Watch this video instead. It’s way better, and they make no mention of “oneironauts”.
Thanks Aaron for the video link.
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Update 2012-10-13 @ 9:08 AM
After watching this and going to sleep, I had a dream this morning in which I was at work and I couldn’t find my clothes. Then, bit by bit, I had clothes on, which made me realize I was in a dream, so I decided to fly downstairs to my middle school cafeteria for some fried chicken.
When I realize I’m in a dream now, I always fly (or levitate at walking speed). Why walk why you can fly? I refuse to walk, even if it’s a couple steps to get to the other side of a door.
I finally finished the lucid dreaming book. It congratulated me, for what I’m not sure.
The last few chapters were a slog, as they talked about overcoming nightmares, using dreams to heal your physical body, and also to understand the meaning of life.
Overcoming nightmares: I don’t have nightmares.
Physical healing: Wow, great untested anecdotes. How convincing.
Meaning of life: I don’t believe there is such a thing.
My waning interest in lucid dreaming is pretty much gone. Traveling to Wenatchee at the end of February broke my routine, and when I returned I was so tired I spent most of my sleep time in repair mode. That was followed by a few days of writing down my dreams, a few days forgetting before I could write them down, and a few more days of writing down my dreams. After that, nothing. I haven’t bothered to make an entry in my dream journal (wiki page, actually) since March 11th.
So that’s it. I’m done. I set out to lucid dream and discovered that’s not what I want to do after all. I discovered that if I’m properly motivated I can do it, but the only thing that motivates me is flying, and once I manage to fly a certain way I’m not motivated to do it again. I’m sure at some point I’ll find another reason to wake up in my dreams, but until then I’ll just relax and enjoy the show.
I don’t want to call this one complete because it’s not. That’s okay, because the point of 30 Days isn’t to do something for 30 days and stop. It’s to try something for 30 days to see what I can get out of it. For example, I’ve still kept my good habits from 30×3.
How did I do? I totally failed on mindfulness. That probably means I really do need to do it, but perhaps even 30 days of it is too much if I need to do it 24/7. If I want to be more mindful, I need to learn a different way.
Lucid dreaming started off pretty well, then fell off the map. It’s not that I can’t do it, but I’m simply not motivated to do it. If there’s anything I’ve learned from this, it’s that I need to be motivated to lucid dream if I want it to happen. The only thing I found interesting enough to motivate me was to fly, and once I did that I didn’t feel the need to wake up in my dreams anymore.
I kept a dream log this month. My dreams alternate between totally nonsensical to things that are on my mind. There’s also a lot of hockey, and no mountain biking. I think I’m afraid to dream about mountain biking, because I don’t want to do something that defies physics in my dream and have my subconscious try to do it in real life. That would hurt. A lot.
I haven’t yet finished my lucid dreaming book. I received it on day 7, and at the rate I’m going I’ll probably finish it in another week. There were a couple interesting chapters early on, but now it’s just chapters on what wonderful things you can accomplish in life through lucid dreaming. Not particularly interesting, but I like to finish what I start (even when it’s not the best choice) so I’ll slog through the rest.
The lucid dreaming project has gone terribly the last few days. Thanks to tournament weekend, the last four days have gone like this:
Friday: Forget what I dreamt about because I had to get up early and get to the airport. Saturday: Dream about waking up too late for my super early game. Sunday: Dream about hotel checkout snafus. Monday: Forget what I dreamt about because I’m zombie tired from the weekend.
I also made no progress on the dream book. I like to read it before bed, which means I have to make time to read before my 8 hours of sleep. I haven’t had 8 hours of sleep since last week.
Finished chapter 4 last night. I liked this chapter a lot better, as it was about learning to fall asleep straight into a lucid dream. I’m much better at remembering to do this as it’s happening than spending days or weeks preparing myself during the day so I may or may not remember to do something when I’m asleep. Plus, I can accomplish this a lot faster. I’m impatient.
It was interesting to read about the physical sensations of falling asleep. I woke up in the middle of the night, rolled over, and landed my hand on the pen and pad I keep by my side for recording dreams. This turned out to be a great trigger, and as I started to fall asleep again I remembered to notice what I was feeling: super relaxed and floatey, almost as if my body was dissipating. It was like being on drugs, minus the drugs.
The book also discussed sleep paralysis, which helped explain a couple of my previousexperiences. (Being able to do a simple search to find these nuggets from my past makes all the time I’ve put into this blog totally worth it.) I hope by understanding what sleep paralysis is my brain won’t freak out and create evil monsters the next time it happens.
But maybe that’s easier said than done. Last night I tried an imagery observation technique, started to fall asleep into a dream, and somehow turned fog into a sheet ghost. You know, like in Pac-Man. When I realized what it was I got scared. By a sheet ghost?! I even thought, “You’re in a dream! It’s not real and you can make it go away.” But instead I wanted out and woke up.
Hey me: Ba-BOK!
