How to Meditate for Lucid Dreaming

This article is an excerpt from the Lucid Dreaming Fast Track.

How to Meditate for Lucid Dreaming

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 is focus through concentration or mindfulness.

Is Meditation Scientific or Religious?

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:

  • "A stylized mental technique... repetitively practiced for the purpose of attaining a subjective experience that is frequently described as very restful, silent, and of heightened alertness, often characterized as blissful." - Jevning et al, 1992
  • "The need for the meditator to retrain his attention, whether through concentration or mindfulness, is the single invariant ingredient in... every meditation system." - Coleman, 1988

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.

Meditation, Lucid Dreaming and Cognition

Studies since the 1970s have found fascinating links between meditation, lucid dreaming and cognition:

  • Meditators have reduced REM sleep but greater dream recall
  • Meditators have more lucid dreams, even after controlling for recall
  • Both meditators and lucid dreamers show more  field independence*

*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?

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.

Breathing Meditation

There are two routes to meditation:

  • Concentration - such as listening to a hypnotic voice or visualizing a desired lucid dream.
  • Mindfulness - such as clearing away all thoughts and enjoying a sense of inner peace.

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.

A Breathing Meditation Tutorial

  1. Take a seat. Some people take a full or half lotus position, while others prefer a simpler position using firm cushions or a low bench. The goal is to stay both relaxed and alert. Keep your spine straight and your chest open, avoiding any kind of discomfort.
  2. Allow your eyes to close naturally. Raise your hand in front of you while breathing in to the slow count of five. Then lower it to the count of five without pausing. Repeat this action, focusing all your awareness on your hand and breathing, allowing any thoughts to pass by without interaction. 
  3. Focus your awareness on the breath going in and out of your lungs (or the nose, or the throat, if that's easier to focus on). Keep it natural and just notice how it feels. Savor the feeling. If your mind wanders, just bring your focus back. It may take a dozen times but that's ok.
  4. Rest your hand when it becomes tired and maintain your focus on the flow of breathing. Whenever it feels right, shift your awareness to other parts of the body. How does the breath feel there? Explore the sense of being, without any other distractions taking center stage.
  5. If you catch yourself feeling bored, then you're probably waiting for the meditation to be over, rather than actively engaging with it. Steer your focus back to the breathing and the single goal of not thinking about anything else. Your ability to clear your mind will improve over time.

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.

Guided Meditation

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 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.

A Guided Meditation Tutorial

  1. Ensure you have plenty of time and are in no rush to finish. Lie down on your back in a quiet, warm, comfortable place without disruptions. There is a danger of becoming too relaxed and falling asleep - but in the context of achieving a lucid dream, that is a good thing!
  2. Take some slow, deep breaths and feel the tension draining away from your body. Open your mind up to thoughts but instead of interacting with them, just let them move on by. You may prefer to focus on your breathing for the first few minutes and start to enjoy the feeling of just doing nothing.
  3. Encourage a calm mental state by silencing your inner monologue, while systematically relaxing your body. You can then initiate a visualization and direct your awareness there.
  4. A good visualization for lucid dreaming is a natural setting - like a beach, forest or garden - which creates a relaxing, stress-free environment. Incorporate both close-up and far-aware features so there are lots of elements to explore, as well as a natural water source such as a lake, ocean, waterfall, stream or rainfall.
  5. Explore the imaginary surroundings for as long as you like. You'll finish up your visualization feeling relaxed and refreshed, opening your eyes and looking around, feeling about a million miles away from your problems.
  6. Occasionally something even cooler will happen. While mentally immersed in your visualization, your body will fall asleep physically. It's known as a Wake Induced Lucid Dream. The moment of transition can seem effortlessly easy or frustratingly hard. The point is, don't force the issue. But if you do suddenly "pop" into a lucid dream while meditating, you'll understand why.
  7. If you do achieve a Wake Induced Lucid Dream you can push your awareness deeper into the visualization by:
  • Looking in detail, like the sea glittering in the sunlight
  • Listening close, like the waves lapping at the shore
  • Feeling the warm sand underfoot and the sun on your face
  • Smelling the salty sea weed through the fresh clean air
  • Moving your dream body to increase your awareness of it

Course Excerpt: How to Meditate

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.

About The Author

About The Author

Rebecca Casale is a lucid dreamer and a science writer with a special interest in biology and the brain. She is the founder of World of Lucid Dreaming and Science Me.