• Lucid Dreaming - Dream Views

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    Side Notes

    1. Swimming with Kim and Adventure Recruitment

      by , 10-25-2018 at 09:20 AM (The Lab Notebook)
      Awake, Non-lucid dream, Lucid dream, [Commentary made while awake]

      [For the second lucid in a row, I'm actually aware of the dream beginning, and it begins the same way as the last one - a visual scene emerges out of a blank nothingness, and I focus on it until it expands from a few little circles to fill my entire field of vision. This time,] I'm out in front of a big, old, two-story wooden house where some Toastmasters meetings are going to take place. I go inside to attend them, and some of my real-life Toastmasters friends are there, too. There are also visitors there, whom they are trying to recruit to Toastmasters. While I'm standing around and talking with the group, I demonstrate my ability to fly from the ground floor of the house up to the upstairs balcony. I compare it to "lifting myself by the seat of my pants" [shoutout to Dr. Seuss!] because, I notice on this particular occasion, that's roughly what it feels like when I bring my concentration to bear on the task of actuating that ability. It feels like I'm using my mental concentration to lift myself up from the small of my back and propel myself through the air. I say to the assembled DCs: "I used to be very secretive about my flying, but now I'm very open about it. I think everyone should be able to enjoy it." [And I do.]

      After the meetings are over, I walk out of the house onto the street, except where one would expect there to be a street, there is instead a big, shallow swimming pool. It is surrounded by tropical plants, and its edges go in a series of curves so that the overall shape of the pool is a big, amoeba-like blob with lots of curving pockets sticking out every which way. I walk around to one side of the pool, sit down on the edge, put my feet in the water, and think: "I wonder if I can change my clothes just by thinking about it?" I close my eyes and concentrate on what I want to happen - namely, I want to be wearing a swimsuit. I can actually feel the swimsuit form around me. When I open my eyes, I'm wearing a tankini with tribal-looking geometric patterns on it in raspberry, burgundy, and many other colors. I exclaim out loud, "Holy $#!*, I did it!" [It was a super cute swimsuit, but certainly not one I would ever choose for myself in real life. Upon reflecting afterwards, I realized that my dream body doesn't have stretch marks - or if it does, they're much less noticeable than they are in real life, since I don't remember noticing them - and it's also less fat than my real one, though not dramatically so.]

      I notice that the regular clothes I had just been wearing - jeans, button-down shirt and white sneakers - are now floating on the surface of the pool, around me. I get the rest of the way into the pool. There are two other people enjoying the pool, two guys and another woman. I realize that while my swimsuit top has shoulder straps, it also has a part that's supposed to tie together across my back, just at the bottom of my shoulder blades, and it's untied. I approach the woman (the pool is shallow enough to walk in easily) and say, "Trade you ties?" We tie the ties on each other's swimsuits, as I had just requested. She is some type of POC [most likely South Asian? I couldn't say for sure] and very pretty, and her name is Kim.

      After swimming and lounging around for a bit, the two guys, Kim, and I all get out of the pool, down at the far end of the 'street,' away from the house I had just been in. Another dream character is standing there, a petite, definitely East Asian woman
      [she reminds me of a younger Agent May from the "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." TV series]. She asks me and the two guys to come with her; she is recruiting us for some kind of spy-adventure-type mission. [I have no idea why she ignored Kim completely, but she did.] We follow her, but I turn to say goodbye to Kim, who is now standing on the edge of the pool, as I go.

      The two guys and I follow Young Agent May into an area that looks like an ancient temple courtyard, all dusty dirt floors and high, light-yellow-tan-colored walls of rough-hewn stone that stand open to the sky. There are lots of wall segments forming corners, but there is a space off to the left that's more than big enough for a dark-brown, equally-roughly-hewn wooden table with two people sitting behind it. This is the check-in desk for the adventure/mission. Young Agent May goes over to check us in, and I look around the courtyard while the two guys start to explore. As I'm looking around, a brochure printed on unbleached brown paper appears in my hand. The title, printed in a curved swoop across the center in big, yellow letters, reads "Dole Presents: Adventures in Dole Whip."
      [Or something like that. Interestingly enough, I could read the whole thing perfectly fine. I can't remember all of it, but I'll reproduce the text I do remember.] The brochure goes on to say: "This dreamer is about to earn her title! Next Task: Create a tiny, consensually-dressed, applesauce humanoid." There's even an illustration of this little humanoid figure I'm apparently supposed to create out of applesauce. [Don't ask me what "consensually-dressed" is supposed to mean. Presumably "dressed in an outfit of its own choosing," with an undertone of "modestly dressed."]

      I wake up to the sensation of my left arm being asleep. I've fallen asleep on my left side, something I rarely do.

      [Cool! New ability! This is the first time I've ever changed my clothing at will. I guess that counts as changing my appearance, although I really meant changing an aspect of my physical body.]
    2. Acknowledging Julia

      by , 09-28-2018 at 09:17 AM (The Lab Notebook)
      Awake, Non-lucid dream, Lucid dream, [Commentary made while awake]

      I see a beautiful, blue sky with lots of puffy, white clouds in it. I realize that this is a dream [I'm not quite certain, but I believe I became lucid by first realizing that I didn't recall how I had gotten outdoors where I could look up at the sky], and ground my awareness in the dream by focusing on the clouds in the sky. The sky expands to fill my field of vision, covering up and washing out the gray nothing behind it.

      I realize I'm in the backyard of the house I lived in as a child, and I'm with two girls I knew in elementary school. I walk around the neighborhood with them for a bit, exploring the yards of the houses. They are fenced in, and many of them are on very steep hills
      [which was not the case in real life]. At one point, a man who lives in one of the houses sees us. Eventually, I stop following them and start following two DCs who are young women closer to my own age now, a blonde one and an Asian one. [I typically prefer to spend my lucid-dreaming time exploring my dream world on my own, but this time, I thought I could maintain a longer, more stable lucid dream if I focused my attention on following two dream characters around, instead. It seems to have worked.]

