Archive for the “Lucid Dreaming” Category

Tuesday, October 1, 2013 Categorized under Lucid Dreaming

For Media: Beverly D’Urso on Lucidity

Beverly (Kedzierski Heart) D’Urso, Ph.D.
September 30, 2013

A lucid dreamer all her life, Beverly has presented at conferences and workshops for four decades. She researched lucid dreaming with Dr. Stephen LaBerge at Stanford University while completing her MS degree, involving Cognitive Psychology, and her PhD., focussing on Artificial Intelligence. Before her careers as a researcher, consultant, college instructor, and speaker/writer, she created several start-up companies. Beverly has published over seventy papers, and many books and documentaries have featured her work. She currently serves as a member of the Diamond Approach Ridhwan School and Seminary of A. H. Almaas and maintains the websites:

http://durso.org/beverly/ and    http://wedreamnow.info/

In ten words or less how would you define/creatively encapsulate what lucid dreaming is/can be?

Lucidity expands one’s sense of self and potential in life

At what point in your life did you discover this practice, and how did its implications affect your life, both waking and dreaming?

I first ‘knew I dreamed while dreaming’ at the age of seven when I surrendered to a recurring nightmare. At age twenty-five, I discovered that people call this lucid dreaming. I served as the main subject for lucid dreaming research at Stanford University during the 1980s. Since then, I have presented on what I call Lucid Living, which means to live life as a lucid dream. Lucid living serves as a type of spiritual self-actualization. It has allowed me to understand my connection with everyone, including what some call God, to know unlimited potential in life, and to live with less fear.

Do you think there exists a direct correlation between lucid dreaming and stimulating one’s creativity?

Lucid dreaming stimulates creativity directly. I can play in my own three-dimensional world and try out anything imaginable.

Can lucid dreams be used to heal the human body?

I practice ‘healing’ in lucid dreams all the time because I learned from my laboratory research and my own experience that what I happens in my dreams, especially my lucid dreams, affects my physical body.

Have you heard about the NovaDreamer, developed by the Lucidity Institute, a mask meant to light up during REM sleep and cue the dreamer that he or she is dreaming? If so what are your thoughts on this?

I helped create the original NovaDreamer as well the Lucidity Institute that sold them. I have had profound lucid dreams using it, although I naturally have lucid dreams on a regular basis since childhood. The NovaDreamer acts a a cue to ask: “Am I dreaming right now?” Even without any induction device, if I ask this question often enough, I will naturally ask it in a dream. Then, if I have enough awareness or presence when I ask it, I will know that I am dreaming in the moment.

Is there the potential for lucid dreaming to become dangerous for someone?

Non-lucid dreamers think that they are not dreaming when they are dreaming. Lucid dreamers know when they are dreaming. I experience many levels of lucidity. With only partial lucidity, I have occasionally felt frustrated, but not nearly as much as I have from non-lucid dreams. I often advise others, “If you want to jump off a cliff, try floating first!”

Tell me briefly about one of the most interesting lucid dreams you have had or heard about, or one of the most interesting things you have discovered about lucid dreaming.

I discovered that lucid dreaming acts as a metaphor for spiritual self-realization in the waking state.

My First Lucid Dream

I dreamed of gruesome witches who would sneak out of my closet and come after me. Just before they would devour me, I’d wake up. After years of this recurring dream, I’d find myself pleading with the witches hovering over me, “Please, spare me tonight. You can have me in tomorrow night’s dream!” At that point, they’d stop their attack and I’d wake up.

I would often lie in bed and tell myself that the witches only came in my dreams. I tried to get myself to remember this the next time they appeared. In one dream, at the age of seven, those horrifying witches caught up to me. 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 right now!”

I completely faced my fear, knowing I was dreaming. I looked the witches, who still looked very scary, straight in the eye and said, “What do you want?”  They gave me a disgusting look, but I felt safe in my dream, and I continued, “Take me now. Let’s get this over with!”  I watched with amazement, as they quickly disappeared into the night.

Some lucid dreamers may have turned the witches into something less scary. I believe that my choice of surrendering to my fear and controlling only my reaction served as an excellent choice for my first lucid dream.

I never had the witch nightmare in this form again. However, I later had new episodes with the witches in my dreams, using them as my creative power. I learned to surrender to similar witch scenarios in my waking life, and much later, I understood that my original nightmare likely resulted from an accident I had at eighteen months.

