When at a high level of practice, a lucid dreamr is not surprised by lucid dreaming itself (as is the case at other levels). The only surprise comes from unsuccessful attempts when he is unable to enter it. This is especially true regarding indirect techniques. Three key factors lead to such a success rate.
If techniques performed upon awakening do not work due to an aggressive approach, this is always remedied by correct use of forced falling asleep in parallel to the techniques. They always start to work, and so choice of technique is not important here. And if a technique has started working upon awakening, then that’s a clear sign of a deep lucid dreaming. That is, working techniques are markers of lucid dreaming. Many experienced practitioners immediately begin to use forced falling asleep in parallel with performing the indirect techniques, which is why they are either immediately able to exit the body, or the first technique that they use works.
An experienced lucid dreamingr does not perform indirect techniques in order to obtain the right state. He moves directly towards that state, and might perform some technique in order to control his conscious mind. The task is to obtain the right state – a certain physiological process – upon awakening. And if that state’s already there, and if that state is already quite familiar, then it only remains to go for it! That’s the whole secret. It’s almost impossible to describe how it feels in words, yet many do it intuitively in practice. It’s usually more a combination of recollection of the state, forced falling asleep, and an intense desire to enter lucid dreaming no matter what. The most important thing is to aim right for lucid dreaming.
Understanding a logical fact dramatically increases the effectiveness of indirect techniques: practically every time a practitioner is waking up, he is already in lucid dreaming, be it a deep or shallow form of it. Physiologically speaking, a person who has just woken up is in lucid dreaming by definition. Once a practitioner understands this, he will act in a much more self-assured and focused manner during attempts, and results will follow. It’s no secret that a substantial portion of unsuccessful attempts – if not 90% of them – are unsuccessful due not to any action, but because lack of confidence finds expression in the results. This is due to lucid dreaming’s tendency to model expectations. You expect nothing to happen, and so even if you are in lucid dreaming – nothing will happen. Believe that you will do it right here and now because you are already in lucid dreaming – and enjoy the result! We are actually already in lucid dreaming upon every awakening. One can even take the following approach to this understanding: when waking up, our task is not to enter lucid dreaming, but to deepen it. This is easily observed with the technique of sensory-motor visualization, which essentially consists in performing deepening without any separation or prior employment of techniques. There’s a reason why this technique works well for experienced practitioners, and novices have a hard time getting it.