Wake Initiated Lucid Dream, or WILD, has been called the Holy Grail of lucid dreamers. It is a powerful, yet somewhat elusive technique. Imagine, being able to pass from waking into a lucid dream with no lapse in consciousness, or being able to have a lucid dream every night! It is no wonder so many people are interested in learning to WILD.
Many questions have been asked about WILD and much information has been shared on the forum about it. This tutorial is an attempt to guide you, step by step as you learn to WILD using techniques I have learned from personal experience and from reading posts on this and other websites.
This tutorial is far from being a comprehensive guide, but does contain the basics and some pointers that will help you learn to WILD.
If you feel any of this is in error, or have anything suggestions on how this tutorial can be improved, please contact me.
For now, good luck learning to WILD!
The WILD process can be broken into five distinct phases, these are:
- Phase 1: Preparation
Phase 2: Awakening
Phase 3: Relaxation
Phase 4: Transition
Phase 5: Stabilization
Since this tutorial is so long, it has been broken into a series of posts, one for each phase. Please read and apply them in the order they appear in this document. It is not necessary to master a phase before continuing to the next phase, but mastery of all phases is required if you wish to become proficient with WILD.
Phase 1: Preparation
This is the easiest phase! I guarantee you can do this on your first attempt.
Before you can hope to have a successful WILD, some preparation is required. This is true of both the case when you WILD during the night or when you WILD from an afternoon nap.
The following preparations should be made:
Make sure your environment is a calm and relaxing one. There should be no sudden noises that could disturb you. This is especially important in the later phases when disturbances will most likely jolt you awake. There are few things that can break your concentration faster than someone in the room coughing, or your partner tossing and turning. You might want to consider using earplugs or purchasing a white noise generator.
Make sure the room and your bed are at a comfortable temperature. Discomfort tends to grow and turn into extreme frustration while you are attempting to relax. A bed that is too warm will continue to annoy you and will begin to feel like an oven as you progress. A bed that is too cool will soon feel like an icebox.
Your room should be dark or have a constant low level of illumination. If car headlights are constantly shining on your walls, they will become a distraction. Also, some people have reported that they have trouble keeping their eyes closed during the transitional phase, a dark room will help!
You have to make up your mind that you are going to stick with it. You must realize that you will most likely be giving up 30-60 minutes of sleep. You will begin to become frustrated and be tempted to just give up. Keep trying, it is well worth the effort!
Mentally picture yourself having a WILD. Daydream about what it will be like. Now is also a good time to decide what you want to accomplish in your lucid dream.
Nothing will spoil a WILD attempt faster than not having a clear head. This means that you should keep refrain from drinking or taking drugs before bed. Stay away from anything that will affect your mental clarity. This also includes Melatonin, which, although is a great sleep aid, generally makes your thinking too fuzzy to successfully WILD in the morning.
Decide at what time you want to attempt your WILD. If it is during an afternoon nap, there is little to do here, however, if you plan on WILDing during the night, you need to set an alarm clock for 5-6 hours after you fall asleep. You will most likely have to experiment and refine the time as you progress. Try to find a time during which you can wake up enough and get back to sleep in a reasonable amount of time.
You are now ready to sleep and wait for the awakening phase.
Phase 2: Awakening
The alarm clock goes off, time to WILD! Dazed, you wonder what to do.
This is a critical point in your effort to WILD, it is also an excellent time to empty your bladder. A full bladder can become a major distraction in later phases.
During this phase, you must awaken your analytical mind somewhat. The trick is to find the right balance. If you fail to awaken your mind enough, you will awaken again in a few hours and be upset because you fell asleep. If you awaken too much, you will spend a LOT of time trying to become relaxed.
You will need to experiment and find the right balance for yourself. With practice, you will be able to achieve a good balance most of the time.
Here are a few hints to help you find this balance:
If you find that you are falling asleep before completing WILD, try one or more of the following actions:
- Sit in your room with the light on for a few minutes
Work some multiplication problems in your head
Work a few lines of a crossword puzzle
Open a window and let some fresh air in
Drink a caffeinated beverage
If you find that you have difficulty becoming relaxed enough to continue, try one or more of the following actions:
- When the alarm goes off, just lay in bed in the dark with your eyes open
When you go to empty your bladder, keep the lights off
Think of calm and relaxing things
Think of how nice your bed feels
When the alarm goes off, just lay in bed in the dark with your eyes closed, do not allow yourself to awaken too much.
Lie there and imagine or daydream of a dream landscape you would like to visit. Do this calmly, try to be observant without allowing your conscious mind to engage fully.
This method combines this phase with the relaxation phase and will result in some cases in your passing directly into the transitional phase.
You are now ready to begin relaxation.
Phase 3: Relaxation
This phase has been reported by many as perhaps the most frustrating part of the whole WILD experience. You will usually be all hyped up and ready for your WILD. This in turn makes it more difficult to relax so that you can WILD!
Little things will annoy you as you try your hardest to force yourself to relax.
If you are having problems relaxing, it is recommended that you review and practice one or more relaxation techniques. The following are links to some techniques that work well:
The most important thing is to relax. You must let it come naturally and unforced. Forcing yourself to relax is about as effective as putting out a fire by throwing gasoline on it!
It is also helpful to daydream a little at this point. Imagine yourself floating on a raft out in a calm ocean. Can you feel the waves rocking you gently? Can you smell the salt air and feel the sun warming your body? Can you hear the gulls in the distance and feel the light breeze blowing through your hair? The more relaxing and realistic your daydream becomes, the quicker you will find yourself relaxing.
One very important thing is to find a position from which you can relax. You can WILD from your back, front, side, it does not matter as long as you can be comfortable and relax.
Please note that everyone's experience is different. Some people experience very vivid imagery and sensations, others experience nothing at all. Some people experience these sensations for a few minutes, some only for seconds.
As you relax, you may experience one or all of the following:
As you begin with your eyes closed, you may begin see light patterns behind your eyes. These might points of light that change and move around, or they might be more like curtains of light that float across your field of vision. Watch them passively as they float and evolve. Do not stare too intently; this will wreck your relaxation. If possible, just lie there quietly and pretend you are watching a movie about light patterns.
As relaxation progresses, you will begin to see images or dream sequences. At first, these will be fleeting and will evaporate if you focus on them. Again, try to view them passively. As you become more relaxed, they will become clearer and will last longer, however, keep vigilant! If you let your attention get caught up in the hypnagogic imagery, you will most likely fall into a non-lucid sleep. Along with images, you may experience sounds. It might be a mild and soothing sound, or it could become quite scary. I've have heard loud sounds like the screeching of tearing metal. Just remain passive and watchful, do not allow it to scare you into full consciousness.
In the final stages of relaxation, just before your body begins to enter sleep paralysis, you might feel like you are floating or that your body has become numb. Everything will feel a little fuzzy. Hypnagogic imagery can increase in vividness at this point. Just go with the flow and observe these in a relaxed state.
You are now entering the transitional stage.
As the hypnagogic imagery and physical sensations increase, begin to count and repeat over and over that you are dreaming:
- “1, I am dreaming”
“2, I am dreaming”
Try to stay focused enough so that this does not just become an automatic thing. If you find that you are losing your place, concentrate a little harder on what you are doing. If you find that you are spending too long counting, then drop the numbers for a little while and just repeat “I am dreaming” until you relax some more.
Continue this as you enter into the transitional phase.
Phase 4: Transition
The transitional phase of WILD can be one of the most exciting aspects of the whole process. Some dreamers report strange and unusual sensations and sounds. It is also this phase that scares the most people, some to the point of abandoning their efforts to learn to WILD.
To state it simply, transition is the process by which you pass from waking into the dream. During this time, your body fully enters sleep paralysis and your senses to the outside world are severed. There is nothing unnatural or harmful about this phase, it happens to you every time you fall asleep. The only difference is with WILD, you are conscious and can experience the transition.
Transition seems to be experienced differently by each person. Some report mild or no sensations, for others, it is a ‘wild’ ride. Each transition seems to be unique for a person as well. Each time I WILD, there are a different series of sensations.
Do not forget to continue counting as you go through transition.
As transition progresses, you will probably experience one or more of the following:
During transition, physical sensations are wide and varied. Some people report only numbness, others report a gentle sinking sensation. Some people report experiencing a gentle buzzing sensation, while others report vibrations so intense that they feel they will fly apart. Many people report a feeling of being pulled into the dream with extreme acceleration. The best thing to do with physical sensations is to create a ‘daydream’ around them. If you feel extreme vibrations, imagine yourself flying through a series of force fields and that every time you pass through one, it makes a vibration. Imagine that you are flying toward your lucid dream.
Some have reported that they can feel their eyes begin to move rapidly back in forth as if they were in REM, making it difficult to keep their eyes closed. There are a couple of things that can be done to fight this. The first is to make sure you are sleeping in a dark room so that when your eyes open slightly, you will not become distracted. The other is to wear a sleep mask to bed. Sometimes the little extra pressure on your eyes help to keep them closed.
While in transition, visual imagery varies greatly. You may see total blackness, or perhaps only see a still image. You may see geometric patterns chasing each other or streaming past your vision at a high rate of speed. One time, I watched an incredibly blue butterfly slowly open and close its wings while I was in transition. Again, do not examine them too closely, pretend you are watching a very odd movie. If possible, also incorporate this into you ‘daydream’. Often, when I see a bright light in front of me, I pretend that it is my lucid dream and that I am flying to enter it!
Many people report hearing things, others hear nothing. Sometimes a person will hear nothing, the next time, they will hear voices. The important thing to remember is that these sounds cannot harm you, they are either totally inside your head or ambient noise that is being distorted as you transition. It is best to just sit and passively listen to and accept them as part of the WILD process. If you become nervous or frightened, you will fail at WILD. Likewise, if you become too fascinated with them and concentrate on them too much, you will also fail.
In the final stages of transition, all sensations you have been experiencing will begin to fade. Be careful at this point, it is very easy to slip into a non-lucid dream or to wake up.
Phase 5: Stabilization
Congratulations, if you have made it to this phase, you have successfully WILDed!
It is important to stabilize your lucid dream at this point. Many people make it this far and then lose it, what a waste after so much effort!
A number of things can happen after transition, fortunately, all of them can be dealt with.
Sometimes you will exit transition into blackness. This can be very frustrating because most likely you will assume that you are back in the relaxation phase and have failed. If you find yourself in this situation, open your eyes slowly. Chances are that you only have your dream eyes closed and will be opening them into a lucid dream.
On occasion, you will exit transition and find yourself right back where you started, lying in your bed. Be careful, it could be a false awakening! If you find yourself back in bed, immediately perform some reality checks
. Chances are you are dreaming at this point.
OK, you’ve done it! You are now looking around in the world of your lucid dream. You become excited, your heart races, the dream fades. It is so easy to become overexcited, especially when you have completed your first WILD. Remain as calm as possible and execute stabilization
techniques such as spinning.
A few parting words!
Thank you for taking the time to read through this somewhat lengthy tutorial. I hope that in some small way it has answered some of your questions.
Printable copies in different formats can be found here:
Note: These are now up to date as of 15 May 2006.
Microsoft Word format
Rich Text format
If you would like to discuss this tutorial, or ask any questions, please send me a personal message.
Good luck with your WILD and Happy Dreaming!
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