3/23/2007

Lucid Awakenness

Have you ever had a lucid dream - one in which you were consciously aware that you were dreaming? What triggered the realization?

The first key to controlling your dreams is to be able to recognize when you are dreaming. The simplest technique for doing this is called reality testing. It consists of creating a habit of regularly doing some simple test, such as looking at a piece of paper with a simple saying on it, or looking at a digital watch. This habit will carry over to your dream state, but when you reread the paper a couple of times, or look at your watch twice during a dream, the saying or time will change between readings. Recognizing this inconsistency triggers the realization that you're dreaming.

Once you realize what's going on, you can start to take control. You can fly. You can have lunch with historical figures. You can do the impossible. Not all at once, but you can work up to it with concentration and practice. And while you may have had other wonderful dreams in your life, they probably pale in comparison to the shortest, simplest lucid dream. Am I right?

I think there is a parallel effect during our awake time. Most of us go through life reacting to what comes at us, often acting without conscious decision using patterns of behavior we've built over a lifetime. It may be a pleasant existence or a nightmare, but we don't ever bother to do the reality check that could get us to the next level of living.

What is that reality check? I think it's this: On a regular basis, ask yourself two questions: Who am I? What am I doing here?

When addressing "Who am I?", you should answer by stating your core beliefs, your identity. This will take some introspection, and if you're like me, the first few several attempts will be unsatisfactory. But until you can write down an answer you feel comfortable with, it won't help you with lucid awakeness. Similarly, your answer to "What am I doing here?" needs to address your central beliefs and goals. As an example, I would expect Lisa Haneberg to answer "I am catalyzing breakthroughs for individuals and organizations", not "I am riding my motorcycle to a book signing in Wenatchee". Focusing on purpose and beliefs allows us to calibrate when we're running on autopilot. And to then choose to take greater control of our lives. Like learning to fly during lucid dreaming, our ability to change our lives doesn't happen instantly. But we can build skills to do the impossible. It's the focus - the lucidity - that makes all the difference.

So answer those questions. Who are you? What are you doing here? Write down your answers, and make a habit of doing the reality check regularly (multiple times a day to start). Then notice when your actions are out of alignment with your original answer, and choose lucid awakenness.



posted by Mike at 8:54 AM


4 Comments:

Blogger Troy Worman said...

Mike! Great post. I'm a huge fan of Lucid Dreams. No other dreams compare. And I seem to remember them more readily than the ones I sleep through.

But as you say, it is a habit that must be formed and honed for an optimum experience.

2:16 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Thanks, Troy, and you're right about the difference in memory!

3:20 PM  
Blogger subadei said...

I'd like the ability to continue a dream. I've awakened from some very intense lucid dreams and tried to coax my subconcious into "continuing the story." To no avail.

4:24 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Hi Soob,

Thanks for stopping by! That would be an awesome ability; I've never been able to get back in lucidly once awake.

Mike

6:50 PM  

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