After I became disabled back in the 1970's, I was Awakened and, as soon as I was able, began reading everything spiritually philosophical I could find. I needed answers and explanations for the events I had experienced and to the new realizations that were coming to me almost daily. I was meditating for about an hour each day and had completed the four-book "Teachings of don Juan: A Yaqui Indian Sorcerer" by Carlos Castaneda. In one of the books, he taught Carlos how to gain control of his dreams. The technique was simple but required dedication and focus. Every night in bed right before falling asleep, he said to raise your hand until it was right in front of your face where you could see it clearly. You were to study every single detail of your hand intensely for five minutes and then go to sleep. Just the act of raising your hand up to your face was part of the training. After a period of time, you would stop in a dream, raise your hand up to your face, and it would hit you that you were in a dream. The lights would literally come on, everything would become so beautifully vivid, and the magic would begin!
Mine began this way with a big bang! Wow! This technique has probably been used for thousands of years by Meso-American shaman to initiate dream control. There is no trick to it. In a normal dream, you witness many bizarre things but just pay them no mind because you are unable to think critically. This technique causes your mind's critical faculty to become active when you raise your hand and realize why it is there. I can not speak to the techniques covered below but Stephen LaBerge is world-renown for his research of lucid dreams. I suggest you look into these but highly recommend using the simple technique above first.
This is my introduction to lucid dreaming to familiarize you with dream control before I share some of my incredible experiences controlling mine with you. I like to call it an introduction to travel in your ethereal body, or "soul travel". I hope you enjoy this and look into it further.
by David Town
Most people don't realize they've been dreaming until after
they've awakened and the dream has come to an end. Some people,
however, are conscious that they're dreaming. These lucid dreamers,
scientists have discovered, can literally direct their actions and
change the content of a dream, deciding perhaps to talk physics with
Einstein, woo and marry a movie star, or assume the powers of
After nearly a decade of piloting these daring nocturnal flights,
two psychologists - Stephen LaBerge of Stanford University, author of
LUCID DREAMING (Ballentine), and Jayne Gackenbach of the University of
Northern Iowa - have begun to develop a series of techniques aimed at
helping ordinary dreamers "turn" lucid, and lucid dreamers gain
greater control over the wooly behemoth of the night. These special
techniques, still under development, have never before been presented
in a public forum.
For those who have aquired the knack of lucidity, the benefits
can be enormous. Lucid dreaming gives one the chance to experience
adventures rarely surpassed elsewhere in life. These experiences can
enhance self-confidence and promote personal growth and
self-development. By facing fears and learning to make the best of
the worst situation imaginable, lucid dreamers can overcome
nightmares. Because recent scientific studies have demonstrated a
strong connection between dreams and the biological functioning of the
body, lucid dreams might facilitate physical as well as mental health.
And finally, because lucid dreaming allows us to tap the power of the
unconscious, it may also be useful for creative problem solving.
To direct your own nightly dream-time show, attempt exercises
one, two, three and four as outlined below. LaBerge and Gackenbach
suggest that you do the tasks as often as possible. Some people may
succeed in having a lucid dream the very first night they use the
techniques; others, the researchers note may need to practice for
several weeks before getting results.
A number of techniques facilitate lucid dreaming. One of the
simplest is asking yourself many times during the day whether you are
dreaming. Each time you ask the question, you should look for
evidence proving you are not dreaming. The most reliable test: Read
something, look away for a moment, and then read it again. If it
reads the same way twice, it is unlikely that you are dreaming. After
you have proved to yourself that you are not presently dreaming,
visualize yourself doing whatever it is you'd like. Also, tell
yourself that you want to recognize a nighttime dream the next time it
occurs. The mechanism at work here is simple; it's much the same as
picking up milk at the grocery store after reminding yourself to do so
an hour before.
At night people usually realize they are dreaming when they
experience unusual or bizarre occurrences. For instance, if you find
yourself flying with no visible means of support, you should realize
that this only happens in dreams and that you must therefore be
If you awaken from a dream in the middle of the night, it is very
helpful to return to the dream immediately, in your imagination. Now
envision yourself recognizing the dream as such. Tell yourself, "The
next time I am dreaming, I want to remember to recognize that I am
dreaming." If your intention is strong and clear enough, you may find
yourself in a lucid dream when you return to sleep.
Many lucid dreamers report dreams in which they fly unaided, much
like Superman. Some lucid dreamers say that flying is a thrilling
means of travel; others, that it has helped them return from one of
the more harrowing dream experiences --- the endless fall.
Why is dream flying so important ? It's a form of dream control
that's fairly easy to master. It gives the dreamer an exhilarating
sense of freedom. And it's a basic means of travel in the dream
How do you make a dream flight happen at all ? We suggest that
before you retire for bed, you simply repeat these words: "Tonight I
fly !" Then while still awake, imagine that journey.
