The WILD Workshop: Call for Stories

I’ve read a lot of WILD tutorials. I get the sense that most of them are written by people who’ve read other tutorials, rather than people who are actually really good at WILDing.

Click for my personal WILD experience:

[spoiler]I, for one, am not good at WILDing - possibly because I’ve always had a high frequency of spontaneous lucidity. But I’ve always wanted to be better, because the feeling of a guarantee is hard to resist; and because I’m a perfectionist, who wants to have every aspect of lucid dreaming at his command. I rarely even fell asleep.

I tried different approaches for seven years or more, persisting with each before trying the next. I’ve tried lying still on my back, on my side, counting, watching images, breathing, naps, early mornings, all possible combinations - nothing; even after more than an hour on each attempt.

So now I’m trying a new tack. My only successful WILDs have been unplanned, and they’ve all been similar: while falling asleep, mind totally unfocused, I very suddenly become alert, a loud ringing in my ears with hypnagogic imagery and “rattling through a tunnel” feeling’; then, within 20 seconds or so, I’m in a dream. It’s like a DILD, except early: prompted by the hypnagogic state rather than the dream state. It’s very much a “boomerang” effect: I lose almost all consciousness and awareness, then it’s thrown back at me just before the dream starts. It’s much more passive than most tutorials suggest.[/spoiler]

I’ve come to believe that the trick to WILDing is nothing more specific than getting the right “fuel mixture” between alertness and sleepiness. Everything else, all the dozens of named sub-techniques, all the breathing and counting, are just means to this end, and most of them are far too personal to have wide application. My experience has taught me that I need to vary my awareness significantly downwards in order to have success. My only connection to waking alertness is a very unobtrusive attachment to the buzz in my ears. Others may need to make a smaller or an opposite adjustment, becoming more aware rather than less.

The trouble with WILD tutorials is that human language has not really developed to describe such intimate, inner-mind details as a good WILD technique requires - whether to “focus” on your physical eye or your mental eye, which “field” of your mental eye should take priority, how to forget your body but remain aware, &c. I’m opening this thread to invite people who have had problems WILDing to share how they overcame them, how they made breakthroughs.

I’m convinced that building a body of experience which shows how individual dreamers can reach a tailored WILD technique will help people to find their own way more easily than yet another prescriptive tutorial. We need to lay down some general principles for how you decide, personally, what’s working and what’s harmful. My bit of advice, to start things off: remembering and analyzing the spontaneous “dream re-entry” experiences during the early mornings was crucial. It showed exactly what a successful WILD would feel like for me: that the images seemed to be in my physical eyes, that I was very forgetful of my body, that my ear buzz would block out all external noises. I can use that knowledge to avoid red herrings in future - e.g., sleep paralysis has little to no relevance for my personal WILD success (so I needn’t worry about moving and turning), I do not see images until the last few seconds (so no use looking for them).

Can anyone else help with this project? Let’s crack this once and for all: so many people want to know the answer. Once we’ve gathered enough info I might try to make one of my proper “motivational” tutorials…

Hello DeRuyter001,

First of all, I have the best wishes and I hope you succeed on this project.

I have attempted similar research on this topic and I would like to write some comments.

I hope I don’t sound harsh, I am just trying to point that this is really complicated and we might never reach the desired technique or tutorial.

Besides that, I might have failed on my attempts while you could succeed, so do not quit just yet!

SPOILER - Click to view

While I agree on many parts, I think that the “issue” of tutorials is that they are made for newbies.

Most experienced could be simply gifted to have the right conditions to attain it and cannot explain.

I would like to disagree. I think the problem is that it would require complicated words that newbies would not understand.

We might be needing more complex guides than simply tutorials.
People might not like this complexity.

I would also include new spoilers indicating that WILD might not be the best technique that could attain this perfectionism. Yet, I am not writting this to demotivate, just please be open for more options.

Years ago I wrote a short guide on WILD and it was short and still complicated (broken links now, sorry).
How are people suppose to remember so many details with their eyes closed?

Also, it might be even dangerous for some people to attempt some techniques… I wish I could write more details, but I can give you a hint: some people aren’t really in their best “mental health” when they decide to try LDing.

I would like to conclude giving as hint of how I thought a good guide could be written: The technique needs to be tailored to the person. It would require guidelines to help the person to find the best “pieces” of the technique to be tailored.
Each piece would include recommendations for each person including requirements, pros/cons etc.

I could use more proper words. This is actually an engineering process with sets of sequential activities. I am not sure yet how to show people this complexity, therefore it could require automatic surveys to help people to find what they need.

