A Guide to Lucid Dreaming and Out of Body Experiences
Lucid dreaming has been something I have been able to do since I was very young. It wasn’t until I was older that I was able to have an Out of Body Experience and really start to get deep into the dream world. Since then I have been experimenting with techniques and reading books that have been able to challenge and change how I look at how to lucid dream. Because of that, I have been able to compile some of the best ways to get you lucid dreaming and having an out of body experience right away!
If you don’t want to read the whole article here is the Too Long to Read (TLTR) to help summarize what I am going to be talking about:
- Many people are confused about the difference between lucid dreams, out of body experiences, and astral projection
- Lucid dreaming, out of body experiences, and astral projection are closely related
- Lucid dreaming isn’t hard to do, anyone can do it!
- There are tons of how to guides on how to lucid dream
- I describe the steps to get you lucid dreaming right away
So now that you are ready to get a reading, let’s get to it…
What Is Lucid Dreaming and All That Jazz?
Lucid dreaming has been around for a long time. The philosopher Aristotle wrote about lucid dreams in some of his writings and other key philosophers have mentioned it before as well. There is some interesting evidence that even the Egyptians may have performed some lucid dreaming techniques to get “out of this world”. We also know that lucid dreaming has been used by ancient yogis to travel within and Buddhist monks have used something called dream yoga to find their inner being. It wasn’t until Stephen LaBerge
Lucid dreaming with its long history still wasn’t taken seriously until scientific studies were conducted by Stephen LaBerge showing that lucid dreaming was in fact really something people could do. Since then more and more studies have been conducted in the altered state. Today lucid dreaming and its effects have been displayed in Hollywood movies such as Inception and Vanilla Sky all which are great movies by the way.
So what is lucid dreaming? Well, lucid dreaming is when you become aware that you are doing. That’s pretty much the most basic definitions that you can find, but it gets more complex than that. What does it mean to be aware that you are dreaming? There are many levels of being aware. When you are in a dream world you are often in a simulation like situation, where the world around you is there and you are interacting with it. In a lucid dream, you are in the same simulation but are aware that its happening, you can often control some aspects of the world around you, but you are still unable to get past the simulation aspect of the dream.
Getting Past the Simulation
Continuing to become more lucid about the dream world requires some more work. This is exactly what Buddhist dream yoga is all about. It’s about getting lucid about the world in which creates the dream and getting past the narrator, or the consciousness that creates the dream simulation. It also creates a sense of reality that is typically called more real than real. This is where out of body experiences come into play and also astral projection. They are all a form of lucid dreaming as you are aware but they are deeper levels of reality in a dream.
Out of body experiences are often described exactly how they sound. They are described as stepping out of the body, floating, or exiting the body. This is experienced often right after going to sleep, or after waking up and going back to bed. The reason for this is because you are near the phases of sleep that allow for someone to be conscious and dreaming at the same time. This is called Non-REM sleep. People are able to dream and experience lucid dreams outside of REM which may be surprising to some people because REM is often referred to as the dreaming stage in sleep. In Non-REM sleep, we experience things like sleep paralysis, lucid dreams, and out of body experiences much easier because we are more awake during that period of sleep. We are able to identify dreams easier. The reason you may experience the sensation of leaving your body is that your brain still thinks your awake, but your brain also has a copy of your body in its mind, and when you are dreaming you can move this simulated body as though its real. Your brain doesn’t understand your asleep. Of course, this is the more scientific reason for out of body experiences, but there are many more explanations. People often believe that they really are traveling outside their body as a point of energy. I have personally experienced this sensation and can tell you that it’s pretty believable. Whatever you believe is the right reason for us moving around our houses at night like a ghost, the sensation can happen.
Astral projection is taking out of body experiences one level deeper. Often people describe as going to other worlds and bringing back information from this out of the world collective consciousness. I have also experienced this and can truthfully say that its an amazing experience and that I am not even 10% sure what is going on. There are too many documented experiences that people have to discredit the experience. I say judge for yourself, have the experience!
