Archive for the “Basic” Category

Thursday, May 5, 2016 Categorized under Basic

IASD DreamTime Magazine Interview

You can read the interview here:   http://lucidbeverly.com/Dreamtime_Interview.pdf

Thursday, September 13, 2012 Categorized under Basic, Emotions

Lucidity and Self-Realization through Emotional Surrender

Lucidity and Self-Realization through

Emotional Surrender

Beverly (Kedzierski Heart) D’Urso, Ph.D.

Presentation at the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD) Conference, Berkeley, CA, June 2012.

Copyright 2012

When we fail to internally experience a strong emotion in our bodies completely, life seems to give us more opportunities to do so in both our waking life and in our sleeping dreams.

We experience new dramas or dreams, sometimes with different characters and environments, but similar emotions. If we pay attention, we can notice patterns of such recurring emotional dramas or dreams.

I will give personal examples of dealing with such emotional dramas and dreams, and compare my lucidity work to a contemporary, psycho-spiritual teaching of self-realization.

As a child, I learned to become aware of such patterns in the form of recurring dream nightmares. When I found myself in a similar dream drama, I recognized it as part of the pattern.

I fully faced my fear, my dream nightmares ceased, and I became ‘lucid’ in a dream for the first time. I connected to the dreamer of the dream in a way similar to how spiritual teachings describe connecting to our true self, sometimes called the creator of life.

1:16

Decades later, I discovered what likely caused my recurring nightmares. I will briefly describe the initial incident and the recurring dream. Even if you’ve heard my dream before, listen carefully to the details.

I have a relatively clear memory at eighteen months old. My father always left for work in the early morning. He’d come in my room and kiss me goodbye. One morning, I decided to hide from him. Because of this, or more likely because he was running late, he left the house without kissing me goodbye.

I remember feeling extremely upset, probably believing it was my fault. Viewing the kiss as extremely important, I ran out of my room and through the house to the front door.

2

My father had not locked it, so I pulled it open and continued to run. I did not know about steps yet, and therefore ran right over eight stairs, and crashed, landing on my back on the cement at the bottom.

This memory ends here. In actuality, someone took me to the nearest hospital and discovered that I had broken my collarbone.  I had to remain in the hospital, and at that time, parents were not allowed to stay overnight in the hospital with their child.

In my second memory, my parents are waving goodbye at the hospital room door. I am standing alone in a crib, crying intensely. I sense that nurses are hovering over me. One gives me a saltine cracker. I can still clearly see how the cracker in my hand is getting soaked and mushy from my tears.

I can’t say that I definitively remember my dreams for the next few years, but by about the age of five, it seemed like I had had my recurring nightmare forever. It goes like this:

3

I’d find myself in my bedroom, and without notice, gruesome witches would sneak out of my closet and come after me.  I’d scream and run through the house, making it to the back door.

I’d fall down the back stairs, landing on the cement at the bottom, spread eagle on my back. Just as the witches seemed about to devour me, I’d wake up.

After years of this same recurring dream, I’d find myself pleading, as I lay on the cement with the witches hovering over me, “Please, spare me tonight.  You can have me in tomorrow’s night’s dream!”  At that point, I’d wake up.  However, the dream was still very upsetting, and I always hated going to sleep.
One hot, sticky summer night, at the age of seven, I felt especially afraid of going to sleep. Still being awake in the middle of the night, I grabbed an old, dark pink, American Indian blanket, put it on the floor of the living room, and fell asleep.

4

In the same recurring dream, I found myself back in my bedroom and noticed the closet door creaking open.  I knew at once the witches were coming for me, and I ran for my life.  I barely made it through the kitchen, fell down the back stairs, and landed on the cement.

The horrifying witches caught up with me, but the instant before I started to plead with them, the thought flashed through my mind, “If I ask them to take me in tomorrow night’s dream, then I must be dreaming now!”

I looked the witches straight in the eye and said, “What do you want?”  They gave me a disgusting look and I continued, “Take me now.  Let’s get this over with!”

Keep in mind that they still appeared just as scary, and I did not know what would happen. I watched with amazement, as they quickly disappeared into the night.  I woke up feeling elated.  I knew they were gone.  I never dreamed about witches this way again.

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It pays to note that some lucid dreamers may have first turned the witches into less scary beings before dealing with them, destroyed them, or merely escaped from them.

I believe that my choice of surrendering to my fear, controlling only my reaction, and leaving the witches to do what they pleased, served as an excellent choice for my first lucid dream.

I not only ended my witch nightmares, but eventually I learned to deal with the witches again by bringing them back into my lucid dreams because they became my creative power.

