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    Thread: Discouraged with MILD

    1. #1
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      Discouraged with MILD

      After trying pretty much everything, Iíve decided MILD is going to be my technique. Iím determined to become good at it and I practice every night. I simply try to instruct myself to remember that the ďnext time I notice Iím out of bed, seeing things or BOTH, it will be a dreamĒ (or something along those lines). There is a problem, though:

      Have practiced for a month but itís just not working I know itís all about prospective memory but for some reason I canít seem to set it like I would remembering to buy something at a shop, or remembering to do something later in the day, for example. I always completely forget the intention whilst asleep, even if I thought I set the intention well. It should be simple but Iím not sure why I canít accomplish it.

      Would anyone have any advice about this? Thanks.

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      For me it helps to combine MILD with a certain action like a dream symbol. When you dream often about big waves, you could use that for MILD. Next time you dream about a big wave it's easier to recognize the dream state.
      Thinking that it doesn't work isn't really helpful even if it is the truth.
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      I have fallen into this pitfall of MILDing, too. It is tempting to focus on becoming lucid from only a couple of general dream signs. The problem is, these dream signs are not that relevant because chances are, they are not relevant to us during our dreams. Even worse, doing this can cause us to perceive our past dreams on only a success or failure basis, preventing the dreams from being treated as learning opportunities to help us progress.

      The goal is expect the dream itself to be associated with dreaming, that way to dream itself will remind us that we're dreaming. What is expected is based on what is learned, so to change expectations of associations requires learning of associations.

      Every time you wake up from dream, recall and write down the things that you paid attention to during the dream that don't usually happen in waking life. With each dream sign you missed, reimagine experiencing the dream sign during the dream, only with you realizing you are dreaming. Tell yourself this will happen next time you experience this dream sign.

      By doing this, you are learning associations that are based on things you have paid attention to during your dreams and that therefore are more relevant.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Mugwort View Post
      For me it helps to combine MILD with a certain action like a dream symbol. When you dream often about big waves, you could use that for MILD. Next time you dream about a big wave it's easier to recognize the dream state.
      Thinking that it doesn't work isn't really helpful even if it is the truth.
      Thx for the advice!

      Quote Originally Posted by dolphin View Post
      I have fallen into this pitfall of MILDing, too. It is tempting to focus on becoming lucid from only a couple of general dream signs. The problem is, these dream signs are not that relevant because chances are, they are not relevant to us during our dreams. Even worse, doing this can cause us to perceive our past dreams on only a success or failure basis, preventing the dreams from being treated as learning opportunities to help us progress.

      The goal is expect the dream itself to be associated with dreaming, that way to dream itself will remind us that we're dreaming. What is expected is based on what is learned, so to change expectations of associations requires learning of associations.

      Every time you wake up from dream, recall and write down the things that you paid attention to during the dream that don't usually happen in waking life. With each dream sign you missed, reimagine experiencing the dream sign during the dream, only with you realizing you are dreaming. Tell yourself this will happen next time you experience this dream sign.

      By doing this, you are learning associations that are based on things you have paid attention to during your dreams and that therefore are more relevant.
      thx for the advice. I really like that idea, dolphin, of having the dream remind me I'm dreaming. Unfortunately having kept a dream journal for a few months, I still don't think I have any significant dream signs I tried RC'ing to indoor/outdoor transitions for about 8 months because I thought it would appear in every dream. I gave up because it was causing too much difficulty in waking life. Apart from that I feel like I have nothing. With my current approach I was hoping I could instruct myself to remember I was out of bed, for example, after having gone to bed...which I thought would be "like" a dream sign because it's something different to where I was half an hour ago
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      All dream signs are significant. They are significant because they allow you to distinguish between being awake and dreaming. The way I see it, a dream sign is anything that happens during a dream that isn't likely to happen during waking life. The whole idea of lucid dreaming is telling the difference between dream and reality while you are in a dream, and dream signs show this difference.

      Dream signs don't have to be recurring. There is no need to focus only on the dream signs that recur the most often. We never really know which dream sign is going to recur next, so we might at well intend to catch any dream sign you experience in case it does recur in some way. Many dream signs do recur in some way, simply because chances are any given dream we have is going to be similar in some way to some past dream we have had. Because of this, we can pick up on patterns that we become lucid from. If you intend to become lucid in the future from any given dream sign you miss, you will pick up on these patterns naturally.

