"Fire all your guns at once" routine

Following a recent lucidity drought and the discussion in this thread on the lack of progress in consistency in lucid dreaming and dream yoga https://community.nightclub.andrewholecek.com/t/how-far-have-you-managed-to-get-in-the-dreaming-practice-side-of-dream-yoga/7162/15
I decided to “fire all my guns at once” for at least one week and see how things go. By posting this here I am also putting some positive pressure on my lazy a** to help me stick to the routine :wink: and share with those who are interested to find ways to increase the frequency of lucid dreams:

Daily Routine:

  • Hourly reminder alarm by my smart watch: Stop, ask “Is this a dream?”, and do a reality check (RC)
    → Take minimum of 30 seconds to do the RC wholeheartedly and answer the question with “no” after careful check, having carefully inspected the surroundings for strange inconsistencies that would be there in dream.
    → Add-on practice: remember that all sensory phenomena are indeed dreamlike appearances to or of consciousness.

  • During the day, if there is some break time: Familiarization with the red lotus visualisation in the throat chakra.

  • During the day, if there is a quarter of an hour extra time:
    Take nap and work with hypnogogic imagery. Allow the imagery to arise without influencing it by will or emotion. Just watch it arise without getting unconsciously lost like in a daydream.

  • Before going to bed: Shamata meditation according to B.Alan Wallace
    → 30 minute meditation on relaxation and stability of the breath-induced movements in the lower stomach (“burmese method”), with a transition to air-flow sensation at the nostrils towards the end of the session

  • Set alarm clock for WBTB practice (here after six hours)

  • Work with prospective memory: remind myself that I will be dreaming. “I will recognize that I am dreaming”. “I will be lucid and stable in the dream”.

  • If fit, do the red lotus visualisation and try direct WILD (low chance of success but worked a few times)

  • Otherwise just go to sleep with the “scent of memory” in your head, that soon you will be dreaming

  • After alarm clock wakes for WBTB:

EDIT:
—> remember dream and write it in journal
Edit

→ get up and do Shamata practice (see above) for half an hour
→ go back to bed and remind yourself that very soon you will be dreaming
→ Either do red lotus visulisation (relax!!) and let go, or let go immediately
→ While letting go, think “This is a dream.” and become lucid
EDIT:
—> wake up and write down dreams in journal
EDIT

First success this morning, was indeed a short lucid dream, so I am greatly encouraged to up the focus even more.

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Congratulations on the big victory after that dry spell. This is an inspiration for members to keep trying new methods and redouble the effects behind the old methodologies.

This is great advice. I need to start doing this much more. I was doing a reality check with my watch, only to learn from one of the teachers that you need a digital watch for this, that a regular old fashioned watch will not work. LOL damn. Live and learn.

I had a dream last night where I went to a Psychic for the first time. She never got around to doing a reading for me. But something really bizzare took place. I was trying to sell her Mirrrors, and make a deal with her on the mirrors, selling her 10 or more.

I never once stopped and looked in any of the mirrors at her store, or the ones I was trying to sell her!
What a fool I was. But something tells me I am getting close.

I need to start performing a reality check every time I pass a mirror and look very closely at my reflection.
Vanity of Vanities, all is vanity…

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As long as the guns are ablazing, how about some valerian tea or perhaps mugwort? Someone on Reddit swears by the following “tea” for better recall,

  • Valerian root
  • Lemon balm
  • Peppermint
  • Lavender flowers

Good luck. Looking forward to your debriefing.

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Is the 5th Ingredient Mugwort?
Or is that separate?

I can definitely say that Mugwort affects dreams. I asked Andrew about this in the Q&A this week, interested in hearing his take. For me I noticed that the Mugwort makes dreams both literally darker, and figuratively as well. It helps relax that’s for sure. The dreams for me just seem like they are being directed by Tim Burton and Edgar Allen Poe when I take Mugwort. Not horror film dark, but just more dark and dreary than typical with a little bit of unease mixed in. Maybe I am taking too much?
Has anyone else experienced this side effect?

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Jennifer Dumpert (Liminal Dreaming) calls Mugwort an olfactory trigger and recommended breathing in scents from a mugwort infused sock on your pillow during sleep. Tried that but it didn’t do much. Told others about it but they only had headaches after. I’ve tried Mugwort tea but it didn’t affect me at all. Shows how individual each of these things can be.

