Learning Lucid Dream Induction Techniques
In the last section, we discussed a few different techniques to increase your chances of having a lucid dream. If you have been performing the exercises suggested, you should already be recalling more dreams now and have successfully started a dream journal. Also reality checking should be an intrinsic part of your everyday life.
If the above statements are true, you may have already had your first lucid dream but if you haven’t, don’t fear there are a few more lucid dreaming techniques to try, although they are slightly more advanced.
The following techniques are very similar to ones that I developed for myself over the years.
Rather than confuse several different methods that basically accomplish the same thing, I have chosen to summarize the techniques which are covered in much more detail in the publication “Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming” By Stephen LaBerge, Ph.D. and Howard Rheingold.
This is a book that I would strongly recommend you purchase if you are serious about further developing your lucid dreaming techniques. For convenience, some of the subject terms we will be covering in this section have been reduced to slightly more manageable abbreviations.
From here onward, we will refer to them by their abbreviated form:-
WBTB – Wake then Back to Bed Method
DILD – Dream Induced Lucid Dream
MILD – Mnemonic Induction Of Lucid Dreams
WILD – Wake Induced Lucid Dream
DILD – Dream Induced Lucid Dream
“What is a DILD?” You may be asking. Well really there isn’t any difference between a DILD and what we have already discussed so far. I mention it here purely so that you can familiarize yourself with some alternative ways of describing it.
A DILD is simply the process of entering a lucid dream from within a ‘normal” dream. Either by spotting a dream sign and performing a reality check, or simply realizing you are dreaming and becoming lucid.
The distinction does not become obvious until you consider the techniques detailed shortly. If you are not having any spontaneous lucid dreams at this point do not fear. There are some more advanced techniques that you can use to induce a lucid dream.
WBTB – Wake then Back To Bed method
Many years ago when I started lucid dreaming, I began to notice something odd was happening. I noticed that I would have more lucid dreams if I had been disturbed during my sleep in the early hours of the morning.
This was especially true if I had to stay awake for an hour or two before returning to bed. From here I developed what has become termed as the ‘Awake Then Back To Bed’ method.
This method is basically as described in the title. It is a fairly straightforward technique but it can require a certain amount of will power to successfully implement.
So far you should have had plenty of time to practice your dream recall and hopefully you have been jotting down your dreams too. If you have been questioning your reality on a regular basis, you should be well on the way (after implementing this technique) to having your first lucid dream.
This method is best practiced at a time when you can afford to lose a small amount of sleep without it affecting your day job\driving\operating machinery etc.
When you sleep, you will enter a point where you begin to dream. This phase of sleep is called the REM stage. You will enter the REM stage roughly every 90 minutes during the night, giving approximately four or five REM stages per night.
This means you have four or five chances to have a lucid dream every night.
This is where the will power comes in. What you need to do is this. Aim to wake up in your fourth phase of REM sleep. To do this you will need to set an alarm clock or equivalent that will wake you up.
The fourth phase of sleep will be about six hours after you fall asleep. So just before going to sleep, set your alarm to go off six hours in the future.
If you sleep less than six hours a night aim for the third phase of REM, which will be four and a half hours after you fall asleep. Here comes the tough part.
When your alarm goes off, you MUST get out of bed. DO NOT turn over and hope that you will get up in a few minutes. YOU WON’T. You will do what we all do and fall back asleep.
Once you have got out of bed it is important to keep your mind active for AT LEAST AN HOUR. Nothing less. Try and read a book about lucid dreaming or read through your dream journal. The trick is to get the idea of lucid dreaming into your head.
When you have been awake for an hour, return to bed. Whilst dropping back off to sleep, keep a scene in your mind of a place you would like to appear in if you entered a dream.
If you suddenly find yourself in this place, do a reality check to test whether or not you are dreaming.
If you are (you should be), CONGRATULATIONS you have had your first lucid dream.
That’s all there is to it. This is a really simple method that can be extremely effective.
If the above technique isn’t working for you, try the following method.
MILD – Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams
The MILD principle can be summarized in one sentence as:-
“When you are dreaming, you must remember to recognize that you are dreaming”.
