Lucid Dreaming in Thailand

I love my waking life. I live in a beautiful part of the world, and the sun is always shining when I open the door. My home life couldn’t be better, and things are going well in my career at the moment. I have plenty to stay awake for, but I’m also finding increasing pleasure in my dreaming hours. I would even go so far as to say that some of the most significant events in my life recently have occurred while I was asleep. This might sound like a bizarre claim but those who regularly have lucid dreams will probably understand what I’m referring to.

Lucid Dreaming Explained

I was once highly skeptical of lucid dreaming and put it in the same category as magic crystals or fairy dust. I didn’t realize that this state of consciousness had already been given the stamp of approval by science. There are now numerous studies that confirm that it is possible for people to become fully aware in the middle of a dream. It is even suggested that as many as 50% of the population will have experienced at least some level of lucidity while dreaming.

Lucid dreaming is when people become awake while in the middle of a dream . Those who are unfamiliar with this experience are usually so startled that it wakes them up right away. Once people learn how to manage this lucidity it opens up a world of opportunity. It becomes possible to have some control in the dream. This world created by our mind then becomes our personal holodeck ; fans of Star Trek will know what I’m talking about here. In other words our dreams can become our playground and we can do almost anything we want.


Benefits of Lucid Dreaming

Those people who have never experienced lucid dreaming might wonder what all the fuss is about. We tend to take our dreams for granted and most of the time we don’t even remember them afterwards. The potential of lucidity in dreams is astounding and the benefits include

– It is an opportunity to gain insight into our subconscious. The things that we learn about our own inner landscape can completely change the way we live our waking life.
– It is possible to talk with deceased loved ones. The general consensus is that these phantoms are just part of our subconscious, but they can bring great comfort.
– It is possible to have conversations with literally anyone; including historical heroes like the Buddha or Socrates.
– We can live out our fantasies. Forget about playing an air guitar because in a lucid dream you get to see an audience and really experience what it is like to be onstage.
– Buddhists have a long history of using lucid dreaming as a path to enlightenment.
– The ability that attracts the most attention from newbie lucid dreamers is flying. The laws of gravity do not apply in the dream world so flying is not a problem.
– Another tempting diversion in lucid dreaming is to live out sexual fantasies. This is probably high on the list of reasons for why people want to learn to become lucid in the first place – it takes sex tourism to a whole new level.
– One of the most talked about potentials of lucid dreaming is the ability to master new skills. My own experiences is that lucid dreaming isn’t that great for learning new languages, but it can be good for practicing physical activities. I’ve used it for Muay Thai sparring, and it did help with my confidence.
– One of my favorite abilities in these dreams is time travel. It is even possible to revisit times before we were born or in the future. Of course most people don’t believe that we actually travel through time, but it can be extremely convincing.
* It can lead to increased creativity in our waking life.

My Own Experience with Lucid Dreaming

I had lucid dreams in my teens, but I didn’t know that this is what they were. The shock of being lucid always woke me up. I had my first sustained lucid dream during a meditation retreat at Wat Rampoeng nine years ago. I was then meditating up to 16 hours a day, and this meant that when I became lucid my automatic response was to just continue meditating. Most new lucid dreamers will do all the exciting stuff like flying, or having sex with their dream date, so my early experiences with lucidity might be considered a bit tame.

Since giving up alcohol almost six years ago I’ve developed an increased ability to lucid dream. I am experiencing them with increased regularity. I now have lucid dreams about once every couple of weeks. It is still such a joy to become aware in the middle of a dream, and I can’t imagine ever getting bored with this ability. Some people are able to become lucid every night, but I’ve yet to reach that level. I would be happy with once a week.

It is only in recent months that I’ve started reading other people’s accounts of lucid dreaming and the techniques that work for them. I highly recommend Lucid Dreaming by Stephen Laberge. I still struggle to gain control over my dreams. I just become too distracted and excited with being awake in this imaginary world that has been created inside my own head. A few nights ago I time travelled back to Dublin during the seventies. I just felt so gob-smacked by how real everything looked and felt. I wasted a lot of time just touching things. I woke up before really getting a chance to explore. There is a great deal of skill involved in dream lucidity, but I am getting better at it.

I’m surprised at how little attention is given to dream lucidity in the media. I believe that this is something that anyone could learn to do, and the rewards make the effort well worth it. It can be frustrating in the beginning, but if people keep at it they are almost certain to gain control over their dreams. We spend a good sized chunk of our life asleep so it does make sense that we make use of this time.

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18 thoughts on “Lucid Dreaming in Thailand

  1. I’m quite a vivid dreamer and can sometimes control what’s happening but lucid dreaming is a new one on me. I’ve heard the term batted around but wasn’t aware what it meant.

