Although the term ‘lucid dreaming’ was first coined by Dutch writer and psychiatrist Frederik van Eeden to represent the phenomenon of conscious dreaming i.e. knowing that you are experiencing a dream but having no control over it, in modern times the meaning has evolved to represent much more.
In the 21st Century the vast majority of people, including imminent researchers, define lucid dreaming as being a ‘state of controlled dreaming’.
So, in modern terms, lucid dreaming is the ability to become conscious during a dream while having the ability to take full control over every aspect of that dream.
During a lucid dream the dreamer can consciously direct every aspect of the dream by manipulating the dream environment and exerting complete control over all the characters within it. The reason this is such a profound experience for lucid dreamers is due to the fact that the dream world becomes life-like and feels 100% as real as the world does in the waking state but without the same limitations or boundaries.
The only boundaries within a lucid dream are those you set up yourself. You are limited only by your capacity to imagine what you want to experience.
Let’s Define Lucid Dreaming
Lucid dreaming, as far as we are concerned in this post, is a dream in which the dreamer has complete control. But, while you are experiencing the dream it does not feel like a dream. Regardless of how fantastical the world is that you find yourself in (or create yourself) or how strange, weird or out-of-this-world the scenarios or characters in that world appear to be, the lucid dream feels completely true and 100% real.
All your senses are involved in a lucid dream and many lucid dreamers experience heightened senses claiming that the lucid dream state often feels more real than waking reality.
Watch the video below for some of the more popular experiences reported by lucid dreamers.
What is it Like to Lucid Dream?
As you can see from the video lucid dreaming is fantasy creation and fantasy experience. Anything you can imagine you can experience within a lucid dream.
Not many people realise though that the lucid dream itself feels 100% real. It is as though you are actually there living out the dream in real life.
This is reason alone for learning how to lucid dream. However the state of dream lucidity offers many more benefits than just for entertainment purposes.
Lucid Dreaming Benefits
However, even to this day the full scope and long-term benefits of lucid dreaming are not fully known due to lack of serious clinical research that would need to be performed and monitored over decades, if not the lifetimes of participants.
We do know enough about the state though to highlight the most obvious benefits of learning this skill.
Some of the most immediate benefits from learning this skill are:
- Experiencing your fantasies.
- Problem resolution.
- Stop nightmares.
- Releasing creativity.
- Reviewing the possible long term outcomes of pursuing different life paths.
- Confronting & overcoming your fears.
- Improving your self-esteem & confidence.
- Motor neural rehearsal (practicing acquired skills).
- Developing new skills.
- Self discovery & analysis.
- Exploration of the subconscious mind.
How to Lucid Dream
Although many lucid dreamers are born with the ability to control their dreams the vast majority of people who enter their own customized worlds during sleep have learned the skill. The great news fro anyone interested in trying out this neat fantasy factory of the mind is that it has been demonstrated time and again that lucid dreaming is a skill like any other and that every human being is capable of learning it.
To learn how to lucid dream free and without the aid of 21st Century technology requires only a few simple steps. But to be fair it does require a fair bit of persistence.
One of the first steps to learning to lucid dream is to keep a dream journal. By noting down your dreams upon wakening it becomes easier to identify common dreams, common dream symbols and even recurring dream meanings that can be used as an aid to realising you are dreaming. When you enter a dream and encounter a recurring theme, such as a recurring symbol or even an entire recurring dream, it can be enough to make you realise you are dreaming and this realization can induce instant lucidity.
There are of course inexpensive paid lucid dreaming trainings with techniques that can help you achieve a state of lucidity quicker and even brain entrainment recordings designed to change your brain wave frequency to the desired state
Many people believe that using 21st Century tools such as isochronic tones is the best way to lucid dream and control your dreams as it takes out much of the difficulty involved in the induction of lucid dreams. Although there is no easy lucid dreaming induction tools for instant access to the state of lucidity using brain entrainment recordings and following the course work in paid lucid dreaming courses is by far the best way to go.
Good courses will show you how to use a variety of phenomenon to go lucid from false awakening dreams to finger induced lucid dream techniques. Just remember that these courses and recordings are great tools to help you learn and perfect lucid dreaming but you can do it on your own if you are persistent and determined.