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Lucid Dreams — How To Wake Up Within A Dream
dreams are not only amazing in and of themselves — they are an amazing resource. I do however think that things like dictionaries of dream symbols which attempt to offer a one-size-fits-all universal route to understanding your dreams — rather than understanding dreams as personal reflections — has led many people to no longer see their value. This is a shame because…
Your dreams are a living, responsive, vibrant source of information.
Unlike techniques such as meditation — we do not control our dreams and are unable to hide from our own issues, wounds, and denials in the way we can when awake. Being unfiltered, they not only offer us clear insights on whatever we want to know, they also have the power to show us aspects of our being that we are in denial of. This makes our dreams unique in their potential to mirror us to ourselves.
Our dreams are one of the most effective resources for identifying what you are resisting or are in denial of.
However, this level of insight is not some prize that is instantly handed to you. In order for you to access the value of your dreams, you must first be open to seeing their value. Dream interpretation is something you must “meet” inside yourself as an ally that can help you. If you approach it from a place of skepticism, you will simply meet the reflection of your own doubts.
This is very much like the experience of synchronicities, in that the more you open yourself to perceive and experience their value, the more valuable and pervasive they will become. This is to understand that focusing on your dreams will evolve your experience of them. In this, I am not only talking about your ability to remember and translate your dreams, but their very content.
recognizing and accessing the value of your dreams is therefore something about which you have to make a conscious decision to put into practice, and then — by beginning to get helpful insights — you’ll start seeing the value of your results. This will then lead you to get even better results as your confidence in your own ability to derive value from your dreams increases.
This quality of focusing with intention applies to any feeling of opening yourself to step into “the flow of something” in the way that what you focus upon builds through your continued focus upon it.
being aware of both your intention and your focus is the foundation of self-awareness.
The bottom line is that, as interesting as the techniques I am about to describe to you are, they will not work unless you approach their use with excitement, confidence, and resolve (instead of doubt, skepticism, and emotional distance). This applies to anything you are going to be using your inner-senses for (intuitive senses as opposed to the five biological senses).
So, with that important understanding in place, let’s get into some exercises you can use to open yourself to a new level of experience within your dreams. Before I get to some more general techniques, I want to begin with the most advanced (and fun) one to show you just how far you can take this, and hopefully get you excited about doing it! We will then round off with exploring some simpler — and less weird — techniques.
What Is Lucid dreaming?
The advanced technique I want to tell you about is call lucid dreaming. For those of you who don’t know what this is, it is something you have probably experienced, but maybe not since you were young.
Typically, when this happens , you start to become aware you are dreaming, and then the dream begins to disintegrate and you feel yourself waking up. Your early experiences of lucidity are therefore likely to be experiences of waking up from a deep dream with the thought, “oh this is a dream” shortly before waking up.
The most common place for this to occur is when a dream becomes so anxiety-provoking that there is a sensation of waking yourself up from it by recognizing it as a dream (such as a dream in which you are being chased, but you then realize you are dreaming and decide to stop running). It can also come about by recognizing something in the dream as “not real”, such as meeting a deceased loved one.
This phenomenon gets very exciting when, by thinking about lucid dreaming in your waking life and coming to recognize it as a phenomenon, you bring a new level of awareness to the point of waking such that you can stay within the dream — instead of letting your realization of “I am dreaming” wake you up.
This technique takes practice because trying to maintain the dream-state is like trying to hold a slippery bar of soap — it takes a subtle and gentle grasp. What you will find is that it isn’t so much about trying to “hold on to” the dream, but more that you are trying to not let the shock and excitement of realizing you are dreaming wake you up.
To begin with, you are unlikely to stop the dream ending, but you can extend that moment of awakening by observing it from a state of consciousness in which you act as a bridge between the world of your dream and the world of your “awake” self.
This is a space in which you can also practice techniques that will help you remember your dreams. One such technique is to create a mental marker (choosing a single word to carry out with you from the dream) that will help you bridge back into the memory of the dream, and thereby allowing you to remember it in a deeper way.