I will give you the list of my top ten sleep state lucid dreams:

Beverly D’Urso’s “Top 10″ Lucid Dreaming Experiences

1. I met myself at a much younger age and she told me that, “Everything is perfect as it is!” and I finally believed it.
2. I got my childhood nightmare ‘witches,’ now seen as my creative power, to help me get pregnant.
3. I walked inside my uterus while pregnant and found twins, later verified by ultrasound.
4. I overcame writer’s block by writing my Ph.D. proposal and soon finished my degree.
5. I gave a ‘healing’ to a friend’s child and he got better.
6. I nursed my ‘baby-self’ when I felt sad when my mom had to stay in the hospital.
7. I made love to the guru, whose ashram I escaped from out of fear.
8. I introduced my husband to my deceased father, who had died before my husband and I met.
9. I intentionally looked for the contents of target pictures and won first place in a number of dream contests.
10. I flew to ‘infinity and beyond’ using a mathematical method that I didn’t know about.

What advice would you give to someone who is interested in beginning to practice lucid dreaming?

Don’t ever assume that you are not dreaming. Record your dreams and discuss them. Pick a simple task that you can try in a lucid dream. Look for clues, such as meeting someone whom you remember has ‘died’ or feeling yourself floating in air. Ask yourself often, “Am I dreaming right now?” Remain open to the possibility without acting upon it until you know for sure that you are dreaming.

What are the biggest benefits of lucid dreaming, and do you think the practice can help people who deal with depression or night terrors?

As my first lucid dream demonstrates, lucid dreaming can definitely help with nightmares or night terrors. You can have amazing adventures. Most important of all, you can experience a world where anything can happen, where you have no fear, and where you understand that you and all others represent aspects of your truer self. Then, you can take it to the next level and experience your waking state this way as well.

Monday, March 29, 2010 Categorized under Lucid Dreaming

Levels of Consciousness: Proposal, Paper, Workshop

levels picture

Levels of Consciousness and Lucidity while Dreaming or Awake
by Beverly (Kedzierski Heart) D’Urso, Ph.D.
Presentation for  the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD) PsiberDreaming
Conference (PDC2009)   Copyright  © 2009

http://durso.org/beverly/

PROPOSAL

My paper will refer to a chart which describes levels of consciousness, including lucidity. 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. 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.

When I question my reality and my assumptions, my consciousness expands.  I call this level semi-lucid. In the sleep state, this corresponds to questioning if I am dreaming. The next level I call lucid. In the waking state, I really know my unpleasant thoughts as untrue assumptions. When I know I am dreaming in the sleep state my fear decreases and my mind clears. 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 what I call  more lucid. At a very lucid level, I can co-create interesting dramas in my life and dreams in my sleep. In my final level of lucidity, I would still experience a dualist world, but really know all parts as One. I call this the level of most lucidity. In some sleeping dreams, I feel that I go beyond lucidity. I no longer have a body nor an environment. For now, I aspire to come from an expanded level of consciousness, or lucidity, in every moment, whether awake or asleep.

Levels of Consciousness While Dreaming or Awake – PAPER
by Beverly (Kedzierski Heart) D’Urso, Ph.D.   Copyright  © 2009

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

I define the term dream as an experience of an outer world made up of characters, actions, and environment that my expanded self, a collective mind of nonphysical form, has helped to create. I see life in the same way.

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. When I call something ‘untrue,’ I mean that I let go of my assumptions and no longer see it as real or solid or true. By ‘untrue,’ I do not mean false, but rather ‘I  don’t know for sure.’

When awake and lucid, I also see my whole environment including my physical body and others, as ‘untrue’ in relationship to my expanded self.  In other words, I might say: “My expanded self is dreaming when Beverly seems ‘awake.’”

People have associated lucid dreaming with ego control and satisfaction. I will show how lucidity actually relates to expanded states of consciousness, and what it means to have lucidity in our dreams and in our lives.

I will refer to the chart in  APPENDIX B, which I have divided into columns for the waking state and the sleeping state. It describes three major levels of consciousness: non-lucidity, lucidity, and beyond lucidity. Note that in the non-lucid levels, I list actions that obviously do not happen in the sleep state, but merely relate to it.

I can act from any of these levels of consciousness at any moment, while awake or asleep. Also, at the higher levels, I still have access to the abilities of the lower states. For example, in a most lucid state, I can still change my 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.

The first two levels fall into non-lucidity. I will call the first, low-level of consciousness: contracted. 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.

However, when I notice in life or in dreams, 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 learn from them. In this state, I remember dreams only after they happen and, therefore, they get called non-lucid dreams.

For example, to reduce my tendency to always blame others in the waking state, I may seek therapy.  To learn from my dreams, I may join a dream group.  In this reflecting level, I still may feel limited, especially when my experience seems uncomfortable or unloving.  I see my world as unchangeable.

