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    Thread: Lucid Dreaming Fundamentals -- With Q & A

    1. #1
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      Lucid Dreaming Fundamentals -- With Q & A

      In a recent PM Darkmatters, in response to some of my fairly incomplete posts that hint at my experience and slightly different path for LD’ing success, asked me to share with the forum “How I did it,” and maybe create a thread in which other dreamers could ask specific questions I might attempt to answer. Normally I’d pass on doing this, since my methods and perspectives don’t always mirror the general consensus of what works, and I feel no need to intentionally stir the water around here (something I seem to do all the time anyway -- sorry!). Also, a voice somewhere in the back of my head regularly asks, “Who the hell are you to assume to know more than they do?” Good reasons to keep my trap shut, all; but, as I’ve been at this for well over 30 years with some real success, and Darkmatters insists, maybe there is something worth sharing. If you don’t think so, just move to another thread. If you’re curious about what you would ask me, then read on…

      First, a little history: I’ve been doing this LD’ing thing intentionally since the 1970’s – long before PC’s, smart phones, and the Web itself. Even books on the subject were scarce and often misguided. Nobody I knew understood what this was, or really gave a crap if I dared to describe it. By the early ‘80’s I had done it all dream-wise: flown, traveled through space (my version, I’m sure), controlled every aspect of dream schema, chatted with all manner of DC, died, had what felt like OBE’s and shared dreams, etc, etc, etc. I even wrote waking-life novels (mostly much later) about it all, building their plots around my actual dreams. But there was something missing: I wanted to use LD’ing as a tool for transcendence, as a way to move my consciousness toward spiritual and physical experiences that humans are not naturally meant to have. But all the stuff I did hadn’t been helping. In fact, it seemed that it may have served as a block to my seeing what I needed to see -- the excitement and adventure inherent in low-level lucidity reduces interest in doing hard work to expand to higher levels.

      I was on my own until the ‘90’s when Stephen LaBerge’s EWOLD fell in my lap (it came with the Dream Light I had ordered from a catalog). From it I learned that there were terms for what I’d been doing for decades, and that I wasn’t alone. I discovered that I had not just been aware I was dreaming all that time; I had been experiencing Lucid dreams. And I was inducing them with what apparently were called WILD and DILD induction techniques (before that I just called them “Lying there until the dream starts”, and “waking up in a dream,” respectively). To give the experience a name did help, but only to define, not improve, my experience.

      By the early 2,000’s, after trying just about everything, including hypno-tapes (yes, tapes), machines (that Dream Light cost $1,200, BTW), and guru-based dream camps, I came to the conclusion that all the “stuff,” including supplements like gallantamine and vitamin B6, cleverly named techniques like WILD, DILD, and MILD, really did nothing to further push my LD’ing envelope. In time I realized -- mostly on my own but also by picking the brains of very experienced LD’ers while I moderated the Lucidity Institute’s forum for a couple of years -- that it wasn’t the stuff that made even the weakest LD’s tick; it was careful attention to the fundamentals.

      In a sense, LD’ing is a 3-legged stool. The first leg is the state of dreaming itself, and the second and third legs are self-awareness and memory. The absence of any one of these legs means the stool topples and poof! No lucidity. It’s that simple. All the machines, gurus, techniques, and supplements in the world would do nothing, I knew, until I mastered these two things.

      Of course I haven’t yet mastered either; that might never happen. Although I -- and any successful LD’er, I must assume -- had some grasp of these “legs,” my hold was far too tenuous to seek the things that I knew I should be able to find. But the act of finally making self-awareness and memory a priority elevated my LD’ing experience from one of enjoying the wonders of my dreams as supplied by my dreaming mind to one of real control, creativity, discovery, and growth. Since improving my self-awareness, some of my dreams, I think, have been downright transcendental in the last few years, and I believe it is because I simplified my quest. Now, for those still with me, the fundamentals:

      Self-awareness is nothing more -- or less -- than being aware that you are here, that you have an effect on everything around you, and everything around you has an effect on you. This sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s a lot harder to master than it sounds. Most people are content to live their entire lives without a moment of self-awareness, content to let the events of their world wash over them and to remain unaware of how the things they do and say touch those events…sort of living life like it’s a dream, I suppose. Perfecting self-awareness is simple: pay attention! Unfortunately, humans are naturally wired to not pay this sort of attention, so it takes a lot of work to stay focused and not lapse back into the easy strides taken by those who travel life without ever once checking the path.

