Talking to the Awareness behind the dream2017-04-14T15:16:07-05:00

Hi Robert,

this time I have a question regarding communicating with the Awareness behind the dream, e.g. to ask for clarity if the dream scene is fuzzy/dark, to ask to see something important, or to ask for an answer to a specific question.

Does it matter which language we use for this communication? English is not my native language, so I don’t know if I should use English or my native language for this. What is your experience, or somebody else’s experience that you can share?

How to Re-enter a Lucid Dream2017-04-06T09:57:07-05:00

How to Re-enter a Lucid Dream

by Robert Waggoner © 2017

Aware in a fantastic lucid dream, I could barely believe that it was collapsing. In a few moments, I found myself awake in bed, wishing I could re-enter and continue that amazing lucid dream!


Lying in bed in my college apartment, I decided to try something adventurous: to re-enter the lucid dream. Did I have a plan? Yes and no. The very first time, I intuitively focused on the goal of re-entry and then listened for my body, mind and dreaming self to guide me, and help me develop a successful process.


Surprisingly, a fairly simple dream re-entry technique occurred to me. I found in many instances I could re-enter that dream consciously and continue it, often with the same or similar dream figures and dream setting. When I began to correspond with other lucid dreamers years later, I discovered that some of them had also managed to create a very similar, dream re-entry process – and had the same sort of success.


Learning dream re-entry seems a valuable tool for everyone, especially for beginners who may have a lot of enthusiasm, but find that their lucid dreams seem too short. Below, you can read the simple techniques that I used to practice Dream Re-entry:


1) As you lay in bed, recall the exact position of your physical body upon waking from the earlier dream. Now, position your body to conform to how it had been upon waking. Place your head, your arms, your hands, your legs, etc., in the exact same position! By doing this, your body feels ready for re-entering the dream.


2) Recall the dream in your mind, while focusing on an event near the end of the dream. Keep your mind in a dreamy, relaxed state, as you call forth and focus upon the last ten or fifteen seconds of the dream.


3) Now that you visualize the dream scene vividly in your mind, allow yourself to fall asleep. At this stage, you may find yourself slipping back into the dream, consciously aware!


Or 4) My final trick involves re-playing the dream to the end, and then “seeing” some portion of the dream “as if” you exist inside the dream. By that, I mean you should perceive the dream from some symbol or dream figure’s viewpoint in the dream.


Once you begin to see the dream from an inside perspective, you suddenly will find yourself back in the dream state, lucidly aware. For example, you might see the dream from the perspective of the chair in the dream, or the dog in the dream – it doesn’t matter what it is, but place your awareness into it and see the dream from its perspective, as you let yourself fall asleep.


At that moment, normally the dream will re-animate and continue, and your lucid awareness will be inside the scene. Sometimes, it feels like re-starting a movie in which you have skipped ten seconds. And occasionally the dream details will seem slightly altered, but all in all, the dream process continues as you expected.

On Wikihow, I have shared this process (in case you want to see that version with images, then visit ).


If you have ever had the experience of a dream continuing, after you wake, then you know that this process can happen naturally. The Dream Re-entry process, though, makes it easier and clearer, instead of random and uncontrolled.


At a recent workshop, I asked the participants ‘how’ they became lucid most frequently. One person reported using the ‘dream re-entry’ process, because they found that when they re-entered, they immediately ‘knew’ it as a dream. In this way, Dream Re-entry falls under the category of Wake Initiated Lucid Dream or WILD techniques.


If you have success with this, please send in your lucid dreams to the Lucid Dreaming Experience magazine at , or give me an account at my book’s website,

Any lucid dream stories involving aliens?2017-02-19T21:48:36-05:00

Perhaps already posted somewhere?



Lucid Dreaming and Creativity2017-02-01T09:10:44-05:00

Lucid Dreaming and Creativity

Dreams are a great source of ideas and inspiration. They  let us live through emotions and experiences we may never have otherwise as well as engage in an art we’ve never tried before. We can be painters, singers, dances, poets, composers without ever having held a brush in our hands or knowing anything about music. And this experience is as real as any waking experience. Numerous works of art we still admire were inspired by dreams, such as works of William Blake or the famous story The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Dreaming and Creative Process

A creative person knows  how often the solution she was looking for comes in a dream. Sometimes an idea or a feeling we experience in a dream may become a basis for a work of art. On the over hand, it happens  that a project we are working on ends up as a subject of a dream. Even in sleep we keep working on it.

I’m sure you have dreamed sometimes of spectacular pictures or heard music and poetry in dreams. Sometimes it comes as if from nowhere but it is entirely your creative act.  The dreaming mind, uninhibited by by the rationality and censure of the waking consciousness, produces new bold and original combinations of images, words and sounds.

