Lucid Dreaming

Waggoner, Robert

“Tonight in your dreams you must look at your hands,” don Juan instructs Castaneda. After some discussion about the meaning of dreaming and the choice of hands as an object to dream about, don Juan continues. “You don't have to look at your hands,” he says. “Like I've said, pick anything at all. But pick one thing in advance and find it in your dreams. I said your hands because they will always be there.”

whenever an object or scene that he was looking at began to shift or waver in the dream, he should consciously look back at his hands to stabilize the dream and renew the power of dreaming.

Tonight, I will see my hands in my dream and realize I'm dreaming.” I repeated the suggestion over and over, until I became too tired and decided to go to sleep.

one of my first lessons of lucid dreaming: To maintain the lucid dream state, you must modulate your emotions. Too much emotional energy causes the lucid dream to collapse.

the dreamer should concentrate on only three or four objects in the dream, saying, “When they begin to change shape you must move your sight away from them and pick something else, and then look at your hands again. It takes a long time to perfect this technique.”

Our senses provide little distinction between physical reality and the real-seeming illusion of the lucid dream. Only the mind distinguishes between the two realities.

Our suggestions in a state of hypnosis or self-hypnosis act on the senses. For example, we can make a posthypnotic suggestion that certain foods will taste opposite to their normal taste and experience the suggested taste upon waking.

as I lucidly interacted with the dream, some interesting dream figure would become so compelling and real-seeming that my attention to “the dream as dream” decreased significantly. I'd begin to forget that this was “all a dream.” Just as in waking, your conscious attention can begin to drift when lucid dreaming. After a few unfocused moments, you're swept into the dreaming, following its movements, suddenly unaware and no longer lucid. Not only did I need to be consciously aware of being in a dream, I needed to be consciously aware of being aware!

Lucid dreamers must learn to focus simultaneously on both their conscious awareness and the apparent dreaming activities. Lucid dreamers who become overly focused on the dreaming activities get swept back into non-lucid dreaming.

At deeper levels of lucid dreaming, you might discover how to remain aware even when the dream visually ends, and then wait for a new dream to form in the mental space around you,

Normally it's because they bring the expectation or mindset of physical space into the psychological space of the lucid dream. When they want to move in a lucid dream, they walk, they flap their arms, they swim through the air, using physical-type effort. They grow frustrated, not realizing that their belief and expectation in the need for physical action is causing their experience.

The dream space largely mirrors your ideas, expectations, and beliefs about it. By changing your expectations and beliefs, you change the dream space. Realizing mental space responds best to mental manipulations, you let go of physical manipulations and use the wings of your mind.

the simplest method to move could be called “concentrated focus with intent.” It's a simple two-part process: 1) As the lucid dreamer, concentrate your focus on the place you want to be; then 2) intend yourself to be at that place, feel it, imagine touching it, engage your mind with it. By concentrating on your goal, you naturally dismiss other concerns and thoughts, sharpening your focus. Intent draws the goal and you together.

Concentrating on the goal as your sole focus, then intending yourself there, moves your awareness effortlessly.

When you focus on your goal, you attract your goal. When you focus on fears, you attract your fears. In a mental space, your focus matters because it naturally draws you to the area of your focus.

Such was the case with one of my nieces. We met recently at a local restaurant and, after the usual pleasantries, I asked about her dream life.

to find out whether or not lucid dreams have meaning, the next time she became lucid, she should announce to the dream, “Hey dream, show me something important for me to see!” “Just look up in the dream, and yell it out,” I said. “Watch how the dream responds. Then tell me if you still think lucid dreams have no meaning”

Dreaming has the capacity to break through normal boundaries of experience.

Self-suggestion might include the following: 1) while lying in bed and preparing for sleep, repeatedly say to yourself, “When dreaming tonight, I will realize I'm dreaming,” or 2) “Tonight in my dreams, I will be much more critically aware and when I see something odd or unusual, I will realize I'm dreaming,” or 3) “Tonight while my body sleeps a portion of me will remain alert and make me realize I'm dreaming.”

When you wake up in the middle of the night, gently recall your last dream; did you see your hands? Resume your intention to see your hands and realize that you're dreaming.

When you spontaneously wake up during the night, vividly remember your last dream in detail. 2. Intend to become lucid in the next dream by suggesting, “Next time I'm dreaming, I want to remember to recognize I'm dreaming.” 3. Now imagine that you are back in the recalled dream and becoming lucidly aware at an appropriate point. Visualize this clearly. 4. Keep doing these steps until your intent feels well established. As you prepare to sleep, expect to become lucid and aware in your next dream.

“If one develops a critical frame of mind towards the state of consciousness during the waking state, by asking oneself whether one is dreaming or awake, this attitude will be transferred to the dreaming state. It is then possible through the occurrence of unusual experiences to recognize that one is dreaming.

Tholey translated this idea into various practices such as asking himself numerous times throughout the day or when confronted with an odd event, “Am I dreaming or not?” Then wondering, “How do I know?”