A Powerful Dream Yoga Technique

If you are practising mindfulness in daily activities, you may have noticed something interesting happening to your sleep. At a certain point, as you develop your mindfulness, the increased awareness will carry over into your dreams and sleep. And even if this has not happened to you yet, you can learn how nighttime practices can benefit your spiritual progress. Dream and Sleep Yoga are powerful meditation techniques that allow you to extend your practice. 

Mindfulness is the method

The most powerful technique to induce vivid lucid dreams is WILD. Wake Initiated Lucid Dreaming. The technique involves the ability to carry over the waking consciousness through the process of falling asleep into the dream. 

This is very similar to what you are trying to do during meditation. Being aware is like waking up from the constant daydream that you find yourself otherwise in. During meditation, you are becoming lucid to your waking state. 

Meditating while you are falling asleep is very similar to the WILD-Technique. If you are short on time to meditate during the day, try to meditate while you are lying in bed and waiting for sleep to come on. By doing this, you will find that it takes longer to fall asleep. And at one point it is very likely that you lose consciousness and fall asleep just as normal. 

Try to hold on to conscious awareness for as long as possible. You can use various techniques, just as you prefer. Counting, mantras or visualizing something all work to keep awareness focused on something. If you are an experienced meditator, you can also simply rest awareness on itself. There is only one rule you have to follow and that is not to willingly move the body.

The technique works even better when you wake up during the night and engage in it while falling asleep again. 

By doing this you give your subconscious mind the message that you are trying to be aware of your state. This drastically increases the chance of lucid dreams. You may find that you suddenly become lucid in your dreams. To further increase your chances of lucidity, you can combine your meditation with thoughts that set your intention. Think a few times while falling asleep, that you will notice the dreamstate that is about to arise. 

Once you become lucid in your dream, the possibilities are only limited by your imagination. But you may at first find that it is rather difficult to change the dream. What is possible and what is not is created by what you expect from your waking consciousness. With practice, those limitations can be overcome though. You can also use this time for an additional mindfulness session, self-inquire, explore your consciousness, ask questions to your subconscious mind or just go on an adventure. 

Meditation in a lucid dream

I have always had amazingly deep meditations in lucid dreams. The mental state you are in is already altered and it much easier to let go of any identification and connect with the source of consciousness. Daily concerns and thoughts come up way less and distractions can be tuned out immediately. After all, the whole dream world is created by your own mind and is therefore under your control. 

It is even possible to consciously choose to drastically alter your consciousness in a dream. I have tried taking psychedelics in lucid dreams many times at this point. And in my experience, the effects are almost like after ingesting them in real life. After all, the substances are just imagined by consciousness. Once your mind knows the effects, it can replicate them even without the actual substance.

Not only do you win time for practice through lucid dreams, but you also access states of consciousness that are unavailable to most people in waking consciousness. Try the above method for a couple of weeks and a whole new domain for spiritual practice might open up for you. Lucid dreams can be outright amazing experiences. But they can also seriously develop your consciousness if you know how to use them. Enganging in lucid dreaming practices is definitely worth the effort. 

For further reading on this topic, I recommend the book "Dream Yoga" by Andrew Holecek. Besides explaining the practices to induce lucid dreams, it also goes into detail about the spiritual benefits of this practice.