At least as important, this experience taught me that I could know that I was dreaming while dreaming, and I continued to do so my entire life. I did not actually know the term lucid dreaming until my twenties, when I met Stephen LaBerge, and did research with him at Stanford for decades on this topic.

6

Now, let us come back to the present day. I have been studying a psycho-spiritual teaching for several years, and recently joined their seminary. This teaching describes a process called the theory of holes.

The theory of holes explains how earlier in life, when we could not completely handle an emotion, we would develop a related psychological hole. We try to fill the hole with external obsessions, such as taking drugs, overeating, or having superficial relationships.

We don’t allow room for ‘aspects of our true essence,’ such as love, peace, or compassion to arise. We get many chances to face up to the emotion in new recurring dramas in our waking life or, as I am introducing today, in our dreams.

When we finally do so, and completely experience our empty hole, aspects of essence finally arise to fill it. In a sense, we replace emotions of our personality with experiences of our true, realized self.

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So, in my case, when I could not handle the extreme emotions that arose when I got left in the hospital and had to separate from my parents, at eighteen months, a hole got created. I may have temporarily filled this hole with external comforts, such as always needing to have my parents near me.

Nonetheless, when I faced the witches at age seven, I experienced the hole, or the psychological emptiness, which likely resulted from my painful experience at eighteen months of age. By doing so, I gained the powers that people often experience when they become lucid in a dream. I believe that these powers, such as strength, will, and joy, match the aspects of essence from the theory of holes.

As an adult, I finally recognized the amazing similarities between my early waking state experience and my resulting sleep state nightmares, even though the characters and set of the scene changed slightly.

For example, in my recurring nightmare, I ran from the witches instead of towards my father. The witches likely played the part of the nurses, who I originally saw as the bad guys. I ran to the back stairs instead of the front stairs, as I did at eighteen months old.

8

Still, the emotion remained the same, as did the main plot of both scenarios. I had many chances, to face my fear as the dream got repeated for years.

So, now I will jump ahead to the mid 1980’s, when, though a series of experiences, I decided to view waking life as a type of dream. As in my sleep state, I live in this waking dream with various levels of lucidity, or consciousness. I call this lucid living and have presented on this topic for over twenty-five years.

In this waking dream, or what gets called life, dramas also get created as they do in the sleep state. They seem to repeat until I completely face the difficult emotion from when the drama originated. I believe that I really connect to my spiritual teachings because they seem to say what I have been describing for years.

9

I will now explain some other repeating situations in my waking dream. For example, in many romantic relationships during arguments, my partner would seem to hover over me and look very scary, similar to the hovering witches of my childhood. One time, while this was happening, I asked myself, “What if I am dreaming right now?”

Instead of arguing back, I saw my partner as an aspect of my realized self, the Dreamer of life. I began to listen more, felt less afraid, and surrendered to the experience. My partner then did exactly what the witches did when I became lucid in my sleep state dream. He just disappeared out of my life.

For another example, as a child in the waking state, my best friend moved away, but the emotion of getting abandoned, or left behind, remained. I imagine that this experience, and others from a younger age, affected the way I often felt during romantic breakups. Breakup experiences kept repeating in my waking life.

10

I also noticed how my non-lucid dreams recreated romantic breakups. Sometimes the dream character looked just like my partner in my waking state. However, sometimes character reminded me of someone else.

The scene may also have seemed different, but the emotion remained the same. Once I really let myself internally feel the emotion of abandonment in my body completely, romantic breakups ended, and I met my husband of twenty years.

I have often stated that the night I met my husband I became the most lucid of all. Earlier that evening, I actually told a friend that I was giving up trying to meet a partner. I surrendered to my current situation as a single woman completely. Instead of acting needy or incomplete, I experienced the peace and joy of my true self.

11

However, without even thinking, I went up to a guy I saw from across the room, and did not focus on fears or plans. I remained extremely present and in the moment. I felt unlimited potential.

We stayed together from that night onward. Although we do have disagreements, I must say that he has never hovered over me in anger, as did my previous partners and my scary childhood witches.

Nonetheless, early on in our marriage, I used to get disappointed at my husband when he acted the way my father acted early on in my life. I did not actually see my husband at these times. I internally replaced him with an image of my father and over reacted.

12

Once I faced the disappointment I had for my father at an age when I seemed helpless, my disappointment toward my husband dissipated. In a sense, I may have tried to fill a hole with my husband’s affection. However, I could only stop my disappointment toward him, when I surrendered to the deeper feelings of the original disappointment, and allowed kindness and compassion of my true self to enter.

