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Newsgroups: alt.dreams.lucid
From: (Lucidity Institute)
Subject: Lucid Dreaming FAQ, V. 2.21, 01MAY99
Date: 21 Feb 2000 04:20:02 GMT

                           LUCID DREAMING FAQ

                     The Lucidity Institute Answers
                       Frequently Asked Questions 
                          About Lucid Dreaming
             Version 2.21, May 1, 1999, (c) The Lucidity Institute 
         (HTML version at

        This FAQ is a brief introduction to lucid dreaming--what it is,
        how to do it, and what can be done with it. There are several
        excellent sources of information on lucid dreaming, the most
        extensive of which is the Lucidity Institute website
        ( Other sources are listed below and in
        the Lucidity Institute catalog. Suggestions for additions to or
        modifications of this FAQ should be directed to

CONTENTS (Topics marked with * have been modified since the previous version.)

1.1  What is lucid dreaming?

1.2* Is lucid dreaming the same as dream control?

1.3* How are lucid dreams related to out-of-body experiences (OBEs)?

2.1  Why have lucid dreams?
     2.1.1  Adventure and fantasy 
     2.1.2* Overcoming nightmares 
     2.1.3  Rehearsal 
     2.1.4  Creativity and problem solving 
     2.1.5  Healing 
     2.1.6  Transcendence 

2.2  Can lucid dreaming be dangerous?

3.1  Can everyone learn to have lucid dreams?

3.2  How do I learn to have lucid dreams?
     3.2.1* Dream recall 
     3.2.2  Reality testing 
     3.2.3  Dreamsigns 
     3.2.4  Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams (MILD) 
     3.2.5  Napping 
3.3  How quickly can I learn lucid dreaming?

3.4  What technology is available to assist lucid dreaming training?
     3.4.1* DreamLight 
     3.4.2* NovaDreamer 
     3.4.3* SuperNova Software 
     3.4.4* P.E.S.T 
     3.4.5* DreamSpeaker 

3.5  How well do lucid dream induction devices work?

3.6  Are there any drugs or food supplements that stimulate lucid dreams?

3.7* How can I prevent waking up as soon as I become lucid?

4.1* What are the best resources for learning more about lucid dreaming?

4.2* Where can I find lucid dreaming workshops?

4.3* What is the Lucidity Institute?

4.4  What qualifies the Lucidity Institute to write this FAQ?

4.5  What is NightLight and the Lucidity Institute membership society?

4.6* What are the Lucidity Institute's current research projects?

4.7  How can I get involved with lucid dreaming research?

4.8  Why does the Lucidity Institute charge money for lucid dream training?

4.9  How can I contact the Lucidity Institute?



    Lucid dreaming means dreaming while knowing that you are
    dreaming. The term was coined in 1913 by Frederik van Eeden 
    ( who used the word
    "lucid" in the sense of mental clarity. Lucidity usually begins
    in the midst of a dream when the dreamer realizes that the
    experience is not occurring in physical reality, but is a dream.
    Often this realization is triggered by the dreamer noticing some
    impossible or unlikely occurrence in the dream, such as flying or
    meeting the deceased. Sometimes people become lucid without
    noticing any particular clue in the dream; they just suddenly
    realize they are in a dream. A minority of lucid dreams
    (according to the research of LaBerge and colleagues, about 10
    percent) are the result of returning to REM (dreaming) sleep
    directly from an awakening with unbroken reflective
    The basic definition of lucid dreaming requires nothing more than
    becoming aware that you are dreaming. However, the quality of
    lucidity can vary greatly. When lucidity is at a high level, you
    are aware that everything experienced in the dream is occurring
    in your mind, that there is no real danger, and that you are
    asleep in bed and will awaken shortly. With low-level lucidity
    you may be aware to a certain extent that you are dreaming,
    perhaps enough to fly or alter what you are doing, but not enough
    to realize that the people are dream representations, or that you
    can suffer no physical damage, or that you are actually in bed 

