For the past month I’ve been trying to practise All Day Awareness whenever I can. Basically its trying to become aware of every single detail of the current moment you are living in right now. The feel of my fingers pressing keys on my laptop keyboard, the cool air of my room, prog metal playing on my speakers, the sound of distant cupboards closing in the kitchen, my breathing, my thoughts, my feelings, my memories, everything I can. The idea is that this awareness of my surroundings & myself will transfer to my dreams where I will more easily & naturally become lucid.
In practising this I’ve come up with a list of dream-like things to watch out for. Mixed within this list are “dream signs” I’ve noticed in my own dreams. I guess you would call these a series of reality checks, but to be honest I’ve never become lucid from performing standard checks. It’s always been a case of something making me question reality & then, in most cases, I just know from the feeling of it.
Here’s the list:
- Don’t wish to be lucid in a dream, act as though I already am in a dream – someone posted this on the lucid dreaming sub reddit & I’m taking it as good advise for the right mind frame to have when checking the rest of the list.
- What am I noticing that is not there to be noticed? – very rarely are my dreams a perfect representation of reality.
- How did I get to where I am right now? – taken right from Inception. In all of my dreams I’ve always just found myself somewhere, I never travel there from my bed or anything like that. The transition from trying to fall asleep to being somewhere else is just “_”.
- Do I have perfect vision without my glasses? – I only recall one dream where I wore glasses, & I’m pretty sure I’ve had perfect vision in all of my dreams.
- Am I seeing things from the 3rd person? – in several dreams I’m not being a character. In many I am simply following or controlling a character outside of myself. It’s like playing a 3rd-person video game. Oddly, I’ve only ever been lucid when I’m in 1st-person view.
- What video game elements am I seeing in the world?, & am I playing a game in my room or am I in the game? – I guess it’s no surprise that I would dream about video games. It isn’t just video game characters or worlds that I dream about. Some of my dreams have certain ‘gameplay’ elements to them, like an RPG or RTS games (In one dream it was literally just Warcraft 2). Not long ago I dreamed of being in a sci-fi FPS where I got trapped in a room, entered the “noclip” cheat (somehow), & floated around the map outside of the view of enemy soldiers. So yes, I’m still a gamer in my dreams.
- How freely can I move?, & can I feel my feet make contact with the ground? – I’ve noticed that I barely, if ever, actually touch the ground. Sure I’m walking & running in my dreams but, unlike waking reality, I don’t feel the weight or the gravity of each step I take. It’s like I’m hovering. Without the restriction of mass, I can move with as much speed & agility as I please. I’ve only become lucid to this once when I zoomed through a couple of cafés like I was riding a scooter.
On a semi-related note, in many dreams I believed I was driving a car, but really I’m just a guy running/hovering down the road really fast with my hands holding a non-existent steering wheel. Now that I think about it, when I actually am in a car, the car itself doesn’t have the same friction or mass as those in waking reality; they seem to be much lighter & are able to turn around almost right on the spot.
- Can I cast magic? – a personal favourite. I seem to have a penchant for jedi force type abilities over standard magic, like fireballs. In one lucid dream I repeatedly force pushed a couple of mail-women who turned into ghostly banshees.
- Look to the sky – another personal favourite, & I guess the best dream sign I have since this has triggered my lucidity more than anything else. In one dream I noticed the full moon was unusually big. In another I looked out the window to a bright violet sky, heavily overcast with pitch black clouds. In a more dramatic example, I was in a small circle of people “ohming” as the sky changed from sunny to stormy, & then a cel-shaded black ram floated out of the clouds. Lastly, in a couple dreams, there was nothing visibly off about the sky, but it was only in the moment I looked that I questioned reality (just look at the first lucid dream I turned into a short story).
- If I clamp my nostrils shut, can I still breathe through my nose? – I haven’t tried this one in my dreams yet, but this one seems to be the most solid, concrete, way to prove if you are dreaming.
There are other reality checks, like staring at text & flicking light switches on & off, but these are the ones I feel work best for me.