A Record of Journeys
Articles and FREE Exercises Below
Techniques to activate Lucid Dreaming
Intention- Intention is very important for lucid dreaming. Your subconscious and deeper mind need to know that you want to bring lucid dreaming into your life. One of the best ways to have this intention is through the use of affirmation, so when you go to sleep and night repeat to yourself that ‘You will become lucid and conscious in your dreams tonight!” Another wonderful way is to recite a prayer before going to sleep. An example of a lucid dreaming prayer that was developed on a recent event is as follows. You can use this or better yet, write your own!
Example of Lucid Dream Prayer “Our purpose is to develop deeper clarity and to reconnect with our inner child. May we tune into the world of dreams, go for deep adventures, and solve the timeless mystery of love. May we kindle the song of life and humour within us and make good life decisions. May we do all this through awakening to lucid dreaming and the wonders of the dream world.”
Meditation- Regular meditation is one of the best ways to build up the one pointed awareness, concentration and mindfulness that is necessary for lucid dreaming to open up. Never forget.. lucid dreaming will arise when you begin to tap into and release the deeper levels and potentialities of the mind. So meditation is wonderful for this. If your mind is very distracted, then this distraction will play out in your dreams and lucidity will be very hard to attain. Also seek to go to sleep with a relaxed body and mind. For suggestions for meditations see Tom’s book The Initiation
Dream Recall and Dream Journal- All lucid dream teachers agree , you need to be able to remember your dreams in order to have lucid dreams and if you can consistently remember a few dreams every night it shows that the door in open for you to begin to put the final parts in place to order to open up the world of lucid dreaming. So when you wake up, before you move ask yourself the question: What was I dreaming? Where have I been? How does that dream feel to me?
Begin to coax your memory and soon the dream narratives will begin to come back to you. Keep a dream journal! Tom and Lena are preparing a new dream journal which will be available soon! Keep a note in your dream journal of the moments in dreams that you could have used to trigger lucid dreaming… Underline or highlight these things. If you don’t want to write out your dreams, or in addition to writing them out you can also experiment drawing them or speaking them into a voice recorder.
Reality Checking- Frequently throughout the day ask yourself the question: Am I dreaming? What is going on? Who am I? Am I awake? Test to see if you are dreaming by placing your hand against something solid. If you are dreaming it will eventually go through… if it stays solid you are awake! Other reality check techniques include looking and looking back at a clock or your hand, in a change it will change.
WBTB Technique- After 4-6 hours of sleep get up in the middle of the night, interrupt your sleep cycle and begin to do some practice, meditation and/or yoga and breath-work works really well. See Tom’s book The Initiation, available on amazon for lots of meditation and breath-work techniques.
Recommended Reading List
The Initiation By Tom Llewellyn
Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming by Stephen Laberge
The Gateway to the Inner Self by Robert Waggoner
A few night ago I was in that wonderful creative, liminal zone that lies between sleep and wake, and I felt the vibrational state begin to dawn in contracting waves around the skull and third eye. They began to build up in intensity and speed, and as they did I noticed a very curious phenomenon. As the vibrational waves came, I was lying with my head cupped in my right hand and I could feel my temples physically contract and pulse. This was so interesting to me as sometimes the vibrational state is often solely talked of as occurring in the subtle energy body with little physical vibrational movements being noticeable in the physical body, but here, as the vibrational waves came, I could notice my temples physically pulse and contract. The waves built up to their perfect pitch and then after a little energy body spinning I rolled out of bed and my physical body. Getting up I felt a little heavy and tangled up in energy cords so I asked for them to be cleared and they were! I turned to my girlfriend who was lying in bed, and as she is currently developing her lucid dreaming I asked her ‘Lena are you dreaming?’. Her energy body immediately got up and she said ‘I’m not just dreaming, I’m right here’. I looked into the face of energy body and it became full of subtle depth and wisdom, as if it contained the wisdom of a million years. After this, I teleported into another astral journey and explore an urban landscape.
Please if there are others that notice physical symptoms and changes when they are in the vibrational state please let me know...
