Does Lucid Dreaming Teach You to Become a Better Lucid Dreamer?

Does Lucid Dreaming Teach You to Become a Better Lucid Dreamer?

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?

By |2016-10-14T13:33:24+00:00October 13th, 2016|Articles|4 Comments

About the Author:

Robert Waggoner wrote the acclaimed book, Lucid Dreaming – Gateway to the Inner Self (now in its tenth printing), and co-authored Lucid Dreaming Plain and Simple with Caroline McCready. A past President of the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD), Waggoner serves at co-editor of the online magazine, The Lucid Dreaming Experience, (ISSN 2167-616X); the only ongoing publication devoted specifically to lucid dreaming. A lucid dreamer since 1975, he has logged more than 1,000 lucid dreams.


  1. Ricardo August 17, 2017 at 6:26 pm - Reply

    Robert, I am a bad lucid Dreamer, nevertheless I think I can stare at objects while in a LD. In fact, i can get some good concentration and stabilize my dream. Why does that happen?

    • Robert Waggoner August 18, 2017 at 10:22 am - Reply

      Hi Ricardo,
      Thanks for your comment. Perhaps the next time you find yourself in a lucid dream, then you can stare fixedly at an object for five seconds — and see what happens — and then let us know your experience.
      Good luck!

  2. Marko September 14, 2017 at 4:45 pm - Reply

    I’m hoping to ask my dream awareness or dream figures to help me become a better lucid dreamer with specific tips for me to use and consider. I imagine others have asked similar questions. What did they come up with? I’m sure some will be more for the individual dreamer and others more universal.

    I’d like to see a section dedicated to these and other lucid dream ideas and experiments & compare notes.

  3. deric smith January 14, 2019 at 7:26 am - Reply

    Could you comment on possible blocks to lucid dreaming that come from a person’s personality. Bad habits etc. You said you have to do some introspection and maybe adjustments to attitudes. What might be blocking my progress?

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