When I was considerably younger and with a flexible schedule, I took the opportunity to learn about lucid dreaming. If you don’t know, lucid dreaming means you obtain consciousness in your dreams that you can recall upon waking. It takes practice, but eventually you can consciously impact and change your dream.
I don’t remember the books I referenced but I do recall what I did, and it worked. So here’s my “recipe” for lucid dreaming for anyone interested in trying it out. Note that the procedure is not exactly practical for most people with 9-5 jobs and daytime responsibilities, so I don’t recommend it unless you have a lot of flexibility in your sleep schedule.
- a notebook and pencil
- a dim lamp, just light enough to see what you’re writing
- a gentle sounding alarm clock
Set your alarm to wake you every 2 hours. When you wake, write down your dream in the book. As you are falling asleep, think about your intention - which is to be self aware in your dream and be able to affect it. Do not be concerned if nothing happens for a few nights. Also, monitor your health and well being. You may need naps during the day to ensure you get enough sleep. On the flip side, you may also experience a surge of creativity.
I can only report my experience, but it was a success. I was aiming to learn to fly in my dreams. At first I recognized consciousness in a dream where I was on a train car. I did not remember to try changing things, I simply marveled at the experience. It felt very otherworldly. Later I was conscious more regularly in my dreams, so I worked towards flying. The funny thing is that I couldn’t just do it. At first I had to sit a certain way, like I was on a bobsled, and I could only hover a few inches off the ground. Then I could hover a few feet. Then I could also move around like steering, and could get higher. this felt exhilarating, even though I had to sit like on a bobsled still, I could zip around in all dimensions through a neighborhood in my dreams. Success!
Shortly after, I dropped the practice, because it’s quite taxing. I lost the lucid dreaming without the practice, but it’s ok, the experience was a real privilege.