to Dream - Getting Lucid

Getting lucid

Many dreamers become interested in lucid dreaming sooner or later. The lucky ones are natural lucid dreamers, meaning they don't have to do anything for it. But if you're not that lucky or you want to improve your lucid dreaming skills, you will have to work for it.

Your first lucid dream

Using reality checks is probably the method that will give you the best chance to get a lucid dream. Granted, it takes a lot of effort and about two or three weeks of consistent and continued practice, but on the positive side you don't have to be an accomplished meditation guru to do reality checks.

So what are reality checks? A reality check comes down to asking yourself if you're dreaming. This should be done regularly during the day and the more often you do it, the better it will work. The simplest form of a a reality check is literally asking yourself "am I dreaming?". Don't be too fast with answering no. Check you're environment. How do you know you're not dreaming? You should really investigate your surroundings. To help answering the question you can ask yourself other questions like "how did I come here?", "what is the time?", etc.

When it comes to asking questions, you can get help from Lucille. Lucille is part of the Alchera Suite and can ask you all kinds of questions at random time intervals. Most of the questions Lucille asks are based on typical differences between the dream world and the physical world. In dreams you're always walking, running or otherwise moving around, in the physical world you sit most of the time. In the dreaming world if you look at your watch twice it will tell you completely different times but in the physical world only a second or two will pass in between. Of course Lucille can be customized with your own questions so you can experiment with what works best for you.

To make reality checks a second nature you can use anchors. An anchor is whatever will lead you to do a reality check. A common anchor is the chime of clocks on the whole or half hour. But you can also use events like walking into a new room, opening an application on your PC or hearing the phone ring.

A gentler way

Reality checks really are brute force and after you had your first lucid dream you will want to use more subtle methods. One thing you should realize is that lucid dreams can vary between being simply aware of the dream or using your awareness to influence the dream to nearly overwhelming experiences more real than life itself. Also there isn't solid border between normal and lucid dreams. In many normal dreams you will have very brief moments were you are aware of the fact that you're dreaming, but you simply forget this the next instant.

A gentler way to train your lucidity is to pay closer attention to the changes in your level of consciousness in all your dreams. A good way to get started with this is to keep track of the number and kind of potential anchors in a dream. In this case anchors and reality checks could actually be the exact thing. You can use the event of flying as an anchor to do a reality check. The mere realization that you're flying should be enough to make you lucid, but in dreams abnormal things can look very normal if you don't keep your head clear. So, if you had a dream where you were flying, add flying to the list of missed anchors. In Alchera [2.5 or higher] you can work with missed and used anchors by rightclicking on the Hall and Labels list in the right margin of the dream description page. This will bring up a menu. Choose one of the anchor entries to launch a dialog with a list of anchors. Choose the anchor you missed and it will be added to the list.

If you keep score of anchors in your dream for only a few days, you will probably be amazed by the number of opportunities to become lucid in dreams. You will also develop a better feeling for all those moments you were very close to becoming lucid. Finally, there's a good chance that the increased focus on anchors in dreams will significantly increase the frequency at which you have lucid dreams.

More information

There are plenty of internet sites dedicated to lucid dreaming. For a suggested list you're referred to Healing Dreams, linked from the Resources page of this site.

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