

I find that I have begun repeating myself in various places thruout the forum, giving the same advice and tips multiple times. This has led me to the desire to consolidate the advice I've given in various areas to a single thread for easy reference.

:!: Notice to readers: The information below represents my views on the various sub-topics concerning lucid dreaming. They have been formed, tested, and refined over the past 28 years of experience, study, discussion, experimentation, and practice (and continue to be).

I have helped hundreds of people over the years achieve, expand, and enrich their lucid dreaming experiences. Many of them have assisted me with valuable feedback about what has and has not worked for them, helping me to refine how I think about lucidity, and how to address common issues that many have from time to time.

The advice given here is the condensed version of a 4-night lucidity workshop I have hosted many times. I currently do not have plans to run another lucidity workshop, but if the interest is great enough I may consider it.

Finally, many of my suggestions and views on various sub-topics may offend some people. While it is not my intention to offend, I am reminded of the saying, "Offense is taken, not given."

Any comments, suggestions, or discussion about the things in this thread should be directed to the
"Consolidated Lucidity Advice - Discussion" thread.

8-) Thank you for your understanding and courtesy. 8-)

That said, here's the current list of topics for this thread:

.......... :arrow: What is Lucidity?

.......... :arrow: Types vs. Methods of Lucid Induction.

.......... :arrow: The Lucidity Mindset.

.......... :arrow: Recalling Dreams.

.......... :arrow: Purpose for Dream Journaling.

.......... :arrow: Effective Reality Checks.

.......... :arrow: Effective Meditation.

.......... :arrow: Dream Stabilization.

.......... :arrow: Dream Interpretation & EFPs.

.......... :arrow: Dream Dimensions & Types.

.......... :arrow: Troubleshooting.

.......... :arrow: Current research.

Topics will be added and updated as needed.
Most recent update: 12 Jan 2016
Last edited by Prince Demitri on 12 Jan 2016 20:49, edited 17 times in total.
Oneironaut experience: ~28 years
Average LDs per month: Usually 16 to 30 (depending on whether or not I want to)

I enjoy helping others and answering questions. 8-)

User avatar
Prince Demitri
Posts: 157
Joined: 30 Dec 2015 11:47
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA

What is Lucidity?

Postby Prince Demitri » 10 Jan 2016 20:19

In this forum, most people already have a good idea of what lucidity is, so this part will be relatively short and straightforward. It primarily consists of terms used when discussing dreams. Some of the terms identified here have their own part in this series which go into further detail about them.

Lucidity happens when you become "awake and aware" that you are dreaming, while still in the dream itself.

Once you become lucid in a dream, you will eventually lose that lucidity in one of two ways:
1> You can physically wake up.
2> You can become enchanted by the dream again and lose your awareness that it's a dream.

The goal with lucid dreaming is to become lucid and maintain that lucidity for as long as possible, in order to explore the dreamscape and do whatever you wish.

Stability in a lucid dream (LD) is the ability to continue dreaming while holding on to lucidity.

Vividity is a measure of how engaging, clear, and real the dream experience is. Vivid dreams can happen whether or not you are lucid, and should not be thought of as the same thing as being lucid.

Recall is the ability to remember a dream. The average person enters REM sleep (the time when dreams take place) ~90 minutes after falling asleep, and again ~40 minutes after the last REM period ended. This means most people have multiple dreams per night, tho few will remember more than one without practice.

Dream Journals are any form of archive for recorded dreams. Often, people use an actual book journal in which they write down their dreams immediately after waking. Other forms of dream journals can be anything from digital documents saved on an external drive or computer, to voice recorders, to blogs or vlogs, to composing a short tune on a piano (I knew a blind woman that did this), to any other form of recording dreams that a person might want to use.

Dream Signs are people, places, objects, sounds, smells, etc., which are common across multiple dreams. They are unique to each person, and can be identified by keeping a dream journal and reviewing past dreams looking for common things which influential enough in the dream to make it into the journal.

Stabilization is the overall term for the collection of techniques and methods used to prevent waking up from a dream after becoming lucid, as well as for remaining lucid within the dream, after achieving lucidity.

Layered Dreams have become better understood ever since the movie "Inception" came out. In short, it is a dream within a dream.

False awakening is when you have awoken from a layered dream into another dream; usually believing for some amount of time that you have physically woken up.

Reality checks are a method of self-conditioning that is done while awake, with the purpose of training yourself to do them within a dream to trigger (induce) lucidity while in the dream. This is a method to induce DILD dreams (Dream Induced Lucid Dream).

Meditation can be any number of techniques where you seek to calm and focus the mind. They can help to increase vividity within dreams as well as induce WILD dreams (Wake Induced Lucid Dreams) when done while falling asleep.

The most desired LDs are the ones that are super vivid and remain stable long enough to feel satisfied and excited upon waking, and for which there is a substantial amount of recall.

Most recent update: 10 Jan 2016
Last edited by Prince Demitri on 11 Jan 2016 03:01, edited 4 times in total.
Oneironaut experience: ~28 years
Average LDs per month: Usually 16 to 30 (depending on whether or not I want to)

I enjoy helping others and answering questions. 8-)

User avatar
Prince Demitri
Posts: 157
Joined: 30 Dec 2015 11:47
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA

Types vs Methods of Lucid Induction

Postby Prince Demitri » 10 Jan 2016 22:06

This subject is often confusing for beginners, resulting in added confusion for others as they discuss things using incorrect terminology for what they mean. This part seeks to help clear up that confusion.

There are only two Types of lucid dreams.
1> DILD: When you become lucid after the dream has begun.
2> WILD: When you begin the dream with lucidity.

There are many Methods to induce lucidity. Most of them involve some form of self-conditioning.

Here are the two types of lucid dreams, with a few of the methods used to induce that type of lucidity:

Dream Induced Lucid Dream (DILD):
__________ :arrow: Reality Checks
__________ :arrow: Identifying Dream Signs
__________ :arrow: Visual & Audio Cues

Wake Induced Lucid Dream (WILD):
__________ :arrow: Meditate to Sleep
__________ :arrow: Body Trance/Disconnection
__________ :arrow: Wake Back to Bed (WBTB)

Here are some brief explanations about the methods mentioned above:

Reality Checks (RCs) are a conditioning method done thruout the day to check if you are dreaming, or awake. Once you have conditioned yourself to regularly check for a dream state, then you'll begin making RCs when you are dreaming.

A check succeeds when you determine that you are dreaming; this will often trigger lucidity.
A check fails when you determine that you are awake (whether or not you are).
False fails can happen in dreams if the RC fails to identify that you're dreaming while in the dream.

More about reality checks is given in the post "Effective Reality Checks" further in this series.

Identifying Dream Signs is a conditioning method where you identify a person/place/object/situation that is common to multiple dreams (a good reason for keeping a dream journal), and then perform a reality check whenever you see/experience the sign. This conditioning works together with RC conditioning.

More about dream signs is given in the post "Purpose for Dream Journaling" further in this series.

Video & Audio Cues are forms of conditioning yourself to respond to external stimulation (either visual stimulation like a flash of colored light, and/or audible stimulation like a specific sound) to perform a reality check. This conditioning works together with RC conditioning.

In the past there were devices made specifically to provide these cues, and some people (like myself) even used a secondary alarm clock to provide audible cues. Today, smartphones can be used to give specific cues thruout the day and night, with many apps specifically for providing cues at the most effective times.

More about cues is given in the post "Effective Reality Checks" further in this series.

Meditate to Sleep is a method for using meditation with the intention to relax your body and focus your mind as you fall asleep. This helps you stay mentally aware, and can often lead to slipping directly into a lucid dream from the meditative state.

More about meditation is given in the post "Effective Meditation" further in this series.

Body Trance/Disconnection is a specific form of meditation which can result in lucid dreams that are often reported as out of body experiences (OBEs) due to their vividity, and a feeling as tho they haven't fallen asleep. All reported OBEs and NDEs (near death experiences) have resulted from either intentionally or accidentally entering the state of mind that this practice encourages.

More about body trances, NDEs, and OBEs is given in the post "Effective Meditation" further in this series.

Wake Back To Bed (WBTB) is a method where the dreamer wakes from sleep, and then intentionally relaxes back to sleep while their mind is ready to be awake. This can often lead to slipping directly into a lucid dream. The trick to this method is remembering to do this immediately upon awakening, and then visualizing yourself back in a scene from the dream you just woke from.

Some people prefer to use the term "Dream Exit Induced Lucid Dream (DEILD)" for the WBTB method, but I advise against this practice as it increases the amount of confusion for many people due to the acronym being similar to the dream Type, DILD.

More about the WBTB method is given in the post "Recalling Dreams" further in this series.

Most recent update: 10 Jan 2016
Oneironaut experience: ~28 years
Average LDs per month: Usually 16 to 30 (depending on whether or not I want to)

I enjoy helping others and answering questions. 8-)

User avatar
Prince Demitri
Posts: 157
Joined: 30 Dec 2015 11:47
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA

The Lucidity Mindset

Postby Prince Demitri » 13 Jan 2016 01:08

One of the most important (and many times, most difficult) things to do is to condition our mind to think in a way that is most effective for achieving lucidity. In this part, I'll discuss three areas of focus:

:arrow: What conditioning is, and why it's important.
:arrow: How intent and expectation effect conditioning.
:arrow: An overview of a few conditioning methods and how they work.

~ What conditioning is, and why it's important ~
Conditioning is anything we do on a regular basis which forms and supports our habits. Habits can be beneficial, and they can be destructive (as well as anything between these two, and in some cases even a combination of them).

The entire industry of self-help materials available today focuses on how we can condition our minds, bodies, emotional states, relationship concepts, etc., to alter our habits and change our lives for the better. The same is true for lucid dreaming. It's not enough to want to do something, we must take steps to develop and maintain habits that support what we want to achieve.

Everything we do supports one habit or another. Because of this, everything we do is a form of conditioning in some way. Being aware of the habits we have, and the things we do to support them, can help us take control of changes we want to make for ourselves. But identifying our habits and what we do to support them is just the beginning of the process of taking control.

Any skill that someone does well requires training/conditioning to build and support the habits related to that skill. Most skills also require some maintenance in order to keep them sharp and efficient. Lucidity is a skill which also requires conditioning and maintenance.

The many methods and skills practiced by oneironauts are for conditioning and maintaining ourselves for sharp and consistent lucid dreaming. Anyone who wishes to be an oneironaut must condition themselves to develop the habits that promote and support lucidity.

~ How intent and expectation effect conditioning ~
As I said above, it's not enough to want to do something, but that doesn't mean that desire and intention aren't a major influence in what we choose to do; they certainly are. We can think of these things like ingredients in making a cake. They all work together when used in the correct amounts, and in the correct way to achieve the desired outcome. The same idea remains true for lucid dreaming.

When it comes to lucid dreaming, intent, desire, and expectation each play two different roles. One in our waking lives and another while we're dreaming.

In our waking lives, our desire is to condition ourselves to have lucid dreams. We use that desire to motivate ourselves to act with intent to develop habits which support lucidity and dream recall. We act with intent toward our goal in many ways, such as keeping dream journals, doing reality checks thruout the day, and meditating regularly.

Our expectation is the key to how effective the methods we practice are toward achieving and maintaining our goal. Expectation is probably the most overlooked aspect of our conditioning; this is a big reason why it sometimes takes people months to achieve lucidity, while others achieve it in less than a week. I'll talk more about some things to expect, and when, in order to maximize the effectiveness of various conditioning methods.

