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    Thread: All Techniques Eventually Fail

    1. #1
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      All Techniques Eventually Fail

      Greetings all! I have been a lucid dreamer/studier for many years now. I started with the "looking at my hands" technique and was immediately in love with the incredible world I found, and even started a dream journal to document it all. The technique worked perfectly the first couple of times I tried it and then I began to have difficulty getting my non-lucid self to look at my hands anymore. Eventually I got frustrated, picked up some books on LD and went on to try other methods. Just about everything I tried worked the first time and led to wonderful lucidity, only to start failing a few weeks later. I have now reached the point where nothing I try works anymore, and I have only had one or two LDs in the past few years. I am very disheartened that I can't make tried-and-true methods work anymore. Has anyone else experienced this?

    2. #2
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      Would you mind detailing what your current daily and nightly practices are? That will help us know what areas you may need to focus on.
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    3. #3
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      At the moment I'm not practicing any routines, sadly. I got so frustrated that I basically stopped doing anything. (Though I'll occasionally attempt W.I.L.D and get to some interesting places of semi-LD.) Basically as I learned each of the practices outlined in the books, I would go through ALL of the usual routines every day - looking at my hands, attempting to pass my finger through my palm, asking myself "Is this a dream?", light checks, reading checks, etc. - you name it. I even had an alert on my phone go off once an hour to remind me to do these things.

    4. #4
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      Hi zblack, sorry to hear that the techniques aren’t working for you anymore. How long have you practiced each one? It could be that you needed to stick to each a little longer. From experience, I can say that most techniques will lead to an ld sooner or later, but it is more about finding the one that best suits you and keeping at it. There is no requirement to stick to just one forever though and you can also mix them as you see fit. Again, consistency can go a long way, so even if the extra boost from starting a new tech wears off later, this doesn’t mean the technique can no longer lead to good results.

      Also, it’s important to put as much awareness into the practices rather than making them routine, which can potentially lead to those techs failing.
      Only the ladder is real. The climb is all there is.



    5. #5
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      Well what I'm saying is that I seem to be having the opposite experience. With the "looking at hands" for example, it worked immediately - like the 2nd night after I read about it. I continued to focus on and use that one as long as I could. This decline was over a period of a couple months maybe. During the day I would be very much "aware" of them - extensively touching and examining them, contemplating every little detail and feeling. This just eventually stopped working at all as an LD trigger. My dream self just never looks at my hands anymore. The same has happened with all other techniques. It seems the more effort I put in the faster it declines from working to defunct.

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      Agree with NyxCC.

      Also, I find that when one technique is not working as well, it's time to switch it up. This is especially true with reality checking for inducing DILDs (less true with inducing WILDs which can be more consistent). You have to consistently engage your prospective memory. If you RC mindlessly, or are achieving your planned reality checks, then you need to challenge yourself with new triggers. If you don't, they will become mindless and routine. Pick new goals for triggering RCs and rotate them every week or two. That way your memory (which is a HUGE factor) will stay sharp, and YOU will stay aware and in the moment while you're reality checking.

      Good luck.
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      Beginners luck.

      Lucid dreaming like everything else is a skill. And like with everything else, you don't get good at it just by trying a few weeks.
      Imagine that you are a basketball player (Sensei stuff), imagine that you try a shot in a certain position once and it works, but then it stops working after the 4th try. Will you just stop and try new positions and then assume that you can't take a good shot forever?
      No, what you will do if you want to keep on the game is taking more shots and learning from every single one of them, wether it hit or not the basket.
      Because it is NOT a failure, but a new experience you can use and work around.

      You aren't failing, they didn't stop working. With lucid dreaming, its all about the progress you make and how you get better at it.
      I took a bit more than 8 years to be able to get lucid on the daily, I know Sensei did the same, I know dream Yogis also took a long time. If I am not mistaken so did Sageous. This is a skill, and you gotta train it to get better at it.
      Creating a new persistent realm, claiming it and breaking the last seal I made back in the beggining of my journey are my goals right now

    8. #8
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      ^^ What Hukif said.

      Additionally, anticipating a Sageous-style response, techniques are not all that they're cracked up to be.

      To be lucid in the dream state (with regularity) requires being first lucid in the waking state regularly. What does that mean? Mindfulness/self-awareness, paying attention to experience and your reaction to experience.

