Lucid dreaming: A Bridge to Other Realities
by Adam Palmer
In this article, Adam Palmer challenges you to take your dreaming practise further. Beyond the initial fun and excitement lucid dreaming is something far more profound.
The difference between a “lucid” dream and a regular dream is simply in our level of awareness. Within a lucid dream, we know that we are dreaming, and are free to fly through walls, practise new hobbies and meet new people.
As a regular lucid dreamer and OBE practitioner, I will say that a clear and vivid lucid dream is one of the most powerful and transformative experiences that a person can have. You don’t need to believe me, or take anyone’s word on their experiences – everyone can lucid dream, and you can verify and experience this directly. All too often however, I find people getting stuck in the early and even advanced stages of dreaming, with the idea that slaying dragons, throwing fire balls and flying through friends’ houses is all that lucid dreaming has to offer.
Acquire the tools you need for lucid dreaming
Building the tools within your skillset through playing out different scenarios, exploring the dream world, practicing different induction techniques and finding out what works best for you provides a very solid foundation. It’s absolutely essential though that you don’t get stuck trying to perfect induction techniques or analysing and debating terminology and experiences. The phrase, “can’t see the wood for the trees,” comes to mind.
I prefer to consider the dreaming world as a launch pad to other realities. My experience has led me to the understanding that we exist in a multidimensional universe. As sentient beings, we are able to adjust our “receivers” to tune in and out of different frequencies. As we have been born into this reality, our “receivers” are strongly fixed on the world in which we live. Our living and breathing bodies anchor us to this reality.
Our receivers phase out all through the day such as when we day dream, relax, experience hypnosis and trance, and so on. Our nightly sleep is our mandatory “phase out” as we spend time existing in another reality. This period is essential for our bodies and minds, as our cells rapidly regenerate and we wake up refreshed. Moreover, sleep and dream are both physically essential; with even a night or two without sleep, our reaction times slow, and we become measurably physically ill. Now, people don’t get permanently lost in day dreams, or in sleep. As I said, owing to our existence in this reality, our being is anchored to this frequency of waking reality. We are able to shift our receivers or to coin Castaneda’s phase, our “assemblage point.”
Everyone zones in and out during the day
Although we take comfort in believing in a fixed and predictable reality, we zone in and out throughout the day, sometimes ever so slightly in a vague day dream, and sometimes slightly more as in trance or meditation work. For the average person not engaging in any reflective, trance or meditative practices, the farthest that we zone out each day is in our dreams, and they are often vague and unmemorable.
There is a wealth of information on lucid dreaming and associated techniques already online. My preferred practices are all day awareness, mantra induction, dream journaling, visualization and regular reality checking. I throw those terms out to allow you to research each in more detail should you so desire.
Once we are able to consciously induce regular lucid dreams, stabilize the environment and become deeply aware, we have access to a deeper range of experiences. The dream world itself is naturally very fluid and unstable, and just as easily as we are able to wake ourselves up from a dream, we can equally phase out much further. Robert Monroe, Frank Kepple and William Buhlman are amongst the great dream and out of body explorers that describe such journeys.
Lucid Dreaming is referenced by many cultures throughout history
Such techniques are referenced across almost every culture and tradition from Kabbalah to Shamanism, from Tibetan Dream Yoga to Astral Projection and the Occult. If you have a genuine desire and interest, I recommend studying a wide range of material on the subject, and gaining a strong perspective on the various teachings. I have personally focussed my interests in both Tibetan Dream Yoga and Castaneda’s shamanic teachings.
I have arrived at the conclusion that each tradition is pointing at the same experiences and realities, just from a different cultural perspective. They are different models with which to experience the same reality. Where Castaneda talks of the ‘second attention’, Tibetan Dream Yoga speaks of Bardos. Frank Kepple and Robert Monroe talk instead of ‘focus levels’.
Steps & practices to induce lucid dreaming
In each tradition, there are a set of steps and practises to develop. Castaneda’s teachings talk of isolating and following a “scout”. A scout is an energy form present in the dream world.
In Castaneda’s reality, once a dreamer is able to focus on their hands and maintain stability and awareness, the next step is noticing anything or anyone that is particularly suspicious or out of place within the dream environment. The presence may be very subtle and this is the reason that such dream practice, awareness and stability is required. Once the presence is located, the dreamer should follow it to other realities, of course under strict instruction.
The tradition also extends to a range of ancillary practices such as recapitulation and the use of “power plants”; strong hallucinogenics.
Tibetan Dream Yoga on the other hand speaks of experiences with Dakinis – higher beings. It focuses on visualizations of letters and symbols, and chakra work during the dream.
The dream reality is a powerful development tool, which allows us the experience of untold realities. Whichever tradition you dive in to, make sure you pick one that resounds with you, for it will yield the most pleasant journey for you.
These advanced practises allow us to develop intuition, awareness, knowledge, and ultimately awaken to the deeper nature of reality.
Have you ever experimented with Lucid Dreaming? Share your experience or ask Adam a question.
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P.S. Learn how to turn your dreams into reality by following your intuition: Click Here!
Adam Palmer teaches lucid dreaming as a path to awakening at Astral Zen. I’ve been consciously practising lucid dreaming and exploring the out of body state for over 10 years now. Now I want to help others share the experience. Connect to him on Twitter at @TheAstralZen
Photo credit: Wikipedia. “Nun’s Dream” by Karl Briullov
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