In this journal I will cover the ways to enter the state, warnings about it, ways to deepen and maintain the state, how and for what it can be used and general tips.
Most common definition of a lucid dream is realizing that you're dreaming in a dream, which makes it the state when you're conscious while not feeling your physical body. Things like false awakenings are also a part of the phenomenon, also most out of body experiences people commonly experience. Sure, some people say they're not the same, but they have to be same at least for a big part of cases, and even people who claim it's different agree that the most common way to enter them is doing so intentionally from a lucid dream. But here won't be any theoretical arguments, nonsense or anything vague, only practice, so let's get to the point.
How to enter the lucid dream state
The easiest time to lucid dream is at the moment you wake up.
To catch that moment, the easiest is to go to sleep with an intention to try, wake up with alarm about 2 hours earlier than you usually do, and after some minutes, depending on how sleepy you are, go back to sleep with an intention to try the moment you wake up. To put it simply "now I will wake up soon and do it!". Sometimes it's hard to remember to immediately act the moment you wake up, but motivation and intention help remembering.
If you don't want to first wake up 2 hours earlier than usual, it can still work if you overall go to sleep with an intention to try the moment you wake up.
So, here is what you actually do when you catch your awakening.
The moment you wake up, try not to move or open your eyes. In order to enter the state, simply try to stand up, roll out, crawl out, or levitate. Try to do it with your own perceived (i.e. subtle) body, but without moving your physical muscles. Remember that it will feel just like normal physical movement. When the moment comes, don't think too hard about how to do it. During those first moments after awakening, stubbornly try to get up any way that you can and no matter what. Most likely, you'll intuitively know how to do it. The most important thing is not to think too hard and not to lose those first seconds of awakening.
Usually this action is called "separation from your body", because it often feels as such. Not the best term, but there is no better one so we will be using it.
Sometimes people who don't intend to lucid dream succeed at this randomly, when you make effort to get up when you're sleepy, it results in a false awakening.
If simply separating didn't work for the first 3-5 seconds after awakening, next you do the following immediately after it didn't work.
You have around one minute for the whole attempt. During that minute, you repeat 3 techniques you previously chosen, for 3-5 seconds each, until one of them starts working, repeating them not less than 4 times in case it doesn't work from the start:
technique 1 for 3-5 seconds
technique 2 for 3-5 seconds
technique 3 for 3-5 seconds
technique 1 for 3-5 seconds
technique 2 for 3-5 seconds
technique 3 for 3-5 seconds
technique 1 for 3-5 seconds
technique 2 for 3-5 seconds
technique 3 for 3-5 seconds
technique 1 for 3-5 seconds
technique 2 for 3-5 seconds
technique 3 for 3-5 seconds
And if after the 4 cycles of the techniques they didn't work, again go back to sleep with an intention to try again on the next awakening.
Here are the techniques, choose 3 of them you will be using:
Rotation. Try to imagine rotating to either side along your head-to-toe axis as vividly as possible. If no sensations arise, switch to another technique. If a realistic or even slight sensation of rotation arises, focus your attention and rotate with more strength/motivation. As soon as the sensation becomes stable and real, you try to get up without moving your muscles.
Swimmer technique. Try to imagine as decidedly as possible that you are swimming or simply making swimming motions with your arms. Try to feel it no matter what, and as vividly as you can. If nothing happens, switch to another technique. There is no need to switch techniques if the sensation of swimming arises. Instead, intensify the sensations that arise. Afterwards, the real sensation of swimming in water will come to you. That's already a lucid dream starting point. However, if such sensations occur while you're in bed instead of a body of water, then you will need to separate.
Hand visualization. Imagine vividly and decidedly that you are rubbing your hands together close to your eyes. Try no matter what to feel them in front of you, to see them, and even to hear the sound of them rubbing. If nothing happens, switch to another technique. If any of the above sensations start to arise, then keep with the technique and intensify it until it becomes totally realistic. Afterwards you can try to separate, using the sensations arising from the technique as a start-off point - start from the perceived hands you were rubbing.
Visualization. Imagine yourself in a place you choose, most commonly your room, touching the walls, furniture and everything, trying to feel it with your hands, see it, as vividly as possible. if nothing happens, switch to the next technique, and if you notice you're really feeling the imagined place and yourself there, or having both feelings of yourself there and in bed, focus on feelings in the imagined room until it becomes real, and you're already in a lucid dream.