This elongation of the “waking up” moment allows you to experience an incredible kind of in-between bridging space where you will experience a deep level of recognition as to the “what” and “why” of the dream from which you are waking.
This is about finding a technique — whatever best works for you — that allows you to stay in that space of recognizing you are dreaming a bit longer each time. With enough practice, you will be able to stay awake within your dreams for enough time to begin exploring the world of your dream in a way that is just mind-blowing.
This exploration — more than anything — will show you that dreams are far more creative, expansive, and full of potential than we give them credit for.
dreams can often seem to be like movies in the way they play out. This feeds into an idea that they are linear. What you will discover through the lucid dream experience is that you can walk off the central “movie set” of your dream and explore what is around its unexplored and unexpected corners.
It really is hard to put into words just how amazing it is to actually wake up in a dream and be able to operate within that dreamworld. For those on the spiritual path, it is to gain an incredible insight into how our consciousness is the creator of not only our personal experience of self, but also the dreamworlds we visit when we sleep.
This is to begin to see that the solid and objective world we appear to live within is no more — and no less — than a projection of consciousness.
The benefits of this insight are both subtle and profound. On the one hand, it is to view reality in an entirely new way; while on the other hand, very little outwardly changes. The real magic is in the way it begins to open up your solid, rigid view of waking life to allow some of the fluidity and magic you experience in the dreamworld.
At the top of the list of magical experiences you can have through lucid dreaming, flying in your dreams is the holy grail for most people (with looking to connect with deceased loved ones also being popular). To wake up in a dream and say, “if this is a dream, then I can fly”, and then just leap off the ground and fly into the sky like a superhero is 100% possible — although you may not be quite as graceful as a superhero initially!
Just to let you know — this is not only something I have done myself many times, but when I taught this subject through my Practical channeling and intuition Course, many participants were also able to experience it. I would say that most people took roughly two weeks of strong focus to begin experiencing it by using the following technique I am about to give you.
As amazing as the flying experience is, the greatest gift is really about how it opens you up to what is possible to experience through your consciousness. What I am trying to convey is that the inherent value to the exploration of dreaming isn’t just the interpretation of your dreams, it is the direct observation of how your consciousness can create entire worlds. By observing this phenomenon, you will see that all worlds are projections — and therefore reflections — of the psyche (self) that perceives them.
By understanding your consciousness as the creator of your experience, you open up to the fluidity of reality as a whole — its dreamlike nature — which then opens the “magical” experiences available to us all. This is possible when we are willing to open our state of feeling enough to engage our inner-senses (typically called intuitive or psychic).
Habits of our shadow-side (like projecting pain through judgment or denying something we don’t want to be true) become most exposed when we become conscious within our dreams. For example, if you have ever seen the movie “Inception”, there are scenes when the characters in the dreamworld start to become more hostile when the dreamer becomes aware they are dreaming. This is something I experienced in my twenties, during my extensive exploration of lucid dreaming, and I believe it points to the persecution issues I took on in my childhood.
I am pleased to say that it is not hard to begin experiencing lucid dreams, but I will tell you up front that you may feel a little silly following some of my instructions. If this causes resistance in you, then know this to be a reflection of the magnitude of your resistance to having “magical” experiences. It reflects the mental conditioning we experience through science (caused by its shaming and ridicule of those who study consciousness as anything but a by-product of our biology).
To those who are scientifically minded, I challenge you to test what I am telling you because this technique works well. I give it to you with confidence that if you use it consistently, you too will have one of the most magical dream experiences you have ever had. The level of meaning and value you then give that experience will be up to you. So, I can show your mind the water, but it is the one that chooses to drink.
