Thus far, we have discussed certain techniques to prepare your mind for “awakening” within the dream state. One major theme is that the practice of dream control is greatly aided by doing certain things in waking life.
This is because mental habits in waking life carry over into the dream state.
We’ve also discussed identifying dream triggers. These are people, places, things, and events that appear consistently in your dreams. When you see them in waking life, you must train yourself to mentally ask yourself, “am I awake or dreaming?”
Now, we’re going to build on that, talking about tools to deepen your intention, and even put you in a hypnotic state conducive to “awakening” within dreams and then controlling dreams.
When becoming a student of controlling dreams, it helps to expand your waking practice beyond simply testing your state when you encounter your own dream triggers in waking life.
Bear in mind, we’re assuming you can adequately remember dreams at this point. Please review the Part 1 article if necessary.
A method taught by the Tibetan Buddhist monks teaches to consistently repeat to yourself throughout your waking life, “everything is a dream.” This may sound a little heady or philosophical, but let’s think about it for a moment.
First of all, like anything, the energy behind your words is the most important part. If you casually say to yourself as you’re rushing to catch a taxi, “uh, oh yeah…I gotta say that dream thing…um…this is all a dream, got it”… that’s not going to cut it!
Presence is the name of the game. This is as true in waking life as it is when controlling dreams. So, really meditate on that statement. Many of the practices we discuss on this site can have great calming, centering benefits on your waking life.
And to unpack the mystical-sounding statement that, “everything is a dream”…well, there’s a lot of ways to look at it.
Consider this: everything you see with your eyes actually happened in the past. You may be familiar with the fact that there is a fraction-of-a-second delay between the light of an object hitting your eyes and the brain processing the image you’re looking at.
In fact, all of our experiences are a result of chemical reactions in the brain and nervous system activity. The difference between waking and dreaming life is that in waking life, the stimuli are external, while in the dream state, the stimuli are internal.
Can we really say one is more “real?”
When you’re experiencing something in a dream, your brain and nervous system experience it all the same.
You may also be familiar with teachings that remind us that everything we experience is our perception. Do we experience an objective reality, or do we experience our thoughts, feelings, and interpretations of what our senses take in?
Physics teaches astounding principles, such as particles that only come into existence in the presence of an observer.
And consider this: if a person believes that a statue is really a god that can smite them, that person will approach the statue with trembling fear and reverence. These emotions are 100% real to that person. Another person who just sees a mass of dead stone, and not a fearful god, will have no strong emotional response whatsoever.
All things are but dreams.
Considering all of that…back to techniques.
More practices for dream control involve your nightly rituals. When you’re getting ready for bed (but not too exhausted yet) is a great time for these practices. Lay down a little earlier than normal, and mentally rehearse becoming aware in a dream. See yourself happily realizing you are dreaming.
This is where our previous work again comes to bear.
If you’re recalling dreams regularly and keeping a dream journal, you’ll know what your triggers are, your recurring themes and characters. Mentally rehearse a scenario where you encounter some of your triggers and say, “hey wait a sec…I’m dreaming!”
If you do this in a relaxed enough state and focus on just one trigger, it can become hypnotic. And as we’ve mentioned, there are even products and audio meditations to induce such handy states.
If you have a hard time concentrating, then you can work some focus-strengthening techniques into your lifestyle.
One classic method is this: stare at an object for several moments, then close your eyes and picture that image in your mind’s eye. If it’s fuzzy, open your eyes again and stare at the object.
Repeat the cycle.
Look to increase the clarity and steadiness of the mental image you’re holding. Doing this just five minutes a day, several times a week can work wonders.
Remember, the better you are at controlling your focus in general, the better you’ll be at controlling dreams.
The Unexplainable Store is loaded with the tools you want to aid that process.
It includes packages specifically designed to aid dream explorers like you.
That concludes this article.
Next up is an article that begins to discuss in-dream state testing.
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