I was checking the ld4all forums as I occasionally do, and I came across this exciting new technique created by Jayster. The idea is an old one, (alert yourself that you’re in a dream with outside stimulus) but the execution is a new take on things.

The exact method is still being refined and retested, but overall it shows promise. The idea is to wear a vibrating watch throughout the day and perform a reality check every time it goes off. Once you have a reflex established, it should filter into your dreams. So as you sleep, your watch goes off, and your reflex causes you to reality check in the dream. Presto chango, you’ve got a lucid dream.

Another forum member, Rarebreed, is working on creating a device specifically for this technique. It seems unclear if this will be available for purchase, but it is possible. More likely Rarebreed will post the steps he went through for anybody who wants to build one for themselves. There is also another watch on the market that already fits the description of the “lucid watch” fairly well, but it is priced at around 70 USD.

If you’re thinking that this sounds very familiar to the lucid mask project I did a while back, you’re right, it’s very similar. Here’s why I believe this has more potential for success:

This is a way to automatically associate reality checking with the stimulus. The flashing lights for the mask was something you had to ingrain separately.

An isolated vibration is a sign that you encounter rarely. I know, cell phones are a big exception, but if you wear the watch around your ankle or your wrist, you’ll come to associate it with only the sensation in that area, and how often does your left ankle vibrate? I thought so.

It’s fairly easy to fall asleep wearing. The lucid mask was abominable in this regard. Falling asleep as per the timer’s requirements, let alone staying asleep was a huge challenge. Sleeping through the night with the thing staying on your my was something I’ve only accomplished about twice out of my 30+ trials.

It’s highly customizable. You can decide how often you want it to go off, and for how long. This is important because it seems everybody has their quirks when it comes to sleep.

I’m looking forward to seeing how some other people do with this method, as well as Rarebreed’s progress in building a device. Perhaps this is a breakthrough technique, although I’m a bit of a skeptic when it comes to those at this point. This isn’t to say there aren’t great systems for achieving lucid dreams, (MILD and Infinity come to mind) but to say that are no simple, reliable, and easy methods for inducing lucid dreams, at least that I am aware of.

Let’s hope this is the first!

-Hatter

Popularity: 41% [?]

A few days ago I was up late, and without any real clear idea of where it would lead, I took a picture of my hand with my cell phone. I set it as the background, and now whenever I open my phone, I remember to look at my hand to make sure they match. Over the past two nights (about 5 days after I first set it) this simple action has given me two low level lucid dreams. (Not by looking at my hands, simply by realizing it’s a dream) I have tried reality checks before, but never with this quick of success or even of effects. Given this could be coincidence, but it seems like a big one.

I believe the reason this worked is because I hit the sweet spot between strength of intention and attention to intention. I’ve done reality checks for months on end, with better and more thorough checks, more checks, as well as more frequently. I got results, but not nearly as quickly as this. I was too focused on the goal in the first instance, and in this one, it was just enough willpower to set it, but little enough to let it sit in my subconscious and grow.

This is all assuming it’s no coincidence of course. Either way, I think that using your cell phone’s background as a reminder for a reality check is a fairly good reminder.

-Hatter

Popularity: 14% [?]

Galamantine and Choline: The Acetylecholine Boosters

(Note: if you’re a beginning dreamer you should probably go through the Introduction to Lucid Dreaming series before beginning this one)
Supplements may have unforeseen consequences, and using any brain altering substance may have consequences later.

Galamantine and Choline are going to be the primary aids that we use to help us induce lucid dreams. The combination of the two have specific effects on the neuro-chemistry of the brain, inducing a favorable state for dreaming. Simply put, both Choline and Galantamine increase the levels of acetylecholine (ACh) levels in the brain. Galantamine by inhibiting ACh’s breakdown and Choline by promoting its production. Why are increased ACh levels desirable? ACh and serotonin control the state of sleep we’re in. Serotonin promotes deep, dreamless sleep, and ACh promotes REM sleep. ACh has also been linked to memory formation and brain function. From my experience it helped my dream recall and my general awareness in the dream, from asking questions of the dream environment and using some of my waking logic although not actually gaining consciousness, to lucidity.