After a dry period for lucid dreaming I started to jot down a few recent dreams. Doing this simple task for a couple of days sparked off within me enough 'dream recall' and depth of consciousness for, on the following night, a lucid dream to emerge. Walking through the thoroughfare of dreams and becoming with a bright spark of consciousness 'lucid', I decided to express the intention of asking if there was any guidance for me from the 'water spirits'. I should say that I qualified this by saying 'One's that have wisdom and intelligence and loving-kindness'. I might also say that working with 'nature spirits' is not a new thing for me. I have embedded this into my spiritual practice for quite a few years now. After expressing this intention I began to feel that familiar 'lucid effect' where the dream scenario begins to ripple, shift and change to a different vibrational state. Of course this will only happen when there is some kind of response to the intention that we have cast into the dream matrix of consciousness. No significant response and little would change. Fortunately for us though, if we are prepared to wait there will usually be some kind of response.
As the lucid dream landscape changed and I found myself in a new environment I began to see a set of what looked like silver spoons within a kind of innocuous looking cage. My attention though was drawn to them and picking one of them up I found a silver box in my hand. Opening the box I saw a script with writing on it. I did read the writing and remember some if it, albeit it was flickering and changing within the dance of consciousness, but it would not be appropriate to reveal of what I remember in this blog format. After reading the script I met a group of human looking beings. Albeit I could sense that I was among beings that were 'more than human'. My attention settled on one of them and we engaged in a playful, yet strong and meaningful energetic dance that felt a little like ta-chi.
Looking back at the experience I am very happy to have been given these gentle gifts by the 'water spirit's' and as for the 'silver spoon's... mysterious associations begin to stir in my mind. One perhaps is that I could put more effort into making food offerings to these graceful spirits of nature. Another meaning could be that I must maintain that certain reverence in regard to them, as might we would if we brought out our best set of silver cutlery for a special guest. Alas we all know how easy it for the human spirit to become complacent, arrogant or a little mindless in our dealing with the more subtle side of life. Also how we take for granted all the wonderful minerals and precious substances we take form the earth. May we all hold a playful and sacred respect for mother nature and her riches.
I sometimes experience a phenomenon that modern mystic Robert Bruce refers to as the ‘vision screen’. It can happen in the hypnogogic state, in the images that play on the borderline states between wake and sleep and it can also happen in dreams, lucid dreams or other subtle states. One day recently I had been doing a lot of meditation in the garden that I use to activate ‘inner seeing’. During these meditation sessions I developed some concentration and absorption through counting the breath in bright coloured numbers, and after sometime I began to imagine simple shapes like ‘blue mountain’, ‘blue tree’, ‘blue sky’, and then ‘pink cloud’, ‘pink girl’, ‘pink ‘flower’ and other simple forms like this. After a while I felt my inner eye begin to awaken with a bright tingling sensation.
That night I was in a lucid dream and I asked what the Angelic realm felt about some of my upcoming events. I had some upcoming lucid dream sleepover events coming up and after I expressed this question the vision screen appears. The vision screen in the words of Robert Bruce to be a way to calibrate the inner eye. Images appear as sequential slides across the mind eye, like an old fashioned slide projector camera. It really is an interesting thing to experience. In the past when I saw the vision screen I remember seeing the parts of something like a black electronic device. This time when I saw the vision screen I began to see the images of different Angels faces. They were noble and stable faces, full of a depth of character. Their eyes were human like but yet beyond the human and like polished crystals. They all had great love in the eyes and faces. The manifestation of the love was both the same and different. Some were almost smiling with great warmth in their faces.
The vision screen seems to be a way for the mind to perceive things that are a bit beyond its current field of vision. A simple way to see what is streaming in from a different plan of existence. Interestingly after seeing the Angels faces other messages came up in words on the sliding images. I couldn’t read them all as they were moving from one to the next quite quickly yet I remembered some of the words that came through.