It seems, like the dreaming state is a great laboratory for a creative person. In dreams we work with the best media available – our subconsciousness, which is the source of all creative ideas.

However, even if we do create in our dreams, we often forget the pieces of dream-art in the morning. Or they don’t make any sense out of the context of the dream.

Creativity Applied

I’ve heard music, a very beautiful melody. I didn’t know where it was coming from and suddenly I thought what pity it was that I won’t remember it in the morning. This very moment I became lucid and realised that the only way to remember the tune is to remember it as a song. So, still dreaming, I’ve started to put together words. I’ve never composed anything in a dream and now was amazed how words gather and combine themselves in most unexpected but strangely fascinating way.

When I woke up I’ve had a curious little song in my possession that helped me to remember the beautiful melody from the dream for me.  I should add, I don’t play any instrument and have no musical education at all, let alone composing music.

There were additional benefits to my act of “in-dream” creativity. The song described some of the events in my dream and also mentioned the name of one of the characters, so I could recall the rest of the dream. It was too long and complex to remember most of it otherwise.

The state of lucidity in dreams gives us a lot of possibilities for self- and dream-exploration. It’s a great tool of self-development and spiritual growth. But so is creativity.

Dreams and art are made of the same matter. An act of unconscious creativity in dream can induce the state of lucidity; lucid dreaming helps to turn it into a conscious creative process and to remember the experience. Which means, we can create at night with our eyes closed.

Don’t forget, however, that creativity influences our dreams too. It seems like the process goes both ways: dreams may inspire you, but the more creative you are when awake, the more “creative” your dreams become. Also, you are much more likely to create in a dream when you are used to be creative. (Writing for this blog, for instance, gives me additional motivation to explore and experiment with my dreams.)

Creativity is the best gift of Mother Nature to us after the ability to dream. So dream, experiment and create, awake or asleep.

(Note: Posted by MindValley in exchange for my post on their site)

Agression in LD2017-01-30T14:55:10-05:00

Hello Robert I’d like to know your opinion on how do you handle threatening or agressive dream figures? As I understood from your previous posts you advice to treat them with compassion. I agree, I used to do so, but tonight I had a nightmare where my cousin was trying to rape me and I realized it was a dream and thought “oh, this is a LD so I can kill him” and I did, I was killing him with such a pleasure (?). I was going to bed very angry with some circumstances last night and that resulted in such dream and in such agression from my part that I  couldn’t feel any compassion I needed to release it and I could do nothing but be agressive. Is it OK? Normally I’m not an agressive person in real life not much in dreams.

DreamSpeak Interview with Caroline McCready by Robert Waggoner2017-01-13T10:20:10-05:00

U.K. artist, presenter and lucid dreamer, Caroline McCready speaks with interviewer Robert Waggoner about exploring conceptual boundaries through lucid dreaming.

How did you become interested in lucid dreaming?

I used to have spontaneous lucid dreams as a child, and most often I would use the dreams to go flying over Lake Louise in Canada near where my Dad grew up or I would simply examine the amazing realism of the dream environment I was in. As I grew up these experiences became more sporadic and the experiences became briefer, quickly fading and dissolving into non-lucid dreams.

A few years ago my dreams became extraordinarily vivid and I felt compelled to write them down every morning, so I started to keep a dream journal, which I hadn‘t done since my early teens. A sequence of synchronicities led me to a dream analysis group in London run by Debbie Winterbourne, who used to work with Stephen La Berge. I mentioned my early lucid experiences and as well as talking about some of her own amazing lucid adventures, she gave me techniques to induce and prolong lucid dreams. Before this point I‘d had no idea you could actually induce lucid dreams and was totally ignorant of the unbelievable potential for exploration within the dreams.

I was so excited and couldn‘t wait to fly over Lake Louise again. I started to read and listen to everything I could relating to lucid dreaming. I started to constantly question my reality and within 2 weeks I had an epic lucid dream which was the beginning of 2 solid months of one or more lucid experiences almost every morning. It was like opening the flood gates and starting a double life.

What do you recall of your first lucid dream/s? Anything odd, unusual, or unexpected?

The first lucid dream I remember as a child, I was in a small room playing pool with my cousin. I used to have a recurring dream when I was really young where I‘m in a room that‘s completely white. White walls, ceilings and floor, it‘s almost blinding. I‘m playing alone in the room, bouncing a ball around. There‘s nothing at all in this room apart from a trap door in the centre of the room and each time I had this dream the ball would always fall through this trap door and I would have to go and retrieve it. As I descended into the room below I would always find myself in a giant pool hall with rows and rows of pool tables and a large monster that looked a bit like the Gruffalo. I would have to cleverly dodge and hide from him as I fearfully searched for my bouncy ball. I think the pool table ignited that spark of lucidity and I can remember being in absolute wonderment of how unbelievably real the dream was. I could feel the hard, smooth pool balls. I could hear them click together as they hit each other and I could feel the soft felt on the table, which was a vivid and vibrant green.

