Lucid dreaming occurs when one is aware of experiencing a dream with normal, everyday awareness. When this happens it is possible for the dreamer to experience absolutely anything they desire, including normally “impossible” conditions such as flying, shape shifting or walking through walls. It is also possible to initiate shared dreams from the lucid dreaming state, where two or more dreaming people can share the same dream experience (see “Adventures in Dreamland” in my book, Rational Spirituality).
The lucid dream induction recordings below consist of two MP3 files. The first is a 60-second audio recording which reminds you to become aware with your normal consciousness while dreaming. The other is five minutes of silence. You assemble the files so the audible reminder is followed by multiple copies of silence, then set your music player to loop back to the beginning repeatedly. This will cause the audible “trigger” to play several times during the night while you are sleeping. The more silent MP3s you include the longer it will take for the audible sound to reoccur.
The audible portion is designed to gently capture part of your attention while you are asleep. It then asks you to look at your hands, a technique suggested by Carlos Castaneda. Looking at your hands gives you something specific to do in order to exercise control within your dream. If you look at your hands, then at one thing in your dream environment, then back at your hands, at the object again, repeatedly, it will help stabilize your awareness within the dream experience. From that point you can do anything you want, and I mean anything.
If you choose to wake up, you can do so by putting attention on your physical body. Wiggling your toes is one way to do this.
You might want to experiment with different amounts of time before the trigger sound reoccurs. Most people experience the dreaming state in cycles of 90 minutes, so that is a good place to start. To create 90 minutes of silence between trigger sounds, set your audio player to play the five-minute silent file 18 times in a row. (CD players can only play 74 minutes total, so if you put the files on an audio CD you are limited to using the silent file no more than 14 times.) Place the audible file at the beginning of your play list so you can adjust the volume when you go to bed, and be sure that your player is set up to loop back to the beginning once all the files have played.
Another thing you might want to try right now is to close your eyes and visualize seeing your hands in front of your face. (You’ll be doing exactly the same thing while sleeping.) If you have difficulty, try moving your hands out in front of you now with your eyes closed and visualize what they look like as you turn your hands over and move them around. Then attempt to do that again without actually moving your hands. The better you are able to do this visualization exercise, the more likely the trigger sound will enable you to initiate a lucid dream. You might want to repeat this exercise before going to sleep.
If you find yourself annoyed at being awakened too often and not experiencing a lucid dream, turn the volume down a bit. The object is to notice the sounds when they occur but not become fully awake. If you sleep all night without hearing the sounds, you may need to increase the volume a bit.
Some people may experience a lucid dream the first time they use this method, while others may have to keep at it for some time. The thing to remember is that lucid dreaming is a reality, one which most people report experiencing spontaneously at least once in their life. If you think about the potential rewards, I think you’ll agree it’s worth the effort to give this method a try.