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Source: www.lucid-mind.com
Author: Olga Richterova, MSc.

Why is lucid dreaming more than just accessing our virtual realities?

Ordinarily, we spend a third of our lives in an unconscious delirious-like state called sleep and dreaming, accepting our unawareness as a biological construct of our minds. Yet, some ancient traditions such as the Tibetan dream yoga have claimed for thousands of years that we can maintain  awareness in all stages of our sleep, and thus recognizing the true nature of reality which is maya – illusion.

Today, most people have experienced some aspects of lucidity within their dreams and increasing number of others learn how to induce this state so they can consciously experience adventures unreachable in their waking state. Lucid dreaming is a hybrid state of consciousness in which the dreamer is aware that she is dreaming, so she can not only choose her actions but also influence the dream in many ways.

Most people have experienced some aspects of lucidity within their dreams and increasing number of others learn how to induce the state so they can consciously experience adventures unreachable in their waking state. Recent studies using magnetic resonance tomography have clearly demonstrated that specific cortical networks of the brain linked to self-reflective consciousness lit up at the same time one becomes lucid in the dream state.

But is lucid dreaming more than just accessing our virtual realities?

       There are numerous benefits to practicing lucid dreaming. You can use lucid dreams to interact with your subconsciousness from within, to access new extraordinary ideas that you’d never think you’d have, to fly and explore every corner of your inner universe, rehearse performance  such as public speaking or use it for your own spiritual practice. Moreover, lucid dreams create lasting neuro adjustments in your brain - simply because you’re experiencing something you’d never experienced in your waking such as flying or facing your nightmares. For example, when you’re aware that you’re dreaming, you also know you cannot be harmed and you can choose to hug your dream attacker instead of running away from them.

           Ultimately, you’re forming a new relationship with your subconsciousness and with your Self also. When lucid in a dream, you don’t react to other dream characters as to strangers but as to aspects of your own Self. According to the theory of holes in psycho-spiritual teachings, our emotions which we resisted experiencing fully in past formed a ‘hole’ in our psyche. Then we try to fill it with obsessions and unhealthy habits or drugs but it cannot be done. We get many chances to confront those emotions in our dreams but generally, we react in the same manner over and over, never changing anything. In lucid dreams, we have a choice over our behaviour so we’re not controlled by our unconscious processes determined  by our past. So exercising this choice in lucid dreams is not only an exciting new adventure but also a new possibility of you changing your waking Self.

 So how can you learn to lucid dream?

Most effective lucid dreaming induction methods start with improving our dream recall which improves significantly once we focus our attention on it. Generally, there are two main lucid dreaming methods for inducing awareness in the dream state - direct and indirect induction method. You can choose either of them whichever better fits your lifestyle.

Some people achieve lucidity the first night after they read about it, others take days or weeks before their first lucid dream.  The success rate depends on many individual factors such as having the emotional desire of becoming lucid, getting enough sleep, using the right method, night time preparation including meditation, and ongoing education on the topic which keeps the subconscious intention high. 

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