• Lucid Dreaming - Dream Views




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    Thread: InnerVision's Workbook

    1. #1
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      InnerVision's Workbook

      Hello all,

      I am not completely new here and anyone who frequently visits the 'attaining lucidity' forum might have come across my name. Still I'd like to give a brief introducting to provide some potentially useful context.

      So, I am InnerVision. I'm male, 18 years old and live in The Netherlands. I'm currently graduating high school and plan to start studying psychobiology (3 year bachelor) next year. I've always had an interest in dreaming; ever since I was a child I have wondered how my mind would come up with the extraordinary settings of my dreams.

      I think it is worth a mention that I suffered from multiple recurring nightmares as a child. The theme and plot of these dreams was always roughly the same: I'd be in a desolated place, like a forest or an abandoned playground far outside the city, it would turn dark and I would see one or more wolves coming toward me. No matter where I tried to hide or run, they would always catch up and at that moment I woke up. These dreams caused an irrational and intense fear of wolves in waking life (thinking that they were under my bed etc). This fear troubled my sleep for years, until I read a book about wolves (from their perspective), which completely turned around my view on them. From then on, wolves were my favourite animals and I've never had a nightmare about them anymore.

      This story might not be completely relevant but it does explain part of my interest in dreams and influencing them.


      Naturally, when I coincidentally came across an article on lucid dreaming 1.5 years ago I was really excited. Like a lot of beginners, I thought WILD would be the easiest way (and the quickest). Now I know that failure was to be expected; it really frustrated me and I gave up.
      Still, the idea would not leave my mind and some time later I decided to give it another try. I found this forum and started reading up on different techniques, methods and whatsoever. It actually resulted in my first (very short and unstable) lucid dream. After that, not much happened and I lost interest.

      This process has repeated itself quite a number of times now. I journal actively for a week or two, while doing reality checks and exercising prospective memory, and often this results in a short lucid dream. So far I have had 4 in total, all short and unstable.

      Two weeks ago, I started another 'phase' as I call it sometimes. I had my fourth lucid dream, but somehow I just cannot keep up with journaling, keeping a structured sleeping pattern and reality checking during the day.

      Finally I decided to create this workbook, to have some more social pressure (in a good way ) forcing me to commit.

      The timing on this is not really great, since I'll be leaving on holiday the day after tomorrow. I won't be able to go to bed at a standard time, but I will have plenty of time to sleep in and do tons of WBTB's. I will probably consume some alcohol regularly but I hope to have some sober nights haha. I will post my progress using my cellphone so that won't be a problem to do on a daily basis. I do want to start now because procrastination has never gotten me anywhere.

      Below is an overview of what I want to do (daily):

      - Keep a decent dream journal. I normally jot down some keywords in a small notebook and then type it out later on the day, but that doesn't really work for me as I found out. I keep postponing the moment of writing it out to the point of not doing it for 3 days and then giving up and starting over. So, I will now start using my phone like I did some time ago, writing the full dream at the moment of waking. I will also post these entries here (with some names and stuff edited out of course) so you have an idea of my general dreams.

      - Do prospective memory exercises daily. I will post how many 'targets' I have recognised everyday.

      - Do reality checks every time I see a target from the prospective memory excercise.

      - Do reality checks every time I feel strange, see something strange, have a moment of increased awareness or think about lucid dreaming.

      - Be aware of my surroundings and the situation I am in as often as possible, tracing back my actions and critically observing my world.

      - Wake Back To Bed every night using a soothing alarm, followed by some journaling, a 10-minute meditation and some mantra's.

      My mantra generally consists of what I want to dream about (something I know that'll make me RC) or I just repeat 'I will be aware in my dreams'.

      I hope that with the increased commitment (because of this workbook) I can make these things a habit (not automatic but something I don't need to force myself to do) instead of a chore.

