with lucid dreaming? What's in it for me?
Lucid dreaming is a way to
fulfill your wildest fantasies, where imagination is the only limitation. You
can soar through the heavens, have a romantic encounter with a movie star, or
do virtually anything you want in the privacy of your own mind.
Whatever is limited in daily life can be transcended in a dream. In a lucid dream, the aged can become young again. Those with disabilities can regain use of their limbs, or their eyesight, or whatever is limiting them. Prisoners can enjoy freedoms otherwise unavailable.
Lucid Dream Therapy Reduces Nightmares
Instead of running away from the monster, which is our default reaction in a non-lucid dream, with a lucid dream we can turn around and face the monster with the confidence born from lucidity.
By understanding that these scary aspects are simply calling out for healing, we can re-integrate them back into our being, and heal.
“Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.” - Rilke
“When you meet a monster in your lucid dream, sincerely greet him like a long lost friend, and that is what he will be.” - Stephen Laberge, Leading expert on Lucid Dreaming and author of "Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming"
“Lucid dream creativity likely does not stop when we wake up, but leaves its traces in our waking brain, thereby enhancing our everyday problem solving skills, artistic courage, and creative thought processes.” - Clare Johnson, Dream Researcher
Lucid Dreaming Allows You To:
Lucid Dreaming Can Improve Performance
You can use lucid dreams to rehearse presentations or performances, which can therefore increase confidence and reduce anxiety. Jack Nicklaus famously improved his golf game through a dream.
You can actually improve the performance of your body. What you do with your dream body has an effect on your physical body.
A study in the Journal of Sports Science suggests that lucid dreaming can be used to help athletes improve their performance. Kelley Bulkeley, a Phd dream researcher, offers four remarkable implications:
1) Lucid dreaming could provide a safe arena in which high-performance athletes can practice dangerous moves and risky routines, developing skills at the farthest edges of their abilities.
2) Lucid dreaming could provide injured athletes an opportunity to continue training and skill-building during their rehabilitation.
3) Lucid dreaming could enable underprivileged athletes to engage in effective practice of their sports even if they have limited access to physical facilities.
4) Lucid dreaming could give athletes at all levels a powerful psychological means of focusing their minds for optimal game-day performance.
Lucid Dreaming Used in Healing
This connection between dream body and physical body has the potential for lucid dreaming to be used in healing. In the Eastern view of body, the outer body is an expression of the inner subtle body that is connected with the dream body. Eastern medical systems target this subtle body, with things like acupuncture and moxibustion.
Preliminary data suggests that one might be able to initiate self-healing by consciously visualizing the dream body as being healthy. If you can “heal” your dream body, to what extent will you also heal your physical body?
Dr. Carl Simonton, in his research on cancer, reports that patients who supplement standard chemo and radiation treatments with healing imagery survive on average twice as long as expected. Nowhere is imagery more potent, and therefore potentially transformative, than in a dream.
Doctors Dennis Jaffe and David Bresler write, “Mental imagery mobilizes the latent, inner powers of the person, which have immense potential to aid in the healing process and in the promotion of health.”
One doctor published a paper about a patient with a twenty-two year history of chronic pain who cured himself overnight with a single lucid dream. The psychiatrist Mauro Zappaterra says, “I’m no expert on lucid dreams, but the man woke up with no pain. He said it was like his brain had shut down and rebooted. A few days later, he walks in the VA pharmacy and actually returns his medication. To me that’s pretty convincing evidence.”
Lucid dreaming is like a virtual reality lab, and can be used to try out all kinds of designs and creative ideas. Writers, musicians, artists and innovators are therefore using lucid dreaming to enhance creativity.
Creative impulses often arise from the unconscious mind, which is like a vast natural resource. In a lucid dream, we’re face-to-face with the unconscious mind, and can therefore tap into its creative potential more directly.
In the audio clip below, which is from one of Andrew's weekend workshops on lucid dreaming, he shares an experience over 30 years ago that got him into lucid dreaming.
Also below is an excerpt from Andrew's book, Dream Yoga: Illuminating Your Life Through Lucid Dreaming and the Tibetan Yogas of Sleep.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock agsandrew