    Lucidity is not synonymous with dream control. It is possible to
    be lucid and have little control over dream content, and
    conversely, to have a great deal of control without being
    explicitly aware that you are dreaming. However, becoming lucid
    in a dream is likely to increase the extent to which you can
    deliberately influence the course of events. Once lucid, dreamers
    usually choose to do something permitted only by the
    extraordinary freedom of the dream state, such as flying.
    You always have the choice of how much control you want to exert.
    For example, you could continue with whatever you were doing when
    you became lucid, with the added knowledge that you are dreaming.
    Or you could try to change everything--the dream scene, yourself,
    other dream characters. It is not always possible to perform
    "magic" in dreams, like changing one object into another or
    transforming scenes. A dreamer's ability to succeed at this seems
    to depend a lot on the dreamer's confidence. As Henry Ford said,
    "Believe you can, believe you can't; either way, you're right."
    On the other hand, it appears there are some constraints on dream
    control that may be independent of belief. See "Testing the
    Limits of Dream Control: The Light and Mirror Experiment" for
    more on this (
    The so-called "out-of-body experience" most frequently occurs in
    the context of sleep, and OBE enthusiasts even promote lucid
    dreaming as a "stepping stone" to the OBE. Conversely, many lucid
    dreamers have had the experience of feeling themselves "leave the
    body" at the onset of a lucid dream. From a laboratory study, 
    ( we have concluded
    that OBEs can occur in the same physiological state as lucid dreams. 
    Wake-initiated lucid dreams (WILDs) were three times more likely 
    to be labeled "OBEs" than dream initiated lucid dreams. If one 
    believes oneself to have been awake, then one will call the 
    experience an OBE and believe oneself to be in an "astral" body 
    in the "real" physical world. If, on the other hand, one recognizes 
    the experience to be a dream, then one will identify the OBE body 
    as a dream body image and the environment of the experience as a 
    dream world. The validity of the latter interpretation is supported 
    by observations and research on these phenomena.
    Upon hearing about lucid dreaming for the first time, people
    often ask, "Why should I want to have lucid dreams? What are they
    good for?" If you consider that once you know you are dreaming,
    you are restricted only by your ability to imagine and conceive,
    not by laws of physics or society, then the answer to what lucid
    dreaming is good for is either extremely simple (anything!) or
    extraordinarily complex (everything!). It is easier to provide a
    sample of what some people have done with lucid dreaming than to
    give a definitive answer of its potential uses.
    2.1.1 Adventure and Fantasy
    Often, the first thing that attracts people to lucid dreaming is
    the potential for wild adventure and fantasy fulfillment. Flying
    is a favorite lucid dream delight, as is sex. Many people have
    said that their first lucid dream was the most wonderful
    experience of their lives. A large part of the extraordinary
    pleasure of lucid dreaming comes from the exhilarating feeling of
    utter freedom that accompanies the realization that you are in a
    dream and there will be no social or physical consequences of
    your actions. One might think that this is a rather intellectual
    concept, but an ecstatic "rush" frequently arises with the first
    realization that one is dreaming.
    2.1.2 Overcoming Nightmares
    Unfortunately for many people, instead of providing an outlet for
    unlimited fantasy and delight, dreams can be dreaded episodes of
    limitless terror. As is discussed in the books Lucid Dreaming
    (LaBerge, 1985) and Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming (EWLD)
    (LaBerge & Rheingold, 1990), lucid dreaming may well be the basis
    of the most effective therapy for nightmares. If you know you are
    dreaming, it is a simple logical step to realizing that nothing
    in your current experience, however unpleasant, can cause you
    physical harm. There is no need to run from or fight with dream
    monsters. In fact, it is often pointless to try, because the
    horror pursuing you was conceived in your own mind, and as long 
    as you continue to fear it, it can pursue you wherever you dream
    yourself to be. The only way to really "escape" is to end your
    fear. For a discussion of reasons for recurrent nightmares, see
    Overcoming Nightmares from EWLD ( 
    The fear you feel in a nightmare is completely real; it is the danger 
    that is not.
    Unreasonable fear can be defused by facing up to the source, or
    going through with the frightening activity, so that you observe
    that no harm comes to you. In a nightmare, this act of courage
    can take any form that involves facing the "threat" rather than
    avoiding it. For example, one young man dreamt of being pursued
    by a lion. When he had no place left to run, he realized he was
    dreaming and called to the lion to "come and get him." The
    challenge turned into a playful wrestling match, and the lion
    became a sexy woman (NightLight 1.4, 1989, p. 13). Monsters often
    transform into benign creatures, friends, or empty shells when
    courageously confronted in lucid dreams. This is an extremely
    empowering experience. It teaches you in a very visceral manner
    that you can conquer fear and thereby become stronger.
    2.1.3 Rehearsal
    Lucid dreaming is an extraordinarily vivid form of mental
    imagery, so realistic that the trick is to realize it is a mental
    construct. It is no surprise, therefore, that many people use
    lucid dreaming to rehearse for success in waking life. Examples
    of such applications include public speaking, difficult
    confrontations, artistic performance and athletic prowess.
    Because the activity of the brain during a dreamed activity is
    the same as during the real event, neuronal patterns of
    activation required for a skill (like a ski jump or pirouette)
    can be established in the dream state in preparation for
    performance in the waking world. See EWLD for examples.
    2.1.4 Creativity and Problem Solving
    The creative potential of dreams is legendary. The brain is
    highly active in REM sleep, which may contribute to the novel
    combinations of events and objects we experience as dream
    bizarreness. This same novelty allows flexibility of thought rare
    in waking life, manifesting as enhanced creativity. Lucid
    dreamers have employed the inherent creativity of dreams for
    problem solving and artistic inspiration. EWLD presents many
    reports of creative solutions and discoveries from lucid dreams.
    2.1.5 Healing
    The effects of visual imagery on the body are well-established.
    Just as skill practice in a dream can enhance waking performance,
    healing dream imagery may improve physical health. Medical
    patients have often used soothing and positive imagery to
    alleviate pain, and the dream world offers the most vivid form of
    imagery. Thus, some people have use lucid dreams in overcoming
    phobias, working with grief, decreasing social and sexual
    anxieties, achieving greater self-confidence and by directing the
    body image in the dream to facilitate physical healing. The
    applications, which are described in greater detail in EWLD,
    deserve clinical study, as they may be the greatest boon that
    lucid dreaming has to offer. Other potential healing applications
    of lucid dreaming include: practice of physical skills by stroke
    and spinal cord injury patients to encourage recovery of
    neuromuscular function, enjoyment of sexual satisfaction by
    people with lower body sensory loss (fully satisfying dream sex
    requires only mental stimulation!), more rapid recovery from
    injury or disease through the use of lucid dream imagery, and an
    increased sense of freedom for anyone who feels limited by
    disability or circumstance.
    2.1.6 Transcendence
    The experience of being in a lucid dream clearly demonstrates the
    astonishing fact that the world we see is a construct of our
    minds. This concept, so elusive when sought in waking life, is
    the cornerstone of spiritual teachings. It forces us to look
    beyond everyday experience and ask, "If this is not real, what
    is?" Lucid dreaming, by so baldly baring a truth that many spend
    lives seeking, often triggers spiritual questioning in people who
    try it for far more mundane purposes. Not only does lucid
    dreaming lead to questioning the nature of reality, but for many
    it also has been a source of transcendent experience. Exalted and
    ecstatic states are common in lucid dreams. EWLD presents several
    cases of individuals achieving states of union with the Highest,
    great peace and a new sense of their roles in life.
    The overwhelming majority of lucid dreams are positive, rewarding
    experiences. Moreover, lucidity in unpleasant dreams or
    nightmares can transform habitual fear into conscious courage.
    The simple state of lucidity is frequently enough to elevate the
    mood of a dreamer in a nightmare. In a study of the effect of
    lucid dreams on mood, college students reported that realizing
    they were dreaming in a nightmare helped them feel better about
    60 percent of the time. Lucidity was seven times more likely to
    make nightmares better than worse.
    A parallel concern is that dying in a dream can cause death in
    reality. If this were true, how would we know? Anyone who died
    from a dream could not tell us about its content. Many people,
    after awakening alive, report having died in their dreams with no
    ill effect. Dreams of death can actually be insightful
    experiences about life, rebirth, and transcendence.
    Some people believe that dreams are messages from the unconscious
    mind and should not be consciously altered. Modern research on
    dreaming, discussed further in chapter 5 of EWLD, suggests that
    dreams are not messages, but models of the world. While awake,