      We end up wandering from the suburban neighborhood we're in to a well-lit, wood-paneled mall. We end up in front of a hair salon, where the salon owner stops us and presents the Asian DC with an award for her hairdressing skills. I notice that she is suddenly wearing a pretty, fancy dress appropriate for accepting an award at an awards ceremony. After she accepts it, we continue wandering around and exploring. The next time I notice the Asian DC, I see that she's wearing casual, comfortable clothes again. I exclaim in disappointment, "Aw, man! I wanted to do the finger-snap thing!" [Meaning, I wanted to consciously and actively change her from one outfit to another by snapping my fingers, Q-style. I was disappointed that she had performed the transformation on her own. ]

      Our wanderings continue to take us through indoor environments, and we eventually end up in a spacious church where the service is just about to start. A greeter hands me a service bulletin, which is a single large sheet of paper that you have to fold up yourself. I wander through the sanctuary, from front to back, just as the procession is starting.

      As I wander outside again, I remember that the next time I found myself lucid dreaming, I had wanted to do the 'pinch your nose shut and try to breathe through it' reality check, so I do so. It still works the same as ever - I can still feel myself breathing even while pinching my nose, which I still think is the coolest sensation. However, this time, my dream-sense of touch tells me that I'm missing part of the tip of my nose.
      [I thought, "Maybe I've been reading too many A Song of Ice and Fire books?"]

      I see the aforementioned blonde dream character again, and for the first time, we actually stop to talk. When I ask, she tells me that her name is Julia, and it turns out that she knows that I'm the dreamer. She refers to me as the "universe goddess." [There's a gap in my memory here; I don't recall how we got from just talking to this next part, but:]

      Julia is now mostly submerged in a tank of water, and I lay one hand on the crown of her head, which is sticking up above the water, and say: "I, [my full, legal IRL name], do hereby name you Julia." As she climbs out of the tank, I add, " [Nickname] is short for [my full first name]." [I often explain that to people when meeting them for the first time IRL.] After Julia is out of the tank, I ask her if I can do that again, because I didn't use both hands. I ask her what her middle and last names are, and she says "Tilly El-Haz[something, I don't remember exactly]." We stand facing each other, and I lay both hands on the top of her head and name her with her full name. [She looked like she could have been Supergirl, or otherwise related to those Els.]

      [Hmm. Fascinating. I've only met one or two other dream characters who exhibited any awareness that we were in a dream, and this is the first time one has referred to me in terms like "the universe goddess." This dream put me in a great mood, as my lucid dreams always do.]
    3. The Beach House on the Cliff

      by , 01-11-2015 at 03:44 PM (The Lab Notebook)
      My parents have just bought a house up on a high hill overlooking the ocean. There is a whole community of similar houses up on that hill; ours is the last one at the end of the street, on the ocean-facing side of the hill. Beyond our house, the hill becomes more of a cliff, and the ocean is below it. My family has just recently moved to the community.

      My parents, my sister, and I are coming back from being out and about, and we see all our neighbors standing or sitting around in the open area at the highest point on the hill, which we have to pass through to get to our house. When we talk to them, we learn that they are out there watching the neighborhood slowly fall apart. I see an open patch of mud on the ground in a corner where two pieces of concrete come together, with air bubbles coming up through it. I see a corner of someone's concrete patio sticking up at an odd angle, no longer flush with the ground. All over the hilltop, the is starting to liquefy like this.

      We get to our house (which is a long, straight, single-story house built perpendicular to the cliff), go inside, and see that the floor is now tilting at a 20-degree angle or more. It's clear that it's ultimately going to slide off the top of the cliff and fall into the ocean, but we can't feel it moving right now. Our mom tells us to collect any of our things that we want to save before that happens.

      My sister and I go to the far end of the living room, which is the narrow edge of the house and the wall furthest from the edge of the cliff. There is a fireplace there, with lots of dark wooden shelves built into the walls on either side of it. We start taking the things we want to save off the shelves. Two of the first things I grab are shiny, silver-colored, stainless-steel thimbles. My sister also grabs a similar thimble of her own. I look closely at both of the thimbles I have and see that they each have a small number 10 etched into them. Good - they're both mine, and my sister hasn't accidentally touched one of mine.

      The shelves are mostly filled with CDs and DVDs in cases, but there are lots of other things there, too. We grab a few other small items, but the number of things we decide to save is tiny compared to the total number of things on the shelves. It doesn't take long until we look at what's left on the shelves and think, "There really isn't anything else here that's particularly important to me."


      Side notes:
      When I realized what I'd seen and done in this dream, I laughed out loud. Those thimbles are what I've been using as a dream totem for more than four years now. They're supposed to be a reality-check tool. I saw it and handled it, and it never once occurred to me that I might be dreaming, nor that I should use it to see if I might be dreaming. How silly of me!

      Updated 01-11-2015 at 03:47 PM by 37356

      non-lucid , nightmare , side notes
    4. The Best Day at Church Ever

      by , 12-11-2012 at 11:51 PM (The Lab Notebook)
      Awake, Non-lucid dream, [Commentary made while awake]

      [Note: This DJ entry contains discussion of my personal religious beliefs, which are Christian. If, for any reason, you do not want to read about them, please skip over this entry.]

      I'm trying to get from one place to another by bicycle. It's right at or just after sunset on a cloudy, overcast day, so it's somewhat dark outside. I'm bicycling along sidewalks that run between buildings that are each about four or five stories tall and have lots of windows. [It actually bears a strong resemblance to some of the private college campuses I used to walk around when I was a kid.] When I try to turn a corner, a guy on a larger bike passes by really fast right in front of me, and I shout out in surprise and fear. After he has passed by, I turn the corner and go on my way. I'm carrying a large plastic bag hanging from my left handlebar. It is filled with other, crumpled-up plastic bags, as well as a heavy, black, U-shaped metal bike lock.

      I'm in the sacristy [back room where robes and other special equipment are stored] at my old church. I've arrived there to meet up with a bunch of my friends from my old college Christian fellowship, who are all crowded into the room. [I think this might have been the place I was trying to get to on my bike, but I'm not absolutely sure; I don't remember the transition from one dream scene to another. Or they may have been two entirely separate dreams.] We're all there for a special church service in which all of us young adults will be honored. All my friends already have their choir robes on, and I hurry to take mine out of the closet and put it on over my clothes.

      As I'm doing this, everyone starts to file out of the room, because it's time for the service to start. I'm still hunting through the shelves in the back of the closet for my shoes, saying aloud to myself, “I'm not sure if I have black shoes in here....” I came into the room wearing white shoes, which wouldn't go with my dark-purple choir robe.
      [They were the same kind of choir robe I used to wear at the church I attended immediately before my current one.] I find a pair of black, slip-on sandals [a pair I own in real life] on a shelf and start putting on, but I'm already being hurried out the exterior door of the sacristy, along with the rest of the procession of young adults. When we get outside, I cross the sunlit courtyard by shuffling and sliding my feet forward, still working on getting them all the way into the sandals.

