A return to lucid dreaming

Just shy of seven weeks in to my renewed practice based on The Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep (TYoDaS)'s Four Foundational Practices, this morning I had two full-on lucid dreams! Up to now in this “reboot” I’d had two “lucid waking moments”, one about 2 weeks ago and one about 4 1/2 weeks ago.

What was particularly notable about these: they were both late morning (a lot of my LDs come around 5-6.5 hours of sleep), but I found myself awake with no recall to speak of at about 6.5 or even 7 hours today.

Recently I’ve adopted Andrew’s “lucid count down” from his “Lucid Dreaming Workbook”, to great effect. I’ve never before really paid any attention to the process of falling asleep, and when I did try, for example when WILDing or “waiting for hypnogogia,” I just found myself wired fully awake going nowhere.
To my utter astonishment, I found that I typically lose the count at bedtime very quickly. Often I will not make it to 10 before losing the count or slipping into image/hypnogogia. Sometimes I won’t even make it to 5! This seems to hold true also up to about 3 hours. At 5 hours, I can count much higher (30, 60) without missing a single one. So AH’s “lucid countdown” seems to be both a sort of self-hypnosis for falling asleep for me, as well as an excellent barometer of just how close to sleep I am.

The benefit in doing something that requires just a tiny bit of attention is that it does not interfere with sleep itself (AH says to do it quietly, slowly, mindfully), and it shows exactly when your mind is starting to wander as you drift off towards sleep.

What’s so great about catching this moment, is then you can shift to something else, even quieter, and still hang on just a little bit and begin to notice / engage with hypnogogia.

I plan to read “Liminal Dreaming,” but I don’t have it yet, and I asked some LD friends “just how do you engage with hypnogogia!?” and to my surprise nobody was able to give me any sort of clear or useful answer, as a step-by-step how-to .

A friend from an Astral Projection discord gave me a concrete answer: at first, just observe any images that arise, do not engage them, “view them from a distance.” After a while, start trying to make tiny changes or influence what you’re seeing, like change a color, or add a small object, like a ball.

Then “swipe away” the image to erase it, and wait for the next image to arise, make a small change, and swipe it, too.

The idea is that this engages some parts of the mind that makes lucidity in dream easier/closer. And I suppose it helps to support continued awareness as one gets closer to sleep.

So this morning, at about 6.5-7 hours after bedtime, I was lying in bed awake and not feeling particularly sleepy, but I’ve stopped getting up in these moments and instead turn towards meditation and relaxation.

So I started AH’s lucid countdown. And to my amazement, I found myself drifting off somewhere around 10. OK, so, relax more I think. I shifted to a non-count mantra, I like to use “I am…clear light” (synchronized to inhales and exhales). I also like “I am…dissolving” [into clear light]. And at some point I drift off into sleep. I find myself in a non-lucid dream scene, I interact a little bit with the dream characters there, then just realize “I’m dreaming!” and go on to have a nice LD.

After waking, I recall the LD, and remain in bed. I’m remaining quiet and relaxed. this is for a while. Things are getting noisy in the room as the dogs start to get active, and my spouse gets up to let them out, so I have the bed and room to myself.

So I decide to try again. And just like before, I started with the lucid countdown, and lo and behold, I start to drift off again! Again shift to a quieter mantra, notice hypnogogia (am not sure if I ‘played with it’ the 2nd time), enter a non-lucid dream, get lucid from within the dream, and go on to have a fun LD with some memory of dream goals.

Two LDs in one night is very rare for me. Two LDs in the late morning is almost unheard of, especially after waking fully from the first, I don’t think I’ve ever had a 2nd follow a first in late morning unless it was immediate dream re-entry like in DEILD.

There are a lot of things I’ve learned from this. Probably the main one is belief in TWR’s sentence in TYoDaS: “The secret teaching is – relax.”

I’ve been really working on adopting just what he says in TYoDaS. “The whole approach is to relax, take a deep breath, open, allow, trust…let the results of the practice come to you, instead of ‘working hard to make the results happen’…” Do the practices, with intent, but also with “openness, ease, a relaxed attitude.”

I think I’ve traditionally suffered from being way “too tight.” It seems I’m starting to approach the required balance!

The other thing I’ve learned is that the AH lucid countdown is a great way for me both to drift off and to follow the progress towards sleep. The “playing with hypnogogia” approach also seems to have great potential.

Additionally, I now regularly cultivate gratitude before sleep, and from AH’s advice in the Lucid Dreaming Workbook, I now dedicate my lucid dreaming practice “for the benefit of all who want to lucid dream.” Thus I hope something I write here will someday be of use to somebody!

I’ve also decided to treat all dream characters with respect.

I’ve also heeded TWR words that even if you have to practice for a long time, don’t get discouraged. “Just let the practice be part of your life.”

Great dreaming to you all!

p.s. some sentences from TYoDaS that have really resonated with me:

“Using these practices makes everything that happens a cause for the return to presence.”

and

“There is no stronger method of bringing consistent lucidity to dream than by abiding continuously in lucid presence during the day.”

