Amy

Pure Belligerence
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2002-01-29 03:01:35 (UTC)

*What dreams may come.... on the road....*

hey..... i go for my license test tomorrow..... woo hoo. I
was practicing all today.... i really hope i pass. In
other news..... iv heard about this thing called lucid
dreaming.... i wanna try it, it sounds cool.... but instead
of trying to explain it i'll just put it here..... (so i
guess my online diary will be doubling as a dream diary,
even though it is very rare, maybe once every few months,
that i will remember a dream iv had....)

Vision : A Guide to Lucid Dreaming


------------------------------------------------------------
--------------------

Erin J. Wamsley
[email protected]


I
Introduction


"Once we are Conscious, suddenly we can see where we are --
we are able to
see our seeing, hear our hearing, touch our touching, and
feel our feeling.
With consciousness we can be where we are. Consciousness is
the doorway
through which we enter the dreamscape."


- Charles McPhee


We spend one third of our lives sleeping. And we all dream.
We all dream every single night. Our bodies shut down, and
free of physical distractions, our minds take a journey
into the dreamworld. You may think of a sleeping person as
being docile, but far from it, a sleeper's brain waves
during dream sleep are nearly as active as those during
waking life. Our eyes dart about beneath the lids, looking
around at the landscapes of our mind's own creation through
which we wander. Every night we enter a vast environment of
the mind, filled with possibilities. Unfortunately, not all
of us can even remember this experience, and few of us are
aware of what we are experiencing while we are there. What
if, during this supposed "unconscious" state, we were aware
of the fact that we were dreaming? What if we could explore
our own minds at will during this state, taking advantage
of our own, personal, 'virtual reality'? Lucid dreaming is
a way for us to be aware of the extraordinary experience we
are having during a dream. Dr. Stephen LaBerge, Ph.D.
defines lucidity:

"While the dream is happening you are fully aware of the
fact that you are dreaming, that the world around you is a
creation of your mind, and that you are independent from
it."

Below is an excerpt of an actual dream that I had in which
I became lucid. If you haven't already had a lucid dream,
this will hopefully give you a sense of what it is like.
You may also want to look back at this later when you are
working with exercises that deal with specific moments in
the procurement of lucidity.

. . . I am at school. I'm walking around, but suddenly
become confused when I can't remember how I got there. I
don't remember waking up, getting in a car, or anything
else until a few moments before. I recognize that this is
very strange. I go up to my friend in the hallway and tell
her that I can't remember how I got to school. She tried to
rationalize the anomaly for me by saying that it happens to
her all the time. However, I then decide that if I can't
remember how I got to school, then I must not have come to
school. Therefore, despite my surroundings, I must not be
in school. I must still be asleep. I realize that I am
dreaming.
Then I am in a classroom. I realize that the people around
me are not real, but I try to prove to them that I am
dreaming anyway. I show them my watch, tell them to note
the time, cover it up, and then show it to them again. The
time has drastically changed in a few moments. Then I take
a book off a nearby shelf, and read a passage from it. When
finished, I reread the same passage, but the words have
changed. These discrepancies, I tell them, could never
exist in real life. Therefore, I must be dreaming.
Satisfied that I have proven my case, I decide to go off in
search of adventure. I get a running start and fly out the
window . . .

People have been having lucid dreams throughout history,
but they have only recently been proven and come to
scientific attention.
But why? Why do this? What importance does lucid dreaming
have? If you have experienced it, you know that it is an
exciting and monumental event. If you have not, you should
perhaps listen to the words of those who have...


"a moment ago I thought I knew what was going on. I thought
I knew what my world was and now I realize that everything
I thought about it was wrong."

- Dr. Stephen LaBerge, Ph.D.


...and then experience it for yourself. And the tools you
need to do so are right in your hands and in your own mind
at this very moment. All you need to do is want to use them.


2
Training


"We are asleep with compasses in our hands."


- W.S. Merwin

Prerequisites

Before you begin any of the actual exercises there are a
few conditions that you should meet: you need to begin a
dream journal, to learn about your sleep cycles, and to
have the right attitude about the task you are undertaking.

Dream Journal

The first and most important thing you can do to improve
your dream recall is to keep a dream journal. You should
write down everything you remember from your dreams each
night. This can sometimes be a time-consuming process, but
don't put it off until later in the day. Keep your journal
right next to your bed so you can access it as soon as you
awaken from a dream. If you are in a hurry in the mornings,
you should take notes concerning your dreams, paying
special attention to details such as feelings and colors,
and then go back and write out the entire dream at a later
time (do this at night when you come home, or take your
journal to school or work). It is crucial, however, to get
something concerning your dream down on paper as soon as
you wake up. You may think that you will remember your
dream, but by midday it could become just a foggy
recollection. It is a time commitment to write down your
dreams, but if you don't do it, you will have nothing to
work with for the later exercises. Make dream recording a
part of your daily routine, and dreaming will come into
your hands a thousand times more easily. You never need to
show your journal to anyone else if you don't want to. It
is a private thing, like a diary.
Your journal can take any form you wish; it need not be
fancy. You could buy a special dream journal at a
bookstore, but a 99 cent composition notebook will serve
the purpose just as well. You should write down the date
and, if possible, the time of each dream you record for
later reference. Some people like to title their dreams and
include them in a table of contents. You may want to leave
a sizable margin on the side of your description to add
notes that occur to you later. If you are artistically
inclined, or learn visually, it may be beneficial to you to
include sketches of dream places, characters, or objects.
Tape recorders are an effective alternative method of dream
recording. You can record your voice describing your dream
when you wake up in the morning, and transcribe it to
paper, or you may choose to keep a library of all your
dreams on tape. Whatever it is, your journal should be
something you like and feel comfortable using. The setup of
your journal is a completely personal choice. There is no
right or wrong way to do it; the important thing is to
record as many dreams as possible.
Recording our dreams helps us to pay attention to the
dreams we are able to recall, and establishes a daily
routine that molds the idea of dreaming into our lives.
When we perform actions that cause us to think of dreams
during the day, it helps us to "remember to remember" our
dreams at night. You should keep a dream journal for at
least a week or two before trying the induction exercises
described later.

Know Your Sleep

In working with your dreams, you are working with your
sleeping self, and so it is important to know just a little
bit about what your mind and body are doing during sleep.
This will help you to focus your efforts during some of the
later exercises and give you a general knowledge of what
you are dealing with, physically, as you work on
manipulating your sleep and dreams.
During the night, we go through repeated 90 minute sleep
cycles consisting of four different stages and, of course,
dream sleep.
During stage one, the first and lightest stage, we are in
the process of falling asleep. This is a brief transition
state to other stages. We experience hypnagogic imagery as
we move into deeper sleep.
Stage two is the onset of what we would consider actual
sleep. It lasts about 10-20 minutes.
Stages three and four are a "deep sleep" lasting about 40-
50 minutes. This activity is not found in those suffering
from insomnia or depression.
Following stage four, we progress back to stage two and
then enter dream sleep. Dream sleep is the time in which
most of our vivid dreams occur. This is also called "REM",
or Rapid Eye Movement, sleep. During this time, our eyes
are darting around beneath the lids and looking about at
the world we are seeing in the dream. The length of dream
sleep increases with each cycle throughout the night, which
partially accounts for the fact that we often have our most
memorable and vivid dreams when we have had a longer time
to sleep.

Attitude

Without the right attitude towards any learning experience,
you will get nothing out of it. If you pay thousands of
dollars to sit in a university class, but don't pay
attention, don't respect the teacher, don't like the class,
and don't do the homework, you will never learn anything.
This is especially true for dreaming. The attitude that you
have means everything to the success of your lucid
dreaming, because it is all in your mind.
First and foremost, it is important that you have at least
a mild curiosity in learning to have lucid dreams. You must
want to do this, or else you will never have the motivation
to commit any effort to the task. Lucid dreaming requires
some commitment of time and concentration. You must want to
learn enough that you are willing to put effort into the
learning process.
Whatever you believe will happen, probably will. If you
believe that nothing you are reading in this book will
work, it won't. If you believe that you won't be able to
have a lucid dream, then it will, in fact, be very
difficult for you. You must believe that you can succeed.
This may sound silly, and perhaps it would be if we were
talking about running a marathon, but since what you are
trying to achieve concerns only your own mind, your
willpower and belief in yourself will have a massive effect
upon your success. Don't be too skeptical. Believe that
lucid dreaming is easy, and that anyone can do it.
You must be willing to devote time to your dream life. This
does not mean giving up all your free time, but simply
making a small effort. You must be willing to take a few
minutes out of the day to concentrate on certain tasks, to
record your dreams, and to practice exercises. I suggest
that you take a moment right now and decide that you want
to do this, you believe you can, and you are willing to
commit to it.