Actually your idea triggered me to buy Guayusa tea. I will try it tonight and take a cup for WBTB.

Current status: in 3 nights 2 lucid dreams. Firing all your guns at once looks promising. Let’s see how things develop.

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Careful with that one, it has lots of caffeine. Took it for a few days in the AM while doing some work with Jennifer Dumpert. Didn’t work for me, but may for you. I have lots extra, maybe I’ll try it again.

She writes:

Guayusa is a holly tree native to the Amazon. One of the few holly trees to contain caffeine, Guayusa is also used as a stimulant. Indigenous people of the Amazon, such as the Achuar from southeastern Ecuador, traditionally wake before sunrise to drink guayusa together and interpret dreams from the night before. As an oneirogen, Guayusa both promotes vivid dreams and also aids in dream recollection. Some use it to induce lucid dreams.

Tea is made from the dried leaves. Pour very hot water over two grams (a level tablespoon) of Guayusa and steep for 5 – 10 minutes. Drink in the morning for dream sharing. Drink at night to promote vivid dreams, but be sure to counteract the stimulant properties with something that helps you sleep, such as the scent of lavender.

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@_Barry Thanks for the heads up. The plan is to drink it just before returning to bed for WBTB, so that hopefully the caffeine kicks in after I have fallen asleep. At least that’s the theory.

We have lots of lavender in n the garden, that‘s a good idea, too.

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Good luck, looking forward to your debriefing.

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@_Barry short debrief:

Did the routine last night for the fourth night in a row. Out of four nights, there were three with lucid dreams so far.

Last night:
Woke up after six hours of sleep. Noted down the non-lucid dream. Then 30 min Shamata meditation. Before returning to bed, drank 1 cup of organic fair trade Guayusa from Ecuador :slight_smile: and went to bed.
Lotus visualization in the throat.
While visualizing, I noticed that it was more easy than the nights before. Thoughts calmed and mind became quietly settled but remained awake while holding the visualization. After about 10 min I dropped the visualization and let go.

Suddenly I jumped because I dreamt of a huge Amazonian spider hanging in front of me and became awake due to the shock. I realized that I had been dreaming and tried to play with the after image of the spider in the limbo state between wake and dream, reminding myself „This is a dream“.
With best Guayusa-compliments from Ecuador!! :wink:

Entered immediately into the first of two lucid dreams of the night. Both were short but lucid.
After the second lucid dream, I entered non-lucidly a long, vivid and detailed dream, which left a strong impression.

Love the organic Guayusa tea! It really settles and quiets down the movements of mind while supporting the vividness…

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Really awesome that you had so much success this week. Appreciate you sharing all of your techniques.

Have you considered that This week of the New Moon may have also played a role in helping you achieve lucidity? I believe the Full moon and new moons can be very powerful times to do these practices. I think in a video Andrew mentioned this as well.

Did you know that Spiders were considered sacred to many Native American tribes?

One myth is that the spider brought man technology/fire, because it was the only animal that could carry the fire across water using its webbing. Very sacred dream symbol.

I wonder if Dream Catchers also have some historic ties to Lucid Dreaming/Sacred dreaming practices? If they are designed to help with nightmares, perhaps these ancient tribes knew of techniques for conquering nightmares, catching the ‘mental insects’ in the web?

I gave up Caffeine for the last 6 weeks. I read a post on here that said that it could hurt the dreaming practice. Now you are making me want to try the Guayusa method. I am however a pretty light sleeper, so I am kind of fearful that any caffeine will make me stay permanently awake, and not be able to get back to bed.

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@_Barry Update: same as last night. After WBTB: 1 short lucid dream and 1 long non-lucid but vivid dream.
Will continue at least two more days and then share bilaterally if of interest.

Update Saturday night: no lucid dreams, one not lucid dream. The day had been quite busy before.

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@NightHawk999 Thanks, new moon could have an effect although over the last years of sporadically lucid dreaming, I had personally never found a strong correlation with the new moon cycle.