      Although this church building is in a different place and has a very different layout than it does in reality, I recognize it as the one I went to as a child. The sacristy door opens onto a courtyard paved with red ceramic tile and enclosed with white walls, and it's a beautiful, sunny day. We walk in a procession along the outside wall of the sanctuary, then turn left and then left again to enter the church through its large, wooden double doors. I'm still finishing up fastening the front of my choir robe as we enter.

      As we enter, there is modern, rock-instrumentation-based worship music playing, the kind we used to have in fellowship meetings. Most of the pews are facing forward, except for the section nearest the front, where they are facing inward toward the center aisle. Beyond those seats is the altar area. The sanctuary is full of people, including my mom, who is sitting in an aisle seat that I pass on my right as I walk up the aisle with the procession. I'm aware that the families of my friends from the fellowship are there, too. We all process up the center aisle and take seats in the center-facing pews.

      The music continues until we are all sitting down. When it ends, one of the leaders of the fellowship starts welcoming everyone to the service and talking about how its purpose is to honor the young adults of the congregation. During this speech, I realize that I accidentally dropped my knitted bag of choir books
      [again, something I had in real life at my previous church] in the aisle, right where my mom is sitting. I stand up and go to retrieve it, but a tall, old black lady beats me to it. She picks it up and brings it back to me.

      The leader who's speaking says that we're going to start things off by playing a team-building game.
      [This was typically how we started off conferences in that fellowship in real life.] I smile; this is going to be fun. I look at the service bulletin and see that just about everything the leader will say is printed on it, like a script. There are even photos of the young adults who are being honored, and a list of the supplies we'll need for the team-building game. As I continue to look through the bulletin, I see that after we play this game, we'll proceed to have a regular church service, the more traditional kind we've always had at this church. I'm also aware that although some of the people in the congregation are from my Episcopal tradition, and others are from my friends' evangelical tradition, absolutely everyone present is not only okay with the idea of having a service that blends elements of both traditions, but is actually happy about it and looking forward to the rest of the service. I am, too. The whole gathering is suffused with a sense of love, peace, joy, and unity.

      Side notes:
      This dream was significant for me because it made me feel better about the past. It made me feel less conflicted and less torn, and gave me hope that reconciliation between those two areas of my experience is possible.
    5. 空に飛んでいる夢人隊 (Night of November 20-21)

      by , 12-11-2012 at 11:38 PM (The Lab Notebook)
      [This is a catch-up post. This dream took place on the night of November 20-21, 2012. The title of this dream is in Japanese, and is read "Sora ni Tondeiru Yumebito-Tai." It literally means "Flying in the Sky Dream Person Team (or Corps)." The dream felt a lot like being in an episode of an anime series, so I gave it a title that would be suitable for an anime series.]

      Non-lucid, Lucid, [Commentary made while awake]

      I'm outside somewhere, lying in the warm sun. The sun's rays are making me too hot in my flannel pajamas. I'm wearing dark-colored plaid pajama bottoms [the same ones I'm wearing in real life], and a white flannel pajama top with red roses on it [the same pattern as on a bedspread my mom has at her house].

      I'm in a large department store, filled with racks of cold-weather accessories and other clothes. I'm wandering through the racks by hopping up off the floor, hovering above it for a few seconds as I float forward, and then sinking back down. After several repetitions of this, I think, Hmm, this is longer than I should be able to float like this.
      Oh - that's because I'm dreaming.

      I fly out of the room with the clothes and winter accessories and into a larger room. It's still part of the same store, but it has a higher ceiling and has a skylight. I stop to ground myself in the dream by landing on the ground and touching things with my hands, including some packages of batteries that are hanging up on a rack. It works.

      I join up with a a group of kid DCs that includes Merida from Brave and a curly-haired blond boy. We all set off from the department store together to battle some evil force. We run out of the store and come to a hilltop that overlooks an ocean bay. Some of us, including Merida and myself, jump off the top of the hill and start flying over the bay. I shout “Woohoo!” as I jump off. I notice that some of the others in the group are simply running down the hill, rather than flying.
      [For the first time, it seems perfectly natural to me that some DCs can fly, too, and I don't feel any need to hide the fact that I can fly, as I usually do when I'm around DCs.]

      All of us, those who ran and those who flew, reassemble at our destination, which is a small house on the cliff overlooking the ocean. We realize we're being pursued by some kind of monster that will kill us and eat us. There is a newspaper article about the monster in the house. The kids all seem to be sure that the monsters have found us, that they're coming, and that we're all doomed. For a second, I'm genuinely afraid, but then I remember: Oh, yeah, this is a dream. I know what this most likely means. I roll my eyes and announce to the group: “They aren't really monsters, they're just tasks that I haven't done and that I feel bad about.” [Or words to that effect.] I think about it for a moment and come up with what that task must be - paying a bill [among other things that I don't remember now]. Everyone in the group seems to relax, and no monsters ever actually appear at the house.

      One of the DCs in the group says to another, “See about adopting her
      [meaning me] into the practice.” They are both young men, about 17-19 years old. The second one looks at me and says, “You're [Emiko].... Roboto.” [He used my real-life first name.] I reply, “Yes, that's a name I've used here before. I don't really like it, though.” [Huh? That's definitely not my real-life last name, and I certainly don't remember using it in a dream before. It was a big part of my childhood, though.] I say something about how grateful I am to have been accepted into this group of people, even with my mismatched pajamas. I'm still wearing the same dark pajama pants and light pajama top from the very beginning of the dream, while most of the other people in the group are wearing neat, matching, school-uniform-like outfits. [This isn't surprising; I was an anime fan for a long time, and a lot of the characters in the shows I liked were high school students who wore school uniforms.]

      The group of DCs and I all feel a general sense that that is the end of this adventure, but that there will be more in the future. We start flying off over the landscape, looking back at the buildings where we've just been: the big store with the skylight, and a motel [?]. There is an upbeat, exciting rock song playing in the background. It feels exactly like I'm experiencing the end credits of an anime show.

