Ever needed to open find that specific email, only to be distracted by a newsletter? Did you manage to talk to your friends online only to stick around for something entirely different? Then this post if for you, and you might get better lucid dreams in the process!
For the past 3 years I’ve been moving away from practice during the night, and focusing on the day instead (although if I do wake up at night, I do practice traditional lucid dreaming techniques).
Practicing lucid dreaming techniques during the day is nothing new, and you might even be familiar with a few of them. Reality checks are a common example of lucid dreaming techniques one practices during the day, with the intent it becomes a habit, and is also practiced during dreams.
Not so far-fetched, I have had experienced with those as well. For example, pinching yourself, as we have seen characters do in cartoons when they want to know they are dreaming are common in pop-culture.
While these nightly ventures have been successful for me, there’s something that was lurking underneath – they worked at most only once! My brain, as crazy as it is, “patches” imperfections as soon as I used them to become aware in a dream. As a child, this hardly was a problem, I simply picked something new to focus on. Oh, suddenly I feel pain when I pinch myself in a dream? Let’s focus on text becoming blurry or unreadable! Oh, suddenly text is accurate? Well let’s focus on the time on the clock, it should shift back and forth in dreams! Oh, suddenly time is linear! But wait, I notice that when I look back, the houses I just passed during a walk are different! Darn it! Next dream (and all that followed) had accurate housing!
You see where this is going, right? Every time I picked a new trigger, my brain fixed it for me, and never seized to let it go.
It was clear something needed to change, and thus I did what I always do with internal struggles: Meditate. The answer came in a simple sentence: stop fighting your subconscious, but team up with it instead.
The first thing I decided to get rid of is the idea I had to “hack” my way around to get towards consciousness in dreams, this wasn’t a glitch in my brain that I abused anymore, but a practice shared by both the conscious and subconscious parts of my brain. My hypotheses were that if I could master this one thing, then no matter the circumstances, I’d be able to lucid dream.
Rather than using triggers in real life, I started to be aware at any random point in time. No limits, no quota, just whenever I felt like it.
Since physical reality checks such as pinching myself, or any of the others you can think of started to become ineffective as my dreams got more realistic, I had to tune the intent.
I noticed how reality checks often stem from common stigmas of an already conscious mind. While “are you dreaming”, is the banner of Reddit’s lucid dreaming community, for me, even in dreams, it was too easy for me to say “no” without thinking much about it.
“How did I get here?”, was my new mantra.
- I could do it in public, as it is just a question I ask myself in my mind (It just looks silly to pinch yourself in public).
- It forces me to think almost every time, as the answer is never “yes” or “no”, but different depending on when you ask yourself this question.
- It brings lucid dreaming to mindfulness, and therefore, even if you fail to lucid dream, you still can use this during the day to become more aware.