Observing images. Peer into the void before your closed eyes. If nothing occurs, switch to another technique. If you see any kind of imagery, peer into it until it becomes realistic. Once it is, get up in the lucid dream right then and there, or allow yourself to be pulled into the imagery. When peering at imagery, it's important not to look at it directly, it will make the image wash away. You'll need to look through the picture, which will make it more realistic.
Shaking. Try to shake your perceived hands or feet for 3 to 5 seconds. Do not move a muscle under any circumstances, and do not imagine the movement itself. For example, try to intensively press down and then up, wiggle to the left and right, and so on. If nothing occurs, switch to another technique. If a slight or sluggish sensation of real movement suddenly arises, then focus your attention on the technique, trying to increase the range of motion as much as you can. Once you can move by at least 4 inches, immediately try to separate from your body starting off from the sensations arising from the technique.
Remembering the sensations. After you have more experience, focusing on previously felt sensations of entering the lucid dream state such as separating, vibrations or the feeling of techniques working can make one of the sensations to really start.
The techniques and separation should be done actively, "no matter what", without thinking or over-analyzing the situation, and optimistically, because if you think "I will try but nothing will happen", success rate will be lower, and even if you do get up in a lucid dream, you may not recognize that and think you got up physically and go back to sleep. So try with an intention to succeed.
Very often during an attempt to enter the lucid dream state, you get natural help:
When you're in the middle of techniques, you can notice these kinds of sensations, and if you do notice them, you should focus on them and use them to enter the lucid dream state, because if they appear by themselves, means they will succeed easily. The sensations are:
Images like in the absorbing images technique, when the images appear without previous effort to see them. When you see slightly visible images before your eyes, in that case change the technique you're doing to observing images. It can also be sounds instead of images, act the same way - listen in before they become more clear, and get up in the lucid dream/separate from your body.
Vibrations. while doing the techniques you can suddenly feel vibrations, in that case focus on them and try to make them stronger, and when they're strong, separate. After you feel them at least once, you can also use them as a technique if you want - trying to make them appear until they do, for 3-5 seconds like a normal technique.
Also you get even more natural help outside of attempts:
Dream consciousness. It's highly likely that you can suddenly realize you're dreaming when you start trying to achieve lucid dreams with this method, or even before just from the intention, so you're already in a lucid dream if you do. To get an even higher success rate to get conscious in the dream, apart from intention and motivation you can do reality checks every time you see some common object - for example your hands, ask yourself if you're dreaming every time you see them, and skeptically try to remember why are you here now and how did you get in the place/situation you are in now. If you do it often, you will get more dream consciousness. Most popular methods of achieving lucid dreams aim for gaining consciousness while dreaming, so there's a lot of detailed information about that.
Sleep paralysis. When falling asleep or waking up, whether you're intending to get lucid dreams or not, you can find yourself unable to move. It's a perfectly normal state which happens to everyone for some hours while sleeping. Lucid dreaming is having consciousness when you're sleeping, so it does make the chances of it happening somewhat higher, since it's a part of having consciousness but not control over your body. So in the case you got sleep paralysis the main part is not to panic. If you have no intention to lucid dream, juts relax and keep lying, and sometimes check if a finger moves, and it should be gone very fast. But if you panic, you deepen the state which causes even more panic, and people who don't know about it and the relation to lucid dreams tend to get really scared of it and always say "don't lucid dream, it's terrifying, I barely returned to be able to control my body!!". So knowledge is the only way to deal with it.
And when you are intending to lucid dream, the sleep paralysis is indeed a help - when you're in it, you can try getting up in a lucid dream/separating or use the rotation or shaking technique, it should work very easily.
Novices often ask how to end a lucid dream if they suddenly want to. It's simple, just think about your body. In most cases it's enough to immediately wake up, to be more assured do it with closed eyes without touching anything. But sometimes ending the lucid dream deliberately is what causes sleep paralysis, so remember the instructions for the case of sleep paralysis.
In case you failed to get in the lucid dream state after using this method:
Never try these techniques every day, otherwise the success rate of your attempts will drop drastically! Spend no more than 2 to 3 days of the week on it, preferably only on days off. You can increase the number of days in a week when you have more experience. If you don't have an opportunity to sleep in long and with interruption, then don't forget that cycles of the techniques can also be used after any other awakening - in the middle of the night for example, or better yet, during a midday nap. What's most important is to establish the clear intention of trying them before falling asleep. Despite the simplicity of these techniques, novices stubbornly deviate from the clear instructions, following them in their own way or only half-way. Remember what's most important beforehand: the more carefully and literally you follow the instructions in this book, the better your chances for success. Ninety percent will obtain results within one to three awakenings if they do everything correctly from the beginning.
Typical mistakes include:
Lack of an attempt to separate - Forgetting to simply try to separate immediately after awakening before cycling techniques, even though this may lead to up to 50% of all experiences. Exception: awakening to movement, after which one may immediately proceed to the techniques. Also don't forget to separate after your technique is working.
Lack of activeness - A desire to get a technique to work no matter what and really get into it is the main criterion for success. Meanwhile, determination should not be superficial, but intensely focused on the actions to be completed. Lack of determination can also manifest itself in passively falling asleep during an attempt.
Fewer than 4 cycles - No matter what happens and no matter what thoughts occur, you should perform no less than 4 cycles of techniques, assuming none have worked so far. Not following this simple rule will scuttle more than half of your opportunities to enter the lucid dream state.
Unnecessary Change of Technique - Despite the clear instructions given, novices will stubbornly switch techniques after 3 to 5 seconds, even when a technique has started working in one way or another. This is a serious error. If a technique has started working, even if slightly, you need to keep with it and try to intensify it in any way possible.
Unnecessary Continuation of a Technique - If a technique hasn't begun working in the least after 3 to 5 seconds, it should be changed for another.
Excessive Analysis - If you analyze what's going on when cycling through techniques upon awakening, then you are not concentrated on the techniques themselves and are sidetracking yourself. This will cause you to miss nearly all chances of obtaining results. The desire to experience the technique working should fully consume you, leaving no place in the mind for analysis or contemplation.
You can sometimes feel that you're awake completely when waking up and not trying, or trying without confidence which equals not trying which is a mistake, you need to try no matter what you feel when awake
Attempting for Longer than a Minute - If no result is obtained after one minute of cycling, then your odds of success will be much greater if you go back to sleep right away and catch the next awakening in order to make a new attempt, as opposed to stubbornly trying to continue on with the techniques.
Incomplete separation - When attempting to separate from your body, sometimes it doesn't come easily or completely. Sluggishness, stuck body parts, and being stuck in two bodies at once are some things that may occur. Never give up under any circumstances and do not stop separating if this happens. Full separation will occur if you counteract such problems with all your strength.
Not recognizing the state - people often enter the state but then return back to the body because they feel that what occurred is not what they had expected. For example, when observing images they are often pulled into the scenery, or they are spontaneously thrown into another world when rotating. Practitioners often think that they have to experience the feeling of separation itself, which is why they might return back to their bodies in order to obtain it. The same applies to becoming conscious while dreaming, as the practitioner is already in the lucid dream state and it only remains to deepen and implement his plan of action.
Awakening without moving is desirable, but not mandatory. There's no sense in abandoning most opportunities by waiting for the right awakening. You must take advantage of every awakening that you can.
Wasting the First Seconds - Try to develop the habit of immediately and reflexively proceeding to the techniques upon awakening, without losing a second. The more time that elapses between awakening and the attempt itself, the lower the odds of success. It's best to learn to catch not so much the very second of awakening, but rather the transitional moment when “surfacing” from sleep. Separation is almost always successful during that transitional moment.
Use of a Single Technique - Cycling techniques upon awakening is a universal method that can work for anybody provided they alternate several techniques. Completely different methods may work over different attempts. That's why using only a single technique upon awakening instead of cycling through at least two leads to substantially lowered odds of entering the state.
False Physical Movement - Sometimes separation is so indistinguishable from ordinary physical movement that novices are unable to believe their own success. They perceive separation as a physical movement and then disappointedly lie back down into their body. In such cases, one ought to carefully evaluate the situation and possibly perform reality checks.
And again - the key points are confidence, motivation, intention, positiveness and no excessive thinking.