      I also hope that you can provide me with guidance wherever necessary but I'm sure that will be alright seeing the general involvement of this community

      Apologies for the long read and thanks in advance,

      InnerVision
      Last edited by InnerVision; 02-19-2015 at 01:20 PM.
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    2. #2
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      Welcome to the workbooks InnerVision!

      Finally I decided to create this workbook, to have some more social pressure (in a good way ) forcing me to commit.
      Okay, then I hereby expect to see at least one update every week here. Set a reminder on your phone if needed.

      You do have a lot of great practices on your "to do" list. If you feel like it is ever too much then at least try to keep up with one or two of your favorites until you can commit to more.

      The only tweak I have for you at this point is to try the water method for WBTB so you can wake more naturally and less abruptly than is common with an alarm.

      If you like podcasts, I can recommend a few for WBTB and other things.
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    3. #3
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      Hello InnerVision, and welcome to the DILD class!

      From your introduction, I'd say you have a solid foundation on daytime awareness training and good start on night-time practice. How's your recall? About how many dreams per night, how vivid, how long, do you feel "present" in those dreams, etc.?

      Dream recall is very valuable for a number of reasons: maybe the single most important one is that recalling dreams is *awesome*! Even though the emphasis on DV typically focuses solely on lucid dreams, non-lucid dreams, when well-remembered, can be every bit as awesome, if not even moreso sometimes than lucid dreams. As Sageous likes to say, "some (non-lucid) dreams are fine just the way they are." And while recall can and does go up and down naturally, it is possible to recall a variety of different dreams just about every single night, if you build recall high enough. That really helps maintain motivation through lucid dry periods, or when just getting started on lucid dream practice. And the best part about recall is that it's really simple: just be consistent. Reach for recall *every* *single* *time* you wake up, no vacations from dream recall. The results are well worth it.

      More than just being awesome, great dream recall gets you really familiar with the territory of your dreams. Not only in building up a list of dream signs, but in learning the "feel" of the dream state.

      It is my theory that building very high awareness in the waking state together with great dream recall makes dreams very vivid on a consistent basis over time, where you really feel like "you're there." And when "you're there" in the dream, it's a fairly short step to getting lucid more and more often.

      And of course, there's the reason most people initially give: "what if you're having lucid dreams and forgetting them?" I think the above reasons are more relevant, though: beginners usually remember their initial lucid dreams very clearly because they're such a special, new event. I probably didn't come close to forgetting a lucid until I'd had several dozen, the dreams started lasting longer, and I started losing lucidity or transitioning to false awakenings from the lucid dreams. Under *those* circumstances it is possible to forget a lucid, since you're not waking directly from the lucid state, and yes, having great recall can help capture those lucids "sandwiched" in between other non-lucids.

      But it looks like your #1 issue hindering even better progress, which you're aware of, is consistency. I've listed building high waking awareness and great dream recall as important foundations for lucid dreaming. One of the remaining major foundations is consistency: never never never quit! The best results are achieved when you keep going without stopping. You can perhaps slow down on daytime awareness work once in a while without harm, and can take a night off of WBTB now and then (but I recommend never taking a break from dream recall!), but stopping entirely can be quite detrimental to the practice.

      So I salute your renewed commitment, and to opening this class workbook as a way to hold yourself accountable! If I may suggest, why not make an additional commitment: that you will continue doing your best to practice the lucid dreaming fundamentals, every day for as much time as you can give them, for a significant period of time: say, no less than 3 months. I personally make a dedication on a yearly basis: I allow myself one day on the anniversary of my beginning lucid dreaming training where I can quit Otherwise, I must continue. Having such a dedication made to yourself is very valuable to keep yourself going.

