Tag Archives: expand consciousness

Lucid Dreaming

 

Photo by Jayne Forest

I’m a little obsessed with dreaming, specifically lucid dreaming. In bringing up the subject of dreams casually to friends and acquaintances, I’m always shocked when I hear people say they don’t remember their dreams, or that they have strange recurring dreams but they don’t really care, or that they don’t see them as important. Dreams have always been such a vivid, huge part of my life because I used to fly regularly in my dreams. I used to actually cry as a child because I was mad I couldn’t fly anymore. I’ve spent my entire life trying to regain my ability to fly.

 

One day I had a bad dream and my Dad told me “Honey, you can control your dreams. You just have to decide to change them.” No one had ever told me that! It fascinated me to know that I could choose not to have bad dreams. The following night I had a scary dream where someone was chasing me with a gun. They stuck a rifle in my face, and I realized that I was dreaming, and remembered what my dad had said. I put a tampon into the front of it, and it was unable to shoot, fully disabled! I walked away and realized he was still chasing me but had ditched the gun, so I ran off of a cliff into water. I was so scared and in the instant I was falling I said quickly “Please be warm water with tile at the bottom like a nice pool!” and IT WAS.

artwork by Jayne Forest for Trader Joe’s  @jaynesartaddiction on IG

TIP #1:

KEEP A DREAM JOURNAL

I know, that sounds like something that a ten-year-old girl would have, but seriously people, if you want to have lucid dreams you have to reiterate to your subconscious that your dreams are important to you. Writing them down is a great way to do this.

It is also is a valuable record of your recurring “dream signs”, which are things/places/people that often come up in your dreams. When you see your dream signs in waking life and do a reality check, you will do the same in your dream state and it will hopefully help trigger your awareness, and induce lucidity.

Keep your journal and a pen right beside your bed, so that you can write down any details you can remember immediately upon waking. You basically start forgetting all of your dreams within seconds of waking, so the best thing to do is just wake up and jot it down with bleary eyes.

You may find yourself remembering only a few tiny details at first, but in time you will find yourself filling pages with details. The most amazing thing to me is that I will write down details, fall back asleep, and when I wake, I barely remember having written what I wrote! Experimenting with my states of consciousness like this is fascinating to me.

TIP#2

GET PLENTY OF SLEEP

You can’t be tired, or drunk, or stoned. I knoooooow probably not what you wanted to hear. We are depending on the sharpness of the mind to become lucid, so clarity, sobriety and a rested mind and body are of utmost importance. It’s really good motivation to be all healthy and stuff though! The window of time you are most likely to lucid dream is two hours before you would normally wake up. You have to get about 4-5 hours of sleep before you begin to hit prime lucid dreaming time. So you’re looking at 6-8 hours of sleep for a few nights in a row to be rested enough.

RIP Amica

TIP#3

REALITY CHECKS

The main key thing to realize is that while you are in the dream state, everything feels totally normal. This is why we don’t always become lucid in our dreams.

By making a point to become consciously aware of your surroundings and to ask yourself “Am I dreaming?” you will start to do this in your dream state as well. What we do in ‘real life’ is what we do in our dreams, so if you do enough reality checks, you will eventually do them in your dreams and become lucidly aware!

There are a few ways to do reality checks, my favorite is to look at your hands and ask yourself, “Am I dreaming?” If you are dreaming, your hands will look very strange, melty, wavy, you might have three or seven fingers.

You can also jump wherever you’re standing, and if you’re dreaming, you will float. You can also plug your nose with your hands and try to breathe in. In dreams, you will still be able to breathe. Perform these reality checks as often as you can think of it. The more, the better odds you will do it in your dream that night!

North Shore Lake Tahoe

TIP #4

AFFIRMATIONS

Your own mind is the gatekeeper of your ability to lucid dream. If you learn to control your mind with affirmations, you are much more likely to lucid dream.

Throughout the day, or right before bed, tell yourself aloud, with conviction and focus, “Tonight in my dreams I will realize that I’m dreaming.” “Tonight in my dream I will look at my hands and realize that I’m dreaming” Over and over and over. The more you believe yourself, the better it works, the more you repeat it, the more you believe it. This has totally worked for me numerous times if I start diligently repeating this a few hours before bed!

