I’m about to be the lucid dreaming Mr. Miyagi to your controlled dreaming Karate Kid. If you don’t know who Mr. Miyagi is go ask someone who grew up in the ’80s. 😉 Or watch Cobra Kai on Netflix!
Why the Karate Kid reference?
Well, like all great martial artists all great lucid dreamers know at least a bit about meditation.
The type of dream meditation you are about to learn is a form of dream yoga.
Dream Yoga is the technique used by Tibetan Buddhist monks for dream control.
For many centuries these dedicated monks have continuously explored the dream world and perfected ways to enter a state of dream lucidity.
They have also studied the possibilities of controlled dreaming and uncovered the many benefits it offers.
This lesson aims to teach you how to induce lucid dreams in in a similar way the the monks learn to do it.
The State of Hypnagogia
Hypnagogia is a term used to describe the natural state that manifests itself between the start of the sleep cycle and the entry into the dream state.
A common aspect to the hypnagogia state is colorful visual images appearing spontaneously behind closed eyes just as sleep ensues.
Oftentimes these images start as simple dim lights and nebulous shapes but quickly evolve into more complex designs or even full landscapes and scenes.
The best part about being able to recognize the hynagogia state is that this knowledge can help lead to full blown lucid dreaming if you can manage to keep yourself conscious during the process.
Controlling Your Hypnagogia
The previous lesson’s relaxation technique can be used to enter the most advantageous state for hypnagogia to start.
After a few practice session you should be able to enter this state at will simply by using your relaxation exercise.
Once you succeed at entering the hynagogia state and making the visual imagery appear just try following the light show (or scenes that start to develop) without trying to do anything other than staying conscious.
Once you have succeed a few times at being a conscious witness of the hynagogia state and merely allowed the visual images to expand before your closed eyes it’s time to try to control these images mentally and deliberately turn them into various shapes.
You do this by willing them into whatever shape you want. Start with a triangle. Morph it into a ball and then turn it into a box. After you’ve practiced with simple shapes over a few nights you can move on to more complex imagery; change the triangle into a pyramid made of brick. Make the ball a soccer ball bursting through a goalkeeper’s net. Make the box have an amazon stamp on it and open it up to see it filled with brown packaging paper.
Focusing on more complex images such as those mentioned above will let you go into a much deeper state of dream meditation and allow you to take small steps towards controlled dreaming.
As you become accustomed to being able to create more complex shapes during the hypnagogia state you can try to bring into play your other senses.
Once in the desired state will yourself to experience the sensations of smell, taste, and touch. Even though this state is not the dream state and you are not yet lucid these exercises might seem like you’re feeling something physical.
The great thing is that the intensity of all of those sensations will increase as you go deeper into sleep and you may even go lucid.
When you’ve achieved complete mastery over the aforementioned steps it will be time start formulating complete landscapes using your hypnagogia.
You need to use visualization to achieve this so ensure you decide before you go to bed what you will be creating when you get into the twilight state.
Visualizing Lucid Dreams
One of the best scenes that you can visualize in the hypnagogia state is a dreamlike landscape.
Large, sweeping, and all encompassing, it is just perfect for visualizing yourself lucid dreaming.
Basically you use the hypnagogia state to visualize yourself already lucid dreaming!
However you need to do the visualizing in stages. Start with simple landscapes like a cottage in an empty field or a river running through a simple meadow.
Then build upon the image adding more and more detail over consecutive nights.
When you continue this level of visualization one night you will realize that everything around you is just as real as anything in your waking life.
This realization can be sudden and dramatic or can build slowly morphing into “reality” before your very “eyes”. Either way it is an exhilarating experience that comes because you’ve finally become one with the dream environment.
Improving Your Experience
It’s not always easy to attain that ideal “mind awake/body asleep” state that is essential for lucid dreaming. Some people reading this may need a bit of help inducing it.
For people who find it difficult staying conscious as their body drifts off into the hypnagogia state lucidity aids are required. Here are a couple of those:
- Brainwave meditation recordings. Also known as brain entainment.Personally, I benefited immensely from these recordings as they allowed me to go deeper into a meditative state. Click here to learn more.
- Take a supplement. Galantamine supplements like Lucidimine or Vivitamine can help get you in the best possible state for hypnagogia on your way to lucidity.
Although the above aids are not essential they may help you experience your first lucid dream a little more quickly.
Until next time keep practicing.