In order to have Lucid Dreams, only two skills are necessary. We need a way to wake up inside our dreams so that we can manipulate them in any way we might choose. And we need to build a bridge between our dream world and our waking world so that we can recall our dreams with crystal clarity. These are most easily accomplished by using reality checks and keeping a dream journal.
For most of the early part of my life, I never recalled my dreams. I latched on to being able to construct vivid hallucinations before I finished high school, which is a very similar process. But for years, I just wasn’t able to recall my dreams no matter what I did, let alone take control of them and shape them.
Then one day, I happened upon a book about shamanism. It detailed a process that shamans follow in order to not only recall their dreams, but bend them to their will, on demand.
I followed the process, and after more than a few failed attempts, finally managed to get it working.
It was a lot of hard work, and most of that was down to some fundamental misunderstandings on my part. It also didn’t help that a lot of the things that were recommended simply didn’t make sense. At least, not to my not-yet-a-hypnotist brain.
These days, I can and do have lucid dreams on demand. Not every night, because sometimes I forget. But almost every time I decide that I want to have one, it just happens.
Now, I started out as a physicist, and we physicists love to make things as simple as we possibly can. So in this article, I’m giving you the bare bones. That is, the absolute minimum required to reliably construct lucid dreams and recall them afterwards.
My book Lucid goes into a lot more detail if you need more help.
What is Lucid Dreaming
First though, what is lucid dreaming?
Essentially, Lucid Dreaming is exactly what it sounds like: We have dreams in which we’re aware that we are dreaming. And because we have this awareness, we’re empowered to take control of those dreams and shape them to our desires.
When we Lucid Dream, we have dreams in which we are aware that we’re dreaming. This empowers us to take control of those dreams and shape them to our desires.
Once we learn to wake up inside our dreams, and have practiced shaping them a little, it becomes easy to change them in any way we might choose.
And because time doesn’t work the same way in dreams as it does in the waking world, within reason it’s possible to spend large amounts of time in our dreams with no negative impact on our waking lives.
Whether we want to go on an extended vacation for a month, or we want to spend an entire day practicing a new skill or studying, all of it is possible every night that we become lucid in our dreams.
And the best part is that there are only two things we need to learn to do in order to start lucid dreaming.
How to Recall Your Dreams
When you talk to many people out there in the world, a lot of them will tell you that they don’t dream.
So the question might arise: How can we recall our dreams if we don’t dream at all?
As it turns out, everybody dreams, just about every night.
It’s necessary in order for our brains to keep on functioning.
What’s going on is that the people who claim that they don’t dream are dreaming every night. They just don’t remember it afterwards.
So the very first thing to do if you want to become a lucid dreamer is build a bridge between your dream world and your waking world.
If we want to recall our dreams, we need to build a bridge between our dream world and our waking world.
As you might imagine with a process that has been found in every culture on the planet throughout all of history, this is very easy to do, once you know the trick. And it’s almost impossible to do if you don’t know the trick, which is why so many people believe they don’t dream.
In order to build a bridge between our dreams and our waking reality, all we have to do is hold both of them in our minds at the same time, for a short while.
There are a few ways to bridge dreams and reality, and the one that I’ve found the easiest is to keep a dream journal.
To do this, grab a diary and a pen, and leave it by your bed before you go to sleep at night. Decide that you are going to write down your dreams first thing when you wake up in the morning.
And then actually do it.
To build a bridge between your dream world and your waking world, keep a dream journal and fill it out every time you wake.
Naturally, when we first start doing this, it’s likely to be patchy.
Some mornings we’ll just forget to write at all. And other mornings we’ll remember to do it, but not remember our dreams.
As we do it more, what tends to happen is that both of these problems go away.
And if we make consistent effort, before long we find that the act of waking up, immediately grabbing our dream journal, and writing out our dreams becomes a habit.
So that’s the first thing you need in place. If you’ve not tried it before, or you’re skeptical, I recommend giving it a go for 30 days. Place the diary and pen beside your bed, and decide that every morning for the next month, the first thing you are going to do is write about the dreams you’ve just had.
The more time you dedicate to this every morning, the more quickly that bridge will be built.
How to Wake Up Inside Your Dreams
Once we can recall our dreams, the next step is making it so that we can take control inside them. In order to do this, we need some means of waking up inside our dreams. There are countless ways to do this, and all of them rely to some degree on a hypnotic anchor.
The way that it works is that when we are inside our dream, we want to be reminded to wake up. That’s really all there is to it.
In order to become lucid and aware inside our dreams, we need to be reminded to wake up inside them.
To do this, we can incorporate what are known as reality checks into our waking lives. When we do this, what tends to happen is that we also perform them when we are sleeping.
A reality check is nothing more than an attempt to perform some activity that would be impossible in the waking world, while fully expecting it to work.
