Mortal Mist

Welcoming Boards => Jumping Into the Mist => : Contratonics December 18, 2019, 10:23:29 PM

: Settling in for some steady work
: Contratonics December 18, 2019, 10:23:29 PM
Hello to you, thanks for dropping in.

I'm a long time on-again off-again natural lucid dreamer, have been as long as I remember. I've been around a few forums and other such usergroups here and there, and at one time was highly active and engaged in lucid dreaming practice. A few years ago I got myself into an abusive environment that impaired my ability to practice, or even offer much attention to dreams and dreaming at all, and only recently have I been able to settle things, find my way out and get back in touch with personal hobbies and interests like lucid dreaming that used to be a core part of my life.

This forum was one I heard about here and there, but never really looked into. Things seem to be moving slow around here lately, and I don't know if those if you running the place have any long-term plans in mind or if this forum will still be around in a year, but for now it's about perfect for what I'm looking for. I'm grateful for the room to breathe and for the opportunity to start building my dreamwork skills back up here, for what it's worth.

On the subject of dreams, I used to rely almost entirely on regular reality checking and categorizing / recognizing dreamsigns alongside diligent dream journaling to maintain steady recall. Those will be the things I focus on getting back to for now. I'm a firm believer in building up recall by always recording the last thing I remember before waking up, whether it's a dream or not. Recall is a trainable skill, and the training comes from bringing my memory closer and closer to what I was experiencing immediately before waking. If the closest thing to that moment I can remember is what was going through my mind while I showered before bed, then recording that is part of the training. Expect quite a few dull or barely dream-related entries in my Dream Journal here for a little while.

I also plan on trying a few methods I never used before. Some of my old tried-and-true techniques are wrapped up in unpleasant memories these days, so I want to build my dreamwork back up using novel approaches to shake out the cobwebs and maintain my focus. I'll be borrowing a few tips from everyone's favorite LD urban legend - the Dreamhackers- and others I was introduced to during some of my IASD volunteer experiences like Gestalt Dream Analysis and some of Chris Olsen's descriptions of historical LDers.

If any of you have suggestions for more obscure or out there techniques, please feel free to share. I'm not a spiritual person by any stretch of the imagination, but I am comfortable working within symbolic frameworks. I don't believe in any of Carlos Castaneda's descriptions of magical dream phenomena, for example, but their inclusion in Dreamhacker techniques tells me that those descriptions were at the very least useful symbols to somebody. Regardless of my evaluation of their literal truth, I'm curious about finding a similar utility in those symbols.

I'll also occasionally refer to "Rally" in dream journals / personal analyses. They're a pair of recurring dream characters who I plan to try getting in touch with more actively, as the occasional dreams I've had with them have been Big Dreams to say the least - if you don't mind me invoking some older terminology. I've had a lot of success reaching out to specific dream characters in the past, it's one of the few lucid "dream powers" I was ever decent at, so I'm considering this a solid mid-term goal to start aiming towards. You'll be the first ones to know how it turns out.

Those are the broad strokes. I'm going to turn in for the night and get ready for work in the morning. Thank you again for your time, and I'll see you around.
: Re: Settling in for some steady work
: Caradon December 19, 2019, 07:25:32 AM
Hello Contratonics.

I like the title of your thread.

Welcome to the forum and thanks for joining. It sounds like you would fit in with the couple of us posting right now. As we are kind of in the same position of working towards getting back onto our dreaming feet again after life events took us away from our dreaming practices.

I am also no fan of Costaneda as the one book I read started out interesting but quickly, at least from my perspective, devolved into the realms of BS. But to each their own... You will never see me wasting my time on dreaming spirituality arguments, I'm not interested. I'm just here to work on my dreaming, and share experiences in dreaming. Not to get into long discussions and arguments about the nature of existence.   

I do things the basic way, through daily awareness. As you mentioned reality checking and all that good stuff. And I'm still working on gradually getting myself back to the kind of focus I used to have that allowed me so many lucids. I'm also working a different job than I was, where it's more difficult to maintain awareness throughout my work shift. But I'm working on trying to figure how to better maintain awareness while at my job. It's just going to take a lot of practice. Maybe Wedajihs can help you with finding more obscure and cultural techniques. She seems more familiar with that kind of thing. I am not. 

Yes the site is a quiet place now. It was once an active place, but unfortunate events led to the disappearance of pretty much all of the original members. (But I have come back to work on getting back to my dreaming practices too.) But maybe with a little activity, others such as yourself may decide to join in, start a journal. Ultimately we all work on dreaming for our own purposes, and even if it's a quiet place it's a nice little spot to keep a journal and record ones progress.

As for the longevity of the site, it's difficult saying with certainty as the current owner (Littlest Leaf Dragon) has been pretty quiet and I'm not sure the long term plan. But has been keeping the site running for us so far, and recently made me a mod to help with keeping the place clean of spam bots and spam posts. So that is a good sign at least that there is no current plan to take the place down. Maybe if there is at least a couple of us using the place it wont ever be. 

Good luck on your journey of finding your way back to dreaming. Thanks again for stopping in and introducing yourself. Hope to see you in the Journals...   

: Re: Settling in for some steady work
: Contratonics December 19, 2019, 08:16:04 AM
Thanks for the welcome, Caradon. I'll keep an eye on the journals section and see what people are up to. I've never met a lucid dreamer I had nothing to learn from.

I feel you on work being a challenge to work with sometimes. My old go-to "nose plug" RC is not a reasonable option at my current job, and getting distracted or losing clear communication with a client isn't worth the (admittedly minor) risk.

