Most people have heard of lucid dreams. They hear or read stories about the fantastic adventures dreamers have in worlds that feel just as real as real life, and it all seems so magical. But what many people do not realise is that lucid dreams are fairly common. You may have had one or two lucid dreams yourself and are wondering if these lifelike and vivid dreams can be deliberately directed. Can lucid dreams be controlled?
Lucid dreams can be controlled but it usually takes training. Most spontaneous lucid dreams are uncontrolled. Even being able to deliberately induce a lucid dream is not enough to give you control over it. It takes training to gain total control over lucid dreams. This requires learning specific dream-control techniques.
The different types of lucid dreams
To understand how lucid dreams can be controlled we should briefly look at the two different types of lucid dream. As I covered in this article there are 2 types of lucid dream that are similar in look, feel and foundation. But these two dream types differ quite significantly in how we experience them.
In every lucid you will feel consciously awake and aware. That is the mark of a lucid dream – conscious awareness. However, in one type of lucid dream you will have a large degree of control over the dreamworld and everything in it, while in the other type of lucid dream you have very little control or no control at all.
Let’s look at these two types of lucid dream in closer detail to see how you can gain control over your lucid dreams.
Uncontrolled lucid dreams
I have mentioned before on this website that lucid dreams are not rare. About 55% of the population will experience at least one lucid dream during their lifetime and a whopping 33% of the population regularly experience lucid dreams, having one or more per month. However, the most common type of lucid dream experience that people have is an uncontrolled lucid dream.
An uncontrolled lucid dream has the same feel and texture as a controlled lucid dream. When you “wake” inside an uncontrolled lucid dream you will be fully conscious and aware but you will lack any major control. In an uncontrolled lucid dream you have no direct control over the dreamworld or anything in it. You can only direct your own thoughts and actions. Nothing else within the dream is under your control.
You simply interact with the dreamworld in the same way you would interact with the everyday world and have the same basic restrictions i.e. you can move and talk and interact with the environment but only in similar ways to how you do it when awake.
A great example of an uncontrolled lucid dream is an experience that happened to me in my early attempts at lucid dreaming. I became lucid in a dream and was excited at how real everything looked, felt and sounded. I was in a room with cabinets a desk and computer chair. It seemed to be some type of office. However, when I went to open the door it was locked. I called out for someone to let me out but no-one was there. I was basically locked in a room the entirety of the lucid dream. Even the cabinet doors were locked so there wasn’t even anything to investigate.
As I was in an uncontrolled lucid dream, and had not been trained yet in techniques that would have allowed me to take control, I was stuck in an impressive dream but one that was pretty boring.
Although it can be interesting to investigate the dreamworld in the consciously awake state of an uncontrolled lucid dream (if you aren’t locked in a room 🙁 ), the fact that you are limited in what you can do makes an uncontrolled lucid dream not much different from the real world. If you can do something in the real world then chances are high that you will be able to do it in an uncontrolled lucid dream. This leaves out a lot of fun stuff!
People who naturally lucid dream without trying, tend to have uncontrolled lucid dreams.
If you have ever had, or continue to have, uncontrolled lucid dreams then you will want to read the article why can’t I control my lucid dreams after you have finished reading this one. That post will give you valuable information about changing your uncontrolled lucid dreams to controlled ones.
Controlled lucid dreams
Controlled lucid dreams are the most commonly talked about type of lucid dream because they are much more interesting than uncontrolled ones.
In a controlled lucid dream, the dreamer will have varying degrees of control over the dreamworld. At one end of the spectrum the lucid dreamer will be able to interact with the dream and manipulate certain aspects of the dream, like being able to fly, will be able to move locations and even create certain things within the dream environment.
At the other end of the spectrum an experienced lucid dreamer will be able to do anything that they want to do without restriction. They can visit anyone and can go anywhere. They can even use their lucid dreams to recreate past civilizations or visit alien planets.
Controlled lucid dreams are the type of dream that are the most commonly experienced by trained lucid dreamers.
The level of control a lucid dreamer can exert over a lucid dream, both the controlled and uncontrolled kind (an experienced lucid dreamer can change an uncontrolled lucid dream into a controlled one), is almost always due to the lucid dreaming training they have had and their level of experience.
