Thurman’s Lucid Dreaming Tutorial

Clint Thurman 1998
Lucid Dreaming Tutorial

Lucid Dream Tutorial
1.Introduction
2.What is lucid dreaming?
3.When does it occur?
4.How can i learn it?
5.How can i remain lucid?
6.What can i do while lucid?
7.What can i use to help me.
7a. The nova Dreamer
7b.Dreamspeaker
7c.PEST
7d.Dreamstone

Lucid Dreaming Exercises
1.Keeping A Dream Journal
2.Pre-Sleep Activities
3.Calm Atmosphere 
4.Remembrance
5.Upon Awaking
6.A Visualization
7.MILD 
8.Hand Visualization
9.Self-Hypnosis 
10.Healing Dreams 
11.False Awakenings 
12.Summoning the Demon 


1.Introduction

“Lucid Dreaming is the key that opens the door to the unconscious mind”

Lucid dreaming has always fascinated me. Just recently I have decided to allow this strange phenomenon to play a larger part in my life. Paralleling my new found dedication to lucid dreaming is this web site. The content being provided here consists of information I have gathered throughout the years. Although I contribute a few of my own insights and interjections, most of the credit should be directed towards the Lucidity Institute and Malcolm Godwin. I will continue to update these pages as I gain information. Thank you for your interest in a subject matter that has the potential to forever change the human perception of dreams.


2.What is lucid dreaming?

Lucid dreaming is defined as dreaming while knowing that you are dreaming. The term was coined by Frederik van Eeden using the word “lucid” in the sense of mental clarity. Lucidity usually begins in the middle of dreams when the dreamer realizes that the experiences that are occurring are not that of the physical reality, but rather the creation of a dream.

While the basic definition of lucid dreaming is merely the ability to be aware that one is dreaming, this definition can be broken down into two types of lucid dreaming. These two types are “high level lucidity” and “low level lucidity.” A lucid dreamer that is dreaming with a high level of lucidity knows that everything being experienced is the creation of the mind. This dreamer is aware that he or she is actually in bed and asleep and can suffer no physical damage as a result of the dream.

Dreaming at the lower level of lucidity, the dreamer is not fully aware that his or her environment is a sole creation of the mind. This would then allow for the dreamer to do activities such as flying, or participating in what is most interesting to him or her at the time. However, the dreamer may still see physical threats and other dream characters as being completely real. While dreaming at this lower level, the dreamer is usually unaware that his or her physical body is actually asleep and in bed.

Being able to control a dream and being lucid in a dream do not always go hand in hand. You can have great control over a dream without the full knowledge that you are dreaming. It is also possible for to be completely aware that you are dreaming with very little control of the dream it self. However, a higher level lucid dreamer has the choice to be the participant or creator of the dream.


3.when does it occur?

With a greater understanding of lucid dreams, researchers believe they have discovered that lucid dreams usually occur during the period of sleep called REM sleep. REM stands for “Rapid Eye Movement.” However, sleep is not a single uniform state but is characterized by a series of stages, (1,2,3, and REM) each distinguished by unique physiological markers. These stages cycle throughout the night.

The first period of REM sleep is usually within 90 minutes of falling asleep, lasting anywhere between five and 20 minutes. REM sleep then cycles through about every 90 minutes. As the night progresses the duration between REM periods decreases, allowing the time spent in REM sleep to increase. You then tend to experience more REM sleep in the latter half of the night. Therefore, in the morning, you are capable of having a REM period last from five minutes to an hour long.

stages of sleep


4.How can i learn it?

Although learning what lucid dreaming is and the stage of sleep where it occurs is very important, it is just the beginning. There are several techniques and a few prerequisites which you should become very familiar with if you want to have regular lucid dreams.

The first step you should take toward learning to lucid dream is the process of writing down your dreams immediately after awakening. To do this you should acquire a note pad. This note pad is referred to as a “Dream Journal.” The dream journal should be kept beside the your bed, with or next to some form of light and writing implement.

Upon wakening from a dream, you should try to lay as still as possible while asking the question to your self “what was I just dreaming.” After completely mulling over the dream in your mind you should then proceed to write down the dream in the Dream Journal. If you consider this process to be too lengthy, just write down significant elements from the dream. When you awaken in the morning it is very important to go over these notes and record the dreams before doing anything else.

