Last year I went to a talk by, lucid dreaming teacher, Charlie Morley at Secret Garden Party festival. I had a brief idea of what lucid dreaming was — being able to control your dreams — but that was about it.
After the talk, I felt like I’d just watched a live TED conference despite the fact that I was sitting on a straw bale in a muddy hut. I felt so inspired and also surprised that I’d never really heard much about lucid dreaming before.
What is lucid dreaming?
Lucid dreaming is about the realisation that you’re dreaming whilst you’re in a dream. So, at some point during a regular dream you realise that you’re actually dreaming and you’re able to control what goes on.
Amazingly, during a lucid dream you actually become more conscious than you are in waking life. In my experience, my lucid dreams appeared more ‘real’ than waking life.
What are the benefits of lucid dreaming?
Apart from being fun, lucid dreaming is often used by athletes as it helps to strengthen muscle memory. You can practise a sport, work on a problem or face your fears when you’re lucid dreaming. In some respects the possibilities are endless.
Read Benefits of Lucid Dreaming from the website World of Lucid Dreaming for more information.
How to lucid dream
1. Get inspired
There are lots of methods and books you can read that will teach you how to lucid dream, but I think the most important thing is to be genuinely interested and committed. Read up as much as you can about the process or do whatever you have to do to get really inspired, so a few days down the line you won’t lose interest. When I had my first lucid dream, I’d been avidly reading the chapter on lucid dreaming from the book Counting Sheep.
2. Keep a dream journal
When you decide you’d like to start lucid dreaming, start a dream diary. As soon as you wake up, record all the details of your dream — no matter how insignificant. Make sure you do this as soon as you wake up or you’ll probably forget the dream. At first you might not be able to remember many of your dreams, but keep going — with practise you will.
3. Create dream triggers
Once you’ve started to remember your dreams regularly, reflect on your dream diary and see if anything common or repetitive comes up; for example, if running is a regular theme in your dreams, you could consciously remind yourself to become lucid next time you’re running in a dream.
4. Do reality/ dream checks
Asking yourself ‘Am I dreaming?’ at least 10 time a day whilst performing a reality check should result in you having a lucid dream in one week to two months time. For example, a common reality check is looking at your hand and asking yourself, ‘Am I dreaming?’ When you dream, your hands are supposed to look blurry, so eventually, when you see your hand in your dreams, you’ll know you’re dreaming because your hand won’t be as clear as it is in real life.
5. Lucid dream
Once you’ve started to have regular dreams that you remember and you perform your reality checks and dream triggers often, within one week to two months, you should have your first lucid dream.
Lucid dreaming first time experience
I had my first lucid dream two weeks after I’d started doing regular reality checks; however, the lucid dream came about after I’d read the section on lucid dreaming in the book Counting Sheep by Paul Martin. I was dreaming as usual, then suddenly, the scene around me started to pixelate — everything around me suddenly turned to pixelated square shards of glass that dropped to the ground. At this point, I got excited because I realised I was about to have a lucid dream.
Automatically, everything in my dream looked sharper, brighter and incredibly ‘real’. I wasn’t able to control the scenery in the dream but I could control what I did. After a while, I went flying through the sky in an attempt to make it to the moon. I could go through solid objects, increase my flying speed using my mind and see everything incredibly vividly.