Foundational Lucidity vs Situational Lucidity

First off, I’m hoping @Andrew will step in and take me to task for coming up with these odd terms for how I describe my lucidity. :wink:

After many months of daytime practice and increased meditation I now often find myself in dreams where my awareness of the dream state feels intrinsic. These are always dreams with people in them…dreams that I do not wish to alter as they are giving me something important. I have come to call this lucidity foundational lucidity as it feels like a part of the fabric of my consciousness. It has taken a lot of hard work to build this up slowly.

Foundational lucidity is very important to me as it has become a path toward the more spiritual realizations of dream yoga.

Then there are the dreams where I am involved in something non-lucid and something triggers lucidity. I have come to call this situational lucidity and it always changes the direction of the dream…sometimes quite radically. Situational lucidity is definitely the recreational type. :grinning:

Last night I experienced both.

Wondering if this resonates with anyone else…


I have had both types of lucid dream experiences, one where there is no question that I am lucid right off the bat. They last longer than the other type. Less frequently, I can trigger lucidity by doing a reality check such as looking at my hands, but it seems that these dreams can end much quicker, particularly if I make a misstep and stray from my original intention.


Steve, in this “foundational lucid” dreams, how lucid are you? Would you say it’s the same or different from what some people call “tacit lucidity,” where you are basically aware that you are lucid but without necessarily explicitly acknowledging it? Personally I think of tacit lucidity as being a fairly low level of lucidity, e.g. I might act in a way that is congruent with being in a lucid dream, but without seeming to be highly conscious.

Also, is what you are calling “foundational lucidity” different from a witnessing dream, in which you are lucid but choose not to alter the course of the dream?



Hey Arthur!

I know we have enough existing terminology to describe all of the various states of lucidity in the dream without me going and making up my own. :slightly_smiling_face: But this state that I call “foundational lucidity” feels different from how I perceive “tacit lucidity” or a witness dream.

Just for background here…I have only been on this path for 15 months or so but I have a very strong background in other more wake-centric mind/body non-dual type disciplines.

Those first few months of my very serious training were filled with scattered lucid events that were often very strong but seldom were well controlled as I reacted to events in the dream. I was working very hard with classic lucid dreaming induction techniques like SSILD and WILD and I was just trying to find out where I could go with this amazing thing we call lucid dreaming. I began to think of this sporadic but very strong lucidity as “situational” because it was always in response to something.

But after a few months I wanted more direction. I’m a bit older than many lucid dreamers and I began to realize that I was not interested in the excitement and explorations that many seek. It was around then that I discovered dream yoga and I knew right away that this path was a better one for me. I had yet to find the Night Club so instead I immersed myself in Tenzin Wangyal’s protocols.

As I became comfortable with Tenzin’s specific induction protocols I abandoned the classic LD induction techniques and my dreams began to change. Gone were the kinds of things that tended to cause sudden “situational lucidity”. All of my dreams began to be very much like my waking life…real people in real places doing real things. As I realized this change I began to work hard on being lucid during my days, working with the people around me as if they were dream characters.

I also began experimenting with nocturnal meditations when I had time at the end of the sleep cycles and some very powerful things happened around those meditations. I am fortunate in that my day life is very controlled so I was able to expand into a stronger meditation routine and to begin to study and practice a very non-dual Dzogchen type of outlook on the reality of my existence.

I began to realize that I was almost always lucid in my dreams but that lucidity had become part of the very fabric of my consciousness. As my days got more and more “lucid” this “foundational lucidity” in my dream state began to coalesce even more.

It is like that to this day. I have conversations with people…some who I knew very well at some time in my life and others who I have never consciously met but who are very real…I could describe them in detail. I never consciously say “this is a dream” any more and I never try to change anything. But I am always aware at a very deep level that I am dreaming and that I will be waking up…often times I wake myself because I know it is time to rise for work.

Just this morning I sat in my dark studio at 3:00 AM after writing down a dream and was amazed at the feeling that I had just gone almost seamlessly from one state of consciousness to another…and as I sat there, one did not feel much different from the other.

I think that at some point I will find myself expanding beyond this as I work my way into some of the deeper protocols of dream yoga and I think that this “foundational” kind of dream awareness will serve as an excellent platform for that expansion. For now, though, I am enjoying watching karmic traces self liberate and feeling the strong reciprocal effect that is having on my waking life.


I am so glad I joined this website and found your post @Steve_Gleason. I could resonate so much with your distinction between situational and intrinsic lucidity. Last year I had a period of days where I had a super strong lucidity frequency. I would become lucid multiple times throughout the night, and those realization where never caused by logical deduction. There was no need for critical thinking, I simply knew I was dreaming without anything to cause this understanding but the dream itself. This understanding was so ingrained in my psyche that those lucids where very stable, unlike those lucid dreams caused by classic induction techniques. Because foundational lucid dreams had such a good quality I tried to find out what exactly caused them, and ditched the classical techniques.

But unfortunately I wasn´t able to replicate these dreams. I know I did something during those days that made them happen, but I have no idea what. Presumably it has something to do with my awareness, but that doesn´t really narrow it down for me.

Could you please go into detail what exactly those protocols were that made your dreams like waking life? Because the waking life quality was also a defining characteristic of my foundational lucid dreams. So replicating that would bring me one step closer to having them again.


Tenzin’s induction protocols are centered around specific chakra awareness in between four two hour sleep cycles. I made the commitment to stick with them while at the same time working extra hard at understanding the non-dual relationship between my self and my environment during the day.

In all honesty, I had never spent much time looking at chakras and the like in my life but within a few weeks I found that by sincerely buying in to these concepts, the nature of my dreams changed completely. Look at Part Three, Section 5 (Main Practice) of this manuscript for a detailed description:

I have to say, though, that this “foundational lucidity” is, for me, a result of over a year of diligent daily and nightly practice that really centers more on the daytime than the night. What has really made my dreams like waking life is understanding and feeling the true illusory nature of reality during the day. The ungraspable nature of the images that I am perceiving right now when I look away from this computer screen is pretty much the same as the ungraspable nature of my dream images.

This kind of ingrained lucidity takes longer to develop and may not be quite as exciting as what happens when I find myself standing at the cliff’s edge in a dream…but it is also not as transient.



I was thinking more about what has changed in my dreams @luc!d .

I have worked super hard in the past year at learning to avoid grasping or averting types of reactions in my daytime adventures. It’s not easy to stop when a conversation leads toward an emotional response, particularly in these trying times.

My dreams also quite easily baited me into emotional reactions through outrageous and unreal situations. But as I got better in the daytime I got better in my dreams. When I started to use these dreams to trigger lucidity… my dreams got more subtle. As Andrew always says…the ego does not like to be shunted aside.

My subconscious mind has become almost devious in its attempts to get a rise out of me by now presenting me with real situations involving real people. I am constantly being tested. Sometimes I am able to stare down that smiling dream character and hold on to my lucid awareness…but other times i get in the car and go for the ride.

I appreciate being able to share all of this. :sunglasses: