IILD image induced lucid dreaming

 Lucid Dream with the IILD Method

What if your life, what you remember of it anyways, is a series of images inside your mind? These images as you experienced them changed your total perception of reality. They made you who you are, how you feel about every subject and even your emotional responses to those subjects. How different would the world be if those images had changed? When you recall these images, they reside in your imagination, you can almost touch those images, you can feel them, hear them, and even maybe smell them. They are alive seemingly having a life of their own, they change as time goes on and you recall them. An image is the most powerful and effective driving mechanism to human consciousness as all other experiences come secondary to an image.

It is possible to redirect the image in your mind to be focused on something that you wished to become, obtain, or remember. By changing this image, you are able to change your perception, how you see the world, and the desired outcomes of your actions to make reality the image you imagine. Not only does the specific image affect your perception, emotions, and actions, but also your ability to have lucid dreams.



Image-Induced Lucid Dreaming

The basis for the Image-Induced Lucid Dreaming process is to utilize the internal image you create to convey the desired result. This means creating an image that represents what you are trying to achieve, and have it express in your imagination. This internal image contains the sensations, the emotions, and the actions of your desire, in this case, it should be associated with lucid dreaming. I call his Image-Induced Lucid Dreaming (IILD) because we are using the most powerful tool the human consciousness has, the internal image, to instruct ourselves while dreaming, to express the desired result, lucid dreaming.

In order to do this, follow this simple process:

  1. Before going to bed or throughout the day, imagine yourself having a lucid dream.

This you may find it harder than at first thought because of the complexity of understanding what that means – especially if you have never had a lucid dream before. What does it feel like, what do you see, what do you experience if you were to have a lucid dream? Sometimes an easier way is to imagine a symbol in our minds rather than the desired result we are trying to get. A symbol is an internal image that contains a complexity but is something singular that we can focus on. Regardless if you selected a symbol or an image, then focus on that. Try to imagine the image in your mind as vividly as possible, with all its details, sounds, feelings, tastes, emotions, etc. Make that image or symbol as real as possible for you, make it alive.

  1. Prior to sleep, take that image and imagine it going into the back of your mind.

The physical location of this process is known as the ocular bun and is an inch or two above the most bottom back part of the human skull. The reason for this step of the process is we are putting focused attention on the ocular lobes of the physical brain, giving it blood flow. This will help encode the memory of the image into the visual field of the brain and allow for the mind to express the desire easier. This internal image that you are encoding for you to become lucid should occur right before you fall asleep, you should already be well relaxed and your mind should be focused on only this image. We want this image to be the last thing you think about before going to sleep, as it will make it more effective.

  1. Fall asleep

You want to continue to have that image in your mind as you fall asleep. You should not have any other focused image to be in your mind during this stage. If you happen to wake up from having fallen asleep, continue to follow steps two and three again as you perform the wake back to bed (WBTB) method.



Using IILD with The Wake Back to Bed Method

IILD can be used in combination with the Wake Back to Bed Method or WBTB which is described as waking up after sleeping for a period of time and then staying awake for around 30-60 minutes and then going back to bed. You can use the IILD by using stage one of the IILD while staying awake for 30-60 minutes, then applying stage two and three while falling back to sleep. You can read more about the WBTB system here.



Similarities to MILD

Stephen LaBerge an American psychophysiologist specializing in the scientific study of lucid dreaming used a similar process as the IILD to get his test subjects to have consistent lucid dreams. He created the system called the Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreaming which consists of using a WBTB method in conjunction with recalling a dream the individual may have had while sleeping, and visualizing the dream having been changed to one where the individual was lucid. The potential lucid dreamer would then fall back to sleep with the idea that they would be lucid in the dream and hopefully become aware of the dream executing the visual programming. It is not clear why LaBerge choose this image-based technique to rewire the dream and program the dreamer to become lucid, yet it had a high probability of success especially after a number of attempts.

Though MILD and IILD are similar in function, where LaBerge’s system differs from the IILD is through the primary focus of the image and time when the image is induced. In IILD the potential lucid dreamer has no need to have first recalled the dream, they also do not need to reconstruct an already experienced dream in order to make it lucid. The hopeful lucid dreamer instead is using the blank canvas of their ready imagination, focusing on a specific mental image, and then instructing the mind to produce a result. This simple process takes out a lot of the complexity around the potential dreamer, especially as it is already difficult to remember to perform the MILD process after awakening.

Additionally, since dream experiences are often affected by strong emotions, the images that we tie to our minds through the IILD process will also be linked to emotional states. This improves the possible outcome of a lucid experience in the dream state by activating the image or becoming aware in the dream, at any strong emotional response.



