Lucid Dreaming


The Creative Dreams

The dreaming mind has creative capacities beyond what the waking mind can fully come to terms with. Like full-blown hallucinations, in dreams a deep part of our own mechanics can put together places, people, and situations. And the dream-generator does this in real-time.


A Rare Account of Liberation from Prison

Many people believe that the subject of astral projection can be highly influenced by media and expectations, so when Jack London, the author of White Fang and the Call of the Wild is introduced to a man who discovers the ability to leave his body while in prison with no previous knowledge on the subject. We feel we are given a rare glimpse at a person whose raw experiences in the out of body states are an amazing validation of the experiences.

Jack London’s last published novel before his death tells the story of a prisoner in solitary confinement who escapes the pain of a straitjacket by astral travels. Despite some critics’ assertions that it’s his greatest book, The Star Rover has never been very popular. It was written in 1913-14, when London was probably the most famous writer in America. Yet when published in 1915, it sold fewer copies than any of his previous works and eventually went out of print. It was republished in England in 1967 under the title The Jacket, and appears to only recently have been reprinted in America.

From Prison Reform to Astral Travel

The two main themes are prison reform and astral travel through past lives. When London was 16 years old he was imprisoned for 30 days for vagrancy, “an experience he found so traumatic that he vowed that thenceforward instead of actually living the hobo life which had left him friendless and terrified behind bars, he would only write about it—and doing so get rich and famous.
A reader might think London himself had practiced, or at least was interested in, reincarnation and astral travel. However, it appears London’s mother, a spiritualist who conducted séances, may have been an initial inspiration. “London consciously seems to have felt that these practices were a sham,” wrote Stewart Gabel.
Fiedler relates that London never had an out-of-body experience himself, but learned about it from Ed Morrell, a convicted felon on whom the story is based. While in California’s San Quentin State Prison, Morrell was accused of having a secret stash of dynamite and spent five years in solitary confinement, much of in the jacket, due to the false accusation (the same story as in London’s novel). Morrell inadvertently learned etheric projection while in the jacket, and was able to walk around San Francisco and confirm his experiences were real. (One time he witnessed a shipwreck just off the coast that he later read about in the papers.) His journeys are recounted in his memoirs, The 25th Man – The Strange Story of Ed Morrell, the Hero of Jack London’s Star Rover. Eventually Morrell was released from prison and became an outspoken prison reformer. The words of London’s protagonist Darrell Standing could have been spoken by him:

Solitary confinement, they call it. Men who endure it, call it living death. But through these five years of death-in-life I managed to attain freedom such as few men have ever known. Closest-confined of prisoners, not only did I range the world, but I ranged time. They who immured me for petty years gave to me, all unwittingly, the largess of centuries.

A Quick Guide to Astral Travel

When Standing first starts to have out-of-body experiences (OBOEs), his method is to put his conscious mind to sleep and then let loose his subconscious mind. At first his subconscious was undisciplined and incoherent. Then Ed Morrell—whom London made a character in The Star Rover—teaches him a method that could be straight out of a book on self-hypnosis or astral projection.

In the novel, Morrell is a few cells away from Standing, also in solitary confinement. Unable to talk to each other due to the watchful eye of guards, he teaches Standing how to have a more intense OBO via their secret language of knuckle-rapping on the cell bars. Morrell tells him to will himself to die: Lying on your back, you start with a toe and use your will to make it die, and work your way up the body until your body is completely dead and only the consciousness remains:

The thing you must think and believe is that your body is one thing and your spirit is another thing. You are you, and your body is something else that don’t amount to shucks. Your body don’t count. You’re the boss. You don’t need any body. And thinking and believing all this you proceed to prove it by using your will. You make your body die.

Using this method Standing feels his mind enlarging and time and space expanding until he knows without opening his eyes that he’s no longer in his cell. His heart slows so much he can no longer count the space between its beats. His first experience is among the stars. He then journeys through numerous past lives, which he writes down later on Murderer’s Row. Time passes so quickly in the jacket, he’s no longer afraid of the warden’s constant threats to make him reveal his nonexistent stash of explosives: “Dynamite or curtains!”

The Star Rover Through Time

Many of Standing’s past life experiences are based on actual historical figures. He relives the life of Daniel Foss, who was shipwrecked on a barren island in 1809, lived off seal meat for five years, and later wrote A journal of the shipwreck and sufferings of Daniel Foss. In another life, Standing is a young boy involved in the Mountain Meadows massacre in Utah in 1857, when Mormon settlers conspired with members of the Paiute Indian tribe to slaughter a group of pioneers in covered wagons. Another past life is based on an account written by Hendrick Hamel, who was shipwrecked with other Dutchmen in Korea in the mid-seventeenth century. He was also a friend of Pilate in Rome who discusses divergent views of the afterlife with a devotee of Jesus. Standing eventually concludes Memory is only thing that remains after death—similar to the views of experienced astral traveler Aleister Crowley.

An Ode to the Eternal Feminine

A sense of peace and quiet joy comes at the end of the sometimes-depressing novel, when Standing realizes that in all of his lives, for all the times he fought, risked his life, and even died, it was for the love of woman. It has been for woman that man has tamed the horse, slew the mammoth, and harvested rice and wheat. Even in his heavens, “Valkyrie or houri, man has fain made place for her, for he could see no heaven without her.” Standing continues his praise of the eternal woman:

I conclude that the greatest thing in life, in all lives, to me and to all men, has been woman, is woman, and will be woman so long as the stars drift in the sky and the heavens flux eternal change. Greater than our toil and endeavour, the play of invention and fancy, battle and star-gazing and mystery—greatest of all has been woman.

The Star Rover should have a place on lists of top American novels and top occult novels. Some have said it’s like a collection of short stories delving into all of London’s interests, and each past life is quite fascinating for a general historical overview. Others have compared it to The Count of Monte Cristo. London’s last novel before his untimely death in 1916 at age 40, The Star Rover weaves together social reform, men’s rights, reincarnation, and historical drama, and will be a riveting read to anyone interested in astral travel or past life regression.

The Star Rover is highly recommended reading from the Astral Institute.


Dreamleaf is the most advanced lucid dreaming supplement on the planet. Recently featured on CBS’s daytime TV show The Doctors, Dream Leaf is specially formulated to do 4 things…

  • INDUCE LUCID DREAMING. Dream Leaf activates the neurotransmitters involved in conscious dreaming, helping you maintain a level of consciousness and control while dreaming so you can have incredibly vivid, memorable lucid dreams.
  • ENHANCE DREAM RECALL. Dream Leaf raises your Acetylcholine levels and enhances your ability to better remember your dreams.
  • PROMOTE BALANCED SLEEP. Dream Leaf helps you experience a healthy balance of deep sleep and REM sleep to ensure that you wake up feeling refreshed and well-rested.
  • CREATE LONGER DREAMS. Dream Leaf lengthens your natural REM sleep cycle, causing your dreams to be much longer and much more vivid.

The Product

Several weeks ago, I was asked to review a product to review called Dreamleaf, and although not normally interested in trying supplements to improve my dream states, I have on occasion being tempted to try some without any real success, so after reading into it more I decided to give it a go. I waited until the weekend to be sure of giving it the best possible trial. On the Friday night, I took my first test run. Having read through the instructions on the pack and I jumped right in.

The Dreamleaf Promise

Dreamleaf promised to activate the neurotransmitters involved in conscious dreaming, which would help me to have matchless lucid dreams.

  • Mugwort helps calm your nerves. This is a popular dream herb for many lucid dream enthusiasts because it also causes your dreams to be highly creative and much more vivid.
  • 5-HTP Boosts serotonin levels, causing what’s known as the “REM rebound effect.” This effect lengthens dreams during the 2nd half of the night, providing a much larger window for your lucid dreams to be experienced in.
  • Huperzine-A slows the breakdown of ACh, which helps you maintain access to your reality memories. Huperzine A helps you to have lucid dreams.
  • Alpha GPC promotes rational thinking during REM sleep and functions as an incredible catalyst for lucid dream induction.
  • Choline assists Huperzine-A in raising Acetylcholine levels. It is the single most effective supplement for dream recall. Since memory and lucid dreaming are interconnected, this ingredient works wonders while you sleep.

This is obviously a big claim and the results would depend on external factors such as diet, activity and lifestyle. But the science behind the product was sound and I was happy to give it a go.

The First Results

So I took the prescribed blue pill before going to sleep at which point I when through my normal pre-sleep lucid dreaming process, then set my alarm for 4 hours into sleep as recommanded to take the red pill. I slept well and found it hard to wake during the night, but luckily I had the red pill on my nightstand and quick took it before going back to sleep.

