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    Thread: Age and Lucidity

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      Age and Lucidity

      I am 67 years old....a young 67, though.

      I stumbled into lucid dreaming three weeks ago when a pretty incongruous event in a somewhat threatening dream caused me to say, "Wait....this is a dream!" I was able to change the circumstances and deal with the issue at hand and I woke up profoundly amazed.

      Since then things have happened very quickly....it's a bit like an ember falling on a dry brush pile. In these last three weeks I have searched out every bit of info I can find on this amazing thing called lucid dreaming and I have immersed myself in "lucidity training". I have said those same words in three different dreams in that time. Almost all of my dreams seem to now have some degree of lucidity and I feel it having a very interesting effect on my life in general.

      Any other old folks out there that can relate to this?

      How does age affect the ability to experience lucid dreams as a beginner?
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      Apparently being in our 'advanced stage of life' does make it more difficult, but it's a relative thing. I believe it partly has to do with brain chemistry - I've heard it's related to Choline levels or something. That can be supplemented with choline pills you can get at a drug store or online. But no matter what the age, some people can lucid really good, some less so to varying degrees, and it can always be improved through interest, training and practice.

      Far and away the #1 resource if you really want to learn all about lucidity is the book Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming by Stephen LaBerge. But your best line of support and advice of course is right here. It's really helpful to look into the Dream Journals section - read people's dreams and see what kind of experiences they're having. how similar or different it is to your own. People often write in their DJs what kind of techniques they're using for lucidity as well, and how successful it is.

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      Thanks for that reply Darkmatters. I seem to be an anomaly I guess because I am having good early success. My many, many years of T'ai Chi practice may be helping somehow...that mind/body relationship thing.

      I have already ordered the book. I am in the process of reading many threads here as well....this is a fantastic resource!
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      I definitely suspect the T'ai Chi is a big factor. Meditation helps as well, because it helps you focus your intentions and your awareness.

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      Glad to hear you ordered that book, lenscaper. It helped me to have my first several lucids.
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      Dreams are real while they last. Can we say more of life? - Havelock Ellis

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      As The Journey Begins

      Since I have this thread going I'd like to use it to ask a few questions about what I am experiencing at this very early stage of my journey rather than start a number of different threads. I am betting that there are quite a few folks lurking about who may be beginners like me and perhaps my experiences and questions will be helpful to them as well.

      As I look through my very brief journal I see that the first entry was only 22 days ago. I have the word "lucid" circled four times, including in the entry I just made. I have tried every technique that I have learned of. I know that folks say to stick with one for a while but I find that I am REALLY enjoying the process and not worrying so much about the result as the process, in all of its forms, has been incredibly rewarding thus far.

      So.......this question concerns mantras. after reading Enz's thread and discovering SSILD I tried it out last night with great success. But....it took a while with a false start. As I was trying to fall asleep I could feel a dream forming but I found that I kept switching from one mantra to another. I finally found myself in a semi-lucid dream that suddenly became very lucid with the most visceral lucidity I have yet experienced...including a brief exhilarating flight. I woke up with a full body smile.


      Should I develop one mantra that I always use or do folks switch from one to another often?
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      That's really interesting, lenscaper. I've usually read to use one mantra as an anchor, but if switching allows you to maintain the focus that you need I don't see why or how it could be a bad thing. There are other forum members that have been using mantras for lucid dreaming much longer than I, though, as I've only been at it for a few months now. So they may have some deeper insight. Also, congratulations on your success using SSILD!
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      Dreams are real while they last. Can we say more of life? - Havelock Ellis

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      I appreciate that insight, zelcrow. It makes sense that I should stick with one and I suppose I'll settle into one. I'm getting the feeling, though, that it is really the strong intention of becoming lucid that builds when focusing on any mantra that is the key factor here.

      In trying to understand my success last night I am realizing that the most important thing that I have been doing is working diligently on being super aware during my days. There was no RC kind of trigger in last night's lucid dream.....it was more of just a general realization that I was in the sleeping dream rather than the awake dream.
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      Sure. You could try alternating between switching mantras and hanging onto one to see which works better for you. I would agree that strong intention does a lot to attaining lucidity. It seems like when I am able to become lucid, it is preceded by a strong will and motivation throughout the day and while falling asleep. When that intention and will wanes, I have fewer lucids.

      Hmm. That has happened to me with some of the lucids I've had. I have confirmed the lucidity with RCs, but a few times I've just suddenly realized I'm in a dream while standing around without anything apparently odd happening. I'm interested by how quickly you seem to be achieving lucidity. Approximately how frequently each day are you aware? Is it hourly or more? And how much time will pass in between your moments of awareness? How do you experience the awareness you've been working on as it is happening?
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      Dreams are real while they last. Can we say more of life? - Havelock Ellis

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      Well.......During my days I sit in front of a computer screen with a bluetooth headset on in a nice private office. With big windows and a huge ficus tree. It is a very personalized space. I have a small bright pink post-it sticky stuck to the phone and every time I glance at it I ask myself if this is a dream. Then I look closely at all the things close around me and try to see details that I have missed in the past. I'll get up and walk around while I am taking calls and watch my hands. I have started telling myself over and over that this is a dream...just the one I am awake in. That may be the important part...it feels right.

      It has become a pretty constant frame of mind....almost as if I am living in a reality check. I am fortunate to be in such a controlled environment for 10 hours each day.

      These daytime exercises, along with the night time lucidity, are really changing my perspective of "reality"....in a good way.
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    11. #11
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      lenscaper - to our Lucid Family : D

      You had your first lucid dream just by thinking "Wait, this must be a dream". THAT is the secret to lucid dreaming. Knowing that you are dreaming. That one thought is more important than methods are. All the methods are mostly a vehicle to carry this thought.

      Reading all the methods, practices, experiences is wonderful, as it keeps your mind interested and excited about all those new things. I found that EXCITEMENT about possibility to be awake while asleep is what gave me my first lucid and many more after that. I also discovered lucid dreaming later in my life and it was like discovering the most amazing secret of humankind.

      I would recommend reading all the threads on this forum that you find interesting. I discovered that my mind paid attention to every detail I read, even if I was not trying to memorize them consciously. Just knowing, that I can do what other could helped me greatly and I started doing things in my dreams I had no idea I can do. Just by reading them and knowing that I CAN.

      We have many wonderful members here that are happy to help you with any questions. In our DV Academy, you can get more personalized help and read more about 2 main techniques WILD and DILD.

      https://www.dreamviews.com/wild/
      https://www.dreamviews.com/dild/

      here is something more about mantras, reality checks and a DILD - which is a type of a lucid dream you are having. It's when you realize that you are dreaming while you are having a normal dream. https://www.dreamviews.com/dild/1321...ods-dilds.html

      Happy dreams!

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      Thanks so much for the warm welcome, gab. I intend to make full use of this most excellent resource as I try to fit in here in this wonderful community. I'll definitely check out the links that you provided as a start.

      Sunday nap soon....going to work on improving my hypnagogia techniques and see where that takes me.
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      Reality Checks/Dream Signs

      I have not yet been making very good use of dream signs. As I have mentioned, all of my lucid moments have come more from a broad realization that I was dreaming. I think my mind is trying to tell me something, though,

      I mentioned in an earlier post about the florescent pink sticky that I have on the phone in my office to remind my to reality check. It is right there in front of me all day...has been for two weeks. Well, last night I did not try very hard to get lucid. I did SSILD but I fell asleep with somewhat less intention than usual. My dreams were mundane and hardly memorable....until I drove a car onto a wide boulevard and there in the distance in front of me was an entire troop of soldiers walking toward me in a loose formation. They covered the entire boulevard and they were all wearing......that exact florescent pink.

      I was startled into lucidity....and immediately woke up.
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      Do you use any kind of mantras? Or keep a dream journal? Those were the most effective things I've done. I even combined them, by writing my mantra in the DJ before going to sleep, and then repeating it to myself over and over as I drifted off. For me anyway, after coming up with a good mantra and using it every night for a while, it started working like a charm. What I used in the beginning was "I wake after each dream, lie still with eyes closed, and remember the dream."

      That was to increase my awareness to dreams and my recall. And it worked brilliantly! In fact, once I had it firmly implanted in my mind, I could stop using the mantra and it would keep on working for long periods of time afterwards. I'd keep a notebook and pen next to the bed and scribble down the bare facts of the dreams, then write them up in more full detail on the computer in the morning (or to my DJ in here). Once you've got that down, then you're ready for another mantra to remember to do some reality checks and stabilize.

