Lucid Dreaming, or the theoretical act of controlling your dreams by remaining conscious while dreaming, has become a very popular subject in recent years, but Lucid Dreaming is by far not a new concept. Tibetan Buddhist monks have practiced this form of heightened self-awareness and dream control for over a thousand years, as have other spiritual cultures, while artists, philosophers, and authors have noted this ability in their personal journals over the ages, and no doubt used it in conjunction with their work.
Scientifically documented in numerous modern studies, the act of Lucid Dreaming has been researched by modern scientists using various methods of testing to conclude that it is in fact a real ability that we can all perform, but for those who have experienced Lucid Dreams for themselves, they don’t need any other proof that this conscious dream state exists.
Regardless of being considered some pretty weird stuff by some, people all over the world report enjoying this ability on a regular basis; having become able to have a Lucid Dream whenever they wish, they use it to become more aware of their true feelings about something, or to escape the confines of the physical world and have experiences they cannot have while awake. Whether it is used for serious soul searching, or stress free fun, the ability to have Lucid Dreams is something that most of us would like to experience in our lives. After all, what’s not to like, right?
Regardless of your interests, the possibilities of a Lucid Dream are endless; unlike waking reality, there are no limitations on what you can do, or think, or say during this state. Some claim to come up with their best ideas during Lucid Dreams, focusing on pondering a certain subject while sleeping, they report waking instantly afterwards with the solution to a current problem, or a great new idea, finding to their delight that when they apply it to real life it is in fact a viable answer or idea that works. Some claim to take regular “vacations” via Lucid Dreams, visiting places they would most like to see for the first time, or return to a place they enjoyed in reality, any night of the week! Meanwhile, others use it to explore a risky side of life they would not dare venture into otherwise, which can be beneficial in confronting fears or becoming less fearful of life in general.
So how do we enter the mysterious world of Lucid Dreaming?
There are countless videos and books on the subject, and numerous recommended techniques which all basically have to do with training yourself to be more aware of your conscious and unconscious states. Most of these methods include the same two basic initial steps; testing your conscious state regularly while training yourself to have “cues” for Lucid Dreaming, and training yourself to remember your dreams.
The first step can be practiced by regularly checking that you are awake during the day, using a method that would have a different result if you were sleeping than when you are awake. For instance, stop several times a day to ask yourself the question “Am I awake?”, then gently attempt to push the fingers of one hand through the palm of your other hand. Since this is obviously impossible in waking reality, the only time you will see your fingers go through your palm is when you are having a Lucid Dream! The second step is to wake first thing in the morning and write down as much as you can remember about your dreams. If you remember your dreams regularly and vividly already, this may not take long, but if you rarely remember your dreams it is likely to take longer and be more difficult. (For more information about how to have a Lucid Dream, Click Here.)
If you already have vivid dreams that you remember on a regular basis, you can simply try focusing on staying conscious as you drift off to sleep. Try saying to yourself “I will have a Lucid Dream tonight.” As you feel yourself drifting off, try to stay aware that you are going to sleep. Some prefer to envision walking into a fog as they drift off, allowing sleep to wash over them with the fog, but staying conscious of traveling through it, to come out on the other side into a dream which you are conscious of being in.
It should be noted that though everyone is capable Lucid Dreaming, some have more trouble with it than others, while some are just naturally inclined to do so. In fact, you may be sitting there reading this thinking “I know, I do this every night!”, or you may be one of those who rarely ever remember your dreams, let alone encounter consciousness while dreaming.
One thing is for certain, as with all of the abilities our minds and bodies possess, you have to exercise an ability in order to use it and develop it. Abilities of the mind are no different that abilities of the body, such as doing the splits or lifting weights; if you do not regularly stretch out your muscle groups you will not be able to do the splits, if you do not lift weights every day you will not be able to bench twice your weight for long. If you do not use it, it will shrink and be less and less useful, the ability less and less attainable. The good thing about this is that just like athletic capabilities they are never completely lost; even after a long period of not stretching out, loosing the ability to do the splits, you can begin to stretch out regularly and eventually be able to do the splits again!
As our society becomes more and more open to the possibility of what the human mind can accomplish, as well as opening our minds to different spiritual possibilities, Lucid Dreaming is sure to continue to be a more and more popular method of experiencing life -without limitations!
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