Did you know: There is a specific Tibetan Dream Yoga exercises that is the very best meditation for lucid dreams. It is one of the rarer yogic meditation techniques. But you might like to try it tonight. (I’ve also include a guided meditation for lucid dreams for those of you who prefer an easier option).
Many people who meditate have lucid dreams. This is because meditation makes you more conscious, and that consciousness continues when you sleep.
Lucid dreaming is the ability to be aware that you are sleeping, and to then control your dreams.
Some people are born with the ability to lucid dream. Meditation, however, can help you to lucid dream even if you were not born with this skill.
So, how do you use meditation for lucid dreams? You simply use the Tibetan Dream Yoga meditation technique.
What is a lucid dream? And how does meditation help?
Lucid dreams are different to regular dreams because the person maintains awareness and consciousness and can hold both consciousness and the dream in their minds, to varying degrees (some people are more aware when lucid dreaming than others).
Lucid dreaming is not too different to being awake. When we are awake, we vary in our levels of conscious awareness. Sometimes we are more aware (more mindful) than at other times. And, of course, we can use mindfulness to be more conscious in the moment.
This is what happens when we lucid dream: we are consciously aware of the present moment, and we just happen to be asleep at the same time.
When we practice meditation, we train the mind to stay in the moment, to not day-dream or lose conscious awareness, to stay with it. And this is true whether we are awake or asleep.
This is why meditation has been proven to improve quality of sleep, to reduce nightmares and sleep anxiety.
Research into nocturnal mindfulness
A German website conducted one of the main studies into meditation and lucid dreaming. The site took 528 participants and asked them to complete a questionnaire about mindfulness, meditation, and their dreams each week. The studies revealed that participants who had experience in meditating (and higher levels of mindfulness as shown by fMRI) had a higher frequency of lucid dreams, with 4.28 vs 2.55 lucid dreams per month .
The best meditation for lucid dreams
It is possible to use any of the primary meditations for lucid dreams because they increase self-awareness and make us more likely to realise that we are dreaming.
There are, however, some additional techniques in meditation that can be used for lucid dreaming.
The best meditation for lucid dreams is to meditate while in bed and purposefully lead yourself into a sleeping state through guided meditation.
- Lie down in bed
- Get comfortable
- Close your eyes
- Take 27 mindful breaths
- Imagine that you are sitting on the beach in the sunshine
- See the ocean ahead of you. Watch the waves
- Feel as though you are genuinely inside this visualisation
- Begin to count down from 100 to 0. When you get to 0, you will be asleep
- While counting down, repeat the mantra, “I am aware.
Guided meditation for lucid dreams
Tibetan Dream Yoga
Lucid dreaming began with Tibetan Dream Yoga , which also goes by the name Milam. This “dream yoga” is an advanced tantric lucid dreaming technique created by Tibetan guru Marpa.
Tibetan Dream Yoga aims to increase conscious awareness while asleep. Traditionally, students would use this as a way to understand the sleeping state.
The texts say that when the yogi enters lucid dreaming and removes conceptual stimuli from the mind, they enter the highest level of consciousness.
The ultimate purpose of Tibetan Dream Yoga is to train the mind to take control of sleep. Through this process, we learn that the waking world is itself a dream created out of Maya [delusions] and that we can control our perception of the waking world just as we can take control of a dream by lucid dreaming.
The six stages
- The first stage is becoming lucid while asleep
- The second stage is about removing all fears from the dream
- The third stage is to contemplate how sleep and waking life are the same (they are both illusory)
- The fourth stage is to contemplate the dream as Maya [deceit]
- The fifth stage is to take control
- The sixth stage is to realise how we can take control of our perception of waking reality just as we can take control of sleep.
- You will want to be in a restful state before you try this. I recommend reading my guide to meditation for sleep, which will help you to enter the correct restful mind-state.
- Tell yourself that you are going to have a lucid dream and that you will be aware in your dreams
- While you have a lucid dream, challenge your fears. For instance, imagine a fire and walk inside it. This will train your mind to realise that you cannot be hurt by anything in your dreams. This is the second step of the traditional Tibetan Dream Yoga practice. Continue to face your fears until you realise that you cannot be hurt because you are in a dream.
- While having your lucid dream, begin to consider how waking life and sleeping life are the same. They are both perceptions that are created by your mind.
- While lucid dreaming, realise that your perception is just Maya, a delusion. It is not a genuine reality, just an illusion that you have created for yourself.
- Begin to take control of your dreams. This is the fifth stage of Tibetan Dream Yoga. Move objects around. Change things. Take control.
- When you wake up in the morning, consider how your waking reality is the same as sleeping. Your perception of reality is an illusion you create. Challenge your perception of reality.
- And that is how you do Tibetan Dream Yoga
For more on Tibetan Dream Yoga, read the essential book, The Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche [AMAZON]
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