• Lucid Dreaming - Dream Views

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    1. It's All So Real

      by , 05-27-2014 at 04:28 PM
      I initially didn't intend on posting this because it wasn't that exciting, but I figure since I started this journal to keep track of my experiences I should include the small accomplishments too. This dream happened yesterday morning after going back to sleep around 8 or 9.

      Normal Lucid

      I'm on campus in some building, I don't recall what I was actually doing. I'm on the second floor looking outside a large window down at the people below and I see my girlfriend, E, exiting from another building across from me. I think about how it's rare to see her on campus and that I should go meet up with her, so I start going down some stairs nearby. I end up outside on the wrong side of the building and somehow get on a bike (I don't own a bike, but sometimes use my roommate's). I think about which way to go to more easily get to her, looking left I realize that the buildings are blocked off so it would be hard to go that way, so I head to my right. I'm biking around the side of the building, dodging some people, and end up riding through a muddy patch, a bit worried about splatter on my clothes but not thinking about it too much. I see E up ahead standing in a group of people and start biking quickly towards her. As I get close, close enough to almost hit her with the bike, she looks up at me with a startled expression and I realize that it's not her.
      Somehow this immediately makes me realize it's a dream. I just know it is and don't need to reality check but I want to practice it anyway. I quickly go over my mental check and realize I don't recognize my location and remember falling asleep recently so I know it's a dream. My vision starts fading (possibly from thinking too much? may need to work on that) and I'm afraid that I'm waking up, but remember to just stay calm and focus on my surroundings. I touch the handlebars on my bike and start looking at my hands, then quickly my vision returns (this was really cool for me because it's the first time that's happened and I'm glad I could stay calm and present in the dream ). I start to observe my surroundings, I see my bike is blue and the handlebar grips are black with a ridged rubber texture. The large building in front of me is made of brick, some people standing around in front of it and trees nearby. To my left is a big open patch of really lush green grass and I see an old man sitting cross-legged and meditating in the grass, which seems really enjoyable. I'm amazed at how real it all feels, like I'm really there, and almost in disbelief that it's actually a dream. I don't have an intended goal set up yet because for the first few dreams I just want to practice getting used to the dream scene and exploring, and there just seemed like there was so much to take in I didn't know what to do. I stood in awe for about 30 seconds and then woke up.

      This was a really amazing experience even though it's so short because it showed me how real the dream can feel, and how in the moment I can be in it. I felt like I had had lucid dreams before but looking back after this experience I feel like what I had were mostly false lucid moments, like dreaming that I'm lucid dreaming and waking up with the memory rather than actually being present and experiencing it. I really think the way I'm going about practicing now is a huge improvement over the last times I got into trying to lucid dream. My meditation and present moment self-awareness exercises are making my dreams (and waking life) feel more in control and not as much on auto-pilot. I am able to stop and think before I act a lot more and actually pay attention to what is going on in my mind and body rather than just letting my thoughts control my actions. I think this is having a major impact on my dream quality as well since I can step back and observe my thought process and see what is going on.

      Also as a side note, looking back over my journal since starting LDing again in February, I had about 1 lucid moment a month, but after this dream I had 2 lucid moments for May. Slowly but surely improving!

      Updated 05-27-2014 at 04:39 PM by 53121

    2. Goals and Techniques

      by , 05-16-2014 at 06:15 PM
      This entry is a quick reference for me so I can be sure I'm keeping on track.

      Day Practice:
      - Constant present moment self-awareness / mindfulness
      - Sensory and environmental awareness
      - Lucid daydreaming / visualization
      - Mindfulness meditation

      Night Practice:
      - Meditate right before bed when possible
      - Read dream journal
      - Review memory of the day
      - Visualization
      - Naturally awaken after dreams
      - WBTB if time allows it

      - My house
      - Girlfriend and roommates
      - Video games and movies
      - Sudden location change
      - Any bizarre events

      Reality Checks (preferably in order):
      - Location
      - Recent memory
      - Current activity
      - Hands / Nose Pinch / Text
      - Review if those make sense and then return to focusing on the present moment

      Current Goals:
      - Lucid dreams 3 times a week
      - Calmly explore my dream world
      - Basic dream control (manipulating objects, levitate)

      Updated 05-16-2014 at 06:18 PM by 53121

      Tags: goals, techniques
      side notes
    3. Introduction

      by , 05-14-2014 at 04:18 PM
      So I don't intend to use this journal for all my dreams but I wanted to start using it at least for the most memorable ones or for side notes about my progress so I can keep track of it and see how I'm improving.

