Naiya's MILD Technique
Most of my lucids are MILDs. Even though it is probably one of the less popular methods, in my opinion it is one of the most reliable and versatile things you can do. The great thing about MILD is that you don't need to remember to RC or build up daytime awareness, and it doesn't require you to lose any sleep. All you need is a few minutes before bedtime. MILD is also complimented by WBTB and reality checking, but it can do very well as a stand alone method.
A lot of people who are new to LDing ask what the easiest induction method is. It's hard to answer that question because different methods work for different people. Having said that, I have always thought that MILD is the perfect method for beginners. It is much more forgiving than, say, WILD, because as long as you keep trying, there really is no wrong way to do it and you will eventually succeed.
A word about consistency: one of the biggest pitfalls I see is when a person tries one method for a week or two, then decides it's not working, and switches to another method. They jump from one method to the next and believe that nothing is working for them. It's very important to understand that lucid dreaming is a skill. While some people might start out with a talent for it, the rest of us have to build up from being beginners. So switching methods would be akin to trying to learn piano one week and then trumpet the next. You never give yourself the chance to master any of them. The mind needs time to internalize what you are trying to learn before it can give you good results. With lucid dreaming, even though you may not have lucid for the first few weeks, just affirm to yourself that you ARE making progress.
Practice and consistency are extremely important with MILD. To get the best results, you should be doing it every single night. If you wake up in the morning with no lucids, don't think of it as a failure. If you did the MILD before bed, then consider it a success because you got your practice done. Your lucids will come when your mind has begun internalizing your practice.
Before you begin, it's best to make your environment conducive to MILDing. For starters, you will need to set aside at least 5 minutes just before bedtime for the MILD. If you want the best results, I recommend a little more time, maybe 10-20 minutes total.
It's important to make your attempt when you feel relaxed and your mind is free of daily worries and nagging thoughts. Spend a minute or so (or more if you are a meditator) letting go of any thoughts and worries. Make it an ironclad rule to not worry about your daily life when it's bedtime. If you need to, jot down your worries and thoughts (i.e. "I need to get gas tomorrow") in your dream journal so you can read any reminders or worries in the morning. You might try imagining that you are throwing your troubles and your thoughts away in a well or a box near your bed. If you are still being plagued by worries and thoughts, affirm to yourself that the best thing you can do for yourself and everyone around you at this moment is to get a good night's sleep and be relaxed and happy in the morning.
The next part depends on how easily you fall asleep. If it takes you a long time to fall asleep (10+ minutes), then you may lie down and get comfortable as usual, and do the MILD as you fall asleep. Don't worry about trying to keep it up to the very last moment you fall asleep, because that will keep you awake. But try to make sure you keep your mind on it for at least 5 minutes before letting your mind wander or dropping off.
If you are the type who falls asleep within a few minutes of hitting the pillow, you may not want to lie down for the MILD. Instead, turn off the lights, sit comfortably on your bed, and after at least 5 minutes, go ahead and lie down to sleep, keeping the MILD going as you fall asleep.
On WBTBs: If you wake up naturally during the night, it would increase your chances of getting lucid if you repeat the MILD when you go back to sleep. If you have the need or want to, you can set an alarm or two at night to increase your chances. It's not necessary, but it can help a great deal. Don't worry about being consistent in the number of MILD attempts per night--it only matters that you do at least once per night total.
It's very important to keep a dream journal for MILDing, especially if you are coupling it with reality checking. When you keep a dream journal, your recall gets better, and with that, it will be easier to MILD.
Once you have settled down your mind and you're comfortable, turn your attention to lucid dreaming. Recall your most recent dream, in as much detail as you possibly can. Imagine yourself exploring the dream as if you had been lucid in it. Believe that you are back in the dream again, only lucid. Believe that, in only a few minutes, you will soon be dreaming again, and imagine yourself knowing it's a dream, doing whatever you want. You can come up with any scenario you wish for this. It may be helpful to imagine yourself completing whatever tasks or goals you have. If you can't recall a recent dream, you can use any other dream you had, as long as it was vivid enough to remember it with a good amount of detail. This can be really helpful if you want to go back to a certain dreamscape.
Another variation of this is to use a movie, video game or book. You can make up a completely imaginary environment, perhaps something from your daydreams. Imagine yourself lucid in the environment, doing whatever you want to do. It helps if you see yourself doing fun or interesting things, because it keeps you motivated.
You don't have to imagine the same thing in every MILD attempt. If you did, things might get boring and your mind will not be in an active state. So don't be afraid to change it up, use a different dream memory, or imagine new things.
If you have time during the day and you want to give your MILD a boost, you can practice it in the middle of the day. Simply daydream yourself into a lucid daydream. It will help build up your visualization and creative skills, which are useful for not only MILDs, but dream control.
Using autosuggestion or mantras, either alone or with the visualization, will help you MILD. Remember that the mind ignores negation when you are coming up with mantras to use.
For example, if you use this mantra:
"I will not fail to lucid dream tonight"
Your mind will perceive it as:
"I will fail to lucid dream tonight."
One of my mantras used to be "I will have a lucid dream tonight." I was confused when I starting having only one lucid per night, when I normally have a few. Then I changed it to "I will have many lucid dreams tonight," and I began having more lucid per night again.
Some of my favorite mantras:
"I'm dreaming" --> the best for coupling with visualization, really drives it home.
"This is a dream"
"I will wake up in a dream" --> to promote FA's. Remember to couple with RCs every time you wake!
"I'll be dreaming soon."
"I will have lucid dreams tonight."
This method is pretty simple, but it can be powerful once it's mastered. Anyone can master it if they put in the time to practice it. You can do MILD while you're exploring other methods, so that if the other methods don't work well for you, there's always that guarantee of getting lucid eventually from your MILDs. Typically I recommend doing MILD for at least 2 months to give it sufficient time to work, but for some it may take more time. Sooner or later it will work--it's just that for whatever reason it takes longer for some people.
Good luck and happy lucids!