      You could incubate some dream signs to become lucid from, but working with the dream signs you already have is easier, in my opinion.
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      I don't use dream signs when doing MILD i just use autosuggestion and it works fine but most of the time i combine it with SSILD mini cycles i first do the mini cycles then the autosuggestion and it works most of the time

      also do you do MILD with WBTB ?
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      Quote Originally Posted by dolphin View Post
      All dream signs are significant. They are significant because they allow you to distinguish between being awake and dreaming. The way I see it, a dream sign is anything that happens during a dream that isn't likely to happen during waking life. The whole idea of lucid dreaming is telling the difference between dream and reality while you are in a dream, and dream signs show this difference.

      Dream signs don't have to be recurring. There is no need to focus only on the dream signs that recur the most often. We never really know which dream sign is going to recur next, so we might at well intend to catch any dream sign you experience in case it does recur in some way. Many dream signs do recur in some way, simply because chances are any given dream we have is going to be similar in some way to some past dream we have had. Because of this, we can pick up on patterns that we become lucid from. If you intend to become lucid in the future from any given dream sign you miss, you will pick up on these patterns naturally.

      You could incubate some dream signs to become lucid from, but working with the dream signs you already have is easier, in my opinion.
      I guess if I looked a bit harder through my dream journal I might find some types of patterns. They're never *exactly* the same as reality - usually the context is quite strange (involving a combination of odd things) or it involves doing things I'd never do in reality, but I will try harder to spot anything that could be usable. I've always thought I didn't have any dream signs but I do like the idea of picking up on patterns naturally if looking out for them

      Quote Originally Posted by kir4ee View Post
      I don't use dream signs when doing MILD i just use autosuggestion and it works fine but most of the time i combine it with SSILD mini cycles i first do the mini cycles then the autosuggestion and it works most of the time

      also do you do MILD with WBTB ?
      I've often tried SSILD as well and it was very successful in raising my awareness in the dream, I can see it as a good addition to the MILD. Yes I often do it with WBTB, however I probably don't give my attempts the best effort most of the time as usually I'm too tired or too stressed out from things in reality lol. I usually just tell myself to make sure to remember, but I don't focus after that...I just hope I'll remember. I think maybe more focus would be needed :s
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      Visualization/(re)imagining is a powerful component of MILD (as is WBTB). I find visualization and WBTB more important than the mantra/autosuggestion, but the mantra can play a factor. The following is the shortest explanation I have come across for MILD and it was learned in a Laberge retreat: http://www.dreamviews.com/lucid-expe...ml#post2160952

      If you want a more detailed take on MILD from Naiya, check this out: http://www.dreamviews.com/attaining-...technique.html
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      Quote Originally Posted by fogelbise View Post
      Visualization/(re)imagining is a powerful component of MILD (as is WBTB). I find visualization and WBTB more important than the mantra/autosuggestion, but the mantra can play a factor. The following is the shortest explanation I have come across for MILD and it was learned in a Laberge retreat: http://www.dreamviews.com/lucid-expe...ml#post2160952

      If you want a more detailed take on MILD from Naiya, check this out: http://www.dreamviews.com/attaining-...technique.html
      Ty for the links I must admit I've not given much priority to visualization, I usually just tried to rely on the intent or the "I want to remember" aspect. I feel like my visualization skills are not very good or I find it difficult to focus on whilst falling asleep...having said that, I don't tend to stay up for WBTB for fear of not being able to get back to sleep (which probably makes the visualization more difficult) I usually just switch off my alarm and go back to sleep. I will work on those two things

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      The visualization is the most important part of MILD because it properly strengthens the memory to be remembered in the dream. The memory to be remembered needs to be a long-term memory because your short-term memory only lasts about 30 seconds. The visualization is used for elaborative rehearsal, which involves connecting what you want to remember to a long-term memory so that what you want to remember also becomes a long-term memory. Be sure you're making a connection between what you want to remember and what you are imagining.
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      Quote Originally Posted by dolphin View Post
      The visualization is the most important part of MILD because it properly strengthens the memory to be remembered in the dream. The memory to be remembered needs to be a long-term memory because your short-term memory only lasts about 30 seconds. The visualization is used for elaborative rehearsal, which involves connecting what you want to remember to a long-term memory so that what you want to remember also becomes a long-term memory. Be sure you're making a connection between what you want to remember and what you are imagining.
      That's good advice I have noticed that after waking up from sleep, the intention I set beforehand had been completely forgotten. I assume what I'm doing (along with the fact I don't always visualize) is making the intention fall too much with in the short-term memory zone, so I'll definitely work on the visualization. However I'm not sure I fully understand the idea of having the memory to be remembered a "long-term" memory. Does this mean the visualization will somehow strengthen the memory to the point that it commits it to long-term and will not be wiped out upon falling asleep like a short-term one?
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      The visualizing itself doesn't strengthen the memory. What strengthens the memory is that it is related to another long-term memory so that it also becomes a long-term memory. The weaker memory becomes part of the stronger memory so that it also becomes stronger in the process.