That’s when the magic happened, I felt like Alice falling through the rabbit hole as I slipped into unconsciousness; I quickly became lucidly aware that I was in a dream. It was as if the active self-aware part of my mind had not switched off as my body relaxed. I was actively in a dream while completely aware that I had just falling asleep. The sensation was intense and the dream had a hyper reality even more intense than waking life. It became on of the most immersive lucid dream experiences I’ve ever experienced. The sheer vividness of the dream and total lucidity blew my mind.

In giving this testimonial I must point out that I have been experimenting with Lucid Dreaming for many years and activity focus on dream recall. So I am not a novice and results would depend on the individual but I can say that the results were beyond what I personally expected from a food supplement.

We Recommend Dreamleaf

In my opinion, Dreamleaf out performs any other nutritional supplement on the market and to date I have never had anywhere near as positive results with another product. In saying that, I also believe that this product will not work without combining it with other Lucid Dreaming Training Methods. It is a very strong and very powerful complement to other lucid dreaming practices and it should be used with other techniques to guarantee success.

Warming: Due to the intensity of the Lucid Dreaming Experiences possible through the use of this product, I do not recommend it to anyone who does not have a full understanding of how to control lucid dreams.




U.S. Marshal Mike Donovan (Vincent Cassel) (referred to as Broken Nose by the native tribe; unlike the comic his nickname is not Blueberry) has dark memories of the death of his first love. He keeps peace between the Americans and the natives who had temporarily adopted and taken care of him. The evil actions of Blount, a “white sorcerer” lead him to confront the villain in the Sacred Mountains, and, through shamanic rituals involving a native entheogenic brew, conquer his fears and uncover a suppressed memory he would much rather deny.

When a French filmmaker decides to shoot a western, you can be certain that his take on the genre wont be traditional. Indeed, Blueberry has more to do with Ken Russells Altered States (1980) than with Howard Hawks Rio Bravo (1958). The film draws its inspiration from a popular graphic novel series published in France since 1965 under the supervision of legendary artist Jean Moebius Giraud.

Mike Blueberry (played by French star Vincent Cassel) is a lonesome, troubled marshal who confronts his arch-enemy (Michael Madsen) in a fight for the freedom of the Indian tribe in which he grew up. In order to find the answers hes seeking, Blueberry submits himself to a series of shamanistic rites that open him to a new level of consciousness and to painful, long forgotten memories that will ultimately decide his fate.

A Life-Changing Experience

Chabrier realized very quickly that he wouldnt be able to put Kounens visions on screen if he didnt try it himself. Thus, one day, he flew to Peru with Kounen and Cassel to meet a master shaman. The experience had a profound effect on me, although not to the extent of what it had done to Jan, admits Chabrier. However, after my first trance, I was convinced that there was no way this experience could be shown on film. To me, even if you filmed it in IMAX and projected it at Showscan speed (60 fps), it still would only represent 1/1000th of the real thing! I couldnt see how we could possibly do it.

Most people have misconceptions about what shamanism really is. They often associate it with spirituality, while a shamanistic trance is basically a deeply personal journey. Chabrier adds, Its difficult to explain shamanism in a few words, but Jan likes to say that, as NASA takes humans into space, shamans take you to your inner self, to your deepest levels of consciousness. When you live this experience, you never make the same journey twice and two people never make the same journey, which makes it very difficult to describe. Still, the incredible thing is that there are some visions that everybody experiences: spiders, snakes, fractal forms, perception of the immensely small and the immensely large These similarities allowed us to find a common language to describe and share what we had experienced.

Astral Institute: How did you first hear about Lucid Dreaming?

David: I spontaneously had my first lucid dream when I was sixteen years old, several days after a psychedelic experience with a purple microdot of LSD. I first read about the phenomenon of lucid dreaming a few months later in Carols Castaneda’s delightful book Journey to Ixlan, and I immediately knew what the author was referring to. Then, a few years later, I met Stanford researcher Stephen LaBerge through a mutual friend, and became familiar with his scientific research on lucid dreaming. Ever since then I’ve been practicing lucid dreaming techniques, and recording my lucid dreams, which has been going on now for over thirty-five years.

Astral Institute: Have you had a Lucid Dream, and if so, could you tell us about your first one?

