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    task of the month

    task of the month dreams

    1. Rebmevon

      by , 11-16-2012 at 06:26 AM (The Lab Notebook)
      Non-lucid, Lucid, [Commentary made while awake]

      I'm flying through a large, rectangular, exhibit-hall-like space with an entryway connected to one end of it. Every time I make a complete loop through the exhibit hall, out into the entryway, and then back into the exhibit hall again, the scenery and displays in the hall have changed. While I'm flying through the entryway after a couple of iterations of this, I catch on to the fact that I'm dreaming.

      I remember that I need to stabilize and ground myself in the dream, so I will myself to go down. I sink straight down, in an upright position, until I'm standing on the floor. I immediately walk over, reach out, and touch one of the walls, then squat down to touch the carpet. The thought of licking the floor to bring in that sense crosses my mind.
      [I was reading a thread on DV before I went to bed that mentioned engaging all five of your senses in a dream.] I decide not to, but thinking of things you should do in a dream brings to mind the current Task of the Month: spell “November” backwards.

      While still squatting down, I start tracing the shapes of the letters on the carpet with my finger. R...e...b...m...e...v...o...n. I get all the way through it, and feel very proud and pleased with myself. I feel just as alert and self-aware as I do in waking life, but I notice that it's slightly more difficult to keep track of the letters and what order they go in than it would be if I were awake. Then, I suddenly find that I have a ballpoint pen in my hand
      [a plain black Bic pen with a grip, the exact same kind I'd just been using in real life to do my homework for a class]. I take the pen and print “Rebmevon” on the wallpaper on the nearest wall. It's still a little hard to focus on spelling. At first, I write an “e” in place of the last “o,” but then I cross it out and correct it. I write it a second time [I think] because I can, but then I think, Okay, now you're just doing it to be a smartass.

      [There was more, but I only have time to write the part that has to do with the Task of the Month right now.]

      Updated 11-16-2012 at 08:36 PM by 37356 (fixing a color tag)

      lucid , non-lucid , memorable , task of the month
    2. 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! ]
    3. 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.
    4. Long, Fun Lucid with Swimming and a TotM Attempt

      by , 01-22-2012 at 06:46 PM (The Lab Notebook)
      Awake, Non-lucid, Lucid, [Commentary made while awake]

      I'm walking around on the ground floor of a large, three-story shopping mall. The interior is a very bright, airy space, with white walls and a glass ceiling through which the sun shines. While I'm walking along, the realization suddenly hits me: This is a dream! I'm so shocked that the scene around me immediately starts to become less clear, filling up with gray pixels that multiply quickly [they look a lot like static on an analog TV], just like it always does when my dreams start to destabilize. Oh, dammit! I think. I immediately drop to my hands and knees on the tile floor, focusing on touching the floor and on staying focused on the scene around me, and thinking reassuring thoughts to myself: It's okay. It's okay. In 30 seconds or so, the scene is clear and stable again. I get up and start walking again, exploring the place I'm in.

      As I look around me, I look up at the ceiling, three stories above me, to see winter greenery with ornaments on it and big, shiny bells in red, gold, and green lined up in a recessed space just below the edge of the ceiling. “They haven't even taken down all their Christmas decorations yet,” I remark. I find that I've come upon the entrance to a vacant department store, currently being used as a storage space for the Christmas decorations that have been taken down. Among other things, there is a large, haphazard pile of blue and white styrofoam wreaths. There's no gate or other barrier to entry across the entrance to the store, so I spontaneously decide to jump into the pile of wreaths as if they were dry leaves. It's fun! Some of them break, and I just say, “It's my dream world, and I'll destroy the wreaths if I want to.”

      When I get up, I wonder what's on the floor above me, and I decide to explore it. I look to the side and see that there's a side entrance to the department store, and there's a flight of stairs outside that entrance, which I can see through the window. I could take them, but it would be quicker, easier, and cooler to just levitate myself through the ceiling above me, so I decide to do that. I close my eyes and, with an act of will, start rising upward.

      [Note: I don't really remember where in the sequence the following two paragraphs went, but I'm sure I was lucid, so I put them here.]

      Now I'm in a big, industrial-looking building complex with multiple floors, walkways, and sets of stairs running through the vast interior space. It's dark inside; all the walls and floors are black or dark gray, and there aren't very many lights. This area is [somehow] part of the Star Wars galaxy. As I wander around here, I can hear a dialogue between a post-redemption Darth Vader [he's still speaking in the James Earl Jones voice, though] and some other random character. The other character addresses Vader as “Rash,” apparently using it as a first name. Vader, offended by this, replies: “Rash?! I may have acted rashly, but my name is Anakin.” I smile.

      [Somewhere in here,] I meet and interact with another young woman about my age. She leads me on a walk through the area, talking to me. Our walk ends at a spot overlooking a view of a natural, green valley. Then, she says something like, “Instead of waiting around for them to break your heart, like I did, go out and grab hold of what you want.” I wonder if this is my best self giving me advice.

      When I open my eyes again after a scene transition
      [which I'm pretty sure I remember being the levitation one mentioned above, but again, I don't remember in what order the above two scenes happened], I'm standing on the second floor of a building, overlooking a very beautiful view. There is a clear, sparkling swimming pool in front of me, but it's big enough to be a small lake and wraps around three sides of a tall, stucco community clubhouse building with a red tile roof. The pool is in a park, surrounded by green grass and trees. Off to the left is a street, on the other side of which are houses that match the style of the clubhouse. The scene is so beautiful that I exclaim, “Man, I wish I could take pictures!” ...So I could post them on DreamViews to show everyone! is the thought behind that remark.

      I decide to go swimming. The tower I'm in has exterior stairs on the side facing the pool. I start going down the stairs. As I do, I pass a window and look at my reflection in it. I'm pleased to see that I'm already wearing a swimsuit, a fact which I attribute to my decision to go swimming. My face looks completely normal. I try smiling, but my reflection stays the same for a moment, then returns a crooked smile, using only one side of its mouth. 'Cause it's a dream mirror, not a real one, I think. It doesn't work like a real one would.

      I walk to the side of the pool and jump right into the deep water
      [something I don't usually do in real life, because I suck at swimming]. It feels wet. I swim around on the surface of the water much more easily than in real life, enjoying the experience. Several times, I lower my head so that my nose is under the water and enjoy the fact that I can still breathe normally. I want to swim completely underwater and open my eyes, but I don't, because I have the very realistic sensation of having water in my right eye, forcing me to keep it closed.

      Other people are swimming in the pool. We hang out and talk a little. After a while, I get out and keep exploring the park I'm in.

      In another area of the park, there are a series of big pieces of plastic playground equipment, white with pastel accents, with a miniature golf course built around and through them. I start climbing the largest one, using the metal handles and small platforms built into the structure to climb. This climbing route goes up toward the main body of the play structure in an arc, and each foothold is only supported by a single column or bar, so it looks like there's mostly open space below you, and you can see exactly how far you are off the ground. I'm not afraid at all, though, because I know it's a dream and I can't get hurt.

      Just as I reach the main body of the play structure, the memory of the current Task of the Month suddenly hits me: set off fireworks in a crowded place and record how the people there reacted. I recall how other DV members have done it. I slide down the slide that's in front of me, determined to complete the task.

      Not far from the play equipment, some people are beginning to gather at some tables for a picnic. I start trying to obtain a firecracker
      [because that's what several other DV members used]. I reach behind my back and try to make one appear there, but it doesn't work. I try looking around corners in the scene and expecting one to be there, but that doesn't work either. I really suck at summoning things, I think. Then I think of another approach: find an existing object and transform it.

