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Taking Control of Your Dreams
By Annette Sassou
Have you ever fallen asleep and been fully aware that you were dreaming? If so, you have experienced a lucid dream. In some cases you can even guide the course of the dreams, controlling their random quality. What can you learn from lucid dreams?
- Learn about yourself: Lucid dreams can help highlight and clarify the causes of any stress.
- Solve problems: Lucid dreams offer us a new viewpoint and aid problem solving.
- Overcome fears: Face phobias with a new sense of understanding the cause while lucid dreaming.
- Make amends: In lucid dreams, you can rehearse how you would correct past wrongdoings.
- Get psychic answers: You can open a window to the spirit world and ask questions while lucid dreaming.
Preparing your dream environment
In some parts of the world deliberate rituals are performed and shrines built for the sole purpose of encouraging lucid dreams. You can set the stage by using relaxing music, candles and incense. Make sure you are calm, warm and comfortable and take care that you are undisturbed at night.
The basic keywords for lucid dreaming are the four 'I's: Invitation, Intention, Inspiration and Inscription. Following these simple steps you, too, can control your dreams...
- Invitation: Preparing your mind
Center and still the mind. Use a simple breathing technique to reduce your heart rate: breath in and hold your breath for 8 seconds then breath out and hold for 8 seconds. Repeat this process 5 or 6 times until you feel a definite reduction in your heart rate.
- Intention: The Objective
Formulate a simple, clear statement of what exactly you want to achieve in your lucid dream. Try to avoid negative intentions towards anyone. Strengthen and focus your desire by repeating it in your mind, or write it on a piece of paper.
- Inspiration: Take an active role
In a calm state, visualize yourself drifting off on a boat down a calm river. Experience being carried and led, and do not resist the flow of the river's current. Allow yourself to be carried along.
- Inscription: Make mental notes
As you drift into sleep, remain verbally and visually aware of the dream's details. Articulate what you are seeing - for example in your dream say to yourself: "A house. It has red tiles, some are covered with green moss." The more you spell out what you are experiencing, the better.
- After your dream: Gently awaken
While you are still asleep but awakening, take a minute to collect all of the dream's details before waking up completely. Tell yourself, "I will remember everything I saw when I wake up!" As soon as you wake up, write down everything you can remember about your dream adventure.