• Lucid Dreaming - Dream Views

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    1. Making Rainbows (DILD)

      by , 12-17-2016 at 03:34 PM
      Ritual: I'm coming out of my longest dry spell yet, but it was clearly a problem of motivation. Even when I had the superficial motivation to LD (I always do), the deeper motivation that makes it actually work was thwarted. In time I came to recognize the reason for this. At the end of last semester I started talking to a colleague that I knew was very interested in dreams. Even though their interest had been shaped by Freudian principles, I ventured to reveal my interest in (and practice of) lucid dreaming in the hope that we might have an interesting dialogue across perspectives. Well, the colleague promptly stopped talking to me, and I was so annoyed and embarrassed that it took a terrible toll on my dreaming. Not just lucidity—even the quality of my NLDs and my ability to remember them faded drastically. And even after I finally diagnosed what was causing the problem, I couldn't seem to dismantle the emotional block. I would just get irritated whenever I thought about it. I think this combined with the natural cyclic tendencies of my dream practice—I have too many interests and hobbies so all of them seem to wax and wane at various points to make room for one another—but hopefully my dreaming is now on the verge of a comeback. I can't think of a better New Year's resolution.

      I went to bed early last night (11pm) hoping that would help to get lucid, and for good measure spent some time browsing DV. I woke up a few times during the night and it seemed like it was going to be a bust, since I barely had any dream impressions. But the last dream I had before waking (at around 7:45am) was lucid and controlled and clear, if not ultimately successful in completing my intended task.

      DILD, "Making Rainbows": I was in a warehouse-like space with tall shelves crammed with every imaginable object, though everything looked old and used. I was having a conversation with someone about the place, though I don't feel like there was anyone walking with me; I think I was speaking aloud, but the other person was answering in my mind. I was observing that many of my own dreams (the comparison suggests that I did not yet recognize this as my own dream) included environments just like this, crammed full of objects, often taking the form of stores, libraries, archives. I proposed the hypothesis that these kind of object-archives were a metaphor for the mind, for the way it stores impressions or information. I wondered if I could put that idea to the test. (This idea suggests that I did recognize that I was in a mentally-constructed environment. What did I think it was, if not my own dream? Maybe the dream of the person I was talking to.)

      This next section is ambiguous in that I can't be sure if I had the name and was looking for the object or holding the object and was looking for its name or shelf location, but it was definitely a matching exercise between object and name. The object was a tool of some kind, flat strips of somewhat oxidized metal bent into a particular configuration with a short chain attaching some sort of polygonal fastener. It vaguely resembled one of those old metal spring traps, but not exactly, and its function was unclear. I had never seen or heard of such a thing, but I learned that it was called a "streng." I either got the name at the outset from the voice I was talking to and then found the object, or (and I think this is more likely since I have memories of holding the object as I walked), picked up a random object and then had to find out its name by looking for its shelf. But this is a false dichotomy... dreams don't always divide so neatly between what, in waking light, seem like the logical possibilities.

      At any rate, I was putting the idea of this warehouse as a kind of memory archive to the test by trying to match an object with its name. The mental effort took, I reasoned, as long as it actually took me in the dream to find the shelf. Given that it sometimes takes me a day or more to recover some sought-after piece of information from memory, this doesn't seem too far-fetched. I'm sure my archives are, like my physicial spaces tend to become, terribly cluttered with extraneous matter, making it hard to find anything. I actually commented at one point, looking at all the crap on the shelves, "I can't stand to throw anything away." But the details that make this whole exercise less plausible as a valid hypothesis of mental functioning was the object itself: neither the name "streng" nor the metal object it described corresponded with anything in waking life. The whole process seems at best to have been metaphorical.

      After this improvised task was complete, I wondered what to do next and remembered, sinced I'd just browsed DV before bed, that I still had a couple unfinished TOTY. At this point it occurred to me that if I'm now taking conscious control of my intentions and the dream environment, I must be lucid, but it didn't feel like there had been any qualitative change in my mental state. Rather, the difference between being non-lucid and lucid seemed in this case to come down primarily to whether I was acting spontaneously within the structure of the dream (as in my former task) or whether I was accessing memories and intentions that I had earlier established with waking consciousness.