      Oh, not a necessity, but I use a Weems & Plath navigation pen designed for a sea captain's logbook –– it has a green LED light next to the tip so you don't have to turn on the room lights, which can wake you up too much and make the dreams just evaporate instantly, plus you can't get back to sleep.
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 02-24-2019 at 09:32 PM.
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      My music studio is just around the corner from the bedroom.....the dream journal is on the keyboard next to my scratch pads for new songs. I have only been writing down the key parts of the dreams that were somewhat lucid or had extremely lucid parts but I have an entry for every day since I started this three weeks ago. I wake up every night at around 1:00. I go to bed very early and get up at 4:00 naturally every day. It's a throwback habit from my landscaper days. Anyway, often times I'll make an entry then and then go back to bed. I definitely keep the lights of.....the 1:00 entry is always very short and sometimes barely legible. I'll definitely look into that pen.

      The mantra that I start with is "When I dream I'll know I'm dreaming". When sleep is close I switch to "This is a dream".

      I have something else on my mind.....I'm going to a make a new post for it.

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      SSILD Exercise

      I hope it is ok for me to post like this. Things are happening fast for me and this is an amazingly good way for me to keep track.

      I have had recent success with SSILD so today I tried something interesting......bathtub SSILD practice. Here's how it went:

      Fill the tub with very warm (hot) water. I added 2 cups of epsom salt. I have this little issue with chronic Lyme and that helps keeps me one step ahead of it.

      Immerse completely and begin the SSILD protocol. While concentrating on the back of your closed eyelids count to 30 on in and out breaths....nice long cleansing breaths. Have your ears in the water for this part. Then rise up so your ears are out of the water and listen to the world for 30 more counts. Listen for the silence between the sounds. Then go back into the water and feel your body for 30 more counts. Do a full body check. Feel how your body rises in the tub when you breathe in and then sinks when you breathe out.

      Repeat the process counting slowly to 20. Repeat again counting to 10.

      When you are ready to get out lie on the floor and repeat the process for a bit....especially feeling how your body now is reacting to gravity. (Thank you Hukif )

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      Quote Originally Posted by lenscaper View Post
      I hope it is ok for me to post like this.
      If by "post like this", you mean double/multiple posting, I'm pretty sure it's fine as long as it's not excessive and the following posts are complete and/or separate ideas/topics that aren't better tacked on as simple edits. I'm no mod, so don't take my word for it on that, but I've noticed others following these guidelines and making multiple successive posts and somewhat regularly do it myself and have never been given a warning or reprimanded for it.

      Dream signs and reality checks are good practices to be in, but definitely keep in mind the method behind the madness. The primary motivation behind and ultimate goal of reality checks and dream signs are to increase your general awareness of yourself. That's a rather loaded statement though--by general awareness of yourself, I mean of virtually everything in your life and that you experience. A lot of the time, even though specific dream signs may be good for prompting reality checks for example, the dream signs themselves are more a symptom of what you ought to becoming more aware of than the cause or an end in themselves. What I mean is, it generates genuine inquisitiveness and interest in what might make these dream signs show up so often and why, leading to some real insight.

      All in all, it's a never ending process of trying to achieve a greater knowledge of yourself and life. Ultimately it's all part of a broader process of spiritual/psychological enlightenment and transcendence... put in other terms, part of a journey of self-actualization and individuation. I think pursuit of self-improvement, understanding, and self-actualization/individuation is perhaps the greatest way of indirectly improving one's ability to lucid dream. Honestly, I think making progress on this front has greater potential to improve lucidity than directly practicing lucid dreaming can and often does.

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      Quote Originally Posted by snoop View Post
      All in all, it's a never ending process of trying to achieve a greater knowledge of yourself and life. Ultimately it's all part of a broader process of spiritual/psychological enlightenment and transcendence... put in other terms, part of a journey of self-actualization and individuation. I think pursuit of self-improvement, understanding, and self-actualization/individuation is perhaps the greatest way of indirectly improving one's ability to lucid dream. Honestly, I think making progress on this front has greater potential to improve lucidity than directly practicing lucid dreaming can and often does.
      This really resonates with me. But I'm also thinking that it can be turned around the other way as well......a greater degree of consciousness (lucidity) during our dream state can lead to more self-improvement, understanding and self-actualization along with enhanced spiritual enlightenment as a whole being.