At this level in the waking state, I might feel justified in feeling hurt that my husband often criticizes me, and therefore he must not care about me. I may go as far as assuming that if he does care about me, he will leave me, and I will perish. Without a higher level of consciousness, I could feel very depressed, and might act in an angry manner towards him and others. I could actually help make this scenario my experience.

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

I will refer to the next levels of consciousness as lucidity. Whether awake or asleep and dreaming, when I really pay attention to my environment or my body, I have a greater sense  of aliveness or stillness. When I question my reality and my assumptions, my consciousness expands.  I call this level semi-lucid.

In the previous example about my husband, I might 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 and for ways that I act as if I do not love him. I could also inquire about how I act and feel when I have the thought: “My husband does not love me,” and how I act and feel when I do not.

In the sleep state, I might to question 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. In a recent dream, I wondered if I was dreaming so I tried to float. I could not float, but I could tell that the water I was drinking did not taste ‘wet’ as it seems to in my waking state.

The next level, I call lucid. In the waking state, I really see 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.

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. I believe that most people are referring to this level when they use the term ‘lucid.’

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 self. I can accept what is happening and easily surrender to, and fully face, painful or scary situations.

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’s like I see you on a cliff about to fall, and I want to keep you from doing so.” I often recommend to my students not to jump off a cliff unless they really know they are dreaming, so I told him to proceed. However, seeing this common dream theme, I suddenly did become more lucid. Instead of focusing 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 while awake or asleep and dreaming, 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.  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 try to find ways to show I agree with them, instead of just defending myself.

At a very lucid level, I can co-create interesting dramas in my life and in my sleeping dreams. 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, such as a broken tooth or a critical comment, I can attempt to heal my body or learn from the comment. I can fearlessly accept such ‘imperfections’ as a part of myself that can teach me what I need to learn.  Some lessons I have learned in my sleeping dreams also seem to enhance my waking life, and vice versa. I believe that many people unrealistically expect to get to this very high level of lucidity the first time they attempt lucid dreaming.

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, acceptance, and intention, and not with what gets called ‘will power.’ (See REFERENCE 2.)

At a 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.’

Once, in a very lucid sleeping dream,  I thought: “I would love to be sitting in a boat on this lake in the distance.” Instantaneously, I found myself on such a boat in the lake. Others have talked about this process occurring in the waking state and call it ‘manifestation.’ However, in the waking state, with my time/space beliefs, I seem to experience a time delay not necessary in my sleeping dreams.

In my final level of lucidity, I still experience a dualist world, but really know all parts as ‘One.’ I call this the level of most lucidity. I believe that many spiritual teachers 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. Losing some lucidity, I assumed that all the people in the audience existed only in my ‘head,’ so I felt I had no need to continue presenting. Now, I refer to ‘others,’ as well as my dream body, as all parts of an ‘expanded self,’ which  flourishes as all the parts develop.  When I experience the most lucidity, I see these ‘others’ experience lucidity as well.

In some sleeping dreams, I feel that I go beyond lucidity. I no longer have a body nor an environment. I merge into vibration, sound, and light, and then into nothingness, or what I also call everythingness. I could describe this as expansion into ‘Being,’ or ‘Source’ or ‘God.’ I prefer the term ‘Dreamer,’ with a capital ‘D.’ For now, I aspire to come from an expanded level of consciousness in every moment, whether awake or asleep.

APPENDIX B

CHART OF  LEVELS  OF  CONSCIOUSNESS

WAKING                                SLEEPING

Non-lucidity

Contracted
No reflection                            No dream recall

Reflecting
Recall past issues of life            Recall non-lucid dreams
Study your life                            Study your dreams

Lucidity

Semi lucid                    Question thoughts                    Question if dreaming

Lucid                            See thoughts  as untrue            See dream world  as untrue

More lucid                    Change responses in life           Change responses in dream

Very lucid                     Change life                                Change dream
and potentially change life

Most lucid                    View all in life  as ONE            View all in dream  as ONE

Beyond lucidity
Unity                                         Non-Duality

REFERENCES

1. “Lucid Dreaming/Lucid Living,” D’Urso, Beverly (Kedzierski Heart), Online Publications, 1982-2009.

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

2.    “My Lucid Lucid Life,” D’Urso, Beverly (Kedzierski Heart), Appeared as “Dream Speak: An Interview with Beverly D’Urso: A Lucid Dreamer” – Part One, Two and Three, “The Lucid  Dream Exchange,” Numbers 29, 30, and 31, 2003 – 2004. Also appeared in the online publication: “Electric Dreams.”