      As for journaling, I think particularly in the beginning, it is quite important, mostly because it is an additional exercise of access to dream memory, showing your subconscious that dream recall is *important* to you. Here you need to do what will work best for you, but in case it's helpful, what I do is this: in the morning, without fail, after reviewing all the dreams in the final sleep cycle (and those earlier in the night if I didn't record them earlier on my voice recorder), I write up quick summary of the night dreams in the "state your dream in one sentence" thread here on DV:

      http://www.dreamviews.com/general-dr...tence-365.html

      If I have time, I'll then hit the "copy to DJ" button and fill in the details under each of the summary lines. I like this approach because I get all the keywords recorded, in case I forget them later (if I don't have them on the voice recorder), it gets me close to doing the full journal, and gives me the pre-written outline of the full journal entries as a jog to memory when writing the full entries later. You can check that thread to see the format I use and the detail (sometimes more, sometimes less). Basically I use that as a "pre" DJ.

      One more thing: you didn't mention any particular dreaming goals that you have. Coming up with some challenging but achievable goals can be a great way to maintain motivation and hold yourself accountable.

      Welcome again, and let us know if you have any particular questions!

      fogelbise, feel free to chime in! edit: lol, I took too long writing and you beat me to the first response, haha!
      InnerVision likes this.
      FryingMan's Unified Theory of Lucid Dreaming: Pay Attention, Reflect, Recall -- Both Day and Night[link]
      FryingMan's Dream Recall Tips -- Awesome Links
      “No amount of security is worth the suffering of a mediocre life chained to a routine that has killed your dreams.”
      "...develop stability in awareness and your dreams will change in extraordinary ways" -- TYoDaS

    4. #4
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      First of all thanks to both of you for replying so quickly and elaborately. That's really helpful!

      Quote Originally Posted by fogelbise View Post
      Welcome to the workbooks InnerVision!

      Okay, then I hereby expect to see at least one update every week here. Set a reminder on your phone if needed.

      You do have a lot of great practices on your "to do" list. If you feel like it is ever too much then at least try to keep up with one or two of your favorites until you can commit to more.

      The only tweak I have for you at this point is to try the water method for WBTB so you can wake more naturally and less abruptly than is common with an alarm.

      If you like podcasts, I can recommend a few for WBTB and other things.
      I was actually planning on doing a daily (short) update so that'll be fine . The reason for the multitude of different techniques is that I want to go all-in this time. I really, really want to become a good lucid dreamer and I want to do whatever it takes to become that. When busy I might let go of the prospective memory tasks I think, but WBTB will be a nightly thing with as few exceptions as possible. I know about the water method but it doesn't really work that well for me from experience. I seem to wake up only when I really, really need to go to the toilet as fast as possible and that messes up my recall completely.

      Quote Originally Posted by FryingMan
      Hello InnerVision, and welcome to the DILD class!

      From your introduction, I'd say you have a solid foundation on daytime awareness training and good start on night-time practice. How's your recall? About how many dreams per night, how vivid, how long, do you feel "present" in those dreams, etc.?

      Dream recall is very valuable for a number of reasons: maybe the single most important one is that recalling dreams is *awesome*! Even though the emphasis on DV typically focuses solely on lucid dreams, non-lucid dreams, when well-remembered, can be every bit as awesome, if not even moreso sometimes than lucid dreams. As Sageous likes to say, "some (non-lucid) dreams are fine just the way they are." And while recall can and does go up and down naturally, it is possible to recall a variety of different dreams just about every single night, if you build recall high enough. That really helps maintain motivation through lucid dry periods, or when just getting started on lucid dream practice. And the best part about recall is that it's really simple: just be consistent. Reach for recall *every* *single* *time* you wake up, no vacations from dream recall. The results are well worth it.

      More than just being awesome, great dream recall gets you really familiar with the territory of your dreams. Not only in building up a list of dream signs, but in learning the "feel" of the dream state.

      It is my theory that building very high awareness in the waking state together with great dream recall makes dreams very vivid on a consistent basis over time, where you really feel like "you're there." And when "you're there" in the dream, it's a fairly short step to getting lucid more and more often.