    sensory and perceptual information governs our model. While
    dreaming, our bodies are paralyzed and our brain builds a world
    model based on a secondary source; namely, our assumptions,
    motivations, and expectations. These biases are difficult to
    identify while awake, so a world based entirely on such biases,
    the world of dreams, can help us to recognize them. Thus, dreams
    are not messages, but are more like clues into the inner workings
    of our minds. The conscious and critical awareness that
    accompanies lucid dreams allows dreamers to thoughtfully
    interpret their dreams while they happen.
    Finally, some people worry that lucid dreams are so exciting and
    pleasurable that they will become addicted and "sleep their life
    away." There is a biological obstacle to living in lucid dreams:
    we have a limited amount of REM sleep. More importantly, lucid
    dreams can be inspirations for how to act and improve in reality.
    Your behavior strongly influences your experience in both worlds.
    Lucid dreams can be signposts for how you can make your waking
    reality more exciting and enjoyable.
    Lucid dreaming is a skill you can develop, like learning a new
    language. A few individuals may have an innate talent for
    achieving lucidity, yet even they can benefit from instruction
    and practice in making the most of their lucid dreams. Many more
    people experience lucidity as a rare spontaneous event, but need
    training to enjoy lucid dreams at will. The best predictor of
    success with lucid dreaming is the ability to remember dreams.
    This, too, is a skill you can develop. With specific techniques,
    you can increase the quantity and quality of your dream recall,
    which will in turn greatly increase your ability to have lucid
    The two essentials to learning lucid dreaming are motivation and
    effort. Although most people report occasional spontaneous lucid
    dreams, they rarely occur without our intending it. Lucid dream
    induction techniques help focus intention and prepare a critical
    mind. They range from millennium-old Tibetan exercises to modern
    methods developed by dream researchers. Try the following
    techniques and feel free to use personal variants. Experiment,
    observe, and persevere - lucid dreaming is easier than you may
    3.2.1 Dream Recall
    The most important prerequisite for learning lucid dreaming is
    excellent dream recall. There are two likely reasons for this.
    First, when you remember your dreams well, you can become
    familiar with their features and patterns. This helps you to
    recognize them as dreams while they are still happening. Second,
    it is possible that with poor dream recall, you may actually have
    lucid dreams that you do not remember!
    The procedure for improving your dream recall is fully detailed
    in EWLD and A Course in Lucid Dreaming in addition to many other
    books on dreams. A summary of the methods is available on the 
    LI web site ( 
    The core exercise is writing down everything you recall about 
    your dreams in a dream journal immediately after waking from the 
    dream, no matter how fragmentary your recall. Record what you 
    recall immediately upon waking from the dream; if you wait until 
    morning you are likely to forget most, if not all, of the dream. 
    In A Course in Lucid Dreaming we advise that people build their 
    dream recall to at least one dream recalled per night before 
    proceeding with lucid dream induction techniques.
    3.2.2 Reality Testing
    This is a good technique for beginners. Assign yourself several
    times a day to perform the following exercise. Also do it anytime
    you think of it, especially when something odd occurs or when you
    are reminded of dreams. It helps to choose specific occasions
    like: when you see your face in the mirror, look at your watch,
    arrive at work or home, pick up your NovaDreamer, etc. The more
    frequently and thoroughly you practice this technique, the better
    it will work.
        1. Do a reality test. Carry some text with you or wear a
        digital watch  throughout the day. To do a reality test,
        read the words or the numbers on the  watch. Then, look away
        and look back, observing the letters or numbers to see  if
        they change. Try to make them change while watching them.
        Research shows that text changes 75% of the time it is
        re-read once and changes 95% it is  re-read twice. If the
        characters do change, or are not normal, or do not make 
        sense, then you are most probably dreaming. Enjoy! If the
        characters are  normal, stable, and sensible, then you
        probably aren't dreaming. Go on to step  2.
        2. Imagine that your surroundings are a dream. If you are
        fairly certain  you are awake (you can never be 100% sure!),
        then say to yourself, "I may not  be dreaming now, but if I
        were, what would it be like?" Visualize as vividly  as
        possible that you are dreaming. Intently imagine that what
        you are seeing, hearing, smelling, feeling is all a dream.
        Imagine instabilities in your  environment, words changing,
        scenes transforming, perhaps you floating off the  ground.
        Create in yourself the feeling that you are in a dream.
        Holding that feeling, go on to step 3.
        3. Visualize yourself enjoying a dream activity. Decide on
        something you  would like to do in your next lucid dream,
        perhaps flying, talking to  particular dream characters, or
        just exploring the dream world. Continue to  imagine that
        you are dreaming now, and visualize yourself enjoying your
        chosen activity.
    3.2.3 Dreamsigns
    Another dream-recall related exercise introduced in EWLD and
    further developed in A Course in Lucid Dreaming is identifying
    "dreamsigns." This term, coined by LaBerge, refers to elements of
    dreams that indicate that you are dreaming. (Examples: miraculous
    flight, purple cats, malfunctioning devices, and meeting deceased
    people.) By studying your dreams you can become familiar with
    your own personal dreamsigns and set your mind to recognize them
    and become lucid in future dreams. The Course also provides
    exercises for noticing dreamsigns while you are awake, so that
    the skill carries over into your dreams. This exercise also
    applies to lucid dream induction devices, which give sensory
    cues--special, artificially-produced dreamsigns--while you are
    dreaming. To succeed at recognizing these cues in dreams, you
    need to practice looking for them and recognizing them while you
    are awake.
    3.2.4 Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams (MILD)
    The MILD technique employs prospective memory, remembering to do
    something (notice you're dreaming) in the future. Dr. LaBerge
    developed this technique for his doctoral dissertation and used
    it to achieve lucid dreaming at will. The proper time to practice
    MILD is after awakening from a dream, before returning to sleep.
    (Modified from EWLD, p. 78)
        1. Setup dream recall. Set your mind to awaken from dreams
        and recall them. When you awaken from a dream, recall it as
        completely as you can.
        2. Focus your intent. While returning to sleep, concentrate
        single-mindedly on your intention to remember to recognize
        that you're dreaming. Tell yourself: "Next time I'm
        dreaming, I will remember I'm dreaming," repeatedly, like a
        mantra. Put real meaning into the words and focus on this
        idea alone. If you find yourself thinking about anything
        else, let it go and bring your mind back to your intention.
        3. See yourself becoming lucid. As you continue to focus on
        your intention to remember when you're dreaming, imagine
        that you are back in the dream from which you just awakened
        (or another one you have had recently if you didn't remember
        a dream on awakening). Imagine that this time you recognize
        that you are dreaming. Look for a dreamsign--something in
        the dream that demonstrates plainly that it is a dream. When
        you see it say to yourself: "I'm dreaming!" and continue
        your fantasy. Imagine yourself carrying out your plans for
        your next lucid dream. For example, if you want to fly in
        your lucid dream, imagine yourself flying after you come to
        the point in your fantasy when you become lucid.
        4. Repeat until your intention is set. Repeat steps 2 and 3
        until either you fall asleep or are sure that your intention
        is set. If, while falling asleep, you find yourself thinking
        of anything else, repeat the procedure so that the last
        thing in your mind before falling asleep is your intention
        to remember to recognize the next time you are dreaming.
    3.2.5 Napping
    Two observations led to the development of napping as a method of
    lucid dream induction. First, LaBerge noticed that lucidity
    seemed to come easier in afternoon naps. The second suggestion
    same from several lucid dreamers who noted that certain
    activities during the night appeared to induce lucid dreaming.
    The disparate qualities of these interruptions: sex, vomiting,
    and pure meditation, piqued LaBerge's curiosity regarding what
    feature each might possess conducive to lucidity. The answer
    proved to be quite simple: wakefulness interjected during sleep
    increases the likelihood of lucidity. In fact, the nap technique,
    refined through several NightLight experiments, is an extremely
    powerful method of stimulating lucid dreams. The technique
    requires you to awaken one hour earlier than usual, stay awake
    for 30 to 60 minutes, then go back to sleep. One study showed a
    15 to 20 times increased likelihood of lucid dreaming for those
    practicing the nap technique over no technique. During the
    wakeful period, read about lucid dreaming, practice reality
    checks and then do MILD as you are falling asleep. The Lucidity
    Institute's summer retreat program at Stanford incorporates this
    technique into the program, and is one of the reasons why most
    participants have experienced lucid dreams during the session.