      I'm now traveling along in some kind of vehicle with the two young men, watching the scenery pass by from a tree-lined road that runs along the crest of a ridge opposite those buildings. I say to them, “Also, your ending theme song kicks ass.”
      [I think the context for this was that they thanked me for sticking with them so long at the end of the adventure, and I replied that of course, I wanted to prolong the experience as long as possible and have as much fun as I could. I don't remember the beginning of the conversation very well, though. The song I heard reminded me a little bit of this one, except it was at a faster tempo.]

      I have a false awakening in the bed I'm actually in [I was sleeping on a futon because I had family in town that week], where I can see my bare legs, before waking up for real.

      Side notes:
      THIS DREAM WAS SO COOL!!!! I hadn't had a really long, fun, clear lucid like this in a while before I had this dream. I was so happy to have it!
    6. A Study in Sleep Paralysis

      by , 09-25-2012 at 05:02 PM (The Lab Notebook)
      Awake/SP, Lucid, [Commentary made while awake]

      I'm in an elaborate, fantasy landscape. I fall over the side of a cliff and start falling down the side of a mountain, which has terraces in it and lots of trees, but the trees are all growing out of the side of the mountain. As I fall, I think, I could expect there to be a soft, grassy field below me for me to land on, and there would be one. I try to do exactly that, but it doesn't work. Eventually, I remember that I can fly, and fly back up to the top of the cliff/mountain.

      [That's all I can remember now of an awesome, detailed, elaborate lucid dream that was remarkably long for my first sleep cycle of the night. I was really, really determined to have a lucid dream last night, and my determination and MILDing worked. I also remember choosing to stay in and prolong the dream at least twice, but I don't remember any more details. I really should have taken a moment to write them down in my paper dream journal after I woke up.]

      [Later, different part of the night.] I feel, more clearly and with more awareness than I ever have before, all my major muscles transitioning into their paralyzed state. After a moment, a dream begins to form. Some Viking-warrior-looking guys who look like they came straight out of a movie by Aardman Animations are standing over me, watching me wake up. We're all in a big wooden hall. The dream is very weak, fuzzy, and indistinct, though, and although I try to focus on it, it fades away before I can get into it fully. This can be partially blamed on the fact that I'm completely fascinated by the experience I've just had, and this novel feeling of being “stuck” in my sleeping body while still being consciously aware.

      Welcome to SP, I think. That wasn't so bad, was it? I lie still and observe the experience. Although I'm conscious, in a way I never am in waking life, of my breathing happening automatically, I feel like I'm not getting enough air. I realize that that's because I have my forearms crossed over my chest so that their dead weight is resting right on top of my ribcage. I can feel my left-hand fingertips touching the skin of my right arm, but I feel removed from the sensation. I hope for another dream to start, but it doesn't. I attempt to visualize a scene, but it's a very halfhearted effort and doesn't go anywhere. Also, I have my head tilted to my right at an awkward angle, which makes me think, I'm going to feel that in the morning. After a few minutes, I get bored and decide to get up and use the restroom. I have no problem getting back to normal wakefulness.

      Side notes:
      I've always been afraid to try WILDing because I'd never experienced sleep paralysis, and I was afraid that I might experience hypnagogic hallucinations or sensations that would frighten me. This was the first time I'd ever really experienced SP. It was cool and weird, but not frightening at all, and I didn't experience any hypnagogic hallucinations. Getting over your fear of something is always nice.
    7. Of Ships, Oceans, Forests, and Trains

      by , 09-15-2012 at 07:20 PM (The Lab Notebook)
      (This one is from last night, bringing my DJ up to date again.)

      Awake, Non-lucid, [Commentary made while awake]

      I'm in House #4, which is enormous and elaborate and has lots of rooms [far, far more than in real life]. I go into one room that I had been using as an office/storage room, turn on the lights, and wonder why the lights in the ceiling fan don't turn on when I flip the switches, like they always have. [Arrrrrgh! *facepalm* It's been a while. I completely forgot that this was a dream sign until just now, when I was writing about it!] Then I notice that the room has been completely redecorated and filled with all kinds of objects and belongings. Someone has moved into these rooms. That someone has left a note on a rectangular sheet of yellow paper, attached to the wall, and has signed it with her first name, Emily.

      While walking through the house, I pass a seating area with couches and a coffee table in an open area of the second floor, on a sort of landing next to the walkway that leads to the other bedrooms.

      I'm in a dining area, sitting at a table, eating a meal with my roommate, LB. We talk about how I have this is my last night in the house, and I have to return to my original home.

      I go downstairs and walk out of the house, which is now a small cruise ship sitting at a dock. Someone says something like, “If you don't come back, the ship will leave without you.” And I'll be marooned, I think. Well, Long Beach sure is a great place to be marooned in.

      I wander off, along the city streets, heading toward the ocean. I find the frontage road that runs along the edge of the beach, and follow it to the next cross-street that leads inland.
      [The intersection I came to looked a lot like this intersection here, a place I know well from real life, but that intersection is actually in Santa Barbara, not Long Beach. In the dream, this area looked like that intersection, except grayer, more urban, and more built up - more like Long Beach, in other words.]

      I turn right and head up that street that leads inland from the ocean. I come to an enchanted-forest-themed park area, where there is a gently-curving path through a forest of tall trees, and little statues and figurines, including one that plays a chipper, pre-recorded message when you touch a marked panel in front of it. The companion I'm with does so, and I turn around and walk back the way I came along the path, annoyed by the recording.

      While retracing our steps, my companion and I come to a section of the pathway where there's a little toy train that runs along a ledge, about three feet off the ground, on one side of the footpath. The train consists of a toy engine, a toy caboose, and a whole bunch of random, small objects in between them. Any object placed in the line of objects between the engine and the caboose levitates a few inches above the ledge, and is pulled along as part of the train. The idea is that you're supposed to stand on the objects and ride the train along the ledge. I take my totem out of my pocket and place it on one of the flat objects in the train, and look at it for a moment. However, I then put it back in my pocket, because I don't want my companion to see that I have it.
      [Again, how did I not realize I was dreaming? Apparently, in my mind, that totem object is associated with the idea “This is a secret - no one else must know you have this” much more strongly than it is with the ideas “This is a symbol of your membership in the lucid dreaming community, a reminder to do reality checks, and a way to do them.” Great. :/ ]
    8. The New Apartment (Night of September 8-9, 2012)

      by , 09-15-2012 at 07:13 PM (The Lab Notebook)
      (This is a catch-up post. This dream took place on the night of September 8-9, 2012.)

