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The Ultimate Guide to Lucid Dreaming

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the complete how-to guide
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(c) copyright 2011 by Bilal Kamoon. All Rights Reserved.
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Table of content

1. What are dreams?
2. What is Lucid Dreaming?
3. Evidence of Lucid Dreaming
4. Why have Lucid Dreams?
1. Adventure and Fantasy
2. Overcoming Nightmares
3. Rehearsal
4. Creativity and Problem Solving
5. Healing
6. Transcendence
5. Inception
6. How to Lucid Dream
1. Motivation & Set the Intention
2. Increase your Self-Awareness by Reality Checks
3. Recall dreams
4. Discover dreamsigns
5. Recognize dreamsigns
6. Your Sleep Posture and Relaxation
7. Observe Your Hypnagogic Imagery
8. Fall Asleep Consciously
9. Enter the Dream World
10. Control and Explore your Dream
Some tips to help you become lucid during dreams:
1. Get Help from Dream Characters
2. Dream Themes
3. Visualize
4. Meditate
7. Lucid Dreaming FAQ
8. Last word
Disclaimer


1. What are dreams?
Dreams are successions of images, ideas, emotions and sensations occurring
involuntarily in the mind during certain stages of sleep. The content and purpose of
dreams are not yet understood, though they have been a topic of speculation and
interest throughout recorded history. The scientific study of dreams is known as
oneirology. Throughout history, people have sought meaning in dreams or divination
through dreams. Dreams have also been described physiologically as a response to
neural processes during sleep; psychologically as reflections of the subconscious; and
spiritually as messages from gods, the deceased, predictions of the future, or from the
Soul. Many cultures practice dream incubation with the intention of cultivating
dreams that are prophetic or contain messages from the divine.

Dreams are full sensory experiences in which we experience a dream reality so
immersive that in most cases it is indistinguishable from waking reality. In dreams we
embody all of our dream senses in the same way as we do in waking life: we can see,
feel, hear, taste and even smell in dreams.

"The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up." ~Paul Valery

Now imagine the possibility to attain dream awareness while you are still in the
dream. Imagine how this awareness would allow you to direct the dream to your every
desire. Imagine the boundless opportunities to acquire awesome extra-ordinary
experiences. Say hello to lucid dreaming.

Recent studies indicate that dreams could be controlled by a learning response. Just
imagine that for an instant. It looks feels and sounds exactly the same as "normal"
reality, except that you know that it isn't. You know that you are perfectly safe; you
cannot die or get injured, that is Lucid Dreaming. There are no normal rules and
regulations about what you get up to! It is truly your own "Individual Virtual Reality",
with a depth of realism far beyond the most sophisticated computer imitation. Let's see
how.


2. What is Lucid Dreaming?
Lucid dreaming is attaining dream awareness while you are still dreaming. And once
you know that you are in a dream, you can direct it to anything you like.

Lucid dreams are like full immersive games, where you are the game architect and
main game character at the same time. A lucid dream allows for experimentation with
all sorts of experiences that are difficult or impossible to gain in waking life (e.g
flying).

In general, there seem to be two strands of lucid dreaming applications. One has to do
with pure entertainment in which lucid dreamers pursue recreational experiences just
for the sake of having fun. Almost all student lucid dreamers start here, for example,
with learning how to fly or to have sex with anyone they desire. Gradually though
after experience, most gravitate towards more personally relevant and transformative
applications like overcoming fears, exploring states of consciousness, or rehearsing
challenging waking life events free from physical and social laws.

On entering this scientifically proven state of heightened consciousness, you can
experience and control your dreams with surprising richness and intensity (isolated
elements or the whole plot). Imagine waking up in your dreams with the ability to do
anything, meet anyone, go anywhere... and all in vivid detail with your five senses
fully alive. It is an exhilarating experience where all your dreams vividly come true.

People rave about dream control because it sets them free. Once you learn to induce
lucid dreams, you can control your awareness in dreams, and often manipulate the
scenery, dream characters and dream plot at will. Explore places that mankind has
never been to, like the depths of the oceans or the edge of the universe. You can travel
forward in time, fly to the moon, or run like a cheetah. There are no limits in the
world of lucid dreaming.


If you've never experienced lucid dreaming, be aware that it feels just as real as
normal consciousness, sometimes even more real.

"Our life experiences often create a limited worldview of what is and what is not
possible. Thus to maximize your experience of life, base your dreams outside of your
life experiences."


3. Evidence of Lucid Dreaming
Significant lucid dreaming research stems from Dr. Stephen LaBerge's research team
from the early 80s, based on previous studies showing that some of the eye movements
of REM sleep corresponded to the reported direction of the dreamer's direction of
sight. Subjects were asked to carry out distinctive patterns of voluntary eye movements
at the onset of lucidity while they were dreaming. The polygraph records during REM
showed the prearranged eye movement signals, proving that the subjects had indeed
been lucid during uninterrupted REM sleep.

Since that time, a variety of grounded lucid dreaming techniques have become
available by which nowadays anyone can learn lucid dreaming.


4. Why have Lucid Dreams?
Upon hearing about lucid dreaming for the first time, people often ask, "Why should I
want to have lucid dreams? What are they good for?" If you consider that once you
know you are dreaming, you are restricted only by your ability to imagine and
conceive, not by laws of physics or society, then the answer to what lucid dreaming is
very simple: anything!

1. Adventure and Fantasy
Often, the first thing that attracts people to lucid dreaming is the potential for wild
adventure and fantasy fulfillment. Flying is a favorite lucid dream delight, as is sex.

Many people have said that their first lucid dream was the most wonderful experience
of their lives. A large part of the extraordinary pleasure of lucid dreaming comes from
the exhilarating feeling of utter freedom that accompanies the realization that you are
in a dream and there will be no social or physical consequences of your actions. One
might think that this is a rather intellectual concept, but an ecstatic "rush" frequently
arises with the first realization that one is dreaming.

2. Overcoming Nightmares
Unfortunately for many people, instead of providing
an outlet for unlimited fantasy and delight, dreams
can be dreaded episodes of limitless terror. Lucid
dreaming may well be the basis of the most effective
therapy for nightmares. If you know you are
dreaming, it is a simple logical step to realizing that
nothing in your current experience, however
unpleasant, can cause you physical harm. There is no need to run from or fight with
dream monsters. In fact, it is often pointless to try, because the horror pursuing you
was conceived in your own mind, and as long as you continue to fear it, it can pursue
you wherever you dream yourself to be. The only way to really "escape" is to end your
fear. The fear you feel in a nightmare is completely real; it is the danger that is not.

Unreasonable fear can be defused by facing up to the source, or going through with
the frightening activity, so that you observe that no harm comes to you. In a
nightmare, this act of courage can take any form that involves facing the "threat"
rather than avoiding it. For example, one young man dreamt of being pursued by a
lion. When he had no place left to run, he realized he was dreaming and called to the
lion to "come and get him." The challenge turned into a playful wrestling match, and
the lion became a sexy woman. Monsters often transform into benign creatures,
friends, or empty shells when courageously confronted in lucid dreams. This is an
extremely empowering experience. It teaches you in a very visceral manner that you
can conquer fear and thereby become stronger.



3. Rehearsal
Lucid dreaming is an extraordinarily vivid form of mental imagery, so realistic that the
trick is to realize it is a mental construct. It is no surprise, therefore, that many people
use lucid dreaming to rehearse for success in waking life. Examples of such
applications include public speaking, difficult confrontations, artistic performance and
athletic prowess. Because the activity of the brain during a dreamed activity is the
same as during the real event, neuronal patterns of activation required for a skill (like
a ski jump or pirouette) can be established in the dream state in preparation for
performance in the waking world.