To work with sleeping dreams or waking dramas in this way, I first look for recurring emotional themes. As I have shown, they can come from sleep state dreams or from the waking state. I don’t necessarily need to get lucid, but it helps.

I merely focus on really feeling the related emotion deep inside my body in the moment, without discharging it, for example, with loud yelling. If that seems too difficult, it can help to express my feelings outwardly later on, in a safe environment.

13

I have learned that whenever I feel any emotion strongly, it probably means that I have an unresolved emotional experience that I am projecting on the present situation. Even if I can’t recall a past, related event, I just try not to resist the current emotion, nor use something to numb my experience, such as food or sleep.

I try not to tell myself that I have matured beyond such childish feelings. I especially notice if I am blaming someone else for my current state.

Note that the unresolved emotion can originate from an experience at a very early age of which I have no clear memories. Perhaps I did not get fed soon enough as an infant, or got fed on a schedule that did not match my needs.

14

My spiritual teachings have much more to say about all this, as the seminary to become a teacher takes well over ten years. If you have an interest in this path, you can find a reference in my online abstract for this conference.

In conclusion, to become self-realized, or to connect to my true self, in the waking state, I can practice by connecting to the dreamer in my sleeping state. When I allow, and then surrender to, ‘so called’ negative states, I may first experience what seems like pain or emptiness.

However, I soon become open to “so called” positive states, or aspects of essence. I have discovered that my truly lucid self, or realized self, only experiences such positive states. I definitely love living in this way in waking or sleeping dreams, which I call the most lucid of all!

Now, I’d like to demonstrate this surrendering process by describing a dream that I plan to present at Tuesday night’s dream ball.

“I dreamed myself as a wave, and you as a wave as well. We seemed separate with this space between us. Suddenly, we became lucid and let ourselves fall into this hole. We surrendered into emptiness, and as water filled the hole, only a calm sea remained as our true self.”

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Thank you.

Questions?

Lucidity and Self-Realization

through Emotional Surrender

by

Beverly (Kedzierski Heart) D’Urso, Ph.D.

Proposal for the 2012 Association for the Study of Dreaming Conference,  Berkeley, CA, June 2012

Copyright 2011

Summary

When we fail to internally experience our emotions completely, dramas involving similar emotions appear in our life and in our dreams. I will give personal examples of dealing with such recurring emotional dramas, breakdown the steps involved, and compare my lucidity work to a contemporary psycho-spiritual teaching of self-realization.

Abstract

When we fail to truly experience a strong emotion in our bodies completely, life seems to give us more opportunities to do so in both our waking life and in our sleeping dreams. We experience new dramas or dreams, often with different characters and environments, but similar emotions. If we pay attention, we can notice patterns of such recurring emotional dramas or dreams.

As a child, I learned to become aware of such patterns in the form of recurring dream nightmares. When I found myself in a similar dream drama, I recognized it as part of the pattern. I fully faced my fear, my dream nightmares ceased, and I became ‘lucid’ in a dream for the first time. As my dream-self expanded into the dreamer, I gained powerful abilities and positive qualities, such as will, joy, and peace. I now understand that my recurring nightmare evolved from an accident I had in the waking state at eighteen months old. At that time, I could not deal with the strong emotions that arose during the drama of the accident.

As an adult, I experience lucidity in my waking life, as well as in my sleeping dreams. I call this ‘lucid living.’ Currently, I am studying a psycho-spiritual teaching that describes a similar process called ‘the theory of holes’. This ‘theory of holes’ explains how earlier in life, when we could not completely experience an emotion, we would develop a related psychological ‘hole.’ We try to fill the hole with external obsessions, such as taking drugs, overeating, or having superficial relationships. We don’t allow room for ‘aspects of our true essence,’ such as love, strength, or joy. We get many chances to face up to the emotion in new recurring dramas in our waking life. When we finally do so, and completely experience our empty hole, aspects of essence finally arise to fill it. I will show how we can use this process in our sleeping dreams as well.

As an analogy, imagine our ‘Creator,’ which I call the ‘Dreamer of life,’ as the sea and people as the waves. During lucidity, a wave expands DOWN into the sea knowing unlimited possibilities and self-realization. In the ‘theory of holes,’ the deep water of the sea, our ‘true nature,’ can represent aspects of essence. The waves represent people with holes. When we fully experience our emotions and face our empty holes, the deep-sea water rises UP to fill them. The waves finally realize themselves as the sea. When the water overfills the holes of all the people in the world, or we all become lucid, only a peaceful sea will exist as the potential of God.

All audiences can relate to this presentation, which should increase self-awareness and emotional growth.