      Awake, Non-lucid dream, [Commentary made while awake]

      I'm in my old hometown, on a major east-west street. I have to transport some large, cooked meat dish from one place to another in the trunk of my car, without letting the juices from it spill all over the trunk, so I have to drive very carefully.

      [Later, different dream.] I'm in my apartment in Omaha. My parents are there with me. They've come to visit along with SS [a good friend of my mom's], and we're trying to figure out a more comfortable sleeping situation than cramming both of my parents and SS into my office, which is what we have been doing. We wander into the far side of the apartment, where I don't go very often. We walk through a hallway that goes past an outdoor courtyard, with a brick floor and a stone fireplace, and into the large master suite.

      “I don't come in here very often,” I say. The master suite has a large, unused bedroom and its own bathroom, which solves the problem of sharing bathrooms. We can also move someone into that bedroom.

      A little later, I walk toward the door of my apartment, from the inside, and find that my parents are decorating it for Christmas by putting lights up all around it and putting a green garland over the top of the door, so it hangs down on the inside and the outside. “Mom!” I say indignantly. “I don't put up fall decorations until the autumnal equinox, and I don't put up Christmas decorations until December 1st!” I start taking the decorations down.

      My parents and I are discussing the amount of money we spent on my relocation, and how much I still owe them. They are under the impression that I owe them for the car we rented, but I counter with the argument that no, I don't, because that expense went on my mom's credit card, not mine.

      My friend Jim is in my apartment. He looks very young [younger than he is in real life] and is holding a baby girl. I introduce him to my parents: “Mom, this is my friend Jim. Jim, this is my mom,” and the same with my dad. While I'm doing so, Jim disappears, leaving only the baby floating in midair.
      [I have no idea how I didn't realize I was dreaming. I did take note of how strange it was that Jim looked younger than he normally did, though.]

      Side notes:
      This is the first time I've dreamed about my new apartment since I moved here, which was 1 month and 9 days ago now. This dream comes as a relief. I was beginning to worry about my mental state. On two previous occasions when I've made a change in my life (when I moved into the rented room and when I got my first smartphone - see my DJ entries from July 24, 2011 and September 4, 2011), only two weeks passed between the date of the change and the date that change was reflected in my dreams. This led me to develop the hypothesis: “Evidently, two weeks is how long it takes for my my unconscious mind to accept something as normal and start incorporating it into my dreams.” This time, it took just over five weeks. Time to adjust my previous hypothesis. Here's the adjusted version: “When my unconscious mind has begun to accept something as normal, it starts incorporating that something into my dreams. The amount of time it takes for that to happen may vary.” On a conscious level, I would agree that it has been much more difficult to adjust to and accept this change than it was to adjust to the other two changes in this data sample. I believe that this accounts for the time discrepancy.

      I recognize several of the other themes in this dream as themes that have been on my mind lately while I'm awake. I frequently think about how my apartment seems very large for just me, so in my dream, my apartment actually was as big as it feels, or even bigger. I really am excited about decorating my own apartment for Christmas, so it makes sense that I would dream about that. Yesterday, when I was shopping, I really did purchase a few Christmas decorations, but I didn't put them up. My policy on putting up decorations is exactly as I said in my dream.

      My best guess as to why Jim was there is that I subconsciously feel guilty that it's been five weeks and I still haven't found or joined a new Toastmasters club yet, because I keep putting it off.
    9. Nightmare: A Shooter in an Office Building

      by , 07-30-2012 at 04:56 AM (The Lab Notebook)
      [TRIGGER WARNING: This journal entry contains content that recalls the shootings in Aurora, CO. Reader discretion is advised.]

      Non-lucid, Lucid, [Commentary made while awake]

      I'm on the second floor of a big office building, and I take the elevator down to the first floor. There are a lot of other people in the elevator with me. I get an odd feeling that something big and important is about to happen in just a few moments.

      I exit the elevator and walk out into the ground-floor lobby of the building. It's a large space with lots of glass that lets in sunlight, and there are lots of people walking through the lobby, going in all directions.

      Suddenly, a man with some kind of small-to-medium-sized automatic weapon fires a short burst of gunfire into the air, in the middle of the room. Everyone in the lobby panics and tries to take cover, including me.
      [I know this nightmare was inspired directly by the recent Aurora theater shooting tragedy.] As the gunman continues shooting random people in the room, I hide under a long, low, rectangular wooden table with another young woman, about my own age, with brown hair. She and I whisper to each other about how this isn't very good cover, and how he's going to find us here any moment know. We're right - he does find us there, and threatens us with the firearm. I'm terrified that I'm about to be killed. Fortunately, I realize that I'm dreaming, and that that means I can just fly away. So I do. I fly away from the gunman in a straight line, passing right through the wall of the building without even realizing that I've done so until I'm well outside the building. When I'm some distance away, I look back at the tall office building I just left. I'm far enough away that the gunman is now little more than a dot, still visible through the windows.

      [There was more to this dream; I went on to explore the rest of the dream while lucid, but I don't remember any of the specifics.]

      Side notes:
      *derisive snort* And I call myself an oneironaut! I was having a nightmare, I became lucid, and I just used my dream control abilities to run away from the danger. Next time I go lucid during a nightmare, I will try to remember to stand up to the threat and talk it down.

      By the way, I had this dream at a hotel, on Night #1 of my big relocation road trip.
    10. Conquering the Baseball Backstop At Last

      by , 07-30-2012 at 04:49 AM (The Lab Notebook)
      [This is a catchup post. I had this dream on the night of July 18, 2012, but I'm just now getting around to posting it.]

      Non-lucid, Lucid, [Commentary made while awake]

      I'm in [or outside - not sure] House #1, and I become aware that I'm dreaming. I think, Hey, cool! This would be a great opportunity to go and achieve that goal! So I take off and start flying, keeping very low to the ground [I don't know why] , following the roads that lead from my house to the nearby park. I make a point of concentrating on the dream world around me, to keep myself in the dream. [I think] There's a moment where I briefly become aware of my body lying in bed, but I forcibly drag my awareness back to the dream and manage to stay in it. [It may have been after this next part, I'm not sure.]