      Memory is more of a physical issue, because it is inaccessible, or effectively “turned off,” during sleep, naturally out of reach of dreamers. This is why so many things in your dreams seem so normal and obvious, but in reality are impossible. Turning memory back on is not easy, but it can be done. Indeed, there are many mnemonic techniques available that will help you, but suffice it for now to say that if you can’t remember during a dream that your waking life body is sleeping right where you left it, you might never be able to step above the lowest levels of lucidity. And yes, your dreams are certainly filled with “remembered” images; but these images are awash in a matrix of archetypes and powerful long-term memories. Short-term memory, and active long-term memory (the thing that reminds you that cows really can’t fly), are naturally inaccessible. [Edit: I went on a bit further about memory on a separate thread here, if you are interested]

      Since developing self-awareness (or a powerful sense of Self) and memory are very personal, often difficult, long-term projects that are done during the dreamer’s waking life, I really think you need to carve your own path toward a goal of achieving them, in terms of method (ie, Lidybug’s Clear Light perspective thread shows her wonderful method for developing self-awareness).

      Be advised, though, that doing so will take a while, and likely require some real sacrifices and discipline on your part. If someone offers you a magical shortcut to higher awareness, assume that they are wrong, or lying. All the machines, techniques, etc, are certainly helpful (if you’re interested, I’ll be happy to share what I found works best -- just ask), but they will never get you to high-level lucidity – only your own hard work will.

      Okay, I realize that I have spent all these words saying next to nothing that’s really helpful; I would need many thousands of words to do true service to this subject, which is not acceptable in this “tl;dr” world, much less on this forum. Besides, I think in the end I’m better at answering questions than presenting things cold. So, if you’re still with me, ask what you want, and I will tell you what I know, or at least believe – as briefly as possible!

      Thanks for bearing with me on the intro, and I do hope that I seeded it with enough stuff that will make you curious enough to ask for more…
      Last edited by Sageous; 03-09-2015 at 09:47 PM.

    2. #2
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      Excellent!! I'm glad to see this - I was starting to think I might need to prod you a little more!

      Yeah, there've been times I've been a bit at odds with you over minor issues, but I could always tell you have knowledge that seems to be different in some ways from what we usually find, and I was getting frustrated by only seeing fragments of it in the middle of extremely long arguments!

      I'll take a little time to absorb what you've already written here and try to come up with some good questions.

      One thing I'd like to say - and this is from the perspective of someone who's still struggling as a newbie with little success - I do think all the various techniques and things are probably helpful to beginners, though as you say they might need to be discarded once you've gained the ability to achieve lucidity at will and discovered the fundamentals. I'm looking forward to what other accomplished LDers have to say about this - similarities and differences.

      Thanks for stepping up man - I appreciate it!

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      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous View Post
      Okay, I realize that I have spent all these words saying next to nothing that’s really helpful
      Haha, took the words right out of my mouth. All I really got out of that was "try hard, remain persistent and your LDs will get better" which is something most of us already know.

      In the first paragraph you mentioned that "my methods and perspectives don’t always mirror the general consensus of what works" but then you never explained what those methods and perspective are! What do you use that isn't mainstream in the world of LDing?

      I'm also curious about your OBE, and shared dreaming experiences. Do you actually believe you were out of body or sharing a dream? Or do you simply think your mind was tricking you into believing that?

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      Well, he DID also say he isn't so good at cold-posting info and would rather answer questions...

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      Just wow, I just got finish reading it and it really was an eye opener. I believe not only practicing these things will improve the quality of lucid dreaming but life in general. I think I have trouble with self-awareness and if I where to improve it everything in my life would go so much more smoothly. Also my memory is a bit lacking too. I think I have found out just why I am almost never lucid in dreams. I don't think its so much the techniques I am using but the fundamentals like you mentioned.

      I have a question, when doing a WILD technique do you do it right when you go to bed or set your alarm to wake you up? Also what keeps you motivated when doing a WILD? Often I came across the problem when doing it that it just takes a long time. Also what can you recommend for improving memory?

      I would love to see more from you, you did a wonderful job explaining these things. I can see you making a book on this one day.
      Lucid dreaming takes three things: Patience, practice, and perseverance.

      **Induction Techniques**

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      A lot of my WILD'ing seems to happen by luck, that is I'm falling asleep as I normally do, with just the knowledge that I am going to attempt a WILD, and whenever it works, it usually goes like this : I'm sleeping,, slowly but surely I lose consciousness but it seems that right before the time of entering a dream (transition) I am randomly woken up from my unconsciousness, and am aware of the fact that I am attempting a WILD. Seconds later I usually feel the SP effects and transitions,

      My question to you is, what do you think would be a better way for me to WILD rather than just rely on the luck I described above, and also what do you think it is that wakes me up right before transition. I know other wild'ers mention "anchor's" that they use to bring them back to conscious awareness whenever they are slipping to low, but for me it always feels like luck and random awareness. How can I improve this method, and also how could I learn to WILD at will for example, at night before prior sleep, or during a late afternoon nap.

      Last question, what is your take on dream control and improving it? Does it all have to do with confidence.
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      Nice post, I really look forward to all of these questions being answered!

      Q: Now that you've done all the "typical" stuff in lucid dreaming (flying, space travel, etc.) what do you do now in your lucid dreams?
      Q: What are your current dream goals since you're so experienced and have done a lot of things?
      Q: Can you describe some of your "transcendental" experiences?
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      Quote Originally Posted by LikesToTrip View Post
      In the first paragraph you mentioned that "my methods and perspectives don't always mirror the general consensus of what works" but then you never explained what those methods and perspective are! What do you use that isn't mainstream in the world of LDing?
      As I mentioned above, I never explained on purpose -- better to deal with things one bit at a time instead of in one giant unreadable chunk -- especially when that bit might be something a dreamer actually wants to know. At any rate...

      My methods are, I suppose, ultimately very similar to what's on this site -- most of my LD's these days are effectively WBTB WILD's, or post false-awakening DILD's. But I have a feeling that that's where it stops. First, I do RC's backwards -- I use them during waking life to build my awareness and memory skills, and never do them during dreams at all -- why bother if I've got enough awareness in my system to know I'm dreaming already? Next, I have a feeling my WILD's wouldn't fit the bill here either, because I get no "vibrations," or similar, and I have never cared -- or even bothered to notice -- SP; stuff like that is ancillary to the LD, and should be set aside rather than noticed (or, worse, than focused upon). Also, once dreaming, I have no real interest in many of the standard LD tools anymore, like questioning DC's (indeed, I'm more interested in avoiding the pesky buggers as they crowd me, shout at me, and grab at my ankles when I try to leave the dream!), spinning, shouting out commands (tho I used to do that a lot, and eventually found it diminishes awareness rather than improves it), or other enhancing methods that might be effective, but are simply off my radar. That doesn't mean there's anything wrong with any of those things, or with talking about them. What it means is that my experience no longer reflects that stuff, and I'm not sure people want to have discussions about spending long hours during waking life trying to build memory and awareness, and then have dreams about essentially nothing (wait for it):

      That sort of points out my perspective as well: When I become strongly aware of my Self in the dream, I immediately set into motion (when I can) a plan that includes leaving the dream and going to a place where there is absolutely nothing, so that I can try to build new metaphors that don't exist in this reality. LD'ing is generally a form of entertainment for folks here -- again, that's an excellent reason to LD, and I did it for years. But my focus is using LD's as a tool to expand the boundaries of my conscious experience, and perhaps learn new ways to understand -- or effect -- reality. Nothing wrong with that, either, but it sure ain't the most mainstream attitude here.

      I'm also curious about your OBE, and shared dreaming experiences. Do you actually believe you were out of body or sharing a dream? Or do you simply think your mind was tricking you into believing that?
      No, I don't believe that I was actually out of body during my "OBE's", because I was never able to prove to myself it happened. Same with shared dreams. I'm not sure saying that my mind was tricking me is the right way to go here, because I was never asking or hoping for OBE's or shared dreams -- they just happened. In a sense, I had experiences that fit the descriptions of OBE's and shared dreams on this site, so literally by definition I had them. Because I never asked for them, or did anything intention-wise to create them inadvertently, all I can say is that they were simply odd experiences. Maybe someday I'll be able to prove to myself that they were real, but nor yet.

      I hope that was enough for you, and that some of it made sense -- If not, ask me again; I'm bound to get it right eventually!

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      Quote Originally Posted by pepsibluefan View Post
      I have a question, when doing a WILD technique do you do it right when you go to bed or set your alarm to wake you up? Also what keeps you motivated when doing a WILD? Often I came across the problem when doing it that it just takes a long time. Also what can you recommend for improving memory?
      I do not recommend trying WILD when going to sleep at night. This is because your sleeping body will not work with you at that point. REM cycles are still more than an hour away, and it is difficult to impossible to maintain waking awareness through the delta (deep, dreamless) phase of sleep that precedes the REM cycles. Better to do WILD's in the morning, after you've had a good night's sleep, and REM cycles are close together with little delta sleep interruption.

      So yes, I set an alarm -- usually about five hours after whenever I go to bed at night -- for my WILD's. What keeps me motivated? That's an excellent question. It's less what keeps me motivated than what can I put in my mind that is simple enough to remember as the time passes and drowsiness sets in, yet powerful enough to remind me about why I'm doing all this when sleep finally comes. For me, it is simply the words, "Here & Now," repeated as mantra, with an undercurrent of my intentions for this particular dream hiding in the background of my thoughts. Most importantly, keep it simple, so that you can grab onto it as all those stray thoughts wander by while you are awaiting sleep.

      To improve memory? I recommend a trip to the bookstore or online store, because there's a lot of stuff available out there far beyond my meager suggestions. That said, I've found that getting into a habit of asking yourself what, exactly, you were doing fifteen minutes ago helps a lot. Also, you should always include an attempt to remember something (like, where is my sleeping body? What's the date today?) in your "becoming aware routine during the LD. Crappy answer, I know, but memory is a bear, and should be treated that way.
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      Its nice to see a different perspective on here. There's a great obsession on lucid forums with what I call parlour tricks. They're great fun but I to yearn for something more. I've had very few experiences while lucid which I would call transcendental but those few have been extremely powerful. On the subject of wild's I used to try and enter dreams before sleep not because I expected success but because it would bring great results during sleep and in the morning. I'd often give up on the wild and get up to find that I was allready dreaming . One time before sleeping I did go directly from waking into a dream but only for a few seconds and it took immense concentration. So to questions -
      - Have you ever spoken to a dream character or entity that felt external to yourself sufficently that you would question whether you had made him up or he was something else?
      - do you take any precautions while dreaming to protect yourself in any way?