      Some stuff about my experiences, I had first heard about lucid dreaming maybe 5 years ago but got really interested in it and started practicing it probably about 3 years ago. In that time I've taken long breaks from it and not had much progress, maybe about 10 short lucid dreams total. About 8 months ago I planned to get back into it with full force, and to truly motivate myself I started working on developing a dream journal app for my phone since there weren't any good ones available (Windows phone). I finally finished it a few months ago and it's the first app that I've ever made, I had some programming experience but still had to learn a lot in order to make it, but I think it turned out pretty well and I'm really proud of it!

      Anyway, after I finished it I decided to finally begin working with LDing again and to start things off I began working on my recall by using my new app and exercising my memory during the day. Unfortunately at the time I was quite an avid pot smoker and I think I hindered myself a bit much early on by smoking too much and not being able to remember my dreams at night. I've pretty much quit by now but still smoke maybe once every couple weeks. After about a month of recall practice I started meditating and doing ADA by paying attention to my surroundings and my senses and throwing in a few reality checks every so often. This combined with cutting back on smoking really made my recall improve a ton, from barely any dreams at all to multiple a night. I had maybe a couple lucid dreams during this time but it felt almost like it wasn't really lucidity but just dreaming about lucidity and still going on autopilot in the dreams, so I decided to research on the forums and rework my technique.

      What I'm starting to do now is basically trying to maintain a present moment self-awareness/mindfulness and critical thinking about what I'm doing and thinking during the day. I decided that I don't much care for the usual physical reality checks like the nose pinch or finger through the palm because I feel like I could be self-conscious about looking strange around people and be less likely to do them as fully as I should. So what I do instead is when I see my common dream signs, when I'm not being self-aware, or just at random times throughout the day I'll become aware of myself and where I am, think about what I was just doing and what I'm about to do, then really ask myself if everything makes sense. Sometimes if I feel comfortable with it I will look at my hands or do a nose pinch to be sure. What this has done for my dreams already has made them feel like I'm really in the moment in my dreams and more aware of my actions, like I'm actually there instead of it just feeling like I'm watching the events play out on auto-pilot and then waking up to random memories that don't feel like mine.

      Also during the day and especially before bed I'll be practicing some Lucid Daydreaming, where I will daydream my most recent or vivid non-lucid dreams, and visualize them again as best I can to change the events so that I become lucid in them at certain moments and act out what I would do when becoming lucid, reminding myself that I'm dreaming while visualizing. I sometimes do it when I catch myself daydreaming other stuff too, or at least just remind myself that I was visualizing and bring myself back to the present moment and go through my mental reality check. I think this practice will have a double effect on lucidity because I will be more conscious of visualizing which should transfer to better recognizing dreaming since they are vivid visualizations and also I will be practicing getting lucid from dream signs, going through proper steps to stay in the dream, and doing my intended tasks. It probably also helps that I am using my recent dreams and changing events in them so that I switch them from being non-lucid to lucid. So far from doing this practice for the past week I've had a couple moments in my dreams where I will be thinking of a previous part of a dream and recognizing that it was a dream, once almost obtaining lucidity because it made me stop to think about it. I think this shows that my brain is beginning to realize the difference between dreaming and reality.

      Anyway, I guess that's enough typing for now. I just wanted to get that out there and start a journal so I can track my progress along the way, I think I've got a good system figured out and want to start my baseline here. I'll keep working with my current practices and see how things go for the next few weeks.

      Edit: So I just noticed Naiya's MILD tutorial from someone commenting on it and see that it's pretty much exactly what I'm doing with the daydreaming practice, so that is a good sign that it will be helpful!

      Updated 05-14-2014 at 07:48 PM by 53121

      side notes