Sunday, June 30, 2013

How long can it take to learn Lucid Dreaming?

Generally, the time it takes for an individual to learn and practice lucid dreaming depends on the individuals traits. While some people don’t need to learn the skill, others have to dedicate some of their time in learning the strategies that can enable them to acquire the skill and how to implement them.
So, when talking about the number of days it will take someone to learn and practice lucidity, there are so many individualistic factors, which we have to first of all consider. These are usually determining factors which can help you in predicting the time it would take you to develop this wonderful skill, and experience your first ever lucid dream.  Some of these determinants include:
Ø  Your proficiency in recalling dreams. The better you are at recalling dreams, the shorter it will take you to learn lucidity.
Ø  The number of hours you are willing to dedicate for practicing mental exercises
Ø  The availability of lucid induction devices in your home
Ø  Ability to diligently practice what you have learned.
Ø  Are you gifted with a well developed critical thinking faculty?
Ø  The extent of your understanding the secret or concept of each of the strategies.
If you are fortunate enough to have all those features listed above, then, you can be a fairy fast learner of lucid dreaming. Once you have your first every lucid dreaming, subsequent practice will boost your proficiency, thereby making you an expert lucid dreamer.
Lynne Levitan, an expert lucid dreamer, who is also one of the prominent writers of Lucidity Institute, described her experiences with learning lucid dreaming in the following words:
"I first heard of lucid dreaming in April of 1982, when I took a course from Dr. LaBerge at Stanford University. I had had the experience many years before and was very interested to learn to do it again, as well as to get involved in the research. First I had to develop my dream recall, because at the time I only remembered two or three dreams per week. In a couple of months I was recalling 3 to 4 or more per night, and in July (about three months after starting) I had my first lucid dream since adolescence. I worked at it on and off for the next four years (not sleeping much as a student) and reached the level of 3 to 4 lucid dreams per week. Along the way, I tested several prototypes of the DreamLight lucid dream induction device and they clearly helped me to become more proficient at realizing when I was dreaming. During the first two years that we were developing the DreamLight, I had lucid dreams on half of the nights I used one of these devices, compared to once a week or less without. In considering how long it took me to get really good at lucid dreaming, note that I did not have the benefit of the thoroughly studied and explained techniques now available either, because the research had not yet been done nor the material written. Therefore, people now should be able to accomplish the same learning in far less time given, of course, sufficient motivation."
From Levitan’s account described above, we discovered that once a learner had a lucid dream, his experiences is likely to increase, provided he continued with the learning strategy. This is exactly the secret behind Dr. LaBerge’s success. His own case gives a more tangible picture of the process of learning luciddreaming

Dr. LaBerge was actually one of the most prominent scientists that carried out extensive researches over lucidity. It was even the phenomenon that he studied for his doctoral dissertation, an activity that enabled him to quickly learn how to have the dream as frequent as possible. This of coursed increased his frequency of lucid dreaming from about one per month to up to four a night. He became so skillful that he was able to have lucid dream at will, throughout the duration of his PhD course. Actually, Dr. LaBerge’s success can be attributed to the techniques he invented for improving lucidity.

Who can learn Lucid Dreaming?

As we are going to see later in this book, there are so many advantages that are associated with luciddreaming. The immense benefits accruable from this unique type of dream have made it very imperative for every human to learn this unique type of dream. Fortunately, since everybody dreams, it is then possible for everybody to learn this special type of phenomenon.
Of course, we all have dreams, and since we do have dreams, each and every one of us has that potential of becoming conscious in course of a dream. Indeed, the possibility is always there, irrespective of the age, societal status or gender. Several analysts have presented cases of children that were undergoing lucid dreaming. Even some medications, like the ones used n treating such degenerative conditions like Parkinson’s Diseases are known to cause lucid dreams.
Practically, it’s not so hard for one to learn how to have that wonderful experience of encountering lucid dreaming. The basic thing is to always identify the correct strategy as well as the right way of implementing it. Once you did that, you will definitely see yourself floating on the sky. Research has shown that lucid dreams can occur at least once in everybody’s life. Such impromptu occurrence usually happened by chance. So, if you really want to go into lucidity whenever you want, all you have to do is to acquire that habit of recognizing the dreamstate. Fortunately, there are so many ways of accomplishing this. The common strategies include:
  • brainwave entrainment
  • dream herbs
  • dream journaling
  • meditation
  • reality checks
  • self hypnosis
  • visualizations
The fact that humans of all ages can practice almost all the strategies listed above, showed that there is no age limit for learning, or practicing luciddreaming. As we are going to see later in this book, any of those strategies listed above can either be practice during the waking hours or just before going to bed.  This is very important, for it is the right way of implanting the seed of lucidity. Once that is done, the subconscious mind can then be triggered into action during the sleep. As times goes on, this subconscious programming becomes a lot easier.
These simple strategies are known to be so effective that some people are known to have started experiencing lucidity between three days and three weeks of practicing them. With practice you will be able to induce lucid dreams on demand - and it gets easier the more you do it.

