THE OMNI EXPERIENCE
POWER TRIPS: CONTROLLING YOUR DREAMS
Release Date: Thursday, 19 March 1987
A number of techniques facilitate lucid dreaming. One of the simplest
is asking yourself many times during the day whether you are dreaming.
Each time you ask the question, you should look for evidence proving
you are not dreaming. The most reliable test: Read something, look
away for a moment, and then read it again. If it reads the same way
twice, it is unlikely that you are dreaming. After you have proved to
yourself that you are not presently dreaming, visualize yourself doing
what it is you'd like. Also, tell yourself that you want to recognize
a nighttime dream the next time it occurs. The mechanism at work here
is simple; it's much the same as picking up milk at the grocery store
after reminding yourself to do so an hour before.
At night people usually realize they are dreaming when they experience
unusual or bizarre occurrences. For instance, if you find yourself
flying without visible means of support, you should realize that this
happens only in dreams and that you must therefore be dreaming.
If you awaken from a dream in the middle of the night, it is very
helpful to return to the dream immediately, in your imagination. Now
envision yourself recognizing the dream as such. Tell yoursel, "The
next time I am dreaming, I want to remember to recognize that I am
dreaming." If your intention is strong and clear enough, you may find
yourself in a lucid dream when you return to sleep.
Even if you're a frequent lucid dreamer, you may not be able to stop
yourself from waking up in mid-dream. And even if your dreams do
reach a satisfying end, you may not be able to focus them exactly as
During our years of research, however, we have found that spinning
your dream body can sustain the period of sleep and give you greater
dream control. In fact, many subjects at Stanford University have
used the spinning technique as an effective means of staying in a
lucid dream. The task outlined below will help you use spinning as a
means of staying asleep and, more exciting, as a means of traveling to
whatever dream world you desire.
Before retiring, decide on a person, time, and place you would like to
visit in your lucid dream. The target person and place can be either
real or imaginary, past, present, or future. Write down and memorize
your target person and place, then visualize yourself visiting your
target and firmly resolve to do so in a dream that night.
To gain lucidity, repeat the phrase describing your target in your
dream, and spin your whole dream body in a standing position with your
arms outstretched. You can pirouette or spin like a top, as long as
you vividly feel your body in motion.
The same spinning technique will help when, in the middle of a lucid
dream, you feel the dream imagery beginning to fade. To avoid waking
up, spin as you repeat your target phrase again and again. With
practice, you'll return to your target person, time, and place.
When spinning, try to notice whether you're moving in a clockwise or
- Stephen LaBerge and Jayne Gackenbach
Stephen LaBerge, Ph.D., of the Stanford University Sleep Research
Center, is also the author of LUCID DREAMING, Ballantine Books, New
York, (C) 1985. LUCID DREAMING is a 305 page book which costs $3.95
and is available in the "Psychiatry" or "Self-Help" section of most
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