David: I’ve had hundreds of lucid dreams, experiences with sleep paralysis, shamanic voyages, and out of body experiences over the years. My first experience with lucid dreaming wasn’t particularly memorable, as I woke up from it too quickly, and didn’t fully understand the possibilities. It wasn’t until I met Stephen LaBerge, and began practicing the techniques that he developed, that I began to have more interesting experiences and explore the extraordinary possibilities of fantasy fulfillment. As with many people, in my first lucid dreams I experimented a lot with flying through the air, and exploring erotic possibilities with idealized lovers. It wasn’t until later that I started to use it for psychological growth, performance enhancement, healing, psychic connection, spiritual development, and communication with Higher Intelligence.

Astral Institute: When did you decide to dedicate your time to working on consciousness?

David: I began as a teenager— soon after I began meditating, lucid dreaming, and experiencing with cannabis and psychedelics. It started out as an interest in developing bridges between science, the occult, and spirituality. I spent ten years studying and researching psychobiology— the interface between psychology and biology— at the University of Southern California and New York University. I was greatly influenced by the work of Timothy Leary, Robert Anton Wilson, John Lilly, and Terrence McKenna. With time, this passionate interest grew into a spiritual commitment to helping consciousness evolve to higher levels on this wayward planet.

Astral Institute: Can you define your work for us?

David: I’m largely a science writer, and independent scientific researcher, although I also think of myself as an evolutionary agent, here on this planet with a vital mission to help raise consciousness. I explore and write about cutting-edge science associated with the mind. My academic background is in neuroscience and I worked for several years with British biologist Rupert Sheldrake on several studies to do with psychic phenomena. I worked for five years as the senior editor for the MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) Bulletins, and my articles and interviews have appeared in a wide range of diverse publications. In addition to my books on lucid dreaming and psychedelic science, I’ve written over a dozen books about the evolution of consciousness, achieving optimal health, and two science fiction novels. I’m currently working on my fifth interview collection, with my wife, which will be with women visionary artists and published by Inner Traditions.

Astral Institute: What techniques do you consider to be the most practical in studying lucid dreaming?

David: I think that the best scientific methods for studying lucid dreams would be the EEG and fMRI scans that they do of people’s brains, while they’re lucid dreaming, and when the subjects can communicate to the waking world via voluntary eye movements from within the dream state. The best technique that I’m aware of for initiating lucid dreams is to get in the regular habit of asking one’s self that all important question: Am I dreaming right now? It’s essential that we take this question seriously each time we ask it, and perform a reality test to determine which reality we’re actually in— or else when we ask ourselves this question in a dream, we’ll just conclude that we’re awake and not dreaming! A good reality test is to look at some written words, memorize what they say, look away, and look back again at the words. In a dream, the words will almost always change. Another good reality test is to try breathing through your pinched nostrils; in a dream this can be easily done. Waking up a few hours before usual— and doing something to generally arouse your brain for a half hour or so, and then going back to sleep, also sometimes triggers more frequent lucid dreams. In my book I described dozens of different techniques that increase the probability of having a lucid dream.

Astral Institute: Do you have any advice for those interested in learning more?

David: Yes. Get a journal and start diligently writing down your dreams every time you wake up; the more attention that you pay to your dreams, the more likely you’ll remember them— and the more likely you’ll have a lucid dream. As I mentioned earlier, it’s helpful to get into the regular habit of taking reality tests every hour or so, to determine which reality that you’re presently in. Read as much as you can about lucid dreaming; order a copy of my book Dreaming Wide Awake tonight, and read from it every night before going to sleep. Talk to lots of people about lucid dreaming; mention it to everyone you speak with. The more that you think about lucid dreaming, the more that you engage in conversations about lucid dreaming, the more likely you are to have one. I wouldn’t be surprised if a good percentage of the people reading this interview achieve lucidity in a dream tonight. Wishing everyone sweet lucid dreams.


A detailed guide to mastering lucid dreaming for physical and emotional healing, enhanced creativity, and spiritual awakening
• Offers methods to improve lucid dreaming abilities and techniques for developing superpowers in the dream realm
• Explains how to enhance dreaming with supplements, herbs, and psychedelics
• Explores the ability of lucid dreamers to communicate with the waking realm and the potential for shared lucid dreaming and access to our unconscious minds

In a lucid dream, you “awaken” within your dream and realize you are dreaming. With this extraordinary sense of awakening comes a clear perception of the continuity of self between waking and sleeping and the ability to significantly influence what happens within the dream, giving you the opportunity to genuinely experience anything without physical or social consequences. In this way, lucid dreaming offers therapeutic opportunities for fantasy fulfillment, fear confrontation, and releasing the trauma of past experiences. With development and practice, lucid dreaming can provide a powerful path to greater awareness, heightened creativity, spiritual awakening, and communication with the vast interconnected web of cosmic consciousness.



