In my 20s, I wrote down my dreams almost every morning, studied Jung and symbolism, and read and re-read books like Ann Faraday’s Dream Game and Denise Linn's The Hidden Power of Dreams.
But not until a few nights ago had I ever lucid dreamed.
And, boy, was it worth the wait. It was amazing!
What is a lucid dream? In my understanding, it is a dream where you know you are dreaming and can therefore manipulate the experience.
The idea is that if you can get in that strange and wonderful state where you are basically simultaneously asleep and awake, you can learn to use those skills in your waking life -- manifesting, creating, and healing in a deeper way.
To say this was a spiritual experience is an understatement!
This first lucid dream was triggered by the fact that, recently, a dear friend of mine and her partner (kundalini yoga teachers, Kewal Nam and Atma, respectively) were experimenting with lucid dreaming themselves. Atma’s Tibetan Buddhist tradition teaches that many healing techniques can be strengthened and practiced through lucid dreaming.
Cool, right?! Yeah, Kewal Nam and I thought so too.
So when Kewal shared her latest lucid dream experience with me, giving techniques on how to shift into that state, I declared my desire to have it happen too.
Not two weeks later, when I least expected it, it did!
Here’s how to prompt a lucid dream:
1. Set a “trigger.” I had read years ago that if you can look at your hands in your dream, it is a way to know if you are dreaming. That is exactly what happened to me, although Kewal had suggested that you could also elicit it by reading something (only to look away and look back to different words) or by seeing your reflection. I believe that the “hands” notion worked for me because it had been instilled in my psyche for so long, and also, my mind was freshly prepared for lucid dreaming because of my recent intention to do it.
2. In your dream, ask yourself if you are dreaming. Because my trigger was set, when I saw my hands, I immediately said to myself in my dream, “I think I’m dreaming.” I looked around and realized that the scenario was bizarre, which confirmed it. I got really excited, knowing that I could now do whatever I wanted…because I was dreaming and I knew it!
3. Have a goal. I now know that it’s really nice to know what you want to do in a lucid dream before you go into that state, because I was so excited to be lucid dreaming, I sort of didn’t know what to do first. So I flew. It took a moment of getting through self-doubt (can I really fly?), but soon I was off, soaring into a mystical sky!
4. Believe in the magic of dreams. The Universe is huge and mysterious and amazing. To close yourself off to the power of your subconscious, or dreamtime, or spirit guides or anything beyond logic is to certainly block yourself from experiencing the powerful experience of a lucid dream. The next day, the world looked fresh and clear and new, and I was filled with gratitude and wonder, and I experienced a flow and knowing that was almost child-like.
So what happened in my dream? Well...
...while I was flying, I looked over a city that I knew was the future. It was vivid green and submerged in a gorgeous tree canopy with lovely sleek, silver buildings speckled throughout, peeking out above the trees, columnar-like. It was full of hope, and I believe it was a reminder that this is the direction the world will go as we individually and collectively develop a higher consciousness. It was nature and city in harmony.
The dream continued, with me going in and out of awareness, and several times, I had the opportunity (including seeing my reflection, which was smiling while I made funny faces at it) to remind myself I was dreaming. At one point, I remembered Atma’s learning, and I beamed out some light to the world for healing.
After all….”Life what is it, but a dream?”