Maternal Mirage

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Maternal Mirage

Postby Lisbeth » 23 Mar 2016 02:59

Last month my mother passed away, after years of a degenerative illness that left her with dementia.

I seem to have painted myself into a lucid dreaming corner. I developed the technique in order to deal with night terrors. I was able to do this effectively, by being able to discern when I was dreaming and therefore make myself 'wake up.'

I have had dreams about my mother, benevolent dreams. She has been whole and healthy in these dreams. I have been prevented from interacting with her, because I remember that she was ill and died and then I wake up. I am not distressed by these dreams and I feel it would be a comfort to be able to 'interact' with her on that plane. She always seems to want to hug me, or to be embraced.

At present I am waking at least once a night due to these thwarted dreams. Always crying and therefore too unsettled to fall back asleep. Frequently it is many more times. I feel like I've painted myself into an awareness corner and possibly that this is hampering my grief/acceptance process in general.

I would really appreciate any advice.

Disclaimer: I am atheist and will not entertain any notion of the supernatural. I loved my mother. I cared for her. She subsequently died and it is perfectly natural that she should resurface in my subconscious.

Thanks very much in advance.

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Re: Maternal Mirages

Postby deschainXIX » 24 Mar 2016 01:44

I was nearly in tears reading this. :( I'm so sorry.

I want to help somehow, but I'm failing to understand what the problem is. You're having recurring non-lucid dreams of your mother, yet she's always out of reach? Wouldn't the solution simply to be to learn lucid dreaming/dream mindfulness and induce your mind toward whatever dreams would me more propitious for your healing process?

Or perhaps confront your dream-mother and achieve whatever catharsis you need in order to heal? Then again, I would advise against regularly visiting your mother via lucid dreaming, as that could lead to denial or a lack of willingness to let go. I have very little advice to provide you on this topic, I apologize.

I would also recommend the mindfulness meditations Summerlander and I have salvaged from various Tibetan Buddhist practices: vipassana, dzogchen, and metta (loving-kindness). Feel free to read about it or ask us here (this is sort of our running discussion thread):

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Well said.

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Re: Maternal Mirage

Postby Enra Traz » 24 Mar 2016 10:50

Yep, visit the link. ^^

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Re: Maternal Mirage

Postby Lisbeth » 29 Mar 2016 19:12

Hi deschain and thanks for your comments.

I don't know how you would define a 'non-lucid' dream. All the dreams I'm capable of remembering, I do so because I became 'aware' that I was dreaming (as opposed to experiencing real life).

It's non-lucid in that I can't control the dream. However, it is lucid in that I become aware that I'm dreaming. As I said, I become aware because I remember that my mother has not been well for years and moreover that she's now died. The dreamscape then just evaporates, even though I'm curious about encountering my 'dream mum' and like seeing her whole, as opposed to wasted by degenerative illness or deceased.

In normal circumstances, my lucidity allows me to exit unpleasant dreams and I can recall a few dreams concerning my mother where this has happened. A notable example featured her dying but with inadequate morphine and I became distressed while trying to get hold of medical staff. I only get sucked into nightmares if I'm capable of believing them to be real life and this is one of those scenarios when that can happen. Anything remotely implausible swiftly loses its power to frighten me and my realisation that it's just a dream always causes it to end. This is the reason I became interested in lucid dreaming and therefore pretty much as far as my capacity to control my dreamscape extends.

So I've become trapped in this cycle of frustration, I guess. I do not find dreams of my mother well and compos-mentis upsetting and I would love to interact with my 'dream mum' and see what my subconscious presents me with. I am prevented from doing so by becoming aware that my mother is not well or even alive in real-life. My dreamscape security system is too effective. I only become upset when the dreamscape featuring mum subsequently fades. I try to summon it back again but find myself unable to re-suspend my disbelief, as it were. Then I have the confusion of waking up, having messed with my own head, and then it becomes triggering from a grief perspective. I feel frustrated that my lucid grasp of my dreams has become too effective and that I don't have any form of 'discretion' here that would allow me to take a nostalgic trip back to mum's old house and hear her voice again.

I hope I'm making more sense here. Thanks in advance.

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Re: Maternal Mirage

Postby ThePurple » 08 Apr 2016 07:58

I think I understand what you mean. Essentially, you cannot simply have a nice dream of your mother because her presence triggers lucidity, which in turn triggers the fading of the dream. Is that right?

Am I also understanding correctly that you have only used lucidity to exit bad dreams? I can see how that would lead to frustration, as the goal of waking up is so entangled with becoming lucid. However, it seems that if you could train yourself to become lucid at other times, with other triggers, you could develop the skills required to remain in the dream and guide it.

Unfortunately, at this point I don't have any special suggestions other than going back to the basics of lucid dreaming, working on grounding and dream stabilization. This is why I mentioned finding new lucid cues, as such skill development is challenging enough without the heightened emotions involved so far, of yearning for particular experiences that keep escaping.

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Re: Maternal Mirage

Postby jasmine2 » 10 Apr 2016 00:30

I am so sorry for your recent loss of your mother. I wish that you may both be surrounded by love.

Perhaps it would be helpful if, during the day, you relax into a meditative state. Next, visualize that you are in a beautiful and peaceful scene. You invite your deceased mother to join you there. Imagine that you both just relax there and gently enjoy each other's company and the lovely surroundings. You may gradually decide to talk to each other about your lives and emotions and whatever concerns seem important.

I suggest the following resources. -

(1) Website - Health Journeys - - Products -
(Under category - Hospice and Pallitive Care) - CD - "Ease Grief" - Click - audio sample

(2) Article - "What Is Guided Imagery?" -

(3) Article - "Dreams During Grief" - by Patricia Garfield -

(4) Book - "The Dreams Of The Dead: A Soul Traveler's Guide To Death, Dying, and the Other Side" - by Robert Moss

(5) - Website - Robert Moss Blog -

(6) -Article - "Vivid Dreams Comfort The Dying" -

(7) - Book - "Lucid Dreaming: Gateway To The Inner self" by Robert Waggoner
Chapter 17 - " Interacting With The Deceased"

(8) Website - IANDS - - International Association For Near Death Studies
Click Tabs - NDES and Resources

(9) - Search - Lucid Dreaming Experience Magazine -
Click tab - Explore the LDE - See "new Magazine - (March 2016) - "The upcoming issue of the LDE has a theme: Lucid Dreams of the Deceased."

Also click on 'Past Issues" - free archive of 15 years of past issues - quarterly

You say you are an atheist, however, you dreams may wish to communicate with you using images or metaphors which discussed by some of the above writers.

Best wishes, jasmine2

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Re: Maternal Mirage

Postby Summerlander » 10 Apr 2016 11:01


This topic is called 'Maternal Mirage'. Why suggest that dreams may wish to communicate with the dreamer when Lisbeth has already stated that she is an 'atheist and will not entertain any notion of the supernatural'? Lisbeth accepts that death is natural and understands that her mind may from time to time produce simulations of her mother. Most of the New Age and Spiritualist literature you suggested is highly unlikely to be heeded by Lisbeth.


I would definitely recommend Vipassana meditation and take a look at the links deschainXIX provided and check out my 'Carpe Somnia Mundi' thread—should've really called it 'in somnio mundum capere' (seize the dream world)—for advice on how to prolong lucid dreams:
"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

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