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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Are We Dreaming? Adventures in Meta-Lucid Dreaming

artist unknown
As commonly occurs, a woman recently came to me for advice about becoming more lucid in dreams. We sat down together, and I said, "Okay, let's start by determining whether we're dreaming right now. Is this a dream? Let's keep asking ourselves until we're uncertain."

1. Cultivate uncertainty.

We thought of ways to ascertain whether we might be inhabiting the waking world or the dreaming world. We looked at our hands to see if they appeared familiar. I showed her the trick about jumping: "If you jump and hover, chances are you're dreaming." Gravity appeared to do its thing. "Now let's look at our surroundings."

2. Check out your body. Does it look familiar?
3. Jump! Is the semblance of gravity intact?
4. Notice your surroundings.

I noticed for the first time that we appeared to be in Peru. "Hmm," I thought. "This seems improbable."

I happily exclaim to my new friend, "Oh, snap! We are dreaming!" [Embarrassingly, that is actually what I said.] I try the jumping trick again, and show her how I hover. "See?" Sometimes I become invested in proving to the other dream figures that we're all sharing this miraculous dream body together. I don't know why this seems important.

5. Fly. (Or whatever.)

Everyone is surprised and happy. I float past the other participants, waking them up to the dream. Who's being awakened? I have no idea.

And now I ask you this: Are you dreaming? How can you tell? Is it difficult for you to read text in dreams? Are you having difficulty doing so now? If yes, maybe you are dreaming. Ask until you are uncertain. This makes us lucid no matter where we find ourselves, dreaming or waking, living or dead.