TIP #5

WAKE BACK TO BED

One trick for people who don’t suffer from insomnia, is the “wake back to bed” method. Set your alarm for 5 hours after you’ve fallen asleep, or for 2 hours before you are supposed to wake up. When your alarm goes off, find some mellow way to kill time for 20 minutes. This way you will wake your mind up, but you’re keeping yourself in a mildly dreamy state of consciousness. After 20 minutes of yoga/reading/peeing/meditating, lie back down and tell yourself your affirmations before drifting back to sleep. This technique worked beautifully for me! I don’t recommend this method for insomniacs, because you may not be able to fall back asleep, and that shit is terrible.

Viparita Karani is great for insomnia and lower back pain. Put your legs against a wall for relaxation and restoration.

I wish you the best of luck lucid dreaming! I have more tips, but this is just a brief beginner tips kinda thing. Write to me with any questions, or if you have any tips to share with me by clicking here!

How to Begin a Spiritual Practice and Raise Your Vibration

These are the practices that worked for me as a coadjuvant system that helped me discover different experiences of my own consciousness. It changed my life Completely when suddenly I had a WHOLE new sense of the scope of possibility of my reality, and this exponentially expanded my understanding of the wide range of depths of consciousness that can be reached within the human experience without the aid of drugs.

Spiritual practice is called Sadhana in Sanskrit, and daily Sadhana keeps my focus and intention on spiritual advancement. The idea of advancing spiritually is not driven by ego, but rather as a natural progression that we move steadily toward, and then slightly away from, spiraling back, learning lessons and gaining deeper understanding as to how this whole life game works!

photo by Joe Burke Instagram: @joeburke108

*Breath control: Pranayama. Every breath we take is life itself. Every emotional state we experience has a corresponding breathing pattern. If we learn to use pranayama and consciously and mindfully adjust our breathing pattern, we can in turn change our state of mind at will. Pranayama is insanely powerful and in India, it is commonly  understood that there is a different pranayama breathing technique for almost every ailment.

A Dutch man named Wim Hof  learned about some of these techniques and has been able to scientifically prove and document that he can fight off viruses by releasing adrenaline at will and boosting his immune system consciously, all through breathing techniques. Click the link for a super fascinating documentary to learn more about that guy!

Photo by @joeburke108

Pranayama used to only be taught to those initiated, and was not taught to women. You could only learn Pranayama if your Guru deemed your practice sincere enough and that you were mentally and physically worthy of knowledge of Pranayama, and you were only given one at a time, working with one until you earned the right to advance. I can’t stress enough how magical and powerful Pranayama is, and how working with your breath requires respect and understanding of it’s power.

Photo by @joeburke108

*Twice daily meditation practice . For myself, if I only meditate for 10 minutes, that is barely enough time for my mind to settle. When first beginning a practice, ten minutes can seem like a treacherous goal. Like anything, with practice, your brain will be able to dive into meditation mode easier and easier, which will make the whole process more enjoyable and in turn, you’ll be able to reach deeper states of meditation. Even 5 minutes of mindful breathing each day to start is a successful practice if done consistently. The more you practice, the more adept you become, like everything!

Photo by @joeburke108

Although the learning curve can seem daunting, once you get past the first few weeks, I promise it’s an infinitely rewarding practice. The way that it changes how you FEEL and handle stress, and the way stressful feelings happen less often because calmness becomes your default mode, makes life SO much more enjoyable! I can’t type complex enough explanations to give it justice how much this practice is imperative and completely life changing. Baby steps, and just try to stay consistent! Visit my “Beginner’s Guide to Meditation” post here!

Photo by Jayne Forest

*Complete sobriety from alcohol, cannabis, and caffeine.

Alcohol lowers our consciousness to the point that we are saying and doing things we aren’t even aware we did the next day. Not only is it drowning our prefrontal cortex so that we aren’t making rational decisions, drinking alcohol poisons our body, which causes our liver to have to work hard to process it.

When doing yoga, we are purifying the mind AND body to prepare our bodily vessel for higher levels of spiritual experience. Alcohol will not help you advance your spiritual progress. Everything in moderation of course, but remembering that everything is either helping or hurting your goals, it becomes easier to abstain completely. Not to mention how good and right it feels NOT to be hungover! 🙂

Aaaaand here’s a beautiful temptation for ya now that I just told you drinking lowers your vibe. Temptation is everywhere, it’s a test of your fortitude! Photo by Jayne Forest

Cannabis is used in sacred spiritual ceremonies and can absolutely lead people to spiritual experiences. I have loved cannabis for years and have found it to be infinitely beneficial. HOWEVER….the more I study spiritual advancement, and look at my own personal experience, I’ve come to realize that the only way to really dive deeply into spiritual experiences is with complete sobriety.

