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?
They all love the idea of controlling their dreams, and they say they've been practicing, but to actually attain consciousness during sleep just seems like a paradox to them.
Most often, I find the problem lies in education. They've picked up a few techniques from the internet and rushed into things without really developing the mindset of a lucid dreamer.
I know that lucid dreaming is a learnable skill: I taught myself from scratch as a teenager. And I've seen that with the right tutorage, anyone can pick it up - sometimes within just a few days.
That's why I created my own approach to learning lucid dreaming. It's for every reader who lands on this website saying, "I can't lucid dream! It's too hard!"
Well, I've got news for you... You can have lucid dreams. I'll show you.
I discovered lucid dreaming when I was 14 years old.
There was an article about it in this paranormal magazine from 1996 called Encounters - alongside Bigfoot sightings, UFO theories, remote viewing and tales of the legendary Chupacabra.
(Of course, lucid dreaming is the only scientifically proven concept among all of these alleged phenomena.)
Like anyone with a pulse, I really wanted to try lucid dreaming for myself. I wanted to feel the freedom of doing absolutely anything inside my own private virtual world.
So over the following weeks I studied lucid dreaming and read up as much as I could. I kept a dream journal and practiced guided meditation every time I fell asleep.
Soon, I acquired the mindset of a conscious dreamer. Totally spontaneously, I had my first lucid dream:
It was a breakthrough moment for me.
Suddenly, for the first time ever, I "woke up" inside my dream world.
My environment surged into focus and I existed entirely in that reality, much like how you exist entirely where you are sitting right now. It was not fuzzy or vague. It was real. I was there.
I did a reality check - pushing two of my right fingers through the palm of my left hand - and marveled at the impossible feeling. My lucidity became stronger.
Then I made that rookie mistake. I got all excited and ran outside to tell a dream character I was lucid. That's when the adrenaline woke me up.
I still had so much to learn about the surreal lucid dreamworld.
Over the following weeks and months I experienced many more lucid dreams.
Most of them were short-lived and lasted less than two or three minutes. That was before I learned how to prolong my dreams.
Mastering lucid dreaming is not just a case of knowing how to "wake up" in your dreams. It requires special knowledge to stay lucid and manipulate the dreamscape.
Fortunately, my research has revealed some pretty simple in-dream tactics to fix these issues.
Now I can:
It took me a long time to become a proficient lucid dreamer, because I didn't realize the importance of developing this lucid skill set. I did almost everything the hard way.
In the early days I just bumbled along in my lucid dreams, wondering for instance why I sometimes couldn't fly (many times I just stood in a field willing myself to go up, and felt totally frustrated when absolutely nothing happened).
I also made the mistake of pursuing lucid dream sex when I didn't even know how to stay fully lucid, nor how to successfully interact with dream figures (they are often representations so they don't behave like real-world people).
Eventually, through research and practice, I put together my mental rule book. Simple solutions to overcome lucid dream problems, based on intuitive dream logic. For instance:
These simple rules are golden in the lucid dream world. Adhering to them transformed my amateur lucid dreams into extraordinary journeys through imagination land.
As I began to master lucid dream control, my inner world became a rich and infinite source of fascination. I was no longer held back by illogical beliefs ("I can't fly, I'm too heavy") nor my own lack of lucidity.
I gained access to the infinite lucid universe. I was able to teleport around the world in a flash... soar so high above the clouds that I would end up in space... and work with my fellow dream characters to do all sorts of cool stuff. From getting it on to learning new insights about my inner self.
After 17 years of lucid dreaming, I'm well versed in the surreal workings of the lucid dream world.
I know how to induce lucid dreams and program my dreams in advance, plus how to understand and shape my dream world to achieve anything I want when I'm lucid.
I'm also now an avid explorer of passive lucid dreaming: dreams in which you allow your unconscious dreaming self to show you anything it wants and lead you down the rabbit hole. This is a whole other aspect of lucid dreaming which often gets passed up in favor of dream manipulation, but it's equally exciting.
I put all my knowledge down into this online course. It's the result of thousands of hours of practical work and research.
My course has been through four editions since its launch in 2008, and has been taken by over five thousand lucid dreaming students.
The latest version is incorporated into The World of Lucid Dreaming Academy. So you can learn how to have lucid dreams, with the help of an active, supportive community of lucid dreamers.