What did you make of that?

I was in absolute awe, the space was so absolutely three dimensional and I had all of my faculties, but I didn‘t realize the potential of the experience until a dream soon after. I had been watching Superman (the first Christopher Reeve version) the day before. In the dream I was in my garden when I realized I was dreaming. I then thought of the scene where Superman takes Lois Lane flying and lo and behold a Superman swooped in and lifted me high above my garden and I still remember looking down, watching my garden swing get smaller and smaller as we flew higher. That was the first of many flying dreams. At the time I thought it couldn‟t get better than that!

What about lucid dreaming caught your interest and attention? What made you want to have another lucid dream and pursue it further?

It was so magical being in a dream space and aware of it, able to fly and for it to feel so amazingly real. I think anyone would want to recreate that. When I revisited lucid dreaming as an adult my initial motivation was simply to fly again in my dreams. Something completely unexpected happened though when I opened those flood gates and I was taken on a journey I couldn‘t have imagined. I was shown things about myself and the nature of reality that have completely changed my perspective about everything.

When you become lucid, does it result from a particular induction or incubation technique? Or have you simply trained yourself to notice the unusual when dreaming?

I find meditation, general mindfulness and frequent reality questioning is really effective. I like to transition directly from a waking state to a dream state so I find the wake back to bed method combined with meditation and affirmations very powerful. I tend to focus on hypnogogic imagery until they form into dream scenes and then step directly into the dream that way. If I‘m unsuccessful and lose consciousness then a common dream sign for me is that I‘m in a room with no doors and the windows don‘t open, so the only way to get out is to realize I‘m dreaming and walk through the wall or fly through a window.

You have some fascinating examples of your paintings and sculptures at your website Does your training as an artist assist you in becoming lucid? (For example, you might notice strange details in the visual setting, and conclude, “Oh, this is a dream!”)

I think being visually aware is definitely helpful. The period I mentioned earlier where my dreams became incredibly vivid was a time when I was prolifically painting and not doing much else, as I was beavering away at a couple of commissions I needed to get finished. My paintings are very meditative and the process of painting for me is a visual, moving meditation. I think that really helped me to become lucid and maintain very prolonged and vivid lucid dreams as I was experiencing heightened focus and long periods of pure present moment awareness.

Because some of your artwork has to do with the nature of motion and the passage of time, have you ever played with these ideas in lucid dreams? Occasionally, some lucid dreamers mention „re-winding‟ the lucid dream to a portion they want to review, or freezing the lucid dream to examine that specific moment. While other lucid dreamers report playing with time by suggesting that they experience the past (even the past before their birth) or future. So have you used lucid dreaming to play with time and movement? What happened?

I have had a lucid dream where I commanded that everything pause and then I explored the frozen people and objects before setting the dream back in motion, which was a surreal and fun experience.

I had another dream where I was shown the life I thought I wanted at the time. It was like a projected fast forward reality. I had the absolute awareness of the future version of me. I looked, acted and felt like this older version of me. I looked down and I could physically feel my middle aged body as my own. I felt my future emotions and thought my future thought. Everything had panned out the way I wanted at the time and I realized by the end of the dream that it had bored me out of my brain and it wasn‘t actually what I wanted at all! It made me totally rethink some of my goals and wishes. It also made me more fearless about pursuing an alternative career path that feeds my passions and my soul without fitting into societal norms and other people expectations.

In the coming month, you and I will be offering a workshop in London, “Exploring the Healing Potential of Lucid Dreaming.” Have you personally used lucid dreaming as a means for emotional or physical healing? If you would, please share an example of your own, or if you prefer, someone else.

I have found that dreams naturally bring to the surface anything that needs healing or bringing into balance. This could be (often unrecognized) subconscious fears, suppressed emotions or limiting beliefs. The root causes of many emotional, physical or mental limitations are simply aspects of ourselves we don‘t fully love or accept and these aspects come to us as ‘shadow’ aspects in dreams. Lucid dreaming is a wonderful tool to integrate these elements and cast light into the shadow with profound effects. Without always intending to I‘ve often stumbled across subconscious limitations I wasn‘t aware of by chance and used ‘shadow integration’ techniques to heal these.