      Forget everything you think you know about LDing. Read (or re-read) classic LD literature that focus on the fundamentals, like LaBerge's ETWOLD:

      Dream recall, goal setting, memory work (PM and just plain remembering conscious experiences: waking recall, dream recall), intention, meditation. Develop a close relationship to your dreams, maintain a strong interest in them, and continually set and re-set achievable but somewhat challenging goals. If you stick with it, you'll be rewarded.
      FryingMan's Unified Theory of Lucid Dreaming: Pay Attention, Reflect, Recall -- Both Day and Night[link]
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      “No amount of security is worth the suffering of a mediocre life chained to a routine that has killed your dreams.”
      "...develop stability in awareness and your dreams will change in extraordinary ways" -- TYoDaS

    9. #9
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      So it's not exactly like "techniques eventually fail," I'd phrase it more along the lines of "techniques aren't really setting you up for success, the way that focusing on and building the fundamentals does."
      FryingMan's Unified Theory of Lucid Dreaming: Pay Attention, Reflect, Recall -- Both Day and Night[link]
      FryingMan's Dream Recall Tips -- Awesome Links
      “No amount of security is worth the suffering of a mediocre life chained to a routine that has killed your dreams.”
      "...develop stability in awareness and your dreams will change in extraordinary ways" -- TYoDaS

    10. #10
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      Everybody's already nailed it, Zblack, but as long as I'm here:

      To paraphrase, well, myself, techniques do not make you lucid, you do. If your mind is not in the right place, no technique will work for you, especially during-the-dream techniques like looking at your hand. That techniques (and supplements, and machines) seem to work initially is not because they are excellent techniques but because your mind is set, usually unconsciously, for the technique to work. Call it a placebo effect. Once your mind becomes accustomed to the technique, that unconscious mindset fades, and your mind goes back to its usual business, which decidedly does not include LD'ing.

      The key here is to develop a practice that focuses on the fundamentals -- waking-life self-awareness, memory, intention/expectation -- rather than some trick that you're told "makes you lucid." This focus will help you to develop a lucid mindset in waking life that you will carry with you into sleep; and once you can do that, pretty much any technique will work, if you still feel a need for them.

      I suggest you try focusing more on building a lucid mindset than on techniques. Reading LaBerge's EWOLD is a good start, especially because it contains the one technique that actually helps develop that mindset: MILD. Also, of course, I suggest you check out my fundamentals thread, where I go a bit further into this point of view. Above all, pay attention to the advice you're getting here, as its coming from some genuine experts in the art of lucid dreaming.

      And yes, there is no magical shortcut to consistent lucid dreaming; success takes time, practice, and patience, often lots of each...the best things never come easy!

    11. #11
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      Adding on to Sageous' post (which is dead on), energy plays a very big role in lucid dreaming. If you think you can't, then you can't. If you think you can, you will. It may take time, and it may grow slowly, but you will.

      You want to set a positive energy flowing when you think about lucid dreaming. If you feel yourself getting down about it, take a break and reassess. Read a new book or an old favorite (ETWOLD). Get yourself motivated again.
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    12. #12
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      ^^ Excellent point. Keeping a positive, playful mindset is huge. Never set yourself up thinking "no lucid dreams is failure." Dreaming performance anxiety can really be a roadblock to progress. There was a guy here on DV with the username "RelaxAndDream," and that is exactly the right way to go about it . It takes effort, yes, but have fun with it and stay positive and confident that progress will come in time.
      FryingMan's Unified Theory of Lucid Dreaming: Pay Attention, Reflect, Recall -- Both Day and Night[link]
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      “No amount of security is worth the suffering of a mediocre life chained to a routine that has killed your dreams.”
      "...develop stability in awareness and your dreams will change in extraordinary ways" -- TYoDaS

    13. #13
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      On the same note as what others have mentioned, regarding maintaining a positive attitude and keeping at it, I noticed that you said:

      Quote Originally Posted by zblack View Post
      (Though I'll occasionally attempt W.I.L.D and get to some interesting places of semi-LD.)
      To me, this would already be an interesting milestone of sorts. I have been at it for years - OK, more on and off than others at the best of times! -and my lucid dreaming average is maybe once a year, which is still better than zero times a year. Sometimes I get sad about it, sometimes I get happy about it. Overall I feel its a positive for me regardless of that swinging.

      My intent in highlighting this quoted bit from you, is because I believe you can use this "occasional" situation as a building point for your confidence and positive attitude(s). I am not suggesting building plans around these occasional situations because if these are spontaneous and unpredictable that would probably be a pointless exercise. And that's fine too, you don't necessarily need to plan everything ahead and I think for me that's what I would read into "playful"ness as mentioned by FryingMan.



      Actually, writing out these short thoughts here is really helpful to myself, because I didn't realise that I could be expanding on my own LD intention-setting by being less self-expectant about it. I often get a subtle worry when I'm setting intentions for dreaming, a worry suggesting something such as "oh, I should really think about what I want to do when lucid too though... I know I want to try doing some art, but what? and what if my brain can't come up with anything?". This is setting myself up to be more worried with what I'm going to dream about, rather than about the fact that I'm actually going to be dreaming at all, potentially lucidly. (and in essence, thank you for these thoughts FryingMan!)
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      Singled out from some of my favourite quotes from Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri: "Risks of [Planet] flowering: considerable. But rewards of godhood: who can measure? - Usurper Judaa'Maar: Courage: to question."

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