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Weekly Health/Inner development post: Number 8: Dreams, Nightmares, Lucid dreaming

Updated: Apr 1, 2021

Dreams are the mind´s way to process all the images, sensations, memories, ideas, hopes, fears etc, which are not fully processed by the conscious parts of the mind and which ´sink´ into the unconscious parts of the mind. They are ´processed´ by the mind during different phases of the sleep cycle. The dreams which are associated with fear, pain, and suffering, we call nightmares; they usually represent our ideas, emotions, feelings, and sensations which we suppress the hardest: fears, sexual feelings, anxiety etc. There is another aspect linked to dreams, which is influenced by entities, but the subject of entities is very controversial in the modern western world, so a post on that topic might come in the future (or if you are interested, look at the work of Richard Rose). Advanced yogi´s, taoist masters, or other people with advanced energetic skills, can do with less sleep because they are less identified with the physical body. As Paramashansa Yogananda said of sleep: ´The rejuvenating effects of sleep are due to man´s temporary unawareness of body and breathing. The sleeping man becomes a yogi each night, unconsciously performing the yogic ride of releasing himself of bodily identification and merging his life force with the healing currents´. In short: the less ´I-identified´ you are, and the less stuck in thoughts and fixed beliefs about yourself as a separate being from the universe you are, the better the flow of energy in your body and therefore the less sleep you need.

Problems with dreaming?

How to reduce the intensity of dreams/nightmares

  • do not eat 4 hours before going to sleep. Sleep with an empty stomach

  • no alcohol/drugs and other mind altering substances

  • low sugar/carbohydrate diet (sugar/refined carbohydrates activates the brain a lot)

  • no coffee, red bull, monsterdrink, etc. Use chaga instead (see previous health/inner development post on chaga)

  • sleep on your back or sideways, not with your chest down. Sleeping with the chest down puts pressure on the lungs and heart and unnecessary stress on the body. It also causes more dreams in which you feel you are drowning or suffocating (literally because you do not get enough oxygen at night)

  • go for a small walk before going to bed

  • no TV, computer, tablet, mobile phone, or other electronic equipment before going to bed

  • no intense exercise during the hours before going to bed, keep adrenaline levels low

  • put the bed away from electronic devices, use a magnetic field/electric field measuring device to make sure the electric/magnetic fields from power sockets does not reach into your bed

  • bring energy down from head (see previous health/inner development post on how to fall asleep fast and easy)

Lucid dreaming can help reduce nightmares and dreams as well as provide interesting experiences.

How to lucid dream?

Learning lucid dreaming consists of two parts:

1: training your memory

2: becoming aware in your dream through five questions

1: training your memory

Imagine in 15 minutes you are going to walk out of the door to go to the supermarket. Now put a ´mental note´ in your mind that the moment you walk out of the door, you will remember that moment. Probably, in 15 minutes, you will forget it and you will not remember the moment you walk out of the door. So try again. Tell yourself: okay, next time i go the toilet, i want to remember that moment. By doing this many times a day with many different places, in time, you will become better at remembering the future moments. Better remembering these moments you ´programmed´ yourself to remember goes gradually. We will use this increased memory skill after doing number 2.

2: becoming aware of your dreams through five questions

To become aware/lucid in the dream, first of all, we have to become more aware during the day.

Many times during the day, ask yourself five quick questions:

  • where am i?

  • what am I doing?

  • with who am I?

  • how did i get here?

  • what did i do 15 minutes ago?

If one of the questions you cannot answer or do not know, you are dreaming.

For example, you are standing in the kitchen

  • where am i? In the kitchen.

  • what am i doing? Making a sandwich.

  • with who am I? I am alone.

  • how did i get here? Walked from the living-room

  • what did i do 15 minutes ago? Sitting on the couch in the living-room

Conclusion: i am not dreaming.

But imagine you are dreaming about for example dancing on the pyramids in Egypt

  • where am I? In Egypt

  • what am I doing? Dancing on pyramids, strange.

  • with who am I? Lots of people dancing with me who I do not know

  • how did get here? No idea

  • what did i do 15 minutes ago? No idea

Often, you arrive in dreams and have no idea how you got there, or what you did 15 minutes ago, or you might be in a strange place you do not know, or with people you never met. If one of the five questions you do not know, you are dreaming.

So you repeat these questions quickly ten times a day. So you basically check ten times a day if you are dreaming of not. Once you gotten used to becoming very aware of your environment, we go back to number 1: training your memory.

Now tell yourself, once I go to sleep, i want to remember the five questions.

So first you trained you memory to better remember things you do in the future,

and now you use this ´increased´ memory skill to ´program´ you memory to remember the five questions when you dream.

Every time before you go to bed, make a ´mental note/program your memory´ that you want to do the questions in your dream.

After many days of doing the memory exercise and ten times a day the questions, at one point, when you are dreaming, you will ask the questions as well in you dream

Next step is: how to stay in the dream when you realize you are dreaming.

Often, when you ask the five questions when you are dreaming, and the answer to one of the questions you do not know, the following happens: you realize you are dreaming, you get excited, and wake up quickly.

So how to stabilize the dream and stay lucid in the dream:

  • You have done the memory exercises

  • You have done the five questions many times a day

  • You make a ´mental note´ when you go to bed to do the five questions when you are dreaming

  • So let´s say you are dreaming your are dancing on a pyramid

  • You ask the five questions, and on one of the questions, ´what did i do 15 minutes ago´, you have no idea what you were doing 15 minutes ago. You cannot answer it

  • You realize you are dreaming

  • Now instead of getting excited

  • Stick out both hands, and concentrate on your hands

  • By concentrating on your hands, you bring energy from your head to your hands

  • This will stabilize the lucid dream

  • Once you are lucid in your dream, start walking around, but stay calm. In time, you can also try to fly, or do whatever you want

So how to dream about a certain environment?

For example, you want to dream about being on the moon. So next to doing the memory exercise daily, and the ten times a day repeating of the five questions, you look at the picture of the moon ten times a day as well. Now before going to bed, you program your memory, and say : ´once i am dreaming, i want to do the five questions, and be on the moon´. In time, it will probably happen. Remember, once you become lucid in the dream of being on the moon, stay calm, and focus on your hands, stabilize the dream, and walk around. In time, you can even spin around with your hands and switch to other places you want to be. For more info on lucid dreaming, a good book is: ´exploring the world of lucid dreaming´, by Stephen La Berge, & Howard Rheingold.

So how does this lucid dreaming help with the intensity of my dreams and nightmares?

By becoming more ´lucid´ in you dreams for a while, you lose your fear of having nightmares, which in time will reduce the intensity of the nightmares. Important to note that many nightmares are linked to stuck emotions and fears, so processing these emotions is crucial (see the previous inner development/health post on how to deal with stuck emotions). Without processing your own stuck emotions, and staying very identified with your small sense of self (your ´I´, and your physical body), the nightmares are unlikely to stop.

Processing stuck emotions, doing lucid dreaming for a while, and following some of the health/posture tips on how to sleep, will improve the quality of your sleep cycle a lot.

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