Stay Lucid Within Your Dreams
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." - Albert Einstein
OK, you're in a lucid dream. Now what?
Well, do anything you want. Explore. Learn. You can question and converse with your dream characters, knowing that they are a creation of your own subconscious. You can do things you've always wanted to do. Jump off Mount Everest. Have sex with Marilyn Monroe. Find out about yourself, from yourself. No book can tell you what do.
Before you get to this point of complete freedom, however, you may need help with maintaining a state of lucidity once you have been able to achieve it. Many people are able to achieve moments where they say in a dream "Hey, I'm dreaming!", but are unable to keep this realization for more than a short time, eventually falling back into the assumption that their surroundings are 'real'. Others habitually wake up right after the moment that they achieve lucidity. Several techniques have been developed and used by thousands, specifically for the purpose of maintaining moments of lucidity. Read these ideas, and keep them in mind as you go to sleep. For these to be of any help, you must remember to try them at that crucial moment when you say, "This is a dream!"
Crossing the Bridge
You might have moments in your recorded dreams where you can see that you almost became lucid. Perhaps you recognized a dreamsign but were unable to make the leap from this recognition to lucidity. The statement, "I am dreaming." is a monumental and unusual thing to say when you believe that you are existing in reality. It is therefore often difficult to convince ourselves that we are, in fact, in a dream.
However, hard evidence is easy to find. When you are in doubt as to whether or not you are dreaming, look at your watch. Notice and remember the time. Look away and then look back at your watch again. If you are dreaming, the time will have changed significantly, or have been unrealistic in the first place. There are no constants in the dreamworld as there are in waking life, so if your watch has advanced 10 hours in a moment's glance, you will have undeniable evidence that you are dreaming.
Another reliable test is to read a passage from a book. Choose one paragraph from any book you can pick up, look away from it, and then read it again. If you are dreaming, the content of this passage will have changed completely. Again, this test takes advantage of the inconstant nature of a dream and is undeniable proof of a dreamer's state.
Focusing on Detail and Sensation
Sometimes you may feel that your dream is beginning to fade away. Your surroundings may seem fuzzy, or your sensations unclear. You may even get the feeling that you are about to wake up. In this case, focusing on detail around you can help you to bring your dream back into focus. Look at something that would have intricacies in real life, such as a piece of wood. Get a close view of the grains and interlocking detailed parts of this object. Once you then look back at your surroundings, they too will appear more clearly. Besides vision, you can also focus on the details of other senses. Notice the sounds around you (birds, motors, wind, the hum of a television set in the next room) or the feelings you are experiencing (the pressure on your feet from walking, the feel of water on your skin, the taste or smell of something). Seeing these details of small parts of your dream will help bring the entire picture back into focus.
Closing Your Eyes
If you feel that your dream is going nowhere, that you are losing it, or if you want to transfer dreams for any other reason, try closing your eyes. Often, if we close our eyes or go to sleep within a dream, it brings about a change of scene and plot.
Sometimes, tension and anxiety are brought about when we realize that we are dreaming. We struggle to keep the state of lucidity. If your dream starts to fade, relax instead of panicking. Do not struggle to hold on to a fading dream, but instead try to release your anxiety and "go with the flow". In this situation, tension is counterproductive, because it may simply jolt you awake.
'Spinning' is a technique that has been shown to be effective by the Lucidity Institute [Lynne Levitan, A Thousand and One Nights of Lucid Dreaming]. When you are in a dream, and that dream, or your lucidity, begins to fade, try spinning around. Feeling this unusual and realistic sensation of 'spinning' our dream bodies helps us to bring clarity back to the dream.
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