Each night when we lay down to sleep we dream, and although we may not always remember our dreams, most people have between 3 and 7 dreams each night. If we do remember our dreams, it can be similar to watching a movie unfold before our eyes or we may even actively be taking part in the dream. The difference between normal dream state and lucid dreaming, is that in a normal dream state we do not realise that we are dreaming.
Lucid dreaming occurs when we are in a dream state and our consciousness becomes aware that we are dreaming. These dreams can be very vivid, bright in sound and colour and may seem exceptionally long in terms of duration.
Another characteristic of lucid dreaming is the dreamers’ ability to influence the dream. Lucid dreamers can often direct their dreams and over time gaining greater control over their dream state is possible. Being able to control your dreams in this way can give you access not only to control your dreams but also to leave your physical body and experience the world in your true soul form. This out of body experience is called Astral Travel.
Astral travelling allows the soul or spirit to move without the physical body, in this form we are not bound by traditional concepts of space and time or dimension. Astral traveling gives us the freedom to access our higher selves, our guides ancestors and lives past, present and future.
If you want to improve your level of influence over your dreams and access astral travel, here are a few practical pointers and exercises you can practise to improve your connection to your unconscious mind and soul form:
In some mystical tales it is said that the soul is attached to the physical body by a beautiful golden chord. This chord helps your soul navigate back to the physical body after time of external exploration.
Sleep Orientation and Cardinal Points
It is said that sleeping with your head facing north can greatly increase your powers of navigation and this is also true of being able to access and influence your dreams. You may find if you sleep you’re your head in this direction that you begin to remember more of your dreams throughout the night.
Keep it Light
Try not to eat a heavy meal close to the time where you are preparing to sleep. Digestion takes up a lot of the body’s energy in order to process food. Large meals will keep your energy from free flowing around the body.
Electrical Clear Out
Remove all electrical items from the bedroom and switch off PowerPoints if you can. Outside electricity acts as interference in our own body’s electrical system.
Insights to Write
Keep a journal by your bed to record your dreams in as much detail as soon as you wake. Later in this guide you will find a few tricks to help you remember your dreams more accurately.
Take notice of the tiny things about yourself and surroundings during your day. For example, look at your fingers, count them, flex them and connect to how they feel. You can do this with other parts of the body, which can be useful while later in dream state.
Exercises to Deepen Your Dream Connection
Exercise – Flame of Concentration
This exercise is all about building up your stamina for focus. Its sounds very simple but at first you may only be able to hold your gaze for a few seconds without being distracted.
What you will need:
- A candle
Light your candle and place a short distance away from you. Either sit in a chair or if you are able sit on the floor cross legged or in lotus position. Gently gaze at the flame and hold your gaze for 30 seconds. Repeat this until you have completed 2mins and over time you can build to 5 mins of focused meditation.
Repeat this each night before bed as you wish.
Exercise – Yoga Nidra
Yoga Nidra is a fantastic way to relax the entire body before bed. I really love Jennifer Reis, you can watch and listen here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfIikxpis9s
Exercise – Elemental Connection
What you will need:
- A Candle
- Glass of water
You will need to set up for this exercise at least an hour before intending on going to sleep. It is also a good idea to release the day in a way that works for you. That may be with meditation, by listening to music or a warm bath. This will help you get into a more relaxed stat which will help your brain begin to process and release the events of the day which can impact quality and depth of sleep.
Set up the four props on a bedside table or alter, as you place your elements out set your intention for the night ahead. If this is your first time practising these exercises you may want to set a simple intention of being conscious in your dreams that night.
Firstly, take the candle and light it – repeat out loud “I can be awake in my dreams”. Then move to the water, drink half of the water and repeat your intention. Now light your incense (it’s a good idea to use the same incense each time. this will help you to associate that particular smell with the practice and helps form a deeper connection to the intention.) Again, repeat your intention and move to the crystal, hold it in your hands and connect to its energy. Repeat your intention for the final time.
Take your sleep journal and set it up for when you wake, example below.
Time of writing:
Cardinal Point (Direction your head faces):
Description of dream:
Get into bed, get comfortable and close your eyes. Focus on your third eye, between the eyebrows and repeat your intention in your mind’s eye. Drift off to sleep.
On waking, keep your eyes closed and ask yourself “What did I dream?” and gently open your eye and write down in as much detail as possible in your dream journal. No, it’s time to trigger your memories further. Go to you bedside table or alter. Light the candle, and ask yourself what did I dream and make notes. Take a look at the water, is it clear with bubbles? If so, drink the water and ask the question again, take notes in your journal. If the water is murky of dirty in away, do not drink it. Now, light your incense, ask the question and write any new information that comes to you. Finally, hold the crystal, concentrate on your connection and ask your question. Write down anything more that surfaces.
The first time I did this exercise, I was sceptical and was amazed that each time I moved to the next element I remembered another component of my dream. The ability to remember may also increase the more your practise this exercise.
Now that you have a few exercises to help set you up for lucid dreaming, you will need to practise waking your consciousness and realising when you are in a dream. While you are dreaming, you may notice unusual things happening, like you or people around you being able to fly or breathing under water. When you notice these strange occurrences ask yourself “Am I dreaming?”
This is where your practise your body while awake can also assist you in becoming conscious (lucid) in your dream. Look at your hands or feet, count your fingers and toes and ask again, am I dreaming? This can help your brain become conscious and once that happens then you are free to roam where you please.
Once you are conscious you can begin to control your dreams and from there you can travel through space and time or to other dimensions, this is called astral traveling. You may want to start by exploring the physical world and travel to specific places, or countries. Here are two exercises to try out.
Lake Atlikan and the Temple of Las Piramides del Ka
Lake Atlikan was where I first consciously practised astral traveling. It has always been something that I had experienced as a child and teenager, but didn’t have any control over or realise that I could. Your first exercise is to concentrate on this image of the lake as a part of your practise before bed. Take in all the aspects of the lake the colour of the water, the trees surrounding, and flowers. Just before you sleep set the intention to travel to the lake and discover what lies in the bottom of the lake.
Close to the banks of the river is a spiritual temple. On your next astral excursion, travel to the temple garden, find the temple and go inside. On waking, note down what you saw an experienced!
The more you practise the exercises and journal your dreams, the easier it will become to be conscious in your dreams and astral travel. Something to remember, being separated from your body in this way can be a strange feel at first. If at any time you feel scared remember the gold chord that connects you to your body. Image it shining brightly, take hold of it and use it to guide you safely back to your physical body.
Once you have grasped these you can begin to try travelling through the seven dimensions. These are:
- Physical Dimension – this plane is the plane of day to day life and interactions
- Astral Dimension – this plane sees an astral projection of self
- Mental Dimension – this plane is often used by the shamans, used to connect to nature, kingdoms and elements
- Intuitive Dimension – this pane allows you access to the past, past lives and akashic records
- Expressive Dimension – this plane is the beginning of the higher dimensions and allows access to channelling from the spiritual dimension. Those that are channels are connected to this place
- Visionary Dimension – this plane is strongly connected to the spiritual plane, it is that place of prophecy, of past, present and future all at once
- Spiritual Dimension – this is the plane of no time, no space, just energy. This is place of creation.
The descriptions above are extremely simplified and are of my own interpretation from my teacher. Dimensions and an understanding of them a greatly complexed and very interesting, so go nuts and research and make your own interpretation from your reading and your experience of them during your journey.