      And of course, there's the reason most people initially give: "what if you're having lucid dreams and forgetting them?" I think the above reasons are more relevant, though: beginners usually remember their initial lucid dreams very clearly because they're such a special, new event. I probably didn't come close to forgetting a lucid until I'd had several dozen, the dreams started lasting longer, and I started losing lucidity or transitioning to false awakenings from the lucid dreams. Under *those* circumstances it is possible to forget a lucid, since you're not waking directly from the lucid state, and yes, having great recall can help capture those lucids "sandwiched" in between other non-lucids.

      But it looks like your #1 issue hindering even better progress, which you're aware of, is consistency. I've listed building high waking awareness and great dream recall as important foundations for lucid dreaming. One of the remaining major foundations is consistency: never never never quit! The best results are achieved when you keep going without stopping. You can perhaps slow down on daytime awareness work once in a while without harm, and can take a night off of WBTB now and then (but I recommend never taking a break from dream recall!), but stopping entirely can be quite detrimental to the practice.

      So I salute your renewed commitment, and to opening this class workbook as a way to hold yourself accountable! If I may suggest, why not make an additional commitment: that you will continue doing your best to practice the lucid dreaming fundamentals, every day for as much time as you can give them, for a significant period of time: say, no less than 3 months. I personally make a dedication on a yearly basis: I allow myself one day on the anniversary of my beginning lucid dreaming training where I can quit Otherwise, I must continue. Having such a dedication made to yourself is very valuable to keep yourself going.

      As for journaling, I think particularly in the beginning, it is quite important, mostly because it is an additional exercise of access to dream memory, showing your subconscious that dream recall is *important* to you. Here you need to do what will work best for you, but in case it's helpful, what I do is this: in the morning, without fail, after reviewing all the dreams in the final sleep cycle (and those earlier in the night if I didn't record them earlier on my voice recorder), I write up quick summary of the night dreams in the "state your dream in one sentence" thread here on DV:

      Share your dream from last night in one sentence

      If I have time, I'll then hit the "copy to DJ" button and fill in the details under each of the summary lines. I like this approach because I get all the keywords recorded, in case I forget them later (if I don't have them on the voice recorder), it gets me close to doing the full journal, and gives me the pre-written outline of the full journal entries as a jog to memory when writing the full entries later. You can check that thread to see the format I use and the detail (sometimes more, sometimes less). Basically I use that as a "pre" DJ.

      One more thing: you didn't mention any particular dreaming goals that you have. Coming up with some challenging but achievable goals can be a great way to maintain motivation and hold yourself accountable.

      Welcome again, and let us know if you have any particular questions!

      fogelbise, feel free to chime in! edit: lol, I took too long writing and you beat me to the first response, haha!
      I'll answer with bullet points for a clearer overview;

      - My recall is extremely dependant on the amount of sleep I get and whether I do WBTB or not. When I do recall dreams it's usually 2-4 fragments of which 2 are relatively detailed and have a clear plot and timeline. I have a hard time remembering visual details but I can mostly remember a great deal of conversations. If I journal actively for a few days I can see an increase in recall, but one day with too little sleep can result in no recall at all.

      - My dream awareness is very low; I do not really feel this in the dream because I really 'go with the flow', but in my lucid moments I realised a staggering lack of detail. As soon as I realize I am dreaming, I seem to get some sort of tunnel vision and I start waking up. I do agree with you on that non-lucids can be really awesome and valuable. I think I have a relatively positive view on them as well; I don't wake up in the morning thinking "shit, only non-lucids again" or something.

      - For me, the 3 key skills for lucid dreaming that I haven't yet acquired are as you say consistency, waking awareness but also confidence. I can tell myself a thousand times that I will lucid dream tonight, I will never actually believe it unless there is some reason that 'proves' it if you know what I mean. I think that with working on the first two I can increase the third naturally and that is what I am trying to do now.

      - It is indeed important to set some goal in the sense of time. 3 months is a good idea. Any longer won't help me I think, instead it might evoke a mindset of 'pfff I still have x months to go'.