      Anyway, I turn up the road that leads to the park, and there it is: the metal, chain-link, curved baseball backstop, the one I've been fantasizing about flying to the top of since I was a little girl. I come to the center of the back of it and start flying up, following its curve, but inexplicably sink back down to the ground. I shrug and decide to just climb the thing instead. It works. I'm up at the top in just a couple of seconds. I stand on top of the baseball backstop, surveying the park and feeling very proud of myself for finally getting to the top of my baseball backstop in a lucid dream.

      Side notes:
      Every time I have a lucid dream, I always start my day in a great mood, with the attitude that today is going to be a great day. On the day after I woke up from this particular dream, I finally received and accepted the job offer I'd spent years waiting and hoping for. Does it mean anything? I'm not willing to say yes, but it's interesting.
    11. It's Full Of Stars

      by , 06-28-2012 at 04:22 PM (The Lab Notebook)
      Non-lucid, Lucid, [Commentary made while awake]

      I'm on a street in a bright, sunny city when I realize that I'm dreaming. Pleased and excited to be lucid (as always), I stop and take a look around. I'm at a T-intersection, and on one corner is a big, tall building with businesses on the bottom few floors and apartments on the upper floors. It's white, with a red roof and other colorful accents. I turn to my right and see that its twin is on the other corner of the intersection.

      There's probably a mirror in there somewhere that I can go through, I think. I approach the first building and go in the first door I find, a single door that has the name and logo of my real-life credit union on it. I go inside, and it is, indeed, a branch of said credit union. Almost everyone I see inside is a friend from real life, mostly from church, and I say hello to them as they walk past on their way out the door, but they don't seem to take any notice of me.

      The main room of the branch is very small and narrow. I walk through it, turn a corner, walk down a very short hallway, turn another corner, and find a room with a rectangular, wall-sized mirror covering a fairly large area of one wall.

      I stand facing the mirror. What do I want to be on the other side? I think to myself. One of the places I've lived before. I step forward confidently and easily go right through the mirror. I don't feel anything at all from it this time.

      There's nothing but a completely empty, black void on the other side. When I'm all the way through the mirror, I find that while there's no floor, instead of falling down, I'm sinking down very slowly. Suddenly, I feel an overwhelming rush of profound thoughts and knowledge coming at me out of the void, while at the same time, it transforms from completely black and empty to a starfield of white stars. I'm frightened, and feel like all this is too much to handle, so I feel behind me with my hands for the edge of the mirror.
      [I'm now in a seated position, though I don't specifically remember getting into it.] I find the edge of the mirror and use my arms to pull myself up and out of the mirror, back where things are at least recognizable as normal. [No, I don't remember any of the content of those profound thoughts, just that it was like a tidal wave.]

      [Side note: Woohoo! This is the first time I've ever completed the Task of the Month for two consecutive months! ]
    12. A Visit to Omaha

      by , 06-14-2012 at 07:13 AM (The Lab Notebook)
      Color-coding: Non-lucid, Semi-lucid, Lucid, [Commentary made while awake]
      Bold text indicates a “dream within a dream,” meaning any dream scenes that followed after I dreamed of falling asleep

      I wake up in my current bedroom. I can hear the couple who lives downstairs in the master bedroom arguing. The woman says something like, “I have to get up now and get ready for work!” I can't sleep with them arguing, so I decide, “Okay, I guess I'm up for the day now, too.” I get up and start trying to take a shower, but the hot water keeps turning cold because the woman downstairs is taking a shower at the same time. After I'm done, I'm still feeling so sleepy that I decide to go back to bed and try to get some good sleep while I still can. It's still only 4:15 AM, after all. So I get back into bed and go to sleep.

      [All of the above paragraph was a completely convincing false awakening that I failed to catch. I've never heard the couple in question argue like that, plus, in the dream, the residents of the master bedroom were the parents of the girl who actually lives there in real life, and I thought nothing of it. :/]

      I'm visiting EM and SM's house in Omaha [something I did in real life recently]. It's morning, and we're all getting ready to leave the house for the day. They have a gigantic, elaborate house [way bigger, fancier, and more high-tech than their real house]. While we're in the kitchen, SM says something like, “You haven't had a chance to eat today.” I answer, “I know. That's why I always keep bananas in stock.” I show her that I'm carrying a banana with me, which I intend to eat for breakfast. SM has an eyepatch over her left eye socket, with a cool outer-space vista on it. It's embedded into her skin, and I can see muscles twitching underneath it. It's kind of creepy.

      We get outside the front door when I realize that I don't have any shoes on. I say to EM, “Could you unlock the door for me, so I can get back into the house? I'm not wearing shoes, only socks.”

      EM takes out a door key and uses it to unlock a lock in a wall, which opens the front door. “The front door” consists of a zig-zagging wall of metal panels that cross a wide, concrete courtyard. The panels that are parallel to the house swing open, toward the house, when the key is turned; they're the doors. I go into the house and run up the stairs to the room where I'm staying, to get my shoes.

      When I come back outside, I find SM sitting on something in the middle of the tall, light-green grass on the wide front lawn, waiting for me. She doesn't have her eyepatch anymore; both of her eyes are normal.
      [This is the case in real life.]

      “Wait just a ding-danged minute here...” I say. This discrepancy has caused me to begin to suspect that none of this is real. To test whether I'm dreaming, I turn to face a low rock wall nearby and start walking toward it, willing myself to pass through it intangibly [something I know very well that I can do in dreams]. I find that I can't pass through it; I just bump into it normally. In the moments that follow, I'm very acutely and vividly aware of the world around me, of my own self-consciousness, and of the fact that I'm not sure whether I'm awake or dreaming at this very moment. [I finally started watching the TV series Awake a few nights ago, and this is what the protagonist experiences all the time, a fact which is reiterated at the beginning of episodes 2 and 3. That is so cool, that I got to experience that personally in one of my own dreams! ]

      After another moment or two, I do realize that I am dreaming. [I don't remember specifically how or why.] By definition, that means that I am getting some good sleep now, I reflect gratefully. I smile and decide to enjoy myself here while I'm getting that restorative sleep I needed so much.