Dream recall is one of the most important steps in learning to lucid dream. With out the memory of what was dreamt during a night’s sleep, you could have had several lucid dreams without even knowing it. As you continue to recall and record your dreams, your dream recall should increase. This increase in dream recall should allow you to remember three to five dreams a night.

As your dream journal reaches around ten dreams, you should proceed to examine each of the recorded dreams for what is know as “dreamsigns.” These dreamsigns are the out of place or context events or objects in the dreamscape that alerts the dreamer that he or she is dreaming. Such dreamsigns are completely obvious to the dreamer upon going over the dream in a waking state. However, they remain elusive during a non-lucid dream. Dreamsigns can be represented by many things like being in the presence of someone deceased, being chased by an ax wielding mutant, or having one’s house covered in cream cheese. Flying is also a great reminder that the world which the dreamer is functioning in is actually a dream.

You should go through your dream journal picking out dreamsigns and make a list of them. When the list is complete you should categorize the signs into categories of “strange thoughts, actions, forms, and context.” The category in which contains the most dreamsigns, would then be your target dreamsign to look for while dreaming. Once you have prepared your mind to look for and recognize these dreamsigns, you will have taken the first step toward becoming lucid within a dream.

The next step in learning to lucid dream is to practice a technique call “critical state testing.” This technique requires you to, as the name implies, critically test the present state that your are in. Several times throughout the day, when you encounter something that could resemble a dreamsign, you should ask the question “Am I dreaming or awake.” This should be performed five to ten times a day. You should then look for things that may be products only found in a dream state.

It has been found that often things in dreams quickly change and mutate, such as text or digital clocks. If you can, you should look for something to read. While reading the text, look away and read it again. If the text has changed, the world that is being represented is actually a dream. It also helps to try to read a digital clock. For some reason digital clocks will change and mutate into something indecipherable. Both are excellent ways in which to test your state.

The “autosuggestion technique”, along with the “MILD” technique (Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams), should be used to help induce lucid dreaming. The autosuggestion technique is merely relaxing before going to sleep along with suggesting that later in the night or perhaps in the following nights you will have a lucid dream.

The MILD technique is to be performed by suggesting that you will recall your dreams upon awakening throughout the night. Later in the night when you awaken, you should recall your dream in as much detail as possible. After total recollection of the dream, you should go back to sleep with the intent to recognize that the next things you will be involved in are the products of a dream. At the same time, you should imagine that you are back in the dream, and imagine becoming lucid within the dream. The last two steps should be performed until falling a sleep.

There are other techniques that are incredibly powerful in inducing lucid dreams, however they are also some of the hardest to master. For example, the “WILD technique” (Wake Induction of Lucid Dreams) and many like it, have been used to enter a lucid dream directly from a wakened state, for centuries. Those using this technique have the intent of “falling asleep consciously.” To reach this goal you would focus on a visualized object while deeply relaxed. Then you should open your mind to the unconscious by allowing whatever dream sounds or images to fade into the visualization. As the dreamscape begins to form you should then consciously allow yourself to be pulled into the dreamscape. This should be done while focusing on the original visualized object and state of consciousness. When you have successfully carried over your waking state of consciousness into the dream, the goal has been obtain.


5.How can i remain lucid?

Once a dreamer reaches lucidity the experiences become limitless. In a lucid dream you can experience anything that you desire. However, you may encounter a problem along the way. For novice lucid dreamers this problem is staying lucid in the dream. Novice lucid dreamers often awake right after obtaining the knowledge that they are dreaming. They also may quickly loose the lucidity within the dream returning to their previous dream state of mind. There are however a few techniques which you can use to prolong your lucid dreams.

Motion of the dreamer’s physical body seems to be the key to staying in a lucid dream. Techniques have been devised around this idea of motion. These techniques are called the “spinning technique” and “rubbing technique.” Both the spinning and the rubbing techniques are to be done when you first start to loose lucidity. This is usually noticed by a fading in the color or contrast of the dream. For example, elements in the dream may suddenly begin to fade to black.

The spinning technique requires the lucid dreamer to spin like a top. While spinning you should be able to physically feel the motion of your dream body. As you continue to spin you should be repeatedly saying “the next scene will be a dream” This should continue until the vividness of the dream returns. Although this sounds like something out of the Wizard of Oz, it actually works.

