General Principles Regarding the Techniques

The techniques detailed below may be used both with a direct method of entering lucid dreaming without prior sleep, and with an indirect method performed upon awakening. The exceptions are the dream consciousness techniques, which are listed separately, although they cannot but have a direct influence on the probability of success of the other methods. Conversely, all of the other techniques cannot but have the side effect of increasing the probability of dream consciousness arising. With a few exceptions, the list does not include non-autonomous lucid dreaming entrance techniques based on external physical factors or chemical influences.

The specifics of using each method are described in detail in its corresponding section. All of the techniques listed below are to be used in accordance with the instructions for each method. However, it is necessary to first understand a fundamental difference here. With an indirect method upon awakening, the goal is to find a technique that works by quickly alternating through the most interesting and intuitive ones. As soon as a technique starts working, keep with it and intensify the effort, and then try to separate right away. It will become apparent how well a technique is working by the intensity of its effects. For example, some imagined movement may become real. Any real sensations arising from the techniques upon awakening mean that they are working, and that the practitioner is already in lucid dreaming.

The techniques play a secondary role with the direct method, and serve to create a free-floating state of mind (fading out or activating consciousness, depending on the type of technique being performed) that is conducive to brief lapses in consciousness. The deeper a lapse, the better the chances of immediately entering lucid dreaming when resurfacing from it. Meanwhile, techniques may work from beginning to end. However, this means nothing without lapses in consciousness, unlike with indirect techniques.

It’s also important to remember that direct techniques performed without prior sleep have one-tenth the success rate of indirect ones performed upon awakening. That’s why all the techniques below can easily bring results upon awakening, but be useless for novices when used at other times.

Each technique is described only in general terms, and it is assumed that the practitioner already has a basic understanding of all of the mechanisms by which lucid dreaming occurs and is able to fill in all of the additional nuances on his own.

Several technique-based tricks can be used to substantially improve the odds of success of practically all of the techniques listed below. First, you should try to not simply perform the techniques "for the sake of appearances", but rather give them your all, trying to become one with them and put all of your sensations into them. Next, you can move your gaze up slightly, as naturally as possible. Third, begin to use the techniques by first imagining yourself doing a 180 degree turn along your head-to-toe axis. Fourth, while you’re performing your techniques always try to recall sensations of how they had already worked in the past, or of past lucid dreaming occurrences. Fifth, you should always have a clear motivation for entering lucid dreaming. That motivation may perhaps arise from the most interesting plan of action you can think of.

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