DIY LUCID DREAMING
by Jenny Funkmeyer
_All images are by Rene Magritte who inspires me greatly with his wild dream realities. _
eBook design by: Otis Funkmeyer
Edited by: Jake Jacobs
Lucid dreaming is what happens when you become aware that you’re dreaming while you’re dreaming. Normally, we wake up and think “wow, that was a dream.” But it can be really fun and interesting to wake up while you’re still dreaming and realize “wow, this is a dream!”
Once you wake up in your dream, the entire reality is under your conscious control. How fun it that? You can do anything you want. You can have crazy good dream sex! You can fly. You can become bigger or smaller. You can create a whole new reality. You can go to outer space. You can dig deep into The Divine and ask to see The Spirit. You can bring back loved ones who have left the physical realm. You can meet aliens from other galaxies.
Many ancient cultures use dreaming as a spiritual practice. Among them are the Tibetans, Native Americans, ancient Egyptians and Chinese Taoists. Australian Aborigines see the whole physical reality as a dream and life as Dream Time. Over the last hundred years, modern scientists, philosophers, artists and plain folks have combined ancient wisdom and western critical thinking to create a wealth of knowledge on the subject. You can really dive deep into the practice; there is a lot of information out there, much to learn and a lot of fun to be had.
Dreaming is a part of our brain’s normal functions. While we sleep, the parts of our brain that govern logical and analytical functions are not operating at waking capacity. Images we gathered from our waking life come to life without too much interference or consideration from our habitual behaviors. In a way, we get a chance to “create” reality, so we can explore our created reality differently. What I believe to be real becomes “real” immediately. I feel dreams are a gift from my eternal self, my hidden observer. There are two aspects of myself, one is of the body and one is of the spirit or to put it in another way, the ego and the hidden observer. While I dream, one part of my brain is engaged in the dream and I learn to use the other part of my brain to observe.
ONE LUCID DREAM IS LIFE CHANGING. Our logical mind might already be suspecting that “reality” is not what it cracks up to be. However, we don’t really know that. One lucid dream is enough to shatter the standard old paradigm of our preconceived belief system of reality. One transcendent experience is worth a thousand spiritual books. Just one good lucid dream and you’ll wake with a real sense of wonderment: “Hey, Toto! We’re not in Kansas any more!” Be prepared! It’s really a case of be there or be square!
EASY. Lucid Dreaming is really very easy to achieve. It’s not that complicated. It’s all in the doing. Most people have had the experience of being lucid in a dream during their childhood. We grow up and we don’t believe in ourselves any more. Know that: We all [_can _]do it, we simply have forgotten how. Do It Yourself! Dreaming lucidly is your birth right! A gift from your own divine self. No claim check required. Just do it!
HOW LONG it takes for you to have your first conscious, focused lucid dream is entirely individually based. Don’t worry about people who get their first dream the day they hear about the idea or people who say they tried for several years without success. What I know is, you’ll get there eventually if you try. If you want it, it will come!
PRAYER. It’s my pet theory that higher dimensional beings and aliens (like the Anunnakis) have access to us in our dream state. It’s a jungle out there, especially for us newbies from this non-physical realm. If you share my view, I suggest you set an intention that only positive, enlightened, higher dimension beings can enter your dream state. Say a prayer and surround yourself with a golden shield of protection before you fall asleep.
HALF A BRAIN. I feel like I’m only using half my brain when I dream. Once my logical mind goes to sleep and it wakes up in a dream, it doesn’t work quite as effectively. I’m slow, like, “what dah?!” a lot of the time. It’s good to do a bit of planning beforehand: set a goal.
SET A GOAL. If you don’t have a goal, you might find yourself marveling at the lucid dream and then waking up before you know it. You might lose the chance to explore. It’s good to say something like: “once I’m lucid in a dream, I’ll fly.” Have a vivid picture of yourself doing something. And then, once in the dream, immediately do it.
KEEP MOVING. Actions keep you in the dream. Thinking about things takes you out. Commonly reported by most lucid dreamers is that if you stay still for longer than 6 seconds, you’ll wake up. Keep moving means walk around, touch things, talk to dream figures, laugh, etc. Thinking about things like “oh, look, this is a chair” is a no-no. When you see a chair in a dream, don’t think, don’t wonder, don’t try to figure it out, just sit down on it.
CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM. Once you find yourself in a dream, it’s hard not to be full of wonder and scream, “OH MY GOD!” But as soon as you get excited, you’ll wake up immediately. Not good. It’s vitally important not to get too excited. Down, boy, down! Stay clam and immediately put yourself into doing what you set out to do (like fly or run).
DREAM FIGURES are the other people who are in your dreams, like the people in a mall, the pedestrians on a street, the driver of the bus you’re on, etc. Have fun with them. You can grab them and get them to do things. You ask them questions and often you’ll receive surprisingly insightful answers. It’s really interesting that even though they’re in your mind they’re not under your control. How do they come to surprise you with thinking that is completely different from you if they’re in your mind?! It’s the biggest mystery: “why aren’t they my slaves?After all, they are in my head!” Check out Robert Waggoner’s book, it is all about this aspect of our dreams.
BELIEF. Dream reality feels so real, yet it’s non-physical. What you believe is real is real and what you don’t believe is real is not real. For example, Stephen LaBerge, a well-known lucid dreaming researcher, has said that spinning in a dream changes the dream’s location. It became common knowledge because every wannabe lucid dreamer, including myself, reads his books before attempting to lucid dream, so spinning changes the location for many. It was discovered that people who didn’t know about Stephen’s spinning technique could spin all they want with no effect on the location. Just goes to show, lucid dreaming is a good way to confirm what you actually believe, not what you think you believe.
DREAM SIGNS are things that are out of place in a dream. Because dreams are non-physical, it’s really hard for a dream to hold solidity like your waking 3-d physical reality. There is always, always, something “wrong” in a dream. Spotting dream signs is one of the most reliable ways to discover you’re dreaming. During waking life, look around carefully during and take note of your surroundings. For example, you notice your bed in a different place in your bedroom and you go, “hey, my bed is not where it is when I fell asleep.” You’ve successfully discovered a dream sign and you know what it means?! You’re dreaming!
HOW DID I GET HERE? This is the sure fire question that can help you differentiate between waking life and dreaming life. For example: If you find yourself sitting in a cafe in Paris, ask yourself, like David Byrne did, “how did I get here?” If you can answer, “I’m working in Paris and this afternoon I took the subway to get here.” You’re not dreaming. If you answer, “I was in bed sleeping and now I’m in a cafe in Paris….” Huzzah! You’re dreaming.
LOOK AWAY, LOOK BACK. Dreams can’t hold the same image as well as the 3-D physical reality. So if you see a clock or a book or a house, whatever, look away and look back, if the clock or book or house has changed then BAM! You’re dreaming!
REALITY CHECK. Dream reality is so real and your logical mind is so unconscious that 99.9% of the time you miss the entire fact that you're dreaming. All day long, while you're awake, check reality by asking yourself, "is this reality or is this a dream?" Look away and look back. One day, you'll find yourself totally sure that this is reality and not a dream but when you look away and look back... "Hey how did my mother turn into a monkey?!" Ha... it's really funny to watch your brain slowly, ever so slowly realizes something is amiss, "hum...my mom can not be a monkey, hum, hum, what does this mean?....ooh... ooh... I am d....r...e...a...m...i...n...g" This is how it happens for many lucid dreamers. A dawning joyous wonderment!
START BY REMEMBERING A DREAM. Sometimes, for some people who never remember what they’ve dreamed, it’s good to start by simply telling yourself to remember a dream. You wake up in bed and immediately, that means immediately, ask yourself, “what was that dream?” If you go, “What dream? There were no dreams.” Well, you know that’s not true, everyone dreams, including you! Wake from sleep, simply lie still and will yourself back into the dream, images will come back to you and you’ll start to remember details of your last dream. In fact, this is how I successfully turn a forgotten dream into a lucid dream. As I lie still and step back into the last dream, I find myself in that dream again! But this time I’m lucid!
DREAM JOURNAL. Most lucid dreamers keep a notebook or writing tablet by their bedside. It really helps to wake from a lucid dream (or a non-lucid dream) and immediately, again, [_immediately – _]don’t roll around, don’t go pee, don’t put on a jacket – simply start writing the dream down. Dreams tend to fade in a matter of seconds upon waking. Within a few minutes, you find yourself saying, “that was a good dream but I don’t remember a thing about it.” Avoid that pitfall by keeping a journal.