      On the ground, under a tree a few yards from the picnic area, I find the pointy half of a broken-in-half yellow pencil. I pick it up and sandwich it between my two cupped hands, focusing my will on it and willing it to turn into a firecracker. When I open my hands, it has swollen up and gotten round and puffy in the middle.

      All the picnic tables are now full of people, and I see that some of them have their marching band instruments with them, which makes me realize that they're a marching band. I see at least one trombone in the group. I stand a couple of yards back from one of the tables and throw my pencil at the group of people. It hits the center of the table and explodes with a loud crack. No one takes any particular notice
      [at least, not that I can recall]. When I retrieve the pencil, the lead has shot out of the tip and gone limp, like a piece of spaghetti. I decide to continue in my search for a firecracker.

      I end up walking through the halls of a dusty building that resembles my section of the university library where I used to work. I continue trying to summon a firecracker or firework by expecting one to be there when I look around a corner or into a room, but it still doesn't work. In one storage room full of random stuff, I hear a hissing sound that I think is the sound of a firework fuse burning at first, but then I realize it's the sound of the small air blower on a strange, old machine that is running in the middle of the floor. I continue searching this room for a firework,
      but I woke up in the middle of my search.
    5. Flying, Clouds, Dream Control, and Being Mistaken for a Deity

      by , 12-22-2011 at 09:51 PM (The Lab Notebook)
      Non-lucid, Lucid, [Commentary made while awake]

      [Last night, I had a long, vivid, elaborate lucid dream that felt like it lasted between 10 and 20 minutes. This journal entry only reflects the most significant and memorable moments of that dream, which are all I remember now. There were other stretches of experience connecting the moments below that aren’t written down in detail, because I don’t remember them that well. They mostly consisted of me flying around and observing the scenery.]

      I’m at my university, at some sort of outdoor expo, standing in a booth made up of some folding tables and an EZ-UP shade structure. It’s a sunny day. I’m supposed to be there to represent one of the organizations I’m in, and I’m supposed to be wearing that organization’s T-shirt, but I can’t find it. The only T-shirt I can find in our booth is one I got from [a client company that my company has done work for in real life]. The logo on the front of the T-shirt I have is the same shape as the logo of the organization I’m representing (an oval), and the overall T-shirt design is very similar, but the letters in the oval are different, and the T-shirt I actually have says “[the client company's name]” across the back. I change into this T-shirt anyway. I do it while standing behind the open back of some hatchback vehicle, hoping that nobody will see me, because [for some inexplicable reason], I’m not wearing a bra.

      When I find myself looking at a very vivid, colorful cityscape from the viewpoint of flying over it, it only takes me a moment to realize that I’m dreaming. I slow myself down, controlling the speed of my flight, just observing the landscape around me.

      I’m standing on the ground in that city. I look across the street and see the gates of ‘the Asian Disneyland.’ There are solid-colored, blue and pink, cartoony humanoid figures walking around on the other side of the metal gates.
      [They look just like the figures in this cartoon (WARNING: Ads on that page are likely NSFW).] I think, Heck yes, then fly over and enter the “Asian Disneyland.”

      When I get inside, I am on the second story of what looks like an indoor mall, looking down onto the floor of the first story. When I see what’s down there, I realize, Of course, that’s what would be in the Asian Disneyland: casino table games. The entire first floor is full of them. I have absolutely no interest in this at all
      [true in real life, too], so I turn right around and go back out the entrance to the mall. [I am very, very sorry for the stereotype evident in the content of this dream.]

      Once outside again, I go, “Oh, yeah!” when I recall the current Task of the Month: fly up into the sky and find out where all the snow comes from. I start flying up into the sky. There is a puffy cloud there, and I fly toward it, aiming to get on top of it. As I approach it, it turns from white to dark gray. Lightning flashes across it, and it reaches out to threaten me with a pseudopod made of dark-gray cloud. I think, Uh-oh. This dream is going to turn into a nightmare if I don’t take control of it. Just by thinking about it, I make the pseudopod stop threatening me and retreat back into the cloud, the lightning stop, and the cloud turn white again. The threat nullified, I continue flying toward the cloud. It turns dark gray again only a moment later, but I realize that that’s because I know that precipitation only falls from heavy, dark-gray clouds. [When I first read the Task of the Month for this month, my first reaction was, “I’m probably not going to find anything but clouds up there; I’m a little too rational-minded for that.” This dream experience proves that I was right.]

      [Sure enough,] When I get on top of the cloud, there is nothing there – just cloud. I sit down cross-legged on top of the cloud and decide to fly around on it, using it as a mode of transportation, just like Goku does in “Dragonball Z.” While flying on the cloud, I find myself flying down a corridor that turns lots of corners at crazy angles, lined with doors on either side. [I don’t know what it was, but] Something about this situation makes me go, “Of course,” and then start singing: “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine,” etc. I continue singing as I fly through the corridor.

      As I fly around some more, I think excitedly and proudly about how I’ll get to have my username in orange on DreamViews tomorrow or the next day.
      [Although now I don’t think I really deserve it, since I fulfilled the letter of the challenge but not its spirit. I really didn’t find out anything; all I found when I flew into the sky was the source of snow that I already expected to be to be there, namely, a cloud. I am so boring!]

      I need to get out of a building very quickly. [It may or may not have been the mall-like building mentioned earlier. I think it was a different one, though.] The building has a glass wall right next to the entrance. I decide to go out through the glass wall. I run toward it. A second before I reach it, I focus my mind on activating my intangibility, an ability I have used in several dreams before. It works perfectly; I run right through the glass wall without breaking it, just like a ghost.

      I’m in a circular meeting room with several levels of steps leading down to a central circle of floor. There are no chairs. There are a lot of people standing around in the room. I know that they’re all just DCs. They have gathered here to conduct a sort of tribunal to determine whether or not I am a goddess. Some of them have found out about the superhuman abilities I exhibit when I’m in the dream world, and have concluded that I am one, but others disagree. I think, I’m not a goddess. I’m just a human who knows how to lucid dream. I don’t say anything during the meeting, though.
      [I don’t know why not.]

      Side notes:
      Wow. I really feel like I took a step forward in my dream control skills last night.
    6. Encouraging a DC to Sing

      by , 08-11-2011 at 05:14 AM (The Lab Notebook)
      Awake, Non-lucid, Lucid, [Commentary made while awake]

      I’m in a building that is something like a conference center. There is a conference/camp event going on here for students in the $Program program. [Name has been hidden to prevent members of the program from finding this journal.] Most of the people attending the conference are teenagers and young adults. I go from the hallway through a door into one of the conference rooms, where there is a check-in and registration table set up. It’s covered with the papers that belong to that schema: lists of registered attendees, conference schedules and other materials for the conference, and calendars of upcoming events. I check in, then take a look at the calendar and see that there’s an overnight event coming up that includes attending a local high school’s football game. I want to go, but I think it conflicts with something else that I have going on.

      At this conference, each $Program group that is attending has a different nickname or theme; my group is the “villains” group. The check-in table for each group is in a different room. After I've checked in, I walk back out into the hallway and encounter a girl, my age or a little younger, looking for her check-in room. Her name tag reads “Eliza.” I encourage her to join one of the “good” groups
      [by which I mean, any group that isn't villains-themed], because she's new to $Program. I expect that I'll be the only one from my $Program group who participates in the larger group activities offered by the conference, because everyone else in my group is an older adult and most of the other conference attendees are teenagers or young adults. Besides, LN teaches high school for a living; she probably doesn't want to spend her off-hours with teenagers, too.

