I’ve been sleeping fantastically for the past 12 nights, which I guess is a good thing. But for the past 3 nights I haven’t been able to remember a single dream at any point during the night or morning. I had 4 lucid dreams in the span of 2 weeks, which was very exciting. Now it’s been 10 days since the last one.
(I started typing this post and then had to stop to go to an appointment with a wellness doctor. I had seen him 2.5 weeks ago and he put me on 3 different supplements. 2 for digestion and 1 for combating the effects stress was having on my heart. (obviously reducing stress is also important, but in the meantime of working on that the pills were supposed to help my heart murmur caused by living in a constant state of stress – which I believe is conditioning from childhood. Simply trying to function in the world can sometimes be stressful. The mere act of holding oneself together can be an unnoticed stressed, yet still have an impact on our bodies) Anyhow, I told the doctor that I’ve been sleeping much better, but have not been remembering my dreams lately and have had worsened dream recall in general. He listened to my concerns and agreed that it was a valid concern. Which made me very happy. He said that 1 of the digestive enzymes was probably the culprit for the lack of dream recall. So he put me on a different digestive enzyme that should not interfere with my thoughts or dreams. We’ll see how it goes. Separately, he said the stress reduction enzyme is the pill that is helping me sleep better. It’s called Stress RX.)
I’ve been trying some different approaches to lucid dreaming for the past few days. Trying out different ways of doing reality checks. I listened to a podcast on Mysterious Matters that had an interview with David Jay Brown. He recommended trying to plug your nose, close your mouth and see if you can breathe. I’ve been doing this about 4 times a day. I already know that in my dream I was able to breathe underwater so I think if I were to do this reality check in a dream it should work. It’s also an easy one to do that I can do while driving, listening to a conversation, at work, whenever. It takes a little while before I’m convinced that I’m unable to breathe. I get this feeling like I should be able to breathe through my ears. So I try hard to do that, when it obviously doesn’t work, I tell myself I’m awake. But if I were to breathe through my ears, know that it is a dream. While doing this exercise I also look around at the detail, which seems to be lacking in my dreams. If there’s lots of detail, I’m probably awake. I also try to go over my day, from waking to where I am to see if I’m able to clearly retrace my steps. I feel like this practice is also good for stamina in learning how to hold my breath longer. You never know when that might come in handy.
I have the Awoken App on my phone which gives me 5 reminders a day to do reality checks. I don’t ever do the checks when it tells me to, but it reminds me to do them at some point. Which is very helpful. I do the reality checks throughout the day when something is slightly odd. Often in dreams I notice slightly odd things, so the idea is if I’m making the connection in waking to do checks during odd times, that I will then do the same in my dreams. For example, yesterday I saw a sign that said “magic,” but when I looked again it actually said, “maple.” I looked again, still “maple.” So I did a reality check. Another point in the day I’m with a little kid at the creek. We’re there for 5 minutes. All the sudden I look up and there’s a ball I hadn’t noticed. At that exact moment the kid says, “ball” and points. I did a reality check. While doing it I thought in my head, how old is the kid supposed to be, does the age match how old he looks now? Do his abilities match up the way I think they should? I work with kids and therefor dream of them often. Typically their age and abilities in the dream world do not match that in the waking world.
I also do these reality checks in the shower and while driving because I dream of these things often. I try to take note of, can I feel the water on my skin? The temperature? Does the shower match what I think my shower is supposed to look like? Is the car staying on the road? Can I see out all the windows? Is there detail? Where am I going to and coming from?
I’ve also ordered a “Dream Tea” from Mountain Rose Herbs. The tea contains Mugwort amongst other things. I have ordered Mugwort separately as well. It should arrive by next week. I like drinking tea so I thought why not give this tea a go and see if it helps. I’ll keep you posted.
When I was remembering my dreams I’ve taken to voice recording them in the Awoken app which then converts my voice to text. This of course ends up all messed up and needs to be edited the next day if I’m to remember what the text was supposed to say opposed to how it was recorded. For example the word ‘monotony’ was once changed to ‘I hate me’. So it can be a bit crazy. I do still prefer this method though. In the morning I email myself the recording from the app, edit it, and then email it back to return it to the app. It’s much easier to do the editing on a computer than phone. The dreamboard app would allow you to do this more easily, since the phone app is connected to the cloud, but I still prefer the Awoken app.
I’ve been continuing to meditate 4 – 5 times a week for about 20 minutes each time, which may or may not help with lucid dreaming. What I am finding interesting is this hypnagogic state. In sleep, my thoughts shift from being in my control to out of my control to becoming something like a movie I’m watching. Typically a very absurd and disturbing movie. I usually catch myself and realize I’m falling asleep. I either catch it at the stage where only the thoughts have shifted or where it turns into a movie, before I’ve become an active participant/character in the dreamscape. But as soon as I become aware, the scene/thoughts immediately vanish and I have no recollection of them. Only that they were disturbing. The interesting thing is this happens to me when meditating as well. At least during the times I’m able to quiet down my thoughts more successfully. When meditating though, I find the uncontrolled thoughts and movie scenes are not disturbing. They are much more gentle and peaceful. But the same is true that as soon as I become aware of this state, I cannot remember anything from it. I’ve very recently been trying to read some about inducing a lucid dream from this hypnagogic state (assuming that’s what it is. There is no awareness of sleep paralysis in this, in case you’re wondering). I read that it is possible to achieve lucidity from this state, but so far have had no progress, but I haven’t been at it very long. I am also very curious to induce a lucid dream through meditation, since I have similar experiences with both acts. I will keep you posted.
I have just purchased 2 books on lucid dreaming which I’m very excited to read. I’ve never read a book about lucid dreaming before and have thoroughly been enjoying reading things on the internet and listening to podcasts about the topic. The 2 books I got are “Lucid Dreaming: Gateway to the Inner Self” by Robert Waggoner and “Dreaming Wide Awake: Lucid Dreaming, Shamanic Healing, and Psychedelics” by David Jay Brown. I wanted to get 2 in case one sucks. I’m very particular about writing style. I’ll let you know my thoughts.
Lastly, I have a new intention with my lucid dreams. For the past few years when I’ve achieved lucidity my dreaming goals have been more or less to escape the dream scene and do my own thing, create my own thing. After looking at my past 4 lucid dreams, as well as based on things I’ve read, my goal is to engage the dream. Not fly away and escape, but to interact with the dream which is more what I had done when I was younger. I’ve been reading about the idea of talking to your dream, which seems a bit silly, but I’d like to try it. There are suggestions of stabilizing techniques that suggest instead of rubbing your hands together or twirling in circles, to shout out loud into the dream abyss “More Clarity Now”, which honestly seems a bit ridiculous to me. But I think I’ll try it. Also the idea of speaking questions aloud to the dream or dream characters. Or saying aloud, “Showing me something important for me to see.” In the past I’ve worked a ton at controlling the dream, creating something out of nothing and changing things, which will still be fun to play with, but I think I would like to try a new approach for now. But my number one main focus is to first have another lucid dream, before worrying about what I will do in that dream, I first need to just simply achieve lucidity.