Has there ever been a time when you couldn’t tell the difference between being awake and dreaming? This experience usually comes along when you’re just starting to wake up or when you’re starting to fall asleep. These two periods are transitional and you can often experience altered states of perception, hallucination or dreams during this time. This state of mind offers you an opportunity to experience your self without judgement, pre-conceived ideas, unconscious programming, ego or useless mind chatter. You can access an open channel to connect with the source of pure inspiration through the imagination. If you can envision it, then it is real. It is when we are fully awake that we go back into the programs that make it possible to function in the capacity that is demanded of us in our current cultural society. These programs unfortunately keep the mind full of doubt and misunderstanding about the true nature of reality and who we really are.
In ancient times, we honored the dream realm as an opportunity for healing, creativity, and rejuvenation of our body, mind and spirit. We used this time to delve deeply into communication with our ancestors, angels, spirit guides and with Source. We understood that our dreams could provide answers and support for the work that we came here to do, information that the logical thinking simply can not access. During sleep when the conscious mind is asleep, the subconscious can be approached directly in order to communicate directly with the higher self and the universal mind. You can gain insight into questions about the souls purpose, the Akashic records which is the history is who each of us is and who we have been since the very beginning of creation, we can gain access to our gifts and talents, we can also connect to those spirits who are journeying along side of us assisting fulfill our divine purpose. These are just some of the many reasons that cultivating a practice of dream work is an essential part of any spiritual path.
So what is Lucid Dreaming? Lucid Dreaming is the art of becoming more conscious during the dream. When we are dreaming and realize that we are in fact conscious within a dream we have a unique opportunity to interact with the dream with purpose. Lucid dreaming is truly one of the most amazing experiences and that is why I chose to share it. To look around in your dream and know that everything you see is an imaginary realm is something that will forever alter the way that you perceive reality. Especially because it often feels more real than waking life. Colors are more vivid, perception is clearer and emotions are so strongly that they can literally lift you off your feet. People from hundreds of cultures have been using lucid dreaming for thousands of years for all sorts of purposes, including out-of-body travel, shamanic healing, communication with plants and animals, finding answers to dilemmas and solutions to problems, dissolving the self, and exploring the mythic realm for self-knowledge.
In the dream realm your world is instantly what you make it. Once you experience it there, it makes it easier to translate the concept that, we create the universe with our thoughts, in the waking world as well. You will get the opportunity to see how powerful your mind is. In Lucid Dreaming where you place your focus is where you are transported to instantly. There is no delay in time/space. Mind has control over matter. You can conjure up whatever you want if the intention is strong enough. The way to become Lucid in the dream first in foremost is through intention.
Its important to set the intention in place before going to sleep that you are planning to have a dream, remember the dream, realize that you are dreaming and that you will become conscious while still in the dream. Often times at first you may come across the experience that you become aware that you are dreaming and then you wake yourself up. Thats totally normal step while becoming initiated into dream work. If you are someone who does not remember your dreams at all then you will begin there. Set your intentions before bed simply that you will remember your dreams. Keeping in mind that everyone does in fact dream, its just that not all of us remember. Its important when you wake up to immediately write your dreams down in a journal. Not only will this help you examine the nature of the symbols and signs of your dreams but it will also encourage you to remember more of them and in more detail.
Not every dream will be Lucid. Nor should this be the goal. Every dream contains valuable information that gives insight into the layers of your consciousness. In fact the deeper that you go into the dream states the more likely you will at some point access what Carl Jung refers to as the collective Unconscious. This is an aspect of the Universal Mind that we are all connected to. This is where all of our hidden ideas, desires, visions, all reside. Often as you develop a strong practice of dreamwork you will begin to see patterns forming of certain archetypal figures and experiences. We will get more into this later. Since dreams are a way of communicating with the unconscious, Jung believed that dream images reveal something about yourself, your relationships with others, and situations in your waking life. By simply discussing what is currently going on in your life, it can help you interpret and unlock the cryptic images of your dreams. Jung’s method of dream interpretation was that the meaning of the dreams was a personal judgement and is up to the dreamer to interpret. Whatever interpretation of your dreams feels right to you is most significant.
Aside from the intention of planning to remember your dreams, getting enough sleep is another crucial part of having a successful night of dreaming. A full 8 hours is ideal. In preparation for a night of dream work, ideally you would plan to go to bed early. I usually prepare a bath with some herbs that I know will be calming for the mind as well as the spirit. I will drink some herbal tea that I know will relax my mind in preparation for a peaceful sleep. Ginseng is a favorite for me. If you have the opportunity to work out later in the evening this is another great way to prepare yourself for the best possible nights sleep. My dreaming ritual also consists of burning incense before I go to sleep. I prefer Frankincense to burn while preparing the space. This scent is one of the highest vibrating and I use to regularly for meditation and for dream ceremony.
I also at this time will play some brain entrainment audio sounds, delta theta pure tones, Solfeggio frequencies, or binaural beats. If you have sound therapy tools such as tuning forks or tibetan bowls now is also a perfect time to utilize these as well. Sound is the purest form of energy. Anything that will help assist you in creating a relaxed and peaceful state of mind is ideal. You can also create a dream herbs satchel which you can either place this under your pillow or you are also welcome to dress you bed, underneath your sheets or along the perimeters of where you chose to sleep with the herbs. One of the main ingredients used to create the satchel can be Mugwort. It has been used for centuries to help promote dreaming. Some chose to drink the herb or even smoke it. But from my experience it is best utilized to dress the sleep area.
Getting comfortable writing and recording your dreams. And beginning to start to look for patterns in your dreams that correspond with your waking life. You should write down a specific question that you have before going to sleep. Throughout the night as you wake up begin to write down any thoughts that come directly to mind as you ask yourself the question. Often in this in between state the higher self is more easily able to communicate with us directly because our guard is down. The more that you wake up during the night, ironically the more dreams you are able to remember. Create an affirmation of mantra that you will use every night before you go to sleep that you can use to program your intention for this dream work. Several days of these simple steps will create the foundation for the deeper work that we will be doing.. Enjoy your sleep and sweet dreams