Reality Checks and Mindfulness

Part of the techniques I’ve started using since attempting to lucid dream is doing reality checks. I haven’t necessarily ever had luck with this in the past, but I thought I’d try to incorporate it. It doesn’t take much time or effort, especially since my ‘Awoken’ app reminds throughout the day. Instead of beginning a practice in my waking life and hoping it transfers over to my dream life, I’m taking a practice I already do in my dream life and transferring into my waking one. For some reason in my dreams for the past year or two, I like to lean. In my dreams, I will lean really far forward or backward. Further than what is humanly possible. In my dream, I’ll be talking to someone and just lean forward to entertain myself. I always think, ‘wow, it’s so kool that I can do this’, but I never question it. So now, in waking life, I ask myself ‘am I dreaming?’ and then I try to lean forward as far as I can. When I stumble I say, ‘I’m falling, so I must be awake’. Then I repeat the same thing leaning backwards. Pretty simple.

Another thing I’ve been doing is meditating. Though the meditation came first, a couple months ago and had nothing to do with lucid dreaming. But the 2 are definitely connected and I’ve read that meditating can help you achieve lucidity.

Recently I’ve also added mindfulness. Which is good for life and health in general. My body, mind, and emotions are always surfing an ocean wave floating between deterioration and riding a high. In my current state of attempting to stabalize optimum holistic health, I began walking as a form of exercise and mental clarity a few months ago. The idea of reality checks has gotten me into using this walking time to practice mindfulness. In a lucid dream everything is kind of surreal to me. Extra vibrant and defined. While walking, I focus on what’s around me. Questioning if it’s real or not. Am I awake or asleep? Not just looking at the grass as a whole, but trying to see each blade individually. Watching the blades sway as the wind passes by. Feeling this wind on my hair and brush against my skin. Looking at the trees, not just as a tree, but seeing each branch, each leaf, how they differ in color. The many shades of green and brown. The textures, the depth, the movement. Imagining the world as a painting, and every part a brush stroke. Seeing the sidewalk, not just as a grey slab of concrete, but observing the individual rocks, cracks, moss, and bits of grass poking through. When I view the world this way, everything is dream like. When I question if it feels like a dream, it most definitely does. Then I try a reality check. I try to move the trees with my mind. Make them grow. Make them walk. The hope is that doing a reality check in a dream like state of waking mind, may make it more likely to do a check in the actual dream. And anyhow, it’s always good to practice mindfulness.

With this, not just observing what’s around me, but also observing the self. Feeling my body as I move. Feeling my hips sway, my arms rocks, the movement of my clothes against my skin. The pain in my body that’s always there. To be aware of that pain, feel it, and know it’s always there. Hopefully, in a dream I will do this same tuning in to my body and how it feels, and more than likely it will different, and I’m guessing the pain will not be there.

I also just enjoy this body awareness. It’s mostly a new concept for me. I am actually very aware of subtle changes in my body, but not often completely tune in the way I have been with meditation – feeling different parts with my consciousness. Or as I said, while walking, and really tuning in to each part and how it individually feels as I move. Also, I am occasionally adopting the practice of abhyanga, which is an Ayurvedic practice of self massage. In it you use some type of oil (sesame seed, coconut, or another) and massage it into your entire body. Slowly starting with your scalp, then face, neck, arms, stomach, and so on. It’s very time consuming and you need to shower after, so I don’t do it often. But I really enjoy this more physical, hands on aspect of tuning into my body. It’s so easy to just go through life unaware of everything. Not seeing the forest for the trees or the arm for the body.

All of these practices are great in their won right. Regardless of lucid dreaming, they’re good for mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health. Simply taking the time for self-awareness. And awareness in general. But I also believe they will help fine tune awareness in the dream world as well. The lines start to blur in a state of mindfulness.

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