I remember my first lucid dream.
Of course, I didn't know it was a lucid dream at the time. In fact, I didn't even know there was a term called lucid dreaming. I simply remember an amazingly bright ride in an old fashion roller coaster through my old hometown. I remember that the ride went on for what seemed like hours before I suddenly realized, “My hometown doesn't have a roller coaster. I must be dreaming. " So I looked around and began noticing other anomalies. The sky was a bluish pink. The horizon looked a bit like a Van Gogh painting. I could feel no wind. Sure enough, I was dreaming. What's more, I was fully aware that I was dreaming and able to manipulate the world around me using the power of my thoughts.
The next day, I went to the library and discovered the term for what had happened to me-lucid dreaming, a wonderful state of mind that I was to learn to return to again and again. If you would like to experience a lucid dream, try these five steps:
1. Realize that lucid dreaming is possible. Yes, you can be fully conscious while dreaming, and you can walk fully aware through the labyrinths of your mind.
2. Over eighty percent of what we do, even in our dreams, derives from our habits. If you do something often enough, you will eventually do it even in your sleep.
3. Make a habit of asking yourself, “Am I dreaming now?" In order to make the question a habit, you'll need to ask it at least once an hour for several days. At first, you will ask yourself, look around, and realize that you are not dreaming. But one night soon, you will ask yourself, look around, and realize that you are dreaming. That's when the fun kicks in.
4. Don't try to move at first. If you try to move your body while sleeping, you will feel frozen and wake yourself up. Our real bodies can't move during the dream state in order to protect them from injury, so you'll need to get accustomed to your dream body before you try to move.
5. Start by looking down at your hands. It is a very strange sensation, looking at your hands while dreaming. You immediately realize that you are dreaming because your hands do not look normal. Looking at your hands can help you to move them. Once you can move your hands, you will be able to walk through your dreams without waking yourself up.
I recommend that the first few times you find yourself in a lucid dreams, don't try to do anything different. Simply watch the world around you and realize that it is a product of your mind. Once you have experienced a few lucid dreams, you can move on to one of my favorite thing-flying. It is a wonderful feeling to fly in your dreams. I once flew to Pluto and back, my only disappointment is that the Pluto in my dream looked a bit like a flat chocolate chip cooking, and Saturn looked more like the plastic mobiles that parents hang above cribs than a real planet. Ah well, such is the power of the mind. You can also change your location in a dream by spinning. You simply spin in place until the world around you looks like a whirlwind. Next, tell yourself where you want to go as you slowly stop spinning. The whirlwind around you will eventually materialize into the place where you want it to be. I was able to visit my childhood home this way, and curl up with my mom.
Do be careful. I once did the spinning technique and didn't tell myself where to go. I simply asked to be sent to a place where I could learn something. Well I was sent there, and I quickly learned that my mind contains some things that I am not ready to face. Luckily, I got so scared that I immediately woke myself up.
Lucid dreaming is a tool for self-exploration and fun, but use it wisely. We are not meant to be conscious every time we sleep. However, an occasional flight to Mars and back feels wonderful, and a conscious look inside your dreaming mind is a worthwhile trip indeed. . .
By Lynn Marie Sager, copyright 2008
Do you know your personality type? Navigating Life invites you to read “A Two Question Personality Test That Can Help You Get Along, " simply visit http://www.navigatinglife.org and click through to the Galley for links to our full articles.
Lynn Marie Sager has toured over two-dozen countries and worked on three continents. Author of A River Worth Riding: Fourteen Rules for Navigating Life, Lynn currently lives in California; where she fills her time with private coaching, public speaking, and teaching for the LACCD and Pierce College. She runs the Navigating Life website, where she offers assistance to readers who wish to incorporate the rules of worthwhile living into their lives. To read more about how you can use these rules to improve your life, visit Lynn's website at http://www.navigatinglife.org