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    Thread: Lucid Dreaming Fundamentals -- With Q & A

    1. #526
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      ^^ First, thanks for moving this from the PM format; I do appreciate it!

      Quote Originally Posted by Kuyarei View Post
      Thanks for replying to my initial message.
      What you said was insightful and i understood some ideas because of it. I have some extended concerns about the topic of anchoring/stabilization itself. If you don't mind, and i hope i'm not sounding like i'm ignoring your previous suggestions, i want to clear up some contradictions i have in my head.
      I think you'll find that much of what I have to say tends to leave people with unresolved contradictions ! For instance:

      The first thing i would like to bring up is how the idea of stabilization is popular as the "highten your dream senses to stay in the dream" argument that i've seen countlessly in almost all stabilization tutorials and such. In your message, you said that there is no need to attach myself to the dream environment since it's a part of me and not an external object that would exist without my attention. I do understand that so far, but what's the reason that people give this importance to dream senses being vivid for the dream itself to stay in place?
      The key word in what you just asked is "popular," I think. Sometimes concepts that sound quite reasonable find their way into the popular lexicon, and "heighten your dream senses to stay in the dream" is, in my opinion, definitely one of them. This is beside the fact that I've found that most -- if not all -- of the stabilization tutorials I've seen (and God knows I've seen a lot of them) tend to require you to already be highly lucid (aka, stable) just to do the stuff they ask you to do. Yes, it is very popular to tell dreamers to heighten their dream senses, but very little is said about what exactly a "dream sense" is, and, of course, no mention is made of the fact that, if you allow the "senses" of your DC "you" to take center stage, you might just find yourself sensing lots of things, but doing so quite non-lucidly.

      I think people give importance to dream senses, honestly, because it sounds like a reasonable thing to do (and it is a very easy instruction to put to paper). Unfortunately, heightening dream senses, almost by definition, tends to erase any non-dual perspective you might have, because you are prioritizing your DC "you" over the true "You" in your dream and diminishing your chance of fully realizing that everything in the dream is you. In a sense, there are no dream senses, only imagery meant to imitate senses, so any heightening of them only heightens the non-lucid base from which they're formed.

      So I think my opinion here is that heightening dream senses might run against the stream of heightening lucidity... It might sound good on paper, but in the end focusing on schemata that your dreaming mind offers up (including dream senses) as real and vital things only leads you down a path toward abandoning lucidity, and not strengthening it. Ironically, of course, this sort of focus might just conjure NLD's about increased or stabilized lucidity. The only sense, I think, that you must heighten to stabilize and prolong a LD is the sense of your presence in the dream, that this whole dreamworld is one of your making; the rest is just window dressing.

      I know I'm an outlier on this, but I hope you'll at least give it a thought.

      Right now, i'm starting to see that my dreams collapsing may not really be what i think it is. In my most recent LD, i used meditation to keep my consciousness with me as i went through those moments of my senses fading away and what i thought was me waking up:

      I recalled my intentions to use meditation as a tool of stabilization, so i sat down cross-legged on the ground and started putting my attention on my breathing. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to have worked since everything went pitch-black very shortly.

      I continued my attention even as it felt like the dream itself ended, but surprisingly i found myself back again in another lucid environment.

      In between the two dreams (?), i think i had a game menu screen appear with text relevant to how i would move onto another lucid dream or not. I can't remember it very clearly.
      I'm not sure what to make of this. I might be letting my expectations lead to this happening, or it might be something else. Either way, i'm going to be observing this in my next lucids to see what it really is. In this manner, i may learn some things relevant to it.
      In this case, you may indeed have been letting your expectations have their way with you.

      The first problem might lie in that you assumed that your dream was collapsing; it probably wasn't. Next time you think your dream is collapsing, try relaxing a bit and either allow a new dream to form or form one yourself; assuming that a dream is irrevocably collapsing will very likely lead to its irrevocable collapse... expectation is a very powerful thing in dreamland.

      The next problem (and one that I have always had with meditating in dreams) lies in the very act of sitting down cross-legged and doing things like putting your attention to waking-life activities like breathing. Because you are asking your dreaming mind to produce content that corresponds with a content-free activity like meditation in the context of waking-life reality, you might just short-circuit its dream-forming wiring and wind up with, yes, a moment of zero input, or blackness. It was very cool to see that your dreaming mind find a way out, though, by offering up that menu! If that happens again, I suggest that you be as creative as possible... maybe add your current dream goal to the menu, and "click" on it!