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Well done, that was fast!

I have found making the most of hypnogogia and prehypnogoia is really important in precipitating LDs

Funny you mention that, I think I heard AH the other day talking about this, and he said you barely touch it. Its a very passive practice. Everytime I try to actively engage with it, its like spashlishing an image in a puddle, and the hypnogogia goes away. And when I become a passive observer the images and videos reform.

This is hugely benefificial advice, appreciate you writing this! I have not heard of the subtle changes, like changing a color before. Brilliant.

This is a big accomplishment. I think it is a powerful roadsign that you are progressing on the path :star_struck:

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The following morning I had another lucid dream following almost exactly the same pattern! In essence, a very late WBTB followed by a later LD after relaxation and observing some hypnogogia. In the later morning I typically can’t fall asleep at all if I wake, but I feel now like I have a fighting chance. Unfortunately I couldn’t repeat 3 days in a row, and this morning while I did get almost all the way back to sleep and did have some hypnogogia, my wife had a morning appointment so I needed to get up to walk the dogs.

Thanks, yes, seven weeks feels like a long time, but it’s a drop in the bucket comparatively – I’m really dedicated to keeping it up consistently. I credit TWR and especially his encouragement to keep practicing even in the face of apparent non-results. That and AH’s “heating the pot” analogy are very helpful. I have a few phrases taped to the front of my computer desk, one of which is “Heat the pot!”.

The “slightly tweak hypnogogia” advice is great, I can’t wait to try it on earlier wakings. I think you’re right, that it can be a very helpful lucidity-inducing thing to do!

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@Michele1 this thread may ibterest you and help you with some new tactics.

@Dream_Hacker
Your results are very inspiring. TWR is a genius and his 4 founational practices are essential.

Going to test out your techniqyes and see if I have any luck over the next few weeks and months.
:star_struck:

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As a way to light a fire under my rear and get serious (but not too serious!) about DY practice, several quotes also have helped:

The notion from Atomic Habits that time can be your ally or your enemy. Making incremental improvements, even if very small, every day, will add up over time. The other side is letting ability atrophy, even by a little every day, will erase those hard-fought gains.

From David Goggins (who is well known for his “all stick no carrot” approach (not perhaps best for everybody, or for DY practice, but sometimes you just have to push through those times when there is no motivation):

There is no more time to waste. Hour and days evaporate like creeks in the desert…

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@NightHawk999

Going to test out your techniqyes and see if I have any luck over the next few weeks and months

I’ve set myself a timeframe of around 4 years to make significant progress, as this is around when @Steve_Gleason noted that he found himself “fully myself in all my dreams.” If I can muster even a fraction of Steve’s incredible consistency and dedication, I’m sure I’ll reach that point, too. But even that time frame is sort of artificial – really just “let the practice be part of your life” without any time limits (and no days off!) is the right approach IMO.

I had made this “4 year plan” back in late 2022, and I diverged from it quickly after some initial results (New Year’s is always a challenging time to maintain practices for me), followed a different waking path for a while, and all of a sudden 2023 and the start of 2024 had evaporated, and I had made no progress at all. So this year I’ve decided “no more!” and that quitting is not an option ever again.

As AH writes, expert lucid dreamers all have one thing in common: they never gave up!

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There is a daytime practice that helps with this: gazing at the sky during the day for, at least, 20 minutes everyday, for a week in some cases, perhaps more for some people.
I also notice that there’s a very thin line between dreaming and the awake state after 5 cycles of sleep. Sometimes I truly cannot notice the difference… this has been amplified with the practice of looking at the sky.

this is all AMAZING… thanks for sharing.

yes… and breath…

I also do this… it’s SO powerful… I say thank you to myself and allow images of the day to come and drift me to sleep. :heart_eyes:

beautiful…

thank you.

LOVE it.

indeed.

thanks for sharing.
Infinite Blessings to you.

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Came across with this book yesterday… it’s a great one!

Yes, this is what makes the difference - in any area of our lives. But most especially when we aim to step into new boundaries of human existence.

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How interesting! Thanks for this! Does it have to be a clear, blue sky? Because I don’t get those very often where I live unfortunately! It happens to be a blue sky day today so I just went outside to try it and I noticed that what I mostly see are all my floaters like a bunch of amoebas zooming around all over the place haha.

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hihihi! so great! :slight_smile:

it does not have to be a plain blue sky… each color has a different energy and from my experience, we always have the color we need… when the sky is white, for example, what I notice is that it helps in having the arms around so that the light is not too much…

what I notice in my case is that blue changes into other colors… and in the white I can see different colored dots… not so easy to spot in the blue sky…

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Thank you, NightHawk999 - this is indeed a helpful thread!

