Lucid Immersion: How to Start Harnessing the Power of Lucid Dreaming
Some of my most profoundly ecstatic moments have happened when I was sleeping.
The exhilaration is difficult to articulate. Imagine looking around your surroundings, feeling completely awake and aware, and realizing that this is a dream -and that you can control it?
I’m talking about lucid dreaming: the art of consciousness in the dream state.
Learning to Lucid Dream
What would you do if you knew you were dreaming right now?
Many beginners choose to fly, and others pursue what may be considered the safest sex in the world.
But this is just scratching the surface.
When anything is possible, the only thing holding us back is the limits of our imagination.
The good news is that lucid dreaming can be learned.
It’s not a genetic gift but a cognitive skill. In fact, frequent lucid dreaming is the fruit of waking practice.
In the dream research community, this approach is based on the continuity theory of dreaming. Simply put, the way we think and reason in the waking world carries over into our dreams.
Like any other skill though, lucidity practice improves performance. All it takes is the right activities for training the mind towards lucidity.
Some of these skills include the cognitive ability to multitask, the emotional aptitude for taking risks, and the mind-body habit of noticing your surroundings.
Still, many people struggle with “waking up” in the dream world.
In my experience, the frustration is usually due to half-baked forays into lucid mindfulness.
It’s not instant, and there’s no magic pill. You have to stick with it, and track your training with measurable benchmarks.
This is the central premise of my latest ebook project, the Lucid Immersion Blueprint.
As the Zeo community knows, if you track something, your performance improves. Rather than just throwing together a bunch of random gear, the Blueprint organizes the expedition, provides the map of the destination, and tracks your waypoints.
Sweet; But why lucid dream in the first place?
In general, lucid dreams are associated with higher levels of creativity and emotional intelligence.
Other researchers have found that lucid dreaming can cure severe nightmares and buffer the mind against future traumatic events.
Countless others use lucid dreaming as a tool to dig into the mysteries of the mind and consciousness.
A recent brain scan study suggests that when you perform an action in a lucid dream, the same parts of the brain “light up” as when you do it in waking life.
Think about that for a second.
The brain cannot differentiate between these two worlds. Anything you think about becomes a reality to the brain, entraining the motor cortex as much as real practice.
The opportunities to strengthen your skills may be limitless.
I personally consider lucid dreaming to be a psycho-spiritual practice; it has changed my life and continues to be an avenue for growth, knowledge, and self-development.
I have found courage, creativity and wisdom.
I have made peace with the past and been shown possible futures.
I have found a sense of purpose as well as a gateway to the other worlds.
Most importantly, I have discovered that perception is permeable, and we have opportunities to shift not only our personal mental constructs about so-called “reality”—but also the mental constructs of our community.
When you learn something new in a lucid dream, your waking world changes too.
This bold idea moves beyond the continuity hypothesis, in that dreams are not just reflections of waking experience, but can be the genesis of unique thoughts and behavioral change.
In this way, lucid dreamers shift the culture, and draw new horizons as we discover our full potentials.
Or as I like to say, every lucid dream is a revolution.Ryan Hurd is a Zeo sleep expert, and the author of Lucid Immersion Blueprint, a guide to lucid dreaming. Ryan is also the editor of DreamStudies.org and a board member of the International Association for the Study of Dreams.
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