      I'm thinking that in the dream state we are immersed in an outpouring of....self....from our sub-conscious. The more conscious we can become in the presence of that outpouring, the more it will become part of the entire fabric of our being. It is this potential that has attracted me so strongly to lucid dreaming.

      Thoughts on that?
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      In the meantime.....! am working very hard at understanding how my natural sleep cycle works and how to best use it. I used to do a lot of trout fishing and there was nothing more frustrating than working a pool that had no fish in it. That's pretty much how I felt last night when I woke up after only 4 hours of sleep and tried for another SSILD.

      I didn't catch anything and I woke up a little groggy.

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      I literally thought you were going to say:

      Quote Originally Posted by lenscaper View Post
      I used to do a lot of trout fishing and there was nothing more frustrating than
      "...Catching a big fish and then waking up with nothing to show for it!"

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      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      I literally thought you were going to say:



      "...Catching a big fish and then waking up with nothing to show for it!"
      Nope. I think I was at that particular "fishing hole" at the wrong time since I was not in my productive REM period. Those fish just weren't about to bite.

      Tonight I'll try to wait another couple of hours and I bet I get plenty of action.
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      Welcome to DV lenscaper. I enjoyed reading about your journey thus far. It seems you have a good approach to this and I encourage you to continue with your gut feeling to develop your own unique path that perhaps others can learn from. I also like this: "I have started telling myself over and over that this is a dream...just the one I am awake in. That may be the important part...it feels right." That is a one of the practices used in Dream Yoga, illusory practice, so you are in great company.

      May I ask if you have any other backgrounds that have helped your mindset beyond the T'ai Chi?

      I also strongly agree that both lucidity practice and lucid dreaming has many benefits on waking life!
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      Quote Originally Posted by fogelbise View Post
      May I ask if you have any other backgrounds that have helped your mindset beyond the T'ai Chi?
      Thank you for that welcome and for you words of encouragement, fogelbise. There are two other important parts of my life that I feel play a part in my mindset and may be helping me along on this amazing new journey.

      I have been writing songs for over 40 years and recording them for the last 20 years or so. This is a private thing.....not at all professional. I have used it over the years as a bit of a conduit to my subconscious self. I am feeling a connection forming between my lucidity and my songwriting already.

      The other thing that still lives at my core is my time studying the Japanese art of Aikido. I was Sensei for a dozen years or so until an injury took me off that path.

      EDIT:
      There's something else that I just realized while I was going through my morning routine. I have been consuming home made kefir daily for the last two years in a focused effort to restructure my microbiome. It has made me...very healthy. There is a great deal of scientific evidence that supports a very strong connection from our gut bacteria to our brains. They pretty much rule the roost, it seems. We are actually....bactosapiens. I am thinking that there is a further connection here and I must research "kefir and lucid dreaming".
      Last edited by lenscaper; 02-28-2019 at 11:29 AM.

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      The Opaque Window

      .....a very powerful experience.

      Last night I woke myself up after 6 hours of good sleep. I practice the SSILD protocol for 10 minutes or so and then rolled over to my sleeping position and tried to go right to sleep. No such luck. As I felt my body drifting toward sleep I tried to relax my mind....I tried a number of different mantras......

      Finally I just projected my mind into...the sky...space....and felt my body slip into complete stillness while I lingered in hynagogia.

      My very next conscious experience was an intense burst of visual light and...power....that emanated from around a roughly square shaped opaque window. The window was the color of pewter. It lasted for only a spit second and it blasted me awake....and into crystal clear lucidity. I slowly sat up on the edge of the bed...with an huge smile. I thought about doing a reality check but I knew exactly which dream world I was in.

      Close to 2 hours had elapsed. I felt as though I had slept for 10 hours. I'm still smiling.

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      Quote Originally Posted by lenscaper View Post
      This really resonates with me. But I'm also thinking that it can be turned around the other way as well......a greater degree of consciousness (lucidity) during our dream state can lead to more self-improvement, understanding and self-actualization along with enhanced spiritual enlightenment as a whole being.

      Thoughts on that?
      Absolutely, that's the great part about the lucid dreaming. Any great length of time dedicated to lucid dreaming inevitably points people toward self-actualization, self knowledge, and spiritual growth because the two things have so much overlap and complement one another so well. Well, that's my opinion anyway.

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