How lucid dreaming can bring a little magic into real life
While many of us consider the bus or train the main ways to get around, a new book called “A Field Guide to Lucid Dreaming” expands our opportunities with some more untraditional ways: flying, teleportation and time traveling.
According to the authors of the book, Dylan Tuccillo, Jared Zeizel and Thomas Peisel, lucid dreaming is a way to explore “the mystery of our nocturnal adventures.” Their book aims to teach readers how to become self-aware while dreaming.
Tuccillo describes lucid dreaming as a “full, real-time present moment experience” in which the dream feels as real as this world.
“You breathe the air, you see the sun shining, and actually it sometimes feels even more crystal clear than this world,” he says.
According to the book, most people list flying as their favorite thing to do when they find themselves self-aware in dreams.
“Flying itself is fulfilling in the fact that on a daily basis you are confined to gravity, to the earth,” explains Tuccillo, who was a little skeptical about lucid dreaming until he tried it himself. ”Once you fly for the first time it sort of answers its own question and you feel how liberating that is and how expansive. You are experiencing something that’s beyond what you thought reality was and that starts to shape your understanding of the world.”
Besides being fun, lucid dreaming can also help fight nightmares, understand one’s subconscious and even improve skills.
“Let’s say you have a meeting tomorrow where you have to get in front of your boss and talk. Then you can go into a lucid dream and rehearse that meeting. [You] create a boardroom to talk to, create you boss, create your co-workers through certain creating techniques in the dream world. Then you perform your speech and it becomes sort of a real-life practice,” says Tuccillo.
“Also there are a lot of healing things you can do,” he adds. “Let’s say you are chronically plagued by nightmares. You can go into your dream and actually confront your nightmare. Stop running away from it, stop letting it chase you. A lot of people have found that their chronic nightmares have disappeared after that.”
Tuccillo remembers being a child reading fantasy books and thinking, “I will never be able to do those things, magic isn’t real and this world is kind of sad and concrete.” Today his world looks a lot different.
“Getting in touch with your dream, it doesn’t have to be lucid dreaming, but reconnecting with your dreams shows that the world is a lot more dynamic. There is this other state of reality where magic is real, a place where guidance comes from and that there are forces helping us towards discovering who we are.”
And you don’t have to fear the real-life blues that you can get upon waking.
“Instead of [the dream] world being magical and amazing and this world being the opposite, I feel that some of that magic trickles over and you see this world with a imbued sense of the dream world,” Tuccillo says. “It just feels more alive and more dynamic.”
Make it work for you
The authors’ advice for lucid dreaming:
- Keep a dream journal. Write down your memories from your dreams every morning before you do anything else.
- Do a reality check five times a day. Ask yourself the question, “Am I dreaming?” You develop a suspicion of reality, and one day you ask the question, look around and find out you actually are dreaming.
- Wake yourself up about six hours (depending on you sleep schedule) after you go to sleep with an alarm, stay up around 15 minutes and go back to sleep. This is the REM time of your sleep, the time where you are dreaming, and by waking up shortly, you dive back to the sleep with a conscious mind.
- Set an intention before going to bed about what dream you want to have. Once you become self-aware in your dream, hopefully your situation is set.
You can also sign up on the authors’ webpage, dreamlabs.io, the check out free video tutorials, a training area and a section where you can participate in experiments that the authors hope will lead to a better understanding of dreaming.