      I start climbing the stairs to the second floor of the building to get to the conference meeting rooms. There are two flights of stairs that cross in an X in midair, joining together at the point where they cross to form a platform. A third, smaller flight of stairs extends down from this platform to the floor I want to get to. There are others climbing the stairs along with me.

      [I don’t remember the transition, but] I’m outside the building I was just in. I’m on a beautiful college campus. It has trees, grass, and winding, paved paths between the buildings. The ground is not level, but contoured, rolling up and down. In this scene, I realize that I’m dreaming. [I don’t remember why or how; I just did.] I jump/float down one of the inclines, grabbing a handful of grass at the bottom of the incline as I land on another path, which [I think] has a low wall that stands between the path and the incline I've just jumped/floated over. I'm touching it to keep the dream stable by engaging my senses. It feels like real grass and is very soft and supple. I walk down the path I've just landed on, heading toward a small tree, covering ground much more quickly than I would in reality. [Here, I experienced that phenomenon I've read about here on DV where, in order to get somewhere in a dream, you focus on your intention to arrive there and suddenly, there you are, having skipped over the boring part where you traveled there.] When I reach the small tree, I touch it, wrapping my hand around its narrow trunk. It feels rough, like a real tree. I'm just happily enjoying being in a dream.

      A little further along the path, just beyond the small tree, is a large, square, paved area, in front of the entrance to a building. A woman is standing in this area, alone. She’s older and has wispy brown hair, which she wears up in a loose bun. She has lines and wrinkles on her face, and has a patch of shiny, lavender-pink eyeshadow all over the center of her face. She’s wearing a long dress the same color as the eyeshadow.

      I suddenly recall the current Task of the Month
      [which I had just looked up, just before going to bed]. I approach the woman. In the distance, behind me, I can hear all the teenagers and young adults who are attending the conference/camp singing together:

      “Day-oh, day-oh. Da-a-ay-oh, da-a-ay-oh. Daylight come and me wanna go home.”

      I sing along with the young people as they begin the next repetition of this segment of music: “Day-oh.” As I sing, I look right at the older woman, expecting her to sing along, too.

      “Day-oh,” she mumbles softly, looking down shyly at the ground to my left.

      “Da-a-ay-oh,” I sing to her, still looking at her and expecting her to sing along.

      “Da-a-ay-oh,” she mumbles, still looking down. I figure that she simply lacks confidence in her singing voice and encourage her by saying enthusiastically to her, “Come on, you can do it!”

      “Daylight come and me wanna go home,” she sings, now looking up and demonstrating self-confidence. She proves to have a beautiful singing voice.

      Pleased, I continue singing along with the young people, who have been singing the song all this time. The older woman continues singing along as well. “Come, Mr. Tally-Man, tally me banana. Daylight come and me wanna go home.”

      Somewhere in the midst of those two lines,
      the dream faded and I woke up, probably because I was so excited about having completed the Task of the Month for the first time since February.

      Side notes:
      I just looked up what the current Tasks of the Month were last night. I think this knowledge helped motivate me to want to have a lucid dream. I'm thrilled that I completed the basic task the same night! The euphoria from my achievement lasted for several hours into my waking day.
      I'm also excited to have used a new dream control ability for the first time. I'd read that you could control what happened in your dreams, including controlling the actions of DCs, by expecting particular things to happen, but this was the first time I'd ever actually done it.
    7. I Kissed A DC (But I Didn't Really Like It)

      by , 02-07-2011 at 07:04 AM (The Lab Notebook)
      Awake, Non-lucid, Lucid, [Commentary made while awake]

      I'm at a set of buildings that look kind of like an old-fashioned elementary school. I'm there to sign up for offline 'HITs' [Human Intelligence Tasks, small jobs for which I will get paid]. There are various organizations offering HITs to people, such as the Registrar of Voters. To work on each organization's HITs, you have to go to that organization's counter to sign up for them. When I get to one of the counters, I discover that signing up requires you to show an ID card, and I don't have mine with me. I have to go back to my car to get my purse and driver's license. Before I leave the counter, though, I notice a sheet of paper lying on it with P.'s name written on top. That means she's signing up for one of that organization's HITs, too.

      When my next dream begins, a boy from my high school class appears.
      As soon as I see this happen, I lock on to him as the focus of my attention, knowing that the appearance of an image out of darkness like that must mean that a dream is beginning. Then other classmates of ours begin to appear around him, followed by the environment we're all in. We're in what appears to be a restaurant seating area, sitting around long, high tables on chairs designed to match their height. This area is covered and enclosed on three sides, and it's on our high school campus. Every single student sitting in the area is someone I recognize from high school. A female teacher I had and another, male staff member are also in the crowd there, walking around between the tables.

      I get up from my seat and walk out of the seating area, heading out into the main part of the campus. Beautiful morning sunlight illuminates the campus. I take two steps, then take off from the ground and start flying around, staying at about the height of the roof lines of the single-story buildings. Typically for me, flying is the first thing I think of to do when I find myself lucid dreaming. Flying is fun, as always, and feels good. I have good flying control this time, but not perfect control. I don't feel like I'm being pulled or pushed in any direction, but at one point, I start losing altitude, and reach out to touch the top edge of a concrete-block wall with my fingers as I pass by it. It feels exactly like it would in reality, but I get the strange sense that it takes a split second for my brain to generate the simulated sensation, creating a tiny delay between touching the wall and receiving the sensory input. I recover and continue flying along.

      As I pass the edge of one building's roof, I notice a crawlspace that you can't see from the ground. It's formed by the flat, real roof and the pointy, upper edges of the building's decorative facades, which extend above the real roof and slant toward each other, creating an empty space shaped like a long, triangular prism. I try to make a 90-degree left turn and enter this space, but I find I can't; I just start sinking down again. I shrug off this failure, recover, and continue flying across the campus. I reach an area where the long walls of two buildings run parallel to each other, and have crenellated ramparts
      [those square things on the top of the walls of a castle] at the top. As I'm flying along in between these two walls, the dream ends and I wake up.

      I make a post at the beginning of a thread on a message board that turns out to be ridiculously, insanely popular, so that my computer is flooded with e-mail notifications from people posting to the thread at a rate of about one or two per second. [This dream may or may not have been at the beginning of the previous sleep cycle, I don't remember.]

      I'm in a building that consists of a bunch of interconnected rooms that are filled with a colorful, random assortment of furniture and stuff. It kind of looks like a cross between someone's house and an antique store. [I just visited a bunch of antique stores on Friday, February 4.] I know I'm dreaming without any particular clue. I walk through the series of rooms, admiring the details of the dream environment, observing it with close attention. [That has been my lucid-dreaming goal for the last couple of days.] I think, I have to stay here as long as I can.

      I reach a point when the sequence of rooms ends in a short T-intersection of passageways. I come up to the place where the long passageway I had been walking through ends. There is a piece of light-blue yarn hanging down in front of a low wall that stands in front of the back wall of the room. I touch the piece of yarn, running my fingers down it; it feels real. Then, I realize that the low wall it's hanging in front of is a mirror. It's a very speckly, dim mirror, and I can't see my reflection in it very clearly, but I can tell it's a mirror. I think, Hey, in a dream, you can walk through these and get to somewhere else. I straighten up and step forward with the intention of walking through the mirror.

      First my arms, and then my head and part of my upper body go through the surface of the mirror. It is the coolest feeling. Like when I walked through the wall, I feel a slight resistance at first and then it yields to me, but this time, instead of feeling like something thin and hard breaking, it feels like going through a thick, liquid membrane. The membrane stays where it is as I go through it; I can feel it on my skin. There's nothing beyond the surface of the mirror but blackness, though. I realize that I didn't really think about what I expected to be on the other side before I started going through the mirror. Not wanting to go into the unknown, I pull back, out of the mirror.