When trying to explore expanded states of consciousness, such as dreams, or deep meditation, it’s best to have a clear mind to be able to stay conscious within your dream and have much better recall. It is a known fact that cannabis affects lucid dreaming ability and dream recall, which is unfortunate because there are many spiritual messages sent to us in dreams.

When we are foggy of mind it becomes even more challenging than it already is to expand beyond normal awareness and maintain memory and full waking consciousness in different states of consciousness.

When you are meditating, you are riding the line between sleeping and waking, your brain goes right in between alpha and theta brainwaves, like between being sleepy in the morning and riiiiight before you fall asleep. Obviously it’s challenging to stay conscious during this sleepy state, so cannabis does not help, in my humble personal experience. I’ve spent weeks falling asleep during meditation instead of staying conscious and possibly receiving insight, it was very frustrating!

As for coffee, it speeds up our heart rate and makes us jittery and unable to sit still! The body and mind work together, if the body is moving, the mind cannot be still. Coffee creates the opposite of what we are trying to achieve with meditation, basically.

Photo by Jayne Forest

*Conservation of sexual energy with periods of abstinence. I know you’re like “hey whoa” right? Don’t stop reading now, haha. Definitely not suggesting you give up all of these
things, sex CAN be an insanely spiritual experience. When we have sex with someone we are merging energies, body fluids, thoughts, pain, everything. So we should be aware if sexual intimacy is meaningful and helps us feel more connected with our partner, or if it makes us feel empty. If we experience the latter we can be sure this sexual union is sucking energy away and lowering our vibration. Sexual Energy is an energy that can be used for spiritual advancement, according to The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. There are 8 limbs of Yoga, and the first one is called Yamas. The Yamas are moral imperatives on the yogic path, having to do with self-restraint.  The Niyamas

photo by Jayne Forest

*Dedication to daily yoga practice. This doesn’t have to mean going to a yoga class every day! Just a handful of easy poses done daily for just a few minutes even, can make a big difference in your body over time. The thing about our bodies is, it is constantly evolving according to what our lifestyle is like. If we spend 8 hours on a chair in the office five days a week, and do yoga once a week for one hour, the chair sitting is going to have the most impact on our body.  The more often we can consistently train our muscles and ligaments to become more pliable, the more you will start to see the benefits of the practice.

Photo by @joeburke108 on IG

*Abstaining from consuming dairy, eggs, and meat. More about this later, but when you are consuming the corpse of an abused and mutilated innocent sentient being, it grounds you firmly in this Earthly reality.  Everything in this entire universe is comprised of vibration obviously, and there is a kind of photography called Kirlian Photography that can document energy. Here is a visual representation of the energy you’re consuming when making the choice between plant foods and animal foods.

Raw Vegan Pizzette from Lydia Organics. Photo by Jayne Forest

*Plenty of Sleep, not too much or little
*So Much Fruit and vegetables! The more plant based foods you consume, the more smoothly your digestive system will function. Plant foods contain information in their DNA that becomes our body. The more we consume plant foods, the more we tune ourselves into alignment with nature.
*Avoidance of negative people like the plague

Photo by Jayne Forest

*Exercise is key! Moving our energy is a guaranteed mood booster and will have us feeling good and moving into alignment with our highest self.

Photo by Jayne Forest

*Doing selfless and kind things for others
*Speaking your personal truth honestly, but of course mindfully, tactfully, without shame or guilt (yeah, I’m working on this one.) The more you come to know yourself in meditation, the more your faith and confidence grows, and it becomes more difficult to stay silent in the face of injustice. This is a great sign of growth because it shows that you are in alignment with your highest self by acting from the heart.


*Consistent practice of all of the above. One thing that has helped me tremendously is recognizing that every decision we make is either helping or hurting our goals, there are no neutral decisions!

*Not trying too hard. We strive so much in life and we tend to use that same trying energy with our spiritual journey out of habit. Recognize that our higher self is available to us at any moment when we learn to just be, without striving and effort. In moments of effortlessness and deep, conscious relaxation, we can receive insight. These experiences are not impossible to achieve,  they are available to every single human being who is willing to do the work, it is our birthright!

Photo by @joeburke108 on IG