      I guess the tl;dr here is that techniques for stabilizing dreams do not work on their own; you really must have your head in the right place before you do any of the techniques, popular as they may be.



      +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
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    2. #527
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      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous View Post
      The first problem might lie in that you assumed that your dream was collapsing; it probably wasn't. Next time you think your dream is collapsing, try relaxing a bit and either allow a new dream to form or form one yourself; assuming that a dream is irrevocably collapsing will very likely lead to its irrevocable collapse... expectation is a very powerful thing in dreamland.
      I remember a couple of occasions before where it felt at first like my dream was ending, but on closer inspection I was able to recognize that a dream scene was still present (albeit a dark, black, empty one), along with my dream body. I then was able to patiently wait for new dream visuals and continue a little longer before waking up. So indeed, it's a good idea not to be too quick to assume a dream has ended—give it a few moments before deciding for sure.
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    3. #528
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      In relation to my issue with LDs collapsing too quickly, i have figured something out that may be helpful to others.

      The problem stems from how i place too much of my attention on my mind and not on what's around me. When i am inside an LD, my waking-life nature of obsessive thinking comes into the picture and i automatically neglect everything around me as i think about what i should do next. If you were to ask me about the simplest of environmental details such as what object was infront of me, i wouldn't remember, and that's because i wasn't even paying much attention to things to begin with.

      I placed too much attention on my thoughts and that caused me to "space out" from what was around me in my LDs.
      Often, i tried balancing my attention so that i don't get consumed by my thoughts. That has shown a clear improvement in dream length itself as a result.
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    4. #529
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      Do you think that daily exercises to increase self-awareness like RRCs have an effect on our physiology/neurons/brain/neurotransmitter levels, etc.?

    5. #530
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      ^^ I do think so.

      But unfortunately (especially for me) I am scientifically inept, so I can't offer you any data to support my thinking so.

      But that doesn't mean that there isn't any data: A few long-time DV members, especially Zoth, Mzzkc, Snoop, and I think Darkmatters have pretty extensive knowledge of the evidence -- and likely the functions -- behind how LD practice can help to rewire your brain in very positive ways.... you might want to browse their threads to see what they had to say.
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    6. #531
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      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous View Post
      ^^ I do think so.

      But unfortunately (especially for me) I am scientifically inept, so I can't offer you any data to support my thinking so.

      But that doesn't mean that there isn't any data: A few long-time DV members, especially Zoth, Mzzkc, Snoop, and I think Darkmatters have pretty extensive knowledge of the evidence -- and likely the functions -- behind how LD practice can help to rewire your brain in very positive ways.... you might want to browse their threads to see what they had to say.
      Ok, thanks I will look them up.

      I was considering how successful LDing can be likened to an ability to override the "switch" we have by nature that turns off our mind, (i.e. our self-awareness and memory) when we fall asleep. In this simple and easy to read article I found, our mind falls asleep due to what scientists call "sleep state switching" involving neurotransmitters GABA and Orexin https://www.tuck.com/flip-flop-switch/

      Anyway, if our self-awareness and memory are turned off by neurons and neurotransmitters, we probably need a lot more of the ones that keep our mind on and awake when our body falls asleep so as to override the switch.

      What I´m getting at is if self-awareness practices during the day like RRCs eventually aid our minds in staying awake while our body falls asleep, then maybe what is going on under the hood is that those practices are slowly changing our brain and chemistry in such a way that we produce more of the stuff that is needed to overide the switch.
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    7. #532
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      Wow. I have just gone through every page of this amazing thread in four hours of a slow day at the office.

      It is amazing, really, how much golden information there is in these pages.

      As for me.....having just begun my fourth month of training I have now realized the one fundamental I have been missing. Memory.

      Thank you for this, Sageous.
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    8. #533
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      ^^ Wow; that's a lot of reading... I'm glad it was some help!

      If you haven't done so yet, I did have a separate thread about memory, here, that you might find interesting.


    9. #534
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      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous View Post
      ^^ Wow; that's a lot of reading... I'm glad it was some help!

      If you haven't done so yet, I did have a separate thread about memory, here, that you might find interesting.

      Thanks for that link....I did see it in the early pages and bookmarked it. This really does feel like the missing link for me. I get lots of low level lucidity these days and every once in a while that memory switch (now that I see it for what it is) has been turned on during a DILD. I now want to work on my WILDs much more diligently so that I can enter my dreams with the switch in the on position. It is already working.