The first thing to say is that you have already begun the process I am about to outline by reading this article because you are taking time to focus on the idea of lucid dreaming. The more you now think about this topic, read about it elsewhere, or talk about it with others, the more likely you are to start experiencing it. This shows us how our focus matters and how a particular focus in the day can directly lead to exciting and revelatory experiences at night.
dreams are a mirror — by making the idea of lucid dreaming a part of your focus in the day, it will then be reflected in your experience at night.
The weird and wonderful technique.
So here is the really fun — but silly — practical technique you can use to start experiencing lucid dreams. It is going to sound bizarre, but I promise you that if you do it consistently, the incredible dream experience I am about to describe will happen to you.
They are strange phenomena, but there are two things you can’t do within a dream. Number one is looking at yourself in a mirror. Now obviously, within a dream you can walk up to a mirror and look in it, but our consciousness is not able to show us a realistic, physical reflection in our dreams — instead, it always shows an emotional / spiritual reflection.
In this, I can’t tell you exactly what you will see. What you see will give you a huge insight into how you perceive yourself. I can only tell you it will not be a realistic reflection. For example, you may look distorted in some way, be invisible, or look like someone else entirely. Whatever the case, in an otherwise credible dreamworld, your reflection will instantly reveal to your mind that “we aren’t in Kansas anymore,” or — if you prefer Alice to Dorothy — it is to realize you have gone down the rabbit hole into Wonderland.
My hunch is that this phenomenon with dream mirrors is caused by the incredible level of emotional interference we experience when looking at ourselves in a mirror. Mirrors are a place of negative self-judgment as well as positive projection — meaning that in waking life, the mirror is one of the places where we most experience the distortion of our desire to perceive ourselves in a certain way. I believe it is this kind of emotional charge, combined with our tendency for projection, which causes the reflections to be distorted, thus revealing we are not in the waking world.
Now, before I tell you how we are going to use this, let me tell you about the second phenomenon — which is even more curious. It is simply that in dreams light SWITCHES DO NOT WORK! I kid you not. So, the way you can use these two phenomena to encourage lucid dreaming is really simple, practical, and straightforward — you just start switching lights on and off during the day, combined with consciously choosing to look in mirrors whenever you see them. That’s it! That’s all you have to do to prepare yourself for a mind-blowing dream experience.
For the light switches, I recommend picking a couple in places you regularly pass by (like a corridor you walk up and down to get between your main living room and kitchen / bathroom), so you are turning lights on and off multiple times per day. Then, whenever you walk down that corridor, say to yourself, “I’m just going to test if I am dreaming” and you flick the light switch.
The reason you will feel silly is because it will feel completely obvious to you that you are NOT dreaming, so it feels a little ridiculous to ask yourself, “Am I dreaming?” But what will happen is that there will be a time when you either look in the mirror and it won’t be you, or you will flick the light switch and it won’t work.
What is so shocking is that YOU will ALSO feel SILLY IN THE dream because it will feel no different from applying the technique during the day.
So, using the light switch example, you will say something like, “I’ll do that light switch exercise again because I said I would. I hope it works soon because I’ve been doing this for a while now.” And then, when you flick the light switch, it won’t work or change the state of the light in the room, and you’ll go “Whoooaaaaa, what the f*#@!”.
Even though it is just flicking a light switch, when it doesn’t work you will feel as if you have just seen something impossible. You will therefore react as if you have just seen “real” magic, which is a heady mix of wonderment, fear, and excitement. It is so amazing because the sensation just before it happens is exactly like when you were awake. And then suddenly, there is an awareness that you are dreaming — when just the second before you were convinced you were awake.
I have found the light switch technique is the one that tends to work best. When it works in your dream, go and look for a mirror!
Just remember, this is a technique you are going to have to stick with for a while in order for it to work. And then, when it happens, do your best to stay in the dreamworld for as long as you can by focusing on the dream (instead of focusing on the shock of finding yourself awake in a dream). Do this by quieting your mind and allowing yourself to be an observer. Only once you feel you aren’t going to wake up should you become more active and do something like look for a mirror, find someone to talk to, or try to fly.