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 are meditation and lucid dreams?

Have you ever woken up in a dream and discovered that you are actually still asleep? If so you experienced a lucid dream, a term coined by at Frederik Van Eeden, a Dutch psychiatrist, in 1913. Scientists were uncertain whether these “wakeful dreams” were actually real until the 1970s and 1980s, when research validated their existence. And now, through surveys and research, we know that 55% of people have experienced a lucid dream in their lifetime, and 23% do so frequently.

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.

There are also physiological difference between lucid dreaming and regular dreaming: 

Meditation is the practice of focusing the mind on the present moment. It is originally a Hindu, yoga, and Buddhist practice but has become more of a holistic health practice in the 2010’s. Meditation (usually) involves focusing the mind absolutely on one aspect of the present moment, and watching mental phenomena such as thoughts and feelings.  Various forms of meditation include guided meditation for lucid dreams, visualizations, mantras, mudras, and dream yoga techniques.

Can Meditation Give You Lucid Dreams?

Some people ask me if it is possible to learn to lucid dream and the answer is a resounding yes. We can use meditation for lucid dreams

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 entirely the nature of a meditation for lucid dreams; it helps us to fall asleep consciously. This is why meditation has been proven to improve quality of sleep, to reduce nightmares and sleep anxiety..

There are other methods too, such as using electrical signals. A randomised controlled trial published in the journal Nature Neuroscience and lead by researcher Ursula Voss, of Goethe-University Frankfurt, Germany, showed that lucid dreams can be produced by using electrodes on the scalp to send a 30-second-long 40 Hz electrical signal.  So if you don’t want to meditate, you can always stick some electrodes on your noggin’!

Another way how to have lucid dreams is using the Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreaming (MILD) by  Stephen LaBerge, which essentially involves deliberately creating the intention to experience a lucid dream.

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 [1].

Other studies, conducted since the 1970s, have shown a connection between meditation and lucid dreaming. Specifically:

The best meditation for lucid dreams  

There are many different forms of meditation, including mantras, mudras, visualizations and imaginary scenes, traditional Buddhist practices, dream yoga techniques, and of course guided meditations for lucid dreams. However, some of these meditative exercises are better for lucid dreams than others. 

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.

Here’s how to meditate into a lucid dream.

  1. Lie down in bed
  2. Get comfortable
  3. Close your eyes
  4. Take 27 mindful breaths
  5. Imagine that you are sitting on the beach in the sunshine
  6. See the ocean ahead of you. Watch the waves
  7. Feel as though you are genuinely inside this visualisation
  8. Begin to count down from 100 to 0. When you get to 0, you will be asleep
  9. While counting down, repeat the mantra, “I am aware.

Best Guided meditation for lucid dreams

Guided Meditation for Hypnagogia // Wake-Induced Lucid Dreams // Astral Projection

Tibetan Dream Yoga meditation for lucid dreaming

Lucid dreaming meditation began with Tibetan Dream Yoga [1], 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 use meditation to lead the mind into lucid dreaming and then control the dream. This is basically lucid dreaming on demand. 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 

  1. The first stage is becoming lucid while asleep
  2. The second stage is about removing all fears from the dream
  3. The third stage is to contemplate how sleep and waking life are the same (they are both illusory)
  4. The fourth stage is to contemplate the dream as Maya [deceit]
  5. The fifth stage is to take control
  6. 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.


  1. 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.
  2. Tell yourself that you are going to have a lucid dream and that you will be aware in your dreams
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Begin to take control of your dreams. This is the fifth stage of Tibetan Dream Yoga. Move objects around. Change things. Take control.
  7. 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.
  8. 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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Written by Paul Harrison

Paul Harrison is a qualified meditation teacher and writer with more than 15 years experience in meditation and mindfulness. He studied meditation in Oxford, UK, and Hamilton Ontario Canada, and earned his degree at Staffordshire University. Paul has helped thousands of people to discover their true potential through mindfulness, yoga and meditation.

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