What is Lucid Dreaming?
In a very basic sense lucid dreaming is an awareness that you are dreaming, while in a dream. Now, that may not seem like such a big deal, but being conscious while dreaming has several implications. Firstly it means that you are more likely to remember the dream and make connections upon waking with what your subconscious may be trying to tell you, perhaps alert you to a person or behaviour that is damaging or show you the answer to a problem you’ve been facing. Secondly if you are conscious while dreaming, you have the opportunity to take control of your dream.
Drive Your Dreams – Lucid Dreaming
If you can steer your dreams you have opportunities to experience anything you can imagine; like flying to the sun, tasting fire and overcoming writer’s block as as Dr Berit Brogaard writes of Lucid dream researcher Beverly D’Urso.1 Perhaps more importantly as Drew Canole of PositiveTruth.com points out lucid dreaming has the ability to change your life… “Lucid dreaming is not only something to do for fun, but can be a powerful method for growth, and healing”2 by way of specific examples he says that by lucid dreaming we have:
- The chance and ability to face fears in a safe environment .
- An opportunity to build confidence by setting up success
- A place to connect the subconscious mind and begin programming it to believe in goals and ambitions.
- A safe place to practice skills.
- A space to explore potential life paths to help make decisions in real life.
- A space to confront people and past experiences (that may not be possible in the real world) and facilitate healing.
So how do we learn to lucid dream?
There are a number of theories that revolve around intent and mindfulness, and while there are few scientific studies “there is a fair amount of anecdotal evidence that meditation can improve your ability to have lucid dreams”3
Meditation is one of the best ways to aid lucidity in dreams because meditation is connected to self-awareness and “mindfulness.” This mindfulness is fundamental in becoming aware that what one is experiencing in a dream is not reality and at that point the dream becomes lucid.
Most lucid dreaming experts talk about “reality checks” throughout each and every day where you ask yourself: Am I dreaming? That may seem a bit silly, at first, but just asking the question makes you aware of the moment you are in and all the reasons you know you are not dreaming. Likewise you will become accustomed to asking and being aware so that you will also ask yourself and become aware during dreams.
Meditation and Floatation
So how is all this connected to floating in a tank of warm salty water? Well, floating in a float tank has benefits on many levels not least mental and physical and it is all about reducing external and internal sensory stimulus. Floating, like meditation, is time out from all the constant stuff that prevents many of us from living in the moment with any deep sense of awareness and mindfulness. By meditating people are brought back to mindfulness and floating can have the same effect. Floatation for many people induces a state of mind that experienced meditators know as the theta state.Theta brainwaves (that are slower than the Beta and Alpha activity we normally have in daily life) correspond to a state of mind associated with dreams and waking dreams, as well as a deep meditative state and increased creativity.
What do you think? Have you ever experienced lucid dreaming? Do you think meditation and floatation can aid lucid dreaming? Let us know – below.
Images used – creative commons.
Image 1 source: http://positivetruth.com/change-your-life-through-lucid-dreaming-4-steps-to-get-you-started-2/ originally http://images5.fanpop.com/image/photos/26300000/dreaming-dreams-26353900-500-370.gif
Image 2 source: http://theleafonline.com/c/politics/2014/12/driving-informed-know-rights-behind-wheel/
Image 3 source: shutterstock