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Lucid Living Topic
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JNoise
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2002 4:28 am    Post subject: Lucid Living Topic Reply with quote

<MOD>
This is Part 1 of the BIG "Lucid Living Topic"
Part 2
</MOD>




Hello Everyone -

In the last few weeks on this board I have noticed, here and there, many mini-discussions on the idea of Lucid Living. Seeing that I've been mildly unsuccessful since I started my lucid quest in November last year, I am posting this topic in hopes to further my research and find the right way for me to lucid dream.

I have had a one decent low-level lucid dream, and a few 'lucid moments' (you know, you realize you're dreaming, then you wake up before you can do anything about it). I do RC's every day and have read a few books on Lucid Dreaming. I check the message board every day and keep a very large and up-to-date dream journal. I use and have tried many techniques listed here and in other resources with little success.

So what is the problem? I'm not frustrated by any means, I know this is a skill that takes time to develop and cultivate. We need resources, like this message board, to help each other out.

Back to my discussion of Lucid Living.

I have found a very common theme, which should be no surprise, during each of my lucid 'events'. They all were triggered by me recognizing something out of place, something odd. I would not even necessarily need to do an RC (I've only done this ONCE in a dream).

Another point I wanted to bring up was "beginner's luck". It seems that very often, someone hears or reads about lucid dreaming. They then have a successful lucid dream or dreams with little or no effort within a week, but are unable to replicate it in most cases if they develop an interest to pursue lucid dreaming seriously.

What do these two things tell me? Awareness. It's all boils down to awareness. Many of you know this, but what, exactly, does it mean?

That brings me to the concept of Lucid Living that has been thrown around this board. Basically, it stems from the idea that we should be constantly in a state of heightened awareness of our environment around us. We need to pay more attention to the things that are happening that are stimulating our senses. With a greater awareness of what real life consists of, we can take on the philosophy that dreams are another form of real life, just one that we are not bound by rules in.

Being constantly aware of our environment will lead us to being constantly aware whether we are or are not in dreams. When something odd happens, we notice it. This is basically breaking down the barrier of dream acceptance by changing the way we view our lives. We, as Lucid Living beings, can easily recognize the smallest inconsistency of our enviornment and cross-reference it to our knowledge of waking life, giving us instant access to an acceptance of lucidity, the highest-awareness. We don't have to rely on random success with reality checks or hopes that we can learn to fall asleep consciously, while messing up our sleep cycles.

What do you think? I am having trouble understanding exactly how to implement such a lifestyle. I have been meditating for about a year, and it has helped me in so many ways, one of those being a more detailed awareness of my environment. I am planning on implementing a similar scheme while trying my hand at Lucid Living. I want to come to the point where I am constantly aware of my environment, giving me a greater chance of deciding when something is out of place enough to be dreaming. Using this, I can increase my internal knowledge of environmental oddities eventually leading to a seamless flow between waking and dreaming life.

Any thoughts, ideas, criticisms are appreciated. Thanks for listening!

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Amoebe
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2002 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Full agree.
I think you gave a great definition of what Lucid Living should be like. At least of what it means for me. I could not have it done better.
But IMO it's nearly impossible to do LL all day long. I do about 15 RC's (i think so, i never counted them) daily and before i do them i try to get myself in this state of awareness. If i'm lucky i succeed in doing LL for several minutes but not longer. There is always something around that distracts you from it.
I had success after one week - i hope this was not beginner's luck.
IMHO you will have success if you manage to do LL most of the time.

cu,
Amoebe

P.S.: Every time i try being fully aware of my environment if find myself doing many things a bit slower. Do you know this?

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JNoise
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2002 2:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amoebe -

What I'm finding especially hard is where to begin. Since I have no point of reference with a successful LD involving LL, I don't know where it can begin and end. It's my assumption that we don't need to be fully aware in our conscious minds of our environment at all times, but rather, build it so that it becomes part of our subconscious, which then uses dreamsigns as a trigger to question your awareness. I know this is the philosophy behind RCs, but since RCs are more or less random checks, they take a while to sink in.

If we can just change our way of looking at the world, just being MORE aware, not necessariliy FULLY aware, then I think none of us would have a problem realizing whether or not we are in the reality of dreams or the reality of reality.

Thank you for your thoughts and ideas!

P.S. I DO find that things happen a bit slower when I'm trying to be fully aware. I'm hoping that just the practice of being more aware will change my outlook and become a part of my everyday life to the point where I don't have to think about it, it's just natural. I think that LDs are a great parallel to any sort of skill that we need to learn. We have to learn to talk, but it becomes natural to us when our language becomes such a part of our reality, that we have no problem knowing when a sound is a voice speaking in a language, or a just a sound of something like a car or thunder. This is the kind of integration I think is necessary for consistent LDs and once I find a way to do it, should be really easy to teach and share.

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Amoebe
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2002 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
It's my assumption that we don't need to be fully aware in our conscious minds of our environment at all times, but rather, build it so that it becomes part of our subconscious, which then uses dreamsigns as a trigger to question your awareness.

Yes, i can agree with this, too. The problem is that it takes a lot of time to have success with this because, as you already said, it takes a while to sink in. Moreover IMO it is more difficult to surpass the resistances of your sub-conscious which can occur, especially when you are a beginner in LDing.

On the other side it can be really exhausting when you try to be fully aware even if it's all together just one hour per day. But i think you can bypass your sub-conscious a bit with this. Although it is possible that you try and want it too much and get nothing because of too great efforts.

***, it is really hard to find a good solution... <scream>Sub-conscious get out there and talk to me!</scream> smile

Maybe a mid-way may lead to optimal results.
So many questions... I have to admit at the moment i don't know what to believe or how to try it. whatsthat

cu,
Amoebe

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JNoise
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2002 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, that's the tough question. What exactly defines Lucid Living? Is it a battle for constant awareness, or is it something that kind of just becomes a part of you? I'm thinking that if practiced frequently, awareness will automatically lead to an increasing frequence in lucid dreams.

I've found with a daily meditation routine, my awareness and attention have increased. This has slightly affected my dreaming, where I am noticing more odd situations and doing more RCs. I'm not sure if that's a direct effect of meditation, but it makes me wonder.

There is always way too much going on in our lives and with everything around us, it's hard to not constantly think about things we need to do. If we could just take a different approach to life and take in our surroudings more, we, as lucid dream enthusiasts, will begin to recognize when things are out of place instead of just walking right by them.

Right now, I'm starting off with the idea of just always keeping my eye open for odd things. Anytime I think something is odd, I'll do a series of RCs and take in my environment. This is something a lot of us already do, but I'm going to use it to recognize and reward myself for noticing these things, hoping that it will happen more in my waking life and then leading, naturally, into my dreams.

Any thoughts?

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Amoebe
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Location: Germany
PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2002 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I've found with a daily meditation routine, my awareness and attention have increased.

Can you describe it a bit? I wonder if it is helpful for me, too.

I've noticed that i can keep my awareness for a longer time when i was outside for a walk, had more attention for my environment and imagined that i am dreaming.

Generally i'm of the opinion that your ideas are right and i'll try it in a similar way.

cu,
Amoebe

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Dust Mote
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2002 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi JNoise and Amoebe,

You do realize that you are talking about my favorite subject?

One of the first things I did when I started thinking about Lucid Living is to define
being Lucid. I have done this several times now, and each time I find another small
piece of understanding of what it means. I strongly recommend that you examine the
concept of lucidity and what it means to you, and please post any insights you have.

At the risk of repeating myself, here are some basics I've discovered:

First, the mechanics of lucidity. It is definitely about control of awareness/attention.
For me the greatest part of my attention is directed outward. But I find that it is
necessary to maintain a very small amount of self-awareness. There are no personal
thoughts involved, but there is the idea that it is me who is looking at the world.
Other thoughts will come of course, but I treat them the same as looking at the world.
In other words I treat my thoughts as something outside myself. I'll examine them
and see if they have any use in my present circumstances. Then my attention goes
back to the environment.

I also believe that you can loose lucidity by giving too much attention to the
environment. There is a mechanical explanation for this but it gets pretty confusing
pretty fast. I can try explaining it later if you're interested.

The second thing I noticed is the feeling connected with lucidity. It is like no other
feeling I have ever had, including meditation or riding a roller coaster. (although it is
probably closer to riding a roller coaster). Since both of you have had LD's you might
have some idea of what this feeling is like.

All the techniques that I am aware of; RC's, WILD's, Dream Signs, eating herbs, etc.
are designed to do one thing, shift your awareness to become lucid. But once you are
lucid you want to maintaining that state and it can't be done by constantly doing RC's.
That's where I got the idea that lucidity was something to exercise like a muscle and
that Lucid Living was the way to do it. For me LL feels exactly like LD. I don't do
RC's. I use to give myself the command: "Get Lucid, Stay Lucid". Now all I do is
remind myself to be lucid, and I don't use any words. I do this as often as I can,
sometimes 2 or 3 times in one minute if my mind is really wondering. I have never
had a Lucid Dream initiated by an RC. This is my own personal experience and I do
know that RC's have been a tremendous help to many people.

I have also stated that I believe LL is the most optimum way to live. Maintaining
lucidity is a struggle not to be overcome by your own thoughts and emotions. I don't
believe that feelings like anger and fear are the most optimum was to live and it is
IMPOSSIBLE to be angry and lucid at the same time!


Amoebe:

I think you may be doing things backward. It sounds like you do LL and then do
RC's. It should be the other way around. Do an RC to get lucid, then see how long
you can hold on. I am personally proud of you as you are an example of doing
nothing more than RC's and LL, and having a few LD's with what?, your two weeks?


JNoise:

I liked what you said about lucidity becoming part of our subconscious, becoming a
learned part of our life like learning a language. Many of my LD's have been initiated
by Dream Signs. I see something strange and think: "This must be a dream" and off I
go. The only other way I initiate an LD is to just "wake up" in the dream. Since you
know what an LD is I don't see that you need a "point of reference" to do LL. Just
keep integrating the feeling of lucidity into your everyday life.


I know what you both mean about the world slowing down when you are lucid. I get
the same feeling, and I like it. I feel like I am more in tune with the world and I'm
moving at a more natural pace. I also feel calmer and more tolerant of other people,
more at peace with the world rather than struggling in it.

Trying to do LL all day long IS tiring. So is running a mile, the first time. If I am
going to get exhausted doing something, I can't think of anything better than Lucid
Living!bier

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Amoebe
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2002 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I also believe that you can loose lucidity by giving too much attention to the environment. There is a mechanical explanation for this but it gets pretty confusing pretty fast. I can try explaining it later if you're interested.

Of course i am. smile

Quote:
I think you may be doing things backward. It sounds like you do LL and then do RC's. It should be the other way around. Do an RC to get lucid, then see how long you can hold on. I am personally proud of you as you are an example of doing nothing more than RC's and LL, and having a few LD's with what?, your two weeks?

Yes, that's right. I always do it in this sequencing. I'll try it the other way round. I've been doing this for exactly one week and had my first LD. Two days later the second one. At the moment i feel that i'm very close to having some more because i often dream of people talking about LD's, this night i succeeded in persuading myself of not dreaming and thought at the same time about what i could do to have a better recall of this dream. geenidee

cu,
Amoebe

P.S.: I'll answer more detailled tomorrow, cause i'm getting too tired now.

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JoKeR
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2002 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well i have been practicing my awareness a.k.a. LL and i find that by saying what it is your doing makes it very eay to me aware ex. if you were makeing a sandwich you would say as u got the meat" i am getting the meat out of the fridge" , then im now getting the chease, and so on

like when your typing a post reply u say what ur typing as u type it not just pressing the keys u know to press, this is a very effective way to get your attention on the pressent moment, and keep from day dreaming

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JNoise
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2002 1:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello!

First off, this discussion is wonderful, thank you so much for your insights so far!

Dust Mote:

I think you are right about not needing to worry about the "point of reference". I have been working on LDs for close to a year now and my practice has changed dramatically. It is definitely a learning experience and I find myself constantly redefining what it means to be lucid. I really became interested in the LL topic once I took an extended break from RCs, Dream Journals, etc., as a sort of test. I'm constantly trying new ideas and concepts. Through my constant redefining of the state of lucidity, I've come to the very conclusion that we are discussing. I've found that I recently get the same (or very similar) feeling when I notice something odd and critically wonder if I am dreaming. My mind actually goes to the point of wondering if I'm dreaming or not. That's wonderful to have the happen more and more often in real life. You're right, the feeling is amazing and it (like meditation), gives you a way better perspective on life and leads to so many awesome things that it's a whole other topic. These moments of "Lucid Living" in my waking life are increasing on a stretched out basis, so I believe that all my searching is coming to a breaking point. I just really feel it happening, albeit [i]very[/i] slowly.

Amoebe:

Well, meditation is a very different subject for a lot of people, so I won't go into the right way or wrong way to do it. I'll say there is a lot of great texts out there to guide you if you are interested in pursuing it on a solely personal basis. Meditation is natural. It's just a natural state of being, just like you are "being" right now. In a few words: Meditation is the discipline of attention. If you are more interested, I can recommend some texts and links. I think meditation should be taught to and practiced by everyone. Self-discipline is sorely needed in this modern society and it gives you so many benefits that it's ridiculous for me to list. I believe it's more of a personal search and discovery. I can point you to some references, and if you find the pull to pursue it, you will learn as you go. That's the best way, IMO.


I find that when I redefine lucidity based upon the techinques that are already listed, I see a lot of parellels, like we've discussed. One interesting one is the basic RC. A lot of literature says that when you do an RC, really take in your environment. Stop. Take a look around, critically test your environment and focus all your current attention to prove that you are not dreaming. I don't think that the frequency of this practice is necessary, that, in my opinion, might confuse your brain as to WHEN to actually do it if you do it randomly. Instead, use dreamsigns, or "oddities". After a while, you will find yourself more attune to your environment and these Lucid Living Moments that we've been talking about will happen spontaneously, just like they should! That's your subconscious talking. Just like pointing out danger, it points out oddities to you and "loads up" the reality check section of your brain. It all related back to learning to live lucidly!

