The more a lucid dream is experienced by the sensory faculties, the deeper and longer lucid dreaming will be. Sensory amplification in lucid dreaming is the most effective deepening technique precisely because it allows the activation of primary internal sensations during the transition from reality to lucid dreaming. There are several ways to perform sensory amplification.
Palpation is the first deepening technique that should be recalled when entering lucid dreaming.
Vision may be absent at the beginning of a lucid dream experience, but the sensation of occupying a defined space is almost always present. In the case of a completely absent sense of sight, only tactile-kinesthetic perception is possible. That is, movement throughout a space and touching objects there is the only option when vision is absent. The sense of touch plays a key role in the perception of everyday reality. This is eloquently demonstrated by Penfield’s cortical homunculus featuring the parts of the body that correspond to cortices of the brain responsible for their operation. It demonstrates how our actual self-perception is completely disproportional to the size of parts of the body. Accordingly, if the sense of touch is actively used in lucid dreaming space, it is only natural that lucid dreaming will deepen and reach its maximum potential.
Palpation is performed by fleetingly touching anything that may be found in the immediate surroundings. This should be done by quickly but carefully perceiving the feel of surfaces and shapes. Hands should not remain on a particular place for more than one second, remaining constantly in motion to locate new objects. The goal of palpation is to touch and also to learn something about encountered objects or shapes. For example, if one feels a mug, one may touch it not only from the outside, but also from the inside. Once a practitioner has rolled out of the body, the bed may be touched, as well as the floor, the carpet, nearby walls, or a bedside table.
Another palpation technique is performed by rubbing the palms against each other as if trying to warm them on a cold day. Blowing on the palms also produces sensations that will help deepen lucid dreaming. Since tactile perception of the world is not limited to the palms, the hands should be moved over the entire body while in lucid dreaming to excite and fully activate the sense of touch.
As soon as palpation begins, the feeling that lucid dreaming is deepening and becoming fixed soon follows. Usually, it takes five to 10 seconds of palpation exercises to reach the maximum level of deepening. After performing this technique, the pseudo-physical sensations will be indistinguishable from those of everyday reality. If vision is absent on lucid dreaming entry, it quickly emerges during palpation.
Peering is the primary technical variation of sensory amplification. However, it is not always initially accessible since it requires vision, which may begin as absent in lucid dreaming. Once vision appears or has been created using special techniques (see Chapter 8), peering may begin. The effectiveness of this technique originates in the fact that vision is the human’s primary instrument of perception. Therefore, by exciting vision to its maximum potential within lucid dreaming, it is possible to attain a fully immersive lucid dreaming state that is completely apart from normal reality.
Peering should be done at a distance of four to six inches from objects within lucid dreaming. A practitioner should glance over the minute details of objects and surfaces to bring definition to lucid dreaming space while increasing the quality of vision. When looking at hands, the lines of the palm or the fingernail and cuticles should be examined. If observing a wall, study the texture of its wallpaper. When looking at a mug, one should look carefully at its handle, the curve of its rim, or any inscriptions. Attention should not remain on one area of an object for more than half a second. Active observation should constantly move to new objects and their minute details, approaching objects or picking them up to draw them nearer. It’s best when objects are near one another; otherwise, too much time is spent moving around.
Peering brings quick and clear results. Usually, if vision is blurry and there is a yearning to return into the physical body, with just 3-10 seconds of peering all of this will be gone without a trace. After peering, vision adjusts as quickly and clearly as if a camera lens was correctly installed in front of the eyes, capturing the image in the sharpest of focus.
Simultaneous peering and palpation provide the maximum possible deepening effect in lucid dreaming. This method of sensory amplification engages the two most important perceptions, thus the effect is twice greater than when the two actions are separately performed. If vision is present in lucid dreaming, simultaneous peering and palpation is an absolute necessity because it facilitates good lucid dreaming depth in the quickest and simplest manner.
The combination of palpation and peering must not only be performed simultaneously, but also upon the same objects. For example, a practitioner may look at his hands and simultaneously rub them against each other; or while looking at a coffee mug, all of its parts may be observed and touched at the same time. It is necessary to maintain dynamism of action, remembering that feelings should be experienced not half-heartedly, and remembering that full concentration on sensory amplification is an excellent means to a deep, quality lucid dreaming.
Sensory amplification comes intuitively when you remember a simple rule: if some sensations are lacking or if one of the five senses is dull and vague, then that sense needs to be heightened as much as possible using lucid dreaming space. The previously lacking sensation will become intense and highly-charged. In case of dim vision, for example, one ought to scrutinize something more and more fixedly from a close distance. When experiencing weak bodily perception, palpate your body and move it in as many different ways as you can.