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      First of all, thanks. Many people (talking about people in general) often forget that sharing their experiences (good or bad) is actually a very important gift for those who seek a path that can be related to theirs. I'm pretty sure you feel lucid dreaming as your own world, so I really appreciate the time you took to give us a glimpse of it. To be completely honest, I would find your post valuable if you had stopped before giving any tips. At least in my life, all my successes as person have been reached because I had/have very good models who make me strike for my own goals. So thank you for the post

      Now for the questions. I literally have thousands of them, especially about yourself, but I'll refrain myself and keep it short

      - You talk about awareness. Is it like being aware that you are breathing all the time? Or something more in the lines "the smaller the intervals of time between yourself looking around and question reality= the more aware you are?

      - How important is regular sleep? 2 nights per week with less sleep are not an obstacle right? Also, what is more important: waking up always at the same hour, or sleep as most as possible?

      - Can you give us more insight about the dream world? My first lucid (the first night ever I heard about lds) was actually much more stable and lucid than all my next ones. What should I do when I get lucid in order to increase clarity and lucidity: embrace the reality of the dream (interact), or actually focus on the scientific perspective (my body is asleep in bed, this is a mere dream world in which I can play with my memories of the real world/sensations)?

      Thanks again for all the advice/tips, also, I had this habit of stopping everything and ask write in a paper what had happened in the last 30minutes: from all the sensations to description of scenario. I think I'll go back to it, at least in my head
      Last edited by zoth00; 12-13-2011 at 02:43 AM.
      Quote Originally Posted by nito89 View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by zoth00 View Post
      You have to face lucid dreams as cooking:
      Stick it in the microwave and hope for the best?
      MMR (Mental Map Recall)- A whole new way of Recalling and Journaling your dreams
      Trying out MILD? This is how you become skilled at it.

    12. #12
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      Quote Originally Posted by lawilahd View Post
      A lot of my WILD'ing seems to happen by luck, that is I'm falling asleep as I normally do, with just the knowledge that I am going to attempt a WILD, and whenever it works, it usually goes like this : I'm sleeping,, slowly but surely I lose consciousness but it seems that right before the time of entering a dream (transition) I am randomly woken up from my unconsciousness, and am aware of the fact that I am attempting a WILD. Seconds later I usually feel the SP effects and transitions,

      My question to you is, what do you think would be a better way for me to WILD rather than just rely on the luck I described above, and also what do you think it is that wakes me up right before transition. I know other wild'ers mention "anchor's" that they use to bring them back to conscious awareness whenever they are slipping to low, but for me it always feels like luck and random awareness. How can I improve this method, and also how could I learn to WILD at will for example, at night before prior sleep, or during a late afternoon nap.

      Last question, what is your take on dream control and improving it? Does it all have to do with confidence.
      First, from what I understand from your post, you may not be Doing WILDs at all. This is because I am pretty sure that you need to maintain waking consciousness straight through to the dream. Did I misunderstand?

      Assuming I didn't, it would make sense that you're not WILDing, because I'm also pretty sure that you can't WILD by luck. You may simply be doing DILD, with some pre-sleep hypnogogia thrown in. There's nothing wrong with any of this, BTW -- one of the most mystifying things about this forum, to me, is the importance attached to WILD, even though DILD and MILD are both easier to do. Now to your question, if you're still willing to consider my opinion.

      I suggest that you work with what you have. Instead of trying to do what you read about here (WILD), why not adjust your expectations slightly, and assume that this "lucking" into an LD is a unique method that works for you? If you get into a habit of setting your intention before bed, and develop a real sense that you're going to have a LD, you might find that you never need to WILD! That said, as I mentioned earlier, I don't believe it is possible, or at least it's incredibly impractical, to induce an LD with WILD when going to bed at night. If you really want to try it, try doing WBTB, with the WILD attemp coming after several hours of sleep.

      My take on dream control and improving it does indeed all have to do with confidence. Confidence drawn from high self-awareness and good memory. Work on those two things, and controlling the dream will become second nature to you, simply because it will become so obvious that this is your dream, controlling it would only make sense.

      Sorry if this is stuff that you didn't want to hear. For what it's worth, though, it sounds like you're on a good path -- don't get derailed by thinking you have to use methods that might not work for you.

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      1) You mentioned that you need to develop your sense of self and your memory in order to have consistent LDs and you said this is a lot of work. What I hope you'll share with us is - exactly what kind of work did you do to achieve this?

