“One moment of spiritual practice in a lucid dream is equivalent to one week of spiritual practice in the waking state” – Dr Michael Katz
Do you remember your dreams when you wake up? Do you have awareness in your dream life? Some of us are asleep in this reality, life happening to us. Some of us ‘awaken’, realising we are creating our reality in each moment. So too in dreams. Being aware that you’re dreaming while in a dream is called lucid dreaming.
Most of us spend a third of our lives unconscious while we’re sleeping. What if you could be conscious in your dream life? Able to take control of this time. For an average lifespan that could be an extra twenty-five years of life to live.
What is a lucid dream?
“Lucid dreaming is a form of mind training in which we learn consciously to recognize our dreams as dreams while we are dreaming. As with all forms of mind training, the aim is to be more aware and more awake, to switch off the autopilot and to wake up to life. To dream lucidly is to live lucidly”. – “Dreams of awakening” Charlie Morley.
Lucid dreaming allows control of the reality we create each night while sleeping. A world beyond the constraints of our waking time-space reality. Lucid dreaming or dream yoga has been practised by Tibetan monks for thousands of years. Practitioners claim to be able to access other realms and realities. For many people, their main aim for meditating is to develop the skill to lucid dream.
So what? Why control your dream life?
What are the benefits of lucid dreaming?
- Practise and improving life skills. Neurologists have studied someone practising a skill while lucid dreaming. The same synapses fire in the brain as when that skill is being practised while awake. Improve emotional states, learn new skills and develop muscle memory all while dreaming.
- Overcoming fears. Once you’re aware that you’re dreaming you can work on fears or phobias that you have. Stand in front of a thousand people and overcome the fear of public speaking. Or stand on the edge of a cliff to help overcome vertigo.
- Process grief. Reunite with loved ones that have passed. Have the conversations or ask the questions you ran out of time to ask. Gain closure.
- Live any experience you have ever wished. Create your dream plot before it happens. Want to experience flying? Visit places you’ve not been to before? Create these plots before going to sleep and visit them in the dream world.
- Meet and interact with your heroes. Meet with people you wouldn’t be able to connect with. Have lunch with Nelson Mandela or a steamy night out with Cameron Diaz.
- Connect with our higher self. Lucid dreaming gives access to a different version of ourselves. Ask for clarity or advice on things happening in waking life.
So how do we lucid dream?
These are the techniques I’m experimenting with right now.
- Setting an intention each night to become lucid in my dreams. I decide what exactly I’ll do when I become lucid. At the moment that is: ‘go for a Spanish lesson with Michel Thomas‘
- Writing a dream journal, where I recall my dreams in as much detail as I can first thing in the morning.
- Asking a dream question each night that I’d like answered in my dream. “Give me a download about what I should do about this big decision in my life”
- Creating random reminders in my day to check if I’m dreaming. When done enough, this practice carries over into dreams. (I use the same mindfulness reminder app we install in the Lifestyle Design Level 1)
- Reading “Dreams of awakening“, by Charlie Morley.
- Netflix episode about dreams on “The Mind Explained“
- Online research. Various sources.
I’m not yet fully lucid in my dreams, but I’m close! While I was in the dark retreat I used light as a prompt to signal I was dreaming. In a dream, I saw a light and in the excitement of realising I was dreaming, I woke up! I am also recalling more of my dreams and starting to see some links between my dream question and what I dream about.
Until a few months ago I had no idea about why I would even want to try and wake up in a dream. I’m always experimenting with new techniques to improve how I learn, love, train and create. It looks like it would be a powerful skill to learn.
Quote from “Dreams of Awakening” – “Dr Michael Katz testifies to this when he says that ‘one moment of spiritual practice in a lucid dream is equivalent to one week of spiritual practice in the waking state’. What exactly is meant by ‘spiritual practice’ here? It’s simple. Once lucid within a dream, engage in meditation, prayer, visualisation, mantra recitation and so on in the same way that you would in the waking state.”
Doing my current Lifetsyle Design practises while dreaming feels like super-charging them! Lucid dreaming feels like a life hack worth learning.
Develop the awareness so that someday your dreams and reality meet.
Till next week.
Are you able to lucid dream? Have any stories to share? Tips or ideas that help you? Let me know.
PS: I haven’t forgotten about the darkness video I keep promising. This week a stye in my eye has kept me behind the camera. Keep an eye out (see what I did there?) next week.