Agent Foxtrot wrote:[*]What method(s) did you employ?
I was first introduced to it in 2007 through Carlos Castaneda's books. I tried the hand method for a few months consecutively before I threw it into the bin with the rest of Carlos' rambling.
In late 2008, I was arguing with my parents in my living room and for some reason stopped and stared at my hands. This made me realize that I was actually dreaming. I was elated, ran outside and took a leap. After what seemed 2-3 seconds of flying around (I gained enough altitude to see over the roofs of the surrounding houses) I felt like someone was watching me and panicked. I woke up into the worst sleep paralysis of my life. I have no clue how long I was truly immobile, but it felt like 40 seconds to a minute at least.
After that, I spent some time reading up on different styles and decided to start a reality check regimen. My trigger was whenever I would see my shoes I would try to pass one hand through the other.
Writing down my dreams was my other exercise.
I've also tried some other methods with no success. (Wake up, go back to bed, etc..)
Agent Foxtrot wrote:[*]How easy or difficult was it to use?
I found reality checking to be extremely easy. Every day when I got home from work or play, I'd put my shoes in a new place and forget about it.
Writing about your dreams upon first waking is a real bitch. I aimed to write everything down, at least keywords, but I probably ended up doing it less than half of the time.
Agent Foxtrot wrote:[*]What was your transition from wakefulness to REM like?
I'm not certain. I only ever had any success becoming lucid from inside of dreams. Coming out of lucid dreams has consistently been a bitch, however, as I consistently wake into sleep paralysis after lucidity.
Agent Foxtrot wrote:[*]What factors told you you were dreaming?
Aside from the first, always reality checks.
Agent Foxtrot wrote:[*]How did your attempts affect your normal active cycle (were you exhausted at work, etc.)?
Trying to lucid dream is something that affected me deeply. I began doing it when I was living alone in a 3 story Victorian beachhouse off-season - this alone, I believe, is enough to try anyone's sanity. Basically, I started losing it. I would constantly be uncertain whether or not I was awake (more about this later). I've always been a bit of a loner, but I really retreated into myself for this duration. I rarely answered phone calls, stopped socializing, started looking forward to bedtime as the culmination of my day, with waking up being the low point of every day. It wasn't unusual at all for a week to go by in which I spoke less than ten words.
That said, I wouldn't do anything differently, it was well worth it.
[*]What was your rate of success?
If I had to put a percentage on it, I'd say less than 2%. I've since had to move, and I now live with other people. This has really put a damper on it. My last lucid dream was more than a month ago.
Agent Foxtrot wrote:[*]Would you mind sharing what your dream(s) was or were and how you interacted with them?
I've had a good dozen lucid dreams, ranging from barely achieving lucidity, to slipping in and out, to 2-3 minutes of uninterrupted time. A staple of my experiences was abject terror, at some point in every dream I became fearful for my life in a very real way.
Possibly the most interesting experience I had was when I got my balls up to try to identify what was causing this, and to confront it.
I woke up one night in my bed, just as I'd gone to sleep, and had a sneaking suspicion that I was dreaming. I reality checked myself, but I could not pass my hand through the other. Convinced that I was awake, I stumbled across my room, tripping over clothes and my piano bench and turned the light on, but the lightswitch didn't work. My suspicions came back, and I tried another reality check - this time I plugged both nostrils, closed my mouth and tried to inhale. I took a deep breath through my nostrils that were securely closed (as an aside, the closest I can describe this feeling as is the first breath you take underwater in SCUBA gear).
I became absolutely terrified, as everything was pitch black, I couldn't even see my hand in front of my face. I opened the door and walked into the adjoining room in a sort of half crouch. After a few moments, I had a feeling that something was down the hall in the kitchen, and that if I didn't escape, it was going to do nasty things to me.
I sort of lost lucidity at this point, which pushed my fear even higher because I was losing the only bit of control I had over the situation (my lucidity). I frantically clung on by focusing my attention on things around the room. I remember that my goal was to get as lucid as possible and try to fly away. After a bit of this, I was as lucid as I ever was, but my efforts at flying away amounted to some pathetic little floating jumps and bouncing off of furniture.
When the terror started mounting to unbearable levels I made myself investigate. I coaxed myself down the hall toward the kitchen. When I rounded the corner, I saw my Mom standing at the stove, presumably cooking something. I remembered a bit of advice I'd read, which was to always ask people in your dreams what they are. When I did this, and I remember it vividly, my Mom smiled at me and told me in a bit of a coaxing, patronizing voice that, "Why, I'm your fear of authority." She then turned back to the stove.
I was filled with so many shocking and contrasting emotions (relief of overcoming my fear, elation at succeeding in my dream, indignation - I am NOT
afraid of authority! - and underlying it, a sense that I'd made a real connection with myself) that I jolted myself out of sleep and woke.
I've had a lot of similar experiences, many of them took 3-4 reality checks, and a lot of inquisitiveness for me to determine that I actually was dreaming. This uncertainty lead me to do some strange things when I actually was awake, but that's another story.
"A person who persists in believing what is not true or disbelieving what is true can waste a lifetime of effort on something that is without hope of success."