• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
28 Jan 08
Lucid dreaming is essentially being able to control and affect your dreams. It's a state of awareness in the dream that you are in fact dreaming, and thus have control over the situations. I don't know the science of it, since I was taught lucid dreaming as a spiritual tool rather than a scientific one. The main thing that I gained from lucid dreaming is being able to affect my nightmares. I have post-traumatic stress disorder, and have suffered horrible nightmares for as long as I can remember... most of which were basically just memories of things that actually happened to me. Lucid dreaming means that I can interrupt the nightmare and change it into a dream that won't make me wake up screaming, crying, and possibly injuring myself or others. Another nice thing about lucid dreaming is that it can help you work out problems you are having. Often dreams stem from things that are going on in your daily life, although sometimes the symbols your mind uses can be hard to interpret. Still, if you can lucid dream, you can help yourself work through those things your mind is trying to tackle in your sleep. As for how to lucid dream, there are thousands of resources on that. Books, CDs, videos... just doing a quick search online can bring up a lot of resources. Like I said, I learned it as part of spiritual practice, so I had a teacher with me when I started doing it, but I've heard good things about a lot of the available resources for learning. My lucid dreaming training involved keeping a journal of my dreams and then meditating on them, and thinking about the things I would have changed if I had been in control... basically replaying the dreams while in a meditative state to encourage my mind to make those changes next time. My training also including creating a waking fantasy or story that I wanted to dream about before I went to sleep, so that basically that scene would just continue in my dream.