I was chatting to my housemate one eve and she asked me if when I next went shopping I could buy her some coconut yoghurt. I didn’t think so much about the idea but a couple of nights later I was in the realm of dreams and at some point I had that ‘hang on a minute’ moment and realised that I was dreaming, before me I saw a container that looked a bit like a yoghurt carton. I began to use my imagination to coax into a different form. I felt it becoming coconut yoghurt and I saw the form begin to transform. For some reason it retained a kind of coconut crunchy texture, perhaps in the universal mind each thing has a certain form… and in that universal mind coconut has this kind of crunchiness, rather than a creamy fluid form like milk yoghurt. I took up the carton and began to lick and eat what was in inside and it was delicious! It’s incredible the things that occur to the lucid dreaming mind. Although we may have certain things on our lucid dream ‘to do’ list… Rather than seeking into a deep question or researching a matter of deep soul substance, it occurred to me to use the experience to do some dream shopping for my friend. It is probably a good thing that we allow ourselves to sometimes play in the realm of lucid dreaming, as this encourages softness and fluidity of mind. Sometimes our dreaming mind may be caught up into a great wave of soul narrative, but then at other times we may descend to much more simple domestic concerns. The next time I saw my housemate, I told her “Oh I did find some coconut yoghurt for you.” “Oh yeah” she said. I continued “but not in this physical reality, I found you some in the world of dreams!”.
During a Kundalini Yoga Class you can expect pranayama (breathing exercises), warm ups, asana (physical postures), mantra, relaxation and meditation. During my classes I often also incorporate the Gong during the relaxation.
We always begin the class by tuning in with the mantra:
Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo
Ong=Creative Vibration of the Cosmos
Guru=Inner or outer wisdom (sometimes personified as the teacher)
Then we do the mangala charn mantra:
Aad Guray Nameh Jugaad Guray Nameh Sat Guray Nameh Siri Guru Dayvay Nameh
This is a mantra for auspiciousness and protection.
We then often do some pranayama exercises. Prana is the vital energy connected to the breath and yama means to control or balance. In yogic philosophy mind patterns (samskaras) are seen as being connected to the breath, so when we balance our breathing we help to calm and balance the mind (Chitta).
During the class we then go and do some warm-up exercises, often those specifically designed for Kundalini Yoga.
Then we move onto a Kriya. A Kriya is a series of exercises that has a particular purpose and effect. In the wider Kundalini tradition these could be spontaneous but in the Kundalini Tradition as taught by Yogi Bhajan we practice specially designed Kriyas that have a certain, predictable effect. The Kriyas may work on particular parts of the body, like the digestive system, lungs or glandular system.
After practising the Kriya we go into a time of relaxation, often accompanied by the symphonic Gong.
Then we practice a Kundalini Meditation.
At the end of the class we close with the long time sun song. The words are:
May the Long Time Sun
Shine upon you
All love surround you
And the pure light
Guide your way on
We then chant three long Sat Nam’s to end the class. Sat means truth and Nam means identity. So when we chant this we are seeking to unite our personal identity with the truth.
A typical class will last one hour and fifteen minutes. After the class you will feel more aware, rejuvenated and stretched in the body and spacious in the mind. I am currently running classes in Bristol, Bath and the South West.
I remember reading about a recent visit of a Kogi Indian Shaman to the West. He was spending time with a group of westerners and was due to give a teaching. After probably thinking about the most useful teaching he could offer, he simply said these words “Look after the food and the water”. The group had probably been expecting some kind of mystical elucidation of the deeper levels of imaginal reality but he simply pointed to a kind of environmental necessity. In his mind he might have thought something like ‘what use is deep spiritual teaching about the non-physical world if we don’t even have these fundamental things in place, i.e. the protection of the food and water’. Of course we, in the modern world often live far removed from the simple reality of these things. We, as whole, rarely draw our own water from the springs of the land, and we rarely grow our own food from the land. The factual reality of our deep interconnected dependence on them often escapes us. As an aside though, recently after running a meditation workshop at a Neolithic long barrow and subsequently drinking from a local spring, I had the most incredibly elevated lucid dream experience.
So, hopefully when we begin to explore the kind of narratives below, as well as stimulating our imagination, they will help us weave our way back to the simple imminent environmental interconnected reality of the elements.
