• Lucid Dreaming - Dream Views

    SAT - Sporadic Awareness Technique
    A DILD Variation by Puffin

    Here you will learn about my own variation of the DILD technique, which has accounted for more than ninety percent of my lucid count. I began lucid dreaming in 2009 and developed this technique over the first few days of being on Dreamviews, which improved my count to the point where I'd get up to 9 DILDs a week. I've been using the same method ever since! In summary, I use a combination of awareness and skepticism at random points throughout the day, which emulates the most common scenario of becoming lucid in a dream: when you become aware right out of the blue.

    Whether you're just starting out, or have been chasing down lucid dreams for months, I hope you enjoy reading this tutorial. Although I'm sure it can help you achieve your first LD or help you raise your LD count, remember that these are personal and somewhat unique techniques so don't be discouraged if they don't work right at first. Throughout the guide, the technique will be referred to as SAT, the acronym for sporadic awareness technique. I've done my best to ensure that you not only learn the technique, but understand in terms of basic dream lingo, why the technique works.

    If you decide to try out SAT or have questions, please post in the thread version of the guide, here, so I can offer you advice!

    Support for this guide...

    ThePieMan - Best tutorial ever.
    XeL - I'm glad you shed some light on awareness. Good job and good tutorial.
    jasonresno - I like the idea of the sporadic "intensely dissecting your surroundings". I think it's an easy way to become more aware of, well, everything.
    scrumpy - Puffin the idea of being more aware has really worked for me and quickly, your ideas seem to be working for me. I had 3 LD's in one night and 4 within 2 nights of becoming more "skeptical" of my surroundings
    ZoeSeeker - Great guide. I do almost all of these things, but only found the knowledge after reading a lot. If I had started here, it would have been faster! The hands thing really works, it help me with my first Lucid! Getting into the habit of questioning reality with RCs is key for me. Thanks!
    dc0322 - last night I had my first DILD since joining the forums! What's special about this particular DILD for me, is that I used awareness and RC's instead of just randomly realizing I was dreaming
    SuddenGun007 - After reading this, that night or morning I had 2 back to back LDs
    SamJoe - Thanks for the guide Puffin. I've been working on this for over a week now and last night I had my first (agonizingly short) moment of lucidity in 5 months or so!
    Rein64 - Thank you so much, I just had my first LD tonight!
    It's true what you said earlier, you don't need those fancy dream signs, you just need to be AWARE. Thanks again, you really helped me getting to the next level of dreaming!
    Snowboy - I was in a school, then I noticed how blurry my vision was (paying attention to surroundings as described in the guide), then I did a RC and it failed. This happened within a week or two of reading your guide, so it has some pretty fast results!
    dc0322 - I am also extra excited bc last night I had my first DILD since joining the forums! I'm definitely motivated to keep trying - let's all maintain this routine of not just RC's but also an "awareness and observation" check, a level of skepticism about the "realness" of my surroundings seems to be a critical part of DILDing, at least for me!

    First Steps

    About DILD
    The original DILD technique stands for dream initiated lucid dream, and is sometimes called the technique for beginners because it's considered easier to undertake than WILD, and less stressful on the dreamer. It involves the person becoming lucid, or aware that they're dreaming, when they're in the dream itself. Usually the dream has already commenced and the person becomes lucid through an epiphany or a burst of sudden awareness. DILD is one of the most common lucid dream induction techniques out there.

    Work on your recall!
    Being able to remember what you dreamed about, also known as recall, is important because if you can't remember your dreams, you won't remember your lucid ones either. At best, you may know you've had a lucid, but won't be able to remember the details. You should remember, minimally, 1 dream a night before trying SAT.
    How to improve your recall

    - When you wake, try just relaxing in bed with your eyes closed. Focus and think of key words, seeing if they resonate with something you dreamed about. Staying relaxed helps keep your brain in "sleep mode" for a few moments so you may be able to recall dreams easier. Sometimes, if you are just lying in bed, you might get fleeting images of what you dreamed about; from my own experiences, if you keep trying to bring those images back into your mind, the memories will grow into a fully remembered dream.
    - Go on Dreamviews and read other people's dreams to see if they remind you of one that you had.
    - Alcohol reduces the amount of time you spend in REM sleep, which is the time dreams are formed. Limit your intake if you're trying to recall dreams!
    - Drink some apple juice a few hours before hitting the hay.
    - Take some vitamin B6 - be sure to look for the proper dosage so you don't take too much.
    - When you wake up naturally during the night, record dreams you remember now - you might forget them later on.
    - Limit the amount of TV you watch, and the time you spend in front of your computer's bright screen before bed. Light is very stimulating and can keep you awake, reducing recall.
    - Keep a steady sleep schedule. Go to bed within an hour of the same time each night, and wake up the same time each morning, regardless of whether it's a weekend or weekday.

