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    Thread: Review: Dreaming and Awakening 2015 with Stephen LaBerge

    1. #1
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      Review: Dreaming and Awakening 2015 with Stephen LaBerge

      Sallybrarian and I recently returned from a ten-day lucid journey to Kalani Oceanside Retreat on the Big Island of Hawaii, to meet with Stephen LaBerge and his associates for a week of lucid dreaming and lucid living. Below is a quick distillation of events as I experienced them, as well as some thoughts along the way. What an incredible experience.



      The Retreat Center

      Kalani is probably one of the most atmospheric, mindfully-operated retreat centers I’ve stayed at. The center itself is situated in the middle of a rainforest on the Big Island, fairly close to the volcano. The center is entirely run by volunteers, who spend 26 hours a week taking care of retreatants, working on one of Kalani’s many projects, or preparing amazing vegetarian and vegan meals (if you’re into that stuff--they cook meat, too). The rest of the time, they are in Hawaii, on some of the most beautiful and untouched parts of the state. Consequently, these people seem really, really happy, and they extend that happiness willingly to anyone who comes across their path. Kalani literally feels like a different universe.

      The amenities were comfortable (random swinging hammocks, anyone?) and mindful (triple-purified rainwater available from dispensers all over the site, fresh food with ingredients listed, and compost piles for gardens). Our bungalow was a small one-room affair with two beds, a shower and a sink. It was screened in, but not glassed, and the cool night air was actually a bit chilly (extra blankets were available at guest services, no charge). During the day, temperatures reached into the 80’s. Absolutely beautiful, perfect weather.

      Oh, the pool:



      The pool was low-chemical, with only the slightest hint of chlorine. It was also clothing-optional, which I took advantage of often There is something very refreshing about swimming nude. As one retreatant said, “Kalani just feels like home. Where else would you swim naked?” The low chem-treatment also extended to the hot tubs, providing a relaxing end to the day, with no worries about burning eyes.


      Dinners were served cafeteria-style, outdoors, on a covered patio (called “the Lanai”):



      Free Yogi tea was available at any time of the day, as well as fresh, organic almond and peanut butter, and organic hot chocolate mix (yum). There were tables established for Dreaming and Awakening, and most meal conversations centered around lucid dreaming (or any number of tangential topics--spirituality, meditation, astral projection, etc.). There was a vegan and vegetarian dining option every night, and the food was delicious.

      The Retreat


      The workshop sessions were held in one of the large, dorm-style living areas near the cafeteria (called “Halles,” and pronounced HAL-ays). The seating was, as described by one of our English retreatants as, “dodgy, crap chairs.” I didn’t mind them though, and I think because of the large number of people (30+), extra seating had to be pulled in to accommodate the dreamers.

      Stephen’s retreat was wonderful. His two assistants (Keelin and Dr. Kristen LaMarca) are both avid lucid dreamers (Keelin in particular is highly skilled in dream work involved in trauma resolution and personal healing) who have a deep passion for what we do. They held smaller sessions on meditation, dream journaling, shadow integration, MILD, and so forth.

      Stephen’s lectures centered around the material available in “Exploring the World,” but simply hearing the words from their author provided me with new insights I would not have gotten alone (for instance, I realize I have been doing MILD incorrectly this entire time. I’ve changed my method, and have seen my lucid activity increase). He also shared some of the interesting experiments he has run (anomalous perception in lucid dreams, for instance) and some insight into his own practice, and how he has seen that develop over the years.

      The workshops were supplemented with two field trips (one to the volcano, and another to the warm springs). In smaller groups, we also made trips into Pahoa, where we raided the bookstore for dreaming books, and out to Hilo, to see the waterfalls. Stephen also has a penchant for dreamy movies, and we watched David Cronenberg’s eXistenZ and Peter Weir’s The Last Wave. Since I am a party pooper (and wanted to get my dream on), I skipped out on the showings (which ran a bit late). I’m sure they were good movies, though, and some of the imagery was incorporated into dreams during the night.

      And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. . . .
      If you are on the Lucidity Institute’s mailing list, then you are aware that the ND2 will not reach production. It has been superseded by a new device (called the N2D2) which (in my opinion) is better than any device currently available for purchase. While I signed a nondisclosure form assuring Lucidity that I would not post pictures of the device, or discuss what it looks like, how it works, etc., I will say that I used both devices (the older ND2 prototype, and also the new N2D2). Both devices were effective for me, and resulted in lucid dreams. In fact, during the eight days, I had a total of nine lucid dreams). I’m quite excited to see the new device on the market.