      I wondered if I should try basilisk or leprechaun, and decided on the latter. Its no wonder that I'm stuck on these last two. I think I have a mental block against leprechauns because my mental imagery is composed primarily of cheesy cereal commercials; maybe that's why I have yet to actually meet one. Meanwhile I keep avoiding basilisk because it explicitly instructs killing DCs, which I am reluctant to do. I have no problem killing NPCs in RPGs and computer games, or experimenting with different ethical alignments in those environments, but dream feels different, like the stakes are higher. I'm not sure why. At any rate, given the options, I went with leprechaun again.

      Would it be possible to create a rainbow indoors? I thought it over and figured that in dream, that should be entirely reasonable. And even though the shelves in this warehouse were only a bit over head-high, the ceiling itself was vastly higher overhead: the space was huge. So I started trying to conjure a rainbow. At first nothing happened. I put my hands together in front of me, touching at the sides with the palms up, and tried to use this as a focus to create a rainbow directly from my hands, arcing upward. I managed a weak one a few times, but they quickly fizzled out.

      A young girl, maybe eight years old with blonde hair, noticed what I was doing and approached with an offer to help. "Sure," I said. I don't remember exactly what form her help took, she might have just added her concentration to my own, but with it my rainbows were getting better. I managed to make one finally that had bright colors, though there were only four of them and they were oddly separated into tube-like strips resembling neon lights, and shining with the same fluorescent intensity. Good enough for the task? I gazed at it critically, annoyed that there were only four colors. In response, the second tube from the left split down the middle and became two different colors. Good enough, I figured, and started looking for the end of the rainbow. But then that one flickered out, too.

      Every time a rainbow failed, I regrouped and tried to improve my concentration. The four-color failure made me realize I needed to focus on what the colors of a rainbow actually were, so I started chanting them as I concentrated: "Red orange yellow blue indigo and violet...." I had a hard time keeping them in the right order, and after I woke up I realized that I had completely left out "green," an interesting difficulty given that while awake, I can easily and accurately recite the colors of the rainbow without a second thought.

      The little girl continued in her role as my assistant, and now that I was working on the getting the colors straight we managed to produce a bright, very proper-looking rainbow. Best of all, it touched the floor right in front of us, so all we had to do was dig, presumably, to find the leprechaun and his gold. But no sooner had we rushed up to the spot than the rainbow disappeared again. This was getting annoying.

      Just then I became aware of a commotion in the building. We were now standing outside one wide entrance to the warehouse, which opened onto what looked like an atrium of a shopping mall, still an enclosed space but walled with plate glass windows. People were rushing over to the windows in excitement, and through the windows I could see the people outside down below (we were around four storeys up) moving in the same direction.

      The view through the glass looked out over an urban street and the row of buildings on the far side, beyond which the city ended at steep brown hills of nearly barren rock and earth. Everyone inside with us was pointing and staring at the hills, or hurrying outside to get closer to them, and the moment I looked out the window I could see why. An extraordinary rainbow had spontaneously appeared outside, and its end was clearly visible where it touched the side of one of the hills. The rainbow actually resembled the four-colour neon one that we had created earlier, but this one was exceedingly large and bright.

      The hills were probably at least a mile away and too steep to climb by foot, so I knew I would have to fly. I started pushing out the large square glass panes in the wall above me, wondering if this was the most efficient way to leave the building, or if I should just walk the thirty yards or so to the exit everyone else was taking. (The exit occupied the space to our right that had formerly led into the warehouse, which was no longer visible.) The exit led onto a sort of sky bridge that crossed the road, so it would also be a fine place to take off from. I chastised myself for wasting mental energy deciding between trivialities and decided to just continue with the window.

      After pushing out four panes to make a larger square, I grabbed the girl's hand and asked, "Have you ever flown before?" She shook her head. "Well, hold on tight." I levitated both of us up and through the space I had made. I did not feel physically obstructed by the metal frame that criss-crossed between the four panes of glass I had removed, though I felt a bit annoyed by the way I had so blithely floated through it. It felt careless. I mean, why bother taking out the glass at all if I was just going to pass ghost-like through the frame? I realized that again, I was letting myself getting bogged down with unnecessary and unhelpful mental baggage, but I've never felt comfortable "cheating," even in dream.

      We flew high over the street and buildings bordering the city, and I realized how startling the experience of flight must be to someone who was unaccustomed to it. Indeed, the girl felt very tense at my side, and murmured plaintively, "I want to sit down." I felt it would be cruel to ignore her terror, so as soon as we cleared the city, I aimed for a flat outcropping of rock at the base of the hills. We came down fast and landed hard, much harder than I had ever landed when flying on my own, so I attributed it to her fear weakening my own buoyancy. As soon as we landed, I asked her, "Are you alright continuing?" She shook her head and I prepared to take off on my own, but even as my feet left the ground I felt myself waking up and was unable to forestall it.