Examples of the IILD Practice

IILD Example 1:

  1. Before going to bed or throughout the day, imagine yourself having a lucid dream.

While getting ready to go to bed I focused on the desired outcome of what I wanted, specifically to have a lucid dream upon falling asleep. I thought about what the sensations would feel like, what I would see, and hear. In my mind I visually saw myself rising above the ground, my feet gliding above the trees in my local town, and the stars above me lighting the way. I felt the image I imagined it, the sounds associated with the image, the tastes of the air, and the feelings and emotions of lightness, happiness from having achieved my desired goal, reduction of worry, and freedom presented to me.

  1. Prior to sleep, take that image and imagine it going into the back of your mind.

Having this image clear in my mind I took all of what I could see in that image and imagined it moving to the back of my head, as though I was wrapping it up in a nice little box and dropping it off right at the base of my skull. I focused on that until I felt the image was all in one place, clearly.

  1. Fall asleep

I held that image at the base of my skull until I could no longer recall anything and had fallen asleep.

IILD Example 2:

  1. Before going to bed or throughout the day, imagine yourself having a lucid dream.

Having worked with the image from example 1 a few times, another image came to mind, a symbol designed with a series of circles around a central circle. I drew this design down or better make it clear in my mind and focused on this image throughout the day. I kept this image private to myself because I wanted to convey the importance to my mind that this image was important, you could say sacred to me. This symbol conveyed a positive emotion, a sense of love, and happiness.

  1. Prior to sleep, take that image and imagine it going into the back of your mind.

Having the symbol in my mind clear before falling asleep, I took the symbol as it was visually present in my mind and I visualized it being slid back into my brain at the back area of my brain. I felt it collect in that space and then after a few moments, I felt that the process was done as the image sat steady and clearly in that position.

  1. Fall asleep

As the image sat at the base of my skull, I fell asleep.



Other Uses of Image-Based Programing

Though at first, the IILD can seem farfetched in its ability to convince the mind to have a lucid dream, with a little observation we can see that these practices are already in play in every aspect of our lives today. These concepts are not something that is new to the world, this isn’t a hidden secret. Marketing specialists and advertisers understand these systems well. They know the power of image and that an image by itself can change your emotions and actions. These marketers also understand that if you activate an emotion that it will produce an image that will cascade into producing a result, hopefully, one that they desire. They also know and understand that it’s easiest to get someone to act on a product that they are trying to sell is through proving you with an image, that is programmed through repetition by their design to produce a specific emotional response. If they want you to buy their product the more intense and positive the emotional response, the better, if they want you to not buy a competitor’s product, the more negative your emotional response is the better when you see that product.

Through understanding this we may make you think of markers and advertisers as devious, but in truth, we do this same process to ourselves daily. We actively train ourselves to respond emotionally to images and by doing so set up our reactions to those images. We use images to either evoke positive or negative reactions to our lives by self-programming. Most of us are unaware of this process, we program images without even knowing we are doing so, by what we invasion or imagine in our minds or even how we react to specific situations. We self-determine our emotional responses from the images we imagine and focus on.

By grasping this powerful tool, we can use it to bring more awareness into the dream space, as well during our waking lives, convincing ourselves to make changes that only our consciousness can provide us. Becoming lucid through the IILD is only the tip of the iceberg, what is really interesting is how you will use this technique while imagining in the waking world.



Questions and Answers:

-Can I use other lucid dreaming techniques in combination with IILD?

Yes, you can. Much like the MILD technique, IILD is effective at any phase during the night, using it in combination with WBTB would make it even more effective, but it is effective on its own.

-How long should I spend focusing on the image I am creating for the IILD?

You should focus on it as much as possible but you should also not focus on it so much that you burn yourself out. Review the image through the day for a period of time, and right before going to sleep should be efficient enough to have it effective.

-Your definition of image is confusing, can you explain more?

Sure! The image we are discussing is an internal image. The image that we are discussing isn’t just what you visually see with your eyes, it’s something that exists inside the imagination of the mind, something you can see without seeing it externally. This image can contain more than just a visual object but can be linked to emotion, sounds, and other senses that you recall by imagining the image. External images activate internal images inside the mind which we respond to by our actions. You can also read more about these internal images by reading this article.

​Lee Adams is a Ph.D. candidate in Jungian Psychology and Archetypal Studies at Pacifica Graduate Institute and host of Cosmic Echo, a lucid dreaming podcast, and creator of taileaters.com, an online community of lucid dreamers and psychonauts. Lee has been actively researching, practicing, and teaching lucid dreaming for over twenty years.


Lee Adams

Psychonaut, Consciousness Explorer, Taileaters.com

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