      - Since I will be departing on holiday tomorrow, I will only have access to my cellphone for a week. I will journal directly onto this site. Doing it immediately after waking up will help to keep my mind on dreaming. I will keep it brief but that is a good thing because if I start too enthousiastically and elaborately I know I will not keep it up.

      - My non-lucid dreaming goal is for my mantra-situations to actually appear in my dreams. My lucid dreaming goal is to actually stabilize and be lucid for more than a minute.


      Thanks to you both again, I'm really glad I started this

      Innervision

      EDIT: Today's progress:

      I set some prospective memory goals. I missed 2 but caught 3 other targets. I think I reality checked approximately 10 times so far.
      Yesterday was a really busy day and I went to bed at 1 am so I have no recall. Upon waking up there were a couple names and locations playing through my head but nothing I thought was worth jotting down.

      Today I will stop doing intensive things from 7:45 pm, then doing a small 10 minute workout at 9:15 pm, 15 minutes of meditation from 9:30 - 9:45 pm and finally go to sleep between 9:45 and 10:30 pm (I generally take 30 minutes to fall asleep).
      I will have a soft alarm set for 5:00 am. The tone of the alarm is a 1 minute recording of my own voice saying 'I am dreaming'....'this is a dream'....'reality check'....'I am dreaming'. This alarm will go off every 5 minutes between 5:00 and 5:15 am. If I wake up I will journal, if I don't I hope it infests itself in my dreams (usually I just wake up though).
      Last edited by InnerVision; 02-20-2015 at 07:41 PM.

    5. #5
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      ^^ You may want to work on noticing wakings via intention alone. Using an alarm, even a quiet one, can interfere with recall. I agree with you that the water method is not ideal because I can generally "hold it" until late into the morning, where I get so full that I have to spend so much effort clenching my legs together that it's really hard to concentrate on recall. Noticing wakings naturally is also great practice for other approaches (DEILD, Raduga's The Phase, etc.).
      FryingMan's Unified Theory of Lucid Dreaming: Pay Attention, Reflect, Recall -- Both Day and Night[link]
      FryingMan's Dream Recall Tips -- Awesome Links
      “No amount of security is worth the suffering of a mediocre life chained to a routine that has killed your dreams.”
      "...develop stability in awareness and your dreams will change in extraordinary ways" -- TYoDaS

    6. #6
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      That's a great suggestion. I'll start repeating something for that during meditation tonight!

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      So, a little report from tonight:

      Meditated from 21:30 - 21:45 while repeating 'I am alert when I wake up'. Fell asleep around 22:30.
      Woke up at 4:30, naturally. I really did feel more alert than I normally do and I remembered the most vivid dream I ever had, along with one other interesting fragment!
      To be honest I don't feel too eager to actually share my dreams on here since they are often very personal and I do not like to put such information on the Internet (unlike many of my generation haha).

      After recording my dream on my phone I went to sleep again (approx. 4:45) and I turned off my set alarms (they were set for 5:00) as I know from experience that I would not be able to sleep when knowing my alarm would ring so soon.

      I woke up naturally again around 6:30 am but, unfortunately, with no recall at all. I had to get up at 7 so I didn't get much sleep after that.

      Overall I am really satisfied with tonight because of the long and vivid dream. It did raise a question though: what is vividness really? Is a vivid dream just a dream well-recalled? Or, to turn it around, if one has a dream that lacks vividness does that just mean his or her recall is bad? I know this is not (completely) true for awareness, but how about vividness? I'd like to know your views on this.

      InnerVision

    8. #8
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      ^^ It's not important to post your dreams here. You can journal into an encrypted file on your computer for maximum privacy (make sure to avoid cloud/automated backup systems for maximum privacy!). I obscure all personal details (names, locations) with abbreviations and have no links (images, etc.) to my life outside of DV so I post even "racy" dreams here because I want to remember them and I want the extra backup of having the DJ on the internet.

