Meditation is so important, because it is is an exercise in projecting your consciousness around while staying alert. You direct your consciousness around between physical reality and other realities.
The more you practice entering and exiting other realities, even just partially, the easier it gets and the more often you will do it at night. You will do it spontaneously.
Not everyone who meditates has lucid dreams, but then they haven’t thought to direct their intent towards using the meditation help them into lucid dreams. It’s as simple as that. We are more powerful than we give ourselves credit for, and our intent and confidence is hugely important when it comes to the non physical realities.
If you don’t practice meditation, don’t expect to spontaneously practice it while you are asleep or in a dream. I know when I stop doing it I stop having lucid dreams. The correlation is clear.
When you do practice meditation with the intent of repeating it during the night to enter a lucid dream, it will help you tremendously.
The problem we have with getting into a lucid dream is we are used to konking out at night, having regular dreams, and otherwise not doing anything but resting, when we could be doing all kinds of exploring!
I confirmed for myself that sometimes when I would wake during the night my consciousness was not placed in my physical body, and I could hop “out of my body” and walk around if I summoned the willpower to do so. I strongly suspect this is true for other people. It’s so alluring to just stay nice and relaxed in that warm bed, and when we “awake” non-physically the feeling of relaxation is even more pronounced and there’s generally no reason we would want to get up or move at all, so we don’t, merely out of laziness, habit and ignorance. Pretty funny, I think.
Meditation is kind of uncomfortable. I have a nice buckwheat-filled meditation cushion. It raises my butt up enough that I can sit upright with my legs crossed easier. Honestly my leg still falls asleep after 20 minutes.
I mix it up between sitting on my cushion and laying down on the carpet floor. Maybe 20-30 minutes. Occasionally longer. Don’t do it in bed. You’ll just fall asleep. I feel like slight discomfort like sitting or lying on the floor helps keep me focused enough to not fall asleep.
Doing it right before bed, however, is fine. It’s also good to practice it in the middle of the day or when you get up in the morning. It helps you get used to being alert in other states of consciousness. You have to break up that hard dividing line between “awake” and “asleep” that we get used to, where you separate those two parts of your life into distinct chunks and don’t pay much attention to your sleeping life.
Even five minutes is okay if you have a super busy life.
Just don’t make up stupid excuses why you don’t have time to meditate, when you somehow have time for TV, movies, and browsing websites like this one.
Also, try breaking up your sleep patterns if you are fortunate enough to have a schedule that allows for it. I have done some biphasal sleep. If you work normal 9-5 hours, see if there’s a way for you to go to sleep early, get up in the middle of the night for a couple hours, then go back to sleep and get up at your normal time. Meditation is more important, but breaking up your sleep is a good thing too. It integrates your sleeping life more into your waking awareness.
Ok, so like I said, I suck at this. But I still know a little.
Oddly enough, the basic way to start meditating isn’t to try to block out your awareness, but to expand it. Notice everything. Be sensitive to sounds, feelings, vibrations, emotions, everything you can notice. Relax into it all.
Slowing and stopping those thoughts racing in your head is one of the main reasons people meditate. To stop them, you have to relax your nerves, and you can’t do that by trying to keep your mind quiet. You put too much effort into that, and it’s counterproductive.
Instead, notice your thoughts, let them go, and don’t dwell on them.
Focus on your breathing sometimes. It’s another good thing to pay attention to, just like any other sensations you get. When your breathing starts getting automatic, you’re doing great.
Before long you’ll start noticing other things. Strange, fleeting concepts that you forget as soon as you noticed them. Strange voices. I don’t know. I get stuff. Just whatever you happen to get, go with it, and see if you can remember some of it. Write it down! It’s a way of showing respect to non-physical reality so that you can have more experiences like this and get into a full blown lucid dream. You become whatever you encourage in yourself.
I normally don’t like any types of guided meditations, but the Gateway Experience CDs are perfectly on point for this purpose. Robert Monroe guides you through meditation exercises so you can explore different levels and learn to move your consciousness better.
Monroe was one of the modern pioneers of lucid dreaming with his books, research team of scientists working in his basement laboratory, and years of experimentation with people who attended his multi-day workshops to learn techniques during the day and lay in isolation tanks at night.
The Gateway Experience is a set of several CDs, divided up into “Waves”. Each “Wave” is a CD set of several tracks.
Starting from the first track he guides you through a preparatory process that you gradually learn to do on your own, and then you learn to move your consciousness further away from your physical body, taking things a step further with each track as he introduces new techniques.
I found that it does help me significantly. I credit some of my progress in lucid dreaming to these CDs. I have only listened through the Wave 1 CDs (many times) and some of the Wave 2 CDs a few times. I kept repeating those and didn’t proceed further, because I felt like I wasn’t fully doing what he was suggesting and needed to keep practicing before I moved forward to more advanced stuff. That just goes to show that you don’t have to be a fantastic meditator to be able to get a lot out of these. I’m not that good at meditation, believe me, but these did help.
Particularly these showed me that there are different levels of meditative states that you can distinctly recognize by the attributes in each. I learned to notice several things, such as how aware of my physical body I am, whether I feel a light buzzing in my body, how automatic my breathing is, whether I get hynogogic images, start hearing someone else talking from “somewhere else”, whether I can still hear him talking occasionally on the track, how deeply I seem to be exploring strange concepts beyond just thinking, etc.
They are a little expensive. You can start with Wave 1: Discovery instead of buying the whole 6-part set. Then get some more or all 5 others when you’re convinced it’s for you. The CDs are all listed here on Amazon. Get the used copies individually! They’re much cheaper at the moment than buying the whole set, and there has been no version changes since they were released.
If, unlike me, you can get into a deep meditation pretty easily, then you will get even more out of these than I did. Please share your experiences with me! I would love to hear any tips you can offer to me and others.