4. Creativity and Problem Solving
The creative potential of dreams is legendary. The brain is highly active in REM sleep
and unconstrained by sensory input, which together may contribute to the novel
combinations of events and objects we experience as dream bizarreness. This same
novelty allows thought to take on forms that are rare in waking life, manifesting as
enhanced creativity, or defective thinking depending on one's point of view (As Roland
Fisher put it, "One man's creativity is another's brain damage."). One study found word
associations immediately after awakening from a dream to be 29% more likely to be
uncommon compared to word associations later in the day. Another study comparing
a variety of kinds of experience including daydreams, memories of actual events, and
dreams, found that dreams were judged as being significantly more creative than both
daydreams and memories.

5. Healing
The effects of visual imagery on the body are well-established. Just as skill practice in
a dream can enhance waking performance, healing dream imagery may improve
physical health. Medical patients have often used soothing and positive imagery to
alleviate pain, and the dream world offers the most vivid form of imagery. Thus, some
people have use lucid dreams in overcoming phobias, working with grief, decreasing
social and sexual anxieties, achieving greater self-confidence and by directing the
body image in the dream to facilitate physical healing. The applications deserve
clinical study, as they may be the greatest boon that lucid dreaming has to offer. Other
potential healing applications of lucid dreaming include: practice of physical skills by

stroke and spinal cord injury patients to encourage recovery of neuromuscular
function, enjoyment of sexual satisfaction by people with lower body sensory loss
(fully satisfying dream sex requires only mental stimulation!), more rapid recovery
from injury or disease through the use of lucid dream imagery, and an increased sense
of freedom for anyone who feels limited by disability or circumstance.

6. Transcendence
The experience of being in a lucid dream clearly demonstrates the astonishing fact
that the world we see is a construct of our minds. This concept, so elusive when sought
in waking life, is the cornerstone of spiritual teachings. It forces us to look beyond
everyday experience and ask, "If this is not real, what is?" Lucid dreaming, by so baldly
baring a truth that many spend lives seeking, often triggers spiritual questioning in
people who try it for far more mundane purposes. Not only does lucid dreaming lead
to questioning the nature of reality, but for many it also has been a source of
transcendent experience. Exalted and ecstatic states are common in lucid dreams.

5. Inception
If you want to know how it feels to be in a
lucid dream, go watch Inception. I really
liked the film and might watch it again to
catch the details I missed the 1st time. A top
film and a must watch if you haven't. It's
the type of film that gets better with repeat
viewings.

Synopsis from Yahoo Movies:

"Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a skilled thief: stealing valuable secrets from deep
within the subconscious during the dream state when the mind is at its most
vulnerable. Cobb's rare ability has made him a coveted player in this treacherous new
world of corporate espionage, but it has also made him an international fugitive and
cost him everything he has ever loved.


Now Cobb is being offered a chance at redemption. One last job could give him his life
back but only if he can accomplish the impossible - inception. Instead of the perfect
heist, Cobb and his team of specialists have to pull off the reverse; their task is not to
steal an idea but to plant one. But no amount of careful planning or expertise can
prepare the team for the dangerous enemy that seems to predict their every move."

Here's the link again if you want to watch it.


6. How to Lucid Dream
Until you have your first lucid dream, the whole concept may seem too elusive,
causing people to give up before they've begun. So I thought it would be helpful to
define exactly how to enter the lucid dream state. This is the most common kind of
lucid dream in beginners. In fact, your first lucid dream was probably caused by
spontaneously lucidity. This occurs when you suddenly realize "I'm dreaming!" for no
apparent reason. Or perhaps your dream became so strange that your conscious self
awareness kicked in. Spontaneous lucidity relies mostly on luck. However, by
increasing your self-awareness during the day time you can train yourself to
recognize the dream state better, and thereby learn how to become lucid in dreams
with ease. Through regular meditation and lucid dreaming, you can become a lot
more self aware. This helps to recognize the dream state even when it is mimicking
real life, because you can pick up on more subtle clues.

The step-by-step guide:

1. Motivation & Set the Intention
Everybody has the capacity to learn how to have lucid dreams - it just takes
motivation and practice. The more skilled you become at meditation and entering
altered states of awareness on demand, the easier it is to go lucid at will. And once you
make the decision to become conscious in your dreams, it has the potential to
completely change your relationship with your inner self forever.

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