      For example, you wanted to remember the name of somebody named Thomas Rex, you might relate him to a long-memory of a certain type of dinosaur. If you wanted to remember that rex in latin means king, you might refer to that same type of dinosaur as being king of the dinosaurs.

      Visualization is used because the long-term memory you are connecting your desired memory to is one that occurs over time, so you have to visualize it to recall the entire memory. Remember, the long- term memory you should be using is the point of the recalled dream where you noticed a dream sign. After you visualize that, you continue the visualization, only with you realizing you are dreaming. After that you state your intention, something along the lines of "Next time I (experience) (the dream sign missed) I will realize I'm dreaming. You are basically trying to learn from the mistake with the intention of not making the same mistake next time.

      All of this I'm preaching here comes from the original MILD technique by Stephen Laberge, which I think is the best one. His book Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming is handily available for free on pdf here:http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/ar...iddreaming.pdf. His MILD technique is spelled out on page 58. He emphasizes on prospective memory a lot, but how the memory is strengthened is what makes the prospective memory possible.
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      Quote Originally Posted by dolphin View Post
      The visualizing itself doesn't strengthen the memory. What strengthens the memory is that it is related to another long-term memory so that it also becomes a long-term memory. The weaker memory becomes part of the stronger memory so that it also becomes stronger in the process.

      For example, you wanted to remember the name of somebody named Thomas Rex, you might relate him to a long-memory of a certain type of dinosaur. If you wanted to remember that rex in latin means king, you might refer to that same type of dinosaur as being king of the dinosaurs.

      Visualization is used because the long-term memory you are connecting your desired memory to is one that occurs over time, so you have to visualize it to recall the entire memory. Remember, the long- term memory you should be using is the point of the recalled dream where you noticed a dream sign. After you visualize that, you continue the visualization, only with you realizing you are dreaming. After that you state your intention, something along the lines of "Next time I (experience) (the dream sign missed) I will realize I'm dreaming. You are basically trying to learn from the mistake with the intention of not making the same mistake next time.

      All of this I'm preaching here comes from the original MILD technique by Stephen Laberge, which I think is the best one. His book Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming is handily available for free on pdf here:http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/ar...iddreaming.pdf. His MILD technique is spelled out on page 58. He emphasizes on prospective memory a lot, but how the memory is strengthened is what makes the prospective memory possible.
      Thanks for explaining, and the link I think I understand…Once you already have an established memory of something and what it means (a dream sign for example), adding a prospective memory request via MILD to it will boost that weak memory by becoming part of the long-term one which you already remember (similar to how those examples you gave work) and visualization is very powerful for this.

      It makes sense, and I can see now why LaBerge would’ve mentioned dream signs when he encouraged dreamers to visualize themselves becoming lucid. It would augment the intention by giving it something already solid to attach to.

      I’m determined to come up with a list of dream signs I could work with, but do you think for these reasons, the approach I mentioned originally might not become effective? Of telling myself “next time I notice I’m out of bed” or “next time I have vision I’ll RC” etc. They’re perhaps not long-term memories and the intention might be more easily forgotten…then again I wonder if those things might become more significant with repetition (similar to over time remembering to call someone everyday etc.). I’ve been practicing that for a month and I just wonder what your opinion might be
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      In order for being out of bed or having the ability to see to work as a dream sign, we have to notice these things during the dream. In order for us to notice these things during the dream, we have to have interest in these things during the dream. Usually, this is not the case, because usually there are more interesting things to us during the dream than the fact we're out of bed or the fact that we can see.

      I think the easiest way to have dreams during which we are interested in seeing or being out of bed is to attempt to do these things without opening our eyes or moving our physical body as soon as we wake up. This is DEILD though, not MILD.
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      Quote Originally Posted by dolphin View Post
      In order for being out of bed or having the ability to see to work as a dream sign, we have to notice these things during the dream. In order for us to notice these things during the dream, we have to have interest in these things during the dream. Usually, this is not the case, because usually there are more interesting things to us during the dream than the fact we're out of bed or the fact that we can see.

      I think the easiest way to have dreams during which we are interested in seeing or being out of bed is to attempt to do these things without opening our eyes or moving our physical body as soon as we wake up. This is DEILD though, not MILD.
      Okay, thanks for your advice I'll continue to practice MILD every night, and also work on finding some unique dream signs over time which could be effective with MILD intentions (establishing some usable long-term memories). I guess it would also help with daytime practice, thinking about these differences with dreams and reality, and attaching reality checks to them etc.

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      My strongest piece of advice is on using a mantra. I do not recommend a long auto suggestion sentence. Instead make a short rhythmic mantra and hypnotize your self with it. Good mantra may contain very few words but making sure the idea of dreaming is central to it. An example, "I am dreaming, this is a dream." Repeated in your head, over and over as you relax your whole body and attempt to induce a trance like state of partial awareness. Just keep the chant going until you are fully asleep. The result is that the mantra gets stuck in your head like a song you can not stop thinking about (song stuck in my head). During normal sleep and dreams your mind may also have background mental noise saying, "I am dreaming, this is a dream."

      You can try that for awhile and see if it makes any difference.
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      Quote Originally Posted by sivason View Post
      My strongest piece of advice is on using a mantra.
      ^Hi sivason, I am guessing that you are saying that the strongest thing that you would add to the discussion so far is regarding how to best use a mantra. Let us know if you instead mean that the mantra is the strongest part of MILD since I basically stated the opposite above (rightly or wrongly - more next) and I definitely value your opinion and experience...I have learned a good deal from you in the past.

      My experience with mantras (without visualization) is that they seldom make it to the dream (they have occasionally)…though I believe that different things work better for different people. That said, I think that your advice of repeating a short mantra until you fall asleep would increase the likelihood of the mantra making it into a dream. I tend to do my MILD, stop and then go to sleep, due to my focus towards DILDs. So in working towards DILDs, I have had a much higher success rate with visualization of the lucid moment (mostly tied to a recent dream or waking memory but sometimes a scenario completely made up but vivid in my mind). It makes me think that visualizing the moment of becoming lucid is the most powerful part of the MILD trigger, at least for me. It definitely makes sense to increase the odds by including a short mantra with the visualization though.

      I also wanted to point out that I like Dolphin's in depth analysis of the mechanics of how visualization can aid prospective memory. When my MILD experiments involved using a made up scenario that seemingly triggers the lucidity, it could still fit with the idea of your target being tied to a stronger memory since I am creating an actual vivid memory through the process of making up and visualizing a vivid scenario.

      Edit:
      @Eamo24 - I use a more general dream sign, "boldness" (usually sexual boldness), as my MILD trigger and the scenario can be completely different than what I used in the MILD but is usually still related (thus a somewhat general dream sign). I believe that awareness has to be at a certain level to notice the dream sign and then subsequently bump me up from being a little aware to being very aware. I think it is very important to also work on awareness (namely self-awareness), not only to become lucid more often, but to stay lucid. It is a journey either way.
      Last edited by fogelbise; 03-03-2017 at 11:28 PM.
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      Quote Originally Posted by sivason View Post
      My strongest piece of advice is on using a mantra. I do not recommend a long auto suggestion sentence. Instead make a short rhythmic mantra and hypnotize your self with it. Good mantra may contain very few words but making sure the idea of dreaming is central to it. An example, "I am dreaming, this is a dream." Repeated in your head, over and over as you relax your whole body and attempt to induce a trance like state of partial awareness. Just keep the chant going until you are fully asleep. The result is that the mantra gets stuck in your head like a song you can not stop thinking about (song stuck in my head). During normal sleep and dreams your mind may also have background mental noise saying, "I am dreaming, this is a dream."

      You can try that for awhile and see if it makes any difference.
      Thx for the advice, I’ll certainly incorporate the use of mantras when practicing MILD. It was something I used to do but gave it up in favor of using *just* visualization. I would use something along the lines of “I know I’m dreaming”… Saying it vocally, and then saying it mentally until it had a repetition. It actually seemed to help along with the visualization and when I put real effort into both, I had success with MILD. On the nights where I used no mantra it did feel a little like my intention was less solid. It helped because it was like the words kept reminding me of what I was supposed to be doing…almost like instructing myself. I’ll use it again, in the way you described I’ll also see if it makes a difference to what I’m doing

      Quote Originally Posted by fogelbise View Post

      My experience with mantras (without visualization) is that they seldom make it to the dream (they have occasionally)…though I believe that different things work better for different people. That said, I think that your advice of repeating a short mantra until you fall asleep would increase the likelihood of the mantra making it into a dream. I tend to do my MILD, stop and then go to sleep, due to my focus towards DILDs. So in working towards DILDs, I have had a much higher success rate with visualization of the lucid moment (mostly tied to a recent dream or waking memory but sometimes a scenario completely made up but vivid in my mind). It makes me think that visualizing the moment of becoming lucid is the most powerful part of the MILD trigger, at least for me. It definitely makes sense to increase the odds by including a short mantra with the visualization though.

