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    Trails of Breadcrumbs (brief WILD + 2 DILDS)

    by , 09-02-2014 at 12:37 AM (497 Views)
    After several promising WILD attempts failed for no good reason over the last couple weeks, I was afraid I was headed into another dry spell. Then last night, when I wasn't planning to lucid dream at all—having only seven hours to sleep before getting up early for a busy day—I had spontaneous lucids all night during the few short periods I managed to sleep at all, and had to sacrifice even more sleep writing up my notes promptly (as a matter of principle). I should have known better to drink that big mug of coffee before bed on a night when I was likely to be prone to anxiety anyway, but now I can report that caffeine + anxiety make a great lucid trigger!

    I went to bed at 12:30am. Knew I needed to wake at 7:30 and intended to go to bed earlier, but I never find it easy to go to bed before midnight unless I'm sick or already exhausted. Woke at 2:30am and realized that the coffee was a mistake: I was now wide awake. To counter the insomnia I started doing counting and deep breathing, basically just like my WILD practice but without the intention to LD. I counted to fifty, one number for each full breath cycle, then left off counting and did the breathing only. I'm not sure how much I actually slept—it felt like I spent a long time in a transitional state—but it was 3:45am when I woke up fully again, this time after slipping spontaneously into the very briefest of WILDs.


    Brief WILD: The transition was really interesting, because there must have been a point when I was already asleep, but I still thought I was awake. I know I was confused about this because I was under the impression that while lying in bed I was selecting and leafing through fantasy-game themed magazines from a low shelf that was just to my right, apparently in the bed with me. Of course in waking life there is no such shelf set up in my bed nor any magazines of this kind within arm's reach, distinct evidence that I had dreamed the whole thing. But as I was flipping through through the magazines, I was also well aware that I was in the process of trying to fall asleep, and I even noticed a curious phenomenon: when I closed my eyes, I could still make out blurry forms and colored shapes corresponding to the content printed on the pages I was reading. This made me think that reading through closed eyelids might be a great technique for encouraging REM onset, because it was stimulating pictures to form in my mind. A great technique indeed if you can do it while you're already dreaming! But I didn't realize that at the time.

    Eventually I felt the onset of that bodily dislocation that suggested I was close to a WILD transition, and encouraged it. Sometimes I levitate, sometimes I rock or rotate, but this time sinking felt more natural, so I let the sinking sensation grow while thinking, "Down, down," until I felt that the transition was complete. Then I easily "got up" out of bed. However, I still didn't have much control of the dream body, so I discovered that I couldn't stand or walk yet. Instead I collapsed face down on the floor and had to crawl. This didn't alarm me, because I often lack full motor coordination right after the transition. The environment was recognizable as my bedroom but still very murky. My mind felt incredibly active and clear, by contrast—probably because I was barely asleep.

    I remember thinking distinctly, "Oh good, I haven't lost it"—meaning the ability to WILD, given that my last few attempts have gone nowhere. I crawled toward the bedroom door and remembered my task, "Fairy tales." Then I paused, realizing that I would need to improve my integration before trying to leave the room, as my WILDs tend to destabilize if I try to rush things. I thought, "Time for some clean-up"—but alas, there was no time, as I woke promptly at this.

    Such a disruption was not unusual, as my early WILDs are normally strung together by multiple DEILD chains (for some reason this seems to be almost the only time I can successfully and instinctively DEILD, so I've never even counted those DEILDS as distinct dreams; instead they end up seeming more like segments of the same chained WILD). Unfortunately, I could tell at once that this time I had woken up too fully to DEILD, and even though I held very still and sought a way back into the dream, I could feel that I had surfaced past the point of re-entry, so I got up to write this. A bit disappointing, but not overly so as I have to get up insanely early tomorrow for a full day of activity, so no time to write more without cutting into sleep.

    5:50am: up and writing again after two more DILDs. Both times I thought at first that I was awake in the house, but instinctively realized that I was dreaming.

    DILD#1: As soon as I realized I was dreaming, I remembered my task, still determined to carry out my "Hansel and Gretel" experiment. I was already deep enough in dream to feel well-coordinated, so after getting lucid I went immediately to the kitchen and grabbed some bread from the counter. It was the end of a baguette. Last time I tried this the dream destabilized shortly after I left the house and started dropping crumbs, so this time I decided to begin more cautiously by starting the trail of bread crumbs while I was still inside the house. I walked from the kitchen to the living room, tearing off pieces of bread and dropping them on the floor. Meanwhile I was thinking to myself with amusement, "Oh man, I'd better really be dreaming. If we wake up tomorrow and it turns out I've left bread all over the floor, my husband is going to say this lucid dreaming thing has to stop!"

