Does meditation affect sleep and lucid dreaming? Absolutely. Improving your quality of sleep and wake time is essential for successful lucid dreaming. Meditation will dramatically improve your chances of a lucid dream, as well as a more restorative night of sleep. Lucid dreaming is not reported, even by frequent dreamers to detract from sleep time. So what does meditation have to do with lucid dreaming? Meditation increases awareness on a daily basis, and it is through awareness that lucid dreaming comes about. As you become more aware throughout the day, you will find yourself becoming more aware during dreaming, and find yourself lucid during more dreams.
The easiest thing to do is to set aside a short dedicated period each day to practice meditation. Sit calm and still, and just focus your awareness on your breathing. Each time you notice that your mind has wandered, just return your awareness back to meditation. I discuss this technique and other meditations in more detail here
Lucid dreaming is an experience that EVERYONE should have at least once in their life. People often ask what lucid dreaming is, and discover that they’ve perhaps had one or more lucid dreams in the past without realizing it. To become aware that you are dreaming during a dream allows you absolute control over your own private universe, which is often as clear if not clearer, sharper and more real than waking reality. Lucid dreaming is an absolutely amazing experience.
What can lucid dreaming be used for?
- Dreaming can be used to practice real life events and techniques, such as sporting for one example.
- You could also take the opportunity to practice and master flying around your neighborhood in absolute full 3D reality!
- Lucid dreaming can be used to gain spiritual or psychological insight into issues that are affecting you.
- Experiment with different behavior, see how people respond.
- Brainstorm new ideas
- Resolve nightmares and fears
A lucid dream is unfortunately a largely ignored phenomenon in modern day society. In it’s simplest terms, it is when a dreamer becomes aware that they are dreaming. Often this is confused with controlling a dream. It is entirely possible for a dream to be lucid despite not having good or any control over it. Also possible, is controlling a dream without realizing it to be a dream and mistaking it with reality.
It would also be wise to explain what lucid dreaming is NOT:
- Lucid dreaming in itself is not harmful in any way, at least no more or less than any other regular dream. You can not become lost, or trapped in lucid dreams. You can not become possessed by demons, monsters or anything similar. Millions of people practice lucid dreaming either purposefully or without even realizing it.
- Lucid dreaming in itself is not some kind of strange or occult practice.
- Lucid dreaming is not some kind of mental disorder – in fact, the ability to lucid dream is a sign of a healthy mental and conscious state.
- Lucid dreaming is not difficult and does not require a high IQ or an honors degree. In fact, the more ‘intelligence’, ‘thinking’ and ‘logic’ one tries to apply to lucid dreaming, the harder it becomes. If you’ve ever had a dream before, even if it was years ago, you are capable of lucid dreaming. This applies to everyone.
- Lucid dreaming is not a religion and as such requires no blind FAITH or BELIEF. In fact, you are better advised to practice the techniques and learn through your own experiences, rather than hanging on to other people’s reported experiences that you may or may not believe, and that may or may not resonate with you. Lucid dreaming is like any other skill – the more you read about it and intellectualize it, the more distant it becomes. The quickest way to learn to ride a bike is to just get on it and start practicing. Reading manuals about how to ride a bike is absolutely pointless! You have spent your whole life being told what to believe and how to experience the world around you. This is your own untouched world to be experienced without the conditioning of others!
There are two ways to actually enter lucid dreaming from within a dream. These are a) by realizing that you are dreaming within a regular dream, or b) directly from waking reality. I generally class any LD attempt where I lose awareness for up to a maximum of 10 seconds to be a ‘wake induced lucid dream’ or WILD. That is, a lucid dream aka ‘dream consciousness’ or ‘dream awareness’ directly from regular waking awareness. When I find myself in some dream or nightmare, and ask the golden “Am I dreaming?” question, I class this as a ‘dream induced lucid dream’ or DILD. The “Am I dreaming?” is called a reality check.