In our dreaming lives, our desires, intents, and expectations play a large role in our ability to control our dreams while lucid. This is where having a "dream plan", and "targeting" come in as well. When we have a dream plan/target (which is thought about, and may be written down if desired, while awake), then it's much easier to steer a dream in the direction of what we want to dream about.

Expectation plays an interesting role in the dreamscape, and is often the reason why some reality checks can fail even while dreaming. For instance, when trying to use a specific dream power (such as walking thru a wall) the outcome relies completely on whether or not the dreamer expects the power to work (or whether they expect a solid wall).

~ An overview of a few conditioning methods and how they work ~
Here are a few examples of methods and the intent and expectation that helps make the most of them.

Reality Checks~ There are many different kinds of reality checks that can be done (which I'll discuss more in a later part of this series). For all of them, the expectation held while performing a reality check should be: "Expect to be dreaming". Allowing a slight twinge of disappointment upon discovering that it's not a dream is a good thing. This works by conditioning the subconscious to fall in line with waking desires and intents, to become lucid when actually dreaming.

Dream Journaling~ There are many ways to keep a dream journal (which I've touched on earlier, and will discuss more in a later part of this series), but they are all common in the way they help condition the mind. The way dream journaling works is by building a habit whereby the dreamer expects to have something to write in the journal each time they awaken. The subconscious responds to this conditioning by "turning on" the memory centers of the brain during a dream. However, since doing so means more mental activity (and thus more energy used) during sleep, the default (lazy) subconscious habit for most people is for the memory centers to remain dormant, or mostly dormant, while sleeping. A habit of dream journaling on a regular basis helps sharpen dream recall by turning on the memory centers.

Meditation~ Not all meditations are equal or even useful when it comes to lucid dreaming (I'll discuss this more in a later part of this series)! Most meditation practices are developed the way they are for specific purposes. That said, they are all good for conditioning the mind to maintain a state of awareness while in an alternate mental state. This is the main reason why it can be a helpful tool for oneironauts.

Hopefully everything I've said here has helped to paint a clear picture of why it's important to oneironauts to develop and maintain a proper mindset for lucidity. Just "going thru the motions", without understanding their roles in conditioning, is the long way to achieving results; no matter what habits or skills are being developed.

Most recent update: 12 Jan 2016
Oneironaut experience: ~28 years
Average LDs per month: Usually 16 to 30 (depending on whether or not I want to)

I enjoy helping others and answering questions. 8-)

User avatar
Prince Demitri
Posts: 157
Joined: 30 Dec 2015 11:47
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA

Recalling Dreams

Postby Prince Demitri » 14 Jan 2016 23:09

Dream recall is an important aspect when it comes to intentional lucidity.

The average person has no recall of over 97% of their dreams. And considering that the average person that lives to the age of 65 will have spent over 6 years dreaming, they miss out on quite a hefty chunk of experiences.

Even without achieving lucidity, developing the skill to recall a larger portion of one's dreams would be like reclaiming months or even years of life experience for the average person. There are three practices which (done on a regular basis) can help to develop and strengthen the skill of recalling dreams:

:arrow: Keep a dream journal~ The keeping of a dream journal conditions the subconscious to activate the memory centers of the brain while dreaming, improving dream recall in order to have something to record in the journal. I'll talk more about dream journaling in the part "Purpose for Dream Journaling" later in this series.

:arrow: Meditate regularly~ Regular practice of meditations which are designed to help with memory, dreaming, and lucidity can help condition the mind for better recall. I'll outline the meditation practice I use and why it helps in the part "Effective Meditation" later in this series.

:arrow: Practice "Still Recall" immediately upon waking~ "Still recall" (aka, "tranquil waking recall") is the practice of remaining as still as possible immediately upon waking while reviewing as much about what was dreamt as possible before moving about.