I only supplemented Guayusa the last two nights, so it’s maybe an add-on, but not the main driver of lucidity, I think.
I believe that the sum of all measures and the continuous focus during the day create the causes for lucidity (not just the Guayusa tea). For example, I found myself last night repeating “This is a dream” and instantly realizing that indeed I was dreaming…

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Yes there are always many other variables at play, And I do not believe it is the most influential. But I am a very strong believer that if the conditions are right (you are relaxed and in a good head state), a new moon (or 1-2 before and after) can be one of the deepest rests of the month. Superstition says a new moon is also the best time to start a new project. Maybe your body and soul are more in tune with these cycles than you realize?!?!

Maybe its just a coincidence…

Yes I agree with this 100%. I still have not had a dream where I did an acutal reality check to see if I was dreaming. So I believe that I have not done it enough yet in my waking life. I meditated this week more than I have all year, which I consider to be a big win. Probably has nothing to do with the moon cycle, just a coincidence
:wink: :wink: :blush: :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: :wink:

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Interesting to note that there may be relics of The Buddha on the Moon.

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Conclusions and observations of the last week of „firing“:

In seven days/nights, there were 4 lucid dreams and one semi-lucid one. And a lot of vivid non-lucid dreams.

I learned that I need to stabilize shamata mediation further in order to stabilize and prolong the lucid dreams. The lucid dreams are short because my mind is not yet stable enough to hold the lucid perspective over longer periods of time consistently.

Big personal realisation was that for me regaring WILD there is currently a sort of volatile threshold when observing hypnogogic/dream imagery. When relaxing too much during WILD, I often lose consciousness and have a chance to regain lucidity later, or, when focusing too strongly the natural flow of imagery is interrupted. It“s kind of a thin edge between the two.

Daytime practice „is this a dream/ this is a dream“: the practice looses its freshness over time, especially the last two days. I now supplement the practice more with shifting awareness on the sensory inputs to make it as vivid as possible. This helps. Shifted to the more affirmative „this is a dream“ instead of „is this…?“

Personal summary: it is indeed possible to increase the frequency of lucid dreams by practicing consistently daytime lucidity, WBTB and meditation. For me it was good to experience a correlation between the „effort“ and the results.
I have to say that the days preceding, I had already intensified my daytime practice.

So I have now decided to take a couple of days break from the disciplined full practice but will continue the daytime practices.

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Your results are very inspiring. I was very pleased to see that such an intense and focused approach yielded so many lucid dreams in so little time.

I definitely get a little bit down every night that I do not have one, But I believe that the hard work and that perfect practice pays off in the long run.

This thread has shown a lot of the weak points of my practice, especially in my meditation, which, takes me a very long time to get into Shamata, and only if I am lucky. Often I don’t achieve the higher level states. But if you do not practice it well, every day, the only person you can blame is yourself. :upside_down_face:

I am excited to hear if you do the same scientific test during the week of this upcoming full moon, will it yield a better outcome? less?or the same?

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I really like this technique.

I have thought about trying to do 100 reality checks during the entire day, regardless of how ordinary or out of the ordinary the event is. I have heard it is really important to actually question, and make the RC authentic, not just walking through the steps mindlessly.

Do you find that doing random reality Checks instead of only when things are out of the ordinary is more effective?

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What I meant with “perfect practice” was not that it must be perfect. I meant that a certain level of intensity with proper focus - without too much stress though - is needed to break through the threshold of negative habit. My practice for instance is of course far from “perfect”. And yes, I think you are right, that the increase of lucidity comes as a result of continuous practice over longer time. For me, before I started the intense week, I had practiced already on a regular basis at lower frequency and without daily WBTB etc. but the intensity and focus of that week had their effects.

Check out B. Alan Wallace’s The Attention Revolution. In the book, he gives concrete exercises to slowly advance though the nine stages of shamata.

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Yes, for sure. It’s important in the moment you do the RC to really be open to the possibility that it really IS a dream. Even if you are 100% sure that it could never be a dream. In the dream, one also never questions that reality, so we need to break that habbit of being “sure”.

I never tried random checks by App (and my smart watch doesn’t have that feature). It is probably a good idea.
What happens to me anyway, even with the regular intervals from the smart watch, that I start remembering doing the checks even inbetween the alarms, which I think is even better when that happens since I don’t want to depend on a trigger. And so it happened several times during dreams that the the memory of wanting to do the RC surfaced during the dream and caused lucidity.

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