    The speed with which you develop the skill of lucid dreaming
    depends on many individual factors. How well do you recall
    dreams? How much time can you give to practicing mental
    exercises? Do you use a lucid dream induction device? Do you
    practice diligently? Do you have a well developed critical
    thinking faculty? And so on.
    Case histories may provide a more tangible picture of the process
    of learning lucid dreaming. Dr. LaBerge increased his frequency
    of lucid dreaming from about one per month to up to four a night
    (at which point he could have lucid dreams at will) over the
    course of three years. He was studying lucid dreaming for his
    doctoral dissertation and therefore needed to learn to have them
    on demand as quickly as possible. On the other hand, he had to
    invent techniques for improving lucid dreaming skills. Thus,
    people starting now, although they may not be as strongly
    motivated as LaBerge or have the same quantity of time to devote
    to it, have the advantage of the tested techniques, training
    programs, and electronic biofeedback aids that have been created
    in the two decades since LaBerge began his studies.
    Lynne Levitan, staff writer for the Lucidity Institute, describes
    her experiences with learning lucid dreaming as follows:
        "I first heard of lucid dreaming in April of 1982, when I
        took a course from Dr. LaBerge at Stanford University. I had
        had the experience many years before and was very interested
        to learn to do it again, as well as to get involved in the
        research. First I had to develop my dream recall, because at
        the time I only remembered two or three dreams per week. In
        a couple of months I was recalling 3 to 4 or more per night,
        and in July (about three months after starting) I had my
        first lucid dream since adolescence. I worked at it on and
        off for the next four years (not sleeping much as a student)
        and reached the level of 3 to 4 lucid dreams per week. Along
        the way, I tested several prototypes of the DreamLight lucid
        dream induction device and they clearly helped me to become
        more proficient at realizing when I was dreaming. During the
        first two years that we were developing the DreamLight, I
        had lucid dreams on half of the nights I used one of these
        devices, compared to once a week or less without. In
        considering how long it took me to get really good at lucid
        dreaming, note that I did not have the benefit of the
        thoroughly studied and explained techniques now available
        either, because the research had not yet been done nor the
        material written. Therefore, people now should be able to
        accomplish the same learning in far less time given, of
        course, sufficient motivation."
    The Lucidity Institute offers several electronic devices that
    help people have lucid dreams. They were developed through
    laboratory research at Stanford University by LaBerge, Levitan,
    and others. The basic principle behind all of these devices is as
    follows: the primary task confronting someone who wishes to have
    a lucid dream is to remember that intention while in a dream. One
    of the best ways to increase a person's chances of having a lucid
    dream is to give a reminder to the person during REM sleep. In
    the lab, we found that flashing light cues worked well in that
    they tended to incorporate into ongoing dreams without causing
    awakening. You may have noticed that occasional bits of sensory
    information are filtered into your dreams in disguised form, like
    a clock radio as supermarket music or a chain saw as the sound of
    a thunderstorm. This is the same principle used by our lucid
    dream induction devices: the lights or sounds from the device
    filter into the user's dreams. In cases of very deep sleepers, we
    found that it was sometimes necessary to use sound as well as
    light to get the cues into dreams. The dreamer's task is to
    notice the flashing lights in the dream and remember that they
    are cues to become lucid. Because we could not possibly
    accommodate everyone who wants to come into the sleep lab for a
    lucid dream induction session and most people would rather sleep
    at home anyway, we worked for several years to develop a
    comfortable, portable device that would detect REM sleep and
    deliver a cue tailored to the individual user's needs.
    The DreamLight and NovaDreamer lucid dream induction devices work
    by giving flashing light or sound cues when the user is dreaming.
    Users modify the device settings to find a cue with the right
    intensity and length to enter their dreams without causing
    awakening. In addition, device users practice mental exercises
    while awake to enhance their ability to recognize the light cues
    when they appear in dreams. Both devices include a soft,
    comfortable sleep mask, which contains the flashing lights, a
    speaker, and an eye movement detection apparatus. The
    DreamLight's CPU is in a book-sized box attached to the mask by a
    cable. The NovaDreamer's electronics are all inside the sleep
    mask. The DreamLight and NovaDreamer detect the rapid eye
    movements of REM sleep, when the wearer is likely to be dreaming,
    and give cues when the level of eye movement activity is high
    The lucidity cues of the DreamLight and NovaDreamer are intended
    to enter into ongoing dreams. This can occur in several ways.
    Cues can be superimposed over the dream scene, like a light
    flashing in one's face, or they can briefly interrupt the dream
    scene. The most common (and most difficult to identify)
    incorporation of cues is into dream stories. Little brothers
    flashing the room lights, flash bulbs, lightning, traffic
    signals, police car lights: all are real examples of
    incorporations of DreamLight or NovaDreamer cues. The trickiness
    of cue appearances underscores the need to thoroughly prepare
    one's mind to recognize cues via waking practice. The Lucidity
    Institute has a little gizmo that can assist with this, called
    the P.E.S.T.
    These lucid dream induction devices offer a second method of
    lucid dream stimulation. This method arose out of the discovery
    that while sleeping with the DreamLight, people frequently
    dreamed that they awakened wearing the device, and pressed the
    button on the front of the mask to start the "delay," a feature
    that disables cues while you are drifting off to sleep.
    Ordinarily, a button press would cause a beep to tell you that
    you had successfully pressed it. However, people were reporting
    that the button was not working in the middle of the night.
    Actually, they were dreaming that they were awakening and
    pressing the button, and the button did not work because it was a
    dream version of the DreamLight. Dream versions of devices are
    notorious for not working normally. Once people were advised that
    failure of the button in the middle of the night was a sign that
    they were probably dreaming, they were able to use this
    "dreamsign" reliably to become lucid during "false awakenings"
    with the DreamLight. This "reality test" button turned out to be
    so useful that it became an important part of all the lucid dream
    induction devices developed by the Lucidity Institute. Research
    suggests that about half of the lucid dreams stimulated by the
    devices result from using the button for reality tests.
    3.4.1 The DreamLight
    The first lucid dream induction device developed by the Lucidity
    Institute was the DreamLight. It is essentially a microcomputer
    dedicated to processing signal data from the user's eye and body
    movements and employing algorithms to deliver cues at optimal
    times for successful lucid dream induction. Other features
    include a "Dream Alarm" to boost dream recall, the ability to
    record the number of dreams you recall during the night, and an
    alarm clock. It can store several nights of sleep data and thus
    can serve as a convenient portable sleep laboratory. The device
    consists of a sleep mask with cueing and detection apparatus, a 
    separate CPU (book-sized) and a cable. The DreamLight can be 
    custom programmed for research. For details, see the manual 
    ( Available from 
    the LI (
    3.4.2 The NovaDreamer
    As there are many people interested in lucid dreaming who don't
    need the data collection and programmable features of the
    DreamLight, we used new advances in microcomputer technology to
    create the NovaDreamer. It also uses REM detection to time the
    delivery of lucidity cue and provides feedback on the number of
    cues given. It includes the "Dream Alarm" feature to boost dream
    recall. Unlike the DreamLight, all of the hardware is contained
    within the soft sleep mask. Users have a choice of a wide
    selection of cues and receive feedback on the number of cues they
    receive during a sleep period. For technical details, see the online
    manual (, and for a
    personal account, see Keelin's "Adventures with the NovaDreamer" 
    ( Available 
    from the LI (
    3.4.3 The SuperNova Software Package
    The recent advent of the SuperNova NovaDreamer software package
    enables NovaDreamer owners to add flexibility and power
    approaching that of the DreamLight to their NovaDreamers.
    Combined with the SuperNova interface box which connects to the
    NovaDreamer, the software enables the NovaDreamer user to keep
    complete records of sleep data, including timing of REM periods,
    cues, settings, results and dream reports. Data can be compiled
    to show trends. The Macintosh or Windows 95 software also
    streamlines the process of setting the NovaDreamer by allowing
    the user to see all settings at once and upload a complete set to
    the device from the computer. Individuals sharing a device can
    keep separate settings files and records. The SuperNova package
    is useful not only for learning lucid dreaming but also for
    research purposes. See the manual for technical details
    ( Available from  
    the LI (
    3.4.4 The P.E.S.T.
    The Programmable Electronic State Tester (P.E.S.T.) is a pesky
    little device that facilitates the daytime mental practice