It‘s also possible to use dreams for direct physical healing and I‘d like to share a powerful lucid dream experienced by my friend Tereza Griffin, who comes to my lucid dream groups:

In the dream she found herself looking at a horse and she went into the horse‘s eye, seeing the whole structure of the veins and the eye closely. She then became the horse and subsequently transformed back into her human form. She went inside her body and was experiencing everything as a point of awareness. She wanted to heal her knee (which in waking reality gives her a lot of pain) and so took her awareness down into the left knee. She saw what looked like ‘lots of black platelets‘ and decided to ‘blast them with light’. She was able to fill the left side of the knee with light, but the right side remained dark.

How did they feel afterwards?

She then woke up and got out of bed. She started reading and then realized she was reading with her normal glasses not reading glasses. So she took them off and found she could see just as well without glasses for a full 10 minutes before her vision returned to normal. She then looked in a mirror and realized her lazy eye had also corrected itself slightly. She decided to check her knee. On the left knee where she has problems it is very indented due to loss of muscle, but to her delight, shock and awe realized there was more muscle there than before and feels that the dream had a lasting physical impact in a healing capacity on her knee a temporary effect on her eye-sight.

In a BBC story on lucid dreaming, you mention: “I’ve come to understand a lot of my fears now because I’m able to confront them directly in dreams.” What is it about lucid dreaming that allows someone to do this? Did you intend to find out your fears? Or did the fear just appear in the lucid dream, and then you had to respond?

I‘ve never really gone looking for fears in dreams and always felt confident and fairly fearless on a conscious level, so in experiences where I‘ve been confronted by fears, it‘s been quite a surprise to me.

In one dream, without any intention of seeking or uncovering a fear, I simply said to the dream ‘show me something important‘. I found myself at the mouth of a dark tunnel, feeling terrified, I could sense that there was something gruesomely menacing in this tunnel, but I was being drawn forcibly into the tunnel, unable to do anything other than continue moving forward. As I turned a corner I was confronted by an enormous and grotesque shadowy figure, like something from a horror film. I was told by the dream that this shadow figure was my fear of death. It was so horrifying that I woke myself up, but ended up in a false awakening with this shadow figure lying completely realistically beside me. I was unable to move, paralyzed by fear, with this figure breathing heavily down my neck with terrible breath and a husky gurgling rasp in his throat. I went through another false awakening before finally waking up. The fright wore off almost instantly and I was frustrated with myself for running rather than embracing this challenge.

The next morning I went straight from a waking meditation into a lucid dream and asked to be taken to my fear. I felt myself being pulled down and although I was initially frightened by the prospect of facing this figure once more I was able to transform my fear into resignation and acceptance. I felt myself open my arms and feel ready to face anything…the moment I did that the direction I was being pulled changed. I was no longer being dragged down, but instead lifted into a glorious sky with white clouds on one side and dark clouds on the other. They were all lined and bathed in gold light and I began to feel every cell in my body vibrate with indescribable, pure, ecstatic bliss. It was so beautiful I cried when I woke up.

What advice would you give someone who stumbles upon a fear, whilst lucid dreaming? And what do you learn in the process of these lucid dream healings that help you in the waking state for more lucid living?

The advice I‘d give is absolutely to face and embrace it within the dream in whatever form it comes. As soon as a fear is truly embraced it is immediately transformed, which can be life changing. As with the experience I mentioned above, I didn‘t even have to face the figure representing my fear of death in the second dream. As soon as I had made the transition to acceptance I underwent an unimaginably beautiful experience instead.

While I hadn‘t consciously been aware that I was afraid of death, I noticed I was more fearless about everything after that experience. I was less concerned with other people‘s concerns and judgment about me and less afraid to do what I really wanted to do. Some people observe that the root cause underlying all fear is the fear of death and I really believe that that dream helped me to become more fearless in every aspect of life and truly grab my life by the horns.

Many lucid dreamers wonder if dreaming and lucid dreaming merely show us the reflections of our conscious mind. The last time I visited London, you told me about a fascinating lucid dream, where you explored this quandary. What did you do in the lucid dream to get beyond the conscious mind?

There is a technique that was taught to me by Charlie Morley, who teaches lucid dreaming in London. If you preface or follow a question with ‘beyond my projections‘, that can take you beyond your subconscious filters, projections and reflections.

For example I was in a lucid dream scene when I shouted to the sky ‘show me the consciousness that is beyond my projections’. I was instantly sucked up through the universe and all around me the planets and the stars were shown to me as balls of pure light and consciousness. There was no matter, just light and the light was consciousness itself. This felt so physically real that it still gives me goose bumps thinking about it. As I hurtled through space a male voice was repeating over and over ‘the micro is the same as the macro’.

I went beyond the ‘edge’ of our universe and was surrounded by orbs of pure conscious light which were much more densely concentrated consciousness than the planets and stars. As I went higher and higher the orbs of light became more and more prevalent until there were so many that they were starting to fuse together emitting more and more light. It was truly beautiful. Above me there was nothing but pure light and unified consciousness.

An amazing lucid dream! So how did you take this? Or what did it mean to you?

I had an instantaneous block of information downloaded into my awareness within the dream that what I was being shown were other universes in an infinite sea of parallel universes, and that our universe is like a cell and that these orbs of light beyond our universe were like cells/universes in an infinite mega-verse.

I was shown that each galaxy is comparable a molecule within a cell, that solar systems are similar to atoms, that Suns are like nuclei within an atom, planets are like electrons orbiting the atom and that we are like quarks and that each decision we make causes cell division creating more universes and that it is a similar process that causes cell division in physical ‘reality’…that the different outcomes of each quark’s decisions are played out in different cells and that each cell within biology, for instance within a human being, each cell is like a universe playing out a slightly different parallel reality in an enormous mega-verse.

I was shown in the dream that this is the instigating cause of cell division. So each of us is like a mega-verse, each organ in like a system of multiverses. So each quark is pure consciousness, each electron is a collective consciousness, each cell is a collective consciousness, each organ is a collective consciousness of the cells it contains and we are a collective consciousness of all of our organs and all of the individual consciousness‘s within those organs as well as our individual soul which inhabits this housing of consciousness‘s.

I believe some of our readers will think about quantum physics and string theory, when they read this. Does that connect with your thinking, and do you wonder if talented lucid dreamers could use lucid dreaming as a tool to explore the ideas of modern physics and the nature of reality?

I‘ve been fascinated by string theory. Einstein was always searching for a unified theory of everything that explained/unified the seeming differences between the macro physical laws like gravity and electromagnetism with the seemingly strange and illogical laws of the quantum world. Ever since Einstein physicists have searched for this unifying theory. String theory seemed to be the long awaited answer. By adding extra theoretical dimensions of space, observing ten in total, everything seemed to make sense. However there were several conflicting versions of the theory and they could never quite get all of the formulae to add up.

The most current theory is M-theory, where finally all the formulae add up and it does seemingly unify the laws of quantum physics and macro physics. The theory suggests that all sub-atomic matter in the Universe is connected by and consists of a giant membrane of energy. There are infinite parallel universes where every conceivable version of you exists (as well as infinite universes where you don‘t exists) and all of these parallel universes float around in 11th dimensional space and some people suggest that they float around like balls in the 11th dimension. So by adding an extra 11th dimension to string theory, in which infinite parallel universes exist, they have achieved the unified theory everyone has been searching for since the discovery of the strangeness of the quantum world.

I didn‘t read/hear about that until about 9 months after the dream, so it feels as though I was being shown the fundamental principles of M-theory long before I was consciously or subconsciously exposed to them in waking reality. It feels that the dream was not only showing me the principles of M-theory but also relating them to the various microcosms within our bodies, so I absolutely think that lucid dreaming has the potential to answer questions about the nature of reality.

You briefly touched upon the idea of interacting with a larger awareness in lucid dreams, or what I call the awareness behind the dream. What type of lucid dream experiments or questions have you posed to that awareness?

I had an unexpected experience relating to time when I shouted to the larger awareness ‘beyond my projections, show me my multidimensional nature’… the dream split in to many layers and I was shown dozens of lives I‘m living simultaneously. These included lives from different time periods, that we would consider ‘past-lives’ as well as future lives. The dream was showing me that the past, present and future all exists in the present moment and time flows in all directions. This non-linear nature of time is something that quantum physicists know on a theoretical level, but it‘s difficult to imagine or feel without direct experience.

In other issues of LDE, we have had interviews and articles on lucid dreamers accessing unknown information in lucid dreams. Have you had lucid dreams that seemed to provide you unknown information that you later validated?

I had an interesting experience when a dream figure told me to eat more eggs to help improve my lucid dreams. The next day I stumbled across a YouTube video about Choline Bitartrate as a natural supplement to improve the frequency of lucid dreams as well as recall, which is found naturally in egg yolks.

I also feel that the dream I mentioned earlier where I shouted ‘show me the consciousness that is beyond my projections‘ was showing me the principles of M-theory, which I wasn‘t aware of until about 9 months after the dream.

I also often experience what I call ‘next-day residue’, which is like day residue, where you get the day‘s events weaving into your dreams, but it is events from the day after the dream as opposed to the day before that are seeping into the dream.

Looking forward, what areas would you like to explore through lucid dreaming?

I certainly hope to explore healing, the nature of consciousness, void space and the nature of the connection that underlies and unites all things more. I always find that the most profound experiences occur when I go with the flow and allow the dream to take the lead and show me what it want to see. So without trying to control it too much I look forward to continuing the journey and seeing where it takes me. Lucid dreaming feels like a limitless and exciting adventure.