    Many a time I’ve come to while reading an exciting book. But there isn’t a physical book (the form of a book). It’s just the words moving across my eyes. I can stay in that weird state for quite awhile. Reading. But I only remember how engaging the storyline is + the last paragraphs or chapter. I’d love to learn how to stay around for longer, going through past chapters (if that’s even possible) and finishing the books. Or even revisiting at a later time until I’ve completed each book. They are books I don’t recall reading in waking life.

    I found the book on Kindle so I’ll see how it goes.
    Catherine recently posted..Thai Language Thai Culture: Thai Abbreviations Can Help Us Learn Vocabulary, Spelling and Pronunciation

    1. Hi Catherine, great to hear from you.

      I think you will like the Stephen Laberge book, but I must warn you that the eBook is a condensed version of the paperback – less than 100 pages. Laberge is similar to Jon Kabat-Zinn in his eagerness to stay within the realms of science.

      It is funny that you mention reading because this can be one of the hardest things for lucid dreamers. In fact it can be used as a reality check in the dream. This is because if you turn away from the text and then look back the words will usually have changed – this is a sure sign that you are dreaming 🙂 Apparently certain areas of the brain are not fully accessible when we are dreaming, and this may also be why it is difficult to learn a language in a lucid dream. You might also find this website to be interesting – http://www.world-of-lucid-dreaming.com/ (it is another no-nonsense website about lucid dreaming). I’ll be curious to hear how you get on.

      1. Paul, too bad it’s the condensed version but at least it’s a start. I’m soooo excited about finding lucid dreaming on your site. Ta 🙂

        Pity about the language learning (I had hopes). I haven’t read the book yet but maybe lucid dreaming can be used to practice Thai without embarrassment? I’ll see. I have a free time tonight with no interruptions so this book and the site will get my attention.

        When I read in my sleep I don’t turn my head away (I’ll try it next time). The stories are usually so intriguing that perhaps I simply haven’t wanted to? But I’m merely guessing – I honestly won’t know until I get back there and check.

        I experience two main types of lucid dreaming. One is reading (as I mentioned) and the other is correcting a bad dream. I ‘awake’ to the knowledge that I’m still asleep and so get the chance to redo/rewrite the outcome of a bad dream. And by the time I wake up properly I don’t have that awful sense of dread. I used to have nightmares and being able to do this is a relief.
        Catherine recently posted..Thai Language Thai Culture: Thai Abbreviations Can Help Us Learn Vocabulary, Spelling and Pronunciation

          1. No lucid dreaming last night but this morning I did wake up from a dream where I was discussing/thinking about the subject. Close, but no cigar!

            From what I read, waking up throughout the night is preferable because you have more chances to put yourself into a lucid dream state plus you remember more.

            I read this hilarious comment in one of the forums I follow:

            It’s even stranger when you’re trying to have a relationship with someone in the dream and they suddenly turn into a broom or something

            I do wake up during the night quite often so if I can get it to work, being an insomniac won’t be too bad.

            Don’t wanna make out with a stick though 😉
            Catherine recently posted..Thai Language Thai Culture: Thai Abbreviations Can Help Us Learn Vocabulary, Spelling and Pronunciation

          2. I’m sure you will lucid dreaming within the next couple of weeks Catherine. I normally wake up in the middle of the night to go for a pee. I hope it is all that coffee I drink and not my prostate. It is much easier to lucid dream in the second half of the night – apparently we also have longer rem periods at this time too so we can lucid dream for up to 40 minutes.

            I was thinking more about learning languages in lucid dreams. I think the problem is that we understand what dream characters are saying even when they are talking gibberish. The people in my dreams say things that just don’t make grammatical sense to my waking mind, but I understand them perfectly in the dream.

  2. When I first started reading this post I had to check it wasn’t April 1st 😉

    After rading the links and blogs I am arguably more sceptical of lucid dreaming, my favorite quote from Rabecca Turners forum… “two years into a relationship my partner informed my that she was a lucid creamer, I knew at that moment the relationship was doomed and the words ‘run as fast as you can crossed my mind'”

    1. Hi Lloyd, numerous studies into lucid dreaming have proved its veracity – it is no longer disputed by mainstream science. Here is just one example of the studies that can be found in peer-reviewed medical journals http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2737577/. We live in a cynical skeptical age, and people have their own biases and prejudice that prevent them from accepting facts- even when these facts are supported by the evidence. Lucid dreaming is probably one of those things that you need to experience for yourself. As far as I know you don’t have to believe in them to experience them so maybe there is still hope for you yet 🙂

      BTW – the comment you found on Rebecca Turner’s forum is funny so thanks for making me chuckle this morning.

