Lately I have been obsessed with the idea of subconscious reality and the vague line between dreaming and “real life”. I have been toying with meditation and the idea of Transcendental Meditation and lucid dreaming.You can probably blame this obsession on Inception or my lifetime fascination with all things metaphysical. I want to cover TM in a future post but for now lets explore lucid dreaming a bit.
Lucid dreaming is when you become fully aware of the fact that you are in a dream, and you start to consciously control it. There are two types of lucid dreams. The most common is when you realize you are dreaming halfway through a dream. The second type is when you go directly from a waking state into a dreaming state without any clear lapse in consciousness. You probably have experienced this phenomena at least once in your life and woke up thinking “whoa that was freaky”. Lucid dreams are a fascinating phenomena that really make you question reality and your subconscious.
The beauty of lucid dreaming is being totally aware of all the nonsense in your dream while it happens. Many lucid dreamers can control certain aspect of their dreams to make them more interesting or to live out their desires in a “sub-reality”. Our brain patterns are the same when we are dreaming as they are during waking life, so our body reacts the same to dream events as it would in reality. Crazy right? We all know how real our dreams can be at times and living directly in them is a tempting prospect. Its an exciting, magical, mind-game adventure!
Many people have mastered the art of lucid dreaming and have been able to achieve that state on a regular basis. Some people use this opportunity to rehearse real-life events, get freaky with a crush, ride a unicorn (that’s mine) and fly.. among endless other things. Here is how you too can dream your way to total reality confusion!
- Constantly ask yourself throughout the day: Am I dreaming? You want to turn that question into a consistent thought so it will come to mind while you dream. If you are like me, this question will freak you out from time to time.. and will also help you live with more awareness.
- Keep a dream diary. Write down every detail of your dreams immediately after waking up. This is very important! It will help you recognize consistent themes.
- Learn your sleep pattern. Figure out what time most of your dreams occur. You can set your alarm to wake you up during one of these cycles. If you remember your dream vividly you can go back to sleep with intentions to control it – and it will usually work! (I used to do this all the time without really knowing what I was doing.)
- Do reality checks during strange moments in your day. Pinch yourself, flip a light switch, or look at your reflection – all of those things are distorted in dreams.
- Go to sleep with a mission. Plan out your dream or intention before going to sleep. Usually your mood or ideas will transfer to your dreams.
- Listen to Binaural Beats. They are often used to induce lucid dreams in studies.
- Think and learn about lucid dreaming every day. The more you inundate your brain with the idea, the more it will sneak into your subconscious.
Or you can check out this great Discovery Channel segment on Lucid Dreaming.
Do you have lucid dreams? Have you ever had one by accident? What has worked for you to achieve this state?