    necessary for lucid dreaming. One of the challenges of learning
    lucid dream is remembering to question reality several times a
    day. The P.E.S.T. helps by prompting the user to perform reality
    tests with randomly timed alarms. Randomness prevents the
    habituation that results when stimuli occur at regular intervals.
    (This is why, for example, you stop noticing you watch beep when
    it is set to chime on the hour.) The P.E.S.T. was designed to
    look like a beeper and deliver silent (vibratory) alarms so that
    your co-workers don't wonder why you are doing "reality tests"
    all the time. After you have conditioned yourself to do reality
    tests when you feel the P.E.S.T.'s cues, you can connect it to
    a NovaDreamer so that you get reminded when you're dreaming. See
    the manual for details (
    Available from LI (
    3.4.5 The DreamSpeaker
    The DreamSpeaker is used with a NovaDreamer (or DreamLight) to
    play a digitally recorded message during REM sleep. The message
    can function as a lucidity cue, as well as a reminder of your
    desired goals. For example, if you want to fly when you become
    lucid, you might record a message such as, "I'm dreaming and now
    I can fly!"
    The DreamSpeaker is comprised of two components: a
    battery-operated control unit and a pillow speaker. The control
    unit is a small black box containing a microphone and the
    electronics necessary for digital sound recording and interfacing
    with a REM-detecting device. The control box is connected to the
    NovaDreamer by means of another cable, and the speaker is placed
    unobtrusively under one's pillow. You make a recording (up to 90
    seconds in length) by pressing a button on the control unit and
    speaking into the microphone. Later that night... when the
    NovaDreamer determines that you are dreaming, you receive a light
    cue from the mask which, thanks to the DreamSpeaker, is
    reinforced as a lucidity trigger by words heard during the dream.
    Read "Pillow Talk: Announcing the DreamSpeaker" for a short
    history of attempts to influence dreams by means of sound and
    speech applied to sleepers and an introduction to this talking
    Sandman ( See 
    the manual ( for
    details. Available from LI (
    The Lucidity Institute's lucid dream induction devices are
    designed to help people achieve lucidity by giving them cues
    while they are dreaming and also by providing a reliable means of
    testing one's state of consciousness. They do not make people
    have lucid dreams any more than exercise machines make people
    develop strong muscles. In both cases the goal, strength or lucid
    dreams, results from practice. The machines accelerate the
    process. Several factors enter into success with one of these
    devices. One is how accurately the cues are coordinated with the
    user's REM sleep. The devices' REM detection systems are
    adjustable to individual variables. Another success factor is how
    well the cues enter into the dream without awakening the sleeper.
    A third factor is how prepared the user is for recognizing cues
    in dreams and becoming lucid. Finally, the user's commitment to
    performing a reality test on each awakening with the device
    influences success. All four of these factors are, to some
    extent, controllable by the device user: adjustment of eye
    movement sensitivity to catch REM sleep, selecting a cue that
    enters dreams without causing awakenings, mental preparation to
    recognize cues in dreams, and resolution to do reality tests.
    Therefore, it is difficult to obtain a truly accurate measurement
    of the effectiveness of the devices. Nonetheless, research with
    various versions of the DreamLight have shown that it definitely
    helps people have more frequent lucid dreams.
    Because expectation makes lucid dreaming more likely, one might
    wonder whether the DreamLight is any more effective than a
    placebo. A study recently published in Dreaming proved that it
    is. In brief, fourteen experienced DreamLight users were exposed
    to two conditions: light cues or no light cues. Subjects thought
    they were testing two different light cues and did not know their
    nightly condition (making motivation and expectations constant).
    Thus, the study examined how much the DreamLight's light cues
    specifically contributed to the achievement of lucid dreams. More
    people had lucid dreams on nights when they received light cues
    (73% versus 27%). Lucid dream frequency was three times greater
    on nights with cues (one lucid dream every three nights versus
    one in eleven nights without cues).
    An earlier study with a different version of the DreamLight
    showed a five-fold increase in lucid dreaming frequency when
    people used the Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreaming (MILD)
    mental technique in conjunction with the device, compared with
    using no device and no mental technique. Using the device without
    mental techniques worked about as well as just using the mental
    technique; both cases were an improvement over using nothing.
    In summary, at this stage the lucid dream induction devices can
    definitely help people to have lucid dreams, or to have more of
    them. Important factors contributing to success are good dream
    recall (the DreamLight and NovaDreamer also can be used to boost
    dream recall with the "Dream Alarm feature"), diligent mental
    preparation, and careful adjustment of the device to meet
    individual needs for cueing and REM detection. No device yet
    exists that will make a person have a lucid dream.
    A number of substances have been suggested to enhance the
    likelihood of lucid dreaming, from vitamins to prescription
    drugs. There are few good scientific studies to test such claims.
    Lucid dreaming is highly subject to the placebo effect; the
    belief that something will stimulate a lucid dream is very
    effective! This is not to say that there are not substances that
    do, in fact, promote lucid dreaming. We are interested in
    discovering such and welcome observations from fellow dreamers.
    At this time, however, we do not endorse any substances for
    inducing lucid dreams. Many prescription drugs as well as
    marijuana and alcohol alter the sleep cycle, usually by
    suppressing REM sleep. This leads to a phenomenon called "REM
    rebound," in which a person experiences intense, long REM periods
    after the drug has worn off. This can manifest as nightmares or,
    possibly, as lucid dreaming, since the brain is highly active.
    Drugs in the LSD family, including psilocybin and tryptamines
    actually stimulate REM sleep (in doses small enough to allow
    sleep), leading to longer REM periods. We do not recommend the
    use of drugs without proper guidance nor do we urge the breaking
    of laws.
    Beginning lucid dreamers often have the problem of waking up
    right after becoming lucid. This obstacle may prevent some people
    from realizing the value of lucid dreaming. Fortunately there are
    ways to overcome this problem.
    The first is to remain calm in the dream. Becoming lucid is
    exciting, but expressing the excitement can awaken you. It is
    possible to enjoy the thrill that accompanies the dawning of
    lucidity without allowing the activation to overwhelm you. Be
    like a poker player with an ideal hand. Relax and engage with the
    dream rather than withdrawing into your inner joy of
    Then, if the dream shows signs of ending, such as a loss of
    detail, vividness, and apparent reality of the imagery, the
    technique of "spinning" can often restore the dream. You spin
    your dream body around like a child trying to get dizzy. LaBerge
    developed this technique after experimenting with the idea that
    relaxing completely might help prevent awakening from a dream.
    When in a lucid dream that was fading, he stopped and dropped
    backwards to the floor, and had a false awakening in bed! After a
    few trials he determined that the essential element was the
    sensation of motion, not relaxation. The best way to create a
    feeling of movement, especially in the dream scene has vanished,
    leaving nowhere to move to, is to create angular momentum (or the
    sensation of it), by spinning around your axis. You are not
    really doing it, but your brain is well familiar with the
    experience of spinning and duplicates the experience quite well.
    In the process the vestibular and kinesthetic senses are engaged.
    Presumably, this sensory engagement with the dream discourages
    the brain from changing state from dreaming to waking. Note that
    dream spinning does not usually lead to dizziness. Be aware that
    the expectation of possible awakening sometimes leads to a "false
    awakening" in which you dream of waking. The vividness of the
    spinning sensation may cause you to feel your spinning arm hit
    the bed. You think, "Oops, I'm awake in bed now." Think now--your
    physical body wasn't really spinning, it was your dream
    body--therefore, the arm is a dream arm hitting a dream bed! To
    avoid being deceived, recite, "The next scene will be a dream,"
    until a scene appears. If you are in doubt about your status,
    perform a thorough reality test.
    Research at LI ( has 
    proven the effectiveness of spinning: the odds in favor of 
    continuing the lucid dream were about 22 to 1 after spinning, 
    13 to 1 after hand rubbing (another technique designed to 
    prevent awakening), and 1 to 2 after "going with the flow" 
    (a "control" task). That makes the relative odds favoring 
    spinning over going with the flow 48 to 1, and for rubbing 
    over going with the flow, 27 to 1.
    Over the past fifteen years, exercises, techniques and training
    materials have been developed and refined to the point where most
    anyone can learn to have lucid dreams if they are willing to
    devote time and effort. The Lucidity Institute offers lucid
    dreaming training through several modalities. To start, most
    bookstores carry the book Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming
    (EWLD) by LaBerge and Rheingold (Ballantine, 1990), or you can
    order it online from the Lucidity Institute or for
