A Brief Moment of Lucidity

I had an interesting dream on Sunday morning. It wasn’t so much the content of the dream, although it was a bit strange, but my consciousness in the dream. This was the first dream I can recall in which I noticed anomalies in the dream environment and came to the realization in the dream that I was dreaming.

This experience was quite different from other dreams I’ve remembered in that instead of a general awareness (maybe outside the dream) that I’m dreaming, I gained the awareness inside the dream, as my dream self. This may be kind of a break through for me. I wasn’t lucid for very long since I woke up very shortly after the realization. At least now I have a better idea of what to expect and, hopefully, I’ll maintain the lucidity a little longer next time.

The dream:
I’m in a large, open room. There are rows upon rows of men, each with an M-16 or some other automatic weapon. I am carrying an M-16 and I take my place a the end of a line. Someone at the front of the room calls everyone to attention. The we are told to commence firing. I drop down to a kneeling position and start firing my weapon. At first, I aim above the heads of the men at the front of the room but occasionally my rifle lowers so that they are directly in my line of fire. Then I notice that they are unaffected. Once again I begin shooting at the wall above them and I see that there are no signs of damage from the thousands of rounds hitting it. I also noticed that when I’ve emptied a magazine, I’ve fired many, many more rounds than the 20-round magazine will hold. I put in another magazine and continue shooting. I speculate that I’m shooting blanks but there is no blank adapter at the end of the barrel. I realize that I must be dreaming and I’m shooting harmless dream bullets. I also notice that there are no spent cartridges on the floor. Then I awaken.

Advertisements

WILD Experience

A couple of mornings ago I had what I thought to be an unusual experience while attempting the WILD technique. After a couple of minutes I felt a vibration throughout my body and sort of a sensation of paralysis. I attempted to tap my fingers (FILD) but could not move them although I could feel the tension in my muscles in my fingers as I tried to move them. There were also various images flashing through my mind. I felt as if there was an impenetrable barrier between the hypnagogic and dream states and my attempts to will myself through it were unsuccessful.

Throughout the entire experience I was aware of my surroundings. I could feel my wife’s body pressing against me and I was aware of sounds around me. After what seemed like an hour or more I was exhausted by my efforts and fell into a sleep state in which I recalled no dreams.

Pendulum Divination

IMG-2990I can make no claims about the credibility of pendulum divination but I find the idea of it interesting and I’ve dabbled with it occasionally. This morning I got out my pendulum and posed some questions. I can’t say for sure that the answers I got came from deep within my unconscious mind or were wishful thinking but some of the answers were unanticipated.

I started with general questions about my efforts to have lucid dreams. My divinations with the pendulum indicate that I may very well be having lucid dreams but not remembering them because I’m unconsciously blocking or repressing the memory of them.

Further questioning indicated that I believe my dreams to be important and I want to remember my dreams and that my conscious mind wants to remember them as well. Another line of questioning inferred that this blockage may go back to unresolved repressed memories of childhood nightmares which set in motion a pattern of repressing dreams and creative endeavors. It may even be possible that I could be having unremembered recurring nightmares.

I’m hoping that through this divination process I’ve opened up a dialogue with my self to allow myself to have (and remember) a lucid dream in which I can resolve the issue and be more open to remembering my dreams.

All this brings up a couple of questions. Is it possible to have a lucid dream and not remember it? Could I have a lucid dream where, in the dream, I’m fully aware that I’m dreaming but, afterward, my memory of it is blocked or repressed?

12-15-17 Update

What I’m reading
I finally finished reading Dreams of Awakening: Lucid Dreaming and Mindfulness of Dream and Sleep by Charlie Morley. I made plenty of notes.

I began Queens Consort: England’s Medieval Queens by Lisa Hilton. I think watching the second season of The Crown on Netflix renewed my interest in English history. I’m only in the first chapter and I’m finding interesting genealogical information. The chapter talks about Matilda of Flanders, William the Conqueror’s queen, and mentions that her ancestry goes back to Charlemagne. Maltilda has another husband, a man named Gerbod, by whom she had a daughter, Gundrada (or Gundred), who eventually became the wife of William de Warrenne, first Earl of Surrey. There’s some speculation that Gundrada may have actually been the daughter of William and Matilda.. Genealogy works in strange ways. History seems more personal when it’s about your own ancestors.

Events I’ve attended
On Tuesday I attended my grandson Nick’s first band concert. He even had a trombone solo. He and the rest of the Sixth Grade Band have only been playing since September but, with practice, they’ll improve and sharpen their skills.

Nick-171212-04 (copy)After the band concert, we made our way to the high school for the choir concert. I don’t have any grandchildren in the choir but at the end, they bring up all the choir alumni for two songs. This is Jacob’s first alumni performance so we were eager to see him on the stage again.

Dreams
Reality-CheckI still haven’t had a lucid dream but I’m starting to see positive indications in my dreams. Two nights ago, although I didn’t remember any dreams, I did recall an image of two hands with one pushing a finger through the palm of the other. The image looked like a crude drawing.

 

This morning I had a dream in which I squeezed an egg until I broke the shell. I looked at my hand and saw no yolk or egg whites, only the shell fragments. In the dream I attributed the lack of a mess to the fact that it was a dream. I did not become lucid so I’m not sure whether or not I was actually aware that I was dreaming. It may have just been the way the way the dream was playing out. Still, the idea of lucid dreaming is working its way into my dreams which is encouraging.

Quotes I’m pondering
“The real you is not a body. Your body is merely a suit of clothes. Physical birth was not your beginning and physical death is not your end.” ~ Marianne Williamson

“No one and nothing can free you but your own understanding.” ~ Ajahn Chah

Counting to lucidity

After awakening from a dream this morning, I jotted the dream down in my written dream journal. After going back to bed I decided to try Charlie Morley’s technique from his book Dreams of Awakening, counting “1. I’m lucid? 2. I’m lucid? …”. It’s very similar to the counting technique Robert Waggoner describes in Lucid Dreaming, Plain and Simple.