THE END OF THE SLEEP PERIOD is the best time to attempt lucid dreaming. When one first goes to sleep, one is tired and one sleeps without a lot of dreaming. Scientist find that REM – rapid eye movement (when dreaming happens) in the beginning of a sleep period is shorter. Towards the end of your sleep period when your body is rested REM becomes longer and longer. A restful sleep is more conducive to dreaming. For those with “normal” sleep schedules, early morning yields the best lucid dreams. For the night owls, later afternoon.
WAKE UP AND GO BACK TO SLEEP. Stephen LaBerge discovered that if you get up during the early morning hours (5-7am) for a little while (15 to 30 minutes) and then go back to sleep, there is a much higher likelihood of becoming lucid in your morning dreams. I’ve tried this and have found it to be true.
PERSISTENCE. Keep the intention in your mind and eventually you’ll find yourself in a dream while saying to yourself, “oh my, I’m dreaming.” Don’t give up!
(Developed and perfected by Stephen LaBerge)
(Especially good for long-time meditators. I personally use this technique with much success.)
“All is like a dream or a magic show….”
The technique I have most success with is WILD – Wake Induced Lucid Dreaming – it’s what the Tibetans used in their Dream Yoga since time immortal. The Tibetans use hand signs and have their own particular ways of sitting and chanting. For me, basically, I stay awake while my physical body goes through the sleep cycle.
I’m lying in bed comfortably. Suddenly – a switch goes off with a bonk! There is a definite moment when my brain wave changes into another frequency. It’s trippy: I know I’m asleep. As this happens, I can also feel my whole body go stiff and I can’t move. This is known as “sleep paralysis”. I feel excited but I keep my body very still so as not to disturb the paralysis. Slowly, I plunge deeper into sleep. All of a sudden, I’m gone! Meaning, I, as a separate ego identity system am no longer, I’m now one with The Divine. This stage is known as Delta Deep Sleep. Of all the meditation techniques I’ve tried, Lucid Dreaming is the easiest way to get to this sweet spot of deep divine connection.
By and by, a thought comes floating by: “you’re dreaming now. What do you want to do?” Ah ha! I’ve done it! I’ve come through the Delta Deep Sleep and into a dream state.
My mom died a year ago, I saw her once in a non-lucid dream. Now I wanted to see her again. Right away, I’m walking down a narrow hallway with doors on both sides. I can see my dream feet walking on the plush carpet. I realize I’m on a cruise ship. My mother and I once boarded the Queen Mary cruise from New York to Dover, England for the Atlantic crossing through the English Channel. She liked to get all dressed up – in her finest evening clothes, make-up, jewelry and all that jazz – to go to the fancy grand ballroom for a formal dinner at 6pm. I’m a hippie: I don’t like to be told when to eat, what to eat and especially don’t like to be told to dressed up, nor to wear make-up since I never wear any make-up. On that trip, I was not very nice to her. I was a killjoy. I refused to dress up and never commented on how beautiful she looked.
Now, in the dream, I put my hand on the handle and I know mama is on the other side. It takes some courage and I will myself to open the door. There was mama! She was flesh and blood, in 3D glory, just like when she was alive. She is busy dressing, rushing to make it to dinner on time. She asks me to button up her Chung Sam, a Chinese style dress. I button her dress. I’m extra sweet to her. I tell her how beautiful her hair looks and how her make-up is perfect. I suddenly get anxious; I’m worried I wasn’t dressed up enough. I look down at myself, relieved to find myself suddenly in a most beautiful evening dress.
The whole time I knew full well I was dreaming. She, however, has no idea she is in my dream. She goes on and on excitedly about dinner. She is alive but inside I’m crying. How sad and at the same time how healing. I get to do all the things I didn’t do in waking life for my mama.
The dream continues and I walk to the balcony. The deep blue ocean greets me. I can see the horizon line far off in the distance. All shades of blue in the gentle evening breeze. Suddenly I realize I can see clearly. In the waking life, I’m near-sighted but I don’t wear correction, so reality is a big blur to me. But this is my dream: I’ve got 20/20 vision if I want!
