by Aletheia Luna

All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.
– Edgar Allan Poe, A Dream Within a Dream

From private practice all the way to million dollar box office hits like Inception, Lucid Dreaming has intrigued the minds of many. But there’s more to lucid dreaming than meets the eye. It’s not simply about flying around and sipping cocktails, but can be used to better the quality of your life. From overcoming fears and developing new skills, to solving problems and discovering the meaning of your life, lucid dreaming has amazing potential.

“In your dreams!”

As mentioned in previous articles, lucid dreaming is the practice of becoming consciously aware during dreaming. So if we spend one third of our life dreaming, how can we make the best use of this time in the dream world? You’ll find some amazing possibilities below.

Photo by: MarcAdamus

Practice Makes Perfect

Once mastering the essential practices of inducing lucid dreams, as mentioned in my previous articles, you can have the power to navigate your dreams. Lucid dreaming has been used by many people as a rehearsal for living. Using your dreams to improve your skills in real life can be effective in a number of ways:

  • Lucid dreams provide the most vivid kind of visualization. They offer a more effective form of mental imagery and mental rehearsal than in waking life.
  • Lucid dreams can enhance your motor skills. It’s been proven that new skills can be learned by simply thinking about them. Lucid dreaming creates neural patterns and models for real life rehearsal.
  • You can perfect routines and high risk actions in your dreams. Risk free! Sport researcher Paul Tholey claims that lucid dreams help improve the psychological state of athletes by changing person-orientated focus to situation-orientated focus.
  • Performance anxiety and low self confidence can be worked on and changed in lucid dreams. And all while you’re aware there is no threat and you are in control!

Basically, the idea is that we can program patterns of behavior in our dreams that will alter the way we act in waking life, positively.

Dream Exercise – Practicing a Skill

1. Before going to bed and throughout the day, think about what you want to practice in your dream. Focus on your intention to practice this skill constantly.

2. Use an induction technique to create a lucid dream.

3. Once lucid, navigate your dream to the place or situation you desire to practice in. Remember, you have complete control!

4. Practice your skill. Focus on each moment, and how it looks to master the skill. Push the boundaries and see what you’re capable of. You risk no hurt or judgement.

Solving Problems

I discovered in high school that I was a lucid dreamer when I learned that I could study complicated mathematical and geometry problems before going to bed and discovered that I was able to solve the problems when I awakened. – R.V. South Carolina

From solving intellectual problems to overcoming nightmares, lucid dreams can greatly enhance your quality of life. It is widely accepted that lucid dreams tap into deep stores of unconscious knowledge not usually available while conscious. Take the following examples of this special kind of problem solving:

I’ve had problems to write for a class and before I write them on the computer, I test my way of solving the program during a lucid dream. I’ve found that many of my ideas wouldn’t work, or needed something additional. – L.H. Kansas

If I’m working on my car and try to repair something complicated… I give up and go to bed. I purposely dream about the problem. Always before morning I find a way to do the job, and when I try it the next day, it works! – J.R. Washington

Dream Exercise – Solving Problems

1. Choose and memorize a problem you want to solve before bed. Turn this into a question to focus on, e.g. “How can I meet people like me?”

2. Use an induction technique to create a lucid dream.

3. Once lucid, seek the solution to your problem. Look for, or conjure up the person or place you need to seek your solution. e.g. To overcome your writers block it could be Hemingway that you talk with.

4. Once you’re satisfied upon waking, continue to reflect on the answer during the day – often times you realize the solution was there all along, though hidden.[/box]


If you’re like me, experiencing crippling nightmares can make sleeping a horrible prospect. Lucid dreaming however, can serve to completely abolish the power of nightmares. Take this one example:

I became lucid while being chased by a tiger, and I wanted to flee. I then pulled myself back together, stood my ground, and asked, “Who are you?” The tiger was taken aback but transformed into my father.
– from Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming by Stephen LaBerge

As experienced by many former nightmare sufferers, the best approach to hostile dream figures is to engage in conversation. This conciliatory approach usually transforms the figures into harmless characters or destroys them all together. Good examples of questions to ask in lucid dreams are:

  • “Who are you?”
  • “Why are you here?”
  • “Why are you acting that way?”
  • “Can I help you?”

Exploring the Meaning of Life

Knowing that I was dreaming, I found myself in an infinite void, no longer an “I” but a “We”. This “We” was a sphere of pure light. – C.C. California

Perhaps most intriguing of all, lucid dreaming can open a doorway to exploring the mysteries of life. As author Peter Brent suggested in his book The World of the Sufi, we all may be perceiving the world using the wrong senses. For instance, the Tibetan Buddhists and Sufi’s alike have used lucid dreaming for thousands of years to explore the nature of reality. Why then, can’t the average person? Ultimately, it’s impossible to know how truly valid a dreams information is. But those with open minds can explore this fascinating pathway thoughtfully.

Dream Exercise – Seeking the Highest

1. Before going to sleep focus on an affirmation or question. Some examples could be:

  • “Why am I here?”
  • “Guide me to light and love”
  • “What is my meaning?”

2. Use an induction technique to create a lucid dream.

3. Once lucid, continuously repeat your affirmation or ask your question. Be receptive and sensitive to the dream, and flow with it. Detach yourself from expectations of what may happen, or should happen. Remain as open as possible.