Other ways to enter the state apart from using the minute after you wake up and getting conscious in your dreams:
You can try getting up, do something to wake up a bit, and try entering the lucid dream state during the 3-15 minutes after you wake up.
To achieve this, you need to do the technique cycles, but for around a minute for each technique instead of 3-5 seconds, and do it more calmly, relaxing instead of actively. This method still has a high success rate due to awakening time not being long ago, and the natural hints occur very often.
And after you have more experience with the state, you can attempt to try achieve lucid dreaming without previous sleep, in this case do the same as in the 3-15 minutes after waking up method, but there is one additional important rule - never make the attempt longer than 15-20 minutes. If it can work, it will work in this time, and if not, better try another time and not accommodate tiredness from it. This method is overall the hardest and not recommended for novices, even if they keep trying to start from it.
Lucid dream ends with either you waking up or losing consciousness and it becomes a normal dream.
Important: after your lucid dream ends with you waking up, it's still a moment of awakening which you can use to re-enter the lucid dream and increase your lucid dream time by a lot!
How to deepen and maintain the lucid dream state
Just knowing how to enter the state is not enough, often it will have low level of realism in all feelings and end very soon, so now here are the ways to deepen and maintain the state.
Here are the ways to deepen, if one of them doesn't work in a few seconds, switch to another way.
As stated in the paragraph about ending a lucid dream, thinking about your body will make you wake up, so don't focus your thoughts on your body.
After you separate by flying, often you are in the same pose as your body lying on the bed, it's important to change position to avoid too fast waking up.
if your sensations in the lucid dream are dull (poor sight or numb body sensations), try to touch and look at everything around you actively, looking and touching all details from up-close. For example rubbing your hands while doing something else and looking at everything in detail helps, or chewing something.
Another way is aggressive action of the perceived body. A practitioner may run, roll on the floor, perform gymnastics, or move the arms and legs. Maximum activity is paramount to the successful use of this technique. If you are stuck in a dark space, waving the arms and legs from side to side is appropriate. If you are in water, swimming with determined, powerful strokes would be suitable recourse. The type of action very much depends on the specific situation along with a strong active desire on. As a rule, the effect of such movements and relocations comes quite quickly, especially if attention is focused on all the accompanying sensations.
During the lucid dream you can use the vibration technique which works for deepening.
If no other ways work, you can close your eyes and dive headfirst, the sensation it causes helps to enhance perception. When falling headfirst, do not think about the floor; assume that it will be penetrated. This is very effective if the lucid dream has not reached a fullness of depth. A desire to not simply fall down observing one’s perceptions, but instead race swiftly downward while trying to
move away from the body is extremely important. In case of failure to do so, instead of deepening, such a fall may lead to a return to the state of being awake.
Imagining Reality - This interesting technique should be used by experienced practitioners, or if all other deepening techniques fail. A practitioner aggressively imagines that he is in the physical world experiencing its intrinsic reality of perception, and not in the lucid dream. This should be done while in a state of separation from the body with a sense of vision present. If successful, the surrounding lucid dream space will immediately brighten and sensory perception will deepen.
If deepened successfully, reality level reaches the physical world level, and even hyper realistic space.
First thing you need to maintain the state, is to have a plan of action beforehand. It must consist of 3-5 things to do in it. Examples of some things recommended for novices: look in a mirror, eat or drink something, fly over the earth or the universe, meet someone you know, walk through a wall, breathe underwater.
It's important to do deepening while doing your plan of action to not waste time in the lucid dream, because it usually lasts a few minutes.
To avoid the lucid dream ending with you falling asleep - losing consciousness and starting to follow a plot, you just need to keep the state deepened enough, pay attention and concentrate, without getting too emotionally involved in anything what could be happening there, and often ask yourself in the lucid dream if you're following a plot or not.
Keeping active is the key, if you just stand around lost in thought you'll wake up fast.
You can use the vibrations deepening technique every 1-2 minutes, works also for maintaining.
Also, if you feel you're waking up too fast to be able to do something about it, grab onto anything in front of you, and this way when you feel yourself in your body, you will feel the whatever you grabbed, so you can use the sensation to re-enter the lucid dream using the whatever you grabbed as a starting point to simply separate or do the shaking technique starting from the object.
Again, don't forget to re-enter the lucid dream right after it ended in any case!
And the last important point - recognizing false awakenings after lucid dreams.
