Category Archives: Lucid Dreaming

Darkroom Teaching on “Clear Light Dream Practice”

Tao Garden

Tao Garden in Chiang Mai, Thailand, is GrandMaster Mantak Chia’s home base.

MantakChia

GrandMaster Mantak Chia

At the 2015 Dark Retreat at Tao Garden, Master Chia and DolphinOlogy publisher, Wake Breathe Love, gave a DarkRoom teaching on Clear Light Dream Practice.

Here are the exclusive audio recordings of their teaching:

Paul McCartney Lucid Dream

Five Fascinating Facts about Lucid Dreaming

Fact One: Paul McCartney claims to have dreamt the tune for the Beatle’s hit Yesterday, which appears on the 1965 album Help!

“I was living in a little flat at the top of a house and I had a piano by my bed. I woke up one morning with a tune in my head and I thought, ‘Hey, I don’t know this tune – or do I?’ It was like a jazz melody. My dad used to know a lot of old jazz tunes; I thought maybe I’d just remembered it from the past. I went to the piano and found the chords to it, made sure I remembered it and then hawked it round to all my friends, asking what it was: ‘Do you know this? It’s a good little tune, but I couldn’t have written it because I dreamt it!”

Fact Two: Our unconscious mind often internalize external stimuli whilst we are asleep, making the stimuli a part of our dreams. This is called Dream Incorporation. It’s beautifully illustrated in the French movie The Science of Sleep (2006) (or La Science des Reves). In the movie the leading protagonist falls asleep in the cold, only to subsequently dream he is skiing in the Alps. I certainly know I’ve woken up having dreamt about bodies of water, only to immediately need the toilet.

Fact Three: In as little as five minutes we forget upward of fifty percent of a dream’s content. After ten minutes we’ve forgotten a staggering ninety to ninety five percent of its content, which kind of makes keeping an aforementioned Dream Journal, perhaps by your bedside, vitally important.

Fact Four: English poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge is said to have written his masterpiece Kubla Khan (1816) after a night binging on laudanum (opium). Coleridge claimed hundreds of lines appeared to during in his night of Lucid Dreaming, but the poem is a mere 54 lines. Of course, 54 lines of poetic verse is pretty darn good “Dream Recall” if you ask me!

“In Xanadu did Kubla Khan,

A stately pleasure dome decree:

Where Alph, the sacred river, ran,

Through caverns measureless to man,

Down to a sunless sea.”

Fact Five: There are a variety of free apps you can get for smart phones which can offer you help in getting to grips with Lucid Dreaming. Many of the apps have useful hints and tips. A Dream Journal is just one and is a vital tool in improving Dream Recall. Remember as noted above we forget our dreams incredibly quickly so noting down your dreams allows you to keep a permanent record, but furthermore trains your mind allowing you as a dreamer to notice patterns and to identify common “Dream Symbols” occurring in your dreams. The apps also suggest carrying out “Reality Checks” during the day; another useful suggestion which will help you to appreciate you are indeed dreaming, further enabling you to take control of your dreams.  Finally the use of techniques such as the Wake Back to Bed method, exploiting REM sleep before waking, are incredibly useful too.

Lucid Dreaming App

What is Lucid Dreaming, and where do I get the app?

On the market today there are rather a lot of free apps to aid you with Lucid Dreaming. There’s Lucid Dream Ultimate by Android, Can Lucid Dream by Windows and DreamZ by Ios, but do you really need them? In my opinion: yes and no; after all, anything which makes it easier for you to start on the path of Lucid Dreaming is great (especially if it’s free), and yet then again if you don’t have an all singing, all dancing smart phone or wouldn’t know an app from an apple, you needn’t worry either because the smartest piece of kit you already own is already installed, it’s already up there in your noggin aka your brain (this is more or less true, even for Justin Bieber). Quite simply, the human brain is rather nifty, fantastic, about as smart as it gets, and each of us use this oh-so-fantastic super computer all the blinking time; indeed, it’s the gizmo you’re using right now, not only to regulate blinking but to absorb these here words; the same spongy grey tech that allows us to think, “sleep… perchance to dream” (a Shakespeare quote ever-so-slightly out of context there, do excuse me).

Anyway, speaking of dreaming, what the heck is Lucid Dreaming, other than being the theme for a particularly confusing Leonardo DiCapriofilm?! Well, Lucid Dreaming in a dream-like nutshell is being aware you’re dreaming whilst you sleep. It’s conscious dreaming,  a state of self awareness said to occur during REM sleep, and I’d be so bold as to hazard a guess the vast majority of us, no matter how much we choose to ignore it, have had one of those dreamy but clear (lucid) moments when we realise we’re not quite asleep, but not quite awake either – mine usually involve an attempt to fly by running really fast, and almost skipping up into the air, at least before I fully awake, starting to panic how I’m going to get myself down from the lampshade. For all I know, your own Lucid Dreams may involve you and Justin Bieber DUI and on the way to a clan rally: they’re your dreams and I’ll cast no aspersions or judgment.