That said, constraints breed creativity, ECT. ECT. And a lucid dreamer is nothing of not at least a little creative. Best to you on that front, even if it comes down to letting work be and work related dreams go unchecked. More attention to focus elsewhere.

Looks like things will go one day at a time for the foreseeable future, that works for me. See you around, and thanks again for your time.
: Re: Settling in for some steady work
: Wędajihs December 20, 2019, 01:39:32 AM
Hello Contratonics. Welcome. Just want to say I applaud you stepping out of your lucid induction comfort zone to try new things. I think that the more tools we collect the greater dream experiences we can build. I'm searching for more meaningful techniques as well and will share anything I happen to find. See you around and about.
: Re: Settling in for some steady work
: Contratonics December 20, 2019, 11:41:12 AM
Thanks, Wedajihs. Working on it. At the moment I'm reading a book I picked up at a used bookshop called Performing Dreams that details a practice of recreating important dreams by organizing them into public performances and connecting the people playing various roles to the figures they're representing. It was a really nice find.

Author and publishing info here if you're interested
: Re: Settling in for some steady work
: Wędajihs December 21, 2019, 11:05:48 AM
Thank you Contratonics. I'll definitely pick up that book for a read. In my culture, dreams were once important but no one really cares about them anymore and most of the rituals associated with them have been lost. There is one that is still performed in the winter months. It sounds a little like what you described happens in this book. If someone has recurring big dreams they perform the dream for those assembled at the ceremony. People try to guess the story of the performance and whoever guesses correctly has to give the dreamer something to help that dream become reality. I've never seen the ceremony but would like to some day.
: Re: Settling in for some steady work
: Caradon December 22, 2019, 04:08:10 AM
The nose pinch RC used to be my primary RC as well. After I first read about that on the forums I thought it was a great idea and really wanted to try it. Before that I never did the standard type of RCing, in my younger days all it would take is for me to get myself to think about if I was dreaming in a dream and I'd get lucid. But I've since had many a lucid dream I would not have had if I was not using the standard RC's in dreams when I needed to. And it's good, I think, to have a primary and secondary RC method as backup.

Anyway, I had started doing the nose pinching and trying to breath so obsessively in waking life that all of a sudden one day, it quit working in my dream. My mind started simulating being unable to breath through a pinched nose in my dreams. It was highly disappointing it had been working for me so well for a long time. It took  a lot of work for me to retrain myself to start using my watch as a primary  RC. I kept trying and trying and  just couldn't remember to use my watch I my dreams but I was determined and wouldn't give up. And I eventually came up with the idea of practicing doing the watch RC after becoming lucid to try and get myself  used to doing it in my dreams. And that actually worked... Yay. 

So now I'm a firm believer in practicing  doing RC's after becoming lucid as a way to both get used to doing them in dreams and to be familiar with how they work/the results of the RC.

As for my deeper goals for dreaming, aside for the sheer joy of the experience. And if I can get myself back to at least somewhat regular lucidity. Is to get back to the experiments I had just begun before events took me away from my dreaming practices. I'll just throw it out there.

I wanted to start trying to become more aware of my own symbolisms. I use my thoughts to focus my mind a certain way in order to gain a better awareness, and to create the experience of becoming lucid in a dream. But so often once in a dream, lucid. All that thought control practice and awareness meditation goes out the window and I just have fun reacting to in dream events and playing in the world. And in doing so, not  paying much attention to how or why those events are happening. (Which there is nothing wrong with doing of course. Got to have some fun too... :) )

But I was thinking about it, and I came up with this theory. At least this idea I wanted to experiment with and see what I could do with it. To try and start controlling my thoughts and emotions more in my dreams as I'm always working on doing in waking life in order to create the event of a lucid dream. And just try to observe what is happening to the dream with my changing thoughts and emotions. Try to be more aware of what is happening, rather than just reacting to everything that is happening.

To see if I can become more aware of my own symbolisms. And see if I can be more aware of how and what and why I'm creating as I'm creating it. I had this idea, that when we just blindly react to all the events taking place in our dreams. It's kind of like dreaming backwards since we are causing those events that we are reacting to. And our reactions and thoughts about what we are reacting to, changes events so smoothly we hardly notice we are doing it, and we then react to those new events as they happen...  If you understand what I'm getting at... So I'm thinking maybe I can slow my damn mind down in my dream, instead of just reacting to everything that is happening. Just experiment with being more aware of what is going on in my mind, and watching how the dream changes to the things going on in my mind. And maybe gain a better awareness of myself and what I'm doing... If it's even possible, but it's just something I want to experiment with and see what happens.

But of course, before I can even think about getting into that stuff, I need to be getting lucid at least somewhat regularly again. So first things first...       

: Re: Settling in for some steady work
: Contratonics December 23, 2019, 11:17:11 AM
I had a similar experience with nose plugging, but my dreams were never quite able to make it feel like I couldn't breathe through it at all. It would feel stuffed or forced, but never entirely blocked, so it still worked out.

Watch faces / reading text and things like that have always been unreliable for me, I'm usually able to read just fine in dreams without anything noticeably changing on me. I may just never have practiced recognizing the weirdness enough to catch it, so I trust my brain filling in the blanks and assuming nothing's weird.

Getting familiar with personal symbolism was a big part of what I used to be doing too. Putting it into words gets finicky since you end up using the same terms for different things, but I get what you're saying. If you can become familiar enough with your personal symbolic language and turn it into an active dialogue then pretty much everything you do can theoretically be a reality check in and of itself. I'll keep a couple fingers crossed for you on that one, it's a cool angle to approach this from.