A lucid dream is an experience in which you become aware that you’re dreaming during the REM (rapid eye movement) stage of your sleep cycle.
According to Dr. Stephen LaBerge (one of the first researchers on this subject), lucid dreamers can remember their identities, think clearly and act intentionally within the dream world.
In his much-cited poem, Edgar Allan Poe once wrote,
“All that we see or seem/Is but a dream within a dream.”
Within that world, an individual, particularly one who commonly experiences lucid dreams, or actively works to induce them, may attempt to take control of the dream and manipulate its outcome.
It may sound far-out, but research by Dr. Stephen LaBerge and others prove that lucid dreaming is both real and distinct from typical REM-sleep dreaming. The first study recording a lucid dream dates back to 1975.
Lucid dreaming and meditation
The good news is that dreams and meditation go hand in hand. You can meditate, and not only achieve a calm, peaceful opportunity to be one with yourself during the day but reap the benefits of meditation also at night.
Furthermore, meditation develops your capacity to focus and to maintain your focus for extended periods of time.
The first important step in lucid dreaming, in other words how to get into that state, is to focus your intention that you wish to lucid dream.
Moreover, mindfulness meditation is unique in that it is not directed toward getting us to be different from how we already are. Rather, it helps us become aware of what is already true moment by moment.
One very simple and easy mindfulness practice is the so-called “60-second meditation.”
60-second meditation method
While many people associate meditation with sitting in a lotus position (with legs crossed), there is not just one way to meditate. You can sit on the floor or in a chair, walk, stand, or lie down. If you choose to sit on a chair, pick one that has a flat seat that doesn’t tilt too much toward the back.
Okay, once you have your seat and your spot, go ahead and sit down. Take a meditation posture that is upright but not rigid. Hands rest on the thighs, facing down. The eyes are somewhat open and the gaze rests gently on the floor in front of you about 4 to 6 feet away.
Begin to meditate. Bring your awareness to your breath, noticing the inhalations and exhalations of each breath. Feel how each breath flows in and out of your body, filling (as much as possible) your lungs and then releasing through your throat and your mouth. Begin to deepen and lengthen each breath.
When you are in a deep and very relaxed state, set the intention for a lucid dream.
When you begin to meditate, to quiet the mind, you may find that upsetting thoughts keep trying to creep into your consciousness. Practice letting go of these mental experiences without judgment.
Practice this meditation before going to sleep. Believe it or not, setting an intention for a lucid dream is as simple as telling yourself about it and continuously thinking about it as you drift to induce your lucid dream.