Wind Down, Tune In, Dream On

I want you to take a quiet leap of faith. Go to bed tonight without setting an alarm on your cell phone (do people still use alarm clocks?). Set the intention of the time you want to awake–this can seem a bit scary if you’re new to this, but try it anyway. Get to bed at a decent time to give yourself sufficient sleep. I can nearly promise you that, if you truly set the intention, you will wake up very close to the time you want to wake up.

Chances are, you’ll be surprised at how good your internal clock is. If you’ve done this before, well, I’ve got another challenge for you.

Tonight you’ll dream and tomorrow you’ll remember some dream story. If you read these words and intend to dream and intend to remember, you will. It’s just like the internal clock. Set the intention, focus on it, remind yourself a few times before bed, even repeat the intention aloud, and be mindful by morning to recall some storylines.

But let me state my caveat to qualify my boldness: “Intention” is just not repeating “tonight I will dream” to yourself every five minutes before bed, though that helps. It entails preparation too: This includes turning away from your digital devices at least an hour before bed. I also turn the lights low at least 30 minutes before bed and meditate for a bit. I light some incense, count breaths, and let my monkey mind let go of getting lost in thinking, as it so often does during the day. This is all a part of intention, too. Prepare for the dreamstate.

Tell me how it goes. And please, no reports about how you were late to work. 🙂
dreamstates, dreams, mindfulness before bed, internal clock, setting the intention to dream

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Dream surfing with the WILD

The WILD technique, or wake-initiated lucid dreaming, is a powerful method for attaining dream lucidity and is a unique vehicle in that one transitions from waking state to dream state by vigilantly yet calmly coaxing the body to sleep while maintaining mindfulness. Just the other night my friend reported to me that she had attained lucidity after trying this for the first time. I also attained lucidity on my first try with this technique–though apparently some LD practitioners find the WILD difficult to pull off. Nevertheless, here’s the primary tip you’ll need to know:

Count down: “one, I am dreaming; two, I am dreaming … ” and so on. Depending on your state of mind, you may well begin slipping into hypnagogic hallucinations, the beginnings of dream state. Stay vigilant at this point, as it’s easy to drift off. Continue to count down, letting your body relax and your mind remain alert. The analogy that comes to mind is surfing: let the wave catch you, but maintain the balance so you don’t wipe out into the unconscious. Stay between the waking/dreaming states and you may well find yourself in a dream and counting down “67, I am dreaming … Oh, I actually am in a dream!” Now, harm none and do as ye will!