I was in bed lying on my back with my legs slightly spread and my hands at my sides. Soon after I began counting I became aware of hypnagogic imagery and once the count was well above 50 I began to notice changes in how my body felt. I felt a general tightening sensation in the center of my torso and a vague feeling of stiffness in my joints but I wasn’t sure if it was sleep paralysis setting in. (I’ve never consciously experienced sleep paralysis so I don’t know what it feels like.) I also noticed my breath becoming shallower. The images in my head seemed to solidify and become more cohesive but were still not forming into a dreamscape. I was still also aware of the physical reality around  me like sounds and physical sensations and that I was lying in bed. By this time I’d stopped counting (around 100) and mentally repeating a mantra of “lucid dreaming”. When I drifted off to sleep I still wasn’t fully in a dream state, although I felt I might be getting closer, and I recalled no dreams from that last sleep period of the night.

 

State of Dreaming (10/12)

My efforts to have lucid dreams seem to have regressed lately. For a while I was regularly remembering my dreams, at least one nearly every night but now I seem to be remembering them less frequently and most of those I do recall seem to have fewer details and rather generic. I had a solid week where I didn’t remember any dreams or the dreams faded almost immediately upon waking.

I’ve reading Robert Waggoner’s Lucid Dreaming Plain and Simple and taking a lot of notes. Since I’m reading it on a Kindle, it’s taking a while. In the book, he has some exercises that looked interesting.

One was a practice for the MILD technique in which you look at a recent dream, find a point in the dream which could have triggered lucid awareness, and rewrite the dream from that point as if you were lucidly aware in the dream. I chose to try it with the pool dream I had on September 20th. [State of Dreaming (9/22)]. The main difference between the dream and the rewrite was that in the dream I just found myself in the air with the others while in the rewrite I had become lucid and chose to fly up there. I was only able to rewrite it as far as the original dream went. I was at a loss as to how I would have moved the dream forward.

Another exercise from the book was an exercise to find symbolism and meaning in dream objects. The exercise was to review the written dream, list all the nouns and then, next to each noun, write three descriptive words or short phrases. Then I rewrote the dream, replacing the nouns with the descriptive words. The results were interesting.

On a couple of occasions I tried a technique from the book called “Countdown to Lucidity.” This is a technique that can be used when you’re already drowsy or have awaken in the middle of the night. You close your eyes and begin counting: “One, I am dreaming. Two, I am dreaming. Three, I am dreaming.” And so on. So far, I haven’t had any success with this technique. I first tried it one afternoon when I felt drowsy after reading and decided I’d try to take a nap. I’d counted up to over 400 before deciding that it wasn’t working.

That same night I tried it again after having woken up around 1AM. I fell asleep sometime after passing 100 but didn’t recall any dreams other than a dream that occurred about five hours later.

This morning I set an alarm to wake me up early so I could attempt a WILD and used the countdown technique to get back to sleep after being awake for about half an hour. After reaching 100, I stopped and drifted off to sleep normally. The only dream I recalled was one I had just before my alarm went off.

On the other hand, I’ve made progress in my meditation practice and have been meditating twice a day. Aside from my meditation, I find the shower to be a good place for contemplation. I’ve been reading the online magazine, Lucid Dreaming Experience, and found some articles about surrendering to the lucidity in a lucid dream or the awareness behind the dream. That got me to thinking about my concept of surrender. In Western culture, surrender is seen as giving up, admitting defeat, or relinquishing control through demand or compulsion. In many Eastern philosophies, such as yoga and Buddhism, surrender often means willingly submitting to a divine power, a higher consciousness, or the Inner Self. I prefer the Eastern connotation but I’m a product of Western culture. Maybe I need to reword my intentions to reflect a willingness to accept the gifts and blessings of the Inner Self or the Greater Awareness.

Letting go is another concept I have trouble with. It seems to imply loss because when I let go of something (an object, an idea, a belief, a habit), I no longer have it. It seems that having “something” is empowering, even if that something no longer serves me, holds me back, or may be harmful or toxic. I’m still working with that one.

09-29-17 Update

What I’m reading
I’m reading Lucid Dreaming Plan and Simple by Robert Waggoner. I’m taking notes as I read so it’s going to take me a while. It’s his second book on lucid dreaming but the book I probably should have read first. Oh, well.

Projects
This week I trimmed trees and other plant life in my backyard as well as in my son’s backyard. On Thursday morning I hauled three truck loads of branches to the city’s’ yard waste site before they closed. I still have at least one more load left. I haven’t decided whether to wait until Thursday when the city’s site is open again or to load it up and haul to the county facility on the other side of the county. At least most people don’t tailgate me when I’m hauling a load of brush down the interstate through downtown Dayton. Of coarse, there’s always one idiot out there.

Events attended
It’s homecoming week here and I happen to live on the route for the homecoming parade. I’ve also got two grandchildren in the marching band. The homecoming game was this evening and I worked behind the scenes in the concession booth during the first half of the game. The game was sold out so I was busy. I spent two hours popping and boxing popcorn, dispensing fried chicken in cups, and handing out slices of pizza. My son and I finished our shift just before half-time. We watched the half-time festivities but  since it was homecoming and alumni night, the band didn’t do their usual show because they had a lot of alumni marching with them. Afterward, we decided to leave early and avoid the inevitable traffic jams.

This week’s quote:
“If there’s nothing wrong with me maybe there’s something wrong with the Universe.”
~ Dr. Beverly Crusher, Star Trek TNG: Remember Me