      Congrats on the vivid dream! Vividness is sort of fleeting to define. It's like love: you just know it when you experience it, through and through. Great job on noticing the natural awakening. The more you set this intention, the more you'll notice, and soon you'll be recalling dreams all night long if you want to. I occasionally have nights (last night was one ) where I seem to be dreaming all night long: wake & recall & back to sleep repeats over and over.

      To me, "vividness" is not only a visual quality. It's a combination of how well I remember the details and sequence of events, and how "present" I feel in the dream: did I really feel like "I was there" when it was happening? Did I have "vivid awareness?"

      Personally, I see vividness growing over time: I think it is the synergy of increasing overall awareness combined with higher and higher dream recall. It may be impossible to isolate the precise cause, especially if it really is the effect of multiple factors.

      I have a theory that all dreams are experienced vividly in the dream, it's just the memory that fades. When, over time, your recall gets better and better, your memory of these dreams becomes closer and closer to the actual live experience of it, it seems that dreams are getting more and more vivid.

      But I tend to take practical stances on questions like this: I'm less interested in the theory, I'm in this hobby for the dream experiences. So, what to take away from this: work diligently on building high awareness in waking life, pay attention to your present moments all through the day with the subtext of determining your state (dream/awake), and also work diligently on dream recall. Do these consistently and regularly, and over time the dreaming experience gets better and better with more frequent and higher quality lucids along the way.
      Last edited by FryingMan; 02-21-2015 at 09:29 AM.
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      FryingMan's Unified Theory of Lucid Dreaming: Pay Attention, Reflect, Recall -- Both Day and Night[link]
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      "...develop stability in awareness and your dreams will change in extraordinary ways" -- TYoDaS

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      Quote Originally Posted by FryingMan

      I have a theory that all dreams are experienced vividly in the dream, it's just the memory that fades. When, over time, your recall gets better and better, your memory of these dreams becomes closer and closer to the actual live experience of it, it seems that dreams are getting more and more vivid.
      That is exactly what I meant to say. I wasn't awake enough to phrase it clearly though, haha.

      I do tend to take a more theoretical approach because it really interests me and understanding is a way to gain confidence for me personally.

    10. #10
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      ^^ I'm not "anti-theory", it's just that once you frame the theory in a way that makes sense for you, it's time to get down to the practice of it. I spent a good part of last year constantly bouncing from one theory/framing to another, and not enough time (especially night work) on the basics.

      That's why I like to emphasize practicing the fundamentals: self-awareness, access to memory, dream recall. Build your own practice around these, and do it do it do it, consistently and regularly, without stopping.
      FryingMan's Unified Theory of Lucid Dreaming: Pay Attention, Reflect, Recall -- Both Day and Night[link]
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      “No amount of security is worth the suffering of a mediocre life chained to a routine that has killed your dreams.”
      "...develop stability in awareness and your dreams will change in extraordinary ways" -- TYoDaS

    11. #11
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      Congrats InnerVision! I agree with FM's definition of vividness. I think of super-vividness as a strong connection to the dream as if you just lived it...you were just there moments before, just like a room you just walked out of IWL. When I have truly vivid dreams I sometimes just drift back off to sleep with a big smile on my face and go back to the same dream or a related one. Last night I did this and went to Sweden in three different dreams, two of them set at the same farm.
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    12. #12
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      Interesting fogelbise that you mention returning to the dream, because I had a (mini-)epic (very vivid) just last night, too, while drifting in and out of sleep in the late morning returned to see/discuss with somebody my old dog L with whom I'd had a great reunion earlier in the dream. And I specifically mentioned how in my dreams I enjoy these reunions...
      fogelbise likes this.
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      FryingMan's Dream Recall Tips -- Awesome Links
      “No amount of security is worth the suffering of a mediocre life chained to a routine that has killed your dreams.”
      "...develop stability in awareness and your dreams will change in extraordinary ways" -- TYoDaS

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