Here are my top 5 lucid dream challenges for beginners. Everyone has their own agenda when it comes to conscious guided dreams - but here are some cool tricks that I hope will inspire you and develop your dream control skills...
Everyone loves to have flying dreams - it provides us with the ultimate freedom from our real-world physical limitations. Learning how to fly in a lucid dream comes completely naturally for some people. For others, it takes a little practice.
I came in the latter group. When I first learned lucid dreaming, I found it difficult to fly because my logical brain kept holding me back. I would often get 10 or 15 feet in the air then falter and fall to the ground. Whatever the cause, this became a learned behavior, so eventually I had to consciously "unlearn" it in my dreams.
First I began by bouncing over the landscape, knowing each time I would bounce gently off the ground, light as a feather, then return safely with no harm done. This made me feel in control of my flying dreams and gave me more confidence of my ability to be weightless.
Soon, bouncing turned to hovering and floating everywhere around the dreamscape at a reasonably safe height, and as I had more flying experiences, I got rapidly better. Within a few lucid dreams I was able to fly up around the tops of sky scrapers, above the clouds, into space and around the moon. Like everything in my lucid dreams, it was a steep learning curve. I then went into hyperspace mode, flying through the universe at impossible speeds, watching the stars whoosh by. Flying dreams are the best!
Like flying dreams, here is another exhilarating lucid dream challenge for beginners. Walking or pushing your body through the wall is not only a great reality check - it's also a great learning experience. By passing your body through physical objects, you will quickly write a new rule book for the unreality of the dreamworld. It will rapidly improve your ability to take control of your guided dreams and get exactly what you want, without any futile mucking around.
First, gently push your hand against the wall and imagine it going right through. Don't think of the wall as a solid object. Focus on how your hand might feel if it simply pushed right through. Your expectation is key.
Once you get the hang of this, it will become easier and easier. The next step is to walk your entire body through a wall or other solid object. Think of yourself as a ghost passing through matter from another dimension. If you keep your eyes open you should be able to see the wall interior.
Sometimes, I find that moving at the wall too slowly causes me to overthink it and I bounce off it in disbelief. So it pays to be bold and go for it: run directly at a wall really fast, thinking about how great it will feel when you pass through the other side. You definitely aren't going to smack into it at that speed. Ok?
Once in a lucid dream, I was running through walls in an apartment building on the top floor of a skyscraper. I knew I was near the exterior wall and just as I thought about it I flew out into the night sky, the ground falling away at my feet. Of course, I was the architect of that moment and it was my expectation that caused me to run right out of the building in mid-air. Equally, it was my confidence in my new abilities that enabled me to fly off into the night, rather than fall to the ground with a splat. So always remember that having confidence and bold expectations will enable you to achieve anything you want in your lucid dreams.
Sometimes it pays to simply explore your dreamscape in its natural form - something I call following the unconscious thread, or passive lucid dreaming. While maintaining your lucidity (or self-awareness) in the dream, you give up your active control of the dream to your unconscious mind. You are now an observer in your virtual reality world, but not a controller.
Look around your dreamscape and explore the scenery. Pick up souvenirs and talk to dream characters, without consciously influencing any outcomes. Allow your unconscious inner self the opportunity to show you whatever it wants and engage in some live dream interpretation.
I like to find an observation platform - perhaps a cloud or a tall building - and observe a busy cityscape below. It is quite breathtaking to observe this complex scene knowing it is all taking place effortlessly inside your own head.
Another neat trick suggested by Robert Waggoner in his book, Lucid Dreaming: Gateway to the Inner Self, is to ask your lucid dream a question. Start by saying "Show me something really amazing!" and wait to see what happens. Your unconscious will react to your request and present a new twist in the dream. Robert's method of connecting with the inner self is an excellent one and I highly recommend his book if you are a beginner lucid dreamer and want to know where to go next.
I stumbled onto this lucid dream challenge purely by accident but it was a great visual experience. It's better for beginners who feel more confident about manipulating the dreamscape so wait until you're feeling highly lucid in the dream before trying this. Also remember that your expectation is key.
Probably the easiest way to turn a day-time scene into a night-time scene is to turn around or look away from the main attraction and visualize how the new night sky will look before you turn back. This visualization creates an expectation in your mind, and your dreaming unconscious (who ultimately creates all the scenery) will see to the rest. You are merely giving your unconscious the idea.
Another way to approach this challenge is to paint the sky with the sweep of your hand, or literally breathe color into the atmosphere. Find a creative method that works for you, and be rewarded with a new guided dream scene in seconds. Turning day to night also gives you the perfect opportunity to gaze up into the night sky and get lost in the stars - or zoom up there in an instant. It can be a magnificent experience and I have had numerous star-gazing dreams that I will never forget.
Oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy! I love to eat food in lucid dreams... It has the potential to be the best gastronomic experience of your life :)
Lucid dream food is very realistic and very delicious. The reason it's often better than real life because it's as perfect as you can imagine it to be. And your dream taste buds don't become accustomed to the flavor - so each bite can be more mouthwateringly delicious than the last. There is also the nice bonus that dream calories don't add fat to your physical body, so you can eat all you want.
Once you become lucid, seek out a place that you would expect to find food in the real world: restaurants, cafes and kitchens. In the right location, you should have no problem finding some really delicious food.
Alternatively, manifest food from out of nowhere - just follow the expectation rule. For instance, you might expect to find a large Black Forest cake hiding behind the next rock in the forest. Feel free to throw logic out the window and work with the dream scene, rather than against it. As a beginner I always found it easier to discover new objects behind something already there, rather than making it materialize from nowhere.
As you become accustomed to using the power of expectation, try this: grab a pen and draw your desired food in the air in front of you, however crudely. Then imagine it popping into life and becoming 3-dimensional so that you can pick it up and eat it. You'll soon see that when it comes to the dreaming mind, there are no limitations and no logical outcomes. Use that principle to your advantage!
I hope you enjoy these lucid dream challenges; for me they represent the beginning of a very exciting journey into the unconscious dreamscape. There are many more challenges to try out and I always recommend setting a lucid dream intention before you settle down to sleep. Try these challenges tonight and develop your own twists as you explore your personal lucid dream world...