With the rise of the internet, there is hardly anyone who hasn’t heard of lucid dreaming. However, there seem to be quite a few misconceptions one may relate to the term. So, what is lucid dreaming after all?
Lucid dreaming refers to the ability to consciously direct and control your dreams. This control allows you to turn your dream world into an alternate reality where anything you want can happen… or at least you can experience it as if it really happened.
It occurs when your brain switches to a waking state inside your dream, thus allowing you to know that you are dreaming. Conscious dreaming has been made popular in recent years by the studies and teachings of Stephen LaBerge, plus by the insanely popular 2010 blockbuster Inception. However, this technique has actually been used for thousands of years.
As a matter of fact, this whole idea is not that new at all. Even though the term itself didn’t exist well until the nineteenth century, for more than a thousand years Tibetan Monks have used dream control in a philosophy called Dream Yoga. The concept then became more popular in the 1960s when Celia Green pointed out its scientific potential and made the connection between REM sleep and false awakenings. While it is rather hard to study sleep, in 1975 the British parapsychologist Keith Hearne found the first scientific proof of lucid dreaming by catching the eye movement during sleep in laboratory conditions.
It is suggested that every single person experiences lucid dreaming at least once in their lifetime, even if it’s accidental. However, almost anyone can learn how to lucid dream, simply by practicing one or all of the known techniques that will help you retain your consciousness while sleeping.
These techniques include meditation, self-hypnosis, visualization, reality checks, dream herbs, keeping a dream journal, and mnemonic techniques, most of which will give you an overall improvement of self-awareness regardless of whether you are sleeping or not. Usually, it takes between three days and three weeks of practice before you get your first purposeful lucid dream, and the experience is likely to make you want to extend the practice into a long-term one.
If you are wondering why you should learn to lucid dream, there are two things that may appeal to you. First of all, nowadays almost everyone is involved in some alter-reality activity, whether it is playing video games, watching TV series or simply daydreaming. While in the lucid state, you get to experience all of these things first hand. In your dream you can be anyone and do anything!
Secondly, it is perhaps the best way of getting to understand your inner self. As Freud has put it: “Dreams are the royal road to the Unconscious.” Therefore, realizing that you’re dreaming and being able to control your dreams can be a great psychological tool and an enlightening experience. It’s likely to make you more creative, help you find solutions to your problems, face your fears, improve your confidence and allow you to practice new skills. Learning to dream consciously is an epic opportunity.
Come alive within your dreams.
Live your fantasies.
Control your destiny.
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