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My DY journey could also be named “A return to lucid dreaming” and while I still are not lucid in my dreams I don’t give up and started seeing the process from a broader perspective: last year in September I was still having full on nightmares, they transformed over the months (since I started engaging here) and became ‘intense dreams’, really intense and dark but not nightmareish and these have some weeks ago changed into ‘lighter’ dreams, still full of buildings and people from the past, but not so dark anymore, and only some days ago I saw a green pasture in a dream - first time of a beautiful colour!
Journaling helped me to recognise patterns and engaging in Q&A with AH - always trying to find an answer and finally and forever :star_struck: understand what had happened in the past to/with me when living in a spiritual community has also lifted a sort of heavy weight and dispair of not understanding…
“I don’t know” and maybe “I will never know”… I am starting to embrace this statement and coming to a place of more acceptance and peace. And continuing the practice during the day I believe eventually LD will happen. I am more aware of hypnogogia and learned here now that you can work with them too. And the blue sky…yay!
Thank you all for your invaluable input!

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I think the place of acceptance and peace is a deeply fundamental one, and a solid and even required basis for progress on spiritual or any other sort of journeys.

Balance – “not too tight, not too loose” according to AH – is key. It’s no mistake that the first of the four night-time practices (and corresponding day practice) in TYoDaS is abiding in the central channel via the throat chakra, and connecting to deep inner peace.

By nature, I tend towards the “too tight” side (strongly so at times). I have a habit of slipping into a “working hard to make the result happen” mindset. I can get frustrated if long periods go by without lucid dreams. I have to constantly remind myself while doing the four foundational practices to relax, accept, and let the results come to me.

And the wonderful thing is that this place of peace, acceptance, and ease, is also a place of clear, lucid awareness and presence, the very lucid awareness and presence that will visit us in our dreams in time, if we maintain intent, and are consistent in practice.

Rest, rest rest – rest in lucid presence and clear awareness. This is TWR’s oft-repeated message in TYoDaS.

I was definitely on the tight side yesterday, but as I write this today, and settle into that place of rest, I feel the lucid presence returning. The lesson is that it’s always there, we just need to learn how to let go of the distractions and stories we tell ourselves in our minds that continually leads us away.

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yehaaaaay! wonderful…

so beautiful :heart_eyes: :dolphin:

thank you for sharing yourself in such an honest way :star_struck:

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This is monumental news!

This change in tone or ‘color’ is I think a powerful mile stone. It means big things are happening in your subconscious below the surface, things are definitely heating up.

To me this accomplishment in its self is far more important than a lucid dream, or multiple LDs

Dreams are truth tellers. Major shifts in themes, scenery, or characters, may be telling you there are major shifts taking place in your mind, and deep growth taking place.

Appreciate you sharing this very powerful transformation.

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Following the same pattern as the previous three recent lucid dreams, this morning I had a lucid dream. It was notable in that the dream itself signaled to me that I was dreaming, in a way that is new to me!

I was in an area with doors leading to a place beyond my current location, and I wanted to go there. I had to push a button near a door in one part of the area that would open another door, and I should then go there. I did, but that door had no button next to it, so I decided that I would “pretend” that there was a button there and push it anyway (sort of an instance of expectation-based dream control, except that I was not lucid yet!). To my utter surprise, my hand went completely through the wall! I got lucid immediately in response to that, passed through the door/wall into the area beyond, and went to explore further.

It was the first time that I can recall where something that generally only happens in lucid dreams (I do practice the “hand through the wall” dream yoga exercise, it’s a basic one and one of my favorites) happened before I was lucid.

I had cultivated gratitude before falling asleep into the dream that lead to this lucidity, so I think my mind was showing its appreciation for my thanks!

I continue to follow the Four Foundational Practices every day, and I plan to stay with them for a long time, at least until I don’t need them any more…

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This is SO powerful :slight_smile:
Many times, when I go to bed, after some relaxing practices, I tune in with “I am so grateful”… and my mind captures the most incredible images of the day… I vibrate in that frequency and it happens many times that I go in to sleep in that profound feeling of gratitude…

it will happen… it did with me… the feeling is that of, after hard work, things open up easy and joyfully :heart_eyes:

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I had the 8th LD of my “reboot / re-dedication” this morning! The 7th was two days ago, the 6th was on May 3rd. I had a burst of 3 over two days at the end of April. I counted the number of nights from the beginning of practice where I didn’t have a LD (then the count resets after a night with one or more LDs, ‘0’ indicates one or more LDs on consecutive nights, etc.).

13, 18, 16, 0, 5, 9, 1

The trend seems to be heading in the desired direction!

So far all my LDs are late morning when I manage to fall back asleep after some time (sometimes a long time, oof, like today: about 4:30 → 08:00! Some of that may have been light dozing, a lot of it was meditation and trying not to “try to fall asleep” but failing I think!). This is typical for beginners I understand, and I’m basically starting from scratch from a training standpoint, if not a knowledge standpoint. Skill

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Congratulations :partying_face:! Great progress. Time away seems to flick a reset switch and make the dreams flow more naturally.

Glad to hear your having success!

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