    About Awareness

    Let's start from the beginning. You may have heard that dreamers usually become lucid after doing reality checks or seeing dream signs. But, in 99% of cases, this isn't true - usually it happens the other way around: the person all of a sudden realizes they're dreaming, and then they use a reality check or look for a dream sign to back this fact up. Yes, dream signs and reality checks can trigger lucidity occasionally, but they don't work unless you're aware enough to notice them in the first place. If you only practice the motions of looking for dream signs and doing RCs without really putting thought into them, you'll end up doing them in your dreams without thinking about it. We have a habit of walking in real life so we will naturally walk in our dreams, but we think nothing of it. Making RCs into a habit and a routine procedure will do something similar, which won't necessarily help with becoming lucid.

    Also, dreams won't always contain dream signs. If you only train yourself to recognize a few, what about all the other ones that could appear? Do you really want to wait for a dream sign to pop up and reality check only when you see one? Or, you can work on overall awareness, reality checking anytime, so even if you don't see a dream sign you have a chance at lucidity. It should be mentioned that some peoples' dream signs involve the lights not working, or something that rarely ever happens. You can't reality check that much unless the lights are constantly going out.

    So as a rule, reality checks are almost always only used for confirmation and not to cause the actual lucidity. Think of how "lucidity" is defined - it means to have a certain clarity of mind and mental awareness, which you can't develop from simply going through the motions of a reality check. In fact, reality checks don't even need to be used at all to become lucid; awareness is all you need. You just have to be mindful. But RCs are still important because they are a way to confirm if you're in a dream.

    The "typical" dream induced lucid dream (DILD):
    1. The dreamer is totally unaware that he/she is dreaming, and is simply going about their normal business. Their surroundings don't necessarily have to look "off" or unusual in any way.
    2. The dreamer stops, suddenly conscious. "What the...? How did I get here?"
    3. It occurs to the dreamer that they could dreaming and they may repeat this out loud. "I must be dreaming!" they say, and then they perform a reality check, such as plugging their nose - if they are dreaming, they will be able to breathe normally through their nose.
    4. The reality check may work or fail; in other words, they may be able to breathe, or not be able to breathe.
    If the RC works (they can breathe) - the dreamer confirms that they are indeed in a dream, and proceeds to go off and do something after stabilization.
    If the RC fails (they can't breathe) - if the dreamer isn't very aware, they might go unconscious again and continue to go on without knowing it's a dream, but if they are conscious enough, they may perform another reality check just to make sure. This one will usually work, and they will then perform stabilization and proceed to do something in the dream.

    Here's a list of the most common reality checks, or RCs, used.

    Nose-plug:* plug your nose and see if you can breathe through it. In a dream, you'll be able to breathe.
    Finger-counting: check your hand and see if you have the right amount of fingers. In a dream you can have less or more fingers.
    Digital clock: look at the time on the clock, turn away, and look back to see if the time has changed. See if the time is unrealistic, such as 27:44 or 8:62. The time might also change right in front of your eyes.
    Reading: sometimes in dreams, writing is distorted or nonsensical.
    Finger-through-palm: Try pushing one of your fingers through the palm of your other hand. It may take a bit of effort, but if you're dreaming it will go right through as if you're a hologram.
    Lights: flick a light switch on and off to see if the light levels change. In dreams, there's a chance the switches won't work or the lights will be very dim.
    Location: Where are you right now, and can you recall how you got there? In a dream you can be somewhere with no memory of how you ended up there.
    Gravity: A cool but sometimes unreliable RC. Expect yourself to float upwards and see if you do. Or, simply see if you can feel gravity acting on you right now.
    Grogginess: In dreams, sometimes you're groggy and do things without really thinking about it. You may not be as "aware" of what's around you, which can lead to passive, nonchalant behavior in the dream.

    * Be sure to have the nose-plug RC in your lucid dreaming toolkit, because it's probably the most reliable one out there.

    Using SAT

    Applying awareness to the DILD technique
    To have a DILD, you have to practice waking awareness, or mindfulness, and really question if you could be dreaming at a given moment, so this will eventually carry over into your dreams. Awareness as a lucid induction technique, and not using RCs or dream signs, hasn't been emphasized greatly but now many people are realizing how much it helps to cause lucidity. This part of the guide will delve into how to use awareness to become lucid, which has a great chance of working if you do it correctly!

