Friday, May 20, 2011

Reality Check Examples

  • Breathing: Can you breathe with your fingers sealing your nose?
  • Jumping: When you jump, do you float back down?
  • Reading: Do sentences change when you read them? Read, turn away and repeat it to yourself, and then turn back and read it again. Do this twice.
  • Vision: Do you have perfect vision? This only works for people who have at least slightly blurry vision in the waking world. Alternatively, if you have perfecto vision in the waking world, you may have blurred vision in the dream world.
  • Hands: Do your hands have a strange color, too many fingers (sometimes they disappear and reappear when you try to count them) or other abnormalities? Can you push your finger through your other hand? This is one of the bests, along with the Vision reality check.
  • Time: Does your watch or clock tell a reasonable time? Are you even able to read the time off it? Sometimes clocks have the wrong number of hands or have strange symbols. Try reading the time twice, like the Reading check above. Note: Digital clocks often work better for this reality check.
  • Powers: Are you able to fly (just visualise it), unlock doors, or use other magical powers? Try to change the shape of your body, or walk through a wall, window, or mirror.
  • Light switches: Does a light switch work?
  • Mirrors: Do you look normal in a mirror?
  • Nose: Can you see your nose with one eye closed?
  • Memory: Are you able to remember how you got here, why you are here and what happened an hour ago? This is not always a reliable reality check.
  • Logic: Can you add up two numbers for a correct answer?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Reality Checking

With reality checking, you make use of your known dream signs by performing a reality check whenever you spot a dream sign. The simplest form of reality check is asking yourself "Am I dreaming?" If done consistently, this habit will carry over into your dreams and you will eventually get lucid by doing a reality check in a dream.

It is important to note that you should never do a reality check mindlessly. Take a minute to look around you and ask yourself if your surroundings are really logical. Ask yourself how you got there, why you are there, and where you are going.

It is of course possible to do reality checks that are unrelated to dream signs. Reality checking alone can help you induce lucid dreams.

Even if you’ve completely convinced yourself that whatever you’ve seen that is out of the ordinary is quite possible, perform one more unrelated test. Read some text, or glance at a digital clock or watch. Wait a few seconds and then do it again. If the text or time inexplicably changes, then you are in fact dreaming. Even if the time or text doesn’t change, try to focus on changing it for a moment. In dreams text often changes upon a second glance and we almost always accept it, even though clearly it is an alarming clue that we are dreaming.

Becoming familiar with your dreams

As your dream journal grows and your dream recall increases, naturally you will become more familiar with your dreams. Certain people, certain places, and certain activities may be more likely to appear in your dreams. For example, you may have a majority of dreams in which you are at your office or at school or at the beach. Certain dream themes might also be more common than others. You might dream of being a hero or you might dream of being chased. These recurrent patterns in your dreams are your dreamsigns, and they will be the first stepping stones on your path to lucid dreaming.

By learning your distinctive dreamsigns, you will be able to further increase your recall. Making a list of your dreamsigns is a great idea. If you are having trouble recalling any dreams, you can run down your list of dream signs and question yourself to see if any of them will spark a memory. Sometimes, by jarring just one dream fragment loose you can recover the whole dream, so knowing and using your dreamsigns will give you just the edge you need to overcome a morning bout of dream amnesia.

By working with your dreamsigns, you will develop an intimate relationship with your dreams. They will become more accessible and easier to understand. It is helpful to ask yourself why you are dreaming what you dream. What do these dreamsigns mean to you? The more you understand not only your dreamsigns but what they mean, the more you will benefit from them in both your dream life and your waking life.

Dream Signs

Have you ever noticed that you often dream about a certain situation, or a place, person or object? To a lucid dreamer, these things are known as dream signs, and they can be used to induce lucid dreams. Normally to be able to recognize your own personal dream signs, you need to keep a dream journal.

More often than not dream signs take the form of things or events that would be considered impossible or highly improbable in the waking world. Some examples of dream signs are breathing under water, flying or taking unusually long jumps, oversized/undersized objects or people, and of course purple skies and green cats. Dream signs are also sometimes more subtle: light switches that don’t work (device failure, which is very usual), suddenly returning to work at an old job, being late (also very common), losing the ability to scream, the speech patterns of friends being unusual, having trouble running or walking fast, and of course arriving somewhere naked. Another very common dream sign is having your teeth or hair fall out.

If we are not intently looking for dream signs during sleep, we will accept everything, no matter how strange as we would during the waking hours. Quite obviously if you were allowed to think analytically in your dreams, the absurdness of some of the above situations would be quite apparent to you. Even if you stop to question something in a dream you’ll usually become quickly distracted by something else and lose your transient rational-train-of-thought. For example, it may occur to you that you shouldn’t be able to leap over the entire parking lot, but then it may suddenly dawn on you that you’re 5 minutes late for work and you’ll rush into the office, completely forgetting about your parking lot adventure. Within our dreams we generally accept whatever happens - we usually just go along for the ride. It takes training to spot and fully-realize the obscurities inherent within our dreams. You have to instill the idea within your head that if a blue dog should happen upon your path, it’s very likely that you’re in fact dreaming.

Personal Dream Signs

Personal dream signs are dream signs that frequent your own dreams. You may find you often “wake up” without any hair, when the day before it was down to your shoulders; or, you often run out of gas on your way to write a final exam. To determine some of your personal dream signs, you need to actively keep a dream journal. After a number of entries have been entered you should go through and examine your dreams and look for recurring elements (situations, environments, people, objects, etc.) Keep in mind that what you’re looking for doesn’t necessarily have to be out of the ordinary; your dream signs may in fact be very ordinary. Of course, it helps if your dream signs are unusual with respect to the real world, for then it will be easier to trigger the analytical part of your brain upon encountering your dream signs. Regardless, you are simply looking for things that are common within your dreams. Become familiar with your personal dream signs and review your dreams over and over that include them. Essentially you should be trying to train yourself to spot your dream signs, which will aid you in your quest to induce lucid dreams.