With the rubbing technique, the lucid dreamer is required to vigorously rub his or her hands together. While using this technique it is very important to physically feel your dream hands rubbing together. You should note the heat caused by the friction of rubbing your hands together. The statement “the next scene will be a dream” should also be repeated. This should also continue until the vividness of the dream returns.


6.What can i do while lucid?

With the ability to prolong lucidity, the dreamer has gained a tool which will help in his or her experiences and adventures within the dream world. Novice lucid dreamers tend to use this new found ability to indulge themselves in wish fulfillment within their dream worlds. Therefore, novice lucid dreamers tend to pursue things that are only possible in the dream world. Such possibilities are, taking a trip to mars or any other part of the galaxy, or finding comfort in the arms of a movie star lover. It seems that one of the most popular of these is flying. By taking advantage of this, novice lucid dreamers tend to reap the rewards of enjoyment, while increasing their proficiency at lucid dreaming.

Exploring the world of lucid dreaming can be breathtaking. Dream worlds are filled with ever changing beauties. While traveling in a lucid dream there is no waiting in lines. Dream travel is cheaper and the experiences can be ever more profound than any waking life traveling could ever be.

Exploring your fears is also better to do within a lucid dream. You can conquer your fears without any physical damage in the process. One such example of this would be someone who is afraid of heights. Such a person could jump off a cliff over and over until the fear has subsided, without suffering the obvious waking life trauma of the actual event.

One of the other benefits of being a lucid dreamer is the ability to rehearse for waking life activities. The dream world is so convincing the average dreamer often mistakes it for the real or waking world. With such realism, you could use this median as a place to sharpen skills. Someone for example who the following day has planed to give an oral presentation, could practice that presentation within the dream. It would then be possible to analyze the weak and strong points of his or her presentation. Other obvious applications include the dream practicing and rehearsal of physical activities such as sports. This allows for the creation and/or development of a mental model, from which can be drawn from when in the waking participation of the actual activity. Lucid dreaming can be extremely powerful for motor skill enhancement. This is not only true because of the vividness of the imagery, but also because the “physiological nature of REM sleep is ideal for establishing neural patterns without actual movement.”

Possibly one of the most beneficial aspects of a lucid dream is the exploration of one’s self. Since a dream is the creation of your mind, it is an excellent playground for getting to truly know yourself. You can use a lucid dream to explore a nightmare for example. And since no actual physical trauma can result from dreaming, a lucid dreamer may seek to explore anything that is frightening. There are no limitations to the terror of the mind, therefore this can be an easy goal to reach.

Exploring nightmares and the other dreadfully frightening creations of the dream worlds has its benefits. For example, you could analyze a frightening experience from within a lucid dream itself. This would then allow you to find out what you find frightening. The understanding of what and why you finds things frightening in the dream world, has obvious ties to disturbing and frightening things in waking life. This understanding could unchain your waking mind from previous restraints which you were unaware of, leading possibly to a more active and broader participation in your waking life.

Another extremely beneficial aspect which a lucid dreamer could explore is the process of healing. From within a lucid dream you could see and converse with deceased loved ones. This would than allow you to say or do the things you never had the chance to say or do during the life of the deceased. Most people believe that these experiences from within lucid dreams are only a creation of their own mind, however they still feel a great sense of closure and healing afterwards.

In dealing with such aspects as death, lucid dreamers may wish to find the deeper meanings behind the spiritual aspects of their life. This may lead them to search out their representation of a higher form. God, The Divine, and many others, are examples of one’s higher form. The journey and eventual encounter with one’s higher form can then lead to a sense of wholeness and feeling of great peace and balance upon awakening. These feelings have been said to last several days, being matched by no other experience.


7.what can i use to help me?

With the search to make the learning of lucid dreaming easier, “Lucid Dream Induction Devices” have been created. These devices emit sounds or lights and in some cases both when the user enters REM sleep. The user of such devices usually wears a mask that contains sensors located over the eyes. These sensors detect when the user is in REM sleep by monitoring the movement of the eyes. When the user enters REM sleep he or she is given a series of flashing lights or sounds that enter the dream as cues. The user would then train him or herself to recognize the dream cues being given, and would therefore be presented with recognizable dreamsigns from which to become lucid.


7a.The NovaDreamer

The NovaDreamer as described by the Lucidity Institute

“The NovaDreamer detects when you are dreaming by sensing the movements of your eyes during REM sleep with photoelectric sensors. The sensors are mounted in a sleep mask worn over your eyes (nothing touches your eyelids). When the NovaDreamer’s microprocessor receives the right signals from the sensors and decides that you are dreaming, it gives you a cue to remind you to recognize that you are dreaming, that is, to become lucid.”

“The cue to become lucid is a light and/or a sound from the mask, in a variety of patterns, according to your choice. It is just the right brightness or volume to enter your dream without awakening you. This is similar to your alarm clock or radio coming into your dream in the morning. Having prepared to recognize the cue by following the exercises accompanying the NovaDreamer, when the cue comes you realize it is there to tell you that you’re dreaming, and with your new lucidity you are free to embark on unlimited adventure.”

If you have had any experience with the NovaDreamer, good or bad, let me know through the Lucid Dreaming Tools Survey or e-mail me. I will post your responses on a special users response page. Thanks for your time!

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7b.The DreamSpeaker

The DreamSpeaker as described by the Lucidity Institute

“The DreamSpeaker is used with a NovaDreamer to play a digitally recorded message during REM sleep to help you recognize that you are dreaming. Now your lucid dreaming induction devices, used in concert, can remind you not only to become lucid in the most simple, direct manner possible, but also of your desired goals once you reach that level of consciousness. For example, if you want to fly when you become lucid, you might record a message such as, ‘I’m dreaming and now I can fly!’”

“The DreamSpeaker is comprised of two components: a battery-operated control unit and a pillow speaker. The control unit is a small black box containing a microphone and the electronics necessary for digital sound recording and interfacing with a REM detecting device. The pillow speaker has a volume control and is attached to the control box by means of a seven-foot cable. The control box is connected to the NovaDreamer by means of another cable, and the speaker is placed unobtrusively under one’s pillow.”

“To use the DreamSpeaker, you first make a recording (up to 15 seconds in length) by pressing a recording button on the control unit and speaking into the microphone. Then you test the recording quality and volume by triggering a cue (by pressing the appropriate button or buttons on the NovaDreamer). Later that night… when you receive a light cue from the mask (triggered by the rapid eye movements associated with dreaming sleep) the DreamSpeaker will be activated as well. Thus, the mask’s light cue is reinforced as a lucidity trigger by words heard during the dream.”

If you have had any experience with the DreamSpeaker, good or bad, let me know through the Lucid Dreaming Tools Survey or e-mail me. I will post your responses on a special users response page. Thanks for your time!

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7c.The PEST

The P.E.S.T. as described by the Lucidity Institute

“The P.E.S.T. (Programmable Electronic State Tester) rides with you throughout the day, at work, home, or play, disguised as a beeper. Every so often, it reminds you, with a beep, a flash of its LED “eyes”, or a vibration (so no one else knows what you’re doing) that it’s time to think about lucid dreaming again. The P.E.S.T. has a built-in state tester; you press a button and the P.E.S.T. flashes and beeps — if you’re awake. If you are dreaming you’re doing a state test with the P.E.S.T., because the P.E.S.T. is a machine, it will probably not work right. In essence, the P.E.S.T. brings the reminder features of the NovaDreamer into your waking life. Then, to make the most of your day practice, you can take the P.E.S.T. to bed with you. The P.E.S.T. attaches to your and gives you its vibration cue when you enter a dream, in concert with (or instead of, if you wish) the cue to become lucid given by the NovaDreamer .”

If you have had any experience with the PEST, good or bad, let me know through the Lucid Dreaming Tools Survey or e-mail me. I will post your responses on a special users response page. Thanks for your time!

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7d.The Dream Stone

The Dream Stone..More to come soon…..

If you have had any experience with the Dream Stone or something similar, good or bad, let me know through theLucid Dreaming Tools Survey or e-mail me. I will post your responses on a special users response page. Thanks for your time!


1.Keeping A Dream Journal

Keep a pen, paper, or a tape recorder by the bed, and if you have a partner be merciful and use a small flashlight to prevent waking them. The journal should be small enough to keep under your pillow or carry around during the day, in case something triggers a memory of an earlier dream. Both pen and pad should only be used for recording dreams. Rituals even as small as these create a sense of something unique, personal and special. It also means that even the sight of these objects, having their special purpose, can be a focus which prompts memory. These are, after all, your passports into another world.

Make a point of consciously deciding that the journal is the place where you will be recollecting your experiences in the dreamworld.