Now that you have a basic idea of how this works, Here’s how you use these two supplements to aid you in dreaming:

SAWBTB: Supplement Assisted Wake Back To Bed

This is not really a technique in itself, just as WBTB is a method for improving your success of other methods, so is SAWBTB. Used in conjunction with MILD, Simplified MILD, and WILD it can greatly increase your odds for lucidity. The technique is effectively the same as a typical WBTB:

Go to sleep around your normal time, do not consume any alcohol or caffeine or any other dream altering substances. Sleep for about 5 hours. (Anywhere in 4:45 to 5:05 is about right. Check out the REM graph to see the zone you want to land in. Remember you want to have some REM still left to dream in when you wake up) Get up out of bed when the alarm goes off (or when your internal clock does, or whatever method you use to wake up by.) My typical dose of Galamantine was 4mg and 500mg of Choline. Both are well below dangerous levels. Thomas Yuschak (The Author of Advanced Lucid Dreaming: The Power Of Supplements) recommends 4-8 mg of Galamantine and 250-500mg of Choline. The next part is dependent on how quickly you fall asleep and how groggy you are, as well as the technique you are attempting. You want to remain awake for a fair amount of time (or all of it, if you are doing WILD.) The peak blood plasma level of Galamantine is around 60 minutes, which is what you should try to land on for the end of your technique. For example, you’d want to fall asleep after having laid your intentions for MILD, or transition into the dream around now for WILD. I will leave the rest of the MILD or WILD details up to you, oneironaught.

Important Notes:

Choline Absorption

Choline increases the amount of ACh in the brain by a sort of diffusion. The higher the levels of ACh in the brain, the less Choline puts into it. This means that Choline is effective early on and not as much later, even though it’s peak blood plasma time is three hours. If you think you’re going to fall asleep more quickly then you want, you might consider taking a 500mg of choline to get more a higher ACh level more quickly. (Really put an effort not to, by the way. Adding a little choline won’t fix dosing off in a minute)

Galamantine Half Life
Galamantine plasma levels may peak relatively quickly (around 60 minutes) but the half life is a long one. This means that it takes a long time for it to filter out of your system. It takes roughly 48 hours to get the rest of the Galamantine out of your system. To avoid building up a tolerance to it (and ruining its effectiveness) try to space your attempts at least 48 hours apart. Three days is a nicer spacer. This also gives your sleep cycle a little time to recover from your meddling with the WBTB.

Using Galamantine or Choline Without a WBTB
Using these supplements before bed without a WBTB is a bad idea. As the REM chart demonstrates, the first half or so of the sleep cycle is mainly deep sleep. Taking Choline and Galamantine increase ACh levels, which promote light sleep. Pitting your body against external supplements does not cause success, generally it causes conflict and a messed up sleep cycle. (The reason this doesn’t happen as much in the second half of the sleep cycle if because it is primarily REM sleep.)

Part II may take a while to write. (Don’t wait around for it.) I do however plan to write it though, so it’ll be here eventually. I also plan on updating more frequently again, so check by again soon.

-Hatter

Popularity: 20% [?]

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As I’ve hinted at and alluded to a new series of articles that I would post soon. The time is nigh, and I present to you a recent and exciting method of achieving lucidity: Supplements.

SALD stands for Supplement Aided Lucid Dream. I italicized the “aided” to draw attention to the fact that although these supplements are a great aid to achieving lucid dreams, they are no magic pill. They will not give you the powers of a Tibetan monk or the equivalent value of practice. What they will do is give you about as favorable setup as you can ask for. These supplements work by altering brain chemistry (because of this, they aren’t recommended for anyone under 18, you don’t want to mess up what’s still developing) to give you various situations which are beneficial to dreaming.

The information I draw upon in these articles was gleaned from the book Advanced Lucid Dreaming: The Power Of Supplements. To Be clear about a few things: These articles represent my experiences with these substances.I recommend the book as it has a lot of great information about supplements and how to use them. One more formality: I am not a doctor, so everything in these articles is yours to use at your own risk, and should not be attempted if you are 18 or under. It is also worthy of note that supplements may have unforeseen consequences, and using any brain altering substance may have consequences later.

One more thing: These are more advanced practices, and won’t benefit the new dreamer as much. If you’re a new dreamer, I’d suggest going through my Introduction to Lucid dreaming, then coming back to this series.

Without further ado, here is the first in the series.

Part 1: Galamantine and Acetylcholine

Popularity: 14% [?]

Dreaming is not unlike other skills in that you must practice to get consistent results. The trick is, what do you practice?