      As usual, all I want to do is explore the dream world, so I start flying up and away from the house. I see SM's car driving away below me, and wave goodbye to her. From up here, I can see the entire city spread out below me, covering the gently rolling hills like a blanket, and it's very beautiful. It's also very windy up there. I think to myself: I've got brains in my head, I've got feet in my shoes, I've got levitation powers in my mind. I can steer myself any direction I choose.
      [This is a reference to the Dr. Seuss book Oh, the Places You'll Go!, from which one of my contacts in Omaha read a passage to a graduating class while I was there. Hmm. No idea why I thought of them as “levitation powers” instead of “flight powers.”] I try to fly into the wind, which is coming from my left, but can't find the strength to fight against it. I decide to fly with it instead. I think, Why not? When you're going bicycling, you'll probably choose to ride with the wind, if you have a choice.

      I end up flying through a neighborhood filled with lots of cute little houses that line narrow, old, little streets that wind around every which way.
      [Just like in the real Omaha, or, at least, the neighborhood where EM and SM live.] Every front yard has big, tropical-rainforest-looking trees in it that reach across the street, forming the beginnings of a canopy, but not a very thick one. There are exotic, tropical birds in every tree. [Um... not at all like in the real Omaha. ] I fly along, following the streets and admiring the beauty all around me.

      [Dreamskip - I don't remember getting from one locale to the other.] I'm still in Omaha, but now I'm in a gigantic, elaborate, multi-story library and bookstore. It has lots of glass walls and ceilings that let in the sunlight, and they're arranged in a square geometric pattern, just like this library. It's filled with lots and lots of shelves of books, and there are plenty of people walking around. I'm still flying to get around, instead of walking. I fly up from one level to another, in search of the section where the most popular books are kept. I want to check one of those books out, but I don't have a library card yet, so I'm limited to buying it. I definitely intend to get a library card when I move there, though. [True in real life, too.]

      When I get to that section, I land and start walking. I'm looking for the second book in a series I'm reading. I have to think about it to remember which one it is. It's not the Twilight series; it's the Hunger Games series. [Which I haven't even started reading in real life, but I would like to.] I look through the neat, white, bright shelves and find the book I'm looking for. I pick it up and start walking away with it, reading it. There's a computer kiosk that beeps at me as I walk by. I look on the screen, and it has a written message directed at me, chastising me for cracking the spine on my book. Doing so somehow disrupted the operation of a pacemaker of somebody in the immediate vicinity. [I don't recall seeing that somebody there, though.]

      I continue exploring the library, and decide I want to go down one floor, but I don't want to fly because there are lots of people around, and I generally try to avoid using any of my dream powers when there are people around to see me. [Yes, they are just DCs, but I always think like that in my lucid dreams anyway. I don't know why, but I do.] I see a wide, steep, carpet-covered ramp leading down to the level below me, and decide to roll down it.

      [Dreamskip. I'm not 100% certain that I was still aware that I was dreaming in this scene, but I may have been.] I'm walking along a city street and see a restaurant that is closed. I'm disappointed to discover this, because it had belonged to my friends. I wander through it, looking at all the debris left in the abandoned building. I walk to a side entrance and go out through the patio, where I see that people have begun seating themselves at the patio tables. I realize that they must have seen me walking around inside the restaurant, assumed it was open, and sat down. I feel bad about it, but I start telling them, “Sorry, it's closed.” They get up and leave.

      [Side notes: Heh. I love how my subconscious has turned Omaha into this perfect tropical paradise with an awesome library, a place where everything I saw around me was incredibly cool and gave me nothing but happiness and joy. Omaha really does have a gigantic central library, although it doesn't have that cool architectural design. That part came directly from the library at UC San Diego. I didn't go to school there, but EM did - a fact which I had consciously forgotten about until I told my mom about this dream later in the day. Hmm. Omaha also has a zoo that I didn't actually see, but that everyone tells me is pretty awesome. Okay, subconscious, I get the message: Don't give up on Omaha yet. You may still be able to find happiness there.]
    13. Digimon meets Inception

      by , 06-10-2012 at 03:00 AM (The Lab Notebook)
      Non-lucid dream, [Commentary made while awake]

      [Fragment:] I'm sorting through laundry, separating out the things that need to be washed. [Heh. Apparently, anything you've been avoiding dealing with in real life can show up in a dream, even if it's something completely mundane. ]

      [The following is a different dream. I'm writing this at the end of the day after I woke up from it, rather than in the morning, right after waking up for it, so I've probably forgotten a lot by now. What I'm about to write here is all I remember now. Sorry.]

      I'm a member of a group of Chosen Children [from the Digimon anime series; these people are otherwise known as Digidestined in the English dub]. Everyone in the group is around my own age. [Yes, I was the same age in my dream as I am in real life. Yes, I'm way too old to be a Chosen Child by the standards of any of the anime series. Evidently, my subconscious doesn't care about that.] There are at least 20 people in the group. We all go into a fairly small cabin, the kind that would be at a summer camp, in which we all have to find a space to lie down in, because we're all going to enter a dream together [Inception-style. No, I never once realized I was dreaming throughout this entire dream. Yes, I feel silly now.]. I climb into the upper bunk of one of the many bunk beds in the room. Addressing the group at large, I say something like, “Try to make space on the floor for everyone.”

      With my right hand, I push up the left sleeve of my shirt to expose the inside of my left elbow. I wait for someone to come around with an IV needle for me. I'm not looking forward to having the needle put in, and want to just get it over with already.
      [Exactly how I feel about them in real life.]

      I'm now in the first dream level, with the same group of people. Once again, we're all lying down, waiting to get IV needles put in. I think, We need to go into the deeper dream levels so that we can get into our stronger Digimon forms. I have the following knowledge about our current situation: We're in the midst of a mission to defeat some enemy, and in order to transform into the strongest Digimon forms we have available to us, we have to be several dream levels deep.

      This time, I actually feel the needle being stuck in, but not into my elbow - it gets stuck into the tip of my left thumb. It's still not a pleasant experience, of course. I can feel it in there, and can feel my pulse throbbing in the tip of my thumb.

      [Awesome. I love the premise of this dream. I'm slightly tempted to write crossover fanfic based on it, but I don't have time to write fanfic.]

      Updated 06-14-2012 at 07:29 AM by 37356

      non-lucid , dream fragment , side notes
    14. How I Learned to Possess Dream Characters

      by , 05-21-2012 at 04:45 PM (The Lab Notebook)
      Awake, Lucid dream, [Commentary made while awake]

      After I've woken up in the night and am going back to sleep, I feel that sensation of floating, of being untethered from gravity and from anything else physical. I know that I can enter a dream from here if I let myself float away. I do so, and immediately find myself in a dream. [I have to admit, though, I'm not 100% certain that my consciousness remained continuous from the time I woke up to the time I entered the dream, so I'm only willing to use my WBTB and DILD tags for this entry, not my WILD one.]