After waking up if you have any doubts if your awakening is false, stare at one point up-close for 10-20 seconds with concentration, if it's a lucid dream, the space will become warped in some way. Also, the fact that you're doubting if an awakening is false most likely means it is.
About the lucid dream state itself, ways to control and use it
Basically, the lucid dream space is modeled by your subconsciousness, and instead of long talk about if you can access something else from the state or not, I will be talking about the ways to control and use only lucid dream state and nothing else, and describing only things which are possible there, without theorizing and speculations.
Possible uses include:
Art use - for example if you're an architect, you can walk around your building and see how parts you couldn't decide on fit properly, if you're a composer, you can listen and remember some melody you want to to compose and write it down when you wake up (in fact, hearing music in lucid dream happens normally too, even cases with people listening to a composition from their favorite group which sounded like the best from them, but didn't actually exist in reality), of course you can also see different versions of your unfinished paintings or drawings, and you can see a story you're writing actually happen before your eyes.
Getting information - It's modeled space, so you can't actually find out a name of a person living on third floor on an island on the other side of the planet, or if you have treasure buried somewhere near where you live. But it's a modeled space with high capacity, so when it's things like asking someone you know well "what would you think if I say this", results will be accurate. The more close the subject you want to find out to yourself is, the higher the success rate. Finding out the things about yourself is easiest - from remembering something you forgot to finding out a way to cure some health problem, and you get sometimes unexpected but working solutions.
Influencing yourself - First of all, you can train your skills you can't do in reality or want to practice before doing, for example a jump in water from high, can be anything. Second, you can influence yourself in a psychological way, for example getting rid of your fears - summoning them and calmly looking at them, this way allows to get rid of them. Third, if you research you could notice that a lot of health problems are caused by psychological problems, which can be solved in a lucid dream. Also you can influence your heath with self convincing "the problem is getting better and better", the main is convince yourself, and it's actually effective. Additionally you can do that with extra actions in the lucid dream if you can believe it easier - you can ask a doctor to cure you, take some medicine or consciously influence for example an ill part of your body.
Entertainment - Modeled space or not, it's still interesting to visit any place in time and space, including a view of outer space, other planets, any fantasy or historical place, meet and talk with any fictional or existing person, have fun with what you can't - like super powers or flying, use lucid dreams to see any story and so on.
Basics of lucid dream space control.
When you do anything in the lucid dream, you have to be sure of the result, if you doubt, it can be inaccurate. Additionally when getting information, find out another simple thing first, for example "what is my name?" before getting information, better get it twice in different ways and if possible confirm it in reality.
Teleporting. You can teleport to any place, but outside your field of vision - you need to close your eyes or come to a door or mirror for example, and think that the place you want to be in is "already there". Thinking things like "now I will make the space appear there!" don't work.
Same for making objects, creatures and people appear. You find them outside your field of vision, like behind you, around a corner, behind a door and so on, and in this you case you also think that they will be already there. Sometimes you need to give a few seconds or they may not turn out too accurately, in that case just try again.
Overall, if you see a random person walking on the street in a lucid dream, and you think he's an enemy - it will be an enemy, and if you think it will be a friend - it will be a friend. So if you think 'something scary is going to happen" it will, so think positive and with confidence, and no panic in any circumstances - if one of your fears appears before you, just calmly staring at it makes it irrelevant and you can ignore it.
About this method itself
I retold this method in short for people interested in it, mostly with my words and sometimes quoted. Hope it was actually helpful for someone and not confusing. if anything, you can ask me questions.
For anyone who wants more information on anything i described in this journal, read Michael Raduga's book - "The Phase - A Practical Guidebook'. The author did a lot of effort working on a method that works with anyone, which is what I retold here in short, just because I, like the author, feel the phenomenon deserves more attention.
The book's english is sometimes weird, but understandable and simple. Also, it uses it's own terminology where "the phase" is used for every phenomenon when a person is conscious while not feeling their physical body, and for people wondering, the book is about lucid dreams, whether or not some parts of the method can or cannot be used for something else, what you get following the instructions is lucid dreams.
Downloads of the guidebook: (PDF / EPUB) Also the book is available in Spanish, Portuguese, French, Chinese, Russian, Czech, Bulgarian
Hope reading this was helpful to someone!