Luciddreaming is a skill you can develop, like learning a new language. A few individuals may have an innate talent for achieving lucidity, yet even they can benefit from instruction and practice in making the most of their lucid dreams. Many more people experience lucidity as a rare spontaneous event, but need training to enjoy lucid dreams at will. The best predictor of success with lucid dreaming is the ability to remember dreams. This, too, is a skill you can develop. With specific techniques, you can increase the quantity and quality of your dream recall, which will in turn greatly increase your ability to have lucid dreams.

What is Lucid Dreaming?

In our world today, lucid dreaming is a relatively unknown terminology. Many people are even unaware of the existence of such a phenomenon. Before we proceed to discuss the very nature of this phenomenon, I will like us to take a look at my very first experience. It went as follows:
"It was a cloudy night and I had the intention of putting into practice all I have learnt about lucid dreaming. That night, as I fall asleep, I conceptualized the existence of a very big mountain in my heart. I pictured myself standing on top of the mountain and within few seconds, I got myself acquainted with the whole features existing in the scenario. I was completely mesmerized. The feeling was so intense that I lose all physical awareness a situation that fully brought me into the dreamscape.
Then all of a sudden, the cloud came down to the extent that I could feel it with my hands. I stood there admiring the beautiful birds that were flying in between the clouds. I suddenly had that urge to join them. Being full aware of the fact that I was dreaming, I knew I can beat the law of gravity. Without thinking twice, I leapt off the high mountain and started flying alongside the birds. 
What I experienced was just a typical lucid dream. So, what exactly does that means? Well, lucid dreaming is a very unique form of dreaming in which the dreamer is fully aware that he or she is actually dreaming. The term “lucid” was first used by Frederik van Eeden to describe the sense of mental clarity. Generally, lucid dreaming occurs in phases. It usually begins in the middle of a dream when the person suddenly realized that the events occurring before him or her is not taking place in the physical world, but rather in the dream world. Such realization can be triggered, if the dreamer encountered an impossible action in the dream. Some good examples of these impossible actions include; a human being that is flying, meeting someone that is dead, flying a car, etc. Sometimes people become lucid without noticing any particular clue in the dream; they just suddenly realize they are in a dream. According to a research carried out by LaBerge and his colleagues, about 10%  of lucid dreaming result when one directly return to REM sleep from an awakening with unbroken reflective consciousness.
Even though lucid dreaming is basically all about dreaming, when you are fully aware of that fact, the quality varies greatly. Base on quality, we may differentiate Lucid dreaming into high level lucidity and low level lucidity. Under high quality lucidity, the dreamer is fully aware that everything experienced in the dream is occurring at the dream world and hence, there is nothing to fear. It’s really complete in the sense that the dreamer knows very well that he is asleep in bed and will definitely wake up to face the real world. Thus, as long as lucid dreaming is concerned, the high-level lucidity is of higher quality.
Conversely, under the low-level lucidity, the dreamer will only be partially aware that he is in a dream world. The extent of this awareness may just be enough to fly or alter what the dreamer is doing, but not enough to realize that the people are dream representations. Thus, the dreamer in this case is neither aware that he will suffer no harm nor that he is actually sleeping in the bed.
Practically, lucid dreaming can be defined as the ability of one to consciously direct as well control his or her dreams. During such transformations, the inner dream world is converted into a physical and real living entity – a living entity where everything you see, hear, feel, taste and even smell seem to be occurring in the real world.
Most times, lucid dreamers feel fuzzy and distant. This is because lucidity always occurs during altered states of consciousness, meaning that the brain is overburden whenever it switches into waking mode during the dream. During lucid dreaming, the conscious brain is always awake.  Such work is never experienced by the brain during the normal dreams when human self awareness is completely closed down.
Lucid dreaming is a very wonderful, safe as well as natural state of the body. Literally, it cannot be refer to as an out of body experience because the dreamer is still fast asleep on the bed, even though he still has the option to wake up, if he really wants to. During lucid dreaming, the senses are always alive, and this gives the dreamer the unique ability to explore the inner workings of his subconscious mind without any form of restriction.
So how does this unique phenomenon originated? The earliest known incident of lucid dreaming can be traced back more down a thousand years among the Tibetan Monks. These monks are known to have a sort of dream control, philosophical called Dream Yoga. Thus, the concept of conscious dreaming is never a new phenomenon. However, it was during the 20th century that the Dutch psychiatrist, Frederik Van Eeden coined the name "lucid dreaming", to defined “mental clarity in dreams”.
By 1960s, the concept became so popularized. This was largely due to the promoting activity of Celia Green, who explained the scientific potential of self awareness in dreams. She was actually the very first scientist to link the term with REM sleep as well as false awakenings.
Is lucid dreaming the same thing as dream control? Well, the answer is a very big no. Lucidity is not synonymous with dream control. In reality, it is possible for you to have a very limited control over your dream content whenever you are lucid. You can only have absolute control over your dream content when you are unaware that you are in the dream world. Nevertheless, lucidity can boost your ability of influencing the course of events.
Is there any scientific prove for lucid dreaming? Of course we do have such. The first ever scientific fact was formulated by a British parapsychologist, known as Keith Hearne. He studied the eye movement signals of his volunteer known as Alan Worsley and this study was made in a very perfect laboratory condition, which was similar to what is obtainable under the lucid dream state.
However, it was Dr Stephen LaBerge of Stanford University that carried out a very convincing scientific analysis of the phenomenon. His findings were formally published in some of the science journals.