You start to wake up to your life. That’s no small thing. — Andrew Holocek
I found out about Andrew Holocek’s Dream Sculpting course when I was in Rishikesh, India, doing my second yoga teacher training for three months, and feel extremely grateful to have been given the course for free in return for writing about my experiences, as well as learning a lot about the science and art of sleep and dreams.
During my time in India, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to lucid dream, seeing as I was practising yoga and meditation all day, drinking no coffee and eating an (almost) vegan diet. My friend Heli who was on the course with me decided to join me in my quest to get lucid, which involved scouring the web for new lucid dreaming techniques, performing daily reality checks and keeping morning dream journals.
After three months, I didn’t come close to having a lucid dream and if anything my dream recall got even worse. I have no idea for this explanation, as I thought being in India and practising so much yoga and meditation would help. Maybe, I was trying too hard. Maybe there were too many background noises. I just don’t know.
However, when I returned home, I started the lucid Dream Sculpting pretty much straight away — eager to start lucid dreaming and explore my mind and consciousness in new ways. Within two weeks I had a lucid dream as a result of the techniques Andrew Holocek outlines in the course. You can read about my first lucid dream of the course here.
Before I delve deeper into my own experiences, here’s what Andrew Holocek who created the Dream Sculpting course has to say.
In this article, I’m going to share my own experiences of doing Andrew Holocek’s Dream Sculpting course, why lucid dreaming is transforming the world we live in and one of the lucid dreaming techniques that worked for me.
I’ve written quite a lot so feel free to scroll to the parts that are most relevant to you. If you want to know more about the specifics of what the Dream Sculpting course entails, you can find out everything you need to know about Andrew Holocek’s Dream Sculpting course here.
My Dream Sculpting experiences and does the course work?
If you want to learn how to lucid dream or go deeper into your existing lucid dreams, this course will show you how. After trying to lucid dream in India for three months, I successfully had a lucid dream just two weeks into doing Andrew Holocek’s Dream Sculpting course, which felt incredible, and I can say firsthand, whether you do this course or not, please give lucid dreaming a go (I’ll explain one of the technique I used further on in the article, so you can attempt it tonight!).
As I go through my eight weeks of workbooks and notes, it’s difficult to know where to start, but one thing I will say is that this is an extremely balanced course. I didn’t know when I started if I was just going to be given one lucid dreaming method to practice — a ‘one size fits all lucid dreaming formula’ sort of thing. This wasn’t the case at all.
I learnt about the history of lucid dreaming, the science of sleep and REM cycles as well as pretty much every eastern and western lucid dreaming technique out there, some of which I’d never heard of before. We even went into the ancient practice of Dream Yoga. More importantly, you’re encouraged to sculpt out your own programme to fit around your life, rather than being spoon-fed information and techniques.
Why lucid dream?
There’s a whole universe you’ve been sitting on and we’re going to bring that universe into your conscious awareness. — Andrew Holocek
Apart from being fun, the therapeutic aspects of lucid dreaming are still not widely known, which seems crazy as it really does have the potential to transform lives. Some of the benefits outlined in week one of the course include, healing chronic pain, training your physical body in the dream world, boosting creativity, and confidence, managing grief, and solving problems you’re struggling with in waking life.
One of the things that amazes me is that if you’re an athlete, for example, you can train in a lucid dream and reap the benefits in the waking life.
Under one of the questions in my week two workbook I wrote the following.
What is the main benefit of lucid dreaming that you would like to master? Give a few reasons why.
“I’d like to use lucid dreaming for anything I’m unsure about and find answers to things I don’t know about such as truths of the world and universe. I want to use it for ideas generation and problem solving.”
Answering this one question at the start of the course was incredibly important because it’s likely to influence the kind of lucid dreams you’ll have on the course. For example, for me, I wanted to discover truths about the world and universe, which resulted in me meeting a whole town of enlightened people in one of my lucid dreams, where I got to experience the world through their eyes.
Having a reason to lucid dream, even if it’s just curiosity or to have fun is going to help you a lot. You then have to trust that it will happen. This isn’t just something only a few people can do — we can all train ourselves to lucid dream. Even if you don’t remember your dreams, there’s lots of useful advice for improving dream recall on the course.
To give you motivation to keep going, it really helps to be clear about why you personally want to do this, and then just trust that you definitely will have a lucid dream.
The lucid dreaming techniques that worked for me
The beauty of this course is that you’re given a variety of day and nighttime lucid dreaming techniques to try from both eastern and western perspectives. A lot of the time when you read books or scour the web for lucid dreaming methods, you’re given only the western techniques, but there are some pretty interesting eastern meditation techniques too, such as the Tibetan Buddhist Devotion method, which I’d never heard of before this course.
Week two introduces you to daytime techniques and lucid dreaming meditations, and the start of week three is where the magic happened for me. This is when I learnt about all the nighttime techniques, REM cycles, and the science of what happens when we go to sleep.
After introducing the different methods, we were asked to write down which nighttime western method did you most resonate with.
In my workbook I wrote:
“I’m most excited by the ‘wake up and back to bed method’. It’s good to know that there’s a 2000% increase with this method — I just need to put the work in, love the process, and start lucid dreaming. Can’t wait!”
I’m now going to outline what the ‘wake back up and back to bed method’ is. However, please note that I did two weeks of preliminary exercises before I attempted this, but I want to share this with you, because it’s supposedly one of the most effective techniques for beginners. After just the first attempt of the ‘wake up and back to bed method’ I had my first lucid dream, but don’t give up if you’re not able to. It helps to have great dream recall first!
What is the ‘wake up and back to bed method’?
The method explained in a nutshell
As the name suggests, you set your alarm two hours before you usually wake up, stay awake for 20-40 minutes and then go back to bed and hopefully have a lucid dream. Just don’t try too hard!
This is what I did:
- Prepare what you need when you wake
I was doing this in the winter in London, so it felt really cold waking up in the early hours of the morning. The night before I put thick socks, a dressing gown, hot water bottle and Stephen LaBerge’s book (recommended by Andrew Holocek) called Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming.
- Wake up two hours before you normally would
Get out of bed, but don’t turn on all of the lights. You now need to meditate, walk about for a bit or read about lucid dreaming for 20-40 minutes. During this time, reinforce your intention to have a lucid dream — just don’t wake yourself up too much as you need to be able to go back to sleep. I used to sit in darkness surrounded by a few candles and read my lucid dreaming book.
- Go back to bed expecting to lucid dream
You now go back to bed, with the intention of having a lucid dream. I also tried to get back into the dream I was having before I woke up. I don’t know if it makes a difference, but I went back into bed, sleeping on my back.
Prior to doing this technique, however, there are other steps involved and it’s important to have good dream recall, but for me, if you haven’t tried it before the ‘wake up and back to bed method’ is definitely worth experimenting with.
Floatation therapy to help induce lucid dreams
As well as mainstream techniques, Andrew discusses lucid dreaming herbs, certain food that might help to induce lucid dreams and also some other more unusual methods, such as floatation therapy (formerly known as sensory deprivation). There’s no scientific evidence to suggest that being in an isolation or floatation tank will help to induce lucid dreams, but either way I was intrigued, as this is something I’d wanted to try for a long time.
After completing the dream sculpting module I was on, I sent an email pretty much straight away to Floatworks in London explaining that I wanted to try out floatation therapy to see if it would help to induce a lucid dream. They kindly gave me three sessions and talked in depth with me about the benefits of floating and why it’s become so popular. You can read about my experience at Floatworks here.
I don’t know if floating helped to induce my second lucid dream of the course, but several days after my second time in the flotation tank, I had another lucid dream, which was brilliant. My mind was being blown not only by my lucid dreaming experiences, but by my time spent in the tank too.
I feel like I’ve only just skimmed the surface here, but I hope if anything, this article has inspired some curiosity in you to try lucid dreaming and to explore the mysterious and magical world of sleep and dreams in more depth.
And finally, I am a Dream Sculpting affiliate. This means that if you join the course though my site I will make a commission which will go towards doing future yoga teacher training intensives and courses.