    But I was sure I was dreaming, despite the stability and lifelikeness of the environment, so I asked myself how I could tell. I thought it would be a good moment to test the differences in self-perception between dream and the waking state. No sooner did I turn my attention to my body than I felt it—yes—that subtle tingling in the limbs that I have always associated with dream. The sensation used to be extremely prominent, especially earlier in life when lucid dreams occurred only rarely and spontaneously, but now I hardly ever notice it unless I pay deliberate attention. Unfortunately, this re-orientation of focus on my physical senses meant that I began to notice something I was hearing as well: the sound of my husband's breathing in the bed next to me. This reminded me of my body asleep in the bed, which promptly woke me up.

    Upon waking, I could still hear the breathing just as I had in the dream, but with one peculiar difference: in the dream, the sound was distinctly coming from my right, but when I woke up I remembered, of course, he is sleeping to my left. Perhaps the discrepancy can be explained if I was sleeping on my left side with my left ear against the pillow so only my right ear could hear clearly? I forgot to take note of my position when I awoke.

    DILD#2: After going back to sleep, once again I was doing stuff around the house under the impression that I was awake when I noticed once again: am I dreaming? Yep, pretty sure I am. Okay, well, back to work then. I remembered that I had taken the bread from the counter in the last dream, briefly worried that I might not find any more, but casually "expected" to find another loaf and sure enough it was there. I started dropping crumbs while I was still inside the house again, then went out the door to the back patio. I was still anxious about destabilization (I have tried this task several times before and haven't gotten very far, and tonight's previous episodes demonstrated that waking up abruptly was indeed a hazard) I so thought, okay, I'll just walk around the pool in circles and continue dropping crumbs until the dream shows some receptivity.

    So I began circling the pool counterclockwise, dropping crumbs as I walked. When I reached the area just behind the pool I noticed the place where I had encountered "Boneface" in a previous dream and wondered if anyone would be waiting there, but no DCs were visible. However, the dream was starting to respond: already I was no longer circling the pool but on a path, walking through an environment that no longer resembled any place I know in waking life. The path led me through a dense suburban neighborhood, but I saw trees in the distance and figured a forest must be out there somewhere. I needed to reach the forest to proceed with the "Hansel and Gretel" plot.

    I continued dropping breadcrumbs as I walked along the path, but then I remembered—hang on, if I'm doing "Hansel and Gretel," then obviously I can be Gretel, but I'll need a Hansel! I tried to summon him, calling out "Hans! Hans!" and "Little brother!" The dream responded promptly but unexpectedly: a little dog showed up, with long wavy fur in brown and white patches, and started trotting along with me. It looked just like a toy spaniel, but smaller, about the size of a chihuahua. I shrugged and figured, "Okay, good enough." Maybe he would turn into a boy later on, or if not, whatever. (I've always been able to summon animals easily, but have less success with human DCs, so the results weren't that surprising.)

    To get more into the spirit of things, as we continued to walk along the path I started singing a song about our journey—how we had left our parents' house because there wasn't enough food, and hoped to find some in the forest. (I just realized a discrepancy in the story: if food is so scarce that they have to leave home lest the family starve, why are they wasting bread by dropping it on the ground? Or is that why mom wants to kick them out, the flagrant bread wasters!)

    The dream felt very stable but I knew I couldn't be in very deep because I was having trouble with the song: rhymes weren't coming easily, like they do in deeper dream, and my melody was very simple (The Hobbit was on TV last night, and my song ended up with a similar tune and rhythm to the "goblin town" song from the movie, though naturally with very different words). When I got to the end of a line and couldn't find a rhyme, or even a suitable word, I just sort of hummed over the blank spot and kept going. Improvise! So I sang a number of stanzas in this haphazard way, dropping the bread in smaller and smaller crumbs since I was getting near the end of the loaf, while little Hans the dog trotted beside me on his tiny legs.

    Finally we made it to the edge of town, and there it was ahead of us! The forest! Would we go in and find a gingerbread house, a threatening witch? I was looking forward to what we might discover. But I felt sorry for Hans and wondered if he might prefer to be carried. I picked him up and put him on my right shoulder (he was so small). No sooner had I perched him there then at once I clearly and distinctly heard a voice saying my name in my right ear—it was my RL name, and it woke me up. This happened immediately after I put the dog on my shoulder so I had the impression that he had been the one speaking, but the voice was clearly a woman's and, as far as I could make out, it sounded like my own voice.

    Anyway, that woke me up past DEILD recovery so I got up and wrote again. It's now after 6am. Nothing like a short night before a busy day in which I have absolutely no time to spare for dreaming to really bring on the LDs, eh?

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    Updated 09-02-2014 at 12:56 AM by 34973

    Categories
    lucid , task of the year

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