This article is an excerpt from the Lucid Dreaming Fast Track.
Meditation means emptying the mind to achieve a focused state of awareness. With a few tweaks, it can be used to harness wake induced lucid dreams.
Meditation is how we create a calm and reflective state of mind.
Uniquely in the animal kingdom, human beings are able to attune their awareness to different desired states and reflect inwardly on our experience.
It's a compelling prospect. And it shares many common features with lucid dreaming.
Quite soon, meditation will enable you to achieve complete dissociation from the sense of your physical body and awareness of the outside world.
You'll learn how to fall asleep consciously, to project your full awareness into a dream body, which frolics in a meadow or is jettisoned through space.
It's an awesome way to start lucid dreaming.
Get ready to explode some myths about meditation and find out the remarkable effects this intriguing and powerful practice is going to have on your dream life.
Meditation is focus through concentration or mindfulness.
Meditation first arose through forms of ritual and religion. Consider the rhythmic chants of tribal people. By 600 BC, Taoists in China and Buddhists in India had developed complex meditation practices.
It wasn't until the 1960s that Western scientists turned their focus towards meditation.
Since then, more than 1,000 published scientific studies have found the long-term effects of meditation to improve metabolism, blood pressure, brain activation, stress relief, pain relief, and other bodily processes.
Scientists have defined meditation as:
Today, meditation is used by both atheists, to clear the mind to make way for insights, and theists, to induce feelings of connection to the divine. So while meditation is rooted in virtually all religions, it is also embraced by science.
Meditation is for every single human being to enjoy as a route to personal enlightenment.
We are, after all, living in a subjective reality, where everything we observe is skewed by our interpretations. One man's divine experience is another man's temporal lobe anomaly.
So whatever your personal beliefs about the grand nature of consciousness, meditation is for everyone.
Studies since the 1970s have found fascinating links between meditation, lucid dreaming and cognition:
*Field independence is a cognitive style of learning. It means you tend to separate details from the surrounding context (as opposed to field dependence, which is the inability to distinguish details).
Are you field independent?
Think back to your school days. If you relied less on the teacher for support, and were able to learn through extensive reading and writing on your own, then you are field independent.
The fact that you are taking a self-taught course right now also suggests you may be field independent.
According to a study by Jayne Gackenbach, this psychological mechanism underlies the emergence of lucidity. It is consistent in men and women.
What's more, it's linked to the presence of the organic compound COH in certain parts of the brain during both meditation and lucid dreaming.
This suggests lucid dreams may be considered a form of sleeping meditation.
Are lucid dreams a sleeping meditation?
Another benefit of frequent meditation is an increase in self awareness.
As we saw already, this is the ability to recognize your own thoughts and interpretations. It is essential in lucid dreaming. It enables you to distinguish your dreams as being internal creations of the mind.
There are two routes to meditation:
First we'll do a simple breathing meditation - considered by experts as the foundation of all meditation.
Initially, you may find that your mind seems even busier than normal. The more you try to silence the thoughts, the more things come up.
What's more, if you're dealing with emotional distress of any sort, meditation may even exacerbate things by making you confront thoughts you've been trying to suppress.
So while meditation has profound effects in the long term, just be aware that it can take you to strange places. Going there is your decision to make.
Performing a daily breathing meditation will help you to become spontaneously lucid in your dreams, by giving you greater clarity of thought and self awareness as part of your everyday existence.
Another type of meditation involves creating an inner visualization or day dream. This provides a more concentrated focus to relieve you of the over-analytical mind chatter.
Guided meditation can lead directly to a lucid dream.
Guided meditation can lead directly in a lucid dream, especially if practiced a couple of hours before you'd usually wake up. You may also like to try it if you feel tired in the afternoon.
Aim to practice one or both forms of meditation as often as you can. A daily retreat to this mindful place is ideal, and if you can spend an hour or more doing so, you'll reap the benefits in your lucid dreams.
This article is an excerpt from the Lucid Dreaming Fast Track, part of the World of Lucid Dreaming Academy.
In 30 step-by-step lessons you'll learn lucid dream induction and advanced control, as well as using lucidity to improve your waking life. Gain instant access to all the tools and knowledge you need have lucid dreams.
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