Dream signs

I have been practicing dream yoga for two years with great success. I am, however, confused about dream signs (water is my main sign). If I am assuming I am in a dream then why would I stop and recognize a dream sign. If it is all a dream why would I single one aspect of it as different. The only solution I have found is to say “water is a dream sign, this must be a dream.”
Thank you very much and happy dreams.


Good topic. I think the fact that something happens in a dream that wouldn’t happen in the “waking” state is the purpose of a dream sign. I have flooding streets as one of my dream signs but sometimes don’t make the connection till I wake up. A better one for me is looking at my hand and seeing fingers missing or seeing someone who has been dead for many years.

As Barry mentioned, I take the dream signs to be wake up tools to recognize I am dreaming and become lucid. For me the appearance of a certain village in recurring dreams is one. ‘Oh, I am in that village again…must be a dream’

Also though, I set some dream signs that could happen in waking life such as when the gas truck goes by with it’s music. In the waking state, I use it to stop and ask myself…‘Am I dreaming now?’ That usually leads me to some open awareness meditation. I’m liking that practice.

I seem to remember Andrew suggesting that if we use dream signs practice also during waking time, it will strengthen the habit of noticing dream signs and asking that question during dreamtime…‘Am I dreaming right now?’

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Thanks guys for your response. I may not have stated my problem correctly. If I am in a dream, repeating “this is a dream” all day long, feeling and assuming it is a dream (in waking life) then why would anything at all be a dream sign? It runs counter to the belief. If you know you are dreaming you would not ask “is this a dream?” or look at your hand. I am talking strict dream yoga not western lucid dream induction. I am scheduling a session with Andrew and will let you know what he says. Thanks


Sometimes dream lucidity is stronger than at other times. Often, even when I am conscious and aware in a dream already, a dream sign will focus my awareness even stronger.

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Thank you Steve! But how do you incorporate signs within your daily life if you are affirming everything is a dream? If I question whether there is something odd happening then I, at the same time are negating a dream is happening. So stuck on this. Any help would be great.

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I think the idea is to be mindful of the many things that happen during the daytime that are “out of sorts” and bring that thinking pattern (recognizing gaps) into dreams. The daytime practices are necessarily “fake it till you make it” type so when, for example, an albino squirrel crosses your path on an afternoon walk you can do a reality check, just to get in the habit. Nope, waking state as the reality check fails or succeeds, depending how you look at it. At night, you see the same rabbit but it turns into a turkey, you can then do a reality check to see if you are dreaming. If your hand goes through a wall—yep, it’s a dream and you know it, usually. The idea is to use the daytime practice as a contrast for the night, paraphrasing Andrew. Bring the habit of reality checking to bed with you and using them as much as we can remember, particularly in the early stages of practice, as part of LD training. Hope that helps.

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The way I interpret your question is that you might perhaps be mixing two separate points here:

a) the view / technique of “This is a dream”, and
b) dream signs

Regarding “dream sign”:
As you know, a dream sign is a sign which often appears in your dream which can clue you in that you are most probably in a dream state, when you encounter it. It’s a means of becoming lucid in a dream.
In dream yoga - not just in conventional lucid dreaming - it is important to recognize that one is in the dream state and not in daytime waking state and being able to distinguish between the waking state and the dream state. That is one definition of lucidity.

Regarding “This is a dream”:
Yes, in dream yoga, one may chose the view “This is a dream” - also during the daytime.
This is a technique of loosening the reification of daytime reality/identity and a view of reality:
The constructed daytime identities, entitities, objects and experiences are recognized to be empty - a reminder that it is a dream that the ego is dreaming.
So from a dream yoga practicioner’s point of view, the statement “This is a dream” as opposed to “Is this a dream?” is actually very accurate.

But, the statement “This is a dream” does not mean that the waking, daytime state is excatly the same as the dreaming state, and it’s all just the same.

If you are in a dream, after having repeated “This is a dream” all day long, feeling and assuming it is a dream (in waking life) then you have a good chance to acutally recognize that you are in a dream when you mentally say “This is a dream” while actually dreaming.
This happens to me every once in a while, especially during liminal stages. I say this is a dream … and heck - I actually recognize, that yes, I am! So this is a form of DILD.

Now, if you would be not lucid but you would encounter your dream sign in the dream, you might have some chance to realize that you are dreaming and become lucid.
This requires that you prime yourself during the waking state by saying to yourself something like “Next time I see water, I will recognize that it is a dream”.

Yes, everything is dream in the dream, but this dream sign is your personal clue that can clue you in that you are dreaming and helps you to become lucid, if you are not already.
For me, that is not counter to the belief…

You might want to check out also the other posts/discussions on “Is this a dream” vs. “This is a dream” in this forum. There a a couple of views to be found.

Have fun finding your dream sign!


I see @_Barry 's post as right on the money for the use of dream signs within the classic practice of lucid dreaming/dream yoga.

I have gone in a slightly different direction, though. After a great deal of in-depth study of the work of folks like Donald Hoffman and Bernardo Kastrup I have come to the realization that the waking state is, in its own way, an illusion. In that regard I have worked over the past year or so to establish an unbroken continuity of consciousness between the waking state and the dream state.

This has had a profound effect on my dreams which has, reciprocally, had a profound effect on my waking state life.

By practicing pristine awareness and pure perception in the waking state one begins to see through the illusion and to abide in a lucid pure presence…that then carries into the dream state.

My apologies for this slight digression. :slightly_smiling_face:


Would love to hear how this manifests for you?

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Epistemically, I know, from a quantum systems perspective, that the world around me does not come into a defined existence until I become conscious of it. I also know that that which I observe from moment to moment will never be seen by another…or, for that matter, again by me. Were you and I to be standing side by side we would each be perceiving a subtly but distinctly different world. My observation is, in essence, creating my world from moment to moment.

From a purely ontic perspective, last night, as I walked down the dark paths of the nature center on my nightly sojourn, shapes reached out to me from the woods. Is that a deer standing by the path up there there? No…just a large bush. This morning, as I walked down that very same path, the world around me was filled with that which did not exist (to my perception) just last night.

In the waking state we see only what we need to see to survive and even just to function. I do not perceive the circuits in this keyboard upon which I hunt and peck nor do I see the circuitry in the screen on which these words are appearing. Perhaps that is an issue of available mental bandwidth. That is something I’d like to write more about.

In the dream, with a great deal more bandwidth available…I see much, much more. :wink: