Like everything, it takes practice to become a master. Communication is no different. Lucid dreaming is an effective practice for conflict resolution because during a lucid dream we can practice what we would like to communicate with our partner, and we are able to “re-do” any communication that did not feel good or was unconscious.
Lucid dreaming is a spiritual power (siddhi). It is the ability to realize that you are dreaming while you are still in the dream. With this awareness comes an opportunity to design dreams that you want to experience by intentionally choosing your dream surroundings and making other conscious choices. Lucid dreaming is literally a virtual reality system that is built into your mind. It is a place where you can experience things as being real. Just because it doesn’t happen on the physical plane, doesn’t mean that it was not a legitimate experience for your awareness.
The difference between a normal dream and a lucid dream is consciousness. In a lucid dream you are aware that everything around you is created by your own mind. We spend 25-30% of our lives sleeping and dreaming. That time could be spent having experiences in which to spiritually grow and explore our consciousness. This time could be put to better use if you are able to dream lucidly. Sigmund Freud called dreams “the royal road to the unconscious.” It is a gateway to the deepest parts of yourself, and the path to many spiritual experiences.
It is not as hard as some people might think it is to develop the ability to have lucid dreams. It mostly just takes a methodical training of the mind to trigger a lucid dream. You can program yourself during your waking hours by asking yourself the question throughout the day “Am I dreaming”? I suggest writing the question on some post-it notes and placing them around your home as a reminder to ask yourself this question many times throughout each day. Asking yourself this question is essential to learning to dream lucidly.
By practicing the act of waking up in a dream during your waking life, this will transfer into your dreaming consciousness, and you will trigger yourself to “wake up” in the dream. The official name for a person who is able to dream lucidly is “oneironaut,” which means “explorer of the dream world.”
There are lots of uses for lucid dreaming such as adventures, ego fulfillment, learning and gaining new skills, rehearsing events, healing and problem solving. Have you ever wondered how you will deal with a conversation you must have in the future? Have you ever wished you could play out a conversation in different ways and see what its most positive outcome will be? Through lucid dreaming you can learn from trial and error by experimenting with different ways of handling a situation. You can learn how to stay calm when dealing with waking-life triggers. You can integrate disowned parts of the Self, meet and make peace with your shadow side, and even make peace with relationships, past or present. You can work with “stuck” situations and resolve conflicts. You can inspire healing in waking life by addressing issues in your dream world.
Lucid dreams also lend themselves particularly to increasing your confidence in yourself and your ability to be in control of your life. They also help you learn to realize yourself as eternal consciousness that can have adventures in all sorts of worlds, conditions and vehicles for experience.
Sounds great, right?!? You’re probably wondering HOW?!?
You are more likely to have lucid dreams if you can recognize the strangeness of dream signs. Dream signs happen everyday all around you in waking life, and they happen in your dreams even more. Dream signs are “anything that is unusual or out of the ordinary.” You can find several of them in your daily life and transfer that mental environment of observance into your dreaming reality. These things that happen out of the ordinary go unnoticed, for the most part, by the average person. However, you can train yourself to look for these things at all times. Once you train yourself to look for these in waking life, within a month or two this attentiveness will translate to the consciousness of the dreaming self, and the dreaming self will then look for these unusual occurrences.
Examples of dream signs:
- “I’m a man.” (Dreamed by a woman)
- “I’m a mermaid.”
- Face changes in dream characters.
- Contrary to reality, someone’s hair is blonde instead of brown.
- Setting Form: House is shaped differently than in reality, furniture is different.
- Garden has only miniature flowers in it.
- Object Form: See a green horse. A car is as big as a building.
- You might be looking out your window and see someone riding by on a unicycle or doing a wheelie on his/her bicycle.
- You might hear someone speaking in a foreign language.
- At a stoplight you might notice a purple car.
- Your pet might have gotten some grease on its fur from the driveway.
- Your partner might be coming home from work late, which may be unusual.
- Perhaps you even burned your dinner.
As you can see, dream signs do not have to be absolutely outrageous for them to be unusual. The trick to using dreamsign awareness is to always ask yourself the question, “Am I dreaming?” every time that you notice something out of the ordinary (in waking life and dream state). And the answer to the question is always, “Yes!” You are trying to get yourself to question your reality and ask if what you are seeing is really real. If you do this long enough, your mind will be trained to ask this question even in your dreaming state. What becomes part of your waking life carries over into your dream life. As you answer this question, look around you and experience everything in your environment as if you have just woken up in your dream and become lucid. This is also excellent training for becoming present in the moment, and stopping the mind, thus inviting an enlightened state to be your natural setting for your awareness. After all, living a lucid life is the gift that enlightenment offers. Even if you use other methods in conjunction with this, the mental habit of questioning your reality is what is most necessary for the success of this endeavor.
If you cannot remember to ask the question, “Am I dreaming?” you will not be able to develop the skill to dream lucidly. Many of us go on automatic pilot as we go about our day and forget to ask ourselves if we are dreaming. Most of us do not have a mental environment of always being in the mode of observing our reality.
Re-designing the Dream
Most of us at some point in our lives have wished we could change the outcome of certain situations. Unfortunately, physical human experiences sometimes cannot be changed, but in dreams they can be. Energy can be changed, which releases the emotional tensions that may be lingering from human waking life experiences. Also, outcomes of dreams can be changed as well. If you are unhappy with the outcome of a dream, you can change it in a lucid dream. This empowers you to feel more in control of your inner actions and reactions.
For instance, you can practice dealing with a difficult conversation with your partner in your life by trial and error conversations in your dreamtime. You can try different angles and approaches until you get it right. Then you can take what you have learned about how to handle the situation, or how not to, and apply it to your waking life. Being able to dream lucidly gives you the opportunity to learn about yourself and improve in how you work with the laws of cause and effect. In a lucid dream you can test your actions and see if they are really the right thing to do, or the right way to handle things, by seeing how it goes in a lucid dream.
Recalling dreams is a huge reward in and of itself and a practice is very useful. The mind communicates through signals and dreams often have hidden messages to help guide us in waking life. But, add on top of that the benefits of lucid dreaming, and the positive effects on your relationship multiply by exponential numbers. To begin recalling dreams, keep a journal next to your bed and write down your dreams as soon as you wake! The more you practice this, the more you will be able to recall.
My own experiences with lucid dreaming have changed my relationship for the better, in more ways than I can count. I encourage you to develop this ability sooner than later if you can. It can help you take quantum leaps in your spiritual evolution and relationship growth, faster than you can accomplish by only using your waking life time. Use the time during sleep wisely! It is not that hard to develop this skill, and if you focus, you will be having lucid dreams within the first month or two of training yourself. No human-made virtual reality machine will ever match the virtual reality machine that is already built into your consciousness. You have had this all this time, and you didn’t even know it. So take the time to teach yourself this skill, and gain the exponential wisdom that comes with it.
Lots of Love,