How to Induce Lucid Dreams and Figure Out You Are Dreaming
Lucid dreaming is the ability for the subconscious, dreaming mind, to become aware of the fact that it is within a dream, gaining consciousness within the dream. When the mind recognizes it is dreaming, lucidity is achieved and the dreamer can begin controlling certain aspects of the dream (the environment, the characters, and the situations). Believe it or not, most of the population does not know what it means to lucid dream, however, when they are provided the definition of a lucid dream, almost everyone has at least one memory of having experienced a lucid dream themselves. Lucid dreaming is much more common than people think. Since most people do not remember nearly any of their dreams (we certainly do not remember anywhere near all of them, as we dream constantly when sleeping), most people do not realize they attain lucidity all the time. In fact, there could be an entirely second “you,” ruling your dream world like a Queen or King! Becoming more in-tune with our spiritual side and practicing better control over our subconscious state, will create a better awareness, one capable of better manipulating one’s environment while in the dream state.
Training Techniques for Lucid Dreaming
Many people train using audible cues to help determine when an increase in conscious control is necessary. The idea is having a routine, rhythm-based background sound (such as a pendulum or the ticking of a clock), infused with an indicator noise (a light alarm, a periodic ding, loud thunder from a storm, and many others), creates a layer that traverses reality to dream work. In other words…the regular sound, like the ticking of a clock is heard all the time…and because the dreamer is preparing to lucid dream, and envisioning the dream world “on the way in,” they are anticipating the more profound, distinguishable sound that the indicator noise will make; thus when the indicator noise is heard, even after the dreamer begins to slip into a sleep, they are more likely to acknowledge it in the dreaming state.
The acknowledgement that one is dreaming within a dream is a truly enlightening situation. All of a sudden, complete comfort and relaxation overcomes the dreamer, as they will now be in complete control, at least until the subconscious loses track and slips back into a sleep. For that reason, after lucidity has been achieved, it is important to continue to be reminded through indicator noises (more than one alarm, spaced out 11-21 minutes apart typically do the trick).
Similar strategies are performed with the use of light and timers, rather than audible cues. Visual cues are interesting, because they typically shine through into the dream in a more uncontrollable environmental fashion. For instance, when the lights are getting brighter, it is quite difficult for the dreamer to create a night world, while, using alarms to induce lucidity is much less restrictive.
A candle is a very common audible cue, while also offering light anomalies that are natural and do not require times…however, it is dangerous to fall asleep with a candle lit, so someone always needs to be in the room or close by, awake and willing to keep check on the candle while you sleep. To use a candle, various coins (different sizes and weights are great) are pressed into the side of the candle, all throughout. The candle is then placed on a metallic pan, something that will make a chime-like noise when the coins fall out as it burns. The benefit of burning a lucid dream candle, is that it can also be anointed and dressed with lucid dream inducing herbs or essential oils (also known as Lucid Dream Aids).
Lucid Dream Aids
Of course there are always catalysts which can help induce faster lucid dreaming. Catalysts can make lucid dreaming a lot more effective, creating a more vivid, longer lasting dream. One of the most powerful lucid dream catalysts, Calea Zachatechi, is also known as the “Dream Herb” or the “Herb of God.” For starters, it will be easier to recall all dreams the following day, whether they were lucid or not. But Calea has some real skill in helping a dreamer fall into a more comfortable state of “conscious sub-consciousness,” where the mind is more likely to understand that it is dreaming.
Another super powerful herb for lucid dreaming, African Dream Herb is very commonly found in sleep-aids and herbal teas. The appropriately named herb, also known as Silene Capensis, also shares the nick name “Dream Herb,” just like Calea Zachatechi. Some more subtle lucid dream aids include the use of Ginkgo Biloba tea, Heimia Salicifolia, Wild Asparagus Root, Valerian Root, Mugwort, and Burdock.
Disclaimer: Be very careful when using an open flame or working with a candle.