Mindfulness meditation and lucid dreaming

“When you understand what attention is, not only during waking hours but also during sleep, then the whole of the mind is totally awake.” J Krisnamurti

I periodically have lucid dreams where I can become aware that I am in a dream and I can therefore take control of the experience and choose what to do, which is usually to start flying. I’ve noticed that the trigger in the dream that leads to lucidity is often that I look at my hand; this is quite a common technique used to induce a lucid dream. Another method is to do a series of ‘reality checks’ throughout the day and it has struck me that this is very similar to practising mindfulness.A reality check is when you pause and stop what you are doing and become aware of your surroundings and ask yourself if you are dreaming right now. If you create the habit of doing this during your waking hours then you increase the chances of doing this in your sleep and of then becoming aware that you are dreaming.

Experiencing your dreams without being aware that you are dreaming is analogous to going through your waking life without being mindful and aware. Lucid dreaming provides the opportunity to extend that increased awareness that comes with being more mindful during the day, to being more mindful and aware during the night too.

Another connection I have noticed is that I am much more likely to have lucid dreams if I meditate as I fall asleep at night. The added awareness attained from being mindful last thing at night can carry forward into your dreams. So if you need an added incentive to practise mindfulness throughout the day and in the evening, the prospect of lucid dreams awaits.

When you have experienced the added control and freedom that comes when you become lucid in a dream, it can be an inspiration to achieve a similar feeling of control and freedom in your waking life by living lucidly, that is by living with the added awareness of mindfulness.

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