Now, I know what you are thinking; “If I could recognize that I was dreaming lucid dreaming would be simple!” and you would be right. It is not only recognizing you are dreaming that is important, it’s remembering to recognize that you are dreaming that gives you more chance of having a lucid dream.
The good news is that it is possible using a few simple exercises to increase this ability to remember that you are dreaming.
Basic principle of the MILD technique
Imagine that you have to remember to do two things at the end of the week. One of these things is to buy a VERY important gift for somebody, maybe a birthday or anniversary gift. The other thing is to remember to wind up the clock.
As you can see, the motivation to remember to buy the gift is going to be a lot stronger than the motivation to wind up the clock.
Over the week, you will probably re-iterate in your own mind the importance of buying the gift, whilst the chore of winding the clock will probably leave your mind shortly after you thought about it. The point here is that you have a strong intention to achieve one goal but your second goal you probably couldn’t care less about as it is insignificant. So we have learned that a strong intention will aid in remembering something.
Now, let’s say you are at the end of the week and you have successfully remembered to buy the gift. Well done. As you are wrapping the gift, the clock on the wall chimes. You remember the other thing you were meant to do…. Wind up the clock. So you have successfully remembered to do both things. Even better!
The only difference here is that remembering to wind up the clock was triggered through association and not through you making the effort to remember to do it.
So we have learned that we can increase the likelihood of remembering something through:-
1) Having a strong intention to remember something. ( The Gift )
2) Forming an association between what we want to remember and the circumstances in which we intend to do it. ( Winding The clock )
By developing our intention, and capability to spot associations, we can increase our ability to remember future events.
Take a piece of paper and for each day of the week, write down four things that you intend to spot during the day. For example
The next time I start the car
The next time I take a drink
The next time I see a bird
The next time I hear my name
For every “event” that you spot during that day, do a reality check as discussed earlier and ask “Am I Dreaming”. Keep score of how many you hit in your dream journal.
Note – If you miss one event but notice it later this is classed as a missed event.
Keep this exercise up until you notice the amount of events you hit improving and you can see an obvious increase in your capabilities.
O.K. Now you have spent a while improving your ability to remember to do things in the future, it’s time to put it into practice. The MILD technique is as follows:-
Step1 – Set a firm intention in you mind when you go to bed, to wake up during each dream period and recall your dreams. Really mean to do it, don’t just say it. If you find waking up difficult you could try and use an alarm to assist you as discussed in Chapter 4.
Step 2 – When you wake up, try and recall as many dreams from the previous period of sleep that you can. It is tempting to just turn over and go back to sleep. Don’t! Keep yourself awake and make an effort to recall your dreams.
Step 3 – Once you have recalled your dreams, go back to sleep. As you are falling asleep, focus your intent on remembering to recognize that you are dreaming.
Say in your mind “Next time I am dreaming, I will remember to recognize that I am dreaming.” Really mean it as well. Think that doing this is as important as buying the gift mentioned previously. Feel that it is the most important thing at that time. Really want to remember.
Step 4 – When you have set this intention, imagine that you are back in the dream that you recalled in Step 2. Imagine that you recognized it was a dream, and visualize yourself becoming lucid in that dream.
In your fantasy, look for a dream sign that you have noticed from your dream journal and see yourself realizing that you are dreaming. Say to yourself “I am dreaming!”
Step 5 – Repeat Steps 3 and 4 until you have firmly set your intention. When you feel alright about it, let yourself doze off to sleep. Ensure that your intention is the last thing you think about when you fall asleep.
If all goes well, you will find yourself falling asleep into a dream, and then remembering to notice that you are dreaming. This realization will cause you to become lucid.
WILD – Wake Induced Lucid Dream
If you have been trying the MILD technique for a while and are still not having much success, you may want to try another technique. This technique is considered more advanced than the MILD technique but is still very effective.
This technique involves entering a lucid dream directly from the waking world. To master this most advanced technique, there are several relaxation and breathing exercises that you need to practice. As this is a guide for beginners, we will look at the WILD technique in a dedicated section.
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