Lucid dreaming is being aware of the dreaming state and also being able to exert some control over your actions. Some believe it is a separate state of consciousness.
The Seventh State of Consciousness?
We have three default states of consciousness, waking, dreaming, and sleeping. The 4th state is pure consciousness. This is the state which underlies our default states. This state has unique physiological properties. We access it via meditation. The 5th state is what Michael Harner calls the Shamanic State of Consciousness. This partition of awareness is achieved through the Shamanic Journey. It also has some unique properties.
This leads us to the 7th state. Lucid dreaming combines or overlaps two or possibly three states of consciousness. This is because you are present, you “know” you are dreaming. This is the same as the waking state. And, although asleep you are also the REM partition of this state. Additionally, you are in an imaginary landscape similar to the Shamanic State of Consciousness. Therefore, some think it should be the seventh state of consciousness.
There are several techniques for achieving this state. They all involve the development of intention. Some use a combination of mantra along with setting your intention just before going to sleep. You can practice this yourself. The dream state is the easiest place to begin the expansion of awareness.
Basic Lucid Dreaming Practice
The first thing we recommend is that you create and a spiritual journal. It need not be an expensive notebook. All you need is a cheap lined paper notebook. Something you can doodle and record your experience.
Ten minutes before you go to bed bring set your intention to remember your dreams. Do this by writing this phrase in your journal. This will help you solidify and visualize your intent. This is an important step. Don’t overlook its importance.
Then, as you drift off to sleep repeat the phrase, aware in my dreams, remember my dreams.
When you awake in the morning, document your experience. When you start writing, you are likely to remember more. Write everything you can remember, even if it is just fragments or parts of dreams. If you don’t remember any dreams, write that down too.
As your intention becomes more powerful, you’ll remember more dreams. Soon you’ll discover, you’ll remember more dreams. And, the fragments will also be like pieces of a puzzle that will come together to form a pattern or message. The Universe is always talking to us, and our dreams are one of the best ways to connect with this intuitive knowledge.
The next stage in the development will be the growth of awareness while you are dreaming. When you realize you are dreaming, this a huge step. The best way to gain more control is to start small. Don’t try flying the first time you realize you are dreaming. Try something small like turning around or picking up objects. Then progress to directing the direction of your movement. Eventually, you can fly around. This basic lucid dreaming practice is safe. You are always in control.
If you find that this method isn’t bringing any expansion of dream awareness, it may be helpful to use a mantra to help remove any barriers. A mantra is a vibrational formula normally based on the Sanskrit language.
If you aren’t familiar with mantras then we suggest, “Om Kshraum Naraismhaya Namaha” The Mantra for removing roadblocks. Literal translation: “I salute AND manifest energy that destroys the seemingly indestructible.” You can find downloadable copies of this mantra on YouTube.
This basic lucid dreaming practice has some interesting benefits. You are training your awareness to be more observant. This will “spill” over into your waking consciousness. By placing your goals in your mind just before you go to sleep, you are exercising your intention. This results in a general improvement in memory. You will replace negative self-talk with positive.
There is something about writing things down that resonates with our ability to set things in motion in our sub-conscious. Last but not least, you will hone your basic lucid dreaming practice. Your dreams will be more pleasant, and you’ll remember them. You may also gain more control over your dreams.
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Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia