Lucid Dreaming, Step-by-Step by James Wadman
Step One: Learn to run before you fly
The most important part of lucid dreaming is the ability to recall and understand your dreams. This is the most strenuous part of lucid dreaming because you cannot begin to lucid dream until you have learned how to make your dreams important. Think about your dreams often, do reality checks (ask yourself if you are dreaming), and when you wake up try to remember your dreams. Many people would suggest keeping a dream journal, but that is quite a bit of responsibility. When I was first beginning to interpret my dreams, I would write down a sentence or two that would remind me of what my dreams were about and that seemed to work just fine. Keep in mind that this is essential for lucid dreaming and can take anywhere from a day to a couple weeks to fully grasp.
Step Two: Understand that your dreams are biological
Both the conscious and subconscious minds are components of the biological nervous system, which is regulated by hormones, nutrition, and electricity. This means that what you put into your body impacts the strength at which your brain functions during REM sleep (the stage of sleep in which you dream). Caffeine, alcohol, and high levels of stress are the worst enemies of a dreamer. To avoid stress, don’t tell yourself you are going to lucid dream. Just let it happen, and I can assure you it will eventually. A tragic mistake I see quite often is when people try to plan out their lucid dream experiences. It will greatly increase your chances if you allow your chance to lucid dream to come naturally, but when your chance does come, cease it. On the other hand there are a variety of nutritional products that can be very beneficial to sleep and dream recollection (please ask me directly for a list).
Step Three: Establish peace of mind
Meditate into sleep and release your reflections of the day. Focus on the serenity of your thoughts, the dismissal of your consciousness, and the nullification of your body. Think in color, not in language. Avoid thinking about people or your day. Just take deep, calm breaths and feel the transition to sleep. If you feel that journey from being awake to being asleep, you will almost certainly have the chance to lucid dream.
Step Four: The Lucid Dream
The lucid dream will happen as a sudden moment of realization. You will face an eerie feeling when you are awoken into a state of lucid dreaming. The physical sensations and mental stimulations will be beyond anything you have ever experienced. The surreal visuals of an environment constructed solely by your subconscious will surround you. Do not panic, do not get overly excited or afraid. Steps one through three are preparation, and this step is merely ceasing the opportunity.
Step Five: The choice is yours
Suddenly, you will feel at peace with yourself, and in that serenity you will realize you have a choice to make. With enough practice you will be able to stay within a dream for extended periods of time, perhaps even for what feels like hours. You will learn your ability and your limitations (or lack there of). From here on, the choice is yours.