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Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming

By Stephen LaBerge, Ph.D. and Howard Rheingold

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Chapter 1: The World of Lucid Dreaming
Reviews reasons for learning to become lucid in your dreams. The uses of consciousness. Lucid dreaming and the potential for promoting personal growth and self-development, enhancing self- confidence, improving mental and physical health, facilitating creative problem-solving, and helping you to progress on the path to self-mastery.

Chapter 2: Preparation for Learning Lucid Dreaming
Provides necessary background on sleep and helps you overcome any reservations you might have about lucid dreaming that might inhibit your progress. Next, it helps you get acquainted with your dreams. You will learn how to begin a dream journal, and how to increase your dream recall. You will need to recall at least one dream per night before attempting lucid dream induction techniques. When you have a dream journal with several entries, you will be ready to build a catalog of dreamsigns. These are the characteristic features of dreams that you can use as signposts to lucidity.

Chapter 3: Waking Up in the Dream
Discusses techniques for realizing you are dreaming from within the dream. The two major techniques presented are the Reflection-Intention technique, which is based on the practice of questioning whether you are awake or dreaming, and MILD, the technique I used to learn to have lucid dreams at will, which trains you to remember to notice when you are dreaming.

Chapter 4: Falling Asleep Consciously
Describes techniques for entering the dream state lucidly directly from the waking state.

Chapter 5: The Building of Dreams
Provides a solid background on the origins and nature of the dreaming process, and discusses lucid dreaming in the context of dreams in general.

Chapter 6: Principles and Practice of Lucid Dreaming
Shows you how to gain control over the dream: how to remain in a lucid dream, how to awaken when you wish, and how to manipulate and observe the dream world. In addition to explaining methods of exercising power over the dream, we discuss the benefits inherent in taking an open, flexible, and non- commanding role in lucid dreams.

Chapter 7: Adventures and Explorations
Shows how you can use lucid dreaming for wish-fulfillment and the satisfaction of your desires. Examples and suggestions are provided to help you explore new worlds or enact exciting adventures in your dreams, and show how you can tie your dream adventures into your personal self-development.

Chapter 8: Rehearsal for Living
Explains how lucid dreaming can be a practical tool for practicing for your waking life. Lucid dreaming can be used as a "flight simulator" for life, a way in which you can practice new ways of living, as well as particular skills. Practice in the dream state can contribute to enhanced experience, improved performance, and deepened understanding in waking life.

Chapter 9: Creative Problem Solving
Discusses lucid dreaming as a fruitful source of creativity, for art, science, business, or personal life. Diverse examples are given, such as the use of lucid dreaming to find a name for a soon-to-be-born child, to repair cars, or to understand abstract mathematical concepts.

Chapter 10: Overcoming Nightmares
Helps you use lucid dreaming to face and overcome fears and inhibitions that may be preventing you from getting the most out of your life. Lucid dreamers can overcome nightmares, and in so doing learn how to make the best of the worst situations imaginable.

Chapter 11: The Healing Dream
Shows how lucid dreamers can achieve more integrated, healthier personalities. Lucid dreams can also help those who have unresolved conflicts from past or present relationships, or with deceased friends or family members. And, in lucid dreams, we can learn mental flexibility. Because nothing can harm us in the dream, we can do anything, and try to solve our problems in unusual or unheard of ways. This helps us to increase our repertoire of possible behaviors in the waking world, thereby decreasing the probability of getting stuck in situations with which we don't know how to cope.

Chapter 12: Life is a Dream: Intimations of a Wider World
Takes a step beyond the application of lucid dreaming to your everyday life, and shows how lucid dreams can be used to attain a more complete understanding of yourself and your relation to the world. In the dream you are only who you "dream yourself to be," and understanding this can help you see to what extent your waking self is limited by your own conceptions of who you are. Examples of transcendental experiences that happened in lucid dreams will show you a direction that you might wish to explore in your own inner worlds.

Afterword: The Adventure Continues...
Invites you to join the Lucidity Institute, a membership society devoted to advancing knowledge on the nature and potentials of lucid dreaming.

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Last modified August 5, 2002.