Observing Transformations: How Changing Your Mind Affects Dream Figure2016-10-14T13:33:23-05:00
  • waggoner-observing-transformations

By Robert Waggoner © 2016   All Rights Reserved

“Who are you? Who are you?”

At the time, it seemed a simple question, which I posed to the young woman in the lucid dream. But this simple question led to profound lessons in lucidity, and taught me much about the nature of transformation in dreams, lucid dreams and waking.

In the dream, I found myself in a farmhouse kitchen in the South. The farm wife cooked on the stove and I sat at the kitchen table with my oldest brother and someone else. When the farm wife placed a pile of cooked beans on my plate, it all struck me as too strange.  Suddenly it hit me, ‘This is a lucid dream!’

Immediately, I knew someone stood behind me, since I could feel the energy. Realizing that the ‘Shadow’ (or the denied, ignored or repressed aspects of the self according to Carl Jung) often remained behind the person, I turned and discovered an attractive, young black woman there. Picking her up, I brought her directly in front of me, and asked, “Who are you? Who are you?” She returned my gaze, and replied, “I am a discarded aspect of yourself.”

How do you respond to “a discarded aspect of yourself?” What does “a discarded aspect of yourself” even want? For a moment, these questions bounced around my mind. And then I just knew – a discarded aspect wants acceptance — complete, heartfelt acceptance. From my heart came complete and total acceptance for this dream figure, this discarded aspect of myself.

After that, something magically unexpected happened. As I sent complete and total acceptance onto this “discarded aspect”, she began to shrink towards her center point, and then transformed into wisps of colored light that headed straight towards my torso, and entered me with an energetic jolt!

Accepting a Dream Figure Transforms It

Upon waking, I knew the ‘light’ energy had changed me somehow. A week later, the answer became clear: Ever since this lucid dream, I thought daily about trying to write a book on lucid dreams – a project I started two years earlier, but discarded. Now it made sense! The energy of the “discarded aspect” or discarded book project had now re-integrated with me, through my complete acceptance of the dream figure. Moreover, that energy propelled me forward to write my first book, Lucid Dreaming: Gateway to the Inner Self.

So what ‘lessons in lucidity’ emerged from this brief lucid dream? Here, you can see a few:

  1. Many (but not all) dream figures exist as projections of your mental energy.
  2. Shadow-type dream figures (ignored, denied, repressed aspects) can re-integrate with you ‘if’ you totally acknowledge and accept them from the heart.
  3. Totally accepting such a dream figure often results in it returning to its natural state of mental/emotional energy, experienced as light and energy.
  4. A lesser acceptance by you may result in the dream figure changing; for example, shrinking, or becoming less threatening, etc. Because they change as your mind changes, you see that they ‘connect’ to your mindstream.
  5. Reintegrating energy in a dream or lucid dream can dramatically change your waking life experience.

When you think about ‘transformations’ in lucid dreams, you often think about transforming yourself into something – a bird, a rock, a tree.

But lucid dreaming shows you that if you transform yourself or your response, then the lucid dream (or the figures in it) may change dramatically. This change can serve to transform your waking experience, helping you to live more lucidly and more compassionately.

Respond lucidly; respond with compassion.

Interacting with Deceased Dream Figures: Symbols or Something Else?2016-10-14T13:33:23-05:00
  • waggoner-lucid-dreams-of-deceased

By Robert Waggoner © 2016 All Rights Reserved

Have you ever dreamt of a deceased friend or relative? Did you wonder upon waking if you experienced a possible visitation or just a dream symbol? How can you tell?

In the weeks after my father passed, I found myself sitting with him at a TWA departure gate in some nondescript, silvery gray airport. My father didn’t say anything, and little happened in the dream. After a second dream of waiting with him at the TWA gate, the symbolism suddenly hit me. The TWA gate symbolically stood for ‘Trans World Airlines’ – the most appropriate airline for the recently deceased to trans-fer from the world of the living to the world of the dead.

Looking back, I now see how this dream symbolically reflected my inner emotional processing of my father’s transition. He sat at the gate with apparently nothing left to do, except for me to accept his journey. Though some might wonder if the spiritual essence of my father sat with me in these dreams, it seems to me that I sat with a dream figure, a symbolic projection of my mind.

However in lucid dreams, when I realize that I dream, I have an advantage. I can consciously engage the deceased dream figure, and see how it responds. In my book, Lucid Dreaming – Gateway to the Inner Self, I include a chapter on this fascinating topic, because oftentimes, lucid dreamers become lucidly aware upon seeing the deceased and realizing, ‘This must be a dream!’

Dream Symbol or Visitation?

So how can we reasonably differentiate a dream symbol of the deceased with that of a possible visitation? The following points may help you notice subtle distinctions that differentiate a dream symbol from a possible visitation:

  1. Active versus static dream figures – If the deceased dream figure initiates action or seeks to contact you or show you something, then it suggests a possible encounter with the person’s spiritual essence. But if the deceased dream figure sits like a potted plant, as my father did at the TWA gate, then the lack of purposeful activity suggests a symbolic projection of one’s mind.
  2. Knowledgeable dream figures – If the deceased dream figure comes with a message, warning or advice (in person or by phone, etc.), then it suggests a possible encounter. Interestingly, Frederick van Eeden the person who many believe coined the term ‘lucid dreaming’ recounted an experience where a deceased brother in law warned him of an upcoming financial loss, which van Eeden later experienced. If the dream figure seems to lack new or novel information, then it may suggest a symbolic projection.
  3. How he or she looks in the dream – When you encounter the deceased, do they look younger, more vital and healthy than when they passed? Or do they reflect their appearance when last seen (for example in a state of ill health and decline)? When I see my maternal grandmother in a dream and she seems in her thirties (while I only knew her in her 70’s and older), it suggests the dream figure has acted to re-cast themselves as they prefer to be seen instead of as I recall them. This observation seems to indicate a dream figure independent of my thinking or memory, which leads me to assume a dream visitation.
  4. Eye contact – When we engage others, we often look them in the eye. The eye to eye contact often helps us see their response or sense of inner activity. If we recall a dream of the deceased and their eyes seem active and lively, it suggests an encounter. However if they fail to look in our eyes or seem to stare passively into space, then it suggests a symbolic projection.
  5. Your dream occurs during grieving or long afterwards – If the dream appearance of the deceased occurs during the time of active grieving, then it may simply reflect the inner work of processing your emotions. By contrast, if the deceased appear many years later (after the normal mourning process has ended) and possibly seek you out or share information, then it seems more suggestive of a visitation encounter.

In lucid dreams, it seems easier to determine a dream figure’s status, especially if we thoughtfully interact with the deceased dream figure, judge their awareness and test their responsiveness, knowledge and behavior. We can even ask them questions and obtain information outside of our knowing, which we can later seek to validate. Processing all of this information should help clarify the nature of the encounter.

Dreamers and lucid dreamers must take care to examine personal assumptions and beliefs, when engaging the deceased. Avoid getting trapped by strong beliefs on either side of the after-death question, and simply investigate with an open mind. By investigating, observing and questioning with a curious heart, we can become more insightful explorers of the mysterious realm of dreaming.

Author Robert Waggoner wrote the acclaimed book, Lucid Dreaming – Gateway to the Inner Self (now in its ninth printing) and the recent book for beginners, Lucid Dreaming Plain and Simple with co-author, Caroline McCready (visit ) He co-edits the free on-line magazine, Lucid Dreaming Experience, which had a special issue on deceased dream figures ( see ). When he isn’t writing or giving workshops, Robert occasionally dreams of his two very talkative, but now deceased cats, Penny and Nickel.

In Lucid Dreams, Does Space Exist?2016-12-27T21:30:12-05:00
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By Robert Waggoner © 2016 All Rights Reserved

Does space actually exist in your lucid dreams?

Many of you may find this question strange. Once lucid, you fly around cities, go through walls and explore the dreamscape. In fact, some lucid dreams involve almost constant exploring. Space certainly seems to exist, since you perceive yourself moving through it.

Yet as a lucid dreamer, you may notice that you could announce, “Let me see the Eifel Tower in Paris when I turn around!” And with a sense of positive expectation when you turn around, you now find yourself looking at the Eifel Tower.

What does that say about the ‘space’ behind you?

Or as a lucid dreamer, you may have ignored the dream figures and called out a request to the non-visible awareness behind the dream, “Show me something important for me to see!” Suddenly, the previous dreamscape vanishes, and you find yourself looking at an entirely new environment.

What does that say about the ‘space’ in front of you?

Or as an experienced lucid dreamer, you could stop in the lucid dream (as I once did), cross your dream legs and begin to meditate (for me, this meant emptying my mind). Doing so with eyes open, I noticed that the visual space in front of me began to get torn away like a ripped screen, and brilliant light shot through the ever-increasing rips and holes.

What does emptying your mind say about the nature of ‘space’?

Lucidly Playing with Space

Or perhaps you could play with space, as did Alan Worsley, the first lucid dreamer to signal his lucid awareness with his eyes while sleeping in Keith Hearne’s University of Hull sleep lab in 1975. For instance, when lucid, he might see how far his fingers would extend if he jumped off a tall building while hanging onto the ledge. He lucidly watched as his dream fingers stretched longer and longer as he hung onto the ledge.

