Sometimes in life, results come all at once – like the proverbial dearth of buses, followed by three in a row. I think the key to successful lucid dreaming is quite mundane – it’s discipline, habit, repetition. One has to consciously, masterfully, programme the brain to remember and bridge the gap between waking and dreaming, so that the thread of lucidity survives the deep dive down into the different levels of sleep. I don’t claim to be an expert and my ability to do this is random and periodic. I use many methods. One is to speak out loud my intention to remember to ‘wake up’ during the night’s dreaming. Another is to look at my daily life in ordinary reality as though it’s a dream, and transpose that way of thinking into dream sleep. Another is to hold a crystal or pebble in my hand or wind cotton around my finger, something  uncomfortable that deliberately disrupts my ability to fully drift away. I use crystals a lot and they are a brilliant gate into lucid dreaming. Gaze on crystals long enough during waking hours and you will begin to dream them. It’s also possible to use any other daily activities that are habitual and repetitious. For me, activities such as running, martial arts/music practice, making tea, cooking, shopping, office work, teeth cleaning, public transport – all are likely to be thrown up into dreams by the unconscious mind. The idea is to encounter these in the dream, and remember how you feel about them whilst awake. That’s when lucidity can occur. In Malcom Godwin’ s excellent book, The Lucid Dreamer, he talks about the ‘golden brick’ of lucidity ‘dropping’ into the dream. A Good description for an astonishing and hyper-real moment, that always feels blessed, fortunate, thrilling.

It’s a moment I’ve never been able to sustain for very long – until recently. For many nights, I’d been going to sleep with a series of ritualistic affirmations of intent, which were beginning to bore me stupid. The resulting sleep and dreams were foggy, groggy and the imagery trivial and even depressing. Then I forgot all about it and let it go. Stopped trying. Then, the night before last, I had prolonged, vivid lucid dreams of varying depth and type. From the moment of waking within the dream, I was able to ride the ‘golden brick’ as it were, for what felt like about 15 minutes of earth dimension time. In huge excitement I announced to all I met, ‘I’m lucid. I’m lucid!’. I found that by spinning in circles, the carpet beneath me began to appear even more real, with bright, fruity hues of gold, orange and yellow. I felt so profoundly awake, I believed myself to be awake in my house, until I found myself airborne, flying down the stairwell. I experimented with flying, hopping and jumping in gigantic leaps and ‘paddling’ to stay airborne. I fought (and won) with an invasive monkey entity and met a stern, but unfailingly protective animal guide. It told me some wise things, whilst escorting me through a perilous landscape. In the morning I felt refreshed, grateful and touched by magic. As much as my disciplined ‘practice’ gave me a framework, the spinning-in-circles-to-prolong-lucidity, was something I read randomly in the above mentioned book. It’s something the Sufi dervishes used to do – it’s certainly not my daily habit, but my unconscious mind had saved the information. Truly incredible to think that we’re only using about 6% per cent of our faculties – meanwhile, the realm of the subconscious stretches wide, deep, largely untapped and full to the brim with treasure. It could be that our human future, if we are to have one, lies in this area. The ‘spiritual technologies’ of telepathy, telekinesis, even translocation and time travel, lie within. They are actually more advanced than our current industrial technologies and we may now be called to develop them. Travelling within, not without. It sounds unbelievable, but if it can be done in dreams, it can be done out here in ‘ordinary reality’. There is no difference.

Some might ask what’s the point of all this?  Since I started doing this semi-shamanic lucid dreaming business, I’ve been careful to ask myself this. I always try to know for what purpose, other than just self-gratification. With any kind of power or skill comes an immediate responsibility to apply it to a wider use and the greater benefit of all. Many people get into healing before they themselves, are fully sorted. Therefore, I think it’s perfectly legitimate to travel the lucid dreaming realms to seek help with healing the self. To gain, within reason, personal power. But once this process is up and running, again, the question arises, in order to do what and why and for whom and with what implications? Once lucidity clicks in, I have found that there are laws and protocols in the dream landscape which should be respected and are very similar to waking life. Don’t steal stuff in astral markets and shops, just because it’s there. Handle the goods, but put them back, or pay for them. Don’t eat or drink gluttonous amounts. Don’t force affections on dream entities, however attractive – ask permission. Respect boundaries. Use discretion in identifying friends/foes. Be open to unexpected help. (Janitors, cleaners, shop keepers, bus drivers, and customs officials may be gods and goddesses in disguise.) Challenge bullies. Don’t run from wild animals. Be brave. Tread lightly, even prayerfully and try to learn and observe, not just get bound up with thrills and spills.

For me, the process itself, of lucid dreaming, has big implications. It’s the skill itself, not the adventures that ensue. The obstacles we create for ourselves, as a species, are to do with what we lack in terms of will, courage, imagination and intuitive confidence. At the microcosmic level, each one of us creates barriers to our unimpeded happiness, through lack of these same things. But in the dream world, things flow naturally – there is an inbuilt confidence to create any solution or outcome we desire – since there’s an assumption that it’s all a dream anyway. This is where the key lies, in that moment of being able to reach into the fabric of reality, whether ‘asleep’ or ‘awake’ in order to consciously choose and make desired changes, believing it will work.

Then, even more importantly, getting used to revisiting this state of mind over and over again, until it becomes a habit. It’s the state of mind itself which is the treasured goal, as far as I am concerned. If the lucid dreamer manages even just a few doses of the ‘hey I’m lucid!’ moment, that’s enough to start building on –  and a precious tool to bring back to the waking world, where we think ourselves awake, but in fact, are still dreaming.