Lucid Dream Task #2

Here’s our lucid dreaming task #2:

Let’s continue to play around with lucid sleep onset. This is important because we’re trying to counteract a lifetime of non-lucid sleep onset, when we just capitulate to our habitual patterns and simply crash. Playing around with lucid sleep onset is itself the practice of lucidity – we’re bringing awareness into a process usually defined by loss of awareness. So even just trying greases the skids for lucidity. For those inclined to Eastern thought, you’re also working with the law of proximate karma (one of four laws that play out in any moment of transition). Proximate karma is about how the last thought on your mind conditions – or “perfumes” – the next thought. So what we want to do is “perfume” our mind with lucidity as we go to sleep. Remember that sleep is a variable mental factor in Buddhist psychology, which means it’s either positive, negative, or neutral depending on immediately preceding states of mind. Let’s make it positive.

Mixing metaphors, the mind is like tofu. We want to marinate it in the sweet sauces of lucidity. This lucid dreaming task has two steps.

FIRST: simply observe your mind, without judgment (Swami Kripalu once said “The highest form of spiritual practice is self-observation without judgment”) as you drift off to sleep and notice how your state of mind during the day and when you lie down “marinates” your dream experience. If you like to journal, write down what you notice for the next week.

SECOND: On alternating nights (alternating with the first step above), meditate for ten minutes right before you go to bed. You can meditate more, of course, but try for at least ten minutes. Then notice (and journal) how the marination of meditation affects your sleep and dream. Remember, meditation IS the practice of lucidity.

We’ll refine this further in our lucid task #3, but for now let’s keep it simple. Share your experiences with our members. And feel free to offer any tips for others.