Dreaming is kind of like Soccer…

There are some exercises which will not only avail certain short term benefits, but also offer broader benefits down the road. Let’s use soccer as an example. When you first start playing, you’ll probably notice you get tired from all that running fairly quickly. You’ll also probably notice that keeping control of the ball and running is not such an easy task as it seems. Add to this specific skills like throwing the ball in, passing down field, slide tackling, and many others, and you have a lot of work ahead of you to become an all around competent soccer player.

Perhaps you really enjoy slide tackling, and decide to practice that particular skill the most. When you go out to play, you find yourself missing a lot of slide tackling opportunities because you can’t get there fast enough. The few times you get the ball, not only can you not control it, but you can’t pass it. While the slide tackles help the team, you’re fairly worthless outside of that particular skill. The game doesn’t go so well for you, outside of the few tackles you had, mostly through luck.

Disappointed with your rather poor overall game, you decide to focus on running instead. The next time a game comes around, you not only have a good slide tackle, but you can keep up with more players, get more slide tackles in before you tire out, and outmaneuver other players, even if you do lose control of the ball occasionally. This game leaves you with a feeling of major improvement.

The lesson here is that while the specific skills might be more fun or interesting, they aren’t always the best for the overall improvement in an area. Focusing on slide tackles helps very little when you can’t even catch the ball, or control it if you manage to get it. Running gives you a little boost in many areas, even if it doesn’t leave you as skilled in any one thing. Practicing the exercise that applies to most skills is the most worthwhile.

The Most Worthwhile Dreaming Exercises

There are several catch all exercises in dreaming practices. Listed below are my favorite ones, in order of broadest reach of effect.

Willpower/Enthusiasm- I know this isn’t a technical practice, but it certainly is the most broad reaching. Being strong of will helps just about everything, as it certainly isn’t easy to get out of a warm bed at 3 AM, or sit quietly for hypnosis, or even dedicate time for practice!

Meditation- Meditation helps just about everything as well. It may have a rather minimal impact in a short period of time, but becoming more clear minded and raising your overall level of consciousness is useful in every facet of dreaming. Being able to focus on one thing is essential to avoid getting distracted in the altered states found in dreaming. I would recommend you do visualization and concentration type meditations, as found about halfway down on this page.

Dream Journaling- This practice is very important in developing dream recall, finding dream signs, raising overall level of consciousness to realize dream signs, keeping a nice coherent record of dreams, recognizing dream patterns over long periods of time, and to improve willpower. (Who wants to write a bunch of stuff down while you’re groggy?)

Reality Checks- Reality checks are great for raising overall level of consciousness, realizing you are dreaming, and improving willpower. (remembering to do reality checks is not an easy task!)

These exercises all typically lack immediate, tangible results, but if you practice them dutifully you will see marked improvement in time.

Skill Specific Exercises

These exercises are just the some of the many, many, exercises to give you lucid dreams. While I’ve been focusing on overall techniques, focusing on just getting lucid dreams isn’t a bad thing either. It just tends to leave gaps in your development. Learning to lucid dream 5 times a week is great, but if you are having low level lucids, non vivid lucids, or having trouble controlling the dream in general, then it isn’t very satisfying. Listed are some specific exercises, also listed in order of level of effect.

WBTB- Learning how to get the oh so important mix of just awake enough but not too awake is what makes the simple wake back to bed technique trickier than it appears. It is good for almost any other technique or practice however. Its effects aren’t long term though, you either have a lucid dream and/or better dream recall afterwards or you don’t. It doesn’t really benefit you past that.

MILD - MILD is one of the most comprehensive and effective techniques out there- Practiced as originally written. Most people practice the simplified version of repeating something to yourself as you fall asleep. This is good for increasing the likelihood of whatever you are affirming as you fall asleep, but only that specific thing.

WILD- Learning to WILD is a fairly specific skill, but learning to concentrate on ignoring sensations and focusing on something is also useful in the dream state itself, mostly for remaining lucid.

Hypnosis- Hypnosis is a great way to get your subconscious in line with what your conscious wants. Whether its planting a suggestion to have yourself realize when you’re dreaming or that you will remember your dreams, it can be used for almost anything, but only one thing at a time. That’s why it’s down here, you have to focus on pretty much a single thing if you want it to be effective.

Daily Affirmations- These are basically hypnosis by brute force. I wouldn’t rely solely on these, but they can help a hypnotic suggestion or to keep your willpower up. They can be used for other things too, but like hypnosis they are effectively limited to one subject at a time.

Conclusions

I hope you take up meditation, and that you are already keeping a dream journal. Even if you do nothing else you’ll be able to pick up any other technique in very little time with little effort. You’ll already be familiar with what your dreams are like, you’ll be able to focus and stay in an altered state of consciousness from all that meditation. It makes these techniques much easier then if you had just picked them up.

Whichever path you choose, remember that they all get the same result, the only variable is the amount of time you have to put into it.

-Hatter

Popularity: 9% [?]

I was thinking about the subject of pain in dreams lately, and it appears that some people have it and don’t want it. (Well, why would you want it at all, right?) So I am going to share my method for removing pain from dreams. I have never had pain in my dreams, and never will. Would you like to know how?

Belief.

That all powerful part of dreams works here as well. When I originally started dreaming, I read everywhere that nobody experienced pain in dreams, and I looked back and I (luckily) had not experienced it thus far. This helped me form the belief that pain does not exist in dreams. Now I know otherwise, but I do know that for me it remains true because I want it to. The subjective nature of dreams helps this belief manifest as reality in the dream state.

While I may have removed pain, I have not removed anything else with my beliefs. (At least that I am aware of) So when I should experience pain, I usually get a substituted feeling. It ranges from mild discomfort to pressure, but it doesn’t hurt. Most of the time I simply get everything minus the pain. For instance, when I fell out of a car and rolled down a hill covered in blackberries, I could feel the thorns scratching me and I could feel myself bouncing down the side of the hill, but there was no pain.

How do I accomplish this pain free dream state?

If you already don’t have pain, then you’re set. If you do have it however, I would say the best way is to form the idea that you don’t want it there, so it won’t be there. Through affirmations, and maybe a little self hypnosis, you can make this belief manifest in dreams. Once you have that, it is really easy to maintain it, because it has proven itself. Just don’t doubt it as a fluke. You wanted pain to disappear, and it did. It won’t come back unless you doubt yourself, or actively invite it back.

Here’s to pain-free lucid dreaming!

-Hatter

Popularity: 3% [?]

Astral Crossroads

Since Paradiso, Ben’s program to help you create (or incubate) you own dream environment is now out, I thought that a post about well known incubation locations was in order. While Paradiso’s emphasis is on creating your own paradise, it can sometimes be easier to start with something that is already well described.

The lucid crossroads, while created for a different purpose, works well for this. The site has a nice picture walk through with text description. It is very helpful in getting a solid image of the lucid crossroads, and I imagine it would help in incubating a dream there. The way the crossroads are designed is also with careful thought about what you will want to do after you’re there and lucid. The doors going into the lobby allows you to leave to go to any dream environment you wish. The lucid dojo is also useful for training martial arts, and is right next to the crossroads.

Another place which was created simply to be incubated is the Astral Island. It is actually shown in one of the doors in the Lucid Crossroads picture tour. Again, the Astral Island’s main purpose isn’t quite simply incubation, it’s actually shared dreaming, but it can be used for either. This site isn’t nearly as detailed as the lucid crossroads, but it does give a rudimentary incubation technique. Note that the terms astral projection and lucid dreaming tend to mean the same thing, I’m not sure if they’re actually describing the same thing or not, but the techniques given on the site will help you incubate a dream.

Both locales have a nice surreal feel to them, which I always felt is the right mood for a dream location. It helps me keep my attention more straight, perhaps because the location I’m trying to focus on can’t really be confused with anything from real life, surreal as it is.

Popularity: 4% [?]

Bendrummin, the creator of Infinity and Paradiso along with Skipper, the administrator for the site, have formally announced their new site, Dreamport. This site deals with lucid dreaming, and more specifically, all of the programs that Bendrummin has created.

The site is going to have Ben’s lucid dreaming digibook embedded on the techniques page, giving the user a large wealth of information in an easy to access manner.

The site also has a forum, which is taking off tonight as I type. One of the cool features of Dreamport is that if enough people request specific software, people work to create that software. The forum will also be the planning place of the 2007 Sea Party, which Ben has promised to be much better organized then the previous Sea Party. If you want to download the new software or the old re-done software, you’ll also have to sign up.

Paradiso is also now out of beta testing and ready for download.
Paradiso!
(You have to be registered on the forum to download Paradiso)

So check out Dreamport, it already presents the user with a lot of valuable resources, and it looks to get even better from here on out.

-Hatter

Popularity: 3% [?]

So far we’ve discussed using lucid dreaming to give you more time/help you absorb information and how to get ahead at work or school. Today, I’ll be discussing uses for dreaming in relationships. Not limited to romantic relationships, but any interaction you have between you and somebody else.

