Mindfulness and Lucidity

After thinking it over, I figured that this would go best in Theory of Lucidity; you may have noticed it in the Quest, but it has seemed to mysteriously disappear before any sightings were reported…

And now it’s in the newest forum, General Lucidness! :cheesy:</BB edit>

On several occasions, I’ve read how meditation is related to lucid dreaming, and yet I haven’t questioned just how they were related until today. As someone who meditates, I have also noticed an increase in lucid dream frequency when I do start to meditate consistently. For the most part, I never gave it much thought, but instead I was simply thankful that I had found a sure way to have plenty of lucid dreams, and improve my life while I’m at it.

Finally, while I was relaxing on my couch earlier this evening, a thought suddenly hit me. Mindfulness. One of the main goals of meditation (there are several, but now isn’t the time to elaborate) is to achieve mindfulness and concentration in your daily life. Out of habit, most of us spend our lives immersed in out own thoughts without even realizing it. Rather than being mindful of our current situation, we’re normally distracted by all kinds of thoughts, that we didn’t even have direct control of in the first place! During Mindfulness of Breathing meditation, for example, the main goal is to remain focused on our breathing throughout the session. To any meditators out there, it’s no surprise that this isn’t as easy as it looks. We often end up getting distracted and heading away on a train of thought, and completely forgetting about the practice, until we suddenly remind ourselves what we should be focusing on.

The same goes for our habits in daily life. Just now I have wasted some time by becoming distracted while typing this—it’s true! :eek: Rather than focus completely on the situation at hand, most of the time we find ourselves getting caught up with all kinds of thoughts. Either we’re fantasizing about something we would like to happen, or we’re putting ourselves down, or perhaps thinking back to a past situation that didn’t go so well. Those are just some examples; the list goes on and on! Rarely do we completely focus on the situation around us.

So, what does this long winded post have anything to do with lucid dreaming? One could say that becoming mindful of your current situation is similar to becoming lucid. Normal dreams are analogous to distraction. We aren’t completely mindful of the current situation, in the least! Why is that? In the current situation, you’re dreaming, but you don’t even know it! That sudden moment that one becomes lucid is just like that moment during meditation that you suddenly realized that you have just spent the last few minutes in a state of distraction, and suddenly decide to become mindful of the situation. It’s just like the real life situation in which you’re supposed to be doing your work, and yet you’re daydreaming, but suddenly snap back into the real situation.

In this sense, lucidity is the same as mindfulness; you simply become aware of the situation, and that you are, in fact, dreaming.

Any thoughts? :peek:

Oh, I also nearly forgot to mention that during meditation we train ourselves to become more mindful and aware, which improves the odds of having lucid dreams. That is my possible explanation as to why meditation increases lucid dreaming frequency.

Any objections? Any actual scientific proof that shows that I’m onto something, or that I’m a complete idiot? Speak now, or forever hold your peace. :josh:

I think you’re absolutely right :smile:
In fact, I think there is actualy scientific evidence to back you up - I remember reading something by Dr. LaBerge about how meditation can help with lucid dreaming, something about the increased awareness which you mentioned…I’m not sure where I read it though, I’ll have to go search for it.

Definitely agree! This is actually something I’ve been thinking about the last few months. I’ve been reading a lot of Zen and Taoist texts, which reinforce the idea that the average human mind goes through life in a dream state- meditation helps you to escape this. If lucidity in a dream accomplishes the same thing, I think that practicing lucid dreaming can greatly increase mindfulness in waking life.

I might add that all of my most vivid and intense lucid dreams have occured after a good meditation session before bed. However, my intention was never to induce lucid dreaming. Actually… I should probably start doing that, eh?

I wonder how many other LDers on these forums meditate regularly? It would be nice to compare. :smile:

I also agree, meditation is learing to take the time to experance what is happening now. To learn about yourself. We tend to spend lots of time avoiding what is going on around us, and ourselvs. We think of all kinds of things, or do all kinds of things to “take our minds off of the current moment”. We do not want to listen to whoever is talking, or we don’t want to be where we are, or we do not want to think about ourselves, what we want. We distract ourselves with watching TV, playing a vidio game, or doing someting with friends.
Meditation is a way of stoping the distractions, and really looking around at the world and ourselves. It must naturaly help with LD’ing because as this “being aware” of our suroundings becomes a natural way of being, then it will also happen in our dreams, then we will be aware that we are dreaming.

This hasn’t happened with all of my vivid lucid dreams, but it has for one of them, I can tell you. A few months back, after meditating regularly and lucid dreaming regularly, I dun dun dun stopped meditating. The lucid dreams stopped as well, for the most part. Finally, one night I had a long and refreshing meditation session, and while I didn’t have a lucid dream that night, I had a very long and vivid one the next day during a nap. The correlation is hard to miss.

I suppose we could always set up a poll; in fact, that sounds like a great idea! :cool_laugh: No, even better than a poll would be a topic dedicated to a questionnaire about meditation frequency and lucid dreaming among the forum members to learn more about this.

Thanks to everyone else for their comments. :grin:

/me points to the Lab: You could start an experiment about it.
It would be interesting to see the results and to see if meditation really helps for a lot of people. You kind of proved it for yourself. Off course there could be other factors as well, but you proved it for yourself and now you also believe this is the case.

You could read the Lucid Living tread - if you haven’t already done that - to see what people say about it there. I was reminded of it, when I read your post. I believe Dust Mote set up an Lucid Living experiment as well.

Sounds like a very good topic. I attempt meditation to calm myself down, but I’m not entirely sure how to meditate, if you understand me. Being aware is my weak point, and I’ve been trying to stay aware throughout the day, but it’s difficult. Would anyone mind giving me advice on how to meditate, or better, suggest a book or a website :smile: I would be forever in gratitude ^^

When i first heard of mindfullness meditation it struck me that it’s just what you are trying to accomplish with lucid dreaming but for waking life and that’s mostly why I started doing it. I know it helps lucid dreaming because you get more aware overall. In fact the first time I tried it I had a lucid dream that night. And back then I could go weeks without one. I just have a hard time making it a habit though. Unless you count the halfassed going to bed meditations.

Suggesting a website? That’s what I’ve been doing over and over again since I first got here! :cool_laugh:

I learned everything I know about meditation from WildMind! :yay:

I remember finding my way to wildmind from a post on this forum. I usually do the mindfullness meditation as described there. Really good page.