Chapter 11: Dreams, Prayer, Out-of-Body Experiences and Meditation
An excerpt from You Have Chosen to Remember: A Journey of Self-Awareness, Peace of Mind and Joy by James Blanchard Cisneros.
Lucid dreaming differs from ordinary dreaming in that with lucid dreaming, you consciously control your reactions, your actions and the direction of your dream. In your non-lucid dreams you have no conscious control over your reactions, actions or the direction of your dream. In a non-lucid dream you are simply in a reactive state. Take for example, a dream most of us have had, that of being chased. In the dream state, most often you don’t realize what you are really running from. In this state, you become afraid, you keep running until you wake up or simply move to another dream. In the lucid dream state, you recognize that you are dreaming, and you are then able to take control of your reactions and what is occurring in the dream. Here’s what happens during a lucid dream: First, you realize you’re dreaming. Second, you lose all fear, and I mean absolutely all fear that you had in the non-lucid state. Third, you then turn around and ask what is chasing you to tell you what it represents. Fourth, you can continue the dream or move to another subject that you would like to deal with.
Let me continue by giving you a personal example of a non-lucid dream that became a lucid dream. During a non-lucid dream, I was running away from something. I don’t recall exactly what it was, but I do recall being afraid and running from it in a very cowardly manner. Suddenly, I realized that I was dreaming and that I was in a dream. When this realization occurred, it was like night and day. One second I was running from something I believed to be monster-like, and the next second I lost all fear. I became conscious that it was a dream I was experiencing, and once I “got it,” I simply lost all fear because I knew that there was nothing to fear from a dream. Regardless of how scary the dream might have been, all fear was gone; not because the scenario in the dream changed, but because I knew it to be a dream. When you move from a non-lucid state to a lucid state, the once frightful setting now literally becomes your playground.
So I went from running away from a monster to losing all fear in about a second. The switch is literally that dramatic. I lost all fear, stopped running and turned around to face what was coming my way. Suddenly, I understood that whatever was coming toward me was still coming at about the same speed, but I had no fear. I now felt that it was going to pass me on my right and so I stuck my right arm out in an effort to stop it. I was going to stop it, and ask it what it represented. I was going to see if it had anything to say to me. But, as soon as I had that thought, whatever was chasing me passed through my arm. I felt the breeze on my arm, but saw nothing. I was really running away from nothing!
In order to expand on my point about losing all fear, let me quickly share another lucid dream. I was in a non-lucid dream and suddenly I realized that I was dreaming. I became lucid in the dream and found myself standing on a railroad track. I have no conscious recollection of what happened to get me on the tracks, but there I was, on railroad tracks, and as luck would have it, a train was coming toward me at full speed. I was not immediately concerned because the train seemed to be about 15 seconds away from crushing me. Although I was in a dream state and could only react to the dream, I felt that I had more than enough time to step out of the way. At that moment, it felt like a very logical and healthy way to react to this scenario.
All of a sudden at about TC -10 (or Train Crash minus 10 seconds), I had the realization that I was simply dreaming. In a one to two second span, I lost all concern about the train crushing me. In two seconds, I went from the prudent belief that I should step away from the tracks, to losing all fear, saying to myself, “hmmm, this could be a very cool experience. I’ve never been hit by a train before.”
So there I was, now at TC -7, watching a train (with many passenger cars, I might add) coming full speed toward me, and yet I felt not one ounce of fear or trepidation. That is literally what it’s like when you have knowledge that all you are currently experiencing is a dream (mental experience) or an out-of-body experience (spiritual experience). It is not always perfectly clear if you are experiencing a dream or an OBE. However, as long as you understand that you are experiencing one of these two states, you are in full control and you do not experience fear. Now I find myself at TC -3, and I begin relishing the moments before impact. I have no idea what it will be like. I only know that because what I am experiencing is only in my mind (dream) or because I am in my spirit (OBE), I will not be hurt. There is a small sense of pride that I have no fear. At TC -1, I have no fear of the impending impact and I am fully caught up in what is about to happen. Then, the impact occurs and I am very surprised by what happens. I’m surprised, because even though I believe myself to be in spirit form, I literally feel the train impacting my soul. There is no pain involved with the impact or throughout the experience. All I “physically” feel is a sudden gust of wind hitting my body. The train’s impact on my spirit is like that of a sudden gust of wind. I feel like I’ve been lifted a little above the tracks but not above the train. The train going through me feels like the continuation of that first gust of wind. After the train passes through me, the gust of wind ends. All I can now say to myself is, “Wow, that was cool!”
After the experience was over, I told myself to wake up so that I could journal my experience. I definitely did not want to forget it. Since then, I’ve tried being hit by cars, buses and airplanes, and I’m glad to report that I don’t have one single scratch from those experiences (kids, please don’t try this in your physical bodies). Now, if you were in a situation like this in a dream or OBE, and you were not lucid, all that would happen is that before the train hit you, you would step aside if you had the time. If you did not have the time, you would save yourself by abruptly waking up, just as when you have dreams of falling and you are not lucid or in control, you usually wake up before you hit the ground. By the way, even though the odds say that you will wake up before hitting the ground, even if you hit the ground you will not die – at least I have not died the few times that I’ve hit the pavement. In the same situation, if you were to become lucid or have control, you would simply stop yourself from falling, land peacefully or begin to fly. A lot of times when you have that sensation that you are falling, all it is, is your soul coming back into your physical body. When this is the case, your body might slightly jolt as the soul re-enters it. You might even hear a thump-like noise. All this is just the soul re-entering the body at a time when you are coming back into the conscious state.
The steps to learning to lucid dream are basically the same as learning to remember your dreams. Simply replace the meditative intention of remembering your dreams with an intention of becoming lucid or aware in your dream. Tell yourself that the next time you dream, you will ask to see your hand. Use “I want to see my hand” as a mantra before going to bed. Repeat this mantra for five minutes. What this does is switch the control from your unconscious mind, where you are simply reacting to what is occurring in the dream, to your conscious mind where you are giving the instructions to your dream. Sometimes when you become lucid, you find your surroundings either foggy or dark. In such a case, simply ask for clarity. Say to yourself “clarity now” until the environment around you becomes clearer. Keep demanding clarity until your field of vision is as clear as you wish it to be. The shift from the non-lucid state to the lucid state is usually noticeable if not dramatic.
I remember being in a dream where I was walking through my childhood home in Venezuela (my physical body was dreaming this in Miami). Suddenly, I became aware that I was dreaming. As soon as this happened, I felt my soul literally being sucked into my old home. The trip seemed to take about three seconds, traveling at about five hundred miles per second. And no, I was not in a frequent flyer program at that time. You might ask, “How do you know that one second you are dreaming about your childhood home, and the next you believe yourself to be inside it?” Well, all I can say to you is that the only way you are ever really going to “get it” or “believe it” is to “experience it.” And you will if it’s truly your desire to do so.
This material can be found in the book - You Have Chosen to Remember: A Journey of Self-Awareness, Peace of Mind and Joy.
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