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

BIOGRAPHY

Dr. Beverly (Kedzierski Heart) D’Urso, 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. She has also created several startup companies, worked as a researcher, consultant, and a college professor, and has over sixty publications and several awards, including many IASD dream contests.

Levels of Consciousness and Lucidity While Dreaming or Awake – WORKSHOP
by Beverly (Kedzierski Heart) D’Urso, Ph.D.   Copyright  © 2009
Workshop Presented at
The Association for the Study of Dreaming  PsiberDreaming Conference 2009

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

I’d like you to participate in a consciousness expansion, or lucidity training, exercise as you continue to read, and report the results on my thread.  For now, notice your surroundings, feel your body, and become aware of any thoughts you might have. Are you having thoughts, such as:  “I love exercises!” or “I  have done consciousness exercises in the past.” or “I hope I do well on this exercise?”

Next, ask yourself if you could be dreaming right now. Do any beliefs arise? Are you making any assumptions? Finally, at the very start of my actual paper, where I define a dream, write down the current time. You don’t need a stop watch, just look as the closest clock.  Then, when you get to the part where I tell how ‘the water didn’t taste wet,’ about half way through my paper, write down the time once again.

When you finish the paper and my followup on exercises, just after the sentence following the phrase: “I wonder what will happen tomorrow?,” subtract the two numbers you wrote down. Post the time it took you to read the first half of my paper, which should equal the difference of the two numbers you wrote down. Don’t struggle to ‘get it right,’ just do your best. You merely want to remember to do the tasks: write, write, subtract, and post. I don’t care about accuracy of time or speed of reading.  You will learn from this exercise, even if you forget to do all or parts of it. I will include additional exercises in APPENDIX A, which you can also try in the days to come.

I define the term dream as an experience of an outer world made up of characters, actions, and environment that my expanded self, a collective mind of nonphysical form, has helped to create. I see life in the same way.

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. When I call something ‘untrue,’ I mean that I let go of my assumptions and no longer see it as real or solid or true. By ‘untrue,’ I do not mean false, but rather ‘I  don’t know for sure.’

When awake and lucid, I also see my whole environment including my physical body and others, as ‘untrue’ in relationship to my expanded self.  In other words, I might say: “My expanded self is dreaming when Beverly seems ‘awake.’”

People have associated lucid dreaming with ego control and satisfaction. I will show how lucidity actually relates to expanded states of consciousness, and what it means to have lucidity in our dreams and in our lives.

I will refer to the chart in  APPENDIX B, which I have divided into columns for the waking state and the sleeping state. It describes three major levels of consciousness: non-lucidity, lucidity, and beyond lucidity. Note that in the non-lucid levels, I list actions that obviously do not happen in the sleep state, but merely relate to it.

I can act from any of these levels of consciousness at any moment, while awake or asleep. Also, at the higher levels, I still have access to the abilities of the lower states. For example, in a most lucid state, I can still change my 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.

The first two levels fall into non-lucidity. I will call the first, low-level of consciousness: contracted. 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.

However, when I notice in life or in dreams, 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 learn from them. In this state, I remember dreams only after they happen and, therefore, they get called non-lucid dreams.

For example, to reduce my tendency to always blame others in the waking state, I may seek therapy.  To learn from my dreams, I may join a dream group.  In this reflecting level, I still may feel limited, especially when my experience seems uncomfortable or unloving.  I see my world as unchangeable.

At this level in the waking state, I might feel justified in feeling hurt that my husband often criticizes me, and therefore he must not care about me. I may go as far as assuming that if he does care about me, he will leave me, and I will perish. Without a higher level of consciousness, I could feel very depressed, and might act in an angry manner towards him and others. I could actually help make this scenario my experience.

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

I will refer to the next levels of consciousness as lucidity. Whether awake or asleep and dreaming, when I really pay attention to my environment or my body, I have a greater sense  of aliveness or stillness. When I question my reality and my assumptions, my consciousness expands.  I call this level semi-lucid.

In the previous example about my husband, I might 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 and for ways that I act as if I do not love him. I could also inquire about how I act and feel when I have the thought: “My husband does not love me,” and how I act and feel when I do not.

In the sleep state, I might to question 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. In a recent dream, I wondered if I was dreaming so I tried to float. I could not float, but I could tell that the water I was drinking did not taste ‘wet’ as it seems to in my waking state.

The next level, I call lucid. In the waking state, I really see 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.

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. I believe that most people are referring to this level when they use the term ‘lucid.’

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 self. I can accept what is happening and easily surrender to, and fully face, painful or scary situations.