REFERENCES:

‘Emotions in Dreams Lead to Self-Realization,’D’Urso, Beverly (Kedzierski Heart), Workshop Presented at
The Association for the Study of Dreaming: PsiberDreaming Conference, September, 2010.

http://durso.org/beverly/emotions_in_dreams/emotions_in_dreams.html

‘Essence With the Elixir of Enlightenment: The Diamond Approach to Inner Realization,’ Almaas, A.H., Weiser Books, York Beach, Maine, March 1, 1998.

http://ahalmaas.com/


Monday, November 15, 2010 Categorized under Basic, Spirituality

Self Image to True Self

Self Image to True Self

Paper Proposal for the 2013

International Association for the Study of Dreams PsiberDreaming Conference

© Beverly (Kedzierski Heart) D’Urso, Ph.D

Brief Abstract: Beverly will share her ideas about lucidity, self image, and true self by telling a story about a little girl who begins life as her true self but quickly learns to dissociate from it. First, she equates herself with an image in a mirror. As she learns to walk and talk, she thinks of her body and personality as her true self. When she understands that she is dreaming she knows her true self as more than just her body. She discovers how her true self can release her from pain if she surrenders to it completely.

Brief Bio: Beverly D’Urso, one of the characters in this dream we call life, started having lucid dreams in her sleep at the age of seven after she surrendered to her true self  in a recurring nightmare. After researching lucid dreaming in the 1980’s at Stanford, where she completed her PhD, she began to study spirituality. Beverly currently follows the Diamond Approach path and maintains the sites:  http://www.durso.org/beverly/  and  http://wedreamnow.info/ She no longer waits to go to sleep to become lucid and surrender to her true self.

Monday, March 29, 2010 Categorized under Basic

Lucid Dreaming and Spiritual Enlightenment

Lucid Dreaming and Spiritual Enlightenment
by Beverly (Kedzierski Heart) D’Urso, Ph.D.
Proposal for IASD2009
Copyright  © 2008

SUMMARY

Some people have associated lucid dreaming with ego control and satisfaction. I will show how lucidity relates to expanded states of consciousness, and compare it to the work of the contemporary spiritual teachers, Byron Katie and Eckhart Tolle. My topics include: inquiry, the present moment, expansion of self, the connectiveness of all, facing pain, viewing death, and the interdependent illusions of space, time, and thought.

ABSTRACT

In my dreams, as in my waking state, I can act with various levels of consciousness. By the term dream, I mean an experience of an outer world made up of characters and actions that my expanded self has helped to create. In this sense, I view the waking state as a kind of a dream. I aspire to come from an expanded level of consciousness, or lucidity, in every moment, whether awake or asleep. In sleeping dreams, time and space may appear to differ from the waking state. Events can happen almost instantly, so I can quickly see the results of my thoughts, desires, or fears.

When I act in my dreams, or in the waking state, with a contracted level of consciousness, I may judge, attack, suffer, stressfully pursue ego gratification, or just plain not pay attention. However, when I question if I am dreaming, in other words, question my reality and my assumptions, and notice them in some way as ‘not true,’ my consciousness expands. This inquiry process seems similar to the techniques of Byron Katie, the author of Loving What Is. She helps people end their suffering by asking them to question any stressful thought and see if they absolutely know it as true.

If I believe that I am not dreaming, I may feel limited. When I know I am dreaming, my fear decreases, my mind clears, and I respond in more appropriate and creative ways. I often experience expanded potential. Eckhart Tolle, the author of The Power of Now, calls this state ‘Presence.’ With even partial lucidity, small frustrations disappear quickly, and I experience more fulfillment. When I know I am dreaming, I focus more on the present moment, usually realizing that I will wake up soon. Concerns, such as ambition or regrets, don’t come up, and  I can co-create interesting dramas, which sometimes seem to enhance my waking state as well. When I have increased lucidity, I easily surrender to, and fully face seemingly painful or scary situations, a process that both Tolle and Katie recommend.

The more lucid I become, the more I notice that my view of how others act towards me may reflect how I act or have acted toward them, others, or myself. I listen carefully to what others have to say to me and sometimes change my actions instead of defending myself. My response comes from an expanded self.  In her work, Katie calls this the ‘turnaround.’ In my extreme levels of lucidity, I experience no separation, but rather a connection, with everything. Eventually, I no longer have a body nor an environment. Tolle calls this expansion into ‘Being.’ Others use the word ‘Source’ or ‘God.’ I like the term ‘Dreamer.’