      2) I want to hear your story - How did you first discover/achieve lucidity (I take it you stumbled upon it before knowing what it was?) - was it because of nightmares as so many people report?

      3) What are the best lessons you took away from the LaBerge camps, and do you still do things that same way in terms of inducing lucidity, or have your methods changed since then (and if so why did you change them)?


      This one is more of a comment than a question. I've read in several books that it's common for people in the beginning to use lucidity as a wild adventure, and then after doing it that way for some time to move on to 'deeper' more meaningful explorations. Keep in mind most of the people on this site are teenagers or in their early 20s - so I can see why many of them are in the adventuring stage - it would probably be a shame to pass through that too quickly - like skipping childhood and just going straight to being an adult.

      Ok, glad to see this thread is rockin and rollin!

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      Quote Originally Posted by Marlowe View Post
      Nice post, I really look forward to all of these questions being answered!

      Q: Now that you've done all the "typical" stuff in lucid dreaming (flying, space travel, etc.) what do you do now in your lucid dreams?
      Q: What are your current dream goals since you're so experienced and have done a lot of things?
      Q: Can you describe some of your "transcendental" experiences?
      A: In all honesty, I do still do much of the "typical" stuff, simply because a) often my lucidity is too weak to do the stuff I want to do and b) sometimes the dream scene I'm in just looks like too much fun to step away from! I guess what I "do" is use my lucidity to push the envelope of conscious experience beyond anywhere it's ever been before -- and then try to understand what I just did. I also use it to explore -- or perhaps prove the existence of, my unconscious mind, my soul/spirit/what have you, and wonder at their relationship with all the other consciousnesses out there. Or I just hang. For instance:

      A. When all my stars are aligned and awareness and memory are in high function, the thing I'm working on now is something I'm calling a "Trinity Engine." What I do is eliminate the dream, set my presence (I never have a dream body in high-level Lucids) on a simple plane, and try to create before me an assemblage of three pieces, one representing my body, one my mind, and one my soul. Once the engine is assembled, I hope to have before me a metaphor that will allow me to communicate with the three facets of my being all at the same time. Sounds simple, right? I've been trying to do this for years now, and can't even get the simple plane to appear, much less conjure the three pieces... For reasons I cannot explain, this is amazingly difficult, like I've got a mental block or something. Hey, you asked!

      Another thing I truly love to do is make all things disappear around me so that I can spend time floating in empty black space (or occasionally a thick gray mist), perfectly calm, alone, and content -- there is no experience on earth like this!

      A. No. I'm not ducking the question here, but by their very nature transcendental experiences cannot be described. This is because when we have a transcendental experience, we are doing/seeing something that lies above all human metaphor. In other words, if you do something that is totally outside human experience, it is impossible to describe, even to yourself, what happened. Doesn't really seem like something worth doing, does it? Here are a couple of neat related tidbits though: first, that Trinity Engine is a transcendental device; for all I know, I'm completing it every night, but just don't know it! For that matter, we could all be having transcendental experiences on a regular basis, but we cannot remember them because our minds lack metaphor to translate them to human understanding. again I say: Hey, you asked!
      Last edited by Sageous; 12-13-2011 at 05:42 AM.

    15. #15
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      Quote Originally Posted by Nighteyes View Post
      So to questions -
      - Have you ever spoken to a dream character or entity that felt external to yourself sufficently that you would question whether you had made him up or he was something else?
      All the time. One of my favorites is a young lady I call the "skinny little thing (tho she's told me her name five times now, I can't for the life of me remember it)," who often appears when my awareness is on the rise and I'm about to leave the dream I'm in, only to do everything she can to distract me from my plans. My dreams are regularly populated with strangers -- indeed, often the entire dream scene is completely foreign to me (I call those "other people's dreams." I once tried to start a thread about them). So yeah, that happens a lot. However, I don't really give it much thought... Since there's no way to explain the phenomena, I'll just assume it's my imagination until I can prove otherwise to myself.

      - do you take any precautions while dreaming to protect yourself in any way?
      Nope.

    16. #16
      Member FancyRat's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by lawilahd View Post
      A lot of my WILD'ing seems to happen by luck, that is I'm falling asleep as I normally do, with just the knowledge that I am going to attempt a WILD, and whenever it works, it usually goes like this : I'm sleeping,, slowly but surely I lose consciousness but it seems that right before the time of entering a dream (transition) I am randomly woken up from my unconsciousness, and am aware of the fact that I am attempting a WILD. Seconds later I usually feel the SP effects and transitions,

      My question to you is, what do you think would be a better way for me to WILD rather than just rely on the luck I described above, and also what do you think it is that wakes me up right before transition. I know other wild'ers mention "anchor's" that they use to bring them back to conscious awareness whenever they are slipping to low, but for me it always feels like luck and random awareness. How can I improve this method, and also how could I learn to WILD at will for example, at night before prior sleep, or during a late afternoon nap.

