Last Updated on February 20, 2016
If you have an interest in dreamwork, chances are you’ve heard the term ‘lucid dreaming.’ Lucid dreaming is a powerful experience because it is more than just remembering your dreams. When you’re having a lucid dreaming experience, you recognize that you are dreaming when the dream is taking place. In many cases, you may be able to take that awareness even further and actually control some parts of the dream.
Say you’re having a nightmare that you’re being chased. You likely feel all of the fear that such a situation would conjure up in you. You may feel your heart beating fast and you may be trying desperately to escape. Then suddenly, you remember that you’re only dreaming and you tell yourself to wake up. If this, or something similar, has happened to you, you have some experience with lucid dreaming.
Many people want to go further than simply recognize the fact that they’re dreaming. In the example above, a person who was dedicated to the study of lucid dreaming might decide to refrain from waking themselves up once they realized that they were simply having a nightmare. Instead, that person might decide to keep dreaming and see what happens if the person in the dream who is chasing them actually catches them.
Benefits of lucid dreaming
Why might someone want to do this? There are many benefits of lucid dreaming.
- Consciously allowing a dream to play itself out can give you added insight into what’s going on in your subconscious.
- It can also give you some intuitive guidance since your dreams often have messages for you about important events that are taking place in your life.
- Lucid dreaming allows you to ask questions of your subconscious. You don’t have to simply wait for insight to unfold, but rather you can engage in a more direct way with your subconscious mind.
- Since you’re co-creating your dream world, you can explore different scenarios that you might later apply to your awakened life.
Skeptics and lucid dreaming
Lucid dreaming is not a new phenomenon. Nor is it for everybody.
Not everyone believes that lucid dreaming is a real occurrence. Some skeptics say that when you notice that you’re dreaming, you’re no longer dreaming. They say that at that point, you are awake and simply engaging your imagination. However, many people who regularly practice lucid dreaming say that that simply is not true. They also point to experiences of profound understanding that they gain by taking part in the process.
Anyone who is interested in exploring the meaning of their dreams would likely benefit from learning more about lucid dreaming. It’s one thing to write your dreams down in a dream journal, but it’s entirely something different to take part in your dream as it happens.