Lucid dreaming also gave me a spiritual perspective on death. In non-lucid dreams, I used to think of my ‘dream body’ as my ‘self.’ Because I did not have awareness of my expanded self, I believed that if my dream body died, I died. I continued to feel this way until I woke up out of the dream. Then, as a child, when I knew I was dreaming while I was dreaming, I experienced myself as more than just my body before I woke up out of my sleeping dream. Eventually, while very lucid in a sleeping dream, I let my sleeping dream body die, and yet woke up whole. As an adult, I now see that I can similarly “wake up” in my life before my physical body ‘dies’ and really enjoy the experience of my expanded, lucid self.

In Tolle’s recent book, The New Earth, he says, “To awaken within the dream is our purpose now. When we are awake within the dream, the ego-created earth-drama comes to an end, and a more benign and wondrous dream arises. This is the new earth.”

REFERENCES

1. “Lucid Dreaming/Lucid Living,” Online Publications, D’Urso, Beverly (Kedzierski Heart), 1982-2008.

http://www.durso.org/beverly/index.html

2. Lucid Dreaming: A Bridge to Lucid Living, D’Urso,
Beverly (Kedzierski Heart), Ph.D., Workshop Before the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD)  Conference 2007, Sonoma, California, June, 2007.

http://www.durso.org/beverly/IASD_Workshop_2007.html

3. “Loving What Is: Four Questions that can Change your Life,” Katie, Byron, and Mitchell, Stephen, Harmony Books, New York, New York,  2002.

http://www.thework.com

4. “The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment,” Tolle, Eckhart, New World Library, Novato, California, 2004.

http://www.eckharttolle.com/eckharttolle

5. “A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose,” Tolle, Eckhart, Penguin Books, London, England, 2005.

http://www.eckharttolle.com/eckharttolle

BIOGRAPHY

Dr. Beverly (Kedzierski Heart) D’Urso (USA), an ‘extraordinary’ lucid dreamer all her life, has used her practical teaching called lucid living to give workshops and present at conferences for decades. She completed her Masters, involving Cognitive Psychology, and her Ph.D., focusing on Artificial Intelligence, at Stanford University, where she also did lucid dreaming research. Dr. D’Urso has over fifty publications and has won several IASD dream contests.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES AND QUESTIONS

L1    Discuss some aspects of lucidity that demonstrate an expanded level of consciousness.

L2    Compare Byron Katie’s inquiry and turnaround processes to getting lucid and learning from dream characters.

L3    Explain Eckhart Tolle’s terms ‘Presence’ and ‘Being,’ and how they relate to lucid dreaming.

Q1    Describe three aspects of lucidity that demonstrate an expanded level of consciousness?

Q2    How does Byron Katie’s inquiry process relate to getting lucid?

Q3    Give two ways that lucid dreaming relates to Eckhart Tolle’s term ‘Presence.’

Lucid Dreaming and Spiritual Enlightenment
by Beverly (Kedzierski Heart) D’Urso, Ph.D.
Presentation for IASD2009 Chicago  Copyright  © 2009
www.durso.org/beverly

TITLE NAME EMAIL

LEVELS OF CONSCIOUSNESS

15:00 (Time left)

I’d like to speak today about various levels of consciousness in the waking state and in the sleeping dream state. I’ll start with some background.

Dreaming

I define the term dream as an experience of an outer world made up of characters, actions, and environment that my expanded self has helped to create. People have viewed this expanded self as the brain of the sleeping body.

I don’t agree. I view my expanded self as a higher, collective mind of nonphysical form. I talk about this more in some of the fifty other papers I have on my web site: www.durso.org/beverly. I also plan to put this presentation and the chart I will create on my web site soon.

Also, in this talk, when I call something “untrue,” I mean that I let go of my assumption, and no longer see it as “real or absolute or true. By “untrue,” I do not mean “false,” but rather “I  don’t know for sure.”

So, as you have heard, lucid dreaming occurs when I know that I dream while I dream. When asleep and lucid dreaming, I see my whole environment including my dream body and others, as untrue, particularly in relationship to my waking state.

By my definition, I view the waking state as a kind of a dream. I believe that I can NOT know with absolutely certainty that I am NOT dreaming at any time. The spiritual teacher, Eckhart Tolle, the author of The Power of Now, made this exact point as well. Therefore, I assume that I am always dreaming and apply the positive lessons from lucid dreaming to my life, which I call lucid living.

Teachers

I have heard people associate lucid dreaming with only ego control and satisfaction. So today, I will attempt to show how lucidity actually relates to expanded states of consciousness, and compare it to the work of the contemporary spiritual teachers, Eckhart Tolle and Byron Katie.