David Jay Brown is the author of 15 books, including Dreaming Wide Awake: Lucid Dreaming, Shamanic Healing and Psychedelics, and The New Science of Psychedelics: At the Nexus of Culture, Consciousness, and Spirituality. He is also the coauthor of five bestselling volumes of interviews with leading-edge thinkers, Mavericks of the Mind, Voices from the Edge, Conversations on the Edge of the Apocalypse, Mavericks of Medicine, and Frontiers of Psychedelic Consciousness. Additionally, Brown is the author of two science fiction novels, Brainchild and Virus, and he is the coauthor of the health science book Detox with Oral Chelation. Brown holds a master’s degree in psychobiology from New York University, and was responsible for the California-based research in two of British biologist Rupert Sheldrake’s books on unexplained phenomena in science: Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home and The Sense of Being Stared At. His work has appeared in numerous magazines, including Wired, Discover, and Scientific American, and he was the Senior Editor of the special edition, themed MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) Bulletins from 2007 to 2012. In 2011, 2012, and 2013 Brown was voted “Best Writer” in the annual Good Times and Santa Cruz Weekly’s “Best of Santa Cruz” polls, and his news stories have been picked up by The Huffington Post and CBS News. To find out more about his work see:

Meditation practice improves mindfulness while awake, and while you sleep.

Comparison of dreams with waking consciousness has traditionally focused on claims that the dreaming mind maintains only a simple awareness of perception and emotion, but lacks the self-reflective awareness and metacognition, that is, awareness of one`s current state of consciousness, which is assumed in wake. Lucid dreams are distinct in that the dreamer does have insight into the present state of consciousness, and is able to maintain some awareness of the fact that they are dreaming, along with a varying degree of control over their thoughts, actions, and dream qualities. While this distinction is tied to the dream state, the truth is that even in waking we often wander around in a state of semi-consciousness, simply perceiving and experiencing emotions as they arise without affording much reflective awareness or attention to the present moment.

The practice of mindfulness is aimed at improving an individual’s capacity to maintain awareness of the present moment, with an open and non-judgemental mind, and to diminish automatic habits of mind-wandering and other auto-pilot behaviors. Evidence shows that increased mindfulness is associated with enhanced well-being and decreased negative rumination. Taken together, by improving attention to the present moment’s consciousness while cultivating an accepting attitude, mindfulness may similarly increase the likelihood and frequency of lucid dream experiences, a dream state characterized by both awareness and positivity.

Presence has been linked to improvements in a wide range of cognitive abilities, perhaps due to the role of cognitive control in maintaining focused attention and continuously monitoring the stream of consciousness. While mindfulness training does not explicitly aim to enhance awareness in the dreaming state, there are many traditions which have linked cultivating awareness in wake with lucid dreaming at night; lucid dreaming itself has even been considered an ideal state for meditative awareness (particularly in Tibetan and Toaist Dream Yoga traditions).

Further, while many meditation practices do not specifically define mindfulness, they often have similar aims of promoting awareness and acceptance. Thus, the authors investigated a potential influence of prior meditation practice, even those not explicitly defined as mindfulness practices, on lucid dream frequency.

Higher awareness cultivated during daytime is also reflects in higher awareness of one’s mental states while dreaming. Future research may seek to delineate which types of meditation practice are most directly influential on dreaming, and perhaps in the future, the possibilities of practicing meditation even from within the lucid dream state.

Source: Psychology Today


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.

There is surprisingly little information regarding how music affects our ability to lucid dream. Although it seems to be a basic question – music has been used for meditation, trance-induction and other mind state alternating practices for millennia – there is still no agreement as to whether music can induce lucid dreaming.

To answer this question, first we have to understand how auditory signals affect our dreams.

Early Experiments

Experiments concerning the use of external cues in order to induce lucidity have been held by various researches. Particularly, LaBarge in 1981 tried to apply auditory clues to a group of oneironauts in the beginning of each REM-phase. His experiment showed no significant change in lucid dreaming frequency or intensity.

Later, in 1983, Price and Cohen have been monitoring a dreamer for 28 nights, during which audio signals were applied during REM-phases. By the end of the period the frequency in lucid dreaming increased. However, the pattern was completely consistent with that obtained by LaBarge.

As the researchers point out, there may be several reasons to the number of lucid dreams. It is possible that the auditory signals induced the subject’s involvement with the environment and thus his awareness in dreaming. But it is also very likely that the subject’s increased motivation and additional lucidity inducing techniques influenced the result.

Anyway, the use of auditory signals requires careful monitoring and proper equipment to be applied in just the right moment, limiting the technique to laboratory use only.

The researchers, however, used specific auditory signals, such as phrases: “You are dreaming” or “Remember, this is a dream”. Which means, not only had the subjects to hear the message in their sleep, but also decipher it and react to it.

It is not that we are incapable of receiving auditory information from the “outer world” in our sleep. However, our dreaming mind usually incorporates sounds into the dream events as a mechanism preventing us from waking up just yet. The sound of alarm becomes a church bell or a voice of an alien. I remember once being woken up by my parrot, whose voice transformed in my dream into broad stripes of cello-tape being ripped off a wall with the characteristic screeching sound.

In other words, any sound and, of course, music, is likely to be incorporated into a dream, without making us aware of dreaming. Even if music from outer source enters our dreams, it can be easily dismissed as a creation of our own mind, thus making the use of music as an external auditory cues during the sleep unreliable, if not completely futile.

There is, however, another technique that lately becomes very popular.

An excerpt from the acclaimed book, Lucid Dreaming – Gateway to the Inner Self

by Robert Waggoner © 2017 All Rights Reserved

Adventurous lucid dream explorers are likely to encounter several phenomena along their path. Out-of-body experiences, for example, are quite common. In fact, a survey of lucid dreamers conducted by The Lucidity Institute shows a strong correlation between lucid dreaming and out-of-body experiences (OBEs). In the study, lucid dream experts Lynne Levitan and Stephen LaBerge report that “of the 452 people claiming to have lucid dreams, 39% also reported OBEs . . .”

In fact, many thoughtful, intelligent people have reported having OBEs. Author, professor and philosopher of consciousness, Thomas Metzinger, for example, wrote of experiencing an “out-of-body (OBE) state again” during an afternoon nap. Lecturer and writer Dr. Susan Blackmore, author of Consciousness, “had a dramatic out-of-body experience” that led to her deeper investigation into the nature of consciousness. I also recall a prominent sleep and dream researcher speaking at an IASD Conference at Tufts University who mentioned an apparent out-of-body type of experience while recovering from an illness.

My own experience with the out-of-body state occurred within six months of my first lucid dreams. As my seventeen-year-old self lay in bed and began to drift off to sleep, I felt an incredible energy and buzzing around me, particularly around my head. I was startled, but not sure whether I should be alarmed. The buzzing vibration sounded like a thousand invisible bees hovering around my head, or an Australian didgeridoo. I felt incredible energy all around me. Remembering don Juan’s advice, I told myself not to fear and just go along with it. Don Juan had told Castaneda that fear was the first barrier to overcome, since the ego used fear as a reason not to explore one’s totality and, instead, maintain the ego’s dominance of the waking self.

During one of these buzzing episodes, I noticed that I seemed suspended in space. I viewed the room from a perspective about five feet above my physical body, which, of course, was extremely odd! How was I getting a view like that, when I knew my body lay in bed with eyes closed?

That summer an even stranger incident occurred. I found myself flying around the sycamore trees in the front yard, doing loop de loops, really enjoying myself in the early morning dawn. It felt very real, not dream-like at all. Suddenly, I saw someone coming down the street on a bicycle. I felt the need to hide, so I flew to the roof of our house and hid behind the peak to watch. Moments later, the young person on the bike threw something at our house! I immediately woke up, alarmed at what I had just seen. It was around 6 a.m. and no one else was awake. I put on some shorts and rushed to the front door. I opened the door and, yes, someone had, indeed, thrown something at our house, and right where I expected—the morning newspaper! I was stunned. Could I have actually seen the newspaper boy ride his bike by our house and throw the newspaper? Could I have witnessed that from the roof of our house while my body lay in bed?