      Last question, what is your take on dream control and improving it? Does it all have to do with confidence.
      Interesting, my experience of WILDs are exactly the same. After Sageous's reply though, I am wondering if they are infact DILDs. For me, these "WILDs" always start with me slipping into unconciousness before being jolted back into awareness with the onset of SP, like my mind is almost asleep but my subconcious has learned the sensation of the onset of SP and knows I am about to start dreaming. It doesn't really feel dream initiated, rather SP initiated. Huh, maybe that should be a new acronym, SPILD, lol.

      Thanks for your insights anyway, Sageous. I will have to read more of this thread in the morning
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      That Wizard Guy <span class='glow_00868B'>Dark_Merlin</span>'s Avatar
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      This is excellent, I know I've thought of lots of questions I've wanted to ask you over time - I just can't quite think of them at the moment.. ><

      I'll hopefully be able to think of some in the next few days
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      Another thing I truly love to do is make all things disappear around me so that I can spend time floating in empty black space (or occasionally a thick gray mist), perfectly calm, alone, and content -- there is no experience on earth like this!
      I'm familiar with the blackness you're talking about usually when I have any dream of any signifance I start by getting rid of everything else, usually just step through the wall or just dismiss the scene. For me I've only managed this when I had a clear intent before sleeping - Once was to meditate in a dream, another time to call my dream guide for example. Do you attach any significance to height in a dream, going up(or down) through lvls or planes?

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      Great post Sageous, only had time to read the op so will take it all in when I get home and lay down some questions!

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      Zoth00:

      Quote Originally Posted by zoth00 View Post
      - You talk about awareness. Is it like being aware that you are breathing all the time? Or something more in the lines "the smaller the intervals of time between yourself looking around and question reality= the more aware you are?
      More like the latter, I think. When I think of awareness, I think of simply acknowledging that which is around me, and knowing that just the fact of my presence will have some sort of influence on what is -- and who is -- around me, and vise-versa. To exercise your awareness doesn't mean, to me, that you must be actively looking around or questioning reality (though neither would hurt); it more means a realization both that I am not the center of my universe, my actions can have an effect on people other than me, and that I have no special immunity from universe's actions. And yes, the smaller the intervals between moments of this sort of knowledge, the more aware you are. Also, to avoid confusion, I am actually talking about self-awareness here, though in this context I think the terms are interchangeable.

      - How important is regular sleep? 2 nights per week with less sleep are not an obstacle right?
      Regular sleep is critical. Not so much "eight hours a night," though, as a regular pattern of sleep so that your physical body can maintain some sort of sync with your intentions and dreaming mind. Two nights a week with less sleep shouldn't be a problem at all, as long as there is some consistency to your patterns.
      Also, what is more important: waking up always at the same hour, or sleep as most as possible?
      I'm not sure which is more important, because both are very good things. I've found that my LD's are consistent if I do my WBTB after about five hours of sleep, with sleep starting at around 3am -- I have no idea why this is true, but for me it is; go to bed at 2 or 4, or get up at 7 or 9, and the dreams just aren't as accessible; I suppose that may be my dreaming "sweet spot." But then again, a whole lot of sleep -- 12 hours or better -- can lead to frequent REM cycles mixed with a state of near consciousness, and this is a perfect mix for LD'ing. As I age I find that my body has simply no interest in sleeping that long anymore, but in my teens I regularly slept that long (to my mother's chagrin) with amazing results. So I guess they're both good, with importance measured by your age, perhaps, or maybe your ability to find that sweet spot.

      - Can you give us more insight about the dream world? My first lucid (the first night ever I heard about lds) was actually much more stable and lucid than all my next ones. What should I do when I get lucid in order to increase clarity and lucidity: embrace the reality of the dream (interact), or actually focus on the scientific perspective (my body is asleep in bed, this is a mere dream world in which I can play with my memories of the real world/sensations)?
      I can give you lots of insight about my dream world, but not about yours -- that place is of your own making, your own discovery, and, ultimately, your own definition -- and don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise! That said, here are some insights, as best as I can present them:

      It seems that many people suffer that sort of first LD backdraft. I think it comes from the initial amazement at the experience mixed with subsequent attempts to duplicate the novelty. I also have a suspicion that those first LD's really weren't much different than later ones -- but the memory of the moment is so powerful that it represents for you a great, long-lasting, vivid moment, to correspond with the emotion you felt at the time (think about big moments in waking life whose memories are represented the same way).

      How to increase clarity and lucidity is a difficult subject, because it varies from dreamworld to dreamworld. For instance, if the fantastic is your thing, then embracing the "reality" of the dream is an excellent way to increase clarity; you can jump in and play with your creations at will. But if you are a rational, scientific sort, I can almost guarantee you that embracing the dream will at least end lucidity, and likely will wake you up -- better here to study/play with your "obviously" surreal surroundings, and do those tricks (like spinning) they talk much about here to increase clarity. Unfortunately, no one is exactly at either end of the spectrum, so you need to experiment a bit to see what mix works (and yes, the very act of experimentation will likely increase your lucidity). And finally, whatever your perspective, it is critical to always remember that this is a dream, and that your physical body is sleeping somewhere. Memory is one of the fundamentals, and shouldn't be left behind in the excitement (as so often happens).

