How to Have Lucid Dreams

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"The problems of the world cannot be solved by skeptics and cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were." (John F. Kennedy)

What is Lucid Dreaming?

Lucid dreaming is a skill that occurs when you become aware during a dream and you can control what you do or see, to some extent. The time you spend learning this skill is totally worth it in the end, but takes discipline to master it. Learn to have a lucid dream in order to solve problems, understand abstract concepts, increase self-confidence, or to simply have fun. Imagine the thrill of being totally aware and fully conscious while dreaming; imagine being capable of experiencing anything that your heart desires! Lucid dreaming is a natural ability that everyone has; it's not some special gift that only a few extraordinary individuals posses. Having a lucid dream is like being the director of your own movie; you just have to learn how to have one.

Throughout history, lucid dreaming has formed the central core of virtually every shamanic and mystical practice. It allows the shaman to visit the spirits realm to gain healing power and insight. The realm of lucid dreaming is a realm of nearly unlimited potential. In Asia, lucid dreaming has long been seen as a means to achieve or speed up the process of enlightenment. There were even schools of "Dream Masters" in the 12th century Tibet which taught how to lucid dream. Your journey of self-discovery and self-empowerment begins with a simple choice: "I want to do more with my sleep!" and allows you to experience things that you can't experience in real life.

Step One: Power Napping
Find a time during the day, before 3 PM, where you can have a good one hour sleep. You don't need to change your clothes and don't worry about wasting your time. People who think they will do less work because they sleep during the day have no imagination. There's a lot of benefits napping will give you, such as improved stamina, perception, help memory, increases alertness, reduced stress and even helping you lose weight. This is a critical step in learning how to have lucid dreams. Without an alarm, naps shouldn't last longer than 90 minutes, or else that could be a sign that you are sleep deprived.

At first you might find it difficult to fall asleep in the afternoon, even when you're tired. Give it some time; like any skill, napping takes time and practice to get it right, but the effort is totally worth it. On the other hand, if you find it difficult to wake up in such short notice, try the caffeine trick. Caffeine takes up to 30 minutes to enter the bloodstream and have an effect on your concentration so drink a cop of coffee before going to sleep. You will wake up naturally half an hour later once the caffeine kicks in. Try to limit the nap to 30 minutes - this is called Power Nap - so you don't enter deep sleep. Always remember to set up an alarm as backup.

Power Naps have other purpose as well and that is to help facilitate lucid dreaming. Best way to become aware that you're dreaming is to perform "reality checks", which means to notice the weird things happening around you. Not being able to read the numbers on a digital clock for example could be a good hint that you are dreaming. Once you realize none of it is real, you can do anything you want. Your imagination is the only limit once you've learned how to lucid dream.

Getting Good at Lucid Dreaming
If you want to learn how to have a lucid dream, all you need to do is follow the steps outlined bellow. We will be focusing upon getting your wings and preparing you for the flight. The rest we leave it up to you.
  1. Perform "reality checks" all the time, day and night. In order to learn to lucid dream, you must be able to differentiate between what is real and what is a dream. You must develop a questioning awareness. Look for your hands and feet - can you find them? Read something - do letters change or distort in any away? Try to fly away - can you do it? In real life, nothing will change, but in the dream world these checks are clear hints that you are dreaming. Get a habit of asking yourself all the time "Am I dreaming now?" and look for clues that will confirm or infirm your question.

  2. Keep a dream journal. This is very important when learning how to have a lucid dream, as it will help you improve your dream recall. Otherwise, it's possible to have a lucid dream without you even remember it. Keep the journal nearby your bed and make notes as soon as you wake up. With time, you will discover that some things repeat in your dreams... Becoming aware of these things will help you realize you are in a dream at the appropriate moment.

  3. Wake up early in the morning. Go to bed before 12 PM and set your alarm clock for 6 AM for example. When you get out of bed, walk around the house, watch TV or get on your computer for half an hour, until you feel fully awake. Then go back to bed and try to remain as much aware as possible. It will take a few days for this to work, but eventually you should be able to "wake up" in your dreams. The probability of having a lucid dream in the last two hours of sleep is higher so learn how to lucid dream early in the morning.

  4. Remind yourself to wake up. Did you noticed that when you have an important thing to attend in the morning and you set up three alarm clocks just to make sure, you are likely to awake by yourself, before any of the clocks ring? We all have an internal alarm clock that can be set up to wake us up at a given time. Tell yourself: "I am now going to fall asleep and I will be fully aware of my dream. I will awake in 30 minutes and I will remember everything I dreamed."

  5. Use positive affirmations. When repeating yourself a statement long enough, your subconscious mind ends up believing it, because it cannot make distinction between the truth and a lie. Use your own words - as they will have the most meaning to you - to state whatever you want to achieve throughout your dream sessions. Maybe you're looking for a way to solve a difficult problem or maybe you are simply looking to relax when learning how to have a lucid dream.

  6. Imagine flying free like a bird. Mentally feel the sensations of 'sliding' high into the air, feel the wind through your body, get a little dizzy. Act like it's the real thing and keep a watchful eye on the world bellow.

  7. Visualize your problem as you fall asleep. Sometimes, your dream will take up where your visualization ended and you will continue to think on your problem, while struggling to find a solution to it. Because you entered the dream state while involved in a creative activity, you will sometimes find yourself in an expanded state of awareness and able to control the progress of your dream to some extent.

  8. Program your dreams. Before you fall asleep, think of a short phrase about what you want to dream about. For example "I want to go to Paris." Try to imagine this. Also make sure you're thinking "When I dream of Paris, I will remember that I am dreaming. I will 'awaken' within the dream."

  9. When the dream begins to fade away, spin. When your dream starts fading away, a useful technique is to stretch your arms and spin with your dream body. You must do your best to feel the movement sensation in your body, not just imagine it, in order to stabilize your dream. This is a very important step in learning how to have lucid dreams.

  10. Don't try too hard! If you try too hard or become anxious, you will destroy any chance you may have had. You want to succeed of course, but don't turn your desire into an urge, keep your nerves at bay. When you're ready, simply give the command to awaken and go exploring.

With time, lucid dreams can become very addictive, because they are convincingly real. Don't forget that the real world lies outside your house, not in your dreams. Even if having Caprica Six as your permanent Cylon girlfriend seems very tempting, remember it is only a dream. Wake up, Neo!

What is Real?
Lucid dreaming helps us understand that we are just as asleep when we think we are awake, as we are in dreams. "When it comes to the nature of our "reality" most people don't consider it something worth questioning. Reality is something that is taken for granted. When you are dreaming you usually aren't aware that you are dreaming so in effect, your dream is your "reality" at the time. At an early age we are taught what is "real" and we accept it as granted." - Marc Van DeKeere. We forget to question, to be curious about the nature of things. Learning how to have lucid dreams gives you the opportunity to "Know Thyself" by pushing your limits one step further and experiencing new things.

Don't forget to have fun, keep experimenting and remember to sleep well. We hope you found useful this quick guide on how to have a lucid dream and we wish you many great experiences in both the dream-world and the wake-world!

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How to Have Lucid Dreams

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