    When starting out using SAT, you may not feel genuinely suspicious as to whether you're dreaming. You could be thinking that since everything feels so real, it's "obvious" that you're awake. However, as you experience LDs and realize "how did I manage not to notice that I was dreaming before this?", you'll get the hang of it. Another thing to think about is how when you're dreaming, you accept it as reality. You don't question things, no matter how bizarre they may be, because in the dream it all feels realistic. Apply this principle to reality. The waking state feels real too, so you don't question it either.

    So really, what's the difference between dreaming and reality? You'll obviously know when you're awake, but you won't know when you're dreaming unless you are mindful. Saying this, don't accept things for face value until you confirm it with a RC and reason out to yourself why you're awake/asleep. Question your surroundings as genuinely as you can.

    Awareness is the conscious ability to perceive, to feel, or to be conscious of events, objects or sensory patterns. In other words, it's taking into consideration the things you do during the day, what they feel like, sound like, and knowing why you're doing these specific things. If you're at the computer, you don't normally think about how the mouse feels under your hand, or how bright the screen it. But every once in a while, stop to focus on your eyes and see how they're squinting slightly from looking at the bright screen of the computer in the dark. Feel how the gravity pulls your hand down towards the mouse. Lift your hand up slightly, and let go, feeling it rest again on the mouse after a small impact. Did it hurt? Was it sudden? Do a reality check now - just because things feel real, it doesn't mean they are.

    You're walking down the sidewalk. You're clearly not dreaming, right? Think again - you haven't questioned anything yet, so stop moving and do a reality check. Maybe you should look at the details on the leaves, and feel the wind blowing against you. Can you see the individual bricks on the houses you're walking by? Take a break and lean against a building, feeling the hard texture of the construction on your back.

    You're inside your house at night time, sipping on a cup of coffee. Wait, and take a moment to simply see if the coffee looks real. Does the cup feel warm? Is there steam coming out of it? Can you look outside that window next to you and see the details of the buildings - even though it's dark, there's probably street lights illuminating parts of the area. If it's night in a dream, looking through a window to see what's outside can often result in blurry results; the buildings may be "off", or hazy. The roads can look funny.

    Here are some more examples on how to become aware.
    1. At completely randomized times, stop whatever you're doing and look around. Observe, does anything look distorted? Ask yourself if you're dreaming. Don't set the times that you'll be doing this up in advance, just do them when you remember. But if you have to remind yourself at the start, write a note. Be sure to stop using the reminder after a while, though!

    2. Each time you look at a digital clock to check the time, perform the digital clock reality check (look away and look back again to see if it's changed) and couple it with another one. Many people have access to a bedside alarm clock and computer.

    3. When reading a book, stop at random times and pick a line of text. Analyze and explain to yourself what the passage is telling the reader.

    4. When in on a conversation, listen to what the conversation is about and internally think about whether it's a realistic topic for the people speaking.

    5. Perform the nose-plug reality check every time you get into bed, and get up in the morning. This check works even if the lights are out, and can help catch a false awakening (FA).

    6. If you're sitting on a chair, get up slightly and allow yourself to fall back into position. Is gravity working the way it should? You can also jump into the air and see how quickly you fall down.

    7. Another great way to test for reality is to expect something to happen, using standard dream control techniques - imagine your relative will come through the door at a given moment, for instance, and believe this 100%. Visualize them as they'd appear when walking through the door; know which way they'll be facing and how they'll act. If they do, you might be dreaming, especially if they shouldn't be in that location at present.

    8. Can you feel your heartbeat in your chest? Are you breathing? If so, is your breath warm or cold? Can you shift the focus of your eyes in order to look at something farther away?

    As you may have noticed, the key to SAT is to just stop what you're doing and then use awareness to heighten your consciousness. You can do your RCs anytime during this; I personally do a reality check (or two) after being observant for a few minutes, then do another one afterwards, "just in case" I might actually be dreaming.

    When going about your RCing and being aware, the more you slow down and really stop whatever you're doing, the better. If you were walking somewhere in your house, come to a halt; if you were drawing, stop moving the hand that you're drawing with. Doing this creates a sense of stillness that, if it happens in a dream, will stop you right in your tracks and promote awareness. The majority of my own lucids, along with many others', have started by the dreamer stopping what they're doing and questioning if they're dreaming, so emulating this in waking life is sure to have an impact on your lucidity. Another upside to stopping what you're doing is that it puts awareness on the forefront of your mind, which prevents your practices from becoming more like a passive "habit".

