Sunday, August 31, 2014

Dream Control Essentials

The following is a lesson from the upcoming 2014 edition of The Lucid Dreaming Fast Track  For more lessons like this, check out my course at the website.

The best way to actively control your lucid dreams is to exploit unconscious dream principles. Today I'll show you how they work with some of the most common dream desires: flying, changing the scenery and making music.

Flying Dreams 

Most lucid dreamers love to fly...

However, flying dreams are not always that easy to control... and that's not surprising - we have no experience of flying unaided in real life!

Where does the energy go in take-off?

How do we guide our air speed, direction or altitude?

What is the driving force of this fanciful flight?

But these are physical concerns, and the lucid dream is a mental construct. Which is why your new ability to fly in your dreams is founded mentally, not physically.

Remember in The Matrix when Morpheus asks Neo how he beat him in a virtual reality fight? He asks, was it because he was stronger, faster, or fitter in the simulated world?

No. It was because he truly believed he was better.

​It’s the same concept in lucid dreams.

(It's not surprising, perhaps, that the Wachowskis themselves are lucid dreamers. Without ever alluding to it, The Matrix is a veritable instruction manual for lucid dream control.)
For most people, successful flight boils down to the level of confidence you have in defying imaginary gravity. Overcoming that mental hurdle requires the absolute certainty that you are dreaming.

So, start with the clarifying statement: "I'm dreaming."

Elaborate if you feel those words alone aren't hitting the mark: "I'm inside a dream. This is all in my head. I can do anything here." Perform a reality check and boost your lucidity.

The next step is to practice your new anti-gravity mindset. Demonstrate to yourself and to the dream that you can hop and bounce along the dreamscape perfectly well.

Remember that it’s all a dream and you are safe.

Now start to hover... and fly. All within your comfort zone at first.

The more you succeed, the more confidence you will build. For a lot of people, this small bit of practice is all it takes before they go soaring off above the clouds, Superman style.

Repeat: "I'm dreaming. I can fly!" if you feel like you're faltering at any time.

For an alternative boost, use a flying aid like a jet pack, giant wings, Iron Man suit, or a dragon. This can give the ultimate confidence in your flying abilities. Some dreamers swear by it.

Creating Dream Scenes

You're standing alongside Gandalf, fighting off The Black Uruks of Barad-dur (only the most feared orcs in Middle Earth) when you realize it's all getting a bit much and you'd prefer to be gazing at a turquoise lagoon in the Caribbean. In 1720.

No problem - just change the dream scene.

There's just one minor drawback. Simply thinking of a beach location isn't usually enough to get you there.

Of course, we're still in the mental construct of a lucid dream and the same rule applies as before. The hurdle you must overcome is defying the waking logic that "scenes" do not just "appear".

I like to get a bit creative with scene changes and you will likely find completely different methods that work for you. Here are some of my favorites to start off with:

  • It's behind you. I wanted to eat lucidly in my dream but I was in the middle of an empty field. So imagined there was a restaurant behind me, and when I turned around a second later, there it was. I went in and ordered a delicious meal of roast chicken.

  • Mirror portals. Did you know that mirrors are portals to other realities? Of course you did. The crucial element is understanding that the glass is actually a viscous liquid and you may plunge your face right in there, only to emerge in a brand new scene.

  • Dream doors. These are well known for their illogical nature. A dream door stands inexplicably in the middle of a dreamscape, or is any door leading to the unknown. Closing a dream door and opening it again can reveal a completely different time or place.

  • Spin around. Cited as a dream stabilizer, spinning can also transform your dreamscene. Your calm expectation of the desired location will create it for you. Spinning also causes the dream to fade to black. Some dreamers call this "the void" - a place for quiet meditation - while others see it as simply a lack of visual scenery. I recommend exploring this curious state. 

  • Movie reel. From the blackness, you can initiate a new scene by watching it appear on a distant movie reel in the darkness. Allow the reel to approach you in space before becoming fully immersed in the frame.

In all of these scenarios, the most important thing is to have a calm expectation of what you seek.

When semi-lucid, you may find yourself in a battle of logic with your unconscious dreaming mind. Nothing about the dream is changing how you'd like. If so, remind yourself clearly: "I am dreaming" and perform your lucidity stabilization techniques. Then try again.

One of the most powerful ways to have your expectation fulfilled is to say the words out loud:

  • "I'm in Jurassic Park."
  • "I can shoot fireballs from my hands."
  • "Through this portal, it's one million years B.C."
  • "I'm a giant man in a land of tiny apes."
  • "I have telekinetic powers."
  • "I'm Batman."
  • "I'm Guybrush Threepwood."

Saying it out loud just makes it more real.


I love to hear music in my lucid dreams. It's like the experience of listening to music in real life - but often more potent. The sound surrounds you. You dance on the inside. You can even see it.

Sometimes music arises spontaneously in lucid dreams but if not, summon it using the same principle as before. Audializing sound in your head may not come naturally to everyone so just say out loud:

"I can hear violins playing."

Then await the music.

You can also seek out your favorite composer or instrument and allow the dream to progress naturally. If you can recreate your lucid dream music on waking - you've struck gold:

"Being lucid, I wiped out everything and stood in the clouds. I constructed a huge piano out of light and started conducting it. I say conducting rather than playing, because I didn't have to touch the piano to make it play. I was waving my fingers at it like a wizard. Every time I played a key, that note would send light up into the sky.

I played the four chords with my left hand and the music became louder and warmer. Then I started playing the other parts of the song. My mood lifted with the pace of the music. Drums joined in out of nowhere. A soft bass hummed underneath us and buzzed in elation at the end of each bar. I made fills and solos and flourishes. It was awesome."

- Peter Casale 
[Listen to the song, Lucid, on YouTube.]

Remember that you don't need an instrument, nor any technical knowledge of creating music, in order to conjure beautiful sounds in a lucid dream. It's all in your memory and your imagination.

I'm not an accomplished musician. I play piano by ear, because I'm too lazy to read sheet music. I don't play any other instruments. And yet, I have wonderfully musical lucid dreams.

I once dreamed of composing a song with many instruments while leaping across lily pads. Each time I landed, another part of the soundtrack grew in complexity.

Other musical dreams have been fueled by emotions and movement; so that flying creates light, string-filled pieces... and bursts of happiness create twinkling noises, the intensity of which I can see.

Turns out there aren't enough words in my vocabulary to describe the awesomeness of lucid dream music.

For more lessons like this -- including step-by-step advice on becoming lucid, sustaining your lucidity, exploring your dreams, and applying the benefits to your waking life -- see the Lucid Dreaming Fast Track  course.