Lucid Dreaming Tips

I've seen a few threads here recently which mention lucid dreaming, and what appears as several people dipping a toe into this area. Several months ago I got a private email on this forum from someone who requested some lucid dreaming techniques, and I typed out the below email....I thought I would repost (after taking out any personal references) here in case someone may benefit from it.

I became quite proficient at lucid dreaming, and maintenance of consciousness throughout the sleeping cycle some 20 years ago, and have read almost (I believe, there is one exception I'm aware of, which wasn't available at the time, pre-popular-internet days) every single book written on the subject of lucid dreaming & astral projection written in English from the West (published up until 2000ish anyway, at least!):


Sorry for the delay in response, have been caught up with other things!

Obviously you could write the odd book or three on this, but I'll try and keep it as succint & to the point as possible. I tend to ramble so please excuse that!

First thing is to try & understand (for yourself, not me!) is what you are looking to gain or acheive by "OBE". A bit of fun & excitement, escape from reality, exploration of the potential of human consciousness, a spiritual path etc.

In my opinion, definition & experience, the OBE is like a spectrum of experiences that can reach from the utterly mundane to the incomprehensibly profound and meaningful. Some people & groups like to differentiate & label this singular spectrum into a whole variety of categories such as lucid dreaming, etheric projection, astral projection, soul travel, OBEs, NDEs etc or whatever.....personally I quite strongly feel this is a cognitive error. These are all varieties along one spectrum of experience ranging from the mundane (a semi-lucid, hazy dream in one's bedroom) to the almost ineffable (experience of phenomenalogical heavens, or multi-layered, multiple i-dentities experiencing thousands of lives in thousands of dimensions simultaneously with hyper-clarity etc).....and the full range of experience can potentially be "accessed" from bog-standard entry at lucid dream level (the easiest but by no means only approach).

One's potential ability to move "along" this spectrum is, from the mundane semi-lucid dream for eg., imo governed by a whole host of factors that simply cannot be covered in a "how-to" book (or email). Factors such as one's deep, sub-conscious desire or passion or devotion, one's intent, one's moral character (I don't know about absolute morals or ethics or religious tenets, but in my experience one's general mode of being can & does have a direct influence on just how deep or far one can move along the spectrum of OBE experience from the mundane to the sublime...I hope you catch my meaning as this isn't the place for moralising :)

So, the best a "how-to" guide can do, is provide hints & tips to entering the "OBE" state at the ground floor level, and what you do from there is your business :)

I'm going to be as brief as possible, please look elsewhere online/books if you need expansion on any particular aspect, or ask me!

Some people like mystical esoteric labels, but I will call the entire spectrum of OBE "dreaming mind", as that is in my definition the chief characteristic of this spectrum, the "motor" behind it all.

The secret to successful, consistent & "at will" OBEs is to forge a strong and ongoing connection between the waking mind and the dreaming mind. Really, this was the biggest secret for me personally that really helped me to become good at it......

As most people are hardly ever even vaguely aware of their dreaming mind, let alone intimately familiar with it, the first step is to get to know it.....and the easiest possible way is to pay very close attention to your dreams. A "dream diary" may well be the most important tool in any OBErs, astral projectors or lucid dreamers tool kit that they will ever have. If you feel you can skip this step, like many do, then you may as well skip the entire endevour. This is the foundation of any strong OBE ability. Also know, deep down, it is important. In this way you're paying respect, with your waking mind, to your dreaming mind. Fill it in every single day, first thing. (or use a tape recorder and do it later etc.....but remember dreaming minds fades away like a mirage if left more than a few minutes...plenty of sources online for tips and tricks). You should get to a point where you are recalling 3-6 dreams a night (drink, drugs, short or irregular sleep patterns will effect this ability hugely, of course). When you're getting at least 3 dreams a night, you're getting familiar with your dreaming brain, bringing it closer to your awareness.

Think about your dreams throughout the day. Perfom reality tests constantly (tibetan buddhists who practice the 6 yogas of Naropa" spend the entire waking day telling themselves "this is a dream"....this may be a bit extreme for some, but it is making a connection with the dreaming mind on an un-excelled level, which is why it's such a powerful method to accomplish success at "dream yoga"). Make a list of re-curring dream signs or themes. (details on all these practices are available everywhere!) Think over these things, be interested in your dreaming mind.

