What Is It?
Lucid dreaming is the ability to take control of your dreams much like the architects in the movie Inception. You can add and remove characters, have superpowers and construct your environment as you wish.
Why Should I Consider Doing It?
As part of my exploration into meta-learning, I always wished I had more hours in the day to pursue my interests and passions. Even though sleep is incredibly important for learning and recovery, I felt it was a waste to sleep away 25% - 33% of my life.
Lucid Dreaming is an opportunity to use that time more effectively without robbing you of much needed rest. It allows for a different platform to be creative, get work done or acquire skill sets.
Great, How do I Start?
Like in golf, although every golfer needs to know the fundamentals, each golf swing is unique to that individual. Treat your journey into lucid dreaming as a process of constant experimentation. How you achieve your lucid dream state may not work for someone else. There are, however, three main components that have yielded a very high success rate: recording your dreams, becoming aware that you are dreaming and inducing lucidity.
- Keep a Dream Journal. Right after waking, before you start your day, write down your dreams. A notepad or journal next to your bed with pen or pencil ready is all you need. As you train this habit, you will find your dream recall ability improving, which will also allow you time to reflect and ponder on their meanings. At the very least, this exercise will help cultivate your interest in dreaming and build the neural pathways in your brain for a deeper, more vivid dream experience.
- Reality Checks. The basic premise is to train your brain to be constantly checking the environment to test whether you are dreaming - this becomes the 'trigger' to turn a normal dream into a lucid one. Think of it as dream testing, whereby you use an environmental or object cue to 'test' for dream state. A common method of alerting your conscious mind to the fact you are indeed dreaming is by first identifying common objects in your dreams using your dream journal, then performing a ritual habit that could only be accomplished in a dream using that object cue.
- Inducing Lucidity. Suggested strategies for achieving a deeper lucid dream state more frequently are Affirmations¹ practised just before falling back to sleep or structured models like MILD²
Youtube: Lucid Dream Induction
I've had success with the following videos:
Resources and References
Ferriss, Tim. http://fourhourworkweek.com/2009/09/21/how-to-lucid-dream/