If you find yourself flying, it will be a clear sign that you are
in a dream. In any case, when you realize you're dreaming, remember
that you want to fly. When you actually feel yourself flying, say,
"This is a dream." Make sure that you start modestly, by simply
floating above the surface of your dream ground. As you gain
confidence, both in the notion that you are dreaming and in your
ability to control that experience, you might experiment with flying a
bit more. Run, taking big leaps, and then stay aloft for a few
seconds so that you resemble an astronaut walking on the moon. Try
sustained floating, and then flying at low altitudes. As your
confidence increases, so will your flying skills. While asleep, work
on increasing your altitude, maneuverability, and speed. As with
speed sports, you should perfect height and maneuverability before
speed. Of course, you couldn't really hurt yourself --- it's only a
dream. But you could get scared.
After you get proficient in dream flying, remember to ask
yourself these questions : "How high can I fly ? Can I view the earth
from outer space ? Can I travel so fast that I lose awareness of my
surroundings and experience the sensation of pure speed ?"
Throughout your efforts in dream flight, please remember that
you're in a dream. With this in mind, your fears will be held at bay,
and your control over your dream will be greatly enhanced.
Even if you're a frequent lucid dreamer, you may not be able to
stop your- self from waking up in mid-dream. And even if your dreams
do reach a satisfying end, you may not be able to focus them exactly
as you please. During our years of research, however, we have found
that spinning your dream body can sustain the period of sleep and give
you greater dream control. In fact, many subjects at Stanford
University have used the spinning technique as an effective means of
staying in a lucid dream. The task outlines below will help you use
spinning as a means of staying asleep and, more exciting, as a means
of traveling to whatever dream world you desire.
As with dream flying, the dream spinning task starts before you
go to bed. Before retiring, decide on a person, time, and place you
would like to visit in your lucid dream. The target person and place
can be either real or imaginary, past, present or future. For
instance, Sigmund Freud, Vienna, 1900; Stephen LaBerge, Stanford, the
present; or the president of the solar system, Galaxy Base, 2900.
Write down and memorize your target person and place, then visualize
yourself visiting your target and firmly resolve to do so in a dream
When following this procedure, it is possible that you might find
yourself visiting your target in a non-lucid dream; you will be aware
that this happened only after you awaken. Nevertheless, you should
strive for lucidity by following the techniques in exercise one. Then
proceed to your goal.
To do so, repeat the phrase describing your target in your dream,
and spin your whole dream body in a standing position with your arms
outstretched. You can pirouette or spin like a top, as long as you
vividly feel your body in motion.
The same spinning technique will help when, in the middle of a
lucid dream, you feel the dream imagery beginning to fade. To avoid
waking up, spin as you repeat your target phrase again and again.
With practice, you'll return to your target person, time, and place.
Up until now we have had little control over the occurrence of
creative dreams. But with lucid dreaming it may be possible to
intentionally access the creativity of the dream state. You can help
determine the feasibility of this idea by attempting to solve a
problem in a lucid dream. Before bed, decide on a problem you would
like to solve. Frame your problem in the form of a question. For
example : "What is the topic of me next book ?" "How can I become less
shy ?" If you have an illness, you might consider the problem "How
can I regain my health ?"
Once you have selected a problem question, write it down and
memorize it. When doing the lucid-dream-induction exercises, remember
your question and see yourself looking for the answer in your next
lucid dream. Then, when in a lucid dream, ask the question, and seek
You might be most successful at problem solving if you take the
direct approach. For instance if your problem is shyness, be less shy
in your dream. If your problem is health, try to heal yourself in the
dream. Then reflect on how your dream solution relates to the waking
problem. It may help to question other dream characters, especially
if they represent people who you think might know the answer. For
example, if you were trying to solve a physics problem, Albert
Einstein might be a good dream character to query. You can even
combine this task with the dream spinning and flying tasks, visiting
an expert on your problem. You can also just explore your dream world
with your question in mind, looking for any clues that might suggest
---Stephen LaBerge and Jayne Gackenbach, OMNI Magazine
For those of you who have made it this far, I have just a couple
of comments. Lucid dreaming is the absolute MOST fun I've ever had,
and that's saying a lot, since I've had some terrific times while
awake. I can't dream lucidly every night, and if I stop the
exercises, it takes a couple of days to get things lucid again. If
you do try lucid dreaming, don't expect results the first night. Give
it a few days, and keep up the exercises. They really work. I've
found that it helps me to write down every detail I can recall from a
dream as soon as I get up in the morning. Then before bed the next
night, I read those details, making them fresh in my mind. It seems
to help bring on dreams that night.
If you have questions or comments about this article, you can
leave a message on MENHIR BBS at (609)-263-2861. Just leave a comment
to the sysop.
PLEASANT DREAMS !