      I also wanted to point out that I like Dolphin's in depth analysis of the mechanics of how visualization can aid prospective memory. When my MILD experiments involved using a made up scenario that seemingly triggers the lucidity, it could still fit with the idea of your target being tied to a stronger memory since I am creating an actual vivid memory through the process of making up and visualizing a vivid scenario.

      Edit:
      @Eamo24 - I use a more general dream sign, "boldness" (usually sexual boldness), as my MILD trigger and the scenario can be completely different than what I used in the MILD but is usually still related (thus a somewhat general dream sign). I believe that awareness has to be at a certain level to notice the dream sign and then subsequently bump me up from being a little aware to being very aware. I think it is very important to also work on awareness (namely self-awareness), not only to become lucid more often, but to stay lucid. It is a journey either way.
      Thx for your input, I will take that advice on board. I fully agree with the self-awareness aspect. I feel like I do practice self-awareness quite a bit out of personal interest, however I have noticed that when I intentionally try to increase the amount I do, or even do dream-focused tasks like sporadic awareness etc. I notice the effects in dreams and they seem more memorable, more “aware” (especially with good dream recall). I’m also reassured as some of what you say about your MILD practice resonates with things I’m trying out at the moment - and it’s good to see you had success with it It gives more hope that things such as general dream signs, and the fact that creating vivid scenarios in your mind to create strong memories can be as effective as they are
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      I think you don't have to treat every missed attempt as a failure; because for every success, the next one will come easier. As long you are doing MILD, you will have a chance. And every night you don't have one but keep trying, just think the next night you will have a higher chance than the last night, because you will!
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      Quote Originally Posted by lucidsushi View Post
      I think you don't have to treat every missed attempt as a failure; because for every success, the next one will come easier. As long you are doing MILD, you will have a chance. And every night you don't have one but keep trying, just think the next night you will have a higher chance than the last night, because you will!
      Thanks for the advice, lucidsushi, that has motivated me more

    21. #21
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      I can't remember if you have trouble falling asleep or if you fall asleep quickly, but for anyone who finds themselves falling asleep a little too quick or who has little trouble falling asleep, you can use a method mentioned in ETWOLD. I'm pretty sure I've heard Sivason also recommend it for quick sleepers: holding one forearm up perpendicular to the mattress (works for back or side sleepers). It helps to maintain awareness into the HH stage of sleep which seems to be an ideal stage to perform MILD and have MILD take hold more strongly. The HH stage also seems to be a great stage to unlock hidden creativity which is what Robert Louis Stevenson used it for according to LaBerge in ETWOLD. I have experimented with asking myself questions in the HH stage like "What is the best way to…(whatever, lucid dreaming related or not)."

      You may also include in your MILD something like the classic "The next time I am dreaming, I realize I am dreaming" as a kind of catch-all attempt.
      Last edited by fogelbise; 04-08-2017 at 09:10 PM.
      Eamo24 and Sivason like this.

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      Quote Originally Posted by fogelbise View Post
      I can't remember if you have trouble falling asleep or if you fall asleep quickly, but for anyone who finds themselves falling asleep a little too quick or who has little trouble falling asleep, you can use a method mentioned in ETWOLD. I'm pretty sure I've heard Sivason also recommend it for quick sleepers: holding one forearm up perpendicular to the mattress (works for back or side sleepers). It helps to maintain awareness into the HH stage of sleep which seems to be an ideal stage to perform MILD and have MILD take hold more strongly. The HH stage also seems to be a great stage to unlock hidden creativity which is what Robert Louis Stevenson used it for according to LaBerge in ETWOLD. I have experimented with asking myself questions in the HH stage like "What is the best way to…(whatever, lucid dreaming related or not)."

      You may also include in your MILD something like the classic "The next time I am dreaming, I realize I am dreaming" as a kind of catch-all attempt.
      Great advice! I often find that getting to that close-to-sleep stage is like an effort in itself...but after that things are easier, especially for WILD. It might explain why I've had many successful DEILDs but not one WILD...as I was already in that HH stage or very close to sleep. I also agree with the fact that the HH stage is a great place for creativity. I often find myself experiencing this in the form of music, visuals etc. which are very unique...and I think I would've struggled to create such things in waking life

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