Your Avatar and You.

A major appeal of lucid dreaming is the fact that you can be whoever you want to be. Many meditative practices revolve around the recognition of a distinction between the mind and the body. It can be very healthy to give yourself the perspective of a new shell, even if it’s only subjectively.

What’s great about dreams is that your avatar, the physical representation of yourself in your dreams, is only limited by your imagination. Manipulating the dimensions of your avatar is the usual way people experience this, whether they become as tall as a building or thin as a crack in a door. However, more abstract things are entirely possible through dreams such as taking the form of an animal or the wind.

In a dream that I had just last night I took the part of a strain of seaweed being pulled along by the crashing waves of a beach. With some effort I was able to direct the aim of my drifting in order to sting the main antagonist of the dream with the jellyfish eggs tangled within me.  Admittedly this was an extremely strange dream for me, but at the same time I was glad that I had trained myself to recognize this dream’s insight.

The forms you take can be extremely interesting to observe. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to recognize that you’re an active participant in your dreams and it can also be difficult to know what you look like. Thus, the two goals to avatar recognition are knowing that you are and knowing what you are.

Knowing that you are is the basis of all lucid dreaming and comes with practice but there are some checks you can do to make it easier. Looking at text such as watches, books or phones which tend to look garbled in dreams is usually a good way to assert consciousness. Another method is to focus your energy on any specific object or person in the dream. The “anchor” typically works well for this. Focusing on something allows you to control the flow of the dream and prove your presence to yourself. There are many more methods, but these are a couple that came to mind.

Knowing what you are is where the fun part comes in. Try to take note of the perspective from which you’re viewing the dream. Are you way down at the feet of the people around you? Are you looking them right in the eyes? Or are you soaring far above them like a bird?  Mirrors are usually a lucky find in dreams as they force your mind to either create a picture of your avatar or leave it blank and give you a blatant clue to the fact that you’re dreaming. If you’re able to catch a hint of what you are try to act the part. Ebb and flow like a wave, stretch your wings like a bird or simply just breathe.

Oftentimes it’s only in retrospect that you can recognize what your role was within the dream you just had. Even if you find that you were just yourself most of the time it’s a huge step forward to know even that. Keep on trying and see what you’ll become.

 

Dream on little dreamers,

EB

 

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Manifestation vs. Manipulation

I often get asked by friends what kind of control I have in my dreams. I’ll usually answer with a practiced bit of how I have basic decision-making abilities, and sometimes can make myself fly and similar fun things. Here they usually ask if I’ve placed them in a lucid dream, and if so what happened to them.

First and foremost, its usually best not to tell people about their dream-projections as it’s a quick route to awkward conversation. Ignore this rule if their dream-projection did something particularly hilarious.

However on a more serious note, this question prompts an interesting debate about the difference between manifestation and manipulation in lucid dreams. Both are definitely possible in dreams, but the levels of difficulty are completely polarized. In this post I hope to distinguish the two in a way that will lead you to have more realistic expectations of your dream world.

Many expect that any amount of lucid dreaming practice will lead to the ability to manifest objects in your dreams. This includes generating fireballs, creating dreamscapes and summoning characters from your everyday life. It is very dissuading to newcomers when they find that this is not indeed the case in most recalled dreams. While it is possible, it is in fact the exception for lucid dreams. More often than not manipulation will be the primary way in which you exert conscious control over your dreams.

Manipulation in dreams works very much like real-world manipulation. You are presented with a situation and you have the ability to react in any way you choose. In the real world an example might be a rainy day, and whether you choose to stay-in or brave the rain. In the dream world an example might be an infinite white space, and whether you choose to sit-down or go exploring.

Especially in the early stages of recalling your dreams this will be the primary way in which you take an active role in your dreams. Try to take note of the decisions made in a dream in your dream journal. Anything from “there was a fork in the road, I turned left,” to “the man asked me to take a bite of the burger, instead I slapped it out of his hand” counts for this exercise. During the dream try to recognize points where you feel the power to make a decision. Try doing the exact opposite of what you think would be a good idea. Although you may end up in some particularly interesting situations, this is a good way to practice the power of manipulation.

Manifestation is a feasible goal for lucid dreamers, but it is in fact a lofty one. It is also definitely NOT the only way to have fun with lucid dreams, so acquiring this ability should not be a stressful process. The ability to manifest characters and objects in your dreams comes with a lot of practice.

As a disclaimer, I do not have the ability to manipulate everything in my dreams (nor would I want such an ability) so this is entirely theorized.

The easiest things to manifest in your dreams are things that you are very familiar with and have no definite dimensions. An example of this would be the quintessential ball of fire. The hardest things to manifest are people. Yes, that includes all of you inquisitive friends of mine. While it is easy to fling an object it is much harder to create a anatomically correct human being with a proper persona. Go figure.

My recommendation for working towards manifestation in your dreams is to recreate the simplest thing you can imagine. The “anchor” you chose (see my post Lucid Dreaming: The Basics) is a great start. Maybe create a list of objects that you check off each time you successfully manifest them. Something like this would work: Anchor object > pen > book > sandwich > ??? > fireball. Just a warning, on occasion trying to manifest even the simplest objects may wake you up as a result of the conscious effort you’re exerting.

I want to stress the fact that manifestation is NOT the only goal of lucid dreaming, and the inability to do so should not be seen as a failure on the lucid dreamer’s part. Relish in the power you do have in your dreams, you may find that even the smallest manipulations can bring great insight.

 

Dream on little dreamers,

EB