      Updated 12-17-2016 at 03:56 PM by 34973

      lucid , task of the year
    2. The Reluctant Dragon (DILD)

      by , 02-25-2016 at 09:43 PM
      Ritual: Set vibrating alarm for 40m at 6:20am. I don't remember it going off, but I began dreaming that I was trying to fall asleep, until it gradually dawned on me that I was already dreaming. It was 7:19 when I awoke, so given that the dream must have manifested at some point after the signal went off at 7am (since it was not interrupted by it), it could have lasted up to 19m. I'm classifying this as DILD and not EILD since lucidity was not initiated by recognition of the device signal.

      DILD: Initially I am on a beach, lying on a sort of cot, trying to fall asleep. There are other people all around me, and their activity and noise is keeping me awake. I mention aloud to someone nearby that I seem to be entering REM state even while awake, as I notice crisp and colorful visuals superimposing themselves over my visual field. Even though the new scene is layered over the old one, it is distinct enough that I can make out details: I am at the edge of a river running through a futuristic city. Some sort of V-shaped flying craft is flying in tripartite geometrical formations up above, the crafts each giving off light colored red, white, or blue, each grouped into a separate section. Is this meant to be a patriotic display?

      I do not change position, but the cot I'm lying on becomes a sort of couch as the environment around me resolves into a room full of kids. Someone plays a video on a TV monitor, which annoys me because I am trying to fall asleep and the music is distracting. But then they mention that the video features Jonathan Tweet, and the name sounds familiar. When I remember it is one of my favorite game developers, I take more interest in the video and sit up.

      Something makes me think this is a kind of school where the kids are learning lucid dream abilities. One boy, bald, sits to the left of me on my couch and he's trying to test his powers against me. He takes my hand in his, which begins to glow blue, and I realize that he's trying to "crystal" me, that is, harm me with the pale blue light he is creating. I counter it easily, however. This frustrates him and he begins trying to bite me. He opens a disturbingly wide mouth and tries to chomp down on my hand, but I counter him by softening both his flesh and his resolve, so that mouth sags toothlessly and he never completes the bite. We go through this cycle three or four times before I tire of the game and get up.

      By now I'm aware that I am already dreaming, and I walk into the next room, recalling my personal goals. [I accomplish a personal task, finding a certain fictional character, then suggest that we become dragons to fulfill one of the TOTYs.]

      I lead the way to a window and lift it open. We're about four storeys up, but I jump out without hesitation and spread my arms, letting the air catch me. As I fly off to the left, I focus on trying to develop the "feel" of a dragon body: four legs, wings, tail, scaly skin. I haven't tried this before and the results are so-so, a fluctuating hybrid between the new bodymap and my usual one. I am flying over what strikes me as a mid-twentieth-century city. There are no skyscrapers, just a mixture of low commercial and residential buildings that cover a wide expanse. I recall that the task requires me to destroy a village, but the city below seems too urban to qualify. Would a neighborhood count as a "village"? But my moral qualms kick in, and I hesitate to bring wrath upon an innocent residential neighborhood.

      I fly further on, toward the edge of the city, looking for a more remote target, preferably one with few occupants. After exploring the land for a while, I find a spot that, while a stretch to call it a "village," at least satisfies my ethical preoccupations: it is a cluster of buildings around a large industrial apparatus, evidently a manufacturing concern of some kind. I don't notice any people wandering around, so hopefully there are not many on site to be harmed. I can't imagine I'll find a better target (at least in relation to my own concerns, rather than the specifications of the task), so I begin circling over the site, breaking the buildings and bashing them down. Meanwhile I focus on maintaining my dragon form; this takes constant vigilence because it is so unfamiliar, and too easily slips into sensations more congruent with human limbs.

      What color dragon am I? I recall that D&D dragons can take many different colors, with corresponding breath weapons. On the ruins of the factory, I test acid and frost breath in turn, trying to decide which feels more natural. I like the effects of frost—after freezing metal walls solid they shatter in a satisfying way—but then I remember that the task specifies leaving flaming ruins in my wake, so I switch to fire. There isn't much in the way of visuals; rather than great gouts of flame, my fire breath is more of an intense heat that makes metal glow red. But I dutifully knock down and burn the factory into rubble.

