Dry Spell Broken – Inception Style…

The dry spell was broken Friday night.  I had moved my journal to the bed and was pretty good about meditating on the word dream for the night leading up to it.  But I think the clincher was a conversation with a co-worker about how the remembrance of a lucid dream differs from that of a normal memory.   Before I explain this, let me tell you the dream.

I believe it was a very long lucid dream.  My Zeo next to my bed said that I had been in a REM period for about 30 min.  Also, while in the dream, I remember thinking this has been a long dream.  The setting is some sort of futuristic ship that flies in the air instead of the water.  It wasn’t a plane, because it was much too large.  It was like a cruise ship with a large deck and large windows.  But we weren’t sailing on water.  I was with a friend and we were looking out at the landscape.  The view was incredible – we could see for miles and in the distance were numerous skyscrapers forming a beautiful skyline.  It was breath-taking.  It reminds me of the skylines and mentally constructed city in Inception.

I spoke to my friend and we remarked how amazing it was that my mind was able to conjure up these images from nothing.  Then, I explained to him, the problem is no matter how real this feels now (we both agreed it felt very real) we won’t remember it the same way as if we actually saw it.  So, I said it is best we actually have this conversation, because we will remember the words in detail, if not the actual experience, or the feeling of realness of the experience.

I decided to wake right after the conversation and as soon as I did, the memory of the experience did not compare to the experience itself.  Because I went from consciousness of the experience to consciousness of the memory of the experience, I was able to feel this shift so dramatically.  I couldn’t believe how different it was.  It led me to wonder why this is the case?  How can something feel so real in a lucid dream, as real as waking reality, and then in memory feel like there are layers up layers of obscurity between the experience and the memory?

I don’t have an answer, but I think it is time for our Guest blogger, Rico, to come back with science’s best guess of why this happens neurologically.  From an evolutionary standpoint it is fairly simple to explain – if we couldn’t distinguish between dream memories and real memories we would be far less able to cope in the real world.  But what is happening neurologically?  Lets see if we can find out.

How to break a dry-spell?

Lucid dreaming requires attention and motivation.  There are many techniques, but these two core attributes are the leaven that makes the loaf rise.  For me, these two mental states have eluded me recently.  How does one get focus and will back as frequent dinner guests?  I’d love to hear your suggestions via comments or a guest blog post!

For now, I am going to try the following experiments to harness these critical ingredients to lucid-dream filled night’s sleep:

1.  Dream journal back on the nightstand.
2.  Before I go to bed each night, meditate for 2 minutes on the word, “Dream”
3.  Read the blog, Dreamviews, one time over the next 7 days.
4.  Buy the movie Inception and watch it in the next 7 days.

I will let you know how it goes!


Lucid Dreaming Going Mainstream

One advantage of being vocal about your passions is that people always forward you interesting and relevant articles.  Since life can be busy, these little nudges back towards lucid dreaming, my passion, are much appreciated.  Thanks to Caroline D, I can share a nice article on Lucid Dreaming that comes with a cool infograhic.  One of the comments below says, “Lucid dreaming, how very quaint and 1980s.”  I find this particularly amusing because it was in the 80s that I discovered lucid dreaming.  However, sometimes it takes a while for arcane subjects to gain mainstream attention.

Speaking of which, the Wall Street Journal recently ran a piece that featured why children often can control their dreams.  Though the study is based on self-reporting, it is interesting to hypothesize that lucid dream occurs more naturally in a developing brain.  If I combine that theory with the research that shows the brain changes through meditation, I get a new insight as to why meditation seems to lead to more lucid dreaming.  I wonder if the same would be true for other activities that rewire the neurons in the brain such as learning a new language or using programs like Lumosity.

Keep the articles and ideas coming – there is always more to learn!

PS Next on my list of experiences is to see what it would have felt like if the 49ers actually had run the ball on 2nd down and won the Superbowl…