Proper training, (this course is a good example), is needed to become the type of lucid dreamer who has omnipotent power within the dreamworld. Trained lucid dreamers can induce lucidity deliberately whenever they want, can regulate the number of lucid dreams they have and can even lengthen the duration of their lucid dreams.
I should also note here that with increased power and control over the dreamworld comes improved clarity and vividness. Lucid dreamers, myself included, have highlighted that the more control they gain over their lucid dreams the clearer and more vivid those dreams become to the point that some lucid dreams are actually more colorful and vibrant than real life (think Avatar or Broken Embraces).
How to control a lucid dream
So, as you can see not all lucid dreams are automatically under the dreamer’s control. Uncontrolled lucid dreams are common … but they don’t have to be!
If you are a spontaneous lucid dreamer and have been having natural lucid dreams (i.e. not using induction techniques) then it is most likely that you will have been experiencing uncontrolled lucid dreams. If you want to change this situation and start experiencing the real benefits of lucid dreaming, by gaining control over them, then you’ll be glad to know that there are ways to do that.
To turn an uncontrolled lucid dream into a controlled lucid you simply need to employ some advanced dream-control techniques. These are known as advanced techniques due to the results they produce rather than the level of proficiency you need to employ them. They are actually easy to use.
Below is one dream-control technique you can use to gain control when you find yourself in an uncontrolled lucid dream.
Taking control of an uncontrolled lucid dream
By far the easiest way to alter an uncontrolled lucid dream and exert control over it is to make the dream clearer and less hazy.
Although you will be consciously awake and aware within this type of dream, uncontrolled lucid dreams tend to be less vibrant and less vivid than their counterparts. So, the first step to gaining control is to solidify the dreamworld around you. You simply use willpower or intent to do this.
Look at your hands intently and say aloud that the dream is becoming clearer and more vivid. Then look up and around you. Everything should now be clearer. If this doesn’t work well the first time and things only clear slightly, keep doing it. Try this technique several times until the dreamworld becomes very clear and lifelike. If need be you can call out to the dream itself telling it to become clearer. You are actually speaking to your subconscious mind which will react to your request especially with repetition.
It is a good idea to place your focus on your hands or some point of space within the dream environment around you while doing this so that the dreamworld can become clearer without your direct attention. Keeping your focus soft and on the entire environment will hinder your ability to solidify the dream environment and it is also possible that if you witness the scene shifting you could be awakened by the shock or excitement of it. It is much better to simply look away and look back while expecting the change to have occurred.
As you do this and start to clear up the image in your dreamworld two things will happen. Firstly, you will start to realize that you really do have control over the dreamworld. Secondly, as a lucid dream gets clearer and more vivid the dreamer seems to naturally gain more control over it.
Take the dream control a step further
Once you have proved that you can make your lucid dream clearer, start to take smaller dream control steps. Look at your hands, or spin around on the spot, and command the dream scene to change. Intend to go to Hawaii where you can see the black sand or Ireland where you can enjoy the beautiful natural greenery or Iceland where you can witness the northern lights.
Think of somewhere that you want to visit and will yourself there. Again by redirecting your attention to your hands, or by spinning your body around, for a few seconds you remove the possibility of doubt stopping your intention from happening or shock awakening you.
Once you have mastered moving location you should start to test out your own abilities. Take to the air and fly like superman or do some impossible Kung Fu kicks in an ancient Chinese kwoon (dojo). Levitate on the spot or take giant leaps from one mountain top to another. Test yourself to see what you can do.
Once you have proven to yourself that your dream body is under your control and not restricted by the laws of physics you can move on to controlling dream characters.
You can now advance to conjuring up specific dream characters and testing your ability to control their actions (or more accurately – guide their actions). Think of someone you know or someone who is fairly familiar to you. Command the dream to make them appear. Then interact with them. Intend that they will behave in a specific way and watch as they do.
Next conjure up someone imaginary by asking the dream to create a certain type of person or character. “Dream, send the genie of the lamp from Aladdin to me now”, may be one such request.
Next conjure up a famous celebrity you always wanted to meet. Test your abilities to create different types of dream characters.
Of course there are much more specific and advanced techniques for doing these things that it would take too long to go into in this post. So, if you are interested in learning some really cool advanced techniques for controlling all aspects of your dreams check out this fantastic lucid dreaming course that comes with a connected community of experienced lucid dreamers who help each other out and share dream control tips and tricks.