What is Lucid Dreaming?….this is the ability to consciously direct and control your dreams. It transforms your inner dream world into a living alternate reality – where everything you see, hear, feel, taste and even smell can be as authentic as real life.
This remarkable state of consciousness occurs when you realize you are dreaming – and your brain switches into waking mode inside the dream. In normal dreams, your self awareness is shut down. That’s why they often feel fuzzy and distant. But when lucid, the conscious brain wakes up during sleep.
Lucid dreams are a safe and natural state, where you can wake yourself up at any time if you choose. When you become lucid, your senses become alive, giving you as much control as you need to manipulate your own self-awareness and any elements of the dreamscape you desire. Moving through a sea of the subconscious, you can explore the workings of your inner self with total freedom.
Who Discovered Lucid Dreaming?
The practice of conscious dreaming has formed a part of Tibetan Buddhism for at least 1,000 years. They call it Dream Yoga.
The modern name for it was coined in the 20th century by the Dutch psychiatrist, Frederik van Eeden, meaning mental clarity in dreams. Later, in the 1960s, Celia Green popularized the notion and pointed out the scientific potential of having heightened consciousness in dreams. She was also the first to forge the connection with false awakenings and Rapid Eye Movement (aka REM sleep).
The first scientific evidence of lucidity was recorded by Keith Hearne in a lab in England. He monitored and recorded REM signals from his volunteer, Alan Worsley, under laboratory conditions. However, Hearne did not publish his research in the mainstream journals until later, and it was Dr Stephen LaBerge at Stanford University who went down in history for replicating the experiment and formally publishing his findings.
LaBerge went on to found The Lucidity Institute in 1987 to explore the great question – what is lucid dreaming? – and to better understand this incredible state of consciousness while asleep… A riddle that may one day offer huge advances in our understanding of the human brain.
Can Anyone Learn to Have Lucid Dreams?
Everybody dreams, even if they don’t always remember them. And everybody achieves consciousness – the act of being self-aware – upon waking up every day. So the idea of merging the two to create vivid, conscious dreams is certainly within everyone’s grasp. It just takes practice.
What’s more, there are many children who lucid dream naturally, and some medications for degenerative conditions like Parkinson’s Disease can cause lucid dreams. Age is certainly not a factor.
Achieving dream control is actually quite easy once you know how to tap into the correct mechanism. Studies reveal that everyone experiences at least one such dream per lifetime, just by accident. So with study and commitment this state can be induced naturally at will.
There are two types of conscious dreams you can induce:
1. Dream Induced Lucid Dreams (DILDs) – launched from within a normal dream, which suddenly surges into focus when you realize you are dreaming as it happens.
2. Wake Induced Lucid Dreams (WILDs) – launched from a waking, meditative state, whereby there is no lapse in consciousness between the waking world and the dream world.
Let’s focus on the first method (DILD) as it is a lot easier for beginners. To become lucid this way, you must recognize that you’re dreaming at the time. That’s all. And there are many ways to do this by increasing your self-awareness in the waking world and on the sleep-wake border, including:
Using some or all of these methods daily, many people are able to have their first conscious dream within 3 days to 3 weeks. Inducing a state of consciousness in dreams becomes easier with experience, whether you practice DILDs or WILDs.
What Are The Benefits of Lucid Dreaming?
First, it offers escapism – that’s why many people decide to take it up. In a virtual reality dream world, you can fly over stunning landscapes, teleport to the edge of the universe, meet your favorite celebrity in the flesh, or become a ninja assassin. It is much more realistic than merely day dreaming or playing your favorite video game. Guided dreams are exceptionally vivid.
Beyond the novelty appeal, conscious dreaming has many self-help benefits, including:
* Problem solving, such as inventions or real life issues
* Creativity, such as creating music or artwork
* Facing your fears, such as phobias or public speaking
* Confidence, helping your interpersonal skills and self-esteem
* Enhancing new skills, such as martial arts of playing the guitar
* Subconscious communication, to resolve inner conflicts
Robert Waggoner describes numerous more benefits in his book, Gateway to the Inner Self. He introduces new ways to interact with your lucid dreams and to use dream figures to speak with your subconscious inner self.
Lucidity in dreams is an immense psychological tool and an enlightening exploration of the inner self. As a beginner, intermediate or expert lucid dreamer, you have a fascinating journey ahead.
To learn more about conscious dream control, including lucid dreaming techniques and visualizations, visit Rebecca Turner’s www.world-of-lucid-dreaming.com .