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’s like I see you on a cliff about to fall, and I want to keep you from doing so.” I often recommend to my students not to jump off a cliff unless they really know they are dreaming, so I told him to proceed. However, seeing this common dream theme, I suddenly did become more lucid. Instead of focusing 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 while awake or asleep and dreaming,, 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.  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 try to find ways to show I agree with them, instead of just defending myself.

At a very lucid level, I can co-create interesting dramas in my life and in my sleeping dreams. 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, such as a broken tooth or a critical comment, I can attempt to heal my body or learn from the comment. I can fearlessly accept such ‘imperfections’ as a part of myself that can teach me what I need to learn.  Some lessons I have learned in my sleeping dreams also seem to enhance my waking life, and vice versa. Unrealistically, I believe that many people expect to get to this very high level of lucidity the first time they attempt lucid dreaming.

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, acceptance, and intention, and not with what gets called ‘will power.’ (See REFERENCE 2.)

At a 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.’

Once, in a very lucid sleeping dream,  I thought: “I would love to be sitting in a boat on this lake in the distance.” Instantaneously, I found myself on such a boat in the lake. Others have talked about this process occurring in the waking state and call it ‘manifestation.’ However, in the waking state, with my time/space beliefs, I seem to experience a time delay not necessary in my sleeping dreams.

In my final level of lucidity, I still experience a dualist world, but really know all parts as ‘One.’ I call this the level of most lucidity. I believe that many spiritual teachers 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. Losing some lucidity, I assumed that all the people in the audience existed only in my ‘head,’ so I felt I had no need to continue presenting. Now, I refer to ‘others,’ as well as my dream body, as all parts of an ‘expanded self,’ which  flourishes as all the parts develop.  When I experience the most lucidity, I see these ‘others’ experience lucidity as well.

In some sleeping dreams, I feel that I go beyond lucidity. I no longer have a body nor an environment. I merge into vibration, sound, and light, and then into nothingness, or what I also call everythingness. I could describe this as expansion into ‘Being,’ or ‘Source’ or ‘God.’ I prefer the term ‘Dreamer,’ with a capital ‘D.’ For now, I aspire to come from an expanded level of consciousness in every moment, whether awake or asleep.

In APPENDIX A, I have devised three additional exercises to expand your consciousness which you can attempt in the waking state and/or the sleeping dream state. I suggest that you do the first exercise during the next twenty-four hours, the second exercise during the twenty-four hours after the first, and the third exercise during the twenty-four hours after the second. Report on each one, even if you totally forget to do the exercises. Feel free to do only your favorite ones and/or continue doing any of them throughout the conference. See what happens and report your experiences on my thread.

Thanks for participating. How are you doing with the initial exercise? Did you come up with a time to post? Did you forget to write down the second number so that you can post the difference? In similar exercises, people have often forgotten the second number. However, the feeling you get when you remember to do so seems similar to getting lucid in a dream.  Have you forgotten the exercise completely or posted your results prematurely? Has the exercise made it easier or harder to read? Have you been worrying about missing a part of the exercise, or are you focusing on the present moment, instead of thinking about things, such as: “I wonder what will happen tomorrow?”  I welcome all comments about the exercises and my paper.

APPENDIX A

EXERCISE 1:
Every time you wash your hands in the next twenty-four hours, focus on the present moment. How does the water and/or soap feel? Do you notice any outer sensations, such as sounds or smells? What are you thinking about? Ask yourself if you could be dreaming. What assumptions are you making? Write up your experience, or just the answers to my questions, in the present tense. Does this sound like dream reporting? If you can’t write right away, come up with enough words so that you can do so later.

At the end of twenty-four hours, give a rough estimate of how many times you did remember to do this exercise, and how many times you did not. Write out one complete experience of the exercise in the present tense, if you did not do so earlier. You can also briefly mention a time when you washed your hands and forgot to do the exercise.  Notice how you feel right now about this exercise. You don’t need to have anxiety, guilt, or feelings of superiority. Post your results.

Example 1
At about 9 am, I go to my bathroom, pick up a rough bar of soap, and rub it onto my hands.  I feel the tiny bumps in the bar of soap. As I rinse my hands, I feel the cool water. I hear a machine revving up outside. I think that I am not taking enough time to wash, nor am I waiting for the hot water to flow. Then, I notice that I am judging myself and aspire to merely do my best at washing in the future.

I ask if I could be dreaming and say to myself, “Of course!” Although I do not notice anything odd about the room as I look around, I remember that things in dreams can seem to appear just as they do in the waking state. I look at myself in the mirror, and I notice that I have my shirt on inside out. I smile.  I do feel as though I am experiencing a dream. I go back to writing this example in my presentation and feel inspired.