Let’s start with a story, shall we? Let’s go back to the office example I used earlier. This time, you’ve worked for a company for a long time, have been a faithful and hardworking employee, and haven’t made any major mistakes. You’ve languished under the clock from 8 to 5 for a great while now, and you’re thinking that it’s about time for a raise. You really deserve it, management’s been pinching pennies lately, and you think it’s time for them to stop imitating scrooge. The only problem: You’re not really sure how to actually ask for a raise. You’ve thought about it, and you’re not really sure how your boss will react, but you pull together the guts and go for it. You walk into your boss’s office, and, rather nervously, ask for a raise. Your boss shoots you down with : We don’t have the money right now. You’d better get back to work. Rather dejected, and now disheartened by the likely probability that your raise will probably be delayed much longer now, you walk back to your office and look out of your window. You sit and watch the window cleaners squeegee the windows for a while, and then go back to work.

Now let’s see what you could have used lucid dreaming for in this situation:

While dreaming, you have access to your subconscious, which knows a lot about your life and your world. It also knows the people you interact with. You can, while dreaming, ask your subconscious to make the most realistic and lifelike version of __________. (for this example we’ll use your boss) You then have a very good imitation of your boss in the dream with you. There are many directions you could go from here. You could become your boss, by whichever mean you prefer, it doesn’t really matter as long as your subconscious understands that you are now playing the role of your boss, and experience the same emotions they do. You could then have a dream version of you come and ask you if they can have a raise. Make sure to analyze your feelings and reactions as the boss. Have your dream self re-enact this with different approaches, and see which one seems best to you as the boss. This may be a little to abstract or flat out weird for some, so if you’d prefer, you could just ask your boss in a candid manner about a raise and what you’d have to ask to get it. Both methods give you insight into you another person’s perspective on things.

Now that you’ve thoroughly examined your boss’s viewpoint, why not scrutinize yours? You can examine different aspects of your personality through your subconscious in the same manner you examined your boss. Ask your subconscious to show all of the different sides of your personality in a house of mirrors, for example. Or maybe have them show up as people. You can use this to see what you really think about that raise. Why not ask paranoia what they think, or confidence? Using this tool, you can also examine why something is bothering you, or why you’ve been depressed lately. Maybe you see that you actually think you don’t deserve the raise, or think that somebody else deserves it more. This gives you great insight into yourself.

Now that you’ve got more information about your boss’s feelings and your own, you have one thing left to do to make sure you don’t botch the raise. Using your subconscious to set up the environment and people, you can practice any situation you want, as many times as you want. Try and re-create your boss’s office, and then put your boss in it. Then you can walk in and see from your point of view exactly how the boss reacts to those various approaches you found out earlier. While you’re at it, why not practice asking that co-worker out for coffee? You can practice any situation to give you confidence. Have a presentation coming up soon? Practice it!

So let’s see how this works out after you’ve prepared in dream time:

You have, after examining the boss, noticed that there isn’t actually any really good to ask. You simply couldn’t find any approach to make him budge. So you decided to practice asking him why raises have been so scarce for the workers lately. You walk into his office and, in the manner you practiced, ask about the budget. He starts pulling his hair, and mentions something about the CEO and lawsuits, and then asks you to leave. Oh, you think walking back to your office, I guess this really isn’t a good time to ask for a raise. When you get back, you see an email from a fellow co-worker warning you to avoid the boss today, he’s in one of those moods. You make a mental note to check your work email before doing anything with the higher0-ups next time.

Remember that this example is quite specific, and that you can use the methods of viewing a situation from someone else’s view, exploring your own opinions, and practicing a situation to many ends. You can use it for romantic relationships, asking somebody out, seeing why a friend is depressed, or virtually anything involving you and another person.

In Part IV of the series, I’ll discuss improving your physical coordination in dreams. (practicing for sports, martial arts, and the like.)

-Hatter

Popularity: 4% [?]

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This series is dedicated to showing you why you should learn lucid dreaming, and some of the more productive uses for this skill. This series is less of a how-to and more long the lines of the possibilities that dreaming provides. People typically ask the question: But why would I want to learn lucid dreaming. These articles are the answer to that question.

Part I: Information Overload
Part II:How to Get Ahead With Dreaming
Part III: Dreaming for Relationships
Part IV: Physical Coordination (Unfinished)

-Hatter

Popularity: 4% [?]