Speaking of chicken, after my inability to decipher my chickenscratch earlier this week, I got smart and wrote my dreams in big loopy cursive. It looks like 5th grader instead of doctor handwriting now and is much more legible. I can even write in total darkness.
Remembered just now that the ghosts in Pac-Man freak me out. STOP CHASING ME!!!
Finished chapter 3 last night. The last 7 pages were wasted on promotion of a device developed by the author that has been discontinued and a quibbling rebuttal of some psychologist’s criticism of said device. Chapter 4 had better suck less.
This morning I woke, took notes on a couple dreams, and forgot to transcribe the notes into my wiki until late into the evening. I have no idea what “political peace chicken nugget stamper” or “charitable donation burger coupon” mean. Was I dreaming about McDonald’s?
Still uninspired to become lucid. I threw around the idea of hovering just above the ground like I used to, but apparently I can do that now in real life. (Thanks Aileen for the awesome photo!)
Okay, not really, but that photo cracks me up and I had to find an excuse to use it.
I’ve had a lot of dreams the last few nights but no lucid ones. I’m getting better at remembering the details in my dreams since I started writing them down.
What I read about having more dream to non-dream time the more hours you are into your sleep is spot on. I have most of my dreams in the morning. This morning, I woke after 8 1/2 hours of sleep (sneaker hockey on Sunday wore me out), wrote down some dreams, went back to sleep, and had another three dreams before the alarm went off 30 minutes later.
I’m making my way through chapter 3 of the book. On Friday I read about Tibetan monks and praying to gurus. Seriously not my thing. Other content struck a chord with me, though: “Decide in advance what you would like to do in your next lucid dream.” I wrote that sentence down because that’s what makes me lucid dream. Without a defined goal, I have no motivation to do it.
That’s my problem right now. Yes I want to fly, but to where? Dunno. What else do I want to do? I can name a bunch of things, but none of them really grab me, so I just sit back and watch my dreams unfold.
Like this one from my final half hour of sleep: Grant Achatz gave a whiteboard talk to a bunch of people in my closet. I kept looking at the dirty underwear at his feet and hoping no one would notice. He was talking about overfishing and the time he went diving to study this. I said I dropped a boot in the ocean once and I was sorry if a fish ate it and died.
Finished chapter 2 last night. Learned some interesting things about dream time.
The more hours you are into your sleep, the more REM time you will have i.e. your 1st hour of sleep contains far less REM time than your 8th hour of sleep. Yet another reason to make sure I allot 8 hours for sleep every night.
For some people, they get the best dream time by waking earlier than normal, staying awake for 2-3 hours, and going back to sleep for 2-3 hours. This told me it was okay to wake up to write down my dreams.
Also read about dream signs, which are things, feelings, etc. that you use to recognize you are in a dream. One of their examples was particularly amusing. “I’m riding home on a unicycle.” But I might actually do that in real life someday! I was also amused by the following statement, given that it was flying that got me started with this in the first place. “For more advanced oneironauts, a more appropriate goal might be to learn how to fly.” I do things backwards.
I had a few dreams this morning, woke up around 7, and jotted down some notes. Sometimes people who have moved away show up in my dreams. One of them had appeared in the last of the dreams I wrote down, and I underlined their name and wrote “ds” for “dream sign”. I went back to sleep.
I dreamt again. I wandered around chemistry labs for a bit, then found myself in a giant storage space with Aaron, some random person, and that same person who had appeared in my last dream, right smack in the middle of the room.
“This is a dream,” I thought, and watched as that person started to dissolve into thin air.
I went outside. Before going to bed I had thought about how to make flying an interesting enough goal for myself once again. Where would I fly to? It’d be interesting to fly to the top of a skyscraper. But would I know enough skyscraper detail to construct it?
I solved this by flying toward the aircraft warning lights at the top of a skyscraper. I focused on that, and really I have no idea what the skyscraper looked like. Once I got nice and high, I looked back down at the structures on the ground, flew sideways a bit, and marveled at the perspective changes and the fact that I could construct them in my dream.
I was flying around pretty slowly. I tried to zoom and almost launched myself into space. I stopped it by thinking about holding myself at a particular altitude. After that, I decided I’d had enough flying for one dream and flew to the top of a swanky hotel to relax poolside.
What have I learned?
1. Flying is interesting to me.
2. I need to set specific dream goals in order to induce lucidity.
It reads like a new age hippie guide. I was afraid it would.
There’s a special numbered section on how to be mindful. You know, that neverending thing I find tiring and difficult.
It did a good job of answering some of my questions and concerns, e.g. not being able to just enjoy a non-lucid dream for what it is after learning how to lucid dream, getting stuck in an Inceptioney state, etc.
One of the things I’m supposed to do is keep a dream journal. I’m good at remembering my dreams when I wake, but I am reluctant to write if I wake up in the middle of the night. I’d rather go right back to sleep. Sleep is important to me!
A dream segment I do remember clearly from this morning: An effortless seated track stand while holding a conversation. If you’re gonna dream, dream about being awesome at stuff.