This is actually more complicated than tailoring for each person, since we change days after days and techniques would require custom improvements.

This also means that this improvement would require constant efforts to learn and try new techniques over and over.

tl;dr: There wouldn’t be a perfect technique for everyone. It would require adapting and trial and error might be something we would always need.

I hope this is helpful.
Best wishes to you. (again)

Thanks for your thoughts, Tggtt. I think you make a lot of good points.

What I may not have made sufficiently clear is that I’m not looking to find a perfect technique or make a foolproof tutorial - or even a detailed one. What I want to do is collect personal anecdotes about how people found their own way to consistent WILDing success, in order to make a “meta-tutorial” of sorts. I would aim to give general principles for creating your own technique, rather than a traditional step-by-step guide (though I think you have actually given some very good methodological advice for how a detailed, traditional guide could really be drawn up, if we wanted to do that later on).

The kinds of things I’m hoping people will say in this thread are: “My wake-induced dreams were unstable when I entered them because I was too aware. So I used my experience prolonging DILDs to find a solution”. Or: “I could hear lots of outside noises while WILDing, so as I was falling asleep normally I asked myself what I was hearing instead. It was a ringing noise. So I concentrated on that and it helped me block out the distractions.”

The tutorial thread would ultimately contain suggestions for how to improve your technique which were of this order: “If you have problems with X, use Y experience as a source for troubleshooting.” So, it would help people identify where they were getting stuck, and what existing knowledge they might be able to draw on to solve their problem for themselves, rather than proposing to solve it for them.Am I being clear enough, or should I rephrase everything?

Hello DeRuyter001,

Yes, and the “meta-tutorial” sounds really close to what I have written about.

I guess it could be interesting that we have some stories here like you have pointed, afterwards I would recommend to brainstorm the highest number of problems people face while trying to WILD and then ask for solutions on each one of them.

SPOILER - Click to view

It would be recommended to browse the so-called Big WILD topics first, e.g. [The BIG WILD topic - part XVII). (The first one I found, there are many more). There are hundreds of pages of WILD stories.

The only remaining issue is how to collect and organize the information for future retrieval.

Best wishes.

Ah, ok, I think I see what you are saying.

That’s a good idea, to start with the WILD topic: I’ll read through that gradually and maybe post some analysis here for people to discuss, in addition to fresh testimonies.

At present, I am happy for this to be an informal, anecdotal exercise. If we do in fact get a lot of actionable data, we could consider some more organized way of storing and parsing it.

Hi DeRuyter001,

First, thank you for this post. It speaks to me as one of my bigger lucid dreaming challenges in a lot of ways. I agree that it’s a technique that cant be described with any one “cut and dried†walkthrough. It’s so varied for each person.

For that reason, it’s a technique that seems to me one of exploration and self discovery as opposed to learning from someone else’s experiences. Unfortunately, that’s can be a very daunting task.

Personally, like yourself, I’ve never been good at WILDs. But keeping an open mind and taking it like an exploration, I’ve experimented with different techniques and feelings—oh there’s that fuzzy feeling in my body again, do I move into this time or continue to focus on my gaze behind my eyes? I’m starting to drift into sleepy thoughts, how far do I go before I pull back to prevent “getting lost� Despite hundreds and hundreds of attempts, I think I’ve yet to successfully experience a WILD. But from these attempts a recurring pattern has emerged.

Every time, at some point eventually in my practice, by body will suddenly become hyper aware. Even if I’m focusing on my mind or thoughts, it’s like someone flipped on a light switch and my body is doing that hum that those old fashioned light bulbs do before they flash on. Sounds like, maybe sleep paralysis right? So what do you do now? That is the question I have so far failed to find an answer for.

I’ve tried everything I can think of. I’ve tried “letting myself float out of my body in an OBEâ€. Nothing. I’ve tried “calmy continuing to watch my thoughts as I wait for the dream imageryâ€. Nothing. I’ve tried “imagining my body disappearing in order to allow your mind to replace it with a dream bodyâ€. Nothing. I’ve tried moving too during this phase and can do so easily, which seems to discredit the idea that it’s sleep paralysis.

I’ve truly made it as far as my exploration will take me. Where do I go next? I feel like Truman, who’s reached the edges of the map, except unlike him I can’t find the door.