      I notice another, smaller mirror to my right. Just to continue experimenting with this newly-discovered ability, I start putting my fingers through the surface. Once again, they go right in. I don't really want to try to get anywhere else anymore, though, so I pull them back out. They come away with a silver coating of liquid mercury on them. I shake my hand to get the stuff off my fingers, but I'm aware that liquid mercury can't really hurt me in a dream.

      In the small room off to the right, there is a slightly fat, female DC. I know her from somewhere, and know that her name is Melody.
      [Which is strange, because I've known several people named Melody and this DC didn't look like any of them.] We talk briefly [I don't remember about what], and then I turn away to explore the other side of the T-intersection, the small room off to the left of the big mirror. As I'm going into that room, I go, “Oh, yeah.” I remember the basic Task of the Month. I turn back around and say, “Melody. Melody!” She starts approaching me, and I approach her. When I get close enough, I put my arms behind her head and shoulders and lean in to kiss her. She realizes what I'm trying to do and pulls away with a look of revulsion. I say, “Just on the cheek. Please?” She stops pulling away and just stands there and lets me kiss her. I give her a kiss on the closest, most convenient spot I can reach, which is on the forehead, just above her right eye. Then I let her go, and she leaves. I look back at the big mirror and consider trying to get to Neopia by going through it, but I decide not to because I don't trust my dream control abilities that far. I've never done that before, and I'm afraid of it going wrong.

      False awakening in my current, real room. I hear a sound that I recognize as the sound of fish splashing in a fishtank. I also hear P. moving around in her bed, which is on the other side of the room, parallel to mine. I don't open my eyes to look, but I do say aloud, “No! P. can't be here, and neither can her fish!”

      “Yes, I can!” says P.

      “When did you get home?” I ask her.



      When I woke up for real, I found this FA rather amusing. Also, I was surprised that I'd had a dream that consisted entirely of sounds, with no visuals at all.
    8. In which I succeed at changing the environment and fail at other dream powers.

      by , 01-05-2011 at 07:50 AM (The Lab Notebook)
      Non-lucid, 'Video-game-controller mode' [see side notes], Lucid, [Commentary made while awake]

      My dad and I are on a bicycle ride together. I've just checked out a thick paperback book from the library, and it's in the rack on the back of my bicycle.

      I'm outside a movie theater in Florida, with my mom. Directly across from the entrance to the theater is a small kiosk where you can get drinks in plastic cups. She and I get some drinks from it for the whole family.

      False awakening in my current real room. I hear the sounds of people shouting something about a surfer dude, and decide to follow the shouting out to the creek, but decide not to wake my parents. As I'm walking out of the house, I see that there's a bunch of writing in thick, black letters on the back wall of the dining room, as well as several papers with more writing on them taped to that wall.

      I'm entering an upstairs apartment. My uncle is there.

      I'm walking past a junior high school. I see a large group of kids in PE uniforms setting off on a run around the perimeter of the school.

      I continue walking, and my route takes me along the street in my old neighborhood that goes around the edge of the park. I'm going in the direction of House #2. I turn around and see a tiny, cartoon kid with a BB gun standing behind me on the sidewalk. I'm a little worried that he's going to shoot me with the BB gun, but in the end, I ignore him and continue walking.

      I reach House #2. In the garage, floating vertically in midair, is a menu of choices, like on a DVD. They say something like 'imaginary ideal' and 'reality'
      [I think; I don't really remember.] I select the former first, and find myself standing in my bedroom at House #2. The room is arranged the way it was in reality, but everything in it is completely white. [I really wouldn't call that design choice 'ideal.' However, when I lived there in reality, almost everything in that room really was white, and I was pretty happy living there.] I return to the menu, and this time, I select 'reality.' After making this selection, I find myself back in the same bedroom. It's still arranged the way it was in reality, only now the bed has a green bedspread with flowers, kind of like the one I have right now in reality [which I bought when we moved to House #3], except that the pattern is bigger and bolder.

      I look out the window of my room and see a wide view of rolling grassland, with a lot of people walking around all over the place. There's only sunlight shining on one small, roughly circular section of the scene, though; the rest is in shadow. I speak aloud to the scene, saying something to the effect of, “It should be sunny all over the whole scene!” The sunlight spreads to cover the whole scene.

      The scene shifts without my noticing it. The window of my room is now a doorway that opens onto a scene of an arctic landscape, with a wide, shallow pool of water in it.
      [An aside: After all those times I complained last month about the lack of snow in my dreamworld, I finally had a dream with snow in it, and not only did I completely fail to remember that I was supposed to make a snowball and hit somebody with it, but that Task of the Month is over now, anyway! Argh.] I walk out into the scene. From the far side of the pool, I step into the water, trying to walk on it, but I quickly give up the attempt because I get scared away by an orca and a walrus approaching me through the water. I walk back out. I then get the impression that they weren't really threatening me, after all. I go back toward the house. My mom is standing outside the doorway, and I tell her she can watch me do this if she wants to. I start walking back toward the pool of water again, concentrating on continuing to walk forward, straight into the pool, while believing that the surface of it will be just as solid to me as the ground is. It doesn't work; I end up standing ankle-deep in the shallow water again. [That's all I remember.]

      Side notes:
      I'm really not sure for how much of the above sequence of events I was actually asleep and dreaming, and for how much of it I was awake and actively using my regular old imagination. I felt like I was doing the latter for at least part of it, hence the green text, which I always use to indicate a sort of half-awake, half-dream state where I know that I'm using my imagination like a video-game controller to control what happens. The division between green and purple text (indicating a lucid dream) is mostly an arbitrary guess. Then again, I was definitely aware that I was dreaming by the end, so it's entirely possible that I really was dreaming the entire time, and that's what dream control feels like. If so, that's really cool! I really advanced a lot in the area of dream control last night. I will have to experiment with this further.

      I'm mildly annoyed, but not at all surprised, to discover that verbal commands work really well to control my dreams. As much as I love Inception and would love to be able to alter the dreamscape just by thinking about what I want to happen, that idea is relatively new to me. I've been a Star Trek fan for years, so it's not surprising that the older and better-entrenched idea that one can change one's surrounding environment by giving verbal commands, like they do when using the holodeck on Star Trek: TNG and later series, would take precedence over the newer idea that one can change one's surrounding environment just by thinking about it. Now that I know what works for me, though, I guess I'll go along with it.
    9. I'm Failing to Dream of a White Christmas

      by , 12-12-2010 at 08:26 AM (The Lab Notebook)
      Awake, Non-lucid, Lucid, [Commentary made while awake]

      [Another really long entry, but it's a really good one this time. Sorry for taking up so much page space again.]

      I'm on the playground of my elementary school. It's dusk, and there are lots and lots of kids and teenagers on the playground, some playing games, others just milling around. I see one group of kids playing something that they call tackle football; it involves one person on the team holding a bowl of green beans and others holding and occasionally eating spoonfuls of the green beans, while the entire team moves around the field. Curious about the game they're playing, I approach the group.

      “Are those green beans?” I ask.

      “Yes,” someone in the group says.

      The group spreads out a little, and I see that two of the people in it are P. and Thomas
      [, who first appeared in my dream dated December 7]. The instant I see him, I know for sure that I'm dreaming. “Thomas?” I say, looking at him. He acknowledges me. I'm pleasantly surprised to see him again, and amazed at how completely real all the people around me look. Throughout the rest of this dream, I make a special effort to pay attention to the environment around me, including paying attention to the physical sensations of touching things whenever I can. I'm aware that if I don't, they'll stop existing and fade away.