Thanks so much for all the wonderful discussions so far! I will keep posting with ideas and updates.

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JoKeR
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2002 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i have been practicing LL alot lately and given it allot of though (allthough i am a begener) it seems that it makes sence to just alwayes be allert 4 oddities and dream signs/themes, then do a RC when your mind, in a sence gets confused weather u r dreaming or not, the RC then conferms weather u r, i ur brain should ato ask for a RC to conferm itself

and id like to say this is a great topic, and i would like to see it go *BIG*

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JoKeR
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2002 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

also... in the book EWLD is sais to do a take in your enviorment and do a RC no less than 50 times a day

but if you always took in your enviorment, by keeping your eye out 4 oddities it seems you might only need to focus on what u see every day and "look" for odd thing and dream signs (unless your dream sign is a sound or smell) then make shur u observer atleast 50 odd things or dream signs and a do the RC then u could still do them frequently,as S.LaB. staten in his book
and by having a set # goal u will have to REALY look for those oddities/DS
wich will highten awareness dayly

just my other 2 cents...1 cents ahh whose counten nowdays...

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Dust Mote
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2002 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dust Mote wrote:

I also believe that you can loose lucidity by giving too much attention to the
environment. There is a mechanical explanation for this but it gets pretty confusing
pretty fast. I can try explaining it later if you're interested.


Because Amoebe asked:

The answer has a lot to do with the nature of reality. Is the reality of you thoughts
different from your dreams, different from waking life. They certainly "feel"
different. It is easy to see how thoughts can be overwhemling and you become your
thoughts, lose awareness of your surroundings. And of course normal dreams are the
same way. It is harder to see how being aware of you enviornment can be
overwhelming, but it can. There is a school of thought that says that "enviornment
out there" is also created by our thoughts, and we can be just as carried away by it.

The more I think about it the more important this idea of self-awareness becomes.
When lost in thoughts/dreams/reality I also lose my sense of self. I become my
thoughts and get carried along by them, like a passenger in a car. I think a key part of
lucidity is the sense of separation from whatever is going on. I become aware that it
is "I" who is looking at the sunset, etc. It is a very subtle awareness, but without that
sense of separation, that small awareness of being the observer, the feeling of lucidity
is lost and I become a passenger.

These are strictly my own beliefs that I have worked out by thinking about what
lucidity means. These thoughts will naturally reflect my own way of viewing things.
Thats why I encourage everyone to figure it out for themselves. And please post your
findings as they may help guide someone else.
user

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aod20
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2002 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dust Mote,

I agree with you 100%. In all the times I have gone lucid I have always had a great awareness of my self. Also what I did to get lucidity to start kicking in really well was a MILD technique I guess you can say. I would set my alarm clock to go off 4 to 5 hours after sleep. After I woke up I would get up and freshen up. I would than reset the alarm clock to 1 or two more hours later. I would do this up to 4 times a night. After a while my mind/body adapted to waking up a lot during the night. I could than really get my conscious part of my mind working really well so I would have the thought of lucid dreaming more often during the night. I know this has been done by a lot of people probably and that it will not work for everyone because a lot of people are too deep of sleepers or cant go back to sleep after they awaken, but I thought I would just share it again. I think if you combined that with the self awareness thing lucid dreaming would come really easy to a lot more people. These are just my opinions though.

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JNoise
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2002 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greetings again -

I love the way this topic is going and all the opinions and information everyone has given is outstanding. Thanks again.

Still no success for me. It's hard to find time to consciously start the LL paradigm, but I'm still having Lucid Moments. Had one last night, in fact. Unfortunately, I was awake.

I still recommend that everyone not give up. The few glimpses I've had of lucidity have been wonderful and the possibilites are endless. It really is the next step in human existance. Dreams are both tool and toy. It can be used to fufill our innermost desires of exploration, whether it be spiritual or physical, or whatever.

But I'm sure you're all well aware of that!

I will keep posting me ideas and progress in hopes that it will help myself and others in this, as the board is most aptly named, "Quest for Lucidity".

Do me a favor, take some time today (right now if you can), to just examine your environment. All of it. Include all your senses and really try to get a grip on what's going on around you just using all the senses but without letting your thoughts wander. Notice when your thoughts DO wander and try and understand why they wandered and when they wandered even though you explicitly set out to do this task. We must increase our conscious and sub-conscious attentions. They must listen to us when we tell them we want focus. It's all about focus. If you can start to practice your focus in everyday life, it should start helping you to become more aware in all your moments. We want to increase that 'awareness' to be something like a program running in the background, something that is a part of you that will be a constant 'reality check' so that we may seamlessly live our lives within and outside our 'dreams'.

Thanks for listening and hope you can share as well!

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