In conclusion, I am looking forward to hearing more self journeys in this thread, to see how others relate and maybe find another game trail I can try and follow and see where it takes me.

this is one of the things that attracts me to lucid dreaming and ld communities. lucid dreamers start to develop a shared language for inner experiences, and then researchers can pick up on it and pursue topics that used to be inaccessible, hopefully leading to better understanding of consciousness!

i was so happy when i could finally put words to the experiences of hypnagogia. otherwise try telling your friends about the voices you hear in your head at night :eek:

when i first learned lucid dreaming had a name and there were books on it and everything, i had success with wilds. i had a lot of motivation to stubbornly stay conscious and focused on the task, and i was younger with fewer responsibilities and more sleep, so i could really throw myself into the technique. now i’m not a very good wilder, and i think part of it is motivation. once my mind is tired it can easily get distracted thinking about other things in my life that are more important to me than lucid dreaming, or i just want to get some sleep and no longer care. but if i try i can almost always get through the phase of some very real-feeling hypnagogic hallucinations.

for me hh feels like im relaxing and becoming quiet enough to listen to something that’s been there all along. like theres all these background voices and images that i usually don’t notice because my thoughts and attention are too loud. its like, at a restaurant you tune out the conversations of everyone around you, but if theres a break in conversation you suddenly hear what the table next to you has been talking about for five minutes. but the moment they realize youre overhearing them they lower their voices and change the topic. so you have to act real casual and keep your conversation going without getting absorbed in it, while simultaneously listening in.

the hardest part is keeping the right balance of attention all the way through to a dream. either i start thinking too loud again and lose the hh and have to try again, or i relax my attention too much and get carried away by the hh itself until im in an nd. ive tried wild techniques that use counting or whatever else to hold attention, but i guess my brain counts too loudly.

maybe the trick to these personal wild techniques is that people hit on whatever thing their brain can do quietly and automatically, or at least in equal volume to their hypnagogia, so that they neither become absorbed in the conversation at the next table over and forget to keep up their own, nor do they get absorbed in their own conversation and forget to listen in. at least thats how i think of it.

i like your metaphor of a “fuel mixture” between alertness and sleepiness. In Robert Waggoner’s book he uses the metaphor of balancing on the tightrope of awareness. i bet theres some other good metaphors out there too, if anyone has one to share :smile:

What a great way to illustrate WILDing… I love it! I read this post a few days ago and have been practicing the principles behind it as I fall asleep every day. It works so well!!

I think this idea has really illuminated an aspect of WILDing for me that other how-to’s haven’t quite managed, which is how to balance alertness and sleepiness. Previously, I would take the techniques I’ve read about such as counting or the 61-point meditation, and I would find that I just wouldnt be able to fall asleep. My mind was too focussed. Sometimes I would spend an hour or two doing this, determined that if I continued, the hypnagogia would come, just like they describe in the books. Eventually, I would sometimes begin to feel a slight tingling in my body, but as soon as I recognized it (and stopped counting) it would leave. Or, if I continued counting, the feeling would remain but never escalate to anything more. :crying:

After many attempts, I generally gave up on those WILDing techniques, and allowed myself to simply watch the hypnagogia imagery and sensation come in. This way, however, I always fell down the rabbit hole into sleep quite quickly. :cloud9:

Now, however, with the understanding that I have to have a soft concentration, I simply wait until the hypnagogia kicks in, and then begin counting gently. It has taken me so much further through hypnagogia than I ever have been before. I haven’t successfully entered a dream yet, but I am confident the progress will come with this method.

Essentially, you just illuminated the final barrier that was hindering my WILDing progress. :bow:

that is great to hear, congratulations on your progress with hypnagogia! i hope to hear some success stories soon :smile:

meanwhile i am going to try your method of waiting until hypnagogia kicks in, and only then counting. id been solving my too-loud counting problem by never using counting at all, but i can usually get to intense hypnagogia without it and somehow never thought to start then.

Awesome, good luck!!

Unfortunately I’ve slept through my WBTB alarms the last few days haha so no progress yet. Looking forward to exploring it more!

Hope to hear how your progress goes as well :smile:

Thank you very much DeRuyter001 for, I hope that we can reopen the discussion. I was searching in this forum for this kind of approach and I’m very aligned with the way you present it. I’m a quite experienced lucid dreamer but WILD is, by far, the most difficult technique to tackle off. We all agree on that. This would be my initial input to your project: as it’s mentioned in some basic tutorials, for me the only way to WILDing is “chaining” from a previous DILD. This is by far the most easy way to WILDing. In my opinion the trick would be to “hack” this process. But before, we would have to understand why and how is “chaining” possible…