      Probably the greatest part of Dreaming and Awakening, however, we meeting so many lucid dreamers. It just isn’t every day that we can sit down at a dinner table with 30 people and just talk dreams. I met many wonderful, beautiful souls on this trip, and shared many stories and experiences. We have all kept in touch, and plan a reunion in the coming years. I hear there is a discount for alumni.

      I have, of course, left so much out of this review. If you have any questions for me, please let me know! Maybe I will see you at the next Dreaming and Awakening!
      Last edited by ThreeCat; 06-07-2015 at 09:44 PM.
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    2. #2
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      Hey, I heard about this!

      *____* Hawaii looks like it was amazing and that nudist hot tub/pool must've been great too XD I imagine you did quite a few reality checks..

      Sounds like a great experience. I plan to go one day, maybe I'll be fortunate enough to go with a
      buddy like you did. eXistenZ is a great lucid dreaming movie though, kinda like the Matrix or The Thirteenth Floor

      Anyway, thanks for sharing, cool read
      Last edited by Wisher; 06-08-2015 at 05:08 AM.
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      Merilly merilly merilly merilly
      Life is but a dreamm

    3. #3
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      Thank you for posting such a detailed and well-illustrated description of the site and the workshop! I've long wondered what these retreats are like. It sounds a lot better than I had imagined!

      Quote Originally Posted by ThreeCat View Post
      Stephen’s lectures centered around the material available in “Exploring the World,” but simply hearing the words from their author provided me with new insights I would not have gotten alone (for instance, I realize I have been doing MILD incorrectly this entire time. I’ve changed my method, and have seen my lucid activity increase). He also shared some of the interesting experiments he has run (anomalous perception in lucid dreams, for instance) and some insight into his own practice, and how he has seen that develop over the years.
      Could you explain your new insights about MILD? This has been one of the less effective techniques in my arsenal, so I'm probably doing it wrong too.

      Quote Originally Posted by ThreeCat View Post
      The workshops were supplemented with two field trips (one to the volcano, and another to the warm springs). In smaller groups, we also made trips into Pahoa, where we raided the bookstore for dreaming books, and out to Hilo, to see the waterfalls.
      Did you find any good books?

      Quote Originally Posted by ThreeCat View Post
      Stephen also has a penchant for dreamy movies, and we watched David Cronenberg’s eXistenZ and Peter Weir’s The Last Wave. Since I am a party pooper (and wanted to get my dream on), I skipped out on the showings (which ran a bit late). I’m sure they were good movies, though, and some of the imagery was incorporated into dreams during the night.
      I haven't seen eXistenZ since it first came out, but I remember really liking it. I'm not familiar with The Last Wave... will have to look that up.
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    4. #4
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      Yes please do let us know about the mild unless its secret
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      Merilly merilly merilly merilly
      Life is but a dreamm

    5. #5
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      Hi, Verre! To answer your question, Wisher, no, it is not a secret. Here were the insights I had:

      1.) Eventually, success with MILD should be very easy. Someone asked Stephen if he uses MILD himself. His said no, but also that he didn't need to anymore. He compared it to saying the word 'the': until you know how, perhaps challenging;but once you know how, very easy.

      2.) It's not about repeating a mantra! (Ok, I knew this already, but it bears repeating). The power is in vividly reliving a scene, becoming lucid in that visualization, and then resolving to become lucid next time it occurs in a dream. In the visualizing, you should try to feel as though you are actually there--use whatever senses most effectively convey this feeling. For the resolution, use the same faculty you would use in remembering to pick up milk on the way home from work, but really mean it when you say it. Repeat this until you feel your intention is really set.

      3. WBTB is super important. I did 30 minute WBTBs during the retreat. I was amazed at how effective this was. Experiment to find what works for you.

      I hope this was helpful! It's more or less what he says in EWOLD, but the nuances are important!

      And Verre--I picked up Creative Dreaming by Patricia Garfield!
      Last edited by ThreeCat; 06-10-2015 at 01:56 AM.

    6. #6
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      Thanks for sharing, 3Cat; you've ignited many wonderful memories for me!

      So, when she was asked, did Keelin happen to say that the N2D2 would be available "Real soon!" ?

      ... Just from that one paragraph, it looks like DV might have a candidate for the next DVA MILD instructor...
      Last edited by Sageous; 06-10-2015 at 03:36 AM.
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      Thanks for the great review, I'd say I was extremely jealous but that would be harmful grasping so I won't . So what's LaBerge's LDing practice like currently? Does he spend effort on it still? He said he doesn't do MILD but does he do WBTB, etc.? Were there any other forum-related people there (from DV or other sites)? Did the people there know about DV?