      Afterwards, I hover anxiously over the destroyed site to see if anyone was harmed by my stunt. (I know, I know, I make a terrible dragon.) I do spot someone—something?—running around frantically, but as I peer closer, it does not look human at all. Curiously, it appears to be a small white gem that I take to be a cubic zirconia, attached to a tiny wire loop that looks like it must have once been the pendant of an earring. The sense of scale has been skewing dramatically as I have been peering closer, and now I feel back to my normal human size and form, kneeling over ruined buildings the size of an architectural model. I look carefully and spot two more little gems running around. Unless there are more I don't see, three victims isn't too bad, and at least they're still alive, even if they're looking understandably anxious. (How do gems even look anxious? It was something in the way they moved.)

      [I've been concentrating on my task and realize I have lost track of my friend. I look for him and we are briefly re-united before I wake up.]
    3. Character Narration (EILD)

      by , 02-20-2015 at 06:41 AM
      Ritual: wtb 3am, around 9am set vibrating alarm for 36 minutes. The first time it went off, I felt like I was already awake, that I had been lying awake for several minutes before I felt the vibration. In retrospect I was quickly suspicious that this was a false memory, but the consequence was that I woke up for real. I reset the alarm to go off in 28 minutes, and went back to sleep.

      EILD: I felt the vibration again, and at first I thought it was another failed attempt, that I was wide awake again. But this time I convince myself not to give up so easily, to lay still and explore it. I wiggle my fingers. Actually... that feels right, like dream movement. I wiggle the fingers of the other hand and gradually start to engage my whole body, but soon, no, I can still sense the dream body but I'm convinced that I'm accidentally moving my real body too. (In retrospect, it seems likely that my impressions of moving the physical body were false, as this surely would have broken aphasia.) It feels like the two kinds of sensory awareness are layered together. My dream sense is not broken but I need to find some way to desynch from the physical, to move unnaturally in a way the real body can't follow. I try to bend my arm the wrong way at the elbow, down into the mattress. I find this a bit difficult for some reason, but something else happens: I start to understand that I am creating all this difficulty in my own mind, that it really doesn't have to be this complicated. Upon this realization I simply find myself standing next to the bed, fully in dream. That certainly makes things easier!

      My WL awareness was somewhat confused throughout this whole process, since during the whole time I was lying in bed I had the impression that I could overhear a colleague from work talking to her daughter (who I have never met). They were discussing a humanitarian volunteer program that the colleague was doing in another country, maybe Africa. I listened with interest since I had not been aware that she was involved with anything like this (there is no RL basis), but it made sense since she is a very kind and generous person. She was talking about some kind of environmental crisis and said that the local people trusted the "agents," that is, the field workers of this organization, like her, but not the administration or the experts that were sent in to instruct them. The challenge was teaching the locals new ways of environmental management so they were no longer unsustainably exploiting their natural resources. I think it was targeting water usage.

      After I was fully transitioned into the dream, I remembered that I had reset my vibrating alarm to an interval of only seven minutes, so I would have to work quickly before it went off again, waking me up. Curiously, now I'm not sure if I really did reset it, and suspect I dreamed that part too. The nice thing about a device like this is that it actually provides hard evidence against which to check my unreliable memories. Nope! It's still set to 28 minutes. So there was one point this morning where I definitely did reset it from 36 to 28, but the later memory of resetting it to 7 minutes—for some reason convinced that I would be able to fall asleep within that time frame—turns out to have been an FFA (false falling asleep), evidence that I was already asleep.

      With (so I mistakenly thought) only seven minutes to work in, minus whatever time I had already spent transitioning, I walk quickly through the house and toward the front door, ready to plunge into deeper dreamspace. As I pass through the living room, something bumps into my leg from the pile of wood stacked near the fireplace. At first I plan to ignore it but then I wonder if the dream is trying to get my attention, so I glance down and see a pair of scissors. I'm not sure what to make of this but I grab them and take them with me. I go outside, where the sky is cloudy and half-lit as though it were dawn or dusk. I realize that this is wrong, and recall that it must already be after 9am in WL.

      What was my task? I have difficulty remembering, so while I'm thinking about it, I decide to do something spontaneous. I'm still holding the scissors... I know! I'll cut off my hair. As I walk I reach awkwardly behind my head and randomly lift locks of hair with my left hand, cutting them near the scalp with the scissors held in my right. This all feels surprisingly lifelike, which makes me think momentarily: I had better be right that I am dreaming! But then I figure, what's the worst thing that could happen if I accidentally cut off my real hair? I'd have to shave my head? Not a big deal, I even did that once in college.