I washed my hands over a dozen times in the last twenty-four hours. I remembered to do the exercise about three other times. I totally forgot the exercise the rest of the times. For example, after I smeared sun lotion on my legs, I must have washed my hands. I even washed my hands in a dream at about 5:00 am, and again, I did not focus on the exercise.

EXERCISE  2
This time, I suggest that you pay attention, for the next twenty-four hours, to every time you feel uncomfortable, such as when you feel frustrated, sad, or angry. Immediately notice what thought you are believing and ask, “In what ways am I judging myself or others?” Try not to defend yourself, but merely accept your feelings. If you can, write down your experience in the present tense, or at least a few words that will help you recall the incident later when you have time to describe it.

At the end of twenty-four hours, estimate how many times you did the exercise, and how many times you forgot to do it. Write out one complete experience of doing the exercise, if you did not do so earlier. Include how you act or have acted in some way that relates to your judgments. Also, note an example of when the person you judged acts the opposite of how you judged him or her. You can also briefly mention a time when you could have done the exercise, and yet forgot all about it. Post your experience on my thread.

Example 2
At about 4:00 pm my son comes home and tells me that he does not want to share his day with me, and he does not ask me about mine. I feel sad, and I believe that he does not care about me. I judge him as uncaring, but I say nothing.

I remembered this exercise one time and forgot it at least twice in the last twenty-four hours. I realized that I act uncaring when I don’t respect my son’s desires for privacy. Also, I often go overboard in sharing my feelings, or I ask too many questions, or not enough, and I don’t listen. I now feel uncomfortable judging myself. I remember how I often do well in communicating, and I vow to just do my best in the future. I also remember that my son often acts with love towards me, such as when he hugs me before he goes to sleep at night.

I forgot this exercise completely during the time that I felt angry after my husband criticized me in the car. I now reflect upon how I have done or do some of what he referred to. I remember how often I criticize him, and how he really listens when something else bothers me.

EXERCISE  3
Any time in the next twenty-four hours, notice anything ‘unusual’ or ‘odd’ about you or your environment, and ask yourself, “Am I dreaming?” Then do a ‘reality check,’ such as trying to float or repeatedly reading something to determine if it changes. Even if what you notice does not seem impossible, or if you cannot float nor read, can you imagine that you still might be dreaming?  Write up your experience in the present tense. If you can’t write right away, come up with enough words so that you can do so later.

At the end of twenty-four hours, give a rough estimate of how many times you did remember to do this exercise and how many times you did not. Write out one complete experience of the exercise, if you did not do so earlier. You can also briefly mention a time when something ‘strange’ happened, and you forgot to do the exercise. Post your results.

Example 3
At about 6:00 am, I ‘wake up’ and notice that the items on my dresser appear messed up. This seems strange, so rather than assume that someone else messed them up, I ask myself if I am dreaming. I doubt I am dreaming, but I try to float anyway. Nothing happens. I see a copy of my conference paper on the dresser, so I pick it up and read the first few sentences. When I read it over again from the start, the words change. The paper turns into a personal letter that, apparently, I had written to myself. This time, when I try to float, I rise to the ceiling. I go on having a wonderful lucid dream experience.

I remembered this exercise one time and forgot it at least twice in the last twenty-four hours. In another dream, my tooth fell out and I did not do the exercise. A few hours ago, I could not get through on my phone after trying many times. I blamed the phone service, and never asked if I could be dreaming.

APPENDIX B

CHART OF  LEVELS  OF  CONSCIOUSNESS

WAKING                                SLEEPING

Non-lucidity

Contracted
No reflection                            No dream recall

Reflecting
Recall past issues of life            Recall non-lucid dreams
Study your life                            Study your dreams

Lucidity

Semi lucid                    Question thoughts                    Question if dreaming

Lucid                            See thoughts  as untrue            See dream world  as untrue

More lucid                    Change responses in life           Change responses in dream

Very lucid                     Change life                                Change dream
and potentially change life

Most lucid                    View all in life  as ONE            View all in dream  as ONE

Beyond lucidity
Unity                                         Non-Duality

REFERENCES

1. “Lucid Dreaming/Lucid Living,” D’Urso, Beverly (Kedzierski Heart), Online Publications, 1982-2009.

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

2.    “My Lucid Lucid Life,” D’Urso, Beverly (Kedzierski Heart), Appeared as “Dream Speak: An Interview with Beverly D’Urso: A Lucid Dreamer” – Part One, Two and Three, “The Lucid  Dream Exchange,” Numbers 29, 30, and 31, 2003 – 2004. Also appeared in the online publication: “Electric Dreams.”