12:40

I discovered these teachers last year after setting a goal, with strong intention, to have greater lucidity or consciousness in my waking life. I use their techniques of expanding consciousness, as well as my own lucidity techniques, which I see as similar.

You can find links to their sites as references that follow my online abstract for this presentation. Their sites list their books and recorded workshops, which I actually prefer and mostly got from my local library.

To summarize my techniques for lucidity, I constantly ask myself if I am dreaming and question my world and my assumptions in the moment. I look for clues that I am dreaming, such as strange, impossible, or uncomfortable changes in my environment, my feelings or my body.

For example, I have suggested that students ask if they are dreaming whenever they wash their hands. Coincidentally, Tolle gave the exact same exercise asking people to focus on “being in the moment” every time they wash their hands.

Chart

As I speak, I will refer to a chart that I will create which describes levels of consciousness, including lucidity. I need to point out that I can act from any of these levels of consciousness at any moment, while awake or asleep.

Also note, that at the higher levels, I still have access to the abilities of the previous states. For example, someone in an enlightened state, can still change his or her responses.

At different times in my life, I may have dreams that I don’t even recall, while in my waking state I seem very lucid. The opposite can occur as well. Also, I often lose and gain lucidity in a single dream.

After my presentation, I plan to allow time when we can comment, discuss the chart, and ask questions.

So, I will begin.

WAKE  SLEEP STATE

I divided the chart into columns for the waking state and the sleeping state. Note that the non-lucid levels have actions that obviously do not happen in the sleep state, but merely relate to it.

10:20

CONTRACTED  -   No reflection nor dream recall

I think of the term “unconscious” to mean alive, but unresponsive, and others have many different definitions, so I’ll start with what I call contracted, or low level of consciousness. At this level, I do not reflect upon what I do.

When I act in the waking state or the dream state at this level, I may blame,  suffer, have fun, or just plain not pay attention. In the sleep state, I may have dreams, but I do not recall them.

REFLECTING  -  Recall past life issues and dreams

However, when I notice in life, after the fact, that I have acted, for example, in hurtful ways, I fall into the level I call reflection. I do not have enough consciousness to notice or change my actions in the moment, but I can recall life issues or dreams from my past and begin to learn from them.

STUDY LIFE AND DREAMS

For example, to reduce my tendency to always blame others, I may seek therapy.  To learn from my dreams, I may join a dream group. At this level, notice that I remember dreams only after they happen and, therefore, they get called non-lucid dreams.

In this reflecting level, I still may feel limited, especially when my experience seems uncomfortable or unloving.  I see my world as unchangeable. For example, in the waking state, I might feel justified in feeling hurt that my husband always seems to arrive later than he promised, and therefore he must not love me.

I may go as far as assuming that if he does not love me he will leave me, and I will perish. Without a higher level of consciousness, I could then feel very depressed and might act in an angry manner. I could actually help make this scenario my experience.

In a sleeping dream, I might try to run away from some scary witches that chase me while I focus on the dream body’s thought that they will devour me.  Afterwards, in the waking state, I might figure out ways I can deal with the witches next time in these nightmares.

8:00

PRESENCE

I feel that Eckhart Tolle refers to these next levels of consciousness as ‘Presence.’ He talks about how we can really pay attention to our environment or our body and sense a greater aliveness or stillness. For him, presence involves having no thoughts.

SEMI-LUCID  Question

When I question my reality and my assumptions, my consciousness expands.  I call level semi-lucid.

This inquiry process in the waking state seems similar to the techniques of Byron Katie, the author of Loving What Is. She helps people end their suffering by asking them to question any stressful thought and see if they absolutely know it as true.

In the previous example about my husband, I could ask, “Is it absolutely true that my husband does not love me?” At this point, I could look for ways that he acts as if he does love me. More questions of Katie’s involve asking how I feel when I have the thought: “My husband does not love me,” and how I feel when I do not.

In the sleep state, this corresponds to questioning if I am dreaming. Even if I do not believe that I am dreaming for sure, just the mere act of questioning brings me to this semi-lucid level.

LUCID   -  See thoughts and world as untrue

I call this next level lucid. In the waking state, I really know my unpleasant thoughts as untrue assumptions. With even partial lucidity, I find that small frustrations disappear quickly, and I experience more fulfillment. I focus more on the present moment, and feelings of ambition or regret don’t come up. Time tends to disappear.

5:00

When I know I am dreaming in the sleep state, in other words when I see my dream world as untrue, my fear decreases and my mind clears. I do not have to do anything, but merely realize that I dream while I dream. At this lucid level, I often experience expanded potential and more awareness.