Just a very short one that I could remember, Hardly even worth a post! I was in Spain, and there was a “SE VENDE” (for sale) sign in the window. I looked around wondering why the property might be for sale. The end
Various dreams throughout the night. I woke up after 6 hours of sleep in need of a toilet visit with no recall at all, went back to sleep and in the 2 hours that followed had some pretty long and detailed dreams. I waited too long between waking and noting them down and lost most of the detail unfortunately.
I was in some kind of a function hall, walked past two people that I knew, a son and father. He asked me if I’d ever ended up following through on the private pilot’s licence. I told him that I’d really wanted to as I enjoyed flying a plane, but after half an hour in the plane, I had to lay down for 2 hours before I stopped feeling dizzy. I then walked in to the function room at this event, I’m not sure what the event was for or what I was doing there. I was at the back of a queue and right at the front was a bar with orange juice and champagne glasses. The queue was formed with the regular retractable people-herding ‘tensabarrier’ type equipment. Someone lifted one of the joining parts out, it wasn’t be but some how it ended up in my hand. I instinctively just let go, and then watched it spring all the way to the front of the queue, and whip past the last point, lashing out at the bar and smashing all the glass all over the floor. The queue itself then vanished and I was at the front of it, offering to help clear up. I knelt on the floor and picked up two pieces of glass I saw close to me. I then saw the bar man weld the damaged plastic flooring together with a lighter(!)
This is day 3 of my online dream journal. I’ve been busy with work over the past few months, and haven’t had a huge amount of time to concentrate on my own dreaming. My recall has quickly gone from reasonable to nonexistent, as have my lucid dreams. Already, I’ve noticed a big improvement in my recall again. Dream journals really really work. Here’s a reasonably detailed set of dreams with a pinch of lucidity at the end.
The only thing I remember from last night’s dreams were involving cars again. Driving around, got out, car turns into a small remote control car that I’m driving around. At one point I end up on a beach but notice that the wheels are too small and just spin when I tried to drive. Instead, I patted down some of the sand and noticed that the RC car drove just fine on that. I drove into one of the nearby houses where an old friend I hadn’t spoken to in years was. By that time that RC car was running out of battery and was getting slower.
Instead of my old pen and paper journal I’m going to try and start slowly moving my dream journal online. I recorded a few brief notes on the ‘AudioMemos’ iPhone voice recorder and then turned them into my full dream journal entry here. Some of these entries may be coherent, others may just be a few words here and there where I can remember.
I was at my parents old house, and there was a strange white van in the drive and a black Porsche outside the house. I needed the white van for some reason – perhaps to move something, not sure. The owner of the van said he’d just swap the engines between the two cars, which I thought nothing of at the time. I went upstairs, gathered some things, came back down about 5 minutes later and the engine swap was complete! I took the van and it’s lovely new sounding engine down the street. Seemed to have a lot of trouble stopping, the brakes would take an inordinate amount of time to work, and the handbrake also felt the same. Not sure why the van wouldn’t stop properly. Also worth adding that I noticed the engine hit 8K RPM twice for a while for no logical reason which caused me to worry about damaging the engine.
Thoughts: Not sure.
In lucid dreaming, “the void” can mean a couple of different things in my experience. For one, Monroe refers to a “3D blackness”. This is not something that I have ever experienced myself, however it is discussed at length by other dreamers on forums. It seems to be a pitch blackness that has a three dimensional “feel” to it, and can be perceived in spatial terms rather than just as a flat blackness in front of the eyelids. It also seems that some areas of the darkness can be ‘blacker’ than others, even those it is all entirely pitch black. This is said to be a signpost that you’re on the way into dreaming or into an astral projection if you subscribe to that model.
Not only have I not experienced this particular phenomenon, but in fact I have never experienced any of the “signposts” that are associated with falling into dreaming or projection, so it’s really of no consequence if this sounds unfamiliar to you.
