A lucid dream is usaually defined as a dream in which you are aware that you are dreaming.
The term “lucid dream” was coined in 1913 by a Dutch psychiatrist, Fredrik van Eeden describing them as when someone would have the insight of being dreaming.
There are many techniques and methods that you can use for inducing lucid dreams, but there is an underlying process behind them. This underlying process can be broken down into five steps to serve as a foundation for you lucid dream training.
1st step – Recalling your dreams/ Keeping a dream journal
The single most important thing you can do to increase your dream recall and to maximize your lucid dreaming progress is to dream journal.
While writing your dream journal, it is important to write your entire in present tense instead of using past tense.
Write down everything you remember about your dream, phrases, colors, feelings and everything.
Sketch pictures into your notebook to help you remember symbols, places, faces or whatever you think you will forget about your dream over time.
- Here is a list of tips and techniques that will help increase your dream recall:
- Wake motionlessly. upon awakening, don’t open your eyes. Don’t move. Lie completely still.
- Wake slowly, Allow yourself time to naturally remember your dreams. Don’t start thinking about what you are going to do for the day. Don’t allow your mind to be flooded by your waking thoughts or your dreams will start fading or may even disappear entirely like bursting dream bubbles. let your mind be focused on whatever you were just dreaming.
- Let your mind drift. Allow your thoughts to meander through whatever mental imagery you may have. Once you remember one part of a dream. Relax and aloow the rest of the pieces to fall into place.
- Drift through your dream checklist. If you have absolutely no initial recall, then start running through a dream checklist in your mind. This list should include people you know, activities, places, foods, smells, music, anything that may trigger a dream fragment to surface.
- Think and question backward. Try to work your momory backards from what you can remember. You will usually remember the most current dream scenario first so for maximum retrieval it is helpful to think backwards, or think in terms of effect and cause instead of cause and effect. If you can remember one part of the dream, ask yourself how you got there? or where did a certain dream object came from? did you find it? Was it given to you? one dream fragment will usually lead to another until the whole dream starts to take shape, and your dream memories can be jogged by questioning yourself about what you already remember.
- Try different sleeping positions. Try all your common sleeping positions before getting out of bed to maximize your recall. you will have the best recall when your are trying in the same position that you were in when you were dreaming. if you wake up on your back, and your front. This certainly speeds up your recall.
- Keep Trying, Sometimes, you may have no morning recall but flashes of dream memories will surface during your day. Be prepared to jot down any time release memories. They may unlock your access to more memories.
2nd Step – Becoming Familiar With Your Dreams
As your dream journal grows and your dream recall increases, naturally you will become more familiar ith your dreams. Certain people, certain places, and certain activities may be more likely to appear in your dreams. For example, you may have a majority of dreams in which you are at your office or at school or at the beach. Certain dream themes might also be more common than others. You might dream of being a hero or you might dream of being chased. These recurrent patterns in your dreams are your dream signs, and they will be the first stepping stones on your path to lucid dreaming. By learning your distinctive dream signs, you will be able to further increase your recall.
3rd Step – Adding Awareness To Your Waking Consciousness
The whole process of lucid dreaming is achieved by training your awareness. The idea is to increase our daily awareness in order to benefit from the carryover effects it will have on our dreaming awareness. If you are more aware during the day, you will become more aware while dreaming.
Try to remain aware of your awareness as if you were a bystander just watching where it goes and how it flows. The longer you can sustain this level of awareness, the better.
In order to learn how to lucid dream, you must be able to differentiate between what is “reality” and what is dream. You must develop a questioning awareness. While awake you should be regularly doing “reality checks”. The idea is to ingrain this habit into your daily routine so that it will spill over into your dreams.
4th Step – Linking Your Awareness To Your Dreams
The final step is to combine what you have learned about your dreams with what you have learned about your awareness. Put simply, you need to merge your reality checks with your dream signs so that whenever you encounter one of your dream signs you automatically start doing reality checks. If you dream of or driving fast in a car, whenever you see a classroom or whenever you are driving in a fast car you will be programmed to do a reality check, it is helpful to stay updated on your current dream signs and dream themes.
5th Step – Stabilizing Your Dream
Once you are able to dream lucidly, you may find that it is difficult to stay in the dream. You may wake instantly or the dream may start “fading” which is characterized by loss or degradation of any of the senses, use the techniques below to stabilize your dream before it starts to fade.
Hand rubbing: Rub your hands together and concentrate on the rubbing. You should feel the friction and the heat of your hands. If you can concentrate on the feelings that this action generates, your dream is likely to stabilize and become more vivid and detailed. You can also keep one hand on your arm while exploring the dream for a constant sense of stimulation.
Spinning: You spin around in your dream much as you would if you suddenly went to feel dizzy in real life. The sensation of movement is the key here to stabilizing the dream.
Slowing it down: Some people like to stabilize the dream by “stopping to smell the roses” and lowly staring at a dream object until it becomes clear. The dreamer would then look around elsewhere, noticing how detailed everything thereby stimulating the visual portion of the dream.
As you can see, these five steps are all interwoven into one basic process, leaving out just one step will diminish the effectiveness of all the other steps, and in turn, it will decrease the actual results of the entire process. Almost all of the other techniques and methods mentioned for inducing lucid dreams are based on this process to a certain extent. Often, they are offshoots of this process or are limited versions of one or more of these five basic steps.