Preparation Exercises

These next pages will help you to strengthen and develop
five basic skills that are a foundation for learning how to
have lucid dreams, and for being successful in later
techniques: discipline, awareness, willpower,
concentration, intention, and memory. It is key for you to
spend some time and effort on these exercises, or else the
later techniques may not help you much at all. You should
use them for at least a week or so before moving on, and
continue to practice them as you learn more techniques.
There is, of course, no set time period for how long an
exercise may take to help a person, so don't be discouraged
if your efforts don't pay off right away, or if certain
exercises don't help you at all.


Discipline

In order to be successful in training yourself towards
lucidity, you must become comfortable with discipline and
routine. The most important element of discipline for a
dreamer lies in recording your dreams. You need to develop
a routine of recording your dreams every day. You must
discipline yourself into thinking about your dreams when
you awaken, and write them down, no matter what. The moment
you begin to allow yourself to skip days and to be lazy,
you begin to lose valuable material and experience.
Recording your dreams on a regular basis will also teach
you the discipline that you will need to be successful in
many other techniques. Begin this daily routine tomorrow
morning, if possible. Once you get into the swing of it,
recording dreams becomes no problem at all. The hard part
is getting started, so just do it.
Discipline also figures into almost every other technique
you will learn. You must have the self-discipline to carry
out sometimes tedious activities, and to commit time from
your day to these activities. Discipline is one of the
blocks that your success will be built on, and although you
may not like it at times, it is necessary.

Awareness

Since the goal of lucid dreaming is to become aware while
dreaming, developing your skill of awareness about yourself
and your dreams while waking is key to your development of
awareness in your dreams.

Developing awareness of your dreamsigns is a simple
activity that centers around the main ways that you will
become lucid in your dreams. A dreamsign is "a peculiar
event or object in a dream that can be used as an indicator
that you are dreaming" (Lynne Levitan, A Thousand and One
Nights of Lucid Dreaming). Or, in essence, a signal to you
in a dream. For example, if a pink elephant walked in the
door right now, you might conclude that you are dreaming.
This pink elephant would be considered a dreamsign.
While we are dreaming, however, we don't often recognize
our dreamsigns as being unusual. For example, if you were
in a dream right now and you saw a pink elephant, you might
not think anything of it and keep on reading this. If we
read our dreams and find the dreamsigns that we have had
previously, however, we will become aware of our typical
signs and therefore more easily recognize them in our next
dreams. There are four main categories of dreamsigns as
developed by Dr. Stephen LaBerge:

Action - You, another dream character, or thing does
something unusual or impossible in waking life.

Context - The place or situation in the dream is strange.

Form - You, another character, or thing changes shape, or
is oddly formed /transforms. This may include the presence
of unusual clothing or hair.

Awareness - A peculiar thought, a strong emotion, an
unusual sensation, or altered perceptions.


After you have recorded a dream, go back and reread it.
Locate unusual things or occurrences within it that could
have given you a clue that you were dreaming. Then try to
place these signs in one of the four dreamsign categories.
A helpful way to distinguish these is to highlight,
underline, or circle each type of dreamsign in a different
color. For example, you might decide to highlight all
action dreamsigns in pink, all context signs in yellow,
form signs in green, and awareness signs in blue. This will
help you to easily see these signs, and their categories,
when you look at the dream later.
Once you have marked all the signs in several dreams, you
should begin to record your dreamsigns in a table. One is
provided for you on the next page, but you can easily just
draw your own in your dream journal, or in another
notebook. Recording these in a table not only helps develop
your awareness of dreamsigns in and of itself, but will
also allow you to determine what type of dreamsign most
often causes you to gain lucidity. Learning about your
dreamsigns will help you with visualization of your dreams
in later techniques.

To determine your most effective dreamsigns:

Add up the total number of dreamsigns in each category. Add
up the number of times this category was recognized.