      Last night I had time for an attempt. I visualized the threshold between awake and a'dream as an opaque portal. I have been through that portal one time. This time I visualized a conduit that attached my dream self to my sleeping self and admonished myself over and over to REMEMBER....remember the sleeping self, remember the threshold....and remember that it's a dream. After an hour or so I let myself fall asleep and was immediately in a dream. This was intense lucidity (for me). I looked for that portal and barely saw it as I awoke. It was time for me to start my day.

      Yeah....memory.

      I'm working today on moving through my day surrounded by an expanding bubble of time and realization. I have been constantly looking back...retracing what I just did as far back as possible quickly. That is much harder than I realized it would be.....I am working at it.

      Tonight I'll sleep well and dream.....and remember where I just was.
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    10. #535
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      I apologise for potentially asking something that might've been asked before (this thread is huge, and I plan to go through all of it soon, but it needs a lot of time).

      The self-awareness you speak of: being aware of yourself as part of your environment, influencing it and it influencing you. How do you translate that to the transition that happens during a WILD. I never had a successful WILD but I imagine that if I was self-aware of myself (as in, my body) as influencing and being influenced by my surroundings (as in, waking reality), that would just tie me to the waking world and would hold me back from transitioning into the dream. So, what happens with this self-awareness during a transition and how can we better define what "you" and "environment" is?

      I hope my question makes sense.

    11. #536
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      No worries on repeating a question; I totally understand!

      First, I know you didn't mention it here, but I want to make this clear: the self-awareness I speak of is not a technique, it is a state of mind. Yes, there are techniques, like my RRC (from Session 1 of the WILD class), that help encourage self-awareness (though in the end self-awareness is a decision and not a result of technique), but self-awareness is not a thing you do, it is a thing you are. That said:

      Quote Originally Posted by gbbr View Post
      The self-awareness you speak of: being aware of yourself as part of your environment, influencing it and it influencing you. How do you translate that to the transition that happens during a WILD. I never had a successful WILD but I imagine that if I was self-aware of myself (as in, my body) as influencing and being influenced by my surroundings (as in, waking reality), that would just tie me to the waking world and would hold me back from transitioning into the dream. So, what happens with this self-awareness during a transition and how can we better define what "you" and "environment" is?
      Being self-aware will help you through anything, including a WILD dive!

      As I do not recommend focusing on your body when developing self awareness, but rather on your overall presence, there would be no need to be focusing on your physical body during a WILD attempt -- and yes, doing so would likely reduce your chances of success, probably by keeping you from falling asleep. However, your awareness of your influence on your surroundings and them on you will make the transition much easier, because you will understand, for instance, that all that noise you may be experiencing is not a barrage from scary outside forces, but just another facet of you, and is always present on your passage to sleep and dream whether you notice it or not.

      Since self-awareness is not a thing or activity but simply an acknowledgement of your presence ("simply," he says -- hah!), nothing need happen to it during a WILD. And, since everything that happens during a WILD is a product of your own physical sleep process, your mental functions, your imagination, during a WILD your environment is you. So, if you are strongly self-aware throughout your WILD, you can navigate the transition knowing that all those vibrations, HI, "SP," etc., are meaningless facets of the falling asleep process, making that part of your transition much easier. Later, as sleep arrives and, say, your "environment" changes to nothingness because your dreaming mind has not yet spooled up a dream, you will recognize the void and be better able to either patiently wait for a dream to come, or start forming one yourself, because you can easily remember "where" you are.

      Also, once the transition is complete, your presence will already be established, so maintaining lucidity will be a snap. For instance, you will see right through false awakenings because you will know your mind created the scene; you will be better able to maintain lucidity because you will have full access to memory (i.e., remembering your sleeping body); moving about in the dream scene, or leaving it altogether to work on your goals will be second-nature, because you understand that all creation around you is you; etc., etc, etc...

      Finally, and as sort of a tl;dr, keep in mind what a WILD is: A WILD transition is nothing more than falling asleep and entering a dream without losing touch with your waking-life self-awareness -- self-awareness is even in the definition! So, if you have developed a strong sense of self that cannot be distracted or broken down by the wake-to-sleep-to-dream process, WILD transitions will prove quite doable, if not easy. And the key to understanding all of this is by understanding that self-awareness is not a thing you do, but a thing you are.

      This is one of those questions that requires a book, and not a forum post, to fully address, but I hope I managed to provide some useful thoughts.
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