Behind me, I can hear familiar sounds of my mama, rustling about while mumbling to herself. Another thought comes to my mind, “I want to see everyone I love at dinner.” One by one, I conjure up my love ones. In my clear, omnipotent vision I can see them on the cruise ship, each in their own room, getting dressed in their finest ball gowns, getting ready for the fine dinner. It’s going to be a fantastic dinner with everyone I love! I feel elation mixed with melancholy and loneliness. It’s all good because I know I’m dreaming it all up…. At that moment, my physical feet start to hurt like they caught on fire. The pain took me out of the dream and back to my physical body.
Aye, aye! Back in waking life, my feet are indeed hurting for no apparent reason. That is, until I remember when Louis Hays said, foot pain means one is afraid to go forward in one’s spiritual journey.
The image of the crossing is a crucial Buddhist metaphor of life as a journey. We’re on this shore (this busy waking life) and we get on a cruise ship (the Dharma) to make it to the other shore. On this cruise ship are all our love ones (the Sangha), who are our helpers, our mates, our children and our partners. We get on our way, the ocean is big and the journey is full of ups and downs. We fight, we love, we learn lessons from enlightened beings (the Buddha) and we make the crossing as best we can.
By and by, we reach the other shore. “Would she be a clever woman, “ the Buddha asked, “if, having reached the other shore, she were to cling to her raft, take it on her back, and walk about with the weight of it?” We look back, the cruise ship with all the loved ones are gone. These are illusions to help us make the crossing. Once the other shore is reached, the magic show is not part of the new world.
I spent the rest of the day crying, lost between worlds. I was processing the information while dealing with a torrent of mixed emotions. Lucid dreaming is as profound as gifts from my higher soul. My outlook in this waking life completely changed. Everyone on this boat is my community. We are together to make the crossing. is like a dream or a magic show….* *Even the waking reality is a dream or a magic show. This is the meaning of awakening. Awaken to the fact that although all is illusion, only love makes sense.
“When the state of dreaming has dawned
Do not lie in ignorance like a corpse
Enter the natural sphere of unwavering attentiveness
Recognize your dreams and transform
illusion into luminosity…”
Tibetan Buddhist Prayer
I’ve assembled a few books here that I really love.
Malcolm Godwin – [_Lucid Dreamer – A Waking Guide for the Travelers Between Worlds _]
Robert Waggoner – [_Lucid Dreaming – Gateway to the Inner Self _]
Stephen LaBerge – Lucid Dreaming: A Concise Guide to Awakening in Your Dreams and in Your Life
Carl Jung – The Red Book – A window Into Jung’s Dreams
– The Lucid Dream Exchange is a reader supported, quarterly publication that features lucid dreams and articles on lucid dreaming.
Lucid dreaming is what happens when you become aware that you're dreaming while you're dreaming. Normally, we wake up and think "wow, that was a dream." But it can be really fun and interesting to wake up while you're still dreaming and realize "wow, this is a dream!" Once you wake up in your dream, the entire reality is under your conscious control. How fun it that? You can do anything you want. You can have crazy good dream sex! You can fly. You can become bigger or smaller. You can create a whole new reality. You can go to outer space. You can dig deep into The Divine and ask to see The Spirit. You can bring back loved ones who have left the physical realm. You can meet aliens from other galaxies. Many ancient cultures use dreaming as a spiritual practice. Among them are the Tibetans, Native Americans, ancient Egyptians and Chinese Taoists. Australian Aborigines see the whole physical reality as a dream and life as Dream Time. Over the last hundred years, modern scientists, philosophers, artists and plain folks have combined ancient wisdom and western critical thinking to create a wealth of knowledge on the subject. You can really dive deep into the practice; there is a lot of information out there, much to learn and a lot of fun to be had. Dreaming is a part of our brain's normal functions. While we sleep, the parts of our brain that govern logical and analytical functions are not operating at waking capacity. Images we gathered from our waking life come to life without too much interference or consideration from our habitual behaviors. In a way, we get a chance to "create" reality, so we can explore our created reality differently. What I believe to be real becomes "real" immediately. I feel dreams are a gift from my eternal self, my hidden observer. There are two aspects of myself, one is of the body and one is of the spirit or to put it in another way, the ego and the hidden observer. While I dream, one part of my brain is engaged in the dream and I learn to use the other part of my brain to observe.