Recognized / Total = % effectiveness

Willpower


Willpower is the fuel that will make your efforts pay off.
Without will to succeed, no technique, no advice, and no
knowledge will ever improve your dreaming. You must focus
your intent and learn to use the power of your mind. The
subject with which we are concerned, dreaming, is within
your mind. It is of your mind and it is controlled by your
mind. Therefore, your own thoughts and will have complete
control over your dreams.
The power of suggestion is a dreamer's ultimate tool, and
is a part of most all lucid dreaming induction techniques.
Other cultures have varied techniques for inducing certain
types of dreams that have no scientific basis for working.
Yet among these people who believe in them, these
techniques do work. It is willpower, the power of self-
suggestion, that causes these sometimes bizarre techniques
to work for those who believe in them.

As you go to bed, try to relax completely. Then simply tell
yourself that you will have a lucid dream and you will
remember it. Repeat continuously in your head (any similar
phrase with the essentially same meaning will also work):

"I will have a lucid dream and I will remember it."

Keep thinking this and do not let your mind wander to any
other subject. You must have the willpower not to let your
mind falter. Repeat this statement in your mind until you
fall asleep, concentrating not just on the words, but on
their meaning. Above all, believe your words. Believe that
you will have a lucid dream and you willremember it.
Believe is always a powerful word in the vocabulary of a
dreamer.

Concentration

Concentration is also a key element in being able to
effectively use concepts such as autosuggestion. Keeping
your mind set on one idea. Not letting your intentions
falter. These are skills that will help you greatly.

An easy way to practice concentration is to focus on an
object. A candle flame works well, but anything else that
you are comfortable with may also do. As well as improving
concentration, this exercise will also help you with
visualization of objects, which is useful in dream control.
Light a candle, and sit comfortably in front of it. Stare
at it and concentrate on the flame. Allow no other thought
than the candle to enter your mind. When you feel your eyes
straining, close them and sit quietly for a few moments,
imagining the flame before you.
You may want to begin doing this for a period of five
minutes or so, adding length each time you practice. Try to
work your way up to 15-20 minutes. Although it is a great
effort of concentration, this should be a relaxing
exercise. Make sure you are comfortable, and do not allow
yourself to become too strained.


Carrying Out Intention

It is not enough to simply intend to do something. In order
to accomplish a task, you have to develop your intention to
do something, and then remember to carry out your intention
at an indefinite point in the future. If you want to have a
lucid dream, you must remember this intent and carry it out
while you are dreaming.

Practice carrying out these random acts:
- Write 100 times "I am dreaming"
- Walk around the perimeter of a room 10 times
- Untie and retie your shoes 5 times.

Do this over a span of three days. Start doing just one
action on the first day. On the next day, do this same
action plus one other. On the third day, carry out all
three actions. If you forget to do one or more on any of
the three days, start the process over again.
This exercise may seem to be pointless, but it will help
you to 'remember to remember' that you are dreaming.

Memory

Remembering your dreams.
Remembering to carry out your intentions.
Remembering that you are dreaming.
These are important things to be able to do in lucid
dreaming, and while not easy, a well-practiced memory adds
significantly to a person's ability to do them.

Prospective Memory Training is a valuable exercise
developed by Dr. Stephen LaBerge. It is designed to be
carried out over the span of one week. Each day, you will
have a list of specific "targets", which are everyday
occurrences (listed on the next page). At the beginning of
the day, memorize your day's targets. Try not to look at
your other targets until you reach the day that they are
assigned. Your goal is to recognize the target when it
occurs and perform a state test. You perform this test
simply by asking yourself "Am I dreaming?" Look around for
dreamsigns, think about it, and answer the question
logically. If you remember to ask yourself this question
when the target event occurs, you have made a "hit". If you
forget to ask yourself this question when the target event
occurs, it is a "miss". Keep track of how many targets you
hit during the day, and how many you missed. Continue this
exercise until you have improved your ability to hit these
targets.

Daily Targets

SUNDAY:
The next time I see a pet or animal.
The next time I look at my face in the mirror.
The next time I turn on a light.

MONDAY:
The next time I write anything down.
The next time I feel pain.
The next time I hear my name spoken.

TUESDAY:
The next time I see a traffic light.
The next time I laugh.
The next time I hear music.

WEDNESDAY:
The next time I eat a vegetable.
The next time I see a red car.
The next time I turn on a television.

THURSDAY:
The next time I hear a phone ring.
The next time I check the time.
The next time I read something other than this list.

FRIDAY:
The next time I see the stars.
The next time I use a toilet after noon.
The next time I open a closed door.

SATURDAY:
The next time I watch a commercial.
The next time I run.
The next time I unlock something.