However odd the details might appear, they are only a device to help jog your memory. Most of us have spent our whole lives ignoring our dreams and now you will be carefully recording every detail of them, so do not be impatient.


2. Pre Sleep Activities

Directly before going to bed, there are a number of useful tips. The first is simply to go to bed with a clear head, unbefuddled with alcohol, sleeping pills, or just being too tired. Sit and relax, and allow the mind to clear itself of all the junk accumulated during the day. Of all exercises, relaxation is probably the most difficult for a Westerner under the usual stress of daily life. The most important element in calming the body, to allow an easy entry into sleep, is through regular and rhythmic breathing exercises. Simply breathing slowly or breathing in to the count of five and out on the second five, does seem to be beneficial to many would-be dreamers who find it difficult to drop off. One method is to tense each muscle throughout the body, starting at the feet, as you inhale and let it relax as you exhale. Continue this until you reach the head.

Taken from The Lucid Dreamer, by Malcolm Godwin


3.Calm atmosphere

If you are to make any progress on the royal dream road then it is essential to create an atmosphere of calm. It is almost useless to try any of the methods if you cannot set aside a peaceful time for them.

The room itself where you sleep should be filled with light and calming colors, or for those with more exotic taste, candles and incense. If you have a sympathetic, as well as compassionate, partner, then a gentle foot massage usually works charms on even the most hardened insomniac.

Herb such as rosemary, thyme and lavender beneath the pillow are noted for inducing a quiet and natural sleep, as will a hot bath immediately before retiring. Some psychics recommend a handful of powdered ginger thrown into the water, which according to them cleanses the aura.

Whatever the case may be, it certainly relaxes any tension in the muscles. If you find these instructions a little daunting, you might remember that a mystic would have probably taken years to enter a deep and meditative state where he or she could access their dreams, while a shaman would have gone through elaborate rituals or a long and often dangerous initiation to be worthy enough to meet the spirit-world. It is common, however, that armchair-shamans tend to expect instant gratification. If we pay for a book on dreams, then surely it should deliver the goods on demand. But the realm or particular aspect of ourselves that we are about to enter does not allow for quick solutions or forced entry. So you might as well relax and prepare for what might be a long wait. Now, in a quiet, calm but clear state tell yourself that you will recollect your dreams during the night.

And to really implant the suggestion firmly into an otherwise often reluctant brain, write it down.

Taken from The Lucid Dreamer, by Malcolm Godwin


4.Remembrance

This is a very powerful technique, especially known in Indian Tantra. Before going to bed sit with closed eyes and slowly unravel the day which has passed. Start from the evening and travel back through the whole day until you remember the very way you woke up and what thoughts you encountered in doing so. It is important to be completely accepting and non-judgmental of anyone’s behavior, including your own. Be as dispassionate as possible – an observer on the hillside who does not identify with the dramas and passions of what he or she watches. This is an excellent way of ridding the mind of unwanted and irrelevant clutter. The quality of your dreams increases and the number of simple rubbish images which are collected during the course of the day seems to diminish. At the end of the procedure some practitioners visualize compressing the whole day’s experience into a hot air balloon and letting it rise skyward or popping it in a bottle and throwing it out into an imaginary ocean. This discipline also helps you to attain a far greater dream recall than normal.

It is known from the Dead Sea Scrolls that the religious Essene communities of biblical times believed that sleep was a small death, and treated it with as much respect. As members of the community went to sleep there was an acceptance that they might not awaken, so when the next morning dawned it was greeted as if it were a new life, a new birth. It appears that these people made it a point to leave nothing undone or unsettled at the end of the day. All arguments had to be resolved, wrongs forgiven and quarrels settled so that each person might be released from the life-day to enter the dream-death-night. Such a way of entering sleep would mean that one is unburdened by unresolved garbage, so that dreams would be free to pick up deeper and richer threads.

Taken from The Lucid Dreamer, by Malcolm Godwin


5.Upon Awakening

The culminating part of all the previous preparations comes at dawn. Do not open your eyes immediately upon waking, or if you forget, have some object by the bed to cue or jog your memory. Prepare this before going to sleep the night before by telling yourself that when you see it in the morning you will remember your dreams.