Another type of ‘void’ that I frequently experience is from a WILD attempt and when I ‘roll’ directly out of myself. I usually hit the floor and end up in a strange type of ‘colorful’ void. When I was first starting out, I would get the impression that my eyes were closed, and so I would try and force them open. All this did was wake me up in reality, and leave me awake and staring at my ceiling! The trick here instead, was to picture and imagine what I knew the floor where I had just landed to look like, and the surroundings from that point should begin to clear. Do not try to force your eyes open as I used to!
Lastly, the final type of void that I’ve experienced is when I try to move beyond the 1st dreaming state. As a thought responsive environment, any command or desire performed with intention will be instantly manifested. When I intend to speak with someone to learn information or similar, I am often ‘whooshed’ up right out of my dreamscape right into a colorful void, similar to the one described above. Although I can not describe the differences in words, this type of void has a distinctly different ‘feel’ to the one above, and so I categorize it differently.
It is no coincidence that most dreamers experience their first lucid dream the night, or shortly after they first read about lucid dreaming. I experienced my first full lucid dream after a few days of intensive research. The mind loves the idea and the exciting new possibilities. Now after that first sweet experience, comes the “I wonder if I can do that again, probably not but I’m going to try” attitude. On that attempt you fail at dreaming, which is then reinforced with “I knew that I couldn’t”. From then on dreaming becomes an unattainable goal, something that you are forever trying to experience but always seems so difficult.
Think back to your first lucid dream – that’s how easy they all are, you’ve just made them difficult. Now you’re in the mindset of setting yourself up to fail each time, how to overcome it? Simple, by tricking yourself. Do not attempt to lucid dream tonight. Make no effort whatsoever tonight, give up and forget about it. Let it be a spontaneous activity. Sure, practice awareness constantly, and perform reality checks, follow a good diet, and get yourself into good sleep habits, but do it for yourself. For now, forget all about lucid dreaming. Instead, make the decision to really improve your recall skills, making your dream journal extra detailed, and recording your dreams the second you realize you’re awake. Enjoy every non lucid dream for the experience that it is.
Here are my top ten steps for guaranteeing lucid dreaming. If performed diligently, they will result in lucid dreaming for sure;
- Avoid any artificial substances. Artificial means anything that does not grow naturally. Specifically avoid substances known to interfere with sleep such as stimulants (drugs, caffeine, energy drinks, etc), and depressants (alcohol, cannabis, sleeping pills, etc), avoid refined sugars and artificial sweeteners.
- Drink clean natural water. We were built to drink water, not sodas! Fizzy junk drinks are absolute poison for the body and mind.
- Spend as much of the day as possible in all day awareness.
- Spend as much time as possible outdoors and around nature. Try and avoid extended periods being blasted with radiation from computer screens and cell phones, or working from dawn till dusk in an artificially lit, artificially air conditioned room.
- Perform reality checks constantly. Perform them with focus and intention, not ‘by the way’.
- Try not to eat at night. I would suggest not eating for least 3 hours before getting into bed.
- If possible, try to spend those 3 hours from 5. above in meditation alone. After which, get straight into bed. Try and avoid TV, computers, games, or anything else that sucks your energy and awareness. Watching TV before or in bed is not a good thing. Television is proven to induce slow alpha waves within the brain, not only slowing your brain down to a halt (and not the good slowing down either), but also putting you in a highly susceptible state to receive the rubbish adverts being blasted at you in quick succession. TV and diet alone are probably the two biggest causes for the dramatic increase in attention related disorders that everyone seems to have or know someone that has these days.
- Saturate your mind with lucid dreaming related material as close to bed as possible. Instead of that television time, read your dream journal and read lucid dreaming related books.
- As you drift off to sleep, focus your attention on dreaming. If you’re good at visualizations, then picture yourself in a dream, lucid and aware. If, like myself, you’re no good at visualizations, stick with a mantra. “I am dreaming right now,” and mean it.
- Set your alarm for 6 hours after you go to sleep, ready for your WBTB into lucid dreaming! Whatever happens, make sure to make as detailed an entry as possible in your dream journal. Enjoy!