      Thanks again for all the advice/tips, also, I had this habit of stopping everything and ask write in a paper what had happened in the last 30minutes: from all the sensations to description of scenario. I think I'll go back to it, at least in my head
      Excellent habit -- I hope you're successful recovering it, because it will help!
      Last edited by Sageous; 12-13-2011 at 06:24 PM.

    21. #21
      Member lawilahd's Avatar
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      Yea I second what fancy rat said, maybe it is a variation of the WILD, because I do in fact go straight from being awake into a dream, but somewhere along the line it seems like I almost slip below the normal level of consciousness. Its as if I'm lying there for a long time, and I'm almost to the point where I want to just give up and sleep, but the hypnagogia and SP effects seem to wake me up before I get into the dream and REM sleep, so I become concscious and enter the dream that way. I respect your opinion, but I don't think I am DILD'ing in those situations, because I've had both, in my DILD's I'm in the dream normally and become aware of the fact I'm dreaming, but in these "WILD's", even though I temporarily feel a loss of conscious, I still enter the dream lucidly from a waking state, so I'd still classify it as a WILD.
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    22. #22
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      Jeez, Darkmatters, you're really going to test my brevity skills with these!

      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      1) You mentioned that you need to develop your sense of self and your memory in order to have consistent LDs and you said this is a lot of work. What I hope you'll share with us is - exactly what kind of work did you do to achieve this?
      The work is very simple, but very time-consuming and very easy to walk away from (even accidentally), so it demands real discipline, and a lot of time. Here it is:

      Self-awareness work is almost self-explanatory: Simply do the stuff I said above to Zoth00, and do it constantly. If you're walking around the house, take a moment to notice your surroundings, maybe touch a wall, or note the changes in light, smell, or sounds as you pass from room to room; when you're having a conversation, don't just listen to the other person (as you should be doing anyway!), but listen to yourself as you speak: pay attention to your thoughts, and how closely the words escaping your mouth actually match them, note your body English, your tone of voice, and then take care to notice how the person you are speaking to reacts to your words (if at all); when watching TV or playing a video game, take a moment to wonder at how effectively your brain's been shut down, and maybe set back and try to think about the show or the game, not as entertainment, but as a real unit of your life -- after all, it is sucking up many hours of it, so it should be given the attention it deserves! There are many other things I do, and that you can do, but I think you get the idea: Building self-awareness is simply a long, often exhausting process of fighting the natural tendency to ignore anything that doesn't smell tasty or look sexy, to step above my DNA-based assumption that I am the center of the universe. It takes a lot of discipline to avoid reverting back to the easy -- i.e., losing myself in a TV show, or simply waiting my turn to speak and then spewing words without even wondering from where they came -- so, though the work is simple, doing it can be very difficult, if occasionally impossible, and demands that I step away from the ease of life without awareness, often. Oh, and try to avoid too much of the "deep and meaningful" crap the books are full of as you measure your awareness; it only muddies the water.

      Memory is just as simple, and just as hard, because once again you are fighting a hundred million years of nature -- You must turn your memory back on when you are dreaming. Since self-awareness in a dream isn't terribly natural either, if your awareness is strong in a dream, you should be able to switch memory back on more easily -- but even then it is hard, so back to waking-life work:

      I've found that the best way to develop this skill is by building a habit (again as Zoth00 mentions above) of remembering what just happened. If I am constantly wondering where I was and what I did fifteen minutes ago, I will likely drag the habit into my dream and do it there as well. Trouble with this is two-fold -- first, it is remarkably easy, during the course of a busy day, to forget to remember; and second, the remembering has to be somehow novel yet consistent -- you want to value your memory, so that it has some meaning other than a rote statement like "I was in the kitchen," and you don't want to fall into a routine of remembering the same thing over and over again, which will happen if you do this too often. Try to keep each memory significant, even if it is about nothing at all. Also, note that this exercise is pretty much just for short-term memory, but I also think that that should be the target anyway, dream-wise, since long-term memory tends to be present -- loosely, in the dream itself anyway.

      I have found that some sort of trigger, like a watch with an alarm, or an unusual object like a rabbit's foot in your pocket, can help "remind" you both to remember and to test your self-awareness. In fact, the best toy Stephen LaBerge made was his P.E.S.T. (Personal Electronic State Tester), because it could be set to randomly buzz or vibrate to remind you to pay attention.

      Bottom line: the fundamentals are simple, just pay attention to your place in reality and your effect upon it (awareness) and make remembering, especially the short-term variety, a priority. It's doing it that's a bitch. Also, in both these instances there are probably plenty of self-help books that might have worthwhile advice that's better than my generic opines. Of course, I don't know of any myself...