Yet Worsley also played with ‘space’ in lucid dreams. Seeing a distant spot to visit, he lucidly refused to fly to it. Instead, he pulled the distant spot to him through the power of his ‘will’ or intent. Suddenly as he watched, the distant spot came rushing to him.

When a distant ‘space’ comes to you in a lucid dream, what does that say about lucid dreaming space?

In these examples, you can see the foolish question, ‘Does space actually exist in lucid dreams?’ may not seem so foolish after all. When you play with space, you begin to realize (much like Alan Worsley and others) that you play with an idea, or perhaps you might call it, Ideational Space.

Ideational Space; Space as Idea

Ideational Space seems to have certain qualities connected to it:

  1. Ideational Space appears mentally responsive (e.g., When Alan Worsley pulls a distant spot to him, it comes.)
  2. Ideational Space seems mentally reflective (e.g., As I empty my mind through meditation, the imagery begins to disappear.)
  3. Ideational Space seems infinitely capable of expressing form or potential (e.g., As you announce, ‘Show me something important for me to see!’, a new unexpected tableau appears.)
  4. Ideational Space allows for communicating and exchanging energy and information with another layer of awareness.

Knowing that physicists like Einstein have shown the linked or relative nature of time and space, or space/time, could a lucid dreamer also play with the concept of Ideational Time?

In lucid dreams, does Ideational Time seem mentally responsive and reflective? Can you move through Ideational Time in a lucid dream?

Does Ideational Time possess an infinite capability to allow for the expression of form and potential? Does Ideational Time allow for communicating or exchanging energy and information with another layer of awareness? How could you play with Ideational Time

Playing with time and space in lucid dreams, naturally leads to viewing time and space in the waking world as fundamentally nonessential or non-foundational. Space and time may exist as only convincing illusions that have no fundamental reality. The eighth century Buddhist dream yoga teacher and meditation master, Dawa Gyaltsen, expressed it thusly:

Appearance/Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

In lucid dreams, what actually exist?

Does Lucid Dreaming Teach You to Become a Better Lucid Dreamer?2016-10-14T13:33:24-05:00
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By Robert Waggoner © 2016   All Rights Reserved

For me and many others, our first lucid dream lesson seemed a simple one — don’t get too excited or the lucid dream may collapse. Within seconds of feeling far too much emotion while lucid, I could sense the coming collapse of the lucid dream. After a few more similar experiences, the lesson to modulate my emotions felt hardwired into my lucid dreaming playbook.

Then another lesson appeared – don’t stare at dream objects for too long. For some reason, staring at dream objects made the lucid dreams unstable and likely to collapse. Perhaps it relates to the rapid eye movement (REM) normally associated with dreaming, meaning a fixed stare seems incompatible with the dreaming process. Whatever the cause, it only took a few lucid dreams to teach me not to stare at a dream object for too long.

More lessons, even subtle ones began to occur. I realized that I had to maintain my lucid dream awareness and not get re-entranced by the lucid dream events. Has that happened to you? You become lucid, begin to explore the dream state, and see something so amazing and absorbing that you forget it’s a dream. Soon enough, you learn the lesson of maintaining ‘lucid’ awareness, while exploring the dream.

The Expectation Effect? Who Writes the Code for Lucid Dreaming?

Have you noticed the principle of the expectation effect? Lucidly aware, you ‘expect’ to fly through the wall easily, and you do so. But on the return flight, the wall seems more solid, and now you suddenly expect trouble and bounce off it! It’s a dream wall, but in that moment your expectation rules.

The lessons of lucid dreaming seem both common place and largely universal. After a number of lucid dreams, and a bit of conscious attention, most all of us begin to see that certain rules and principles apply to the lucid dream state. We may not know ‘why’ these particular rules exist, but we pay attention to the rules since violating them may result in the lucid dream’s termination.

Where does the rules and structure come from? If you play a virtual reality game on your computer, you know that somewhere, someone created the software code and rules for the virtual reality game. The rules and coding become quickly evident as you play the game,. You learn that advancing requires understanding the rules as you respond quickly and thoughtfully to the virtual reality.

But in the virtual reality of lucid dreaming, who wrote the software code? Who decided upon the rules? Who placed a campus setting on the other side of the wall that you just flew through? Does the lucid dream have an inner programmer, or does it just emerge from the cloud of the collective unconscious? Who responds to your intent?

As you explore the world of lucid dreaming, notice how the lessons occur naturally and universally. Without that, you wouldn’t be able to talk about lucid dreams with other lucid dreamers, because each person’s experience would seem too unique and idiosyncratic. But because the lucid dreaming state has rules and principles, you can discuss it and everyone gets the lessons of lucid dreaming.

Every lucid dream has a lesson. Attended to with thoughtful awareness, lucid dreaming will teach you to become a better lucid dreamer. What lessons have you learned?