    under US$5. It presents a step-by-step training program with
    exercises and an introduction to the various possible
    applications of lucid dreaming. The Lucidity Institute's A Course
    in Lucid Dreaming provides a more thorough training program with
    five units of exercises and a workbook for tracking your
    progress. EWLD is the textbook for the Course.
    There are several other good resources, although caution is in
    order when buying books on lucid dreaming. Some are poorly
    researched and present claims or methods that have not been
    rigorously tested. Below is a list of books and audio tapes that
    we have found valuable for introducing the facts about lucid
    dreaming, conveying something of the experience, or assisting
    with training. Some excerpts from the books are available on The
    Lucidity Institute website.
    LUCID DREAMING By Stephen LaBerge, Ph.D., (Ballantine, 1986; ISBN
    0-345-33355-1) This is the seminal work that first brought lucid
    dreaming to the attention of the general public and legitimized
    it as a valuable field of scientific inquiry. It is still the
    best general reference on lucid dreaming and a pleasure to read.
    The phenomenon of lucid dreaming is explored from many angles,
    beginning with the history of the practice in human cultures.
    LaBerge describes the early days of the scientific research and
    tells the story of his successful challenge of the established
    school of thought in sleep research, which held that awareness
    while dreaming was impossible. He discusses many methods of lucid
    dream induction, including the way he taught himself to have
    several lucid dreams per night. Other topics covered include:
    contemporary theories of the function of dreaming "Dreaming,
    Function, and Meaning", applications of lucid dreaming, the
    relationship of lucid dreaming to out-of-body and near-death
    experiences, and the possibility of using lucid dreaming as a
    gateway or stepping stone on the path to spiritual enlightenment.
    See Annotated Table of Contents for more details. Available from
    the LI catalog or
    and Howard Rheingold (Ballantine, 1990) A practical guide for
    lucid dreamers. The first half of the book establishes a basic
    understanding of sleep and dreams, followed by a progressive
    series of exercises for developing lucid dreaming skills. These
    include cataloging "dreamsigns," your personal landmarks that
    tell you when you are dreaming, the Reflection-Intention and MILD
    techniques for becoming lucid within the dream and methods of
    falling asleep consciously based on ancient Tibetan Yoga
    practices. Induction methods are followed by advice on maintaining 
    and guiding lucid dreams ( 
    After presenting the lucid dream induction techniques, Dr. LaBerge 
    explains his understanding of the origin of dreams, founded on 
    current views in the sciences of consciousness and cognition. 
    This provides a foundation for the methods of employing lucid 
    dreams to enhance your life, which are detailed in the second 
    half of the book. The applications considered are: adventures 
    and explorations, rehearsal for living, creative problem solving, 
    overcoming nightmares (, 
    healing, and discovery of expanded awareness and spiritual 
    experience. Many delightful and illuminating anecdotes from 
    lucid dreamers illustrate the use of lucid dreams for each
    application. See Annotated Table of Contents for more details 
    ( You can order 
    from the LI catalog or
    A COURSE IN LUCID DREAMING By Stephen LaBerge and Lynne Levitan
    (Lucidity Institute, 1995) This is a comprehensive home-study
    training program in lucid dreaming. It takes you from the
    beginning stages of improving your dream recall and becoming
    familiar with the hallmarks of your dreams, through several
    different techniques for increasing your ability to have lucid
    dream, to mastery of the art of lucid dreaming. All known methods
    of lucid dream induction are covered. Many focusing exercises
    help you develop the mental powers needed to become an expert
    lucid dreamer. Charts and logs assist you in assessing your skill
    level and monitoring your progress. The Course has five Units and
    takes a minimum of four months to complete. The textbook is
    Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming.
    CONSCIOUS MIND, SLEEPING BRAIN Edited by Jayne Gackenbach, Ph.D.
    and Stephen LaBerge, Ph.D. (Plenum, 1988; ISBN 0-306-42849-0)
    Nineteen dream researchers and other professionals contributed to
    this scholarly volume. It represents a wide spectrum of
    viewpoints in the field of lucid dreaming study and is an
    essential reference for anyone interested in studying lucid
    dreams or applying them in clinical practice. Topics include:
    literature, psychophysiology, personality, therapy, personal
    experience, related states of consciousness, and more. See the LI
    catalog for more information and to order.
    OUR DREAMING MIND By Robert L. Van de Castle (Ballantine, 1994;
    ISBN 0-345-39666-9) An excellent overview of the vast field of
    dream research; comprehensive and very well written by one of the
    field's pioneers. Discounted at
    LUCID DREAMS By Celia E. Green (Hamish Hamilton, London, 1968)
    This is the classic book that inspired Dr. LaBerge to begin his
    studies of lucid dreaming. Green supplemented the scant published
    literature on lucid dreaming (e.g., the Marquis de Saint-Denys
    and Frederik van Eeden) with case histories from her own
    informants to put together a concise and thoughtful picture of
    the phenomenology of lucid dreaming. A bit dated, but still worth
    reading 30 years later. Out of print; check your library or a
    used bookstore.
    DREAMS AND HOW TO GUIDE THEM By The Marquis d'Hervey de
    Saint-Denys, edited by Morton Schatzman, M.D. (Duckworth, London,
    1982) A great pioneer of the art of lucid dreaming, the Marquis
    first published this exploration of lucid dreaming in 1867, yet
    this is a very modern, and yes, lucid, thesis. He describes his
    personal experiments and the development of his ability to
    exercise control in his lucid dreams. Out of print;
    may be able to find a copy.
    Garfield, Ph.D. (Prentice Hall, 1989) Delightfully told story of
    Patricia Garfield's transcendent and erotic adventures with lucid
    dreaming. Out of print; may be able to find a copy.
    CONTROLLING YOUR DREAMS By Stephen LaBerge, Ph.D. (Audio
    Renaissance Tapes, Inc., 1987, 60 minutes) This audio cassette
    tape captures the essence of Dr. LaBerge's public lectures on
    lucid dreaming. It is highly informative and inspirational. Use
    it as an excellent introduction to the topic or a concise
    refresher. Dr. LaBerge begins by portraying the experience of
    lucid dreaming. He then presents methods for learning the skill,
    including the powerful MILD technique. The descriptions he gives
    of possible applications of lucid dreaming, from creative problem
    solving and rehearsal for living, to overcoming nightmares and
    achieving greater psychological integration, will encourage you
    to learn this valuable skill. Available from the LI or
    THE LUCID DREAMER By Malcolm Godwin (Simon & Schuster, 1994)
    Beautifully illustrated with nearly 200 full-color and
    black-and-white illustrations of little known dream masks and Zen
    paintings, Aboriginal Australian art, North American paintings,
    and works by modern native primitives, Surrealists, and
    schizophrenics. The text is a well-written, thoughtful, and
    inspiring survey of lucid dreaming as viewed primarily from a
    philsophical and mystical perspective. Discounted at
    Lucidity Institute, 1993, 40 minutes) Dr. LaBerge's trance
    induction is designed to help you create a mind-set in which
    lucid dreaming will happen easily. The hypnotic induction begins
    with progressive relaxation accompanied by guided visualization
    of calming images. Once you have attained a peaceful state of
    mind, Dr. LaBerge gives you suggestions for building confidence
    that you will succeed at having lucid dreams. You are guided in
    devising a personal symbol to help you to recognize when you are
    dreaming. Musical accompaniment by Robert Rich. See the LI
    catalog for more information and to order.
    An intensive overview of lucid dreaming techniques is presented
    at Lucidity Institute lucid dreaming training programs. Attendees
    are frequently offered the option of purchasing a NovaDreamer or
    DreamLight at a discount in a package with the workshop fee. To
    date, most of the training programs have been held in California,
    but the Lucidity Institute will give one wherever there is enough
    interest. Dr. LaBerge gives weekend seminars at the Esalen
    Institute in Big Sur, California about once a year, as well as
    occasional lectures and workshops at other venues. To find out
    about upcoming events, see our training calendar or contact the
    Lucidity Institute.
    The Lucidity Institute's summer lucid dreaming retreat, "Dreaming
    and Awakening," is a very special annual event in which a few
    dozen oneironauts (explorers of the dream world) convene for ten
    days to dedicate day and night to developing their lucidity
    skills under the guidance of Dr. LaBerge. This residential retreat is
    held on the Stanford University campus. Attendees live, eat,
    dream, and meet together, practice exercises, discuss
    experiences, and follow a specially designed sleep schedule. The
    intense focus, group support and schedule combine to ensure that
    participants experience lucid dreams during the program (more
    than 80% did so in 1998) and are then able to share and obtain
    advice to guide future lucid dreams. In 1998 guest instructor
    Alan Wallace, Ph.D., accomplished scholar and practitioner of
    Tibetan Buddhism, augmented Dr. LaBerge's presentation of Western
    science-based lucid dreaming methods with meditation and focusing
    exercises from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. A similar program is
    planned for August 4-13, 2000 (
    See Keelin's "Diary From Lucid Dream Camp" for a review by a 
    participant ( 