Of course, for those who already know a fair bit about Lucid Dreaming it isn’t only about being aware one is dreaming. It’s also about taking control of those dreams and manipulating the experience you have in the imagined dreamscape. For instance, instead of allowing Justin Bieber to drink and drive under the influence, and spout all kind of ill-thought-out racist hogwash, you take control and force feed him a can of whipass until he explodes into a much more useful collection of butterflies, and perhaps you even find yourself flying on the backs of said butterflies toward a phone shop to buy a new Smartphone, because they may not help you to Lucid Dream but they are darn useful.

Okay, to quickly recap… Lucid Dreaming is being aware you’re dreaming, and by extension taking control of said dreams, but how do you, I and Justin do it? Well there are countless techniques and practical things you can do, and so before I sign-off and fix my lampshade, allow me to share a couple.

1: The Wake Back to Bed method:

This involves setting your alarm clock an hour or two before you’d usually get your bag of bones up. Remember, REM sleep occurs most frequently just before you wake up so when the alarm sounds and hopefully jolts you from a dream, you wake and get up, perhaps wandering around the house for ten or so minutes allowing your conscious mind to take control. When you return to sleep you should discover it far easier to re-enter the dream world, appreciating you are in fact in a  lucid state of mind whilst dreaming, and able to take control of the dream.

2: Reality Checking:

Spend the day affirming you are awake. This may combine using certain visual nods and cues, for example when switching on a light or closing a door: these are perfect times to ask the question “am I awake?”. It may sound odd but there’s method to the madness because by asking the question when awake your mind will hopefully ask the very same question when asleep (kind of like muscle memory). Once you ask the question in a dream there is then a greater chance you will start to appreciate you are indeed dreaming and take control.

So there you go, if using apps on phones isn’t your thing, don’t worry because the only tech you truly need is already wedged into your own beautiful mind (though perhaps consult a book or further blog posts for yet more tips). Anyway, enjoy and have fun in the dream world, wonderful sleepy people!

Lucid Dreaming Movie

Lucid Dreaming: lights (off), roll camera… action?

Lucid Dreaming is a result of heightened consciousness, not only being aware you’re dreaming but taking control of those dreams. It’s kind of the difference between simply signing-up to Netflix (paying for and streaming a movie), or instead choosing to take control and make your own darn picture. In this way, instead of remaining passive, merely observing what’s presented before your unconscious mind, you can, through the adoption of certain techniques and practices, influence events in the dream world; indeed you may soon find yourself the architect of your own dreams, shaping the narrative presented to your unconscious and creating one hell of a dream movie in the process.

With that in mind, it perhaps won’t be too much of a surprise to hear that some of the most talented artists of the past century have all been advocates of Lucid Dreaming. From talented film directors like the Wachowski brothers and Chris Nolan, to actors like Leonardo DiCaprio and Keanu Reeves, a vast array of artists draw direct influence from Lucid Dreaming, incorporating their dreams into their work.

Certainly, James Cameron, when interviewed forHollywood Today, claimed lucid dreaming to be one of his key inspirations: “I’ve kind of realized that what I was trying to do was create dream imagery, create a lucid dream state while you’re watching the film. I think that most people dream of flying at some point, and when we’re kids we dream of flying. I certainly did, and still have a lot of flying dreams and I thought that if I can connect to an audience, to a kind of collective unconscious in almost the Jungian sense, then it bypasses all the politics and all the bullshit, and all the culturally specific stuff and all the language specific stuff around the world and connects us all to that kind of childhood, dreamlike state when the world was magical and infinite and scary and cool and you could soar. So that was the concept behind these scenes. And for me, personally, this was the part of the movie that I like the best, that I can watch over and over again.”

Of course it’s not just film directors who Lucid Dream, the surrealist painter Salvador Dali did too; the Spanish painter was heavily inspired by his dreams, his eccentric and colourful works, or“hand painted dream photographs” as he called them. In fact his works only have to be viewed at a glance for a viewer to appreciate how the dream world is present, with perhaps the artwork expressing this idea most eloquently aptly titled, “Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening.” This masterpiece illustrates what Freud called manifest symbols representing more ambiguous and latent meanings. It furthermore expresses both the idea of the external and conscious world influencing the unconscious, and how we can best access and take control of our dreams in those moments just before we wake up. After all,  REM sleep occurs most frequently just before you rise, which means Dali was essentially and beautifully expressing rather interesting thoughts well before such ideas were the talk of tinsel town.

And so whether you’re an actor, artist or film director, no doubt Lucid Dreaming can help you tap into some previously unexplored ideas and creative imagery.