      All this time I'm still trying to think of the tasks I had planned—why is it sometimes so hard to remember? Finally it comes to me. Right! I was going to try to roleplay a familiar character. I decide on Shriven, my WoW character, since I've played her the longest and also the most recently. My tabletop characters are much more psychologically complex, but I think I should probably start with something simpler. Okay, how do to this? I remember that I was going to try the narration technique. I start with something really basic: "Shriven is running," I murmur. My stride changes as I think I remember what her run looks like, becoming more mechanical. That part makes sense, given that she's digitally rendered. I don't have the impression that I look or feel any different, though. I keep trying, and although I don't recall my narrations in detail, I have the impression that they were extremely bland.

      I'm running through city streets now. At one point I notice that the buildings all seem older, eighteenth-century maybe, though this still just looks like one of my typical dream cities rather than a more appropriate setting for what I'm trying to accomplish. I'm still cutting my hair as I go—having started, I feel like I should finish the job. When I finally slice through the last tress, I stop and gaze at my reflection in a store window. Not bad! Although short hair never really suits my features, the haircut itself turned out alright, kind of punk/pixieish. In fact, it even reminds me of Shriven's hair, which is short and spiky and irregular. However, there is no real resemblance, and in all other respects my reflection looks unusually like my WL appearance: same eyes, same face, same hair color. Usually in dreams I see a lot more distortion.

      I use the scissors to make a few finishing touches to the haircut before realizing that it is pointless to be so finicky in a dream. In fact, I'm done with the scissors now... I'm just going to drop them on the ground! This always feels so liberating, since I would never do that in WL. I continue running effortlessly down the street and when I come to the end there is a ten foot gap to cross to reach a platform or walkway. Jump—you can do this! I clear the gap, just barely, and feel proud of myself as I land.

      Still, I don't feel like I'm making much progress on my task so I try to figure out how to improve my approach. What does Shriven do? Well, she often summons her mount, an undead warhorse. I narrate this to myself, but nothing happens. Every time I do this in game the horse makes a distinctive shrill whinny, so I try to use the sound as a focal point. I find it becomes ambiguous whether I can hear the sound in the dream or if I'm just remembering it.

      As I pass through a T-intersection, a blinding light directly ahead causes me to swerve. It is so bright that I assume it must be bleedthrough from RL. I remember the conversation between my colleague and her daughter that I overheard during my transition; with true dream logic I never questioned the impossibility of that taking place in my bedroom, and so now I assume that one of them must still be there, taking flash pictures. Instead of going straight into the light, my initial direction, I turn and take the street on the left, even turning my face away so to diminish the brightness. I can hear a voice from the direction of the light saying, "Don't shoot! Don't shoot!" So I was right about the camera, I conclude. At no point do I recognize the absurdity and error in my thought processes, but I do reflect that it is interesting that the environment made me change the direction I was going—is the dream trying to control my movement?

      After this interruption, I go back to trying to summon the undead warhorse. It's still not working, but then I notice that the shop just ahead of me seems to have horse skulls hanging on the back wall. That's an improvement! I go into the shop, which is now a tiny space almost completely filled by a large bunkbed. A bearded man is lounging on the lower bunk, eating a meal and watching TV, while the upper bunk is shacked with sheepskins. I ask the man about the horse skulls.

      "That's not a horse skull," he responds.

      I realize he must be referring to the giant animal skull on the floor at my feet. It must be about three feet long. "What is it?"

      "That's an academic-size magic detector," he answers, hardly taking his eyes off his TV program. Not sure what to make of his words, I look at the skull again. I realize it must have come from some kind of giant lizard, like a crocodile, but it has a small horn at the snout like a rhinocerous. As I study it, I see that it is now green and sparkling, the color offset with pale stripes. I am tempted to compare it to an Elvis suit, but fear that the proprietor might be offended.

      FA: I wake up and start taking notes right away, starting from the last scene and moving backward. Fortunately I don't get very far before I realize I am writing on dream paper. I wake up for real and record my notes on my laptop.
    4. Sampling confections, riding a horse in 1920s San Francisco (DILD)

      by , 10-14-2014 at 06:42 PM
      Ritual: This was my third experiment with the vibrating alarm. Again it was successful, though in a somewhat inexplicable way. I had intended to get lucid but slept from 1:00–6:20am, and realized when I woke it was too late for a proper WBTB. So I used the vibrating alarm, set to go off in 45m. It was 7:19am when I awoke again, so it must have triggered, but I never felt the vibration at all this time. I had an NLD I don't clearly recall, and then a DILD—in which I simply became aware that I was dreaming, with no particular RC or "aha!" moment. The lucidity was low-grade, though, in that I never remembered the tasks I had intended to work on.

