Enhance your lucid dreams with a simple practice

January 27, 2009

As I noted in my last blog entry, I've been working on a method to enhance my lucid dreaming abilities that I read in a book titled The Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep. Based on my own experience, I think it makes a lot of sense, and more importantly, it works.

The method I'm working on right now is the first of four "Foundational Practices" that the author introduces, and this first method is to practice dreaming during the day. Specifically, as you go through your daily routine, see all of your life as a dream. As the author states when talking about this first foundational practice:

"... throughout the day, practice the dream-like nature of life until the same recognition begins to manifest in dream. Upon waking in the morning, think to yourself, 'I am awake in a dream'. When you enter the kitchen, recognize it as a dream kitchen."

I thought this practice would just put me to sleep, but to the contrary, I've found that this process leads to me to pay more attention to things and events during the day, to take an extra moment to observe them.

For instance, as I type on this keyboard, I think "this is a dream", and I find that I focus even more on the keyboard and keystrokes than normal. When I touch the monitor to move it slightly, or turn the pages of this book, I feel all of these sensations more deeply, just by thinking the phrase "this is a dream".

Of course this comes with a big warning: Don't do anything dangerous or dumb while creating this mental state. Just because you're treating the day like a dream doesn't mean you won't get hurt in a traffic accident, or that your skin won't burn if it's near a fire, or that your boss won't fire you if you do something dumb. Be warned! :)

Why this makes sense to me

I mentioned earlier that as soon as I read about this method it made sense to me, and I'd like to explain why it does.

First, it makes sense based on my experience with The Monroe Institute, and their hemi-sync technology. A long time ago, Robert Monroe learned that certain sounds in your ears can produce certain brain-wave patterns. From that he took the idea that "If your brain waves look like X when you're meditating, let's make your brainwaves look like X when you're not meditating, and see if this induces a sensation like meditation", which it does. So with sounds they are able to generate brainwaves that are also like sleep, which ends up making out of body experiences (OBE's, or OOBE's) more accessible to most people.

This also makes sense because of my own experiences of about 15 months ago. At that time I was in a very relaxed mood, after being on vacation for almost six months. One day as I was driving down the road, with no traffic around me, and I realized that there was no difference between my mental state at that time and my mental state in my lucid dreams, which were very common at that time. Until a physical sensation occurred -- something like hearing a sound -- everything was identical. So where the Monroe/hemi-sync practice uses sounds to induce a desired brainwave pattern, this practice uses thought to induce a mental state during the day similar to the mental state during sleep. Not quite as scientific as hemi-sync, but very effect nonetheless.

Four foundational practices

As I mentioned earlier, the author says that this practice is the first of the Four Foundational Practices, and he refers to this one as changing the karmic traces. If everything keeps going well I'll write about the other three practices another time.

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