I’M NOT GOING to lie.
Living in Colombia for the past seven months hasn’t been a bed of roses. Socially, it’s been a challenge to meet new people.
I don’t have an office job. I work remotely from home or the nearest cafe. Also, I don’t go to a language school, preferring instead to learn spanish by osmosis – thank you trashy telenovelas.
This has given me plenty of alone time – thinking time. To be fair, I’ve been productive with it, churning out a few books, but the lack of human interaction certainly has made me more ponderous about where I’m at mentally and spiritually at this point in my life.
Striving to improve these areas in particular, I remind myself do an inventory check every few weeks to ensure I’m not atrophying in any specific department.
There have been two incidents in the last decade that I’ve given plenty of recent thought to. They are related by the fact that the moment was fleeting, and I’ve never been able to repeat the activity.
The first was when my brain snapped out of a hangover funk and I suddenly became intensely aware of the present moment. At the time I had been reading a lot of Eckhart Tolle and the experience was incredibly empowering and I wrote about it here.
The second incident happened when I stumbled upon a book about lucid dreaming. Parking my initial disbelief, the subject material was really interesting, appealing to my inner nerd. I wrote about my solitary lucid dream experience here.
Both experiences left an indelible mark on me. With the former, I’ve tried to be more present, using little daily activities in and of themselves to cultivate the art of observing my thoughts, focusing entirely on the actions – whether they be washing dishes (admittedly a rare occurrence) or being mindful of my breathing (a little more frequent).
The latter, I wrote a book about (geek fact – one of the main characters in the book is a near anagram of the author of the Lucid Dreaming book – Breagal = LaBerge).
The ability to wake up inside your dreams and perform your wildest fantasies is something I would love to return to. A playground for the imagination. The practice of learning to lucid dream remains, at least for me, incredibly difficult. Despite that fact, like the gap of awareness to find that presence moment amidst the daily chatter, it remains tantalisingly within reach, albeit frustratingly difficult to pin down with certainty.
For those who are new to lucid dreaming, imagine the world you know, every nuance – taste, touch, sight and sound replicated in the dream state with one exception: You’re in the driving seat with the ability to control whatever you want in that environment. Ever thought what it would be like to:
- Have sex with Kim Kardashian/Gerard Butler?
- Practice public speaking in a safe, controlled environment?
- Visit mystics/sufi’s and wise sages to share your problems and seek their consul.
- Time travel to 32AD and witness His miracles first hand.
- Make your peace with a deceased relative.
- Kill your b*stard Boss.
The opportunities are endless and only limited by your imagination.
While I’m far from being an authority on Lucid Dreaming, I did plenty of research for my novel Pathfinders. I’m jealous of Oneironauts (lucid dream explorers) who seem to slip into this state with ease in their nocturnal adventures.
(For dream anoraks, I discovered that there is an annual Lucid Dreaming Day – 12th April. What this entails, I have no idea. The publication of this post a few days before is purely coincidental. Honest!)
Is lucid dreaming a skill worth learning? A precursor to learning to become lucid in the dream state is actually being more aware of the present moment, so it is intrinsically linked to meditation. Killing two birds with one stone.
I’m going to begin learning the steps again.
Perhaps on the other side I can enjoy what it feels like to be a bestselling author! 🙂