      DILD: I found myself in K&L in San Francisco. (This is a real wine store that I like, but the dream version had no physical resemblance to RL.) While browsing I noticed all the good food in the cases—fresh food, like slices of cake on plates, ready to be eaten—and reflected on how amazing the food culture is in SF that you can even get great fresh food in a wine shop. There was a tray with samples of wine, generous pours of about two ounces in full-size glasses, and another tray with samples of a variety of little cut bars and pastries. As I began eating and drinking, the impression dawned on me that I was dreaming, but I felt that I was not fully integrated. (This must have been dream logic; I was already deep in dream so there was no question of integration, but apparently what I was sensing was that I was not fully lucid.) I thought that using my senses would help, so I was focusing on the tastes and textures and even the sounds that occurred as I sampled the various confections. I wanted to find one that was more savory than sweet. A couple pieces were green in color, which seemed promising, but they turned out to be more dessert-like than I had hoped. I was amused to notice how I was behaving with dream protocols: if I didn't like a piece, I would just spit it out and leave it on the tray, an act that would be incredibly rude and disgusting in waking life!

      I thought after I got better integrated I should go explore the dream—wasn't there something I was dreaming about earlier, a wilderness landscape, that it would be interesting to get back to? I recollected it only vaguely. But first I wanted to try each of the food samples. The very last one I tasted was savory after all, and had a kind of bi-layer construction with a spicy-savory mixture sitting on top of a nest of dried coconut strands—it was my favorite, and I wished I could get the recipe.

      Nearby was a little display box full of pamphlets or maybe even CDs about nuns, and as I leafed through them I saw that they broached the question: do nuns wear their habits even when they are locked away together in their nunneries, or do they, like Muslim women, remove their head coverings when at home? I felt that in waking life I knew the answer but now I couldn't remember. I thought about it and considered that the tradition of nuns covering their head must be related to similar phenomena in related cultures and places, such as the way women have to cover their heads when attending a Russian Orthodox church service. I figured it probably did have ties to the tradition among conservative Islamic women to cover their heads. I concluded on this basis that nuns would indeed remove their wimples when alone among themselves. (In retrospect I'm pretty sure I wrong, but I can't say with absolute certainty. The only Christian nuns I've met don't wear habits at all!)

      Earlier, when I had decided that I would go explore the dreamscape after I was done here, as if in direct response to my thoughts a horse had promptly cantered up outside the shop and stood there waiting for me. (If only my human DCs were so obliging!) Now that I was finished eating I went outside and prepared to ride away. The horse had been completed tacked up when he arrived—excessively so, I had thought, as he seemed to be carrying bedrolls and other long-distance gear—and when I mounted he had definitely been wearing a saddle because I distinctly braced my foot in the stirrup and held the pommel to get on. However, no sooner had I started riding away than I felt I was slipping around a bit and was surprised to discover that this was because I was riding bareback. Oh well, it will be good practice. I remembered how some people say that LDs can help you practice RL skills, and I figured that I could certainly use some practice improving my seat and position, so I decided to focus on that for a while and see if it paid off in this week's lesson.

      I still felt we were in downtown San Francisco but everything felt old-timey. Even the cars looked like 1920s models. Fortunately there weren't many of them, because I was moving through the city at a canter. I realized how unrealistic this was: in RL I would hesitate to stress the horse's legs by cantering on hard paved streets, and I definitely would not cross intersections without stopping, like I was doing now, but since I knew I was dreaming I felt it would be okay. Crossing the street still felt dangerous as there were sometimes cars coming, but there weren't too many of them and they were going slow enough that we were able to dodge one another. I was cantering because that is the gait where I need the most improvement on my seat and position: I was focusing on trying to keep my legs long and heels down, with my core on, back straight and shoulders back.

      We cantered right out of the city, though I was paying so much attention to my form that I didn't have much to spare for my surroundings. Just as in RL I noticed the tendency for my legs to creep up and my torso to lean forward at the canter, so I was trying to counter these bad habits and reinforce good ones. At some point I finally halted the horse, and I worked on trying to do that properly as well, keeping my seat deep and using my weight properly. The dream ended around this time, as though by halting the horse I halted the dream.

      Updated 10-15-2014 at 08:24 AM by 34973