    The Lucidity Institute is a small business founded and directed
    by Dr. LaBerge. Its goals are to make lucid dreaming known to the
    public and accessible to anyone interested, to support research
    (for review, see
    on lucid dreaming and other states of consciousness, and to study
    potential applications of lucid dreaming. The Lucidity Institute
    sells books, tapes, and devices. Any profits are used to support
    further research on dreaming and consciousness. We have a
    membership society with an annual newsletter (NightLight) that
    provides information on the latest developments in lucid dreaming
    research and training and offers opportunities for participation
    in ongoing research. You are invited to get involved! To sign up
    on our mailing list (for web site updates, events, experiments,
    new product announcements and special offers), you can complete a
    short online form for the Lucidity Institute mailing list
    On the internet, anyone can play "expert", and there are several
    FAQs on dreaming and lucid dreaming. Which FAQ is authoritative?
    What qualifies the Lucidity Institute to write this FAQ? Why
    should readers take its contents any more or less seriously than
    those of other FAQs? These are all reasonable questions to ask.
    This FAQ was written by LI staff (primarily Lynne Levitan) and
    Stephen LaBerge. Dr. LaBerge has had more than 20 years of
    relevant personal and professional experience, having received
    his Ph.D. in Psychophysiology from Stanford University for his
    pioneering laboratory research on lucid dreaming. During the
    course of his dissertation study he learned to have lucid dreams
    at will, and has recorded more than a thousand lucid dreams which
    he has used for personal growth and exploration as described in
    his books Lucid Dreaming and EWLD. His contributions to lucid
    dreaming methodology include developing lucid dream induction
    techniques (e.g., MILD, the counting technique for falling asleep
    consciously, and early morning napping), the spinning and
    hand-rubbing technique for stabilizing lucid dreams, and various
    lucid dream induction devices such as the DreamLight and
    NovaDreamer. His scientific contributions include using
    eye-movement signals to prove the reality of lucid dreams,
    characterizing the basic physiology of lucid dreams (and coining
    the terms DILD and WILD), and showing through a variety of
    experiments that lucid dream actions affect the brain (and to a
    lesser extent the body) as-if they were actually happening. Lynne
    Levitan has also had many years of personal and professional
    experience with lucid dreaming and wrote many of the articles in
    The Lucidity Institute aims to encourage as many people as
    possible to learn lucid dreaming and to use it to grow and
    improve their lives. We also know that the people who see the
    potential of lucid dreaming are the ones who can help most to map
    this new frontier and discover its treasures. The Lucidity
    Institute membership society is an organization for all people
    interested in lucid dreaming, novices and experts, laymen and
    Members receive the Institute's annual newsletter, NightLight,
    which includes articles on lucid dreaming -- new findings,
    applications, speculations, inspiring examples, and experiments
    for members to participate in at home. The results from the
    experiments appear in subsequent issues, so members can benefit
    from them. Some experiments are of methods of inducing lucid
    dreams, or about ordinary dreams, so that novice lucid dreamers
    can contribute. Others test out activities and applications
    within lucid dreams.
    Other benefits of membership include updates on upcoming events
    and new products, discounts on merchandise and workshops, and a
    personal account for the Lucidity Institute Forum. The Forum is
    an online discussion board that allows members all over the world
    to discuss lucid dreaming. Technical support for Lucidity
    Institute devices is also available through the Forum. Anyone is
    welcome to read messages, but only members may post messages and
    create new topics.
    The basic membership fee of US$35 covers the cost of maintaining
    the membership society and printing the annual NightLight. If you
    choose to pay more or to join at a higher level, the additional
    fees will go to fund research on lucid dreaming by Dr. Stephen
    LaBerge and his colleagues at Stanford University.
    The Lucidity Institute's research currently has three foci. These
    are: the mapping of brain activity during the initiation of
    lucidity, the study of Tibetan Dream yoga methods of inducing and
    manipulating lucid dreams, and the development of expert
    explorers of states of consciousness.
    The brain mapping project is an extension of prior research into
    the psychophysiology of the lucid dream state, which found that
    high central nervous system activation is a prerequisite for
    lucidity ( 
    The goal is to identify which brain areas are activated during 
    the onset of reflective consciousness in the REM sleep state. 
    With this knowledge, we may be able to develop methods of easily 
    and reliably inducing lucid dreams whenever desired, using
    biofeedback or direct stimulation.
    The study of Tibetan Buddhist techniques of lucid dreaming is
    aimed at making use of the thousand years of experience
    accumulated by this tradition. Literature currently available is
    couched in esoteric language from which it is difficult to
    discriminate useful techniques from culture-bound ritual. Through
    our annual newsletter NightLight and laboratory experiments, we
    are testing the effectiveness of lucid dream induction methods
    found in the Dream Yoga doctrines.
    The third aspect of our work is part of the long term goal of the
    Lucidity Institute to foster understanding of all types of higher
    states of consciousness. The purpose of this project is to
    assemble and train a group of individuals with extensive
    experience in meditation, lucid dreaming, hypnosis, and other
    altered states to facilitate study of these states' mind-body
    relations and potential applications and benefits.
    Students who wish to conduct research on lucid dreaming can
    prepare by studying the fields of psychology and neuroscience.
    Dr. LaBerge and colleagues conduct laboratory research on lucid
    dreaming at Stanford University. Volunteer (unpaid) research
    positions can be arranged for those with their own funding.
    The best way to contribute to ongoing lucid dream research is
    through the experiments published in NightLight and on the
    Lucidity Institute web site. These experiments are designed for
    individuals to carry out at home and report the results back to
    the Lucidity Institute for analysis and publication. Much of our
    current knowledge about the most effective methods of inducing
    lucid dreams has come from NightLight experiments, as has
    valuable information about the nature of dreams. We are grateful
    to our oneironauts (explorers of the dream world) for helping us
    to advance understanding of dreams and lucidity.
    If you live in the Bay Area and are fairly confident you can have
    a lucid dream in the lab, you are invited to be a subject in
    laboratory research on lucid dreaming. We receive many offers
    from volunteers, but time and resources limit us to only using
    experienced lucid dreamers that are likely to succeed in the lab.
    If you are interested in volunteering, contact the Lucidity
    Lucid dreaming is an extraordinary and powerful state of
    consciousness accessible to all people. Like the ability to
    dream, to imagine, to sing and dance, it is a free and joyful
    expression of life. It also has the power to expand the mind,
    bringing new insight and even spiritual understanding. Our
    mission at the Lucidity Institute is to teach our fellow humans
    about the potential of lucid dreaming and provide means of making
    the state more accessible to all.
    Some of the methods we have created require money to develop,
    produce and distribute. Those of us who work to bring these
    materials to the world do this full time and need money to eat,
    pay rent and afford transportation. Nonetheless, we do not wish
    to restrict access to lucid dreaming to those with disposable
    income, so we do whatever we can to help those sincerely
    interested in lucid dreaming to achieve their goals. This
    includes scholarships for training programs, discounts on
    products and membership, and free information. For example, the
    information on the Lucidity Institute website is published
    elsewhere for sale. Herein it is free to all, so long as it is
    distributed intact and unmodified. We would like nothing more
    than to be a fully charitable organization, promoting lucid
    dreaming, which we believe has value for transforming human
    consciousness and improving our world, to all without fee. Such a
    dream could become real through generous endowments from
    individuals with vision. Until this manifests, however, we must
    continue to work within the structure of our market-based