Just doing these things, with passion, should result in the odd lucid dream within a month. Enjoy that moment, think over it, try and bring that dreaming brain awareness into your waking awareness. You've already had at least one success in OBE? Ponder over what it felt like....all this is like building a bridge from "that" side to "this", so travel between the two in future becomes so much easier.

Basically - buy Stephen LaBerge's first two books, and follow his methods religiously!!

(continued below)

Once you can remember several dreams a night & have had several lucid dreams, there is a much stronger connection between the waking and dreaming minds, which makes the seemingly more esoteric consciously induced OBEs, astral projections, soul travel or WILDs far more easier to acheive. So onto the methods for acheiving these.....

The basic methodology to WILDs is to maintain conscious awareness by anchoring it to something, whilst the physical body drifts off to sleep. There are dozens of methods to do this.....but as long as you understand the core dynamics, you're much more likely to acheive it.

Some people like to anchor waking consciousness to visual imagery (i've tried this method with great success), such as visualising a glowing red chakra in your "throat centre" whilst drifting to sleep, or perhaps walking up a flight of stairs, imaging your body falling deeper asleep with each ascending step, or going up in an elevator, or perhaps just visualising yourself OBE doing something.....anchor your awareness to this whilst falling asleep....many dozens of times you WILL just fall asleep, but each time you get closer to success, I promise.....actually, if you perform these anchoring techs upon first going to sleep, you almost certainely WILL fall asleep doing it, but will find yourself awake and OOB spontaneously at a later part of your sleep cycle......don't ask me how it works :)

Other things to anchor to; the ringing sound heard in your head or your physical sleeping posture (which is why so many people have LDs when sleeping in a unfamiliar place, as a part of their consciousness is alert/thinking about it, perhaps as some evolutionary directive!).

Another thing - utilising the body's natural cycles. The best time to practice & acheive success at WILD OBE is about 4-5 hours after you first went to sleep, and during afternoon naps. MUCH easier to succeed. This is the time to play with awareness anchoring techs whilst trying to drift off into sleep.

Also, play around with these cycles to acheive optimal neuro-chemical circumstances for success....for eg., I once had a phenomenal night of OBE with exceptional clarity/lucidity, lasting something like 5 hours non-stop. I stumbled upon this by falling asleep (accidently, can't remember now?) quite early for me, around 8pm I think. I then woke up around 10-10.30ish, and stayed up until 12-12.30ish. I had to get up early the next morning, something like 6am at the latest.....during my second period of sleep, after 12.30-1am-ish, I remained in a state of extremely lucid OBE every time I closed my eyes, straight into an OBE environment (happened to be a dark and foreboding forest, but that's an aside :). I was literally opening my eyes to look at my digital clock as I worried I wasn't getting any proper sleep, closing my eyes and straight away finding myself awake in an was getting quite tiresome and boring actually, I was trying my hardest to actually just fall asleep and not OBE. This lasted right up until I had to get up.....I was a little surprised to find that even though my awareness was unbroken the entire past 5 hours, that I felt entirely refreshed as if I'd had a perfect nights sleep. The body and brain are amazing things....:)

Ultimately, the more you "give" to this process, the more attention, respect & even devotion you give to your "dreaming mind", the easier & easier it becomes to access it.....without doubt you will spontaneously find yourself OBE, both during the night as well as when you're just closing your eyes for a rest or brief nap during the day. It will almost be like just one stream of consciousness drifting in and out of realities dependant on your circumstances (eyes open, awake, eyes closed, OBE). The bridge is complete at this point, and your only limitations are your consciousnes & sub-conscious beliefs, desires, assumptions, cognitive frameworks etc etc....things can range from what is labelled the profane to the divine, from sexual encounters, to merging in oceans of blissful light.....there is no end to the potential....though what their real or ultimate nature is, nobody really knows.... :)

Some people take what they experience in this spectrum of experience as objectively real and "out there", and derive metaphysical assumptions from it.....for example some mystical groups will enter this realm and see supposed "signposts" of their delineated heirarchies of heavens, taking this as proof of their objective "existence". Personally I've seen to much to believe this, and am certain these are cognitive errors for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that anything is possible "there", and (almost) no description transcends their potentiality.

I've gone on for a while here, but I think this covers it in general...let me know if there's anything else you would like to know, or detailed, I'd be glad to if you don't mind the occassional wait for a response! :)

I think I will also post this on another forum, but with no reference to yourself....seeing as i've typed this out, hopefully may help someone!

Happy Travels (and let me know how you get along if you try any of this!)