I don’t remember when exactly my teenage lucid dreams started. 14? 15? By age 17, they were happening in full force. About 3 times a week. They just began on their own with no attempt from me. At the time, I was a big sleeper. I graduated high school at 16 and took evening jobs. I often slept for 10 – 12 hours a night, never using an alarm, and embracing a crazy schedule of sleeping from 5am to 4pm whenever possible. All of this unneeded sleep probably helped to aid in the conscious dreaming. Just recently I heard that waking yourself up in the middle of the night can aid in lucid dreaming, I naturally wake up at least every hour each night. Normally falling right back to sleep. I almost always remember my dreams when I wake up each time, but forget by morning if I don’t write them down. This light sleeping may also contribute to why lucid dreaming came so naturally to me.
I always dreamt of flying. All the time. From at least 12 years on. I wouldn’t necessarily know it was a dream, I would just roll with it and accept that I could fly. The way we typically accept all the crazy things that happen in dreams as being normal. For me it was the greatest sensation. So back then, as a late teenager, when I gained consciousness, I woud fly. Almost everytime. It would just hit me – this is a dream. Often I would be running from something. Not a nightmare, but being chased. I would be running and just realize, this is a dream. So I would jump up and fly away. Soar through the skies until I woke up. In the beginning, the consciousness would usually last 2 -3 minutes.
I don’t think I kept a dream journal back then. It’s hard to remember everything. I know by the time I was 19, I was getting even more into dreaming and this phenomena that was lucid dreaming. I started keeping a dream journal and wanted to do more with my dreams than just fly. I remember experimenting heavily from 19 – 21 with what I could control in a dream. It was difficult to be focused in the dream world. It was one thing to be aware that I was having a dream. To be aware enough to know I could fly. But flying was so habitual, it was hard to think of doing anything else once awareness came. But slowly I began trying different things. If it was raining in the dream. I would make the rain stop. Or I could make it start raining. Once I tried to see how high I could fly upwards and I flew into space. The stars were tiny like we see them from down here though. But in trying to fly up and up and up. I kept hitting metaphorical walls. I could go no higher. I would try to force my physical body to break through and it wouldn’t. But then I would will myself to go higher. Just see it happen, don’t try, just do (as Yoda would say) and I would move through the blockage. This happened several times.
I remember changing the scenery. Just appearing in the forest or at the beach. I could walk through walls, but it wasn’t always easy. Again with the will it to happen, opposed to forcing it. I would seek out certain people and sometimes find them, not always. My goal was to find people in the dream world, give them a secret message and have them remember it in the waking world. But I’ve yet to accomplish this. However, I do strongly believe it’s possible.
I don’t remember many specifics. I would make things appear and disappear. Change the temperature and what not.
In non-lucid dreams I still have the ability to somewhat control them. Let’s say my friend is in the dream, but for some reason her hair is short and red in the dream when in real life its long and brown. I’ll think, that’s odd, her hair should be brown. Then poof – its brown. But it’s also long, I’ll think – and poof – it’s long. Or sometimes I’ll make a bad choice in a dream and regret it or not like how it plays out. So I’ll rewind the dream back to where I made the bad choice, make a different choice and allow the dream to move forward. I don’t think anything of these things when I do them. It just happens naturally. I don’t realize I’m dreaming, I just change things as if of course I have the power to do that. – more on this in future posts.
Another side note in dreaming – I often wake up from a dream and then will fall back into the same dream. This happens all the time. But the strange thing is, when I go back into the dream, it’s like the dream continued on without me. I missed a part. Like a drunken blackout. I won’t be able to remember the past few hours of the dream and it will drive me crazy. In my head, in the dream, I’ll be replaying up to what I could remember and then there’s blackness and then where I’m at presently. It’ll drive me nuts. Sometimes I’ll be in a whole new state with no idea how I got there. I remember the previous dream, that’s where I was last. But how the F did I get here? – more on this as well.
Back to the lucid dreaming chronicles. From 21 – 23, I began to dive even deeper into the dream world. I knew there was hidden power in dreams. I also meditated more and tried finding that link – that space where meditating and dreaming overlap. Utilizing that space. What can we do with that space. I used dreams to find missing objects. I used them to come up with artistic ideas. I used meditative space to send healing energy and connective energy, all successfully. I found remembering intention in a meditative state much easier than remembering it in a dream state.
The problem I’ve always found with lucid dreaming is you need some level of consciousness to be able to do it. You are conscious that you’re dreaming. And if you have a specific goal in mind, than you need that much more conscious awareness to remember the goal and bring it into the dream. Instead of just working and manipulating the dream around you, actually trying to bring things/ideas from the waking world into the dream world. That takes a lot of consciousness. It’s hard to not just wake up. So I experimented with a dance of sorts. Finding awareness in the dream, taking control of the dream around me, changing little things, making choices I would never make if I was awake, flying a bit or jumping really high. Then I would let go of control and let the dream take back over, while still maintaining a very vague sense that I was dreaming. As I began to feel myself slip back into the dream, losing consciousness, I would start to take control again. Then when the consciousness became too strong, let go again. This was the dance. Weaving in and out of control, in and out of consciousness to make the lucidity last as long as possible. I guess I was trying to exercise the ability. Strengthen like you would do when running/walking to build up stamina.
Another note I want to add is how hard it is for me to fight off the primal instinct. I kind of already mentioned this with flying. But again, for me at least, first I gain consciousness. But it’s more my animal reactive, instinctive, brain gains consciousness. So as a child that instinct told me – this is a dream get the F out. The fight or flight. Then not having as much fear as I grew older, my instincts were more about joy. So as soon as I realized it was a dream, I just wanted to fly. Then as I got even older, my hormones seemed to take over. As soon as I realized it was a dream, I just wanted sex. I would realize it’s just a dream and grab whoever was closest, often a man who was trying to kill me, and stop and look at him. And say you don’t have to capture me, this is a dream. Let’s just have sex. So fighting that first instinct, getting passed that first level of consciousness can be tricky. I have to remember, wait, I want to do something more. So I can choose to manipulate the dream outside of the current story line and without a pleasure based mentality. I consider this to be a second level of consciousness. Or to go even deeper, or lighter as the case may be, and reach what I call the third level of consciousness and be able to actively retrieve a waking memory of a particular thing I want to accomplish. That takes a lot. And often I’ll wake up shortly after gaining this third level consciousness. (As I said in the introduction, I never read anything about lucid dreaming, and most people I spoke with had limited to no experience. This dream reality I was working with was all on my own. Whatever I could come up with for ideas. I had no knowledge outside of myself to pull from. I have since began reading about different techniques to sustain the dream. I will share them and how they work for me in future posts)