      I start wandering through the playground, heading back toward the school buildings. P. and Thomas are following me. It's now fully dark, but the playground is still crowded. I end up on the sidewalk of the street that runs along the south side of the school and passes the kindergarten before the dreamscape shifts on me.

      I don't notice the shift itself, but I find myself walking through the streets of a charming, slightly old-fashioned downtown with square, orderly blocks. There's no one else around. I stop and turn around, attempting to summon P. and/or Thomas by expecting them to be there. It doesn't work; I'm all alone. I shrug and continue exploring. As I had in the previous scene, I continue to notice and marvel at how vivid, detailed, and realistic the environment around me is. Everything looks and feels exactly like reality, yet I know perfectly well that I'm dreaming. I can even feel the asphalt and pavement under my feet.
      [It didn't occur to me until I had woken up and was lying there, recalling my dream, that I must have looked pretty funny wandering around in public places with no shoes on. ] I remember one of my lucid goals and attempt to walk through a wall into one of the shops. I try it twice, but it doesn't work either time; I'm not surprised at all to discover that the wall is just as solid and “real” as everything else in this dream world. As I continue walking, I think, Wow, this dream is really stable and seems to be going on for a long time. What should I do here? Oh, yeah – the Task of the Month is to hit a DC with a snowball. I'll have to go find a snowball. But there is no snow in this setting, and the weather is clear and bright.

      I pass a small shop front on a street corner, with a red brick facade and a walk-up window where you can buy things. I recognize the woman inside as Lisa D., a real-life friend. I stop and talk to her. I say, “Lisa, do you happen to know where I might find a snowball?” She invites me to come into the shop through the door on the side. I stand just outside the door.
      [I don't know why; recall is a little vague here.] The small shop is actually a short truck, which is backed up to the brick facade with the window in it with its back cargo door open, forming the interior space. Lisa starts up the truck and starts driving it away from the facade and along the street. I walk quickly along with it for a little way, holding on to the frame of the open, narrow door on the side and keeping pace with it. Then I step up into the truck through the doorway and ride in it. I say aloud, “I could float along with the truck, but when the truck is moving, why make the effort?” I vaguely remember another person being in the doorway with me, but if so, I don't know who it was.

      I ride inside the truck as it drives up into the mountains. While sitting in the truck, I hold onto the handle of a plastic bucket, feeling the sensation to ensure the dream remains stable. The truck takes me to a town on a mountaintop. I'm on or near a different, fenced-in school playground
      [I think; again, my recall isn't very good here.] I can see buildings on the tops of nearby hills, and I think I catch a glimpse of a patch of snow on a distant hilltop, but I'm not sure.

      [I think] The scene shifts again, and I'm walking around on the campus of a community college. [Day residue; I walked back and forth across my real community college campus several times yesterday.] There's no one else around. This community college campus has slightly more traditional-looking architecture than my real one does, has a different layout, and there are more plants around and they're more mature, making the campus greener than my real one. This is a pretty campus, I think. I'm still admiring how vivid and "real" my surroundings are as I explore them, and I'm still looking for snow, but not finding any.

      [Dreamskip? Another scene shift? I'm not sure, but the next thing I remember is that] I'm walking through the interior of a large, recreational building. I'm in a spacious, high-ceilinged indoor space with two swimming pools in it, a large, deep one and a smaller, shallower one, at right angles to each other. There are people in this room, many of them kids, walking around, swimming, and getting into and out of the pools. In one corner of the room is the entrance to a child-care room, which is full of brightly pastel-colored play equipment with little kids playing on it. It's separated from the room with the pools by glass walls. One of the glass walls has sticky gel letters on the inside of it, so that they look backward from outside the room. I can still read them backward, though. When I first look at them, I read them as “Children Sno” and think, Yay, snow! Then I approach the room for a closer look and realize that I've misread them; they say “Children Glo.” I leave the room, walking on the path between the narrow end of the larger pool and the longer side of the smaller pool. As I walk, I complain aloud: “There's no snow here! I mean, I know I've lived in Southern California all my life, but come on! Can't I have some imagination?” [I was complaining about the fact that, even though I wanted to complete the Task of the Month, my mind wasn't creating any snow in my dream world. The explanation I came up with for this observation was that I've never spent a winter in an area where it snows, so my mind can't re-create snow very easily, because I've only experienced it in real life a couple of times, so I don't know what it's like very well.]

      Outside the recreational building, there's a courtyard or patio where a large group of people are having a celebration or reception. I walk among them without speaking to anyone. No one takes any notice of me. There are folding tables with paper tablecloths and lots of food set out on them, including oatmeal cookies. [I wish I'd thought to try one! This was the first time I've had the chance to try dream food while lucid, and I missed it! Dang!] Still in search of a snowball to throw, I decide to try summoning one by reaching under a small table of food next to a wall, without looking, and expecting a snowball to be there. It doesn't work. When I look, the only thing under the table is a small, open-topped cardboard box with some kind of party supplies in it, like paper napkins. [I note that in my attempts to summon people or things in this dream, I did not have the same quiet assurance and confidence that it would work as I had at those times in the past when I successfully summoned an object. I wasn't truly focusing on it or believing in it this time, which, I think, is why it didn't work.]

      I get up from looking under the table and look around at the people celebrating. I sense that the dream is about to end. I close my eyes, hoping to use that method of teleporting to get to another environment. I just end up looking at the inside of my real eyelids.

      Side notes:

      This dream came at the end of a very bad, emotionally draining day and a late night. I was too tired to really try to induce a lucid dream. All I did was get up for a minute or two and go back to bed right before I had this dream, do a minimal amount of affirmations (maybe one or two), and wear my cardboard-square wristband on the inside of my right wrist, which I hadn't worn at all in a while. It may have been one of these things that caused such a long, vivid lucid dream, or maybe it was just the fact that I'd had a bad day and wanted to escape from it all (even though I consciously told myself before bed that that was stupid). I sure did feel a lot happier and better after waking up from my dream, though.

      After waking up, I realized two things about this dream:
      A) Expecting to be able to summon a snowball was stupid because, unlike the seed pod that I successfully summoned before (see entry dated October 26, 2010), a snowball doesn't naturally exist as a discrete object. You have to make a snowball yourself.
      B) I was surrounded by DCs several times. I could have talked to my subconscious and asked for the answers to the questions from my exam that I missed because I had studied those subjects months ago, forgotten about them, and failed to review before the exam. (I'm not saying for sure that it would have worked, but it would have been fun to try. I'm curious to know if it can work.) I actually thought about doing that before I went to bed, but I didn't even think of it while I was dreaming. The only thing it occurred to me to do was to hit a DC with a snowball. Silly me! I will have to add “ask a DC about stuff I should know, but have forgotten” to my list of goals.

      One final note: Wow. I now have a recurring, original, named dream character who is neither a pre-existing fictional character nor anyone I know in real life, and seeing him made me go lucid because I remembered meeting him in a previous dream, and here he was again, so I had to be dreaming. That's pretty neat. I can't say for sure that that officially makes him my dream guide, though, at least not just yet. It didn't occur to me to ask him if he was one. If I see him again, I'll try to remember to do that.
    10. My Longest Dream Journal Entry EVER.

      by , 11-05-2010 at 10:28 PM (The Lab Notebook)
      Awake, Non-lucid, Lucid, [Commentary made while awake]

      [I apologize in advance for how much of the page this entry takes up. It was my longest lucid dream to date, though, and I wanted to make the best record of it I could.]