Let’s Get Lucid
Lucid dreaming and out of body experiences can be hard work to really get down a technique that works for you. It takes practice like anything in life to get good at, but having your first experience isn’t that hard. It’s usually very easy for people to have their first lucid dream, and if you don’t have success in the first few nights, then its time to mix up the technique to something that works for you. The key to having a lucid dream is to first understand that its possible and that you can have one. Often people have reported that just the idea of thinking positive and having the determination to have a lucid dream is enough to get people to have a lucid dreaming right away! I notice that when I read something about lucid dreaming I often have a much greater chance to have one myself.
There are a lot of great guides on having a lucid dream. The reason I call this post the Ultimate Guide to Lucid Dreaming is that I wanted to provide people a few good options to get started as well as provide the simple ways that I lucid dream. Here are some great ones that have a lot of support:
- Dream Views – Begining Guide to Lucid Dreaming
- How to Lucid Dream – How to Lucid Dream Tonight
- Reddit – The Three Steps to Lucid Dream
- Youtube – How to Have Your First Lucid Dream Tonight!
- OBE4U – How to Lucid Dream
You can check out these great guides on lucid dream all of which I have used to get where I need to be going. There are also some great books online that I highly suggest and will post near the bottom of this article. If you don’t want to click buttons to other websites and use their techniques and want to use something that I came up with, keep reading!
Steps to Getting You Lucid
So we kind of talked about how all these states are part of the same thing. If we can get to one state then we can get to the rest. If we are able to have an out of body experience we will be aware that we are dreaming, and also able to astral project. Those things come naturally from out of body experiences.
- Before you sleep / Reality Checks – During your day, reality check – During your day you need to be aware of how things are. How things feel, how food taste, how your hands look, how you interact with things. The reason for this is because in a dream we often notice something that isn’t real or something that is a bit off. This makes us lucid. This also will help us when we are projected out of our bodies. So throughout the day ask yourself “are you dreaming?” Say it out loud if possible, really question it. Believe the question and examine why you know you are awake.
- Before you sleep / Set the alarm – Set your alarm to go off at around 4-6 hours after you go to sleep. The reason for this is because we want your brain to be rested, to have gone through a number of REM cycles before you start to even try to have an out of body experience. The more detailed reason for this because the more cycles that your body goes through the more and more you stay in REM, the cycles extend. This also makes it possible for you to have longer and more intense dreams.
- Before you sleep / Set your intention – Tell yourself that you are going to have a lucid dream or out of body experience. Tell yourself that you will remember your dreams and that dreams are important to you. Really believe those words because the intention setting of your dreams being important will tell your subconscious that this is important to you.
- Sleep / Wake up from the alarm – When your alarm goes off, get up and go get some water, go to the bathroom and do some activity for about 3-30 minutes Whatever you feel comfortable with.
- Sleep / Get Ready to go Back to Sleep – Lay down in bed and relax. Set the intention again that you are going to have an out of body experience.
- Sleep / Go back to sleep – This part is a little more tricky. Your brain will automatically wake you up and allow you to go back to sleep pretty often after you go back to sleep. Every hour or less your body will go through a phase of sleep and you will wake back up. At this point try your best not to open your eyes or move. You will want to but just relax. At that point, you should notice that you’re awake, but try to imagine seeing yourself in the mirror of your bathroom or imagine a face or object in your mind. If you can do that, then don’t move your body, but imagine your body being able to move in your mind. If you move or noting is working, that is okay. Lucky for you, you will have a number of tries before you wake up. The main part of all this is to allow yourself to relax but also have the self-determination to really have the experience happen. It will happen!
That wasn’t too hard, was it? Just six steps and you’re on your way….
Once you notice that your dreaming but conscious of it (trust me you will figure it out) your now in a lucid dreaming state. You most likely will also experience what its like to be out of your body, and then be able to transform your dream world by traveling in this new area of consciousness (the astral world). Remember that this takes practice. Don’t give up and you will get there. There is plenty of information on the internet about lucid dreaming, but this is enough to get you started. Good luck and happy dreaming!
Lee is the creator of taileater.com as well as author of a number of published articles that deal with sleep, sleep paralysis, and lucid dreaming. Lee has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and is currently studying at John F. Kennedy University for his Masters in Consciousness and Transformative Studies.Lee Adams
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