MORE LUCID    -   Change Responses

If I question my assumptions, especially when I do not feel positive about what I am experiencing, it can help me respond in more appropriate and creative ways and I become more lucid. My response to what happens comes from my expanded, or inner, self and not my thoughts.

I can accept what is happening and easily surrender to, and fully face, painful or scary situations, a process that both Tolle and Katie recommend.

I have done this in my waking state when a doctor told me I needed a procedure. I insisted I would not go through it. Finally, my doctor said that, “it is like I see you on a cliff about to fall and I want to stop you.” I often recommend to my students not to jump off a cliff unless they really know they are dreaming, so I told him okay.

However, seeing this common dream theme, I suddenly did become lucid. Instead of focussing on my fears and thoughts of pain, I became calm and accepting, thereby making the whole process much easier. Then, like magic, I began to see  numerous sychronicities.

In my sleeping dreams, I have often become more lucid right before a head-on automobile collision. Right before impact, I realize I am dreaming, and I might instantly fly up into the sky or even wake myself up.

At this more lucid level, I also notice that my view of how others act towards me may reflect how I act or have acted toward them, others, or myself.  In her work, Katie calls this the ‘turnaround.’

So now, in my waking state, as well as in my sleeping dreams, I attempt to listen carefully to what others have to say to me. Even if I feel hurt, I may find ways to show I agree with them, instead of just defending myself. Katie also discusses this approach.

VERY LUCID – Change life and dreams

At this very lucid level, I can co-create interesting dramas in my life and dreams in my sleep. My expanded self has the awareness that what it expects seems to happen. If I do see or hear something that I don’t like, I can attempt to heal the situation, or pay attention to it and fearlessly accept it as a part of myself that can teach me what I need to learn.

When I really “get” the lesson, my world seems to change, showing me on the “outside” what somehow exists on the “inside.”  Some lessons I have learned in my sleeping dreams also seem to enhance my waking life, and vice versa.

LUCIDITY ENHANCING LIFE

3:20

In my life, I feel that lucidity has helped me fulfill many lifelong goals, such as finishing my Ph.D., finding a mate, having a child, dealing with grief, and healing my body. I did these things with an attitude of presence and acceptance, and not what I call “will power.”

At this very lucid level in my sleeping dreams, not only do I not experience fear when “attacked” by “monsters,” but I can do things such as fly through walls. I can have these experiences because I don’t see the monsters or the walls as “true.”

3:00

Once, in a very lucid sleeping dream, as my expanded, lucid self I felt, “I would love to be sitting in a boat on this lake in the distance.” Instantaneously, it happened. Others have talked about this process occurring in the waking state and call it “manifestation.” However, in the waking state, I seem to experience a time delay, not necessary in my sleeping dreams.

MOST LUCID

In my final level of lucidity, I would still experience a dualist world, but really know all parts as One, I’ll call this “enlightenment,” or the level of most lucidity. I believe that spiritual teachers, such as Katie and Tolle, experience this state of no separation and a connection between everything in their waking life.

In my sleeping lucid dreams, I have often viewed everyone and everything, including my own dream body, as One. Many years ago, in a sleeping dream, I was giving a presentation at a dream conference and suddenly stopped when I became most lucid. I  assumed that all the people in the audience existed only in my “head on the pillow,”so I felt I had no need to continue.

Now, as I said earlier, I refer to “others,” as well as my dream body, as all parts of a “higher self,” which expands as all the parts grow. Therefore, I won’t quite stop talking now. I must add that when I experience the most lucidity, I see these “others” experience lucidity as well.

THE HAPPY DREAM  or the NEW EARTH

In Tolle’s recent book, The New Earth, he says, [quote]“To awaken within the dream [referring to life] is our purpose now. When we are awake within the dream, the ego-created earth-drama comes to an end, and a more benign and wondrous dream arises. This is the new earth.”[end quote]

1:00

Also in this level of most lucidity, The Course in Miracles, another spiritual teaching, says we can merely enjoy the [quote] “happy dream [of life][end quote],” and God will take the last step. I call this last step the level of Unity.

UNITY    BEYOND LUCID

In some sleeping dreams, I feel that I go beyond lucidity. I no longer have a body nor an environment.  I have a sense of “nirvana” that I can’t explain in words. I have felt myself merge into vibration, sound, and light, and then into nothingness, or what I can also call everythingness.

We could describe this as expansion into ‘Being,’ as Tolle does. Others use the word ‘Source’ or ‘God.’ I like the term ‘Dreamer.’ For now, I aspire to come from an expanded level of consciousness, or lucidity, in every moment, whether awake or asleep.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010 Categorized under Basic, Emotions, Lucid Dreaming

A Mom/Child Dialog on ‘Lucid Dreaming’

“A Mom/Child Dialog on ‘Lucid Dreaming”
by
D’Urso, Beverly (Kedzierski  Heart,)
Article in the Preschool Family Newsletter, Palo Alto, CA., January, 2000.