I remember one time I was in a lucid dream and I found myself standing in a river. I asked to meet a water spirit, which had a good intention towards me and had wisdom etc, and I was met by a wonderful force. I could not see it with the eyes of my dream body but the whole energy of the lucid dream began to change. It was similar to the sensation that marks the beginning of a journey on magic mushrooms. Everything began to pulsate, with joyful, radiant waves of expanding energy. I was taken up into the energy and I began to stream through the river with the water spirit, immersed in wonder rainbow colours.
Another time I was in a lucid dream, and I began a special chant for the Undine/Water Spirit that I had previously channelled in physical reality. Some of the words within the chant had, at least at first for me, no conceptual meaning. But after researching one of the words that came to me, I found it was an old French word that meant ‘protector of men’. This gave me confidence in the channelled chant/mantra and I often began to use it in waking reality. When later I began to chant it in the lucid dream the dream landscape began to swirl and change and a symbol appeared near to me. Often when we reach out to and connect with beings that exist on a different level of reality to our own, we are greeted with this kind of symbolic, telepathic response. The symbol that came to me was of a question mark written in sand. Later when I reflected on the symbolism of this I felt that it connected to various things. Firstly it was a suggestion of a question ‘Yes, what do you wish to know?’ and also a question of ‘what will these later symbols later mean?’. So it was both asking me ‘what’?, and also ‘what’ do you understand by these things that will know come. The symbolism also connected to the story of Jesus in the Gospels where he is writing in the sand on the ground and the women taken in adultery is brought before him. He is asked what he feel should be done with her, and he responded in an earth-changing way ‘Let he that is without sin cast the first stone’. In this symbol of the question mark written in the sand there was also the question for ‘Have you forgiven the women that have done wrong in your life?’.
Next came an image of a card wrapped as a gift. In Indian/Yogic tradition the Nagas or the class of being more commonly known in Western Esoteric Tradition as Undines, are often seen as beings who sometimes act through the bestowal of gifts of wisdom. For instance, some of the deep Buddhist Wisdom texts, such as those by Nagajuna, were said to have been gathered as gifts from their realm. After I approached the gift-card I opened it and a series of other objects appeared in sequence in my hands. It would be easy to reveal what these images were, but something symbolism and gifts are only meant for the receiver. Interestingly after receiving these gifts from the water elemental spirits, the level of the dream changed and I was transported down through the ground and I found myself in a different scene. I was by a water pond surrounded by buildings and then later entered into a church. Recently I was at a Steiner Training School and I recognised the landscape, with the pond and surrounding buildings from this part of the lucid dream. How physical reality sometimes catches up with what the Soul has already seen…
In general the way that communication is delivered in lucid dreams, and out of body experiences is fascinating. Sometimes telepathic messages may come through as paintings, picture books, or in one I remember ‘writing’ suddenly appearing on a cake before my dream eyes. Messages and symbolism can also continue to filter through normal dreams as well. I remember that after doing a lot of work to connect to Undines and Naga’s, the guardians of the water element, I had a dream where people were riding on the top of huge Dragon like creatures. As the animals swung around, someone commented that the riders should be careful as one of those tails could easily take someone’s head off. A cautionary note about connecting to such powerful energies.
However much though we dream into the imaginal realms, it is always worth remembering that simple piece of spiritual-environmental advice. “Look after the food and the water”. If You would like to learn more about working with the energies of nature in your meditation check out the book The Initiation by Tom Llewellyn
Recently, during the very early morning after a big event we had run, I was lying in my futon bed with my girlfriend. Finding myself in the liminal state between wake and sleep, moving through the vibrational state, which often precedes an out of body experience, I began to transition away from my body. What I soon noticed though was that my energy body was fused with my partners, and I had to exert some effort to move beyond it. When I did so I felt a kind of popping sensation as if two spongy forms had just loosened from one another. It was a fascinating sensation. I was so curious about it I turned back to my partner’s energy body and went back closer to it. I could hear it crackle, as if it was related to the fire element, and as my energy field touched hers again… they re-joined like two big spongy balloons. As a couple we do sometimes enjoy practising white tantra exercises together and it was fascinating to experience, in this energetic state, how our aura’s seemed to have been fused together. In love we join, in love we part