Here are the guts of the course:
Phase One will broaden your understanding of the sleeping brain and lead you into the optimum mindset for lucid dreams. This part deals with science and theory.
You'll learn how to relax and meditate, taking charge of your awareness during your waking day so that it becomes automatic during your dreams. This produces lucid dreams.
It's a goldmine of information for beginners including background philosophy, step-by-step tutorials, troubleshooting tips, first-hand insights and more.
Phase Two is a hands-on course in how to initiate lucid dreams. It's highly practical.
You'll learn the most effective techniques including wake-induced and mnemonically-induced lucid dreams, dream chaining, hypnagogic induction, supplement use and sleep cycle adjustment.
The idea of developing your awareness through meditation is emphasized as a holistic route to lucid dreams. This has minimal disruptive impact on your sleep patterns.
I've also shared my personal favorite combinations of techniques which you can tailor to your own lifestyle.
Phase Three will transform your early moments of lucidity into epic lucid dreams that color your world forever.
You'll learn how to avoid common mistakes and maximize your lucid dreaming potential with personal examples of conscious dream principles at play.
By harnessing dream control for both fantasies and personal growth, you'll improve your waking life too. You'll take your lucid dreaming skills to advanced levels, applying philosophical and therapeutic practices.
Ready to go? Start the course here. You'll be on your first lesson in the next two minutes.
Lucid dreaming isn't just about flying on Mars or getting hot and steamy with celebrities. In my home study program, I share plenty more exciting applications such as:
Explore the lucid dreamscape and ask the dream to show you new things. Artists can find new inspiration by browsing their own in-dream gallery or fully immersive dreamscapes which they can replicate upon waking.
My partner Pete Casale uses his lucid dreams to create instrumental songs (his first was aptly named Lucid). It's amazing to follow the free-flow of ideas from the unconscious mind without your analytical left brain becoming critical about it.
Behavioral psychologists say that phobias are ill-conceived childhood fears projected onto a specific stimulus. So, your irrational fear of spiders may be about a whole lot more than just the perceived weirdness of the eight-legged freaks.
The solution when lucid is to summon a giant tarantula and talk to it! Though surreal, the spider can talk freely about what it represents why you feel so anxious being triggered by it. The lucid dream world is a safe place to realign your miscalibrated beliefs and overcome these fears with confidence.
By the same token, you can have profound and life-changing conversations with the best therapist in the world: your inner self. For instance, any time you are lucid, ask the dream if it wants to show you anything. Ask if you can help it achieve something in particular or if it has anything it wants to tell you.
I'll show you more ways to interact with your inner self and ask probing questions, the answers to which could leave you truly awe-inspired.
Once you know how to induce lucid dreams (virtually on demand, but that's just a matter of commitment) and remain fully conscious for prolonged periods of time, there is unlimited potential for advanced lucid dream exploration.
In Dream Yoga, the Tibetan Buddhist's approach to lucid dreaming, the ultimate goal of lucidity is to dissolve the dream state. Deprived of physical and conceptual stimulus, you have the unique opportunity to observe the purest form of conscious awareness.
Whether you are religious or atheist, tuning into these rare states of altered awareness make way for some profound experiences. I'll show you how you can use your lucidity to explore your personal beliefs about the nature of being.
I'd love to share my many lucid dreaming insights with you. As you can tell, I'm passionate about this life skill, and it excites me to be able teach others how to access this amazing simulated reality that is all at once intense, mind-expanding, thrilling, erotic, surreal, magical and fun.
Best of all, your dream world is unique and personal to you - it is your own private playground to use as you want.
Whether you seek the ultimate physical freedom, sexual fantasies, evolution of the mind, or a spiritual quest, there are no limitations or boundaries in your own lucid universe.
All you have to do is start your free trial right now!
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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.
Years ago, before I had my first lucid dream, I had a very specific idea about what a lucid dream would feel like. I thought it would be intense and magical and a little bit spooky. This turned out to be a pretty accurate representation. Becoming aware in the dreamstate is like entering another world. One where physical laws can be manipulated (there is no spoon, Neo) and your fantasies can come true in an instant. There's definitely something magical about that - and it's as if the lucid dream world is a living, breathing organism that can react to your very thoughts.
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?
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...