“When I first began lucid dreaming, I achieved the lucid dream state by virtue of the commonest techniques: reality checks, dream journaling, setting intention prior to sleep. Though the techniques worked, there was something lacking: despite becoming lucid, the degree of awareness was still lacking. Though I was aware that I was dreaming, my ability to focus without getting distracted, my ability to notice the details of the dream, and my ability to remember what I was planning on doing in the dream, were all lacking. Although I was aware of my dream state, this awareness was likened to drunken awareness in the waking state: it was distracted, unfocused, and fragmented.
So I stopped performing reality checks, dream journaling, setting intentions, and visualizations. I wanted one method that could provide me with exceptional dream recall, exceptional levels of awareness of the contents of the dream state, and an exceptional ability to discern the dream state from the waking state.Following the principle that habitual behaviors in the waking state also occur in the dream state, it made sense that if I wanted heightened awareness in the dream state, I needed to increase my awareness in the waking state.
I use the term ‘awareness’ because that seems to be the term used among lucid dreaming communities when referring to the the degree to which one notices the detail of the state, the degree to which they recognize whether the state is a dream, and the degree to which they have intact their memories which make up their self-narrative. Awareness seems to be some sort of all-encompassing term to refer to these aspects of the dream state. The term ‘awareness’, then, is so vague that it’s hardly useful to talk about it. In the other articles I write, the term ‘awareness’ has a very different definition than the term ‘noticing’, ‘recognizing, and ‘self-consciousness’. In fact each of those aspects which I just listed are distinct from each other, and so from here on, I will not use the term awareness, and will discuss each constituent of the vague term ‘awareness’ as used by lucid dreamers, separately.”
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This makes perfect sense in the way that I started to have lucid dreams at the time when I was meditating alot and being very explorative about my surroundings but lately there seems to be no pattern to when I lucid dream and it’s always quite short, any tips on prolonging the dream while lucid dreaming? I’ve heard to spin around or rub your hands should help, but I’ve only tried the spin-around-method which changed the whole scenery of the dream and I lost lucidity as I got distracted..
The dream ends when the brain moves from REM to nREM sleep. Prolonging the dream, as far as I know, is impossible. However, if your question is: how to prolong lucidity, then the answer is this: As I wrote in the article, sustained attention is one of the three principles of successful lucid dreaming. In the dream state, thought processes are much less coherent, and so prolonging lucidity becomes a practice of repeated-remembering that you are indeed dreaming. The parallel to this in waking life – and what you can do to improve your lucid dream duration – is to continue practicing in the way outlined in the article. However, you will notice that the practice of noticing perceptions outlined in the article, at first, will be mostly composed of jumping back and forth between unintentional distraction and intentional noticing/mindfulness. In your daily practice, to remedy the problem you’re facing, focus on prolonging the windows in between distractions until finally there are no distractions. Don’t begin by attempting to take out distractions completely, just try to gradually prolong the windows of intentional noticing/mindfulness until you reach a point in your training where there is only mindfulness, and the mind is undistracted.