      I'm in a bright, sunny, pedestrian-oriented shopping area, with a wide, winding sidewalk that leads between a series of large, curving, mostly-white buildings, each of which contains many different shops and restaurants. One of them has a large Cold Stone Creamery sign on the outside. It's very pretty, and looks very real. I'm very pleased to be in a lucid dream again.

      At some point while exploring this new dreamscape, I see several friends of mine from earlier periods of my life
      [high school and/or college - I don't remember this part all that clearly]. Then, I wander through a small exterior door in one of the buildings, which leads into a classroom. In this classroom, the desks are set up in several sets of rows that are set at right angles to each other. The aisle between the rows of desks begins near the door and goes right through where the corners of those right angles would be. All the desks are filled with young adults, like me, but I don't know any of them. I walk down the aisle toward the front of the classroom. There is a male teacher there, leading the class in a discussion about something, but he doesn't complain or try to shut me up when I interrupt him and say to the class:

      “Anyone want to help me out with this possession thing?”

      [Or some similar words to that effect.] By this point, I've remembered one of the current Tasks of the Month and decided that with all these DCs around, it should be easy to give it a try. [I'm not surprised that I asked if one of my DCs would willingly act as the possessee. Possessing someone by force or surprise doesn't appeal to me at all; I already knew that about myself.]

      A woman in the front row, on my left (the teacher's right), raises her hand and stands up. She's maybe an inch taller than I am, but stockier, and has dark red hair and green eyes. Both of us are wearing jeans. She follows me to the back of the classroom.

      “I want my gold star, dammit!” I say, just before I go to work on possessing her.
      [I was talking about the gold wings I was going to earn here on DreamViews (or rather, the silver wings - in the excitement of the moment, I completely forgot that we had switched the basic and advanced tasks early in the month), but my exclamation came out as the commonplace expression meaning a reward or recognition for an achievement. My subconscious betrays my true colors: I really want recognition for my lucid dreaming achievements. Wow, I'm shallow. :blush: ]

      My method of possessing people is as follows: I stand directly behind the red-haired woman, and we clasp hands with our fingers interlaced. Then, I press the trunk of my body into her back, with our shoulders aligned, and push myself forward until our bodies merge. It's a somewhat slow process at first, since the substance of her body offers some resistance to mine, but it works. [I already know how to become intangible to walk through things in dreams; why didn't I think to make use of that ability and adapt it to this purpose? I don't know.] In a few moments, I'm standing in her body and controlling it from the inside. It has an awkward, heavy feeling to it, but it's really cool. When I've made it all the way forward, I notice that I've done an incomplete job; I can still feel our hands clasped together, and my feet are sticking out above hers, because she was taller than me to begin with. “We're supposed to merge them together,” I say. I straighten out my fingers and merge them with hers, and push down with my feet so they're merged properly. Then, I walk forward, one step at a time. It feels heavy and awkward, like I'm wearing several layers of really heavy clothes. I walk out through the door of the classroom into the sunlit walkway. Then, I collapse onto the ground and try to extricate myself from my DC. I only succeed in discarding the pair of jeans the DC was wearing, leaving them lying on the ground.

      I get up, go back into the classroom, and try again to release my DC from possession. This time, it works. The DC steps forward and away from me, and calmly walks back to her seat. The other DCs in the class seem to approve of the successful possession.
      [If my DC now wasn't wearing pants, none of the characters in the dream seemed to take any notice, including the red-haired DC herself. I think she just had a long, dress-like blouse on.]

      I want to practice this newfound skill again, so I look around the classroom. In an aisle seat on my right (the teacher's left), a man with black hair in a ponytail is sitting. That'll be different, I think. [Being in a man's body will be different, I mean.] I look at him, and he gets up and allows me to take possession of him in the same way. This time, it's a little bit easier and goes a little faster. Unfortunately, I woke up shortly after this point.
    15. Bands, Band Concerts, and a Brief Lucid Conversation

      by , 05-14-2012 at 03:32 PM (The Lab Notebook)
      Non-lucid, Lucid, [Commentary made while awake]

      [Note: This was my first time taking melatonin. I took a 3mg pill before I went to bed. I'm on a trip, and my hosts offered it to me to help me get over jet lag. I also tried to concentrate on lucid dreaming more than I had been lately, as I was falling asleep. One or both of those things worked.]

      I'm walking along the right-hand side of a broad, wide street, passing several marching bands as they march past in the opposite direction, one after another.

      I'm in a classroom at a school that looks a lot like my old elementary school. There are a lot of other people my age there. A bunch of us start sitting down in a semicircle with our musical instruments; we're about to play an impromptu band concert. TM
      [a real-life friend and roommate who I only met within the last six months] is one of the people participating in the concert, but it's obvious that she doesn't know how to line up for one correctly. I yell at her: “[TM]! You have to sit so that you're spaced evenly! That's the done thing in music!”

      The band starts playing “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The memory of how to play it comes flooding back into my mind from high school.
      [This is a real memory. It was one of the songs I had to memorize how to play for football games.] I'm surprised and pleased to find that I can still play it. As we're playing, though, the other members of the band lose interest, stop playing, and wander out of the room, leaving me playing my clarinet all alone.

      When I get to a stopping place, I stop playing and leave the room in the company of a female teacher. We walk around the western edge of campus and come to the entrance of another classroom, where we stop and talk to a male teacher. Somewhere around this point,
      I realize that I'm dreaming. [I don't remember the specific moment it happened, but I know I've had at least one other dream featuring this version of my old elementary-school campus before.]

      In the conversation with the male teacher, I ask him how old I am right now: “Am I eleven, the age I was when I started playing the clarinet; fourteen, the age I was when I graduated from junior high school; eighteen, the age I was when I graduated from high school; or twenty-six, the age I am right now in the real world?” I mention the real world specifically to see whether he'll pick up on the implication that the world we're in right now isn't real, and how he'll react.

      “There is no real world involved in this discussion!” the male teacher exclaims.

      I decide not to pursue that topic any further, because it's obvious that I'm not going to be able to convince him that this is a dream.
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