      2) I want to hear your story - How did you first discover/achieve lucidity (I take it you stumbled upon it before knowing what it was?) - was it because of nightmares as so many people report?
      I'm not sure how important my story really is here, and it's kind of dull, but here you go:

      Dreaming has always been important to me -- I was a vivid dreamer in childhood (I still remember many dreams from very early years), so when I entered my teens and had my first painful throes of self-awareness, some of it was manifest in my dreams -- in other words, I had accidental, very intense LD's when I was around 14, like many kids do, but they seemed important enough to do something about them. So I did. I had no idea what to do, so basically I slept a lot and waited. By college, I was LD'ing almost at will, and exploring the crap out of pretty much anything I could dream up. Unfortunately, self-awareness and memory weren't too terribly important to me yet, so the level of lucidity I enjoyed was never much more than middling.

      So no, I didn't start LD'ing as a response to other people's words (aka books) or in reaction to anything, like nightmares -- though I haven't had one since that time, so I do enjoy the side effect! It was more that LD'ing was just another part of my life that was supposed to be there, and needed to be developed.

      I hope that was enough -- I get bored when talking about myself, and I'd bet I'm not alone. If it's not, let me know.


      3) What are the best lessons you took away from the LaBerge camps, and do you still do things that same way in terms of inducing lucidity, or have your methods changed since then (and if so why did you change them)?
      The greatest lesson I took away from dream camp was that there are other people who did this insane dreaming thing called lucid dreaming. Period. Stephen's show is certainly informative (especially if you like science), and Hawaii can't be beat, but to be among a bunch of smart, curious dreamers all interested in -- and deeply knowledgeable about -- LD'ing is a truly magical experience. So much so that I went back two more times, just to soak it all up! That was it, though -- aside from introducing me to gallantamine (Stephen likes to think he "discovered" it as an LD'ing aid, and he could be right), the dream camps taught me nothing new, technique-wise. In fact, I think some of the campers might have learned more during lunch conversation than during Steven's lecture's! Still, if you've got the bucks and time, I highly recommend the experience -- it's worth it.


      This one is more of a comment than a question. I've read in several books that it's common for people in the beginning to use lucidity as a wild adventure, and then after doing it that way for some time to move on to 'deeper' more meaningful explorations. Keep in mind most of the people on this site are teenagers or in their early 20s - so I can see why many of them are in the adventuring stage - it would probably be a shame to pass through that too quickly - like skipping childhood and just going straight to being an adult.
      I do try to keep this in mind -- which is one reason I tend to keep most of the "high-end potential" nonsense to myself. The last thing I want to do is imply that the adventure is to be moved beyond as quickly as possible -- that would be a lie, as I still adventure often myself. But I do like the idea of planting a seed of potential in dreamer's minds, because maybe, when they've run out of orcs to fight, they'll remember that there is so much more to do. Oh, and that "so much" can be incredibly fun, too!
      Last edited by Sageous; 12-13-2011 at 07:41 PM.

    23. #23
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      Quote Originally Posted by lawilahd View Post
      Yea I second what fancy rat said, maybe it is a variation of the WILD, because I do in fact go straight from being awake into a dream, but somewhere along the line it seems like I almost slip below the normal level of consciousness. Its as if I'm lying there for a long time, and I'm almost to the point where I want to just give up and sleep, but the hypnagogia and SP effects seem to wake me up before I get into the dream and REM sleep, so I become concscious and enter the dream that way. I respect your opinion, but I don't think I am DILD'ing in those situations, because I've had both, in my DILD's I'm in the dream normally and become aware of the fact I'm dreaming, but in these "WILD's", even though I temporarily feel a loss of conscious, I still enter the dream lucidly from a waking state, so I'd still classify it as a WILD.
      Well said, and I understand what you mean -- though I can't help but wonder if you are confirming FancyRat's new SPILD technique! I'm surprised that nobody's mentioned the LD that comes from False Awakenings, but I guess FAILD isn't the best of acronyms...

      But now I have a question: Does it really matter how you get there? Isn't the real priority the LD, and not the method of its induction?

      I guess what I'm trying to say here, and on this thread in general, is that if you mind the fundamentals -- self-awareness and memory -- how you become lucid will become more a matter of convenience than focus (ie, set intentions for DILD at night and WILD during morning naps, because that's when best to use either, respectively).

      I'm not trying to be an ass here. I know the induction techniques are important, especially when starting out, but their glamor tends to overwhelm the skills you need to stay lucid and enjoy the dream once you're in. If you ignore those skills, it really doesn't matter whether you're using WILD, DILD, MILD, or, now, SPILD -- you're still going to miss out on the real wonders of LD'ing.

      Just a thought...

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      It's threads like this that keeps me coming to Dreamviews each day, fantastic post, Sageous.
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      Just finished reading the whole thing. I love adventure LDs, and while of course I will never be giving those up, it is looking beyond those that is keeping me motivated to LD these days so this was a very refreshing read

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