What is one thing, technique, method, supplement, practice, etc. that has greatly helped you in your lucid dreaming practice?
For me I’d say it’s hypnagogic and hypnopompic meditation. Or maybe it’s be more accurate for me to say simply maintaining my attention in those liminal mindstates. By the time I started pursuing lucid dreaming I was already use to playing in hypnagogia, and I found the mental muscles used in both were very similar.
In a nutshell, we all pass through hypnagogia in stage 1 of sleep, so the trick is to get there while maintaining conscious awareness. Basically anchor your awareness to something (breath) to keep your mind awake while your body falls asleep. Eventually hypnagogic images will start appear. Once they do switch your anchor from your breath to following the images.
I was also well practiced in hypnagogia before I stumbled upon lucid dreaming. I always fell asleep quickly watching the color blobs and cool light flashes drift in and out of my closed eye vision.
But I think the one thing that has had the greatest influence on my lucid dreaming success has been the increased vivid dream recall from journaling during the night.
As an older guy I tend to wake up naturally a number of times during the night. Early on in my training I began to get up at each brief awakening and jot down the dream that I had just come out of…rather than wait until morning and see what was there.
This practice encouraged the formation of a good natural sleep/dream cycle that often includes a natural WBTB period toward morning.
These days I always have two or three journal entries in the morning…sometimes more. In the morning I read them over and give each one a title. There will always be at least one that stays with me during the day.
It helps to have a set sleep schedule that involves going to bed pretty early…which I do. Old guy…remember?
I don’t wear a mask at night. On weekends when I get the chance I’ll do an afternoon nap with a mask and earplugs. I have had some truly amazing hypnagogic experiences in those sessions…along with some good plain old naps.
Yeah occasionally maybe a couple nights a week. I find I get lucid a little more often if I wear a mask too. Earplugs are a more common occurrence for me. I grew up on horse ranch with no people around so it was very quiet at night so I like silence… and where it live now its very far from silent lol
Yeah it can definitely help. Lessening exterior sensory input in general is always a good thing. I really like those sensory deprivation tanks! A buddy of mine here on Oahu has a couple at his house that he runs a little business out of. I try to go at least once a month
Well I got young kids still so at least a day or two out of the week I’ll fall asleep when I’m putting them to bed so that’s like 8:30pm. Other than that though it’s normally sometime between 9:30 and 11pm. Wake around 6am.
I normally lie on my back but the position doesn’t matter. Main thing is your comfortable enough to stay still. I was doing my hypnagogic meditation earlier today and my son actually made my meditation spot for me on the bed. First time he did that actually was cute lol. I’ll post a pic.
This video is good 30 minutes so I broke things down to save time for anyone watching
0:00 - Background info and intro
4:12 - Controlling overview
5:00 - The 3 types of hypnagogia; spotty, imagery, torrent
7:20 - Controlling spotty (ill-defined) hypnagogia/hypnopompia
12:39 - Controlling full imagery type hypnagogia/hypnopompia
22:17 - Controlling torrent level hypnagogia/hypnopompia
26:51 - Summary
I have a new respect for meditation as the one thing that really has helped my lucidity.
As I have worked my way out of the COVID forest over the last two weeks I have found myself with MUCH more time during the day for serious meditation. I have never been much of a sit down meditator…really only got serious about Shamatha/Vipashyana in the last few months. But these last two weeks have found me sitting for extended periods multiple times a day as I both recuperate and work from home.
The results are nothing short of amazing. Over the last two weeks I have been experiencing four or five strong dream cycles a night with longer and clearer dreams that have included more periods of full lucidity than I have ever experienced.