      I'm at my old high school, outside the entrance to my mom's old classroom. The open-air entrance on one side of the classroom and the semi-enclosed atrium on the other side are reversed from the sides they're on in real life. I'm listening to an old woman [Betty J.? Aunt Edie? I'm not sure] talk about life. I also remember reading some text about how in the old days, we just lived together with love and respect for one another as a matter of course, without any need for external forces like social programs to manipulate or engineer good feelings between people. [Yep. That sounds like my mind, all right.]

      I'm playing PackRat. [Again. I am so sick of dreaming about PackRat, and I know perfectly well that the only way to stop dreaming about it is to stop playing it. That'll happen at the end of this year, I hope.] I discover that the reason an old collection cannot be completed is that they created all the cards, with artwork and everything, but never actually made them available to players.

      I'm looking through a rack of envelopes of photo prints, organized by the subject of the photos.

      I'm reading a novel on a shiny, black electronic reader. The last page of one chapter has a small illustration of a rolling, bouncing boulder on it
      [this illustration is from a particular PackRat card]. The electronic reader has small, rectangular “previous page” and “next page” buttons in the lower right corner. It also has readouts in the lower left corner of the screen that show remaining battery life and how many inches from your eyes the screen is. It says that a distance of at least 9 inches is recommended. I see my reflection in its surface and am surprised to discover that I'm wearing glasses. [I don't wear them in real life, but I might have to, someday.]

      I go to say good night to my dad. He shows me that he's discovered a way to screw this cylindrical part onto his guitar so that it still has its protective plastic cover.

      WBTB at 3:58 A.M. I stayed up for 10-15 minutes, taking notes on the dreams I recalled so far. Then I listened to the second half of my binaural beats file and continued doing affirmations, this time including remembering to stabilize my dream as one of them. I then spent about 45 minutes being kept awake by my coughing and sneezing, but eventually, I managed to get back to sleep. I think I even experienced sleep paralysis for the first time ever; I remember a moment when it felt like my body was vibrating or shaking really fast.

      When I find myself in House #1, I immediately know I'm dreaming. [Since I was lucid from the very beginning and can remember a little bit of the sleep paralysis, I think I may have just performed a successful WILD, even though I didn't originally intend to.] This time, I succeed in remembering to stop and take in the scene before doing anything else, in order to stabilize the dream. Once again, I gaze around in awe of the fact that my mind can create such a detailed and realistic environment. Everything looks real, even though I know it's not. I walk around the house a bit, and when I get to the sinks in the bathroom and kitchen, I look at the faucets and quietly expect them to turn on, and they do, without my touching them. [I think that's pretty cool.]

      I go out into the study, which looks pretty much just as it did in reality, except that the space inside it is entirely filled with spiderwebs. I turn back and go back into the house, with spiderwebs sticking all over me. When I come back in, I accidentally let a spider into the house, too. It has a big, nearly spherical body with stripes in two different shades of gray. I squash it while it's walking along the wall in the master bedroom. Then I discover another, even bigger, red spider/crab thing on the carpet, and squash that one, too, saying something about how sorry I am for making a stain on the carpet. [The carpet I squashed the spider into was light brown and semi-shaggy. House #1 never had carpet like that; that's the kind of carpet we have in House #3. I didn't notice this until after I woke up, at which point I found it highly amusing that the details of the carpet had been off in one of my dreams and I hadn't noticed. ]

      My mom is there in the house. [I don't really remember the specifics of this part, but] I lie down on the bed in the master bedroom and get under the covers so that my parents won't see that I'm quivering and shaking in the throes of SP. [I don't even know.]

      I decide I want to leave the house and go explore other parts of this dream world, but I feel obliged to take leave of my parents first and tell them where I'm going, but I want to keep it a secret from them that I'm dreaming. I say to myself, “If I told them I was going to school, would they believe me? Given the setting, they might.” As I say this, what I have in mind is that I'm going to pretend to be setting out on foot for my junior high school. [Funny; that was the only school I ever took the school bus to. I did walk from my house to the bus stop, though.]

      I walk through the side yard toward the front gate. I find my parents in the corner of the yard, where the wall with said gate in it meets the wall of the neighbors' house, doing some kind of yard work. I say, “I'm going to school. Bye, Mom!”

      “Bye, (Emiko)!” says my mom, and it sounds exactly the same as it always does when my real mom says it.
      [Obviously, an unaltered memory.] “Have a good day!”

      “You, too!” I say, or something like it. I walk out through the front gate and down toward the street. The neighborhood seems more spacious and spread-out than it is in reality. Now that no one is looking, I begin flying, taking off from the middle of the street and traveling parallel to it and upward from it at an angle, like an airplane taking off.

      As I fly higher into the air, the dream and my dream consciousness start to fade away.
      Now, having read the DEILD tutorial, I had some idea of what to do. I lay absolutely still in my bed and concentrated intently on the dream I had just been having, willing myself to start dreaming again. It worked. [First successful DEILD, too! I was really on a roll last night!]

      I end up in a group of interconnected, upstairs rooms in a building somewhere. I seem to have flown there. The rooms are white, and there are chairs, upholstered stools, and bookshelves in them. From reading a plaque on a wall near a doorway, I learn that these rooms are reading rooms dedicated to a strange alternate take on Christianity, centered around an alternate set of gospels written by different people. [I didn't recognize it as any sect that exists in real life.] One of the rooms has an analog clock on the wall. It doesn't have numbers, just a circle and two hands, all made of the same rough, gray metal. Even though I already know I'm dreaming, I deliberately look at the clock, glance away, and then look at it again to see if the hands have jumped. The first time I try this, they seem to be in pretty much the same position they were in, so I try again. The second time, they've jumped to a totally different position. I am pleased with myself; again, I was expecting that to happen, so it did.

      I leave these rooms and start walking down a flight of stairs. The dream starts to fade again, but again, I manage to stay in it through sheer willpower.

      The stairs end in a wide hallway. There is a set of double doors to the right, leading into a room. Judging by the decorations and items outside these doors and inside the room, it looks like there's a wedding going on. Am I the bride? I wonder, but when I enter the large, rectangular room and see the retail-style displays of clothing and stuff, I think, Oh, good. Just a fair, then. I see a real-life friend
      [I forget who] to my right, who says to me, “Cute dress, (Emiko)!”

      “Thank you!” I answer, even though I think this is an odd thing to say, because all I'm wearing is a damp, clammy black blanket wrapped around me. It feels like it's made of swimsuit material. I continue further into the room, turning to my left and walking that way. I look down and to the left, between two racks of clothing, and see another real-life friend, Eleanor B. She's wearing a royal-blue bridesmaid dress
      [the one she was wearing the last time I saw her in real life, which was at the wedding of some mutual friends]. I call her name twice to get her attention. She looks up, sees me, and stands up to talk to me. I come over and talk to her. When I take a closer look at the clothes hanging on the rack we're standing next to, I say something like, “And are these the new Christmas sweatshirts from Target? Cute! I want!” The sweatshirts are white and have patterns on them of snowflakes made up of narrow lines, either in shades of pink or shades of teal. They also have hems and seams in those colors. I take one pink one and one teal one off the rack and carry them with me. They feel soft.

      I leave that room and find myself outside. In the distance, I can see big mountains with snow on top of them. I continue exploring and somehow
      [I don't remember the exact route I took] make it into an old Japanese temple (or residence, or something). It has a very old, very traditional room with tatami mats on the floor. I pry off each of my sneakers in turn, using the toe of the other foot (suddenly, I'm wearing sneakers, I think). [Yes, I actually thought that while in the dream. Now that I think of it, I think I was suddenly wearing regular clothes, too.] Leaving my sneakers (the exact same ones I have in real life, I note) out in the passageways, I enter the room with the tatami mats and walk around in it. I can feel the mats and my socks under my feet. I say aloud to myself, “Wait – we're allowed to walk around in here? Oh – of course we are; that's what I was expecting.” Yet again, something is so because I expected it to be so. [In all my real-life experience visiting historical tourist sites in Japan, we were never allowed to actually enter the rooms with the tatami; we were only allowed to look into them from the outside. I always wanted to walk around inside them, though, so now, in a dream, I got my wish. Cool.]

      Outside of this room are some passageways that are all painted a dusty shade of teal, and have wooden signs hanging in them. I walk around in here for a few minutes. One of the signs says “Telephone,” and indeed, there is a pay telephone on the wall in a wooden box. It looks like an old tourist facility.

      One of the doorways within these passageways leads into a spacious, modern restaurant that I recognize as the one inside the onsen
      [hot spring] that I visited while I was living in Japan. There are a few people sitting at tables here and there. I walk through the restaurant, looking for one of my real-life friends [I don't remember which one now]. I don't find her there, so I decide to head for the restaurant's exit and go somewhere else.

      The way to the exit is through a long passageway with a wall on the right side and an upholstered bench on the left side where guests can sit and wait for tables, which separates the passageway from the rest of the restaurant. There are two people sitting on the bench. As I approach the door, I think, What shall I do next? Task of the Month – cell phone – oh, yeah! For a split second I think of getting out my cell phone to text somebody, but then I remember the new Task of the Month for November. I turn to one of the two DCs sitting on the bench, the one sitting nearest the door, who happens to be a black, pregnant woman. “Hey, can I tell you what I'm thankful for?” I say to her.

      “Okay.” She straightens, sitting forward on the edge of the bench, listening to me.

      “I'm thankful for my family, and
      [something else I can't remember now], and my computer, and for being able to come here!” I say. [Meaning, to the dream world.] Unfortunately, the dream starts to fade again just as I'm finishing my sentence.

      FA in which, instead of being me, I'm Cobb. Mal is there when I wake up, the real one.
      [They're characters from Inception.] We talk about something, probably the dream I just had. [I don't remember now exactly what it was we talked about, but dude. That was a really weird FA.]

      FA in which I count my fingers while they're spread out against the legs of my jeans. When I find I have a sixth finger on my left hand, my reaction is, “Oh, damn. Gosh-darn it!” Apparently, I really want to actually be awake. But I'm still feeling sleepy, so I lie down, sprawling over the sides of the white, wooden bench I'm sitting on.

      When I woke up for real, I just lay there for several minutes because my body still felt heavy. I recalled my dream and was pretty impressed.


      Side notes:

      That was the longest lucid dream I've ever had. I'm also very impressed and pleased with the number of times I succeeded in controlling what happened just by expecting something to happen. I really got the hang of that skill last night. Finally, I'm amazed that I managed to stay lucid for that long, and to force myself to keep dreaming so many times when the dream threatened to end. Wow!
    11. The Library, the Beach, and the End of the Flooded World

      by , 10-18-2010 at 09:32 PM (The Lab Notebook)
      Awake, Non-lucid, Lucid, [Commentary made while writing journal entry]

      [Fragment] I'm at junior high school, going to class and learning what my class schedule will be.

      The next dream starts out like a documentary about Canada. In the dream, I remember that I visited a city in Canada once, and my strongest impression upon arriving there was, “Wow, I'm in a foreign country!”
      [I've never actually been to Canada. These are most likely straight-up false memories, but I also got the feeling when taking notes during my WBTB that they might possibly have been memories of a previous dream that I'd otherwise forgotten about. Weird.] According to the documentary, Canada has a “Mexico City,” a concentrated population center of Mexican immigrants.

      The dream then shifts from a documentary to an episode of “The Red Panda Adventures” that involves all of Canada being hypnotized/brainwashed into hating a man with the last name of Campbell. I remember a long text document
      [don't ask me why a dream about an episode of an audio series generates a dream image of a text document] that goes on and on about what a despicable person Campbell is. At one point in the text document, there is a warped and twisted version of the Canadian equivalent of the Pledge of Allegiance that also mentions his name and says something bad about him. [I was curious, so I looked it up, and it turns out that there is no Canadian equivalent of the Pledge of Allegiance. My mind just made one up. Cool.]

      Woke up at 4:00 A.M. at the end of a sleep cycle and needed the restroom, so I used it, then took a few notes on my dreams so far, then went back to sleep.

      I'm in a really big library with white walls and lots of light wood. The word “dream” crosses my mind somehow. [I don't remember whether someone said it, or I saw it on a sign, or I was just thinking about it; I think it was probably the latter.] However it happens, it makes me realize, “Hey, I'm dreaming! I did it!”

      I decide to try doing a scene transition.
      [I don't remember how I did it, but] I find myself sitting in front of a computer monitor, which is displaying a command prompt against a black screen. The program that's running is a text adventure based on the novel Watership Down. I can't do anything right in it – I try entering a couple of commands, but none of them make any progress. Even the inventory command yields a response that goes something like, “You can't have an inventory with only one!” It means that you have to have more than one rabbit in your party before you can check your inventory. I quickly discover that the program is tied to the computer's clock, and that if a certain number of seconds pass without the player making any progress, the program just gives you a Game Over saying something about how you just got eaten (you, the rabbit, in the game, that is). After I get this Game Over, I think: “I don't have to sit here and play this text adventure just because I ended up here. If I want to, I can get up from this computer and go explore the building.” So I do.

      I'm still in the library, because that's where that computer is. It's near a second-story interior passageway that's open and more like a balcony, overlooking the ground floor of the library. I follow the passageway over to where it ends in a flight of stairs going down, then descend the stairs, holding on to the handrails the entire way to keep myself focused on and grounded in the dream, and to make sure it remains stable. It works. The whole time, I'm marveling at how the sensations of walking, descending stairs, and holding the handrails are exactly like they would be in reality. The stairs have handrails running up the middle of the steps, but they aren't parallel to the ones running up the sides of the stairs; they're at an angle, so I have to go through a narrow space between two handrails on the last few steps of the staircase. I say, “Why did I have to design these stairs this way?”

      I exit the building, and am outside on a dream version of my college campus. It's sunny and beautiful, and all the buildings are big and white and slightly old-fashioned
      [in real life, most of them are various shades of brown, tan, or orange, and none of them date back further than the 1940s]. Also, the St. Louis Arch and another, light-brown arch with some words on it in black, marking the entrance to some area, are there. [I can't remember what the words said now, but there were two of them, they were the name of the area, and they both started with S.] I go, “Ahhh, it's so good to be here.”

      I notice that the beach, with its light-colored, soft sand, is down at the bottom of the cliff. I decide to try something. I think to myself, “When I close my eyes and turn around, I'm going to be standing on that beach down there.” I close my eyes, turn around in a circle (not too fast), and then open them again. I'm now on the beach, not quite at the exact spot I had been shooting for, but pretty close. “It worked!” I say aloud.

      I stand on the beach for a moment, but the waves suddenly start coming up really close to the cliff, so there's not enough dry sand left to stand on. I decide to spin around again to go somewhere else, but this time, I'm thinking, “Just take me wherever.”

      [In retrospect, that wasn't a very good idea.] I end up on the porch of an old, slightly spooky-looking house made of wooden boards, that seems to be floating on the ocean. It's not abandoned, though – there is a couple living in it. Also, I now have a friend with me – no one I know in real life, just a random, unnamed female dream character.