    Mailing list: Keep up-to-date with lucid dreaming news (web site
    updates, events, experiments, new product announcements and
    special offers, etc.) by filling out a short form for the
    Lucidity Institute mailing list.
    Web site: The Lucidity Institute maintains a WWW site at and an anonymous ftp site at Currently available files include the
    Lucidity Institute Catalog, workshop announcements, this FAQ, and
    various articles from NightLight. Files can also be emailed on
    Telephone: +1-650-321-9969 or 1-800-GO LUCID (465-8243)
    Fax: +1-650-321-9967
    Postal: 2555 Park Blvd., #2, Palo Alto, CA 94306-1919
    Dream Telepathy: Not perhaps the most reliable means of
    contacting us, but who knows?

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Last modified May 1, 1999.

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Southern Spirits: 19th and 20th century accounts of hoodoo, including slave narratives & interviews
Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by cat yronwode: an introduction to African-American rootwork
Lucky W Amulet Archive by cat yronwode: an online museum of worldwide talismans and charms
Sacred Sex: essays and articles on tantra yoga, neo-tantra, karezza, sex magic, and sex worship
Sacred Landscape: essays and articles on archaeoastronomy and sacred geometry
Freemasonry for Women by cat yronwode: a history of mixed-gender Freemasonic lodges
Satan Service Org: an archive presenting the theory, practice, and history of Satanism and Satanists
Lucky Mojo Usenet FAQ Archive: FAQs and REFs for occult and magical usenet newsgroups
Aleister Crowley Text Archive: a multitude of texts by an early 20th century occultist
Lucky Mojo Magic Spells Archives: love spells, money spells, luck spells, protection spells, etc.
      Free Love Spell Archive: love spells, attraction spells, sex magick, romance spells, and lust spells
      Free Money Spell Archive: money spells, prosperity spells, and wealth spells for job and business
      Free Protection Spell Archive: protection spells against witchcraft, jinxes, hexes, and the evil eye
      Free Gambling Luck Spell Archive: lucky gambling spells for the lottery, casinos, and races