How To Lucid Dream
A Guide On Lucid Dreaming And Inducing Dreams With Herbs
The world of dreaming is a mysterious place that typically is brushed off as insignificant compared to the ‘real world’. The differences can be stark where your waking life is a mundane repetition of work, school, friends, family, repeat. Dispersed within that mundane reality are moments of excitement like traveling to other countries, attending concerts, weddings, birthdays, and other important life accomplishments. Whereas dreams can portray an entire reality that seems to have nothing to do with your personal life or can have everything to do with your personal life.
The dream can be set in a completely foreign place where the buildings and people are completely unrecognizable, and the setting of the dream can rapidly and spontaneously change from one location to another. One the other hand, a dream can be a near identical representation of your life right now. When comparing our waking life and its smooth transition of movement from place to place with a dream that switches scenes with a blink of an eye, it can be confusing to think how the dream can be real at all.
But when the dream is a reflection of your life, for example, you find yourself in your place of work and the ground starts rumbling and everything starts falling apart. Your co-workers are strangely calm and still working while the entire office and building is swallowed into the ground and you’re the only one aware of what’s going on. But the fear and panic grips you and you wake up suddenly before the floor collapses. Upon waking you think about the anxiety you’ve been having at work lately and find it strange that your dream reflected that anxiety. In that moment you sigh and think, ‘It was just a dream.’
But was it just a dream?
What is Lucid Dreaming?
Lucid dreaming is defined as: ‘a type of dream where the dreamer becomes aware that they are dreaming. During a lucid dream, the dreamer may gain some amount of control over the dream characters, narrative, and environment; however, this is not actually necessary for a dream to be described as lucid.’ The challenge of lucid dreaming is the precise moment of taking control. It can be something as simple as saying to yourself, “I’m dreaming right now”, that allows you to change how the dream is affecting you.
That doesn’t happen every time, especially if you’re not accustomed to becoming lucid in your dreams. From my own experience of navigating dreams throughout my life, I have noticed that the lucidity of dreams is on a spectrum. Some dreams are not at all lucid, and the dream world itself is the obvious directing force of what happens. While other dreams have a more noticeable degree of lucidity and your actions are self-directed. Then there are the fully lucid, tangible dreams that are seemingly a direct replica of physical reality. There really isn’t a standard to follow regarding which level of lucidity you will enter at any given night. Where you land on the spectrum will be random even if you spent the day before preparing yourself with exercises.
Even if you were to commit to a daily routine of exercises there’s really no way to expect that the dream you enter will align with your exercises and intentions to go into the deepest degree of lucidity. What I have found to work well is to let go of expectations all together. You will find yourself in a deep lucid dream, eventually, when you’re ready.
How To Trigger a Lucid Dream
Having a daily regiment of exercises is important for encouraging lucid dreams on whatever point of the spectrum you find yourself. Remember, it’s ok if you do all the exercises and end up in a dream with a low degree of lucidity. As long as you recognize that you are in a dream and are lucid, the exercises were a success.
Exercises you can practice daily:
Note: The dreams in the below examples are more typical mundane dreams that involve being in your home or an indoor location.
Object Recognition: Use an object that you have in your house that it simple and really easy to recognize that stands out as well. It can be a bright colored ball, ideally one color like red, blue, green, yellow, something vibrant that is easily memorable. The object should be small enough that you can carry with you throughout the day. Periodically, wherever you are, take out the ball look at it, look around at your surroundings and ask yourself, ‘Am I dreaming?’ Give yourself up to a minute to really wonder if you’re dreaming. Really feel that you may actually be dreaming in your waking life. Put the object away and continue on with your day. This last point is important. Totally let go of the idea of being in a dream. It will be challenging at first, but you will get better at performing the exercise and moving on. What you will notice eventually is that the object appears in your dreams. It becomes the signifier for you to ask the question, ‘Am I dreaming?’
Sticky Note Reminder: Get a sticky note pad and write down on several different sticky notes, ‘Am I dreaming?’ Put those notes throughout your house on places you frequent the most. You can put the notes on the fridge, bathroom mirror, cover of a book you’re reading, etc. Every time you see the note stop what you are doing or about to do, read the note out loud and spend about a minute or less really feeling and contemplating whether you are in a dream. Doing this exercise will simply anchor into your mind the repetitive asking if you’re dreaming. That action will eventually slip into your dreams. For example, you may have a dream that you are in your house and something very obvious seems off. Your house has a wall that’s missing and a horse is standing in your living room while a woman is in the front yard which is actually a large wheat field. Because you’ve spent enough time walking around your house asking if you’re dreaming, you will naturally ask the very same question when you are faced with such an oddity that is normally not in your house.
Light Switch Check: Whenever you are about to enter a room and flip a light switch say out loud, ‘am I dreaming?’ and then flip on the switch. Of course, in your waking life the light will flip on. However, in a dream the light will not turn on. The dream world can only replicate the waking life world to a degree. Some normal functions will be distorted as it is a kind of fabrication. For example, clocks will display not display time ‘correctly’, lights will not turn on, and mirrors will not accurately reflect or not reflect at all.
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Top Herbs For Lucid Dreaming
Blue Lotus: Blue Lotus is a popular herb well known for inducing dreams an enhancing the vividness of the dream realm. Many people report increased clarity, better recall, and meaningful dreams when taking either a blue lotus tea or tincture before bed.
Mugwort: Mugwort is an amazing herb for people who generally don’t remember their dreams. It helps you recollect information from dreams that have significance to your waking life. If you dream only in black and white, mugwort can help introduce colours and enhance other senses. If you already have good dream recall, it can help take you deeper.
These herbs alone won’t make you lucid dream; it’s a practice that requires consistent effort. The practice requires visualizing before bed, connecting with your herbal tea and asking them to help, meditation, breath work, dream journaling, and self inquiry. Through our dreams, our subconscious has the opportunity to work out the troubles and hardships from the day. Dreaming can often be a mental detox where we release negative thinking into the abyss. Not only that, but many people connect spiritually through dreams, often receiving love and guidance from deceased relatives, spirit guides, angels, and the universe.