Discerning lucid dreaming

Problems with lucid dreaming identification during entry often arise at the initial stages of studying lucid dreaming. A practitioner simply cannot understand whether or not he or she is already in lucid dreaming. This uncertainty can manifest while lying down or while practicing in other postures.

If a practitioner is simply lying down, physically perceiving his own body, and doing nothing, then it is indeed difficult to determine whether or not he is present in lucid dreaming. It is sufficient to note that there might be no signs of a lucid dream state. On the contrary, there may be a host of signs and unusual sensations, but they by no means necessarily indicate the onset of lucid dreaming.

The problem of the uncertainty of a lucid dream state is always solved through actions. If the practitioner is lying down, then standard separation techniques may produce indication of lucid dreaming achievement – in the majority of cases – since such techniques may often be incorrectly performed.

It is possible to perform techniques that are only achievable in lucid dreaming state. If a practitioner stands up and does not recognize his surroundings, then it can be assumed that the practitioner is standing up in lucid dreaming. However, often based on the observation that “everything is as in reality”, a practitioner may stand up and note that everything is in fact “as in reality” simply because the practitioner is still in “reality”. In answer to this dilemma, the phenomenon of hyper-concentration has been previously mentioned in relation to maintaining lucid dreaming. By using hyper-concentration, it is always possible to ascertain whether the practitioner is in lucid dreaming. However, as a rule, hyper-concentration is rarely necessary. Most often, the following signs indicate that separation has occurred in lucid dreaming: unusual sensations in the body during movement, extreme tightness during movement, a strong physical urge to lie back down, disjointedness of surroundings, and blurred or complete absence of vision.

Often, the problem resides in the use of direct techniques where the practitioner expects fast results and attempts to determine whether lucid dreaming has been achieved. As a principle this should not be done. When using direct techniques, lucid dreaming manifests itself clearly; therefore, if an attempt to determine its presence is made, it is an indicator that lucid dreaming is quite likely still far off.

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