    Along with stopping what you're doing, it also helps to act like you're skeptical as to whether you're awake. You can think a few different lines in your head, or quietly speak to yourself. Here are some examples of what I use.
    Wait, why am I just ignoring everything around me? I could be dreaming right now.

    Whoa, I should probably do a reality check because before I discovered I was dreaming last time, I just passively ignored everything around me.

    Hm... This feels real, but I have to see if I'm dreaming.

    If you're having trouble being skeptical, you can always reason out why you could (or couldn't) be dreaming once you stop what you're doing. For instance, you could say something like "I'm not dreaming right now because I am very aware, and I can't breathe through my plugged nose. If I were dreaming, I would be able to breathe and I might be a bit less aware, more groggy."

    How often and how long?
    It depends on the person. I stop and become aware once every two hours or so; others may do it more or less frequently, although I would do it no less than five times a day. This doesn't seem like a lot, but it can really have an impact on your dreams if you're thorough with using the technique at those five times. In terms of how long you're actually aware for during each stop, a good two or three minutes should do. If you can be observant and skeptical for more, then go for it!

    If you go by the minimum numbers above by stopping five times a day for two minutes each time, the SAT technique will only take 10 minutes out of your day (5x2 = 10)! Knowing this, you can now spend the remaining time to focus on any other methods you might want to supplement this one with (or the other way around).

    Awareness in a Dream

    Congratulations, you've achieved your first lucid!

    You're done the hardest step. Now comes a new issue that can happen to anyone who experiences their first lucid dream: excitement. Many people often wake up after experiencing their first lucid dream because they become overly excited, which can be a real bummer after all that hard work and trying to figure out your technique! But there are different ways to combat this.
    1. When you realize you're dreaming, stay as calm as you can. Try not to think about waking up.

    2. Ground yourself in the dream by touching objects, feeling your dream body, and looking around. Slowly spinning around in a circle to see what's around you can help too - this helps by increasing your attention on the dream, and making your subconscious fill in missing parts of the location you're in, helping to stabilize it.

    3. Sometimes when people are lucid, they think of themselves lying in bed, instead of focusing on their presence in the dream. Whatever you do, don't think of yourself sleeping in bed! It will bring your focus on your physical body, and it just might wake you up. This is why touching objects is important in a dream; it helps you forget about your real body.

    4. Don't go along with the dream plot. There's a very good chance that you'll end up losing your lucidity because you become too involved with what was already happening. Go your own way and fly, or try to summon something, anything that will stop the dream's "preset" plot from progressing. Or, make your own plot up (remember - anything's possible!).

    5. As you have a few more lucid dreams, there's a chance that the burst of excitement you feel could end up becoming less intense, and then you'll only experience a mild excitement (but you'll still have the same amount of fascination with the dream world). You could develop a bigger tolerance for excitement - you may find yourself not waking up even if you "freak out". But still, be sure to stabilize the dream!

    Dream Control Tactics

    Anything is possible in a dream. What you've seen in movies, real life situations, and even your own fantastical, imaginative stories can come to life in a dream. All you need is the certainty that what you want to happen will happen.

    What I've learned about dream control is that it's all about being 100% sure, and expecting an outcome. Visualization is also very important, especially for those dream control scenarios where you want something to be as specific as possible.
    Try these basic dream control tasks if you're stuck on something to do in your next lucid.

    1. You're standing somewhere. Turn around and look behind you, fully believing a relative to be behind you. As you turn around, visualize what they will look like - how tall they will be, what they may be wearing... You can make up a situation that will explain why they'd be behind you, too. For instance, you could expect your brother to be there and say, "stop following me" in an exasperated tone.
    2. Using the same idea, summon a plate with cake on it or another object. Know that it'll be there and imagine what it will look like. What color will the cake be, and what about the icing? Does it fill the plate or is it a small piece? If it helps, pretend someone left it there for you - it'll help make the situation more realistic and the dream may respond more appropriately.
    3. Superpowers. Many people want to try lifting a car or flying, but they don't know how. Use the same approach as above - if you want to punch through a wall, you could always know fully that you've had superpowers since you were born. Think this in the back of your mind and act as if it's completely natural to you. Don't doubt anything.

    More tips on control

    You can try daydreaming or visualizing something that you want to do in your next lucid, during the day. The more grounded the image becomes in your mind, the easier it'll be for it to happen in your dream.

    Don't make a big deal out of dream control; just act passively when you attempt to do something. Try not to "psych yourself up" for an activity, because there's nothing to really get psyched up for - if you treat dream control as some feat that has to be accomplished, it will be harder for you. So relax!

    Good Luck Dreamers!
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