Lucid intent gets confused - any suggestions?

I have been having a repeating thing that happens when I try to have lucid dreams. In the dream state I seem to get confused about the goal of becoming lucid. I often end up hooked on an idea that my aim is to follow out some obscure and odd task and this will get me lucid. For instance I just dreamt last night that I have to find some wood and paint it and that this will get me lucid. And then later the same night I dreamt I had to hit a water melon with a shot-put in the dark whilst using a laser sight?! And to give another example I dreamt that there was a hole like a letter box and to get lucid I had to find something the right size to put through it.

When I have these sorts of dreams (I’ve been having them a lot, 9 times in the last month) I rarely shake off the confusion and actually get lucid, I just try very hard to carry out the odd task not realising how odd it is. I can see that there are some positives to them in that I am remembering that I want to get lucid but what this means is getting quite distorted once I am in the dream state.

These dreams seem to be mostly when I use the wake back-to-bed technique. The routine I follow is to get up at 5am and meditate for 20 mins on the breath and then I goto sleep also following the breath, with the intention of recognising the dream state.

Can you suggest anything I might try to help get the aim of lucidity through to the dream state in a clearer way? I seem to have got stuck in a bit of a rut with this type of experience and it seems to happen again and again. I need some sort of nudge to help shift the pattern.

Thanks from
Ledbury, England

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@Arthabandhu Thanks for sharing your experiences. It kind of sounds to me that there seems to be this latent belief that you have to do something (i.e. work hard) in order to become lucid. My suggestion would be to first of all relax with this phenomenon. During the day I would practice to remember these dream situations where you didn‘t get lucid but were thinking of having to do something in order to become lucid and smile at these workings of your mind. It is great that you are aware of this recurring pattern, try not to see it as a nuisance but something funny, curious, intriguing. Imagine / daydream that you are acting differently in that situation and that you become effortlessly lucid. Kind of like the instance when you understand how a magic trick of a magician works…
You could even use it as a trigger to lucidity by setting the intention during the day „Next time I am working hard to become lucid, I will recognize it, take a step backwards and will automatically become lucid - without effort“ or similar.

I am also continuing to practice during the day to „stop and smell the roses“ several times during the day and attentively checking my environment and my state (e.g. „This is a dream / is this a dream?“)

Becoming lucid during the day continuously without effort will surely carry into the night‘s dream.


Thanks @KhyungMar,
Those seem like useful suggestions. I think your’e right that there is a fair bit of tension in these experiences and relaxing would help. One thing that has happened is that on a few nights after some of these experiences I have got lucid without much effort.

And I think that suggestion of rehearsing being in similar situations and relaxing and taking a step back might well work.

I hope your practice is going well.
I’ll let you know how I get on.

From Arthabandhu :slight_smile:


Not sure how much focus you are giving to your intent before sleeping but I find it is a HUGE deal. Better to go to sleep intending to wake up and fly to a place, or intending to wake up and cut a piece of wood with your hand. These are small intentions that can take the pressure off of becoming lucid, or waking up in your dream.

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This is very good. Lately I have been assuming lucidity in my intention setting and making the strong intention to engage my dream characters with either a statement or a question. I’m thinking that assuming lucidity by concentrating on a simple mission may be the best lucidity intention of all.

The other night a nattering crew of DC’s was frozen stone-faced and mute when I mentioned to them that this is a dream. I immediately had full control over my dream.