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

BIOGRAPHY

Dr. Beverly (Kedzierski Heart) D’Urso, 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. She has also created several startup companies, worked as a researcher, consultant, and a college professor, and has over sixty publications and several awards, including many IASD dream contests.

Monday, March 29, 2010 Categorized under Lucid Dreaming, Lucid Living, Uncategorized

Your World Inside-Out

Your World Inside-Out: Increasing Lucidity by Questioning Your Assumptions
by Beverly (Kedzierski Heart) D’Urso, Ph.D.

Copyright 2008
Presentation for the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD)
PsiberDreaming Conference, September 2008

I often speak and write about lucid dreaming [1.] Lucid dreaming means to know I dream while I dream. When asleep and lucid dreaming, I do not view any dream environment, bodies, or actions as “true,” particularly in relation to my waking world. I usually experience my waking world as more “solid,” with many laws of nature. In a sleeping lucid dream, I can take off my dream head, still walk around in the dream, and not experience any problems with my physical head when I wake up.

How would you compare your normal waking state to your dream state?

I like to use a simple dream example to describe how my focus on a thought can help create my experience.  Suppose I watch a movie about a fire, or I actually see a fire in my waking state. Then I go to bed thinking of fire, and in one of my dreams I see fire. After waking up, and sharing my dream, someone might say, “Oh, you had ‘fire’ on your mind.” Of course, someone else might say that my dream of fire, or even my waking experience of fire, has a different, underlying meaning. I, however, do not wish to analyze dreams, but merely use them as a way to demonstrate how thoughts can become actualized in the world I experience around me.  When I dream of fire, and know I am dreaming, I enjoy tasting the fire because I know that I can easily do so in a dream. Eating the fire also serves as more evidence that I am dreaming, and it tells me that I actually can’t call the fire “real.”

Can you think of a time when you focused on a thought and it seemed to appear in your dream or your life?

Although I have many non-lucid dreams and learn from them as well, my mere recognition of a dream as a dream while it occurs gives me freedom and expands the possibilities of what can happen. I experience many levels of lucidity. With a relatively high degree of lucidity, I do not feel fear when “attacked” by monsters. I can fly through walls or communicate with characters that seem to represent people who have died. [2.] I can have these experiences because I don’t see the monsters, the walls, or the “dead people” as real, solid, or true. My response to what happens comes from my inner, expanded mind, and not the brain located in my dream body’s head. My inner mind has the awareness that what it focuses upon seems to happen.

I believe that I can NOT know with absolutely certainty that I am NOT dreaming at any time [3.] When I recognize that I am dreaming in my life, or become lucid in my waking state, I call this “lucid living.” This means I also don’t think of my waking world as “true.” I see it as a type of dream as well. By “dream,” I mean an an experience of an outer world made up of characters and actions that my inner mind has helped to create.

With lucid living, 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 or impossible changes in my environment. I also look for evidence that I have focused on limiting thoughts that I originally saw as true.

If I believe that I am NOT dreaming, I often feel limited, especially when my experience seems uncomfortable or unloving. In this case, I see my world as true and unchangeable. In a sleeping dream, I might try to run away from some scary witches that seem to chase me. In a waking dream, I might feel justified in feeling hurt that my husband always seems to arrive late and therefore must not love me. If I go as far as assuming he will leave me and I will perish, I might feel very depressed. I might actually act in such a way where this scenario becomes my life, or at least my experience. Without lucidity, I might go on helping to create such painful dramas or dreams.

Have you ever felt a victim of someone else whom you believed caused you pain, and you acted in a way to extend the drama?

If I question my assumptions, especially when I do not feel positive about what I am experiencing, it can help me find new ways to respond. I have done this many times in sleeping dreams right before a head-on collision with another vehicle and in my waking state when a doctor told me something I didn’t think I wanted to hear. My fear reduced, my head cleared, and I responded in more appropriate and creative ways.

When I DO believe that I am dreaming, or in a world that represents aspects of my inner mind that I don’t see as true, I begin to experience a more expanded self. I notice that my view of how others act toward me seems to represent how I act or have acted toward them, others, or myself. I listen more carefully to what others have to say to me and perhaps change my own actions. If I do see something that I don’t like, I can still 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 again, showing me on the “outside” what seems to exist “inside”

Have you ever judged someone else who has a habit similar to one you have as well?