Imagination creates beautiful imagery, so I wondered if this was an interesting case of imagining a scene in a very real and vivid dream-like state that just “happened” to contain elements of a normal daily event? Could I, on some deep level, have heard the paper land in the grass on the opposite side of the house and simply concocted a dream about this sub-auditory event? I know the experience happened—yet how to explain it?

I decided to ask one of my brothers. He listened to my story, then said, matter-of-factly, “You’re having out-of-bodies.”

“I have them sometimes,” he said, “and normally I fly around the neighborhood. I like to fly around these sycamores, too.” I asked him how he knew they were out-of-bodies, and he mentioned a book by Robert Monroe, Journeys Out of the Body. He even gave me some advice on dealing with the buzzing and how to roll out of my body.

“Out of bodies”—holy smokes! I didn’t recall asking for them. Besides, all the buzzing and humming and energy felt weird sometimes. Comparatively, lucid dreams were fun and easy to understand, since my dreaming self played in the playground of my mind (or so I assumed). Even the term, “out-of-bodies” bothered me. It implies that the person’s awareness has left their body and now explores physical reality sans body. Yet, I definitely had a body image when experiencing this state—it just wasn’t a physical one. For this reason, I came to prefer the term “projection of consciousness,” as suggested by Jane Roberts.

As you can see, while the OBE experience itself may be somewhat commonplace, interpreting the experience is a challenge. If one’s awareness seems apart from the physical body, then does one experience a physical realm or an imagined realm, possibly a mental model of the physical realm? If it seems an imagined realm, then how do we explain the rare but occasional instances of apparently valid perceptions of the physical realm? And what does this say about the nature of awareness? Does awareness require a physical body, or does awareness reside sometimes within and sometimes without a physical body?

After reading about and talking with other lucid dreamers, I learned that many developed the ability to lucid dream before experiencing spontaneous, and less frequent, OBE-type experiences. One can not help but wonder if this coincidence of lucid dreaming and projections of consciousness result from an actual connection between the two experiences, or if it relates to the person’s interest and involvement in working with awareness. In other words, once we begin to lucid dream, do we then notice similar, subtle experiences of awareness?

On a number of occasions, in my college dorm room, I would take an afternoon nap with the intention of having an OBE. In one attempt, I recall looking very closely at a white, textured surface, just a fraction of an inch above my eye level. When I awoke, I realized that my awareness may have been about eight feet above myself, carefully inspecting the ceiling tile! To check it out, I precariously balanced a chair on my bed and stood on it to reach that same ceiling height. Now, if I could just stick the top half of my head into the ceiling, I could get my physical eyes in the same spot. The view seemed so close to what I had seen while apparently OBE. Just maybe, my awareness had actually moved.

For me, the OBE usually occurred in the local environment (that is, in the general area of where I had fallen asleep). Also I noticed that though I may fly around the neighborhood, I unintentionally “changed” things. For example, if I decided to fly through a house, I may find a window to fly through where no window exists in waking reality. Upon waking and recalling the situation, I would note that I had unknowingly made it easier for myself to fly into the house by mentally perceiving a window where none existed. Realizing this, I came to think of local OBEs as a “reality plus one” phenomenon. By that I meant that OBEs seemed to mimic a waking-reality model quite nicely, yet held “plus one” or added elements of apparent subconscious desire or intent interwoven into the imagery.

Differentiating Lucid Dreams from OBEs

Invariably, discussions with lucid dreamers yield clear differences between OBEs and lucid dreams. As I see it, there are six clear distinctions between the two phenomena.
First, most lucid dreams occur when one’s awareness comes to an understanding of the dream state while dreaming—one realizes one dreams within the dream. Most OBEs simply begin at the fuzzy juncture between waking and sleep, and then the person begins the OBE experience “aware.”

Second some OBE reports occur when instigated by physical trauma, illness, or medication, unlike most lucid dream experiences. In his groundbreaking book Lessons from the Light, near-death researcher Kenneth Ring, Ph.D., reports the story of a woman at Seattle’s Harborview Hospital who had a severe heart attack and then went out-of-body during cardiac arrest. Upon waking, she told the hospital social worker how she had floated up to the ceiling and watched as the doctors and nurses tried to save her, then she floated outside of the hospital and noticed a tennis shoe on the third floor ledge of the hospital’s north wing. She begged the social worker to see if a tennis shoe really existed on the ledge of the hospital’s north wing. To placate her, the social worker investigated the third floor ledge and was stunned to find a tennis shoe with the same wear marks and specific details the woman described from her OBE journey. Examples like this fuel the debate that some OBE experiences connect to remote perception in the physical world.

