Flying like an eagle over a bright skyline, having a coffee with Oprah or dancing your ass off on the moon. What if I told you that these are all things you can do? Lucid dreams can be quite amazing and can help you heal on a deeper level. In this article I dive into the phenomena and explain how you can start experiencing lucid dreaming.
Lucid dreams have been around forever
Although science did not recognise lucid dreams until 1978, the history of this unique dream experience stretches back thousands of years, and possibly into the Palaeolithic era.
The first known textual description of lucid dreams dates from before 1000 BC; from the Upanishads, the Hindu tradition of spiritual lessons, philosophy and proverbs. The Vigyan Bhairav Tantra is another ancient Hindu scripture that describes how best to direct consciousness within the dream and vision sleep state.
In the West, the concept of lucid dreaming is almost as old as the Western letters themselves. In general, dreams had a privileged position in the foundations of Greek philosophy; Socrates, Plato and Aristotle both addressed their questions about the nature of reality in our nightly journeys. Lucid dreams were first clearly described by Aristotle (350BC) in his treatise on dreams. Aristotle writes:
“When someone is sleeping, there is something in consciousness that tells us that what is shown is only a dream.”
Lucid dreams may have played an integral part in the history of Islam. Mohammed’s Laylat al-Miraj is an account of a night vision that gave him spiritual initiation. The 12th century Spanish Sufi Ib El-Arabi suggested that controlling thoughts in dreams is an essential ability for aspiring mystics.
Recognized by science
In the end, lucid dreams have also been recognised by science. Brain research in sleeping persons shows that something special happens at such a time. Brain areas in the front of the skull, which normally are not operating whilst dreaming, suddenly become active! Scientists conclude from this that these brain areas play an important role in self-awareness and self-insight.
Lucid dreams for spiritual growth
Ultimately, we all want to be the best version of ourselves, as authentic as possible. Free from all childish trauma and insecurities. Realising our deepest desires and dreams.
When you dream, you enter your subconscious mind. All unprocessed emotions and trauma are stored here. In this way you open a door to deeper insights that are beyond the reach of our waking consciousness. In a lucid dream you have the opportunity to process psychological trauma in a physical form. That doesn’t mean you have to dream specifically about your trauma. Often you dream abstractly, or the trauma emerges in a symbolic jacket.
By taking advantage of these opportunities, you tackle underlying blockages while you sleep well.
Learn to control your dreams
Essentially, everyone can dream lucid and so can you. Use these 5 tips to activate the lucid dreaming ability
1. Ask yourself the question
Ask yourself several times a day if you are dreaming. Am I dreaming now? Or is this really happening? Ask yourself this question on the way to work, while working out or at dinner. This increases the chance that you will ask yourself that question during a dream.
2. Sleep out
We dream the most in the last sleep cycle. So stay in bed and make having a good nights rest a regular thing.
3. What do I want to dream about tonight?
Ask yourself this question just before you go to sleep. Then try to answer and visualise these in your thoughts as well as possible. Imagine eating a pink frozen yogurt after coffee with Oprah. Imagine what you and Oprah are going to talk about, think what questions you would ask or joke. Then think about how pink would taste in your dream and try to experience this.
4. Try to keep moving
Do you realise during a dream that you are dreaming? Then try to keep moving. Do you see a unicorn in your dream? Then, in your dream, decide to stroke the unicorn, or hop on its back. This is how you interact with your dream. That action ensures that the dream remains clear and lasts longer.
5. Write down your dreams
Put a notebook next to your bed and get into the habit of writing down the dream immediately when you wake up. That way, lucid dreams stick better.