3
Nightly Induction


"Most of us today think of our dreams as odd episodes, as
foreign as some
ceremonial dance in Tibet. This results in the cutting off
of an extremely
great and significant portion of the self. We are then no
longer able to
use much of the wisdom and power of the unconscious."


- Rollo May


These techniques are not long-term commitments, as some of
the previously described activities were. The following
techniques are instead designed to be used just before you
go to sleep, and the results of these techniques will
immediately follow their use. You can use these at night
before you go to bed, or before a nap. In fact, naps often
one of our most lucidity lucrative sleeping times. At
night, however, the longer you have to sleep, the better.
As you learned before, our dream periods repeat and
increase in length throughout the night, and so the longer
you sleep, the more 'chances' you have at lucidity.
Before trying these techniques, you must prepare your mind
and body. The exercises you have already worked on have
prepared you in the long term, but now you should relax
yourself to prepare for the task immediately ahead of you.

Relaxation

Relaxing before using these techniques clears your mind of
distractions and allows you to focus on the task at hand.
Simple meditation is a good way to relax yourself before
using an induction technique. This specific technique was
introduced to me in a course at the "Institute for
Attitudinal Studies", and I have found it to be quite
effective:

Find a position in which you can comfortably remain.
Observe your thought process. Simply let your thoughts
arise and do not become involved in the content of your
thoughts.
Notice that you can know you have thoughts, but you are not
your thoughts. They are simply a part of the whole. They
represent your feelings, memories, anticipations, or
speculations, and they call for your attention. As each
thought passes, either you attend to it or you do not.
While you cannot stop the thoughts themselves, you can
prevent yourself from being snared by each one.
As each thought arises, picture it on a white cloud in the
sky and watch the cloud pass overhead and out of sight as
another thought comes into view on its cloud. Do not try to
hold on to the clouds or retain the thought in your mind.
Be aware that the thoughts are just objects of our
observation, to be noticed and let go. Keep noticing the
thoughts and then let them go again and again.
And, of course, once you are really comfortable and at home
in pure awareness, then you can let go of the thought of
watching your thoughts as well. Meditate for 5 to 10
minutes, or for a period that is comfortable for you.

Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreaming

Developed by Dr. Stephen LaBerge, Ph.D., this is the
technique which I, personally, have found most beneficial
to my lucidity. It makes use of autosuggestion and
visualization in a combination that can have amazing
results even after the very first time that you use it.

1. Relax completely and get yourself into a comfortable
position in bed.

2. As practiced in the autosuggestion technique, repeat to
yourself as you fall asleep:

"I will wake up after every dream period and I will
remember my dream"

Believe that you will wake up after every dream you have.
The very first time I used this technique, I did wake up
immediately after each dream period.

3. When you wake up during the night, immediately rouse
yourself and write down everything you can remember about
your dream. Even if you can barely remember anything, write
down how the dream made you feel, or how you felt when you
woke up.

4. Lie down again, and as you drift back to sleep, imagine
that you are back in the dream that you just had. This
time, however, imagine that you saw a dreamsign in your
dream and recognized it. Try to think of a dreamsign that
fits with the dream and falls under your most successful
dreamsign category. As you fall asleep, keep visualizing
yourself in your dream, recognizing your dreamsign, and
realizing that you are in a dream.

5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 every time that you awaken during
the night, even if your dream was already lucid.


Lucidity from Sleep Paralysis

You may or may not experience the phenomenon of sleep
paralysis. During dream sleep, our body shuts off our
ability for movement, and we are temporarily paralyzed (in
order that our bodies will not act out our dreams).
Sometimes, we wake up, arising into the sleepy haze of
stage one sleep, but our bodies are still paralyzed. A
person experiencing sleep paralysis may feel that they are
having "difficultly" in waking up. They are unable to move,
and have trouble even in keeping their eyes open, and
focusing on the surroundings of their sleeping quarters.
This paralysis is a frustrating state for most people who
experience it, but it can be taken advantage of in two ways:

Since sleep paralysis is a state very close to dream sleep,
a person can slip into a dream in moments when paralyzed,
simply by closing their eyes and relaxing. We are conscious
in paralysis, and so can set our intention to know that we
are dreaming and easily keep this intention through the
short transition into our dream.