      I look out from the porch to the east at the surrounding landscape and see a world that is ending. The sky is filled with thick, solid black clouds, with streaks of bright red and orange here and there because the sun is rising behind them. The entire landscape is flooded, and a jumble of disconnected buildings stick out of the water here and there. Some of them are on fire, some are falling apart, and one is being ruled over by some sort of dictator, whose enormous figure I can see looming over the building and gesturing with his arms in a way that means “work, you miserable peons!”

      The couple who live in the house we're at start talking to me and my friend. They say that we have to get back to safety by sailing back the way we came. I think, “But we didn't sail here! We teleported!” I don't say so, though.
      [I don't know why not. Either I didn't get a chance to say anything, or I didn't want her to know about my newfound teleportation abilities, I'm not sure.]

      [From this point forward, my recall is a little less clear in that I remember all the scenes, but none of the transitions or connections between them.]

      The next thing I remember is facing away from the house toward the west, where there is a sort of path leading away from the house, but it's made up of a bunch of vines (or tree roots?). I try to get to the other end of the path by spinning around and closing my eyes again, but this time it doesn't work at all. I say, “Okay, if we can't do that, we'll just get there the hard way,” and start climbing over the vines.

      Somehow, I end up on the deck of a ship, and there are waves coming up onto the deck I'm on, over and through the metal railing to my left. One of them doesn't look very big (it's about the same height as the railing), but it breaks right on the deck I'm on, tilting the ship over but not capsizing it.

      The next thing I know, my friend and I are being escorted through the flooded landscape in a boat. There is a tank-like, armored boat with lots of guns in front of our boat, and another one behind ours. I take it they're there for our protection, but I quickly figure out that they're mostly just there for intimidation, and they're not even doing a very good job of that. There are lots of dangerous things trying to attack us, including exploding police cars, but we and our boat are passing through all of them as if they were air. What's really protecting us is a magic spell, one which, I know in the dream, comes from the Incarnations of Immortality universe.

      I'm on foot, indoors, running away from something. I run into what appears to be a bathroom. I wonder if the protection spell is still holding now that I'm off the boat.

      [I'm not entirely sure whether these last two scenes were in this order, or the reverse order:]

      I'm a student sitting in a classroom, on the first day of school. All the other student seats are full of preteen or teenage Japanese girls, but the teacher is white. She explains that all we'll do in her class is make these little hat/hair accessory things out of tissue paper, which must be very trendy, because many of the girls are wearing them in their hair.

      I'm standing on some rocks in the ocean, near the beach. I'm still lucid, so I think, “Okay! Text-messaging! Task of the month!” I go to take my phone out of my pocket, but then think, “No, better not do that here – I don't want to get my phone wet.”

      Woke up and was delighted to have had another lucid dream. While thinking back over it, I laughed out loud at that last part – I was concerned about my phone getting wet? It wasn't even my real phone! :-D Then again, I realized that that makes sense: my dream cell phone would have been just as damaged by dream water as my real one would be by real water. After all, that's what I expect will happen when cell phones get wet.



      Last night, I listened to about half of my binaural beats file at the beginning of the night, did a five-minute WBTB, did a lot of MILD affirmation and visualization both when I first went to bed and when I was going back to sleep after the WBTB, and had a new cardboard-square bracelet, one made with a smaller square of thicker cardboard than my first one, on my wrist the entire time. Something helped me have a really good, long lucid dream. I don't know what. How very unscientific of me, I know. I'm sorry, everybody.

      On a more positive note, I'm getting a little better at this! I had more lucidity than ever before this time, and I thought about and actively tried out some dream control techniques while in the dream. I've moved out of the “what is this new world?!” phase now, and into a phase that can be characterized by these thoughts: “Okay, I get the idea of what lucid dreams are, but how do I shot web?” That is, I'm just starting to learn to use those dream control abilities. It was one thing to read about the spinning scene-change/teleportation ability, but as with most skills, now that I've done it for myself, I truly understand what it's like. Note to self, though: I should never spin around to transition to a new scene without first deciding what the new scene should be, because if I let it be random, I may not like what I get.

      Updated 10-18-2010 at 09:34 PM by 37356 (oops, forgot to make two links)

      lucid , non-lucid , nightmare , dream fragment , side notes , task of the month
    12. False awakenings make me mad.

      by , 10-06-2010 at 07:01 PM (The Lab Notebook)
      Awake, Non-lucid dream, [Commentary on dreams made after the fact, while writing this journal entry]

      I hear the text message chime on my phone go off, so I get up and check it, saying to myself, “I'd better check that. There are only a couple of people who would text me in the middle of the night (P. and Ashley R.), and they're both important to me.” But when I check it, there's no indication of a new text message, and the screen looks completely normal. [I think. Was only the Vibrate icon showing, or was the Alarm icon showing, too? I'm not sure.] It says that it's 4:38 A.M., which seems right, so I conclude that I've just unwittingly dreamed myself up an unplanned WBTB alarm, but have reacted to it in reality. “Great, that should help,” I think. I move the phone over from the sewing cabinet to the dresser and go back to bed. [I'm an idiot! If I had just thought to look back at the time display on the phone one more time, I might have realized that I hadn't actually woken up at all, but I didn't. As it stands now, I'm pretty sure I just dreamed this entire sequence of events, but not positive, which is frankly rather disturbing.] [And I just remembered while writing this that as I was first trying to go to sleep last night, one of the things I was thinking about was the fact that the current Task of the Month is to have an in-dream text or IM conversation. That must have triggered the in-dream text message chime. LOL!]

      Later, my phone alarm wakes me up again. It's set up so that the alarm sound is a recording I made of myself narrating a dream journal entry that talks about some embarrassing topics. Still lying on my bottom bunk, I grab the phone off the floor and muffle it between my body and the mattress so my parents won't hear it. Too late; they've already heard the beginning of it. They come into the room and ask me if I'm all right, and I explain that yes, I am, and I have my phone alarm set up to play back a recorded dream journal entry that I made on my trip to Europe back in September. (It was another of those tours with Pam S., by the way.) So I get up and go into the kitchen to have breakfast. [All this happened in the house I grew up in, by the way. It was exactly the way I remember it. I completely failed to clue in. As far as I could tell while I was in the dream, this was reality, and I was supposed to be there. I conclude that it's true, at least for me, that when dreaming about real places from memory, it is easy to be unaware that you're dreaming. I fail. To be fair, though, it's very easy for me to accept that setting as normal reality because, for a little over half my life, it was normal reality.]

      So then I'm outside somewhere, going up a hill in some kind of vehicle on a road. There are LCD screens above the road that have scrolling text on them, talking about how barbarafett comes off as a ranty, opinionated blowhard in her dream journal entries and forum posts at DreamViews. [Of which I had made none, so far, in reality when I had this dream. A warning?] It expresses some of this meaning through TVTropes potholes. When I get to the top of the hill, there are these little go-karts that are only a little bigger than a roller skate, but are strong enough to support the weight of a person and have enough horsepower to move around fairly quickly when a person is standing on them. That's what we're supposed to do here, so I do. I stand on one of the go-karts with my right foot and navigate it along a path painted onto the glossy concrete. The path has a lot of switchbacks in it. The go-karts go fast enough that staying up on them is challenging and fun.

      I finally did wake up for real, felt around on the dresser for my phone, didn't find it, and then saw that it was still on the sewing cabinet where I always leave it. I cried out in anger and frustration. “How many FAs can one person have in one night?!” I asked myself, irritated. I did the nose-plug RC and it passed, so I said, "Idiot! You should have checked that the first time!" (Meaning, when I first heard the text-message chime.)

      Updated 10-11-2010 at 07:04 PM by 37356 (fixing color coding to match the scheme I devised later)

      non-lucid , false awakening , task of the month