Otherwise, with eyes still closed, try to remember even a fragment of the dream which will act as a magnet for the rest. We all know just how ephemeral dreams can become when you really want to remember them. They seem to evaporate, leaving a general feeling of something having happened in an otherwise empty space. To recapture those memories, they must be allowed to emerge gradually and spontaneously into your consciousness. To attempt to hunt them down ruthlessly is futile. So simply relax with eyes closed and wait for a stray clue to arise. Avoid following any thoughts which bring up all the habits of the morning – like what the mail will bring or whether you forgot to pay the electricity bill last week. Just lie quietly, gently fishing for a hint, and the dream will suddenly rush back. If there is no image forthcoming, write in your journal the sort of images which appear in your waking moments instead. There is no hurry.

Give each dream a title in your journal and record the date. List all the details of who was in it, what they wore, and particular objects or obvious symbols present in it along with your general emotional state. Don’t be surprised if what you dream seems a bit dull at first. Only when you have written it all down will you suddenly realize that in some peculiar way it was unique and revealing. They invariably are.

These methods are only a preparation for the subsequent techniques, and are designed to break through the amnesiac barrier. Inducing lucid dreaming is certainly not easy but without preparation the reader will discover it is impossible.

The simple practice of keeping a dream journal also gives you a fascinating record of your inner workings. If you also keep a diary at the same time, you will begin to see immediate correspondences between the daytime and nighttime realms.

Taken from The Lucid Dreamer, by Malcolm Godwin


6.Visualization 

For visualizations it is always useful to have the recording of a drum beat or a sound that is repetitive . Before sleep the participant relaxes in darkness, or with a blindfold, and visualizes passing through a long tunnel towards a light that is visible at the other end. Through the insistent drumbeat one feels propelled through the tunnel at greater and greater speed. As you enter the luminous haze you can call upon an ally, or guide, to assist in the exploration of the realm entered. This might be in the form of a mythic creature, an animal or a spirit. Take your time waiting for the ally to appear and do not be surprised at its form. Just allow it to take shape in your mind and do not be fearful if it appears in a frightening guise. In fact many shamans claim that the more ferocious the ally or the totem animal, the greater will be your vision quest. Allow the imagined event to unfold, and when you feel it is complete, make a point of bidding the ally farewell, thanking it for taking you into the realm and requesting it to join you in sleep.

Return along the tunnel and await sleep with the resolve that this sequence will be continued in a dream; that you will once again enact the sequence, but that this time, the moment you see the ally, you will immediately awaken within the dream.

If, later in the night, you manage to invoke a lucid dream, use exactly the same waking procedure in the dream. The power and reality will be of a radically different dimension from the earlier guided visualization when awake. So be alert and prepared, when a very real totem animal or ally appears, not to be any more fearful than when you were guiding a daydream. Avoid trying to control the dream past the point of meeting your guide; just follow the dream as attentively as you can, remaining a witness who remembers it is all a dream and yet who can marvel at the details and unexpected turn of events. Entering the “crack between worlds” or the rent in the inner veil, the world of spirits is an archetypal surprise. But remember it is a dream which you can change if the direction it takes is not one you enjoy.

Taken from The Lucid Dreamer, by Malcolm Godwin .


7. MILD 

This is the most effective method devised by Stephen LaBerge. MILD stands for Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams and is simplicity itself. It is based upon our ability to use context to remember something. When I look at the knot in my handkerchief, I will remember to pay my car tax. We form a mental connection between what we want to do and the future circumstances in which we intend to do it. LaBerge goes on:

“The verbalization that I use to organize my intended effort is: ‘Next time I’m dreaming, I want to remember to recognize I’m dreaming.’ The ‘when’ and ‘what’ of the intended action must be clearly specified.

I generate this intention either immediately after awakening from an earlier REM period, or following a period of full wakefulness, as detailed below. An important point is that in order to produce the desired effect, it is necessary to do more than just mindlessly recite the phrase. You must really intend to have a lucid dream. Here is the recommended procedure spelled out step by step:

1. During the early morning, when you awaken spontaneously from a dream, go over the dream several times until you have memorized it.

2. Then, while lying in bed and returning to sleep, say to yourself, ‘Next time I’m dreaming, I want to remember to recognize I’m dreaming.’

3. Visualize yourself as being back in the dream just rehearsed; only this time, see yourself realizing that you are, in fact, dreaming.