The specific reason why still recall works isn't fully understood yet, but the results of studies done by the Standford Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine (as well as my own research, involving over 450 dreamers and their reports using this method), show an immense improvement in dream recall for over 99% of the participants.

These three combined form the best known method for improving the skill of dream recall. If you regularly practice all three of these, and still have difficulty recalling any dreams, then check the part "Troubleshooting" later in this series or post your experiences in the discussion thread for this project (URL given in the first post of this thread), and I'll be happy to help however I can.

Most recent update: 14 Jan 2016
Oneironaut experience: ~28 years
Average LDs per month: Usually 16 to 30 (depending on whether or not I want to)

I enjoy helping others and answering questions. 8-)

User avatar
Prince Demitri
Posts: 157
Joined: 30 Dec 2015 11:47
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA

Purpose for Dream Journaling

Postby Prince Demitri » 24 Jan 2016 12:49

Keeping a dream journal has three main purposes: Enhancing dream recall, Identifying dream signs & patterns, and Nostalgia & reference.

:arrow: Enhancing dream recall~ The act of regularly keeping a dream journal enhances the ability to recall dreams by building an expectation of having something to record in the journal. This conditions the subconscious to activate the memory centers of the brain during REM periods of sleep, and creates a habit of better recall. Unfortunately, the default habit for most people is to conserve energy while sleeping by not activating the memory centers of the brain (among other ways).

It's a common bad habit among dreamers (including myself) to keep a dream journal for a while until satisfied with the amount of recall, then "slacking off" the record keeping thereafter. The problem with this lapse is that it's very easy for the subconscious to slip back into the habit of not activating the memory centers of the brain, resulting in a trailing off (or atrophy) of the recall skill. I don't have a sure-fire way to avoid this bad habit yet, but it's one area that I've been working on.

The best solution I have found (so far) to work around this bad habit has been to identify my dream cycles (when recall is easier or more difficult thruout the month), and focus more diligently on keeping a dream journal during the times when it's most difficult to recall dreams (which seems to be the time of the dream cycle where it's easiest to slip back into letting dust collect on your dream journal).

:arrow: Identifying dream signs & patterns~ By reviewing a collection of recorded dreams, it's easier to identify patterns, and dream cycles. As pattern seeking creatures, we humans tend to be very good at finding them (whether or not they are actually there). A dream journal can help to identify dream signs (people, places, things, events, and feelings) that occur in many different dreams, and use those signs as a cue to do a reality check whenever we notice them (either in a dream or while we're awake).

Also, the more information you keep in your dream journal, the more data points you can use to find useful patterns. For instance, including a ranking system for each dream dimension, can assist with finding patterns concerning them, and identifying certain areas that you may want to focus on for further conditioning to improve your overall experiences in the dreamscape.
(More about dream dimensions can be found later in this series.)

:arrow: Nostalgia & reference~ I have often found it's enlightening for me to go back thru my dream journal months or even years later and take a trip down memory lane concerning past dreams. Many times I have been shocked to discover that I had dreamt of things (in my case, different technologies) that I didn't learn were real things unless much later than when I dreamt about them (and in some cases weren't real things until long after I dreamt about them). It's also useful of making more sense of the things that happened in my life and the things I dreamt about at those times; which greatly assists me in helping to identify and understand meanings for my current dreams (if there are any).

Having a record of past dreams is also helpful as a reference. This is especially true whenever you begin chatting with other dreamers about past dreams, and you can relate to their dreams with similar ones you have had, without having to rely strictly on memory. This happens often when the topic of shared dreaming comes up, and dreamers start comparing their dream journals looking for similarities. Without well kept dream journals, there's no way to be sure whether or not past dreams actually had as much in common with one another as the dreamers might recall during such conversation.

Most recent update: 24 Jan 2016
Oneironaut experience: ~28 years
Average LDs per month: Usually 16 to 30 (depending on whether or not I want to)

I enjoy helping others and answering questions. 8-)

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