Child: Mom? What happens when we sleep?

Mom: Often, we dream.

Child: What is dreaming?

Mom: When we dream, we make up a world that seems real while we are in it. When we wake up, we realize that this world existed only in our mind.

Child: Yes, I remember that last night I dreamed I was flying over some beautiful mountains!

Mom: In the dream, did you realize that you don’t normally fly? For example, did you say, “If I am flying, then this is a dream!”

Child: Gee, I never thought of that.

Mom: You never see monsters in your normal day either. So, next time you see one, why not tell yourself “this must be a dream”?

Child: If I knew I was dreaming, I wouldn’t have to be afraid. I could zap the monster with magic forces!

Mom: Yes. Also, if you were not sure that you were dreaming you could just leave. But, if you knew for sure you were dreaming, you could look the monster in the eye and say, “I am not afraid because this a dream.” You could ask the ‘monster’, “What do you want?”

Child: What can I do if I don’t usually realize that I am dreaming, while I’m dreaming? Can I learn to do this?

Mom: Yes, We call this “lucid dreaming.” You could practice lucid dreaming by asking yourself the question over and over during the day or night, “Am I dreaming now?”. If you get into this habit of asking, you will probably ask the question when you are dreaming. If you can look for ‘clues’ that you are dreaming, you will most likely find some. For example, a clue might be: ‘discovering a real elephant in your bathtub!’ If you see something strange like that, you could then do a ‘test’ to make sure you are in a dream. Often, I try to float off the ground and when I can float, then I know that I am dreaming. When I know for sure that I am dreaming, I can do anything I want. I might ‘fly like a bird to the moon!’ Often, I look for people I never see anymore, like my friend who died. I talk to them in my dreams and it can feel very real.

Child: What if I got so excited knowing that I was dreaming, that I woke up immediately?

Mom: Well, you could remember to stay calm and remain very still in the dream, as soon as you knew you were dreaming. You could stare at something near to you for awhile. That works for me sometimes. Let me ask you something. Do you believe that you are dreaming right now?

Child: What do you mean?

Mom: Well, most people don’t usually think they are dreaming, even in their ‘regular nighttime, sleeping dreams.’ Their dreams probably seem very real while they are happening, or the dreams are weird, but not viewed as ‘dreams.’ In other words, we often dream of people and places we recognize. Even when we dream of strange things, we tend to justify them. Usually, only after we wake up, do we realize that we should have known our experience was only a dream. Remember, when we recognize that we are dreaming while we are still dreaming, we call this ‘lucid dreaming.’

Child: I have done that. Is it special? Does everyone do it?

Mom: Lucid dreaming means merely that we are ‘aware’ that we are in a dream. The dream can be weird, normal, clear or fuzzy. We don’t have to study the meaning of the dream to be lucid. We just need to realize that it is a dream before we wake up. Some people dream and never remember that they dreamed. Most people dream and remember that they dreamed only after they wake up. If they don’t tell someone the dream or write it down right away, they forget it. People who remember the dream even earlier, that is, before they come out of the dream, are called ‘lucid dreamers’. Not everyone has ‘lucid dreams’, and usually not that often. However, lucid dreamers can have lots of fun with their dreams. What kind of things can you think of to do if you knew you were completely safe in a dream and could make anything happen?

Child: Wow, let me think about that!

Mom: I will tell you one more thing for now. I believe that life itself is a dream, but that we are not always lucid enough to realize it. I believe that ‘one mind’ is dreaming us all, just as when we go to sleep, our ‘mind’ dreams of all kinds of people and places. In ‘nighttime, sleeping dreams’, after we wake up, we usually believe that all of the people and places we dreamed of were in our ‘mind.’ If we become, ‘lucid in life’, we don’t have to wait to ‘wake up’ to discover that life is a dream. We realize that everyone we know, including our own bodies, and everything we see is part of one ‘dreaming mind’. We experience our lives as being created by the imagination of this ‘one mind’, of which we are part. Thereby, we might also realize, that ‘anything is possible’ in our lives! When we feel the connection to this ‘one mind’, we no longer live in fear. We know that our bodies are not all that we are.

There are many more ideas on ‘lucid dreaming’ and ‘lucid living’. Would you like to know more?

Child: I sure would.

Mom: Ok. You can contact Beverly D’Urso, beverly@durso.org