4. Repeat steps two and three until you feel your intention is clearly fixed or you fall asleep.”

LaBerge makes an interesting connection: the mental set involved in this practice is very like the one we adopt when we decide to awaken at a certain hour. The ability to set an internal alarm clock to wake up from our dreams can be as easily utilized to awaken in our dreams.

Taken from The Lucid Dreamer, by Malcolm Godwin

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8.Hand Visualization 

George Gurdjieff’s technique predates by over seventy years the one described by Carlos Castaneda as being given to him by his Yaqui Indian teacher, Don Juan. It is very simple in essence. The object of your attention is irrelevant, just so long as it is familiar. In this case it is your hands. During the day make it a point to look at them frequently. Close your eyes and visualize them whenever you have a spare moment. While awaiting sleep, remember what you have been doing all day and re-visualize them. Take this image with you as you fall asleep and tell yourself that if you see them again you will be dreaming, and that you must become aware enough to awaken in your dream.

This is a simple habit-forming routine which admittedly takes time to take effect, but it is probably the most successful trigger mechanism of all. Gurdjieff’s disciples record that it usually took about three to six months before there was any success, but it does work. By associating your hands with being in a dream, it also has the added effect of undermining your habitual assumptions of the waking state.

Taken from The Lucid Dreamer, by Malcolm Godwin


9.Self-Hypnosis 

In the field of holistic therapy there must be dozens of methods of self-hypnosis. The simplest is to make yourself comfortable in whatever way best suits you. Starting at the feet, feel each muscle and every part of the feet and ankles tense up and then relax. Feel the tension/relaxation slowly spread up the body as if in rippling waves. Do this slowly, allowing each part of the body to become completely relaxed. When you get to the head, tell yourself to count down from ten to zero and that when you reach zero you will be in a light trance state. Know that you can come out of it by reversing the countdown from zero to ten.

Once in the trance state you can instruct yourself in the simplest terms possible that you will both recognize and remember your dreams. You can tell yourself that at some time in the night you will dream of an object. It is good anyway to have a dream object by the bed to remind you of your resolve to dream lucidity. The moment you see the object in your dream, you will awaken within it. Keep the object in a special context and every time you look at it while awake tell yourself you are dreaming.

When you have given the instruction to your entranced consciousness, gently reinforce the command by simple repetition. Feel confident that your message has got through.

Taken from The Lucid Dreamer, by Malcolm Godwin


10.Healing dreams

Perhaps those who might benefit most from any lucid dreaming program would be those who are physically disabled in some manner or are bedridden. For anyone who is restricted in their ability to move around their environment, is infirm, blind, or has any other sense impaired, lucid dreaming can give an extraordinary sense of freedom. Within the conscious dream realms sight can be restored, youth regained, and the delight of renewed energy allow the waking disabled to once again run across the fields, feeling the power of their limbs. By offering such transformations, which appear so real and which can embrace all the senses, lucid dreaming can heal both the spirit and the body.

Anyone undergoing a biofeedback program, in which, for instance, they are visualizing healthy cells replacing cancerous growths, can gain immeasurably by lucidly dreaming such a process. Just as a meditator can slip into the deepest of states while consciously dreaming, in ways which are very difficult while awake, so the patient who is trying to visualize healing often finds too many outward distractions which prevent entering the visualization deeply enough. Lucid dreaming avoids all distractions, for once the direction of the dream is established through an inner intention then the episode unfolds with an intensity which precludes any diversions.

One method which could prove of help to anyone physically disabled is to choose some activity which you regret you can no longer do. This might be anything from running fast under a warm sun across the beach into the sea, to making love. Choose something which will engage all your senses to the full, and at regular intervals during the day close your eyes and visualize whatever scenario you wish to enact. If you can find a postcard, a photograph or some object like a pebble which brings the whole beach alive in your mind, have it by you. Before going to sleep hold the image as clearly as you can and intend to consciously dream about it that night. If you give it your undivided and single-minded attention it will eventually happen. The neural connections need to be strengthened by repetition and persistence in order to build a pathway to lucidity.

Once the dream appears and you have enjoyed the sense of physical freedom and a new found health, you might take time to consciously examine your waking body to see if there is anything which you can do to help it heal in some way.

