One night in a dream, a tall and attractive man appeared outside my house wearing a naval officer’s uniform. I distinctly remember his blue jacket and white cap. He was a stranger, and yet I felt I could trust him. I let him in and he stayed to talk to me for a long time. Although I couldn’t remember our conversation, later that night I suddenly found myself practicing this technique:
I go back to sleep mindfully with the intent to have a lucid dream. I visualize a surfer picking up her board and then walking into the ocean holding it against her. She (I) walks through the surf—breathing in… the tide receding… breathing out… the tide flowing onto the shore.
Now mentally immersed in the scene, I see the surfer spreading herself across the board and paddling out toward the open sea, the motion of her arms the rhythm of my heartbeat. I equate the bed my body is resting on with the water beneath the board becoming ever deeper and softer.
[pullquote]The more real I make the experience, the more effective the technique seems to be.[/pullquote]
Then, where the two opposing currents meet—waves flowing toward the shore and the waking world vs. the irresistible undertow pulling my thoughts into the dark depths of sleep—the surfer spreads herself across the board of her intent and observes the hypnagogic waves, frothing with images, waiting for the one she senses might be consciously surfed into a lucid dream.
Remaining mentally awake long enough to ride the hypnagogic waves dramatically increases the odds that once I fall asleep, I’ll be able to raise my head above a dream’s subconscious currents and declare — I’m dreaming!
The Surfer Technique is so much easier, and so much more fun, for me to practice on a nightly basis than concentrating on my breathing while focusing on successive parts of my body in an effort to relax. I totally lose patience with that, whereas I always enjoy deepening the surfer visualization by adding more sensual details—the temperature of the water, the feel of the ocean spray on my face, and so on.
The more real I make the experience, the more effective the technique seems to be.
I also sometimes wear a sleep mask after four-o’clock in the morning, when lucid dreams are more likely to happen. I found this particular mask on amazon: the Clark Comfort Eye Mask— it is quite comfortable; I have no problem falling asleep with it on as its gentle pressure helps focus my intent.
Wearing a sleep mask eliminates the concern my eyes will open—the board tipping over—and abruptly return me to the waking world.
Once awake in a dream, physical sensations help anchor my lucidity. I quickly touch different parts of my body, stripping off pieces of clothing if necessary, and plant my bare feet on the floor. I employ the classic technique of periodically raising my hands in front of my face and either thinking or saying out loud I’m dreaming.
It also helps me sustain lucidity when I keep looking around me instead of focusing for too long on one object, person or activity. Even when engaged in a conversation, every now and then I’m careful to look away from the dream character’s face.
Like a whale coming up for air, my Inner Self has the power to regularly rise up from the dark depths of sleep and take in the joyfully clear, life enhancing atmosphere of a lucid dream.
Maria Isabel Pita has traveled extensively and authored critically acclaimed paranormal, contemporary and historical romances in addition to the historical epic Truth is the Soul of the Sun-A Biographical Novel of Hatshepsut-Maatkare and the best-selling Kindle Single A Concise Guide to Ancient Egypt’s Magic and Religion.
First Image Credit: Surfer Girls by PinCheck