Making it Last

Lucid Dreams
Waking Within the Dream

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Making it Last
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Along the lines of Richard Bach’s “You teach best what you most need to learn,” it seems I could use a refresher in this course.

In the last three nights, I’ve flown twice and had another of those things happen that only happen in dreams. Yet despite these clues, I only became lucid in one of those dreams. And in no instance did my awareness remain fixed for very long on the clues themselves.

As I’ve said, some things seem to happen only in dreams. So far, I seem to be able to fly only in dreams… These clues are the keys to lucidity. Fixing one’s attention is the key to maintaining the lucid state — the key to making it last. And that makes the effort worthwhile.

In the first of those three dreams, I looked at the moon and was shocked to see a second, larger moon in the sky as well. Two moons?! But… Oh! This must be a dream.

This realization marks the moment the ordinary dream becomes a lucid dream.

Watch for dream clues. I don’t have this one written on my list of clues, but something so strange is a pretty blatant example of one of those things that seems to happen only in dreams. After all, I’ve never noticed that other moon before. To test the theory that I was lucid within a dream, I tried to fly. Once airborne, the theory was confirmed, but as I rose, I noticed that it wasn’t a second moon after all. I wrapped my arms around a very large ball, turned in the air, and tossed it down to some people wandering around the street below. The dream continued but I was no longer lucid. What a wasted opportunity.

In this one dream I made at least three mistakes.

The other two dreams could serve to illustrate a few other bonehead moves on my part, but this one seems a good place to start to help us both learn a few fundamentals.

The first mistake was to try to fly immediately. Even in that very first lucid dream twenty-one years ago, I paused and thought of what I intended to do once I actually “woke up within the dream.” We’ve written our goal on the pad beside the bed, remember? This doesn’t work if you’re too lazy to write it down, so do it. Or, as I’ve just demonstrated, it doesn’t work for long if you’re too lazy to think before initiating action within the dream.

Hey, don’t get me wrong, I love flying. But now it’s more like the bonus round rather than the main attraction. I’ve got a different goal written on the pad on the nightstand. Anyway, getting back on-topic, once I saw that beautiful second moon, I should have paused and drank the scene in while planting myself firmly in the dream body and its experience.

In that very first lucid dream, I did something unplanned that I haven’t mentioned. While I stood within that dream, trying to remember what it was I wanted to do, I clenched my hands into fists while concentrating. When I did so, the sensation surprised me. I looked down at my hands — a familiar sight to be sure, but this was a dream. It looked and felt so real!

Now, this might have only served to distract me if I wasn’t concentrating on what I wanted to do once lucid. It really did feel real — as real as out here in this so-called “waking state.” Still looking at my hands, I opened and closed them several times, testing the sensation. I’ve no doubt that this helped me remember what I’d written: that I wanted to test my senses — to see how real the lucid dream felt, tasted, smelled, etc.

One detail I hadn’t covered in my original pre-dream plan was how to counter the drifting point of view most dreamers experience. You know, one minute you’re you in the dream, looking out of your own eyes, and the next minute you’re floating free, watching yourself do whatever it is you’re doing. This happens when you let the dream happen to you rather that claiming it as you own. Life probably works along similar metaphoric lines. Probably. I can’t be sure because I’m still working on getting lucid out here, but neglecting that step — planting myself firmly in the dream body — was my second mistake.

This flexing of the hands while paying close attention — and looking directly at them — seems to be a big deal. It plants you firmly in the dream-self. You’re focused and aware. You’re lucid. Now it’s time to remember your plan (and best to keep it a simple one).

Had I done this, I would have been able to appreciate that blue-green globe in the sky before following through with my own plan. And I certainly wouldn’t have believed that that incredibly realistic planetoid could have actually just been a ball floating in mid air. This was my third mistake. “Oh, it’s not another moon. It’s just a ball. Silly me to have thought I was dreaming.”

C’mon! Balls don’t float in mid-air. Plus (and this is really embarrassing) I was flying. There is no more sure sign that you’re dreaming. Remember, I’ve written it down: If I’m flying, I’m dreaming. (One day I hope to be wrong about that one, but that’s another story.)

A fourth mistake would be my failure to initiate my plan once lucid, but since I was too stupid to get to that point, that one doesn’t really count.

I’ve had lucid dreams that seemed to go on and on. I’d like to have these long lucid dreams again and again. If I said that some had lasted ten to fifteen minutes or more, that might not sound like a long time. But ask yourself what you could accomplish if you had ten to fifteen minutes to do whatever you wanted in this other world. What ever you wanted…

Study your surroundings. Fly. Read books. Ask questions. Walk through walls. Send love…

Take the steps I’ve outlined and you can find out for yourself, if you want to. That’s the first step, you know. Ask yourself if you want to. If you don’t want to, please let me know why. You’re not doing anything else, you know. Why not reclaim this third of your life? Why not have some fun while you sleep? Why not see what you can discover?

I know I want to. Thanks for helping me remember how to get back on track.

I owe you one.

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