      Is there a pointer to the newsletter in question? Has it been actually published? Does the LI have long-term data on N2D2 use (i.e., how effective is it after the initial "excitement" runs its course)? Do they consider it an every-night device or a dry-spell breaker, etc?
      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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      Wow this sounds Totaly great - tobe able to go and experience it

      Any words on making an actual evening practice to do each night that REALY keys into setting of intention ect? I am currently learning Mild and Wild
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    9. #9
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      Is there a pointer to the newsletter in question? Has it been actually published? Does the LI have long-term data on N2D2 use (i.e., how effective is it after the initial "excitement" runs its course)? Do they consider it an every-night device or a dry-spell breaker, etc?
      Comfort-wise, I would say the device can be worn whenever you want. It's much lighter than the original ND and the ND2. There is an update at Lucidity; just scroll down until you find N2D2. Here is something you will find useful, I think:

      The end result is that N2D2 is more like the original DreamLight, the $1200 device released in the 1990s, which, because it had a larger processing unit than the later Nova Dreamer, had greater programming flexibility and ability to store data. It was also easier to use than the less expensive NovaDreamer. With the latest personal computing technology, we can now offer DreamLight level (and well beyond...) sophistication for approximately a tenth of the cost to you. The N2D2 will allow you to personalize your settings, download and view your results, and refine your settings for optimal effectiveness.
      They are currently in beta testing. They are also looking for beta testers, and that information is is on the same page. As for Stephen's practice, I really couldn't say. He didn't mention anything in particular. Sorry--that's something that interests me as well. I do think he has reached a stage where he doesn't have to seek lucidity, which must have interesting consequences for one's personal practice.

      So, when she was asked, did Keelin happen to say that the N2D2 would be available "Real soon!" ?
      Lol, more or less I'm hoping for a quick turnaround. And thank you for your kind comments; I think I could manage that, especially if it was getting folks lucid.

      And FryingMan, I was the only DVer there (but not anymore, because I converted some folks)

      Patience, I think MILD, coupled with a positive attitude and a little of your username, will bring good results. And you can do it any night you want, providing you have the time.
      Last edited by ThreeCat; 06-10-2015 at 07:11 PM.
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      Ah, that N2D2 update is from February 2014, I thought an update was supposed to be out this month which is what I thought you were referring to, but I guess that's still not out yet.

      I'd love to beta test the N2D2 and I think I've signed up at least 2-3 times to be a beta tester on their site but haven't heard back unfortunately.

      I wonder, though, if one really can "cruise" on earlier efforts in lucid dreaming, so I was interested if LaBerge is still a frequent LDer or not.
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      Thank for sharing this ThreeCat!
      Very nice read - must have been quite an experience!
      ...and 9 lucid in 8 days? Wow!
      Could you tell us what would be your usual success rate - just for comparison?
      And finally some good news about N2D2 release!
      I hope - as Frying Man said - that it will prove to be effective even after the initial "excitement period" and of course that it will reach the market quite soon!
      "...what we experience is our model of reality, not reality itself. Perception is dreaming constrained by sensory input. So its a constrained dream, whereas dreaming is perception free of constraint. What exactly is the difference experientially between the dream and waking state? And you see, its the same stuff. Its all illusion! "Stephen LaBerge

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      ThreeCat, how many times did you use the N2D2 (every night? All night?) on the retreat? How many of your LDs do you attribute to the signaling of the device? Do you recall receiving any signals when you were not asleep? Did you get LDs earlier in the night than your unassisted LD pattern using the device? However much you can tell us considering the NDA would be great.
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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

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      N2D2? The goalposts keep moving...

      According to the Lucidity Institute the release date (by calculation) should have been roughly in late spring 2014.

      *INTRODUCING N2D2: Landing sooner than you’ll believe.
      We’ll be beta-testing N2D2, the lastest re-reVision of the 7th Generation of our LDIDs at the DA2 program next month in Hawai2. General release is projected for another quarter revolution of the orbit of the home planet.
      source via reddit

      Compare that with the page displayed now. 'eddit'

      Mind you there is not much any competition as iWinks keep pushing the shipping date back which makes me a bit suspicious of the whole Aurora project, as in I think the team behind it have bitten off more they can chew personally.

      When is the next part of the soap opera coming I wonder?
      Last edited by Highlander; 06-15-2015 at 01:53 PM.
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