You are remembering dreams. At least some of the time. OK. Now you are ready for the second step in learning how to lucid dream – reality checks. Remember the scene in Inception when Dom is talking to Ariadne and she doesn’t know it is a dream? We never question our state of consciousness because 99.99% of the time we live in consensual reality. We have no discernment that there are other realities. Yet there are. Stephen LeBarge describes dreaming as “perceiving without constraint” whereas normal perception is “dreaming with constraint.” He is talking about sensory input. As you have experienced for yourself at some point in your life, dreams feel as real as real life when you are in them. It is amazing and unexplained how the mind can create reality so “real” without the help of sensory input. Thus, it is quite easy to see why we are duped each time a dream happens, even when incredible events occur that defy logic.
A reality check is a step you take while awake. Right now, while reading this, pause and ask yourself this question: am I dreaming? Then ponder your answer, how do I really know? You must test reality. For me, I prefer trying to float. I just tried to float, but did not, so I must be in consensual reality right now truly writing my blog. However, tonight if I dream of this same occurrence, when I try to float, something unusual will happen. This will trigger lucidity. Another friend likes to pinch his nose and try to breathe through it. In a dream, you will continue to breathe. Try anything you like. The key is to do is about 5 to 7 times a day and to really question reality. It won’t work if it is a automatic or rote action.
After a few days of reality checks, expect to find yourself doing a reality check in a dream. This should be your first trigger for a lucid dream. Let me know how make out with this.
When I talk to people about getting lucid in their dreams the number one objection is: “But I don’t remember my dreams.” We can fix this…tonight.
Learning to lucid dream comes down to intention and willpower. Before you go to bed each night, you need to send a strong message to yourself of your intention to remember your dreams. Taking specific action helps solidify intention. The first step is to place a specific dream-capturing pen and notepad next to your bed. It is also quite helpful to have a small flashlight nearby for middle of the night recordings.
Now that you have the physical set-up ready, there is one more important thing to do before you sleep: tell yourself 5 times that you intend to remember your dreams tonight. Don’t just go through the motions, really put your willpower behind the intention. In the same way you would try to put meaning into the words “it will never happen again” to someone you’ve upset, do the same with yourself on your intention to remember your dreams.
When you wake up, don’t open your eyes. Ask yourself “what was I just dreaming?” Give it a minute. Don’t move, not even for the flashlight. Open your eyes and move only after you’ve rehearsed in your mind several times the dream or dream fragment you remember.
Capture as much as you can as fast as you can. Don’t worry about spelling. You can create a more coherent version later. When you are writing down right after awakening, you are still accessing the subconscious so all the word choices are relevant (don’t censor). Capture the characters, the storyline, the feelings in the dream, the feelings you have now awake and lastly, put a title down for the dream. That’s it – you’ve recorded your first dream!
In the next post I’ll tell you how to move from remembering dreams to having really interesting, vivid dreams that relate directly to your life.