A possibly even better way to exploit sleep paralysis is
the "two bodies" technique. During paralysis, our senses
are somewhat distorted in a halfway state between dreaming
and waking. We are seeing our actual surroundings, but may
feel and hear things from the dreamworld. It is therefore
easy to make a transition into a lucid dream without even
seeming to close our eyes.
This is perhaps the most dramatic technique you will read
about in this workbook, because it is apparently similar to
the concept of 'astral projection'. In this technique,
however, we only dream that we are leaving our bodies.
Once in a state of sleep paralysis, avoid feeling trapped
or frightened. Relax, but do not close your eyes. Imagine
that you have two bodies: a physical body and a dream body.
Your dream body is light, free, and ghostlike, while your
physical body is cumbersome, heavy, and awkward. Your dream
body is currently trapped inside your physical body, but
only because you have not realized that you can free it.
Don't try to move your physical body; instead, concentrate
on 'floating' your dream self out of the cumbersome
physical body. Believe that you can do it and that it is
very easy. If you succeed in this effort, you will slip
into a dream that you have left your paralyzed body on your
bed, and be fully aware that you are dreaming. Be careful
not to be fooled: it may seem very realistic in your dream,
but you have not actually left your body. Remember to
remember that it is 'just a dream'.

4
Within Your Dreams


"Imagination is more important than knowledge."


- Albert Einstein


OK, you're in a lucid dream. Now what?
Well, do anything you want. Explore. Learn. You can
question and converse with your dream characters, knowing
that they are a creation of your own subconscious. You can
do things you've always wanted to do. Jump off Mount
Everest. Have sex with Marilyn Monroe. Find out about
yourself, from yourself. No book can tell you what do.
Before you get to this point of complete freedom, however,
you may need help with maintaining a state of lucidity once
you have been able to achieve it. Many people are able to
achieve moments where they say in a dream "Hey, I'm
dreaming!", but are unable to keep this realization for
more than a short time, eventually falling back into the
assumption that their surroundings are 'real'. Others
habitually wake up right after the moment that they achieve
lucidity. Several techniques have been developed and used
by thousands, specifically for the purpose of maintaining
moments of lucidity. Read these ideas, and keep them in
mind as you go to sleep. For these to be of any help, you
must remember to try them at that crucial moment when you
say, "This is a dream!"

Crossing the Bridge

You might have moments in your recorded dreams where you
can see that you almost became lucid. Perhaps you
recognized a dreamsign but were unable to make the leap
from this recognition to lucidity. The statement, "I am
dreaming." is a monumental and unusual thing to say when
you believe that you are existing in reality. It is
therefore often difficult to convince ourselves that we
are, in fact, in a dream.
However, hard evidence is easy to find. When you are in
doubt as to whether or not you are dreaming, look at your
watch. Notice and remember the time. Look away and then
look back at your watch again. If you are dreaming, the
time will have changed significantly, or have been
unrealistic in the first place. There are no constants in
the dreamworld as there are in waking life, so if your
watch has advanced 10 hours in a moment's glance, you will
have undeniable evidence that you are dreaming.
Another reliable test is to read a passage from a book.
Choose one paragraph from any book you can pick up, look
away from it, and then read it again. If you are dreaming,
the content of this passage will have changed completely.
Again, this test takes advantage of the inconstant nature
of a dream and is undeniable proof of a dreamer's state.

Focusing on Detail and Sensation

Sometimes you may feel that your dream is beginning to fade
away. Your surroundings may seem fuzzy, or your sensations
unclear. You may even get the feeling that you are about to
wake up. In this case, focusing on detail around you can
help you to bring your dream back into focus. Look at
something that would have intricacies in real life, such as
a piece of wood. Get a close view of the grains and
interlocking detailed parts of this object. Once you then
look back at your surroundings, they too will appear more
clearly. Besides vision, you can also focus on the details
of other senses. Notice the sounds around you (birds,
motors, wind, the hum of a television set in the next room)
or the feelings you are experiencing (the pressure on your
feet from walking, the feel of water on your skin, the
taste or smell of something). Seeing these details of small
parts of your dream will help bring the entire picture back
into focus.

Closing Your Eyes

If you feel that your dream is going nowhere, that you are
losing it, or if you want to transfer dreams for any other
reason, try closing your eyes. Often, if we close our eyes
or go to sleep within a dream, it brings about a change of
scene and plot.

