What is Lucid Dreaming?


Imagine being able to go where you want to go, be what you want to be, and have outcomes turn out the way you want them to. This can be the result of accomplishing the process called lucid dreaming.

Basically, lucid dreaming is being aware that you are dreaming while you are actually dreaming. Although there are several levels of lucid dreaming, most people have just experienced the lowest level, where they know they are dreaming. At the highest level, the dreamer can actually control the outcome of the dream.

Lucid dreams usually begin as a regular dream, then somewhere in the middle, the dreamer realizes he/she is actually dreaming. Another type of lucid dream can begin when a dreamer sets an intention (confirms that he/she will have a lucid dream) and assigns certain signs or symbols to that dream. Then, when these signs or symbols are encountered in the dream state, they act as signals to the dreamer.

For instance, you can imagine a big yellow light, like a lamp, or palm tree that is swaying, and this could be your guide. When you see these symbols (or any others), you will know you are in a dream state.

Once you accomplish the process of getting in a lucid dream state, the possibilities are endless. You can explore your innermost desires, delve into your inner consciousness, or try things you’ve always wanted to try. In other words, you can manipulate the experiences in your dream environment to your heart‘s content.

Once in a lucid dream state, there are many cool things you can accomplish. For instance, researchers show that brain activity during a dream state is the same as during a waking event. So, what you practice in a lucid state is the same as any training you might do in a waking state. You are basically programming your neuronal patterns. Add to that the fact that we spend about a quarter of our life in sleep, it’s not a great leap to imagine what we could accomplish if we used our sleep periods as well. Some athletes already use their sleep period to improve their tennis serves or golf strokes or bat swings.

By using the energy of lucid dreams, you can rehearse for an event in your mind before it actually happens. Practicing what you will do in waking life, would help enormously to overcome your fears and anxieties.

Here are some scenarios that show what could be accomplished by lucid dreaming: help get over writer’s block when preparing a manuscript, overcome phobias of every sort, (fear of snakes, spiders, heights, you name it), prepare to ask your boss for a raise, or prepare to ask a banker for a loan, to name a few. Think about what you could achieve!

13 thoughts on “What is Lucid Dreaming?

  1. Kasandra

    I always wondered if I was the only one who could do this, and now I see that this is common with a lot of people. I do have one question in mind. Could spouses have the same dreams at the same time. I always use to say to my boyfriend, I’ll meet you in my dreams. Just a thought.

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  5. Java

    @HippieChik When I was younger my mom actually taught me how to control my dreams as well. I have always used this on and off. Anyway I have had nightmares at random, today actually I woke up about 2:30am shocked I was actually awake and in my room, thats how vivid this nightmare was and it was actually my worst yet. On the plus side though at some point during the dream I was able to control it enough to format an escape route so I woke up when I had “escaped”. Basically, I have learned that I can’t control nightmares per se but you do add to them SO this means that you can add weapons to defend yourself, people to help you, means of getting out that fit into the situation in your dream. Does this make any sense? I have done this many times and I will admit nightmares take turns I wouldn’t think of consciously so I have to keep adding until I’m out but it gets easier with practice and then it just becomes automatic. Honestly, look at the root of the nightmare as well…what underlying thing may be causing this- once you can address that the dream will disapate.

  6. HippieChik

    EXCELLENT article!! My mom taught me how to do this (go back & CHANGE my dream INSIDE my dream) when I was young. I never thought very much of it when I was younger…but as you grow older, it takes much more skill, as there is much more “blocking you” (I believe)–anger, fear, illness, etc., so you must REALLY be in a “state” of “CAN-DO” to achieve such things.

    When you do? The outcome, of course, it VERY satisfying!! I am actually attempting to do this currently (with no success, I might add), as I have been having HORRIBLE nightmares the last year of being MURDERED, which only seem to be getting clearer, and more detailed. Of course, when talking to my mom, she offered me the same advice she did when I was younger.

    I am sad to say this only frustrates me now, as I am “ill”, and these attempts are getting me nowhere–AND? Very scared–only, I believe ADDING to the nightmares…

    It will “come”–I know. I will just keep trying to RELAX–but, I must ask: Has ANYONE EVER had a nightmare so “horrible” that…upon awakening–he/she was AFRAID to JOURNAL about it? I then believe, I just “blocked” it out of my mind. YIKES!!

  7. PauDuman

    I love this post! 🙂 Some people don’t believe that they can do this. But we really can! 🙂 Life offers a lot and these things are just wonderful.

  8. ZenHaltija

    I think the strangest lucid dream for myself was a few months ago. I was holding a girls hand in the bathroom, she was hurt and freaking out. I think there was blood actually. Eventually help came and I was sent somewhere else.

    I was trying to calm her down even though she couldn’t see me nor hear me.

    I think the next night actually I had another dream with one of my friends. We were having a conversation of some sort, it felt so real it was insane.

    Turned out he had the same dream. Go figure. Except we can’t remember what we were talking about!

  9. Melody

    I always have lucid dreams and I find them fascinating. I don’t control my dreams as I find it better to see the many different outcomes of those dreams. I have a very, very strong intuition and when I meet people I sense what they are all about, good bad and everything in between. Sometimes I can see what is going to happen with them and that is a little scary.

  10. Psychic Maryanne Ext. 9146

    Hi, Ariel,
    Thanks for a great article about dreaming.
    I can only force myself into a state where I know I am dreaming when I am actually working through something that is bothering me in waking life-picturing the worst that can happen in some area of my life.
    Have you got any suggestions for getting from that level of lucid dreaming to the level where one can actually determinhe the direction of the dream?
    Ext. 9146

  11. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Hi Ariel,
    Great article….I have been able to do both since very early childhood…..
    ..also since childhood ( early grade school years)…I can program myself to wake up without using any alarm clock. For example if I ” think ” to myself that I need to wake up at any certain hour…..I normally wake up at 10 minutes before that chosen hour.
    * In your article you state ~ Basically, lucid dreaming is being aware that you are dreaming while you are actually dreaming.
    * In your article you state ~ At the highest level, the dreamer can actually control the outcome of the dream.
    ( I have fun doing this one…..I can actually wake up, then go back to bed and enter into the dream exactly where I had left it. I can change any parts of the dream to any outcome I desire.)
    Great piece, Ariel !!!!
    I also have a strong sense of what it is like to fly , like an eagle or a hawk )..I’ve had the same dream for many years now.. where I was flying over the edge of a cliff, and ground gave way to open air, where I could see down into a valley or canyon….I can feel the wind under wings…. and I can see in great detail everything on canyon floor. It is a feeling of total freedom.


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