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Lucid Dreaming: Take control of your dreams

We've all had dreams. Some dreams stay in our memory for years as they are so wonderful and bizarre that we wish we could experience them again. Most of the time we are unaware that we are dreaming as we take part in a "little dream narrative" that often is so extraordinary. What if I told you that there is a way you can become aware you are dreaming and through this realisation you can take full control of your dreams and do extraordinary and fun things while you sleep? Lucid dreaming is not only fun but it is also a powerful tool for understanding oneself.

"Tonight in your dreams you must look at your hands" - Carlos Castaneda

What we are trying to achieve in lucid dreaming is awareness that we are dreaming, in doing so we bring our conscious will and thought process into our dreams thereby allowing us to mold and change the dream environment.

I remember this lucid dream I had where I was walking down a dark alleyway and it was looking very grim, but suddenly I looked at my hands and they looked slightly distorted which made me realise that I was dreaming. In this instant I took complete control of my dream just by willing there to be light the alleyway was lit up and made beautiful and golden. I told myself that when I turn around there will be a bus with its door open ready for me to drive, as I turned around this was indeed the case. I got into the empty bus and started driving it around my "dream city" and willed for some flamenco guitar music in the background and hey presto a beautiful melody began to play. Driving around was fun but nothing beats flying I thought to myself, "Ask and you shall receive", "Will and you shall have" the bus began to take off into the sky with me in it and as I enjoyed this flight I commenced looking for a relaxing beach which instantly manifested in my dream realm.

I want to mention everything I share in my articles are all experiences I have actually had and all the techniques are ones I have had great success with myself and have helped others too. One of my favourite books on Lucid dreaming is called "The art of dreaming by Carlos Castaneda" I would recommend this to anyone who wants to explore dreaming to a much deeper level than just to "have fun". Dream work is a powerful transformational tool often described in the Toltec tradition.

How to become aware that you are dreaming

Exercise 1: Everyday as many times as you can throughout you day while you are awake, look at your hands and ask yourself out loud "Am I dreaming?". Do this all the time as often as possible for a couple of weeks. It is commonly known that sometimes in dreams, habits or situations that have occurred during the waking day shall repeat itself during a dream. Therefore, if you do this exercise often enough the chances are while you are dreaming you will look at your hands and ask yourself "Am I dreaming?" and then you shall realise "Yes! I am!" and this will cause you to become aware that you're dreaming and now you can begin to take control of your dreams.

Exercise 2: Keep a dream journal. It is an absolute must for a lucid dreamer to record his/her dreams in a journal. The reason for this is because remembering dreams is really tough, if you write them down your mind will become better and better at dream recall this will allow you to better become aware that you're dreaming plus remember actually having a lucid dream, otherwise it can skip your memory. Also if you want to do deeper dream work a dream diary will help you figure out more about what your dreams are trying to tell you in symbolic format. This will allow you to see any patterns in dreams.

Lucidity maintenance

When you have your first lucid dream, you will realise the first thing that will happen is you will get extremely excited as you thing about the boundless possibilities and experiences you are about to have. Yes this is all true but you MUST NOT get excited as this will cause you to lose lucidity and wake up. The first few times you may get excited but you will learn not to do so as you progress in lucid dreaming.

Now the first thing you must do when you have a lucid dream assuming you haven't gotten excited is learn to fly, you can do this in many ways, you can flap your arms like wings or shoot out like superman with both arms out forward the main thing is to use your will and intent. The idea is to learn to navigate and get used to the dream environment.

There will be certain times while lucid dreaming when your dream vision becomes really hazy and distorted, the easiest way to rectify this is to immediately look back at your hands for a few seconds until the dream re-solidifies.

Those who practice forms of yoga and meditation will be at an advantage in experiencing lucid dreams due to the lightness and refinement of their energy body but every single individual is able to experience lucid dreams all it takes is practice. The amount of work and growth one could get from lucid dreaming is endless. In future articles we shall discuss advanced dreaming techniques until then happy dreaming!

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