An example might be that you poke something in your immediate environment with a finger, and expect the finger to go through whatever it is. If it doesn’t, you know that you’re probably not dreaming. And when the reality check fails, and the impossible thing actually works, you know that you’re probably dreaming.
So the process looks something like this.
First, decide what you’re going to use as a reality check.
This can be anything at all, so long as it’s safe to do and has an intended outcome that is impossible in our regular waking world. And you can choose more than one.
I’ve been doing this for years and have built up many, many habitual reality checks that now run constantly in the background without me having to do a thing.
For example, I’ve just attempted to push my hand through my mouse and it didn’t work, so it’s likely that I’m awake.
It’s probably easiest to start with just one reality check, habituate it into your life, and then add more as you go.
When we turn our reality checks into habits, they eventually make their way into our dreams.
Next, you want to figure out a way to make that reality check happen all the time.
There are lots of ways you can do this. If you’re starting out, a regular alarm to remind you to do it might be easiest.
Ultimately though, you want your reality checks to become an automatic part of things that you do.
So as you go through your life, look for places where you can discreetly perform a reality check. Just like my hand not going through the mouse just now.
Then, for each of these spots in your life where you can perform a reality check, start to build the habit of doing it. You’ll know when you’re there, because they will start to happen automatically without you having to think about it.
The more frequently you can make these checks happen, the more likely they are to occur in your dreams and remind you to wake up inside your dream.
Finally, once you have habituated enough reality checks, they will start happening in your dreams.
When this happens, all you have to do is notice that the reality check failed (for example, my hand going through the mouse rather than being stopped by it), realize that you’re dreaming, take a few moments to look around and take in the dream, and then start to manipulate and tweak it in any way you might choose.
Hypnosis Induced Lucid Dreaming
Hypnosis induced lucid dreaming is where hypnosis is used to guide someone directly into a lucid dream. This can be an easy way for people to get started with minimal fuss.
If you’d like to have an experience of being hypnotized directly into having a lucid dream, first take a few moments to write out a plan for your dream, practice your reality checks throughout the days, and place your dream journal and a pen in a handy place.
I’ve put together a recording of my lucid dreaming script that’s specifically designed to guide you from being awake to being asleep and inside a lucid dream. As with the dream journal itself, you may have to play this when you sleep for a good 30 days before you start to see results.
Of course, it could also work on your very first listen. It’s like any other learning in that regard. How long it takes depends on a bunch of stuff including how much experience you already have with similar things. Being guided into a lucid dream like this is about as close as you can get to having a lucid dream instantly.
I’ve added in white noise from river rapids after the hypnosis session to provide a calming background while you sleep.
You can find the recording over on youtube. As a test, I listened to this every night for the first week after I created it, with the result that I recalled my dreams every single morning without even writing in my dream journal.
You may have to press the play button twice on some phones.
For best results, hypnotize yourself when you’re ready to fall asleep at night, then play the recording as you fall asleep. The next morning, write in your dream journal as soon as you wake up!
Complete Guide to Lucid Dreaming
As you might imagine for anything that’s been around for all of human history, there’s a lot more to uncover within lucid dreaming. In this article, I’ve given the absolute minimum required to make it work.
But the reality is that it’s like any other field: It’s possible to go as deep as you choose. And as with anything, there are little things that can trip you up.
Personally, I’m almost never satisfied with just the beginning of something. Especially something so profound as lucid dreaming.
So over the past decades, I’ve explored it in depth.
I’ve pulled in various bits and pieces from my understandings of the mind, built from working with thousands of individuals.
And I’ve put it all together into a book.
Lucid is designed to be a complete, step-by-step guide to lucid dreaming. Like all my other books to date, I’ve aimed to leave out all the fluff so that you can get started as quickly as possible.
Inside you’ll find things like:
- How to stabilize your dreams, helping you to avoid waking up as soon as you realize you’re dreaming.
- Why it’s important to be fully present at least some of the time while awake, and how to do it.
- The easy way to practice things and study in your dreams.
- How to step directly into your dreams from being awake. This is the method that I personally use just about every time.
- How to experience up to years of time in a single night of dreaming.
- What to do to make it easier to write in your dream journal.
- How to intentionally shape your dreams so that they are exactly what you desire.
- And more.
Lucid is available in paperback, Kindle, and instant-download audio. If you’d like to get on the fast track to effortlessly having your own lucid dreams every night, go check it out right now.
PS. If you really want to go deep, why not consider my audiobook bundle. The books inside it are designed to cover what I’ve found to be some of the most useful aspects of the human mind. And they’re especially relevant to everything that makes lucid dreaming work.
If that sounds like something you’d like to have happen, I’ve put together an article where you can find out about each of my lucid dreaming and hypnosis audiobooks.
And if you prefer to read, you can get started today when you grab Lucid, my Complete Guide to Lucid Dreaming over on Amazon.