Releasing Anxiety

Sometimes, tension and anxiety are brought about when we
realize that we are dreaming. We struggle to keep the state
of lucidity. If your dream starts to fade, relax instead of
panicking. Do not struggle to hold on to a fading dream,
but instead try to release your anxiety and "go with the
flow". In this situation, tension is counterproductive,
because it may simply jolt you awake.

Spinning

'Spinning' is a technique that has been shown to be
effective by the Lucidity Institute [Lynne Levitan, A
Thousand and One Nights of Lucid Dreaming]. When you are in
a dream, and that dream, or your lucidity, begins to fade,
try spinning around. Feeling this unusual and realistic
sensation of 'spinning' our dream bodies helps us to bring
clarity back to the dream.

5
After Your Dreams


"I f we listen patiently to our dreams and the messages
they contain . . .
they will eventually lead us to health . . . how much
better to take
advice from the other half of yourself than from another
person."


- Dr. Ann Faraday

Remembering

Letting yourself remember your dreams can be a function of
the moment as well as of practice and training. When you
wake up, lie in bed without moving for a few moments,
trying to remember your dream. Sometimes, being in the
position we were in during our dream can help to trigger a
memory that we might not otherwise reach. Even if you have
moved after awakening, try to lie back down and find the
position that you awoke in. Close your eyes. Try to
remember what you were feeling and thinking at the moment
that you woke up. What were you thinking about? What mood
did you immediately awaken into? This information may also
trigger a memory of your dream. Remember: the sooner you
concentrate on remembering the details of your dreams, the
more you will be able to find.
To help yourself remember details of a dream, you might
want to visualize the remembered dream in your head.
Closing your eyes and replaying the scenario in your mind
may help you to see details and remember feelings that
would otherwise be lost.
No matter how much you recall, however, your dream will be
of little use if you do not record it. As you learned
earlier, you should record your dreams as soon as possible,
including every fragmented memory.

Interpretation

In some books, you will find lists of dream symbols which
supposedly tell you the exact meaning of your dreams. The
truth is, however, that no one can interpret your dreams
but you. No one else can tell you what your dream means.
Each part of your dream means what it means to you, and
nothing else. There are no set rules for interpretation.
There are no books or dictionaries that will show you the
meaning of a dream. You must unlock the meaning of your own
dreams.
There are many ways to help yourself do this. "Word
association" can help you to find out what recurring dream
symbols mean to you. You may want to devote a few pages in
the back of your journal to interpretation.
Read through your old dreams and find things or situations
that repeat themselves. For example, you might often dream
about climbing stairs. Write down this word (or phrase) in
your journal and look at it. Think about what it makes you
think of and feel. Then write down everything that comes to
your mind when thinking of this thing or situation. Some
words that you write down just might surprise you. Reading
over these lists can lead to a discovery of what these
symbols mean to you.
If you are artistically inclined, you might want to draw a
picture about this symbol. Don't just draw a recurring
object, though. Be sure to include your feelings and things
that, in your opinion, relate to this symbol. You could
also cut out a picture of your symbol from a magazine or
book. Pasting this into your journal might also help you in
thinking about what it means to you.
Discussion is another activity that can help you in
deciphering your dreams. While no one can dictate the
meaning of your dreams to you, talking about them with
friends or family can be helpful. Someone may suggest
something to you that you hadn't thought of before. Having
others share their dream experiences with you may also open
your eyes to new possibilities. Maybe someone you know also
has dreams about climbing stairs. What does it mean to
them? We all learn from each other.

There are no rules or laws to your dreams. Explore. Have
fun.


For More Information . . .

The Lucidity Institute, Inc.
2555 Park Boulevard, Suite 2
Palo Alto, CA 94306-1919
(415) 321-9969 http://www.lucidity.com/

1 - 800 - GO - LUCID


Association For the Study of Dreams
P.O. Box 1600
Vienna, VA 22183

Phone: (703) 242-0062
Fax: (703) 242-8888

The Association for the Study of Dreams


Books

LaBerge, Stephen & Rheingold, Howard
- Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming - Lucid Dreaming

Garfield, Patricia - Creative Dreaming

Moss, Robert - Conscious Dreaming

McPhee, Charles - Stop Sleeping Through Your Dreams

Links - Exploration - Vision: A Guide to Lucid Dreaming
- Lucidity Archive - The Lucidity Board - Documents -
Questionnaire -




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