      1. Over the years science, as a whole, constantly changes how it “views” all manner of proven theories. The problem with Lucid dreaming is there is no way to prove what the person is claiming actually happened because dreams are not visible to anyone but the dreamer.

        I liken it to religion, you either believe its true, you believe there might be some validity but have some doubts or you don’t believe, thats not being synical, skepical or having biases its simply being pragmatical!

        1. While it is certainly true that we can debate the content of lucid dreams, as these are based on anecdotal accounts, there is no doubting that people do become aware while in the middle of these mind created worlds. I’ve shared some of my experiences with lucid dreams in good faith, but I understand if you wish to discount my experiences. I have no problems with you disbelieving me, but I just feel it is a bit of a shame that you would dismiss lucid dreaming.

          I’m not sure that I accept your comparison with religion. I’m not aware of any evidence that disputes lucid dreaming, and it has been extensively studied. Of course it is perfectly reasonable for you to disbelieve in lucid dreaming, but it would be disingenuous if you were to claim that science backed your beliefs – not that I’m saying that you are doing this here.

  3. Paul, I finally had a lucid dream but only after I wandered away from trying.

    For several days after reading about lucid dreaming I’d make a point of looking at my hand and saying, “you are awake” and “are you awake?” (I was too lazy to reread the book so I used both). But after awhile I forgot about doing it (appliances are long out of warranty so things have been a wee bit crazy around here).

    In my ‘dream’, I ‘awoke’ to the realisation that I was laying on the sofa, looking around the living room through closed eyelids.

    I’ve done it before so it wasn’t too weird but usually there’s a book to read. Not this time.

    I looked around for awhile, not moving from my position, while saying to myself several times, “you are awake and your eyes are closed but you can see through your eyelids”.

    That’s it. Not really mind-numbingly awesome. And not a broom in sight.

    I don’t remember anything else but could have been more to it. Tomorrow I’ll try and remember what I was dreaming about before getting up and rushing into my day.
    Catherine recently posted..WIN! WIN! WIN! 3 Talking Thai–English–Thai Dictionary iPhone iPad iPod Apps

    1. Hi Catherine, that sounds good to me. I haven’t had any lucid dreams in a week despite doing my best to encourage them. I sometimes wonder if it is better to just let them come on their own. I envy those people who can lucid dream on demand.

  4. Hi Paul. Apparently a lot of lucid dreams are according to certain sources astral projection. The people and beings you meet there are inhabitants of the lower astral planes. To take that one step further, the lower astral plane of existance is home to lost souls. Beings whose lives ended suddenly and violently, suicide’s, murder victims etc.

    Not my opinion of course, but hey who knows?

    As for myself I do enjoy a good lucid dream when they come around. In my case quite rarely. The only problem that I’ve ever experienced is sleep paralaysis. Trying to wake myself up, and not being able to move a muscle.
    mark recently posted..Are Pattaya Bar Girls Getting Too Expensive?

    1. Hi Mark, I agree that astral projection is an interesting theory when applied to lucid dreaming. I wouldn’t say that such a theory is impossible, but I’ve not seen enough evidence to jump to that type of conclusion. I also like some of the ideas of Bob Monroe, but there probably is a risk of becoming deluded by this stuff.

      Sleep paralysis can be a real pain, and it is something that I have dealt with in the past and very recently (two nights ago). The inability to move combined with hypnagogia (particularly when it involves the ‘old hag’) can be a terrifying mix. I have been meaning to do a post on sleep paralysis, but I just haven’t gotten around to it. Last week I experienced it as an intensely strong vibration (like taking off in an airplane) – it was strange.

  5. It’s a great feeling when you can take off and fly. However, the last lucid dream I had ended rather badly. All was going great until for some unknown reason my mind wanted to relax. The thought of running water popped into my head, and the next thing I knew was I was in the swimming baths. Well you can guess the rest. I went under the water, couldn’t breath, and had to fight like mad to wake myself up gasping for air.
    mark recently posted..Are Pattaya Bar Girls Getting Too Expensive?

    1. Hi Mark, I’ve been lucky so far with lucid dreams. I do lose control but nothing bad has happened to me yet. It is more the sleep paralysis that worries me – although I’ve heard that false awakenings can also be a bit unpleasant.

  6. Tonight, I will be consciously informed of my dream.

    These power centers are placed in seven distinct places all across our body.
    He decides who the people in his dream are, what places in his
    dream are and what the ending of his dream is.
    lucid dream wikihow recently posted..lucid dream wikihow

  7. I have been practicing Lucid Dreams for a while now my most memorable one is floating up to the heavens and being totally relaxed without a care in the world. I have been reading a lot of books lately on live after death and people who have experienced passing over and returning to their bodies so I don’t know if that has anything to do with it or not.

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