Lucid Dreaming

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Lucid Dreaming

Postby Sanfung » Fri Jul 06, 2012 1:18 pm

I decided to post this thread in recovery, since it does deal with a medical theme, though I don't mean to mix things up if it should have gone elsewhere. I read a post from Dvivid that mentioned lucid dreaming, and other experiences, being the branches and leaves of a core development. However, I have developed lucid dreaming techniques in the past for other reasons.

As I've mentioned before, I grapple with a few mental conditions and one of them causes me particularly vivid and problematic nightmares. I was taught to develop lucid dreaming so that I could "awaken" into a dream and tell myself that what was happening was unreal and that I could control the situation. However, this development was purely under the auspices of carefully applied clinical psychology. I was never encouraged to develop a pleasant place to go. Rather, I was only ever told to practice reactions to the terrors in my dreams.

I'm recovering considerably from those days, though the technique is still helpful. I've read quite a bit about people who use lucid dreaming to train in their sleep, so to speak, and I was wondering if anyone had any opinion on whether or not this was a healthy option considering that I have spent so much time cultivating the technique. I even read that a certain psychologist in the early 20th century used lucid dreaming training to allow skiers to ski in their dreams.

Naturally, I don't have any fantastical ideas about this, but I thought it would give me a proactive way to prevent negative dreams from troubling me as they always do. I realize that responses here are not at all a substitute for a professional opinion.
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Re: Lucid Dreaming

Postby Dvivid » Fri Jul 06, 2012 3:26 pm

Hi, lucid dreaming can be a result from meditation practice or happen during qigong. From that perspective, they say dont pay attention when it happens, since it is a distraction... Unless you're training 'dream yoga' meditation on purpose.

But my personal experience with lucid dreaming came separately, after I read an article about it and decided to get a book. I followed the instructions and practiced every day in the afternoon, and got pretty good at it for a while, going right into a lucid state after a few minutes and playing around.

I have dabbled since then very rarely, with moderate success. Was actually thinking recently about getting into a regular practice again.

I would say I dont think there could be any negative side effects to it, and it is highly beneficial and fun to practice. It does require regular effort and I recommend trying in the afternoon when you're relaxed, but not going to fall into a deep sleep. Staying lucid and not falling asleep is the hardest part. Its really important that you repeatedly set your intentions very plainly as you begin, like "I am going to remain aware and conscious as my body falls asleep. I will be able to control my self and my surroundings once I begin to dream, and I will be safe the whole time", and such like that. Have fun!

I especially enjoy the experience of staying aware as my body falls asleep because the transition from normal consciousness into the supersensitive sleep state is really intense.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dream_yoga
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Re: Lucid Dreaming

Postby caesar » Sat Jul 07, 2012 5:00 am

It was weird when I was a teenager. I had never heard of lucid dreaming so I never did any techniques or meditation. I just suddenly started having them, almost every night and also day time if I took a nap.

After I discovered what I was experiencing, I started to develop techniques for myself so that I could dive into a lucid dream more easily. The techniques consisted of imagining different colorful abstract pictures and a very subtle way to move the eyes. Nobody told me to do this, it just felt natural and I was getting more and more excited about lucid dreaming. Somehow these techniques really worked and I don't know why. But I read and heard afterwords that others have too been able to have lucid dreaming with these kinds of color techniques.

Then suddenly I stopped having them, and the techniques didn't work anymore, or if they did, I had already lost my motivation. I was a very stressed person at that time, perhaps it had something to do with the experiences. Nowadays I have perhaps 1-3 lucid dreams per 3-6 months. I always love it when it happens, being suddenly able to summon a volcano in the middle of a city, sexual fantasies, flying in the air, having an intelligent discussion with a famous professor...AWESOME! :D

At the time I had a lot of lucid dreaming, I also started experiencing with another phenomenon while sleeping...called sleep paralysis. And I really hated it, it was terrible. I tried to create techniques to fall into a lucid dream, and I started develop techniques to get out of sleep paralysis. Anyone else had it?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sleep_paralysis
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Re: Lucid Dreaming

Postby Josh Young » Sun Jul 08, 2012 9:16 am

caesar wrote:At the time I had a lot of lucid dreaming, I also started experiencing with another phenomenon while sleeping...called sleep paralysis. And I really hated it, it was terrible. I tried to create techniques to fall into a lucid dream, and I started develop techniques to get out of sleep paralysis. Anyone else had it?


Yes.

I had paralysis, out of body experience and chronic repeating nightmares as well. The nightmares became lucid dreams over time, but I like semi lucid dreaming to fully lucid dreaming, insofar as I like the content of my dreams but know I am dreaming. I don't often manifest my will in dream unless I am growing bored of the dream.

I have a lot of dreams where I fly over cities at night and get lost trying to navigate by lights.
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Re: Lucid Dreaming

Postby caesar » Sun Jul 08, 2012 10:35 am

Josh Young wrote:but I like semi lucid dreaming to fully lucid dreaming, insofar as I like the content of my dreams but know I am dreaming. I don't often manifest my will in dream unless I am growing bored of the dream.


I see. I've also noticed that the more I change the world inside the dream, the more likely I will just wake up...this is sometimes very dissapointing, if I am just about to do something wild and crazy. So I often also just settle for being the observer. This is actually the first time I hear that being called "semi lucid dreaming"...logical term.

Josh Young wrote:
I have a lot of dreams where I fly over cities at night and get lost trying to navigate by lights.


:D
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Re: Lucid Dreaming

Postby SarasMusic » Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:49 am

I don't know about you, but was anyone else thinking about Inception during this post?

I kept visualizing the rotating room while I was reading this.

- Sara

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Re: Lucid Dreaming

Postby caesar » Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:52 am

Well now that you mention about it, yes! But actually I can only picture the South Park parody of it nowadays. ;)
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Re: Lucid Dreaming

Postby Sanfung » Fri Aug 03, 2012 4:33 pm

Haha, actually I couldn't stop thinking about Inception when I originally wrote this thread! I've never seen the parody you're talking about. Was it funny?

Lucid dreaming doesn't necessarily make me wake up per say, but I do realize that I have the ability more if I wake up in the middle of a dream, fall back asleep and reenter a dreaming state. I can usually take that few moments of consciousness to gain control of my surroundings.

Thank you for being so encouraging, Dvivid. It's nice to know that I wasn't off my rocker for wanting to manipulate the state a little more. Last night admittedly I had a night terror situation and turned it into a more positive dream in the way that I described my old therapist as teaching to me. That being said, I've been working on what you were saying as well. I'll let you guys know if I anything particularly interesting happens. Like you were saying as well it helps to remain in a meditative state that's actually above deep sleep as opposed to entering a usual state of restfulness.
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Re: Lucid Dreaming

Postby joeblast » Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:55 am

cultivating a measure of this should help the death process also - spirit not quite so attached and clinging to the body, clearer awareness is very important to the process.
Even in mildly complex systems, any outcome is the wrong thing to target, with the process being where the focus should be.
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Re: Lucid Dreaming

Postby Sanfung » Mon Sep 23, 2013 3:56 pm

Joeblast I never thought of that, but it would sound like you are absolutely right. It would make it easier to pass on if you were clearly aware and ready to escape from the body. Now, that being said, I certainly do hope that is not something I have to think about for quite some time from now!
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