Third, OBEs often have reports of buzzing, energy, vibrations, and other phenomena preceding the experience, which lucid dream reports rarely mention. OBEs sometime mention “shooting out,” or “rolling out” of their physical bodies; comments normally never mentioned by lucid dreamers about lucid dreams.

Fourth, as Robert Monroe mentioned in comments to the Lucidity Letter, the “most common” difference between a lucid dream and an OBE involved the lucid dreamers’ ability to “change” the internally generated environment that they experienced; by contrast, those having an OBE do not report consciously changing their environment. Monroe suggests a difference in how the environment is experienced.

Fifth, as lucid dreamer Ed Kellogg has described, the memory of a long OBE experience seems crystal clear and easily recalled in a linear order, while memory of an equally long lucid dream seems less detailed and more difficult to recall precisely and in order. Many lucid dreamers, myself included, report this hampered memory with long lucid dreams, though my long OBE experiences seem comparatively clear, memorable, and detailed.

Sixth, OBErs usually report “returning” to their body, sometimes with a noticeable reconnection. Lucid dreamers, by contrast, at the end of the lucid dream report waking up, having a false awakening, or the dream imagery “going gray” (that is, losing normal visuals and seeing a diffused dark state).

In short, those experiencing OBEs normally recognize their state from the start; they often report unique vibratory and energy sensations preceding their experience; they seem to accept and not change their environment; they seem to recall easily the details of their experience; and, OBE reports contain more reference to “returning to the body.”

Lucid dreamers, by contrast, report that lucid dreams normally occur late at night and within a dream; lucid dreamers note a distinct change in awareness from non-lucid awareness to lucid awareness; they rarely report any unique sounds or sensations preceding their lucid dreams; they frequently change the environment; long lucid dreams seem relatively more difficult to recall in exact detail; and, finally, most lucid dreamers report that they decide to “wake up” or realize the dream has ended.

The difficulty in differentiating between lucid dreams and OBEs occurs when you have experiences like my flying around the trees, apparently seeing the newspaper boy. Was I OBE or lucid? On the one hand, I did not recall any humming or vibrating, but then again I do not recall leaving my body. I did not change anything, as lucid dreamers report, nor did I recall realizing, “This is a dream!” The experience occurred late at night, like a lucid dream, but I vividly recall every detail, like an OBE. I acted with a sense of awareness, but not like lucid awareness.

My example illustrates how easily one can become confused about two distinct types of inner experience. As co-editor of the online magazine, The Lucid Dream Exchange, I see this same confusion in a small subset of lucid dream submissions. The person does not indicate or recall how they became lucid, however they fly around the mental landscape much like in a lucid dream, yet fail to alter the environment, as lucid dreamers normally do.

Tomato, tomat-obe? Maybe so. But as we investigate the varieties of conscious experience and their possible meaning, we must take care to investigate the phenomena’s differences and similarities.

Bio: Author, Robert Waggoner, wrote the acclaimed book, Lucid Dreaming – Gateway to the Inner Self, (now in its tenth printing) and also co-authored the book, Lucid Dreaming Plain and Simple. Visit his website


Lynne Levitan and Stephen LaBerge, In the Mind and Out-of-Body: OBEs and Lucid Dreams, Part 1,” NightLight 3, no 2 (Spring 1991): 9.
Thomas Metzinger, “Reply to Hobson: Can There be a First-Person Science of Consciousness,” Psyche 12, no. 4 (2006): p. 3.
Susan Blackmore, Consciousness: An Introduction (Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 2004), p. 2.
Robert Monroe, Journeys Out of Body (New York: Doubleday, 1971; reprint, New York: Broadway Books, 1977).
Kenneth Ring and Evelyn Elsaesser, Lessons from the Light: What We Can Learn From the Near-Death Experience (New York: Insight Books, 1998; reprint, Needham, Massachusetts: Moment Point Press, 2006), pp. 65–66.
Robert A. Monroe, “Wanted: New Mapmakers of the Mind,” Lucidity Letter 4, no. 2 (December 1995): 49.
E.W. Kellogg III, “Mapping Territories: A Phenomenology of Lucid Dream Reality,” Lucidity Letter 8, no. 2 (December 1989).

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