One way of doing this is to wait on the beach, feeling overflowing with energy which you would like to share. You walk towards someone on a bed which looks somewhat odd as it sits by the sea. You recognize yourself lying there and feel that you can, by running your hands across the body, diagnose the deepest physical malady. You gently stroke the part of the body which needs your overflowing energy, knowing as you do so that there is healing in the touch. Continue until the figure responds, but do not interfere with the process by willing the figure to rise or sprout an amputated limb. Allow your disabled doppleganger, or physical self, to act on his or her own. You might find that the other “you” springs out of bed and rushes into the sea, or just stirs a little and smiles at you. Allow whatever happens and wait. If you can repeat this procedure through regular dreams of this nature you will have acquired the most powerful healing method possible, for you will have intended your own recovery, which cannot but enter the waking state. Although the preparation and persistence might be difficult, the rewards are truly overwhelming.

Taken from The Lucid Dreamer, by Malcolm Godwin


11.False Awakenings

Any readers who have managed by this point to have had a few lucid dreams will probably also know of the false awakenings and will know the difficulty of recognizing them for what they are. You appear to awaken and go about your morning business only to discover that you are still dreaming. It is a curious quirk of the process that the more one has lucid dreams the more one experiences these unreal wakings. There seem few satisfactory explanations for this phenomenon. Maybe it happens because dreamers already believe that they are awake, or that the expectancy of really waking up as the lucid dream fades, triggers the effect.

Whatever the cause there are a variety of methods of overcoming these false awakenings and which allow the dreamer to continue dreaming with undiminished consciousness and alert attention. All have one factor in common — the sensation of rapid or vivid movement. Some lucid dreamers favor whirling or spinning like a top, while others prefer to throw themselves backwards into an abyss or off a cliff.

The two methods which most appeal to me are simply flying and performing the most spectacular aerobatics, or creating a hanging veil or a door through which you charge at full tilt.

I have read somewhere that there is indirect evidence that there might be a connection between the vestibular apparatus (the balancing mechanism of the inner ear) and the production of bursts of REM during dreaming. If there is some link, then this might account for vivid dream movements fooling the brain into stimulating more REM sleep and thus more lucid dreaming.

Taken from The Lucid Dreamer, by Malcolm Godwin


12.Summoning the demon

As we have been examining the raising of demons it seems useful to look at any methods of dealing with them in a lucid dream. There usually comes a point in dreaming when we must face our worst fears. In a lucid dream the reality of this can so shock the dreamer that he or she comes to believe in the particular monster and invariably falls from any state of alertness, usually waking from the dream immediately. However real the horror may appear at the time, it remains a dream, and this understanding is usually enough to dispel any fear. But sometimes the dreamer is not so convinced when facing down a twenty-foot demonic presence. At such times the thought goes through anyone’s head that perhaps they have entered some hellish separate reality, a parallel realm in which one can really get hurt. The principle to understand with all such apparitions is the simple equation that their substantiality is in direct proportion to your belief. So first of all remember that it is a dream image and probably some unacceptable aspect of yourself. Love, laughter and light seem to be the best weapons against such entities. Keeping a sense of humor in a dream is perhaps the most precious talisman you can possibly take with you to the other realm. But the same could be said for the waking world as well. Loving the beast is another strategy often tried by dreamers. Embracing the monster and accepting it usually brings an immense sense of relief, as if you have been repressing a part of yourself and creating your own Minotaur in the center of your private labyrinth. Often it is reported by lucid dreamers that in embracing the monster the dreamer discovers the unacceptable part of themselves. Talk to it, asking it who it is its name is often revealing. Ask it why it is trying to threaten you or what it is trying to do and how you can help it.

If you are of a particularly courageous and foolhardy disposition you can summon up your worst fears in a lucid dream. However, this can be almost as fearsome as the experiences of the dancer of Chod if the dreamer is not prepared for the reality of the summoned. Your pet demons will appear only too easily by themselves, and will be far more true if they happen by themselves. Summoned entities in lucid dreams often bear a curious mark of empty artificiality, quite regardless of whether they are the embodiments of good or of evil.

And yet a nudge in the right direction can yield real insights. Summoning your favorite person, your worst enemy or a wise old man or woman, can reveal unexpected delights of real wisdom, humor and compassion. If you can remember in the midst of all this activity to do a reality check on whomever you have summoned or intended, you will be able to discern revealing differences between the original and your dream replica. And there is always a very real chance that you might somehow have invoked the actual person from their own dreams. Personally, I have shared dreams with others on a number of occasions, and yet I can not really confirm that what both of us experienced was the same thing or whether it was just wishful thinking.