This is the last installment of the Introduction series. By now, you should have experienced atleast one lucid dream. You should be excited about this new part of your night life. The only problem is, it only lasted a couple seconds! The excitement is just too much.
(Cue Rocky theme)
You’ve improved your dream recall. You’ve been doing reality checks and writing in your dream journal. You’ve tried a couple induction techniques. Now it’s time to learn to control your dreams and how to make them last longer and become more vivid!
You may become lucid in a dream, but you find that you don’t have any control. This may be fun, but it’s much more fun to have God-like powers over your dreams.
To understand dream control, you have to understand that dreams are not a concrete scenery like waking life is. While awake, if you are in your house and open the door to the closet, the closet will be there. You know and expect that. There’s no possible way that can change. In a dream, you can do the same thing, and you know and expect your closet to be on the other side. Well, since that’s what you expect, that’s what is going to happen. Since you have the true belief that the closet will be on the other side of the door, it will be.
|Understand that you are in control of your dreams. If you so choose, you can open that door and there will be a room full of candy on the other side. It may even be a link to the desert, or forest….you may walk out of a tree! But that will only happen if you believe it will. It’s hard since our minds are so engrained with waking life knowledge. My first ever lucid dream, i tried to walk through a wall. In waking life, there’s no way that is possible — you’d just hurt yourself, and i knew that. So when i tried to walk through the wall, i hit the wall and left a human-shaped dent in it.
Without the belief that you can do anything, you won’t get anywhere. Once you understand that, you can move on.
First i’ll briefly go over stability so you can understand where i’m coming from: dream stability is a measurement of exactly what it says: how stable your dream is. This reflects on the vividness of your dream, your ability to control your dream, and just how much your dream reflects on what you want to do. If something random and unexpected happens in a dream when you didn’t want it to happen, that’s a loss of stability.
There are two types of dream control: active control and passive control. Each one has its own benefits and drawbacks, and both are used depending on what you are trying to do.
Have you ever seen anything materialize in front of your eyes? No, that magic show doesn’t count. Active control is when you force something in your dream to happen. An example is telekenisis: say you move a car with your mind. You are actually changing the scenery of your dream, manipulating it to fit what you want to happen. This is the fun type of dream control. The only problem is, you exert mind power on whatever you are trying to do. It sounds strange, but it’s not — you are making your brain work more to fit what you are trying to do. This has the effect that you may lose vividness and even stability in your dreams, since you start to concentrate on changing the dream and not on the actual dream itself.
Really, the only remedy to this is improving your dream control skill level. You should remember not to think about what you are trying to do, but what will happen. At first, when you try to move that car, you may imagine the car lifting up, floating ten feet away, and then settling down on the ground. This is typical; you want that car’s movement to be exactly right. You will be thinking, “I want to move this car with my mind. I’m going to lift this car into the air. I want it to leave the ground. Now i’m going to move it across the air. That’s a good spot. Now, i want it to hit the ground.” You should try not to think about each step in the process. Your brain knows what you want to happen already and it will make sure of that. Try to simplify your thoughts and actions; instead, think, “I want to move this car with my mind. I want to lift it off the ground. I want it over there.” With practice, you’ll find things easier to control. Remember to think about the end result.
||Here’s another example. Did you see the movie “Bruce Almighty?” Remember that part in the movie where he moves all the cars on the road in his way into parking spots? If you want to do that, don’t think so much about the action of moving the cars into their parking spots. Instead, think about those cars already being in those parking spots.
This is when you don’t manipulate the scenery of your dream. Instead, you guide your brain into changing your dream. It’s called passive because it’s just that — you tell your brain what you want to happen, and sit back and let it happen. This saves stability and vividness, but it’s much less fun. It could turn out to be much more interesting, though — instead of your dream being a “sandbox mode,” where you control anything and everything, you may have more interesting encounters when you sit back and let the dream unfold.
It’s simple to do: instead of actively trying to pick up that car and move it, tell yourself you want that car in another spot when you look at it again. Turn away, look back, and guess where the car is? The example with the door is also passive control — instead of changing your scenery in front of your eyes (making a city grow into a forest), you open a door and you’ll already be in that forest. So you passively control your dream by expecting or believing something will happen. Then it does. Do you want to ride a motorcycle down the freeway at 200mph? Tell yourself you will find a motorcycle and an exit ramp around the next corner you turn. Walk around that corner, guess what happens? (Yes, that’s right, the motorcycle and exit ramp is right there!)
When you find yourself losing vividness and stability (you feel like you may wake up), there’s techniques you can use to help you stay in the dream or increase vividness. These techniques also increase dream realism.
Tactile stimulation – Rub your hands together. Feel the heat that the friction generates. This is a tactile stimulation, and will increase vividness and realism. Any other stimulation of your touch will do this as well. Reach down and feel the ground, feel what the floor feels like. Get creative!
Concentration – This is another stimulation of your senses, but instead of touch, use all your senses. Concentrate on one thing: the way it looks, the way it feels, the way it smells…you can taste it, but i’m not much into tasting random things. It would be cool to make a wall taste like ice cream, though! And yes, you can do that.
Dream spinning – Spin around in place a couple of times. I don’t know why this works, but it helps to increase stabilization, realism, and vividness. If you find yourself feeling like you are about to wake up, spin! You can also use this technique to teleport yourself somewhere — spin in place and imagine where you want to be!
Again, it takes practice. You may have success the first few tries, you may not. But you will start to learn what to do and how to do it. After a while you will learn how to truly and fully control your dreams and make them as vivid, if not more, as real life. I have had dreams more real than real life and it’s an indescribable feeling.
From now on, i’ll be discussing individual techniques and exploring new ones. New ways to do things! Stick around for the next one! Thank you for reading!
An Introduction to Lucid Dreaming: Part I
An Introduction to Lucid Dreaming: Part II
An Introduction to Lucid Dreaming: Part III