A Beginner’s Guide to Controlling Your Dreams

Who will ever forget the iconic scene in the Matrix when Neo, learning how to manipulate the Matrix, is told “There is no spoon”?

When it comes to lucid dreaming, beginners can’t wait to test that theory; to push the boundaries normally imposed on us in the waking world. It’s an exciting situation to be in. You can fly, time travel, switch bodies, teleport, visit other planets, taste with your eyes and see with your feet if you so desire. The possibilities are endless.

But you might find that your first lucid dreams are much harder to maintain than you’d originally expected. It’s all too easy to lose lucidity and therefore, control too. Not being able to keep control of your lucid dreams is nothing to feel embarrassed about. After all it is tricky, controlling a whole new world you are not yet accustomed to.

Fear not though, for there are simple factors you can work with to acquire, and keep, control of your lucid dreams.

Simple Steps to Keeping Control

1-      Knowledge is Power

The easiest way to stay in a lucid dream once you enter it, is to assert yourself. Many times, the dreamer will realize they are dreaming, and then just as easily forget. To avoid this, when it dawns on you that you are lucid  and now have control of your dreamscape, tell yourself that you are dreaming. You can be creative with this if you like, but a simple “I am dreaming” will do. This will remind you that you are in control. If you feel your dream slipping, repeat it to jolt the lucidity back to life.

2-      Keep Calm and Dream On

Lucid dreams are so exhilarating most people accidentally pull themselves out of their lucid dreams with nothing more than unadulterated joy. When you become lucid, stay calm. This is the simplest way to continue with your lucid dream. Of course it is easier said than done, because it takes some willpower to not jump for joy straight out of bed when you realise you are lucid. It’s okay to celebrate your achievements. Just try not to party too hard!

3-      Visualization and Imagination

A great way to maintain your lucidity is to empower yourself with a tool you will never be without: your imagination. The trick however, is not to simply imagine what you would like to do, but to visualise it too. Say, for example, you would like to eat a cheeseburger in your lucid dream. Many dreamers recommend turning around, visualizing that cheeseburger like it has never been imagined before, and then turning around again- to find a cheeseburger ready for you to eat. Visualization is used in many practices- from prayer to meditation- as a funnel for power. Think of it this way: instead of controlling a narrative that your subconscious has given you, you create your own. This will make it much easier to control your dreamscape.

4-      When All Else Fails, Dream of Help

This comes in handy when you are struggling to do or achieve something specific in your lucid dreams. For example, flying is the obvious choice for a first time lucid dreamer, but because you can’t fly in the waking world you might not know how to do so in the lucid world. But humans are very innovative creatures, who live by the phrase “where there’s a will, there’s a way”. If you want to fly, you don’t have to flap your arms, or pose like Superman. Dream up a jetpack, or change yourself into a bird. No one ever said you can’t. This applies to everything. Want to explore new worlds? Dream up a door that takes you to them. Care to time travel? Look behind you, there’s a time machine there. Whatever you need is yours for the taking. Remember- if you can dream it, you can do it.

5-      Have Faith

Of course, if you want to make the most of your lucid dreams, you probably don’t want to use jetpacks to fly or doors to teleport. You want to fly as you are. You can do that- if you believe you can. In the waking world, we like to say that faith can move mountains, but when the going gets tough and those mountains become increasingly massive, we lose touch with that. But remember, lucid dreams don’t take place in the waking world and therefore the laws that govern us don’t apply. This means, that when you are in a lucid dream, faith can literally move mountains. If you still struggle, try pumping yourself up. Tell yourself you can do it and  take the leap. You will be surprised at how little effort this requires.

6-      Study Time

Yes, no one wants to associate dreaming with school, but if you make yourself a student of your own lucid dreams, you will start seeing patterns in them, and therefore, will be able to acknowledge what is holding you back. The easiest way to do this is to keep a dream journal. If you record your lucid dreams right after waking up, leaving no stone unturned, you will be able to reflect on them. Perhaps you are dreaming too much at once, or are intimidated by your dreams when you realise them. Writing them down is a great way to make sense of them. If you can make sense of them, you can alter them.

7-      Practice Makes Perfect

Last, but certainly not least, is the good old saying that practice makes perfect. The more you dream lucid dreams, the better you will become at controlling them. If you are determined to fly in your lucid dreams, try and try again. You will achieve it eventually, and from then on, flying will come as easily as breathing.

One other method you can try, if controlling your dreams is tricky at first, is to not control them all. Observe them, and have fun in them. Become accustomed to the feeling of lucid dreaming. Here in the waking world, you can’t run before you can walk. There is no shame in taking it slow, instead of jumping right in. Patience is a virtue all lucid dreamers should have, and the sense of control, when you get it right, is well worth the wait.


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