In my “highest” levels of lucidity in sleeping lucid dreams, I no longer have a body nor an environment. I do not experience any separation, only a sense of “nirvana” that I can’t explain in words.  When I have a great deal of lucidity in my waking life, I experience an expansion of myself and more fulfillment. I still seem to have a body, which has not yet flown on its own, but even small frustrations disappear quickly with lucidity. Lucidity has also seemed to help me fulfill many lifelong goals, such as finding a mate, having a child, dealing with grief, and healing my body [4.] I now attempt to focus on lucidity in every moment, whether asleep or awake. The more I experience lucidity, the more I see others experience it as well.

What do you suggest for experiencing lucidity in your life?

_______________________________________________________________________

APPENDIX

This past May 28, 2008, I became aware of an approach that seems very similar to my lucid living work. It comes from a woman named Byron Katie, the author of a book called: “Loving What Is” [5.] I have tried to word my presentation to remain consistent with her concepts, as well as my own.

Katie’s website: http://thework.com/index.asp describes her work as “a simple yet powerful process of inquiry that teaches you to identify and question thoughts that cause all the suffering in the world. In its most basic form, The Work consists of four questions and a turnaround [below] to help you to understand what’s hurting you, and to address your problems with clarity. The Work is meditation. It’s about awareness, not about trying to change your thoughts.”

[Katie’s Questions and Turnaround]

“Is it true?
Can you absolutely know that it’s true?
How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
Who would you be without the thought?

Turn the concept you are questioning around. Be creative with the turnarounds. They are revelations, showing you previously unseen aspects of yourself reflected back through others.”

I know that many others, from ancient traditions to modern times, have taught this “mirroring” approach to life. I  personally like A Course in Miracles [7] and the Seth work [8], as well.

Please let me know your personal favorites.

REFERENCES

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

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

2. “Dream Speak: An Interview with Beverly (Kedzierski Heart) D’Urso: A Lucid Dreamer – Part One, Two and Three”, The Lucid Dream Exchange, Numbers 29, 30, and 31, 2003 – 2004. [Also in E.l.e.c.t.r.i.c  D.r.e.a.m.s, Volume #11,  Issue #7, 8, 9,  2004.]

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

3. 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

4. “I learned to use my dreams to improve my life”, about  D’Urso, Beverly (Kedzierski Heart), First for Women Magazine, Volume 8, Issue 26, June 24, 1996.

5. “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

7. “A Course in Miracles,” Foundation for Inner Peace, Tiburon, California, 1976.

http://www.acim.org/

8. “The Nature of Personal Reality,” Roberts, Jane, Bantam Books, New York, New York, 1974.

http://www.sethlearningcenter.org/

__________________________________________________

Dr. Beverly (Kedzierski Heart) D’Urso, an “extraordinary” lucid dreamer all her life, originally worked with Dr. Stephen LaBerge at Stanford. Numerous major magazines, such as LIFE, Smithsonian, and OMNI, television specials, books, and radio talk shows have featured her life and her dreams. Using her practical philosophy called lucid living, she has taught her own workshops and presented at conferences for decades. Working with Stanford University Professors, she completed her Masters degree in 1980, involving Cognitive Psychology, and her Ph.D. in 1983, focussing on Artificial Intelligence. Prior to working as a researcher, consultant, and a college professor, she created several startup companies. Dr. D’Urso has over fifty publications and has won several awards, often placing well in IASD dream contests.

Monday, March 29, 2010 Categorized under Lucid Dreaming, Lucid Living

Lucid Dreaming: A Bridge to Lucid Living

Lucid Dreaming: A Bridge to Lucid Living
by
Beverly (Kedzierski Heart) D’Urso, Ph.D. Copyright (c) 2007

Workshop Before the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD)  Conference 2007, Sonoma, CA, June, 2007.

Link to Questions
Link to Exercises

Good Morning.
I’ll start with an
OVERVIEW***

I’d like to start with a show of hands:
How many people have heard me speak before???
Who heard me in Copenhagen at IASD2004???

I will start with an overview. As we discussed, lucid dreaming occurs when while asleep, you have awareness, at some level, that you are dreaming.

Who would you call the “dreamer” in your nighttime dreams???

I typically call the person asleep the “dreamer.” To get more precise, I think of the “dreamer” as one’s physical body’s mind, although  I would not say that one’s “brain” contains  one’s “mind.” As an analogy, I see our mind more as a radio broadcast than a physical radio and its parts. Our brain may tune us into certain stations, but it does not act independently.

Once we understand, and hopefully have experienced, lucid dreaming and related topics, such as levels of lucidity and techniques for becoming and staying lucid, we can discuss what I call lucid living. I need to first give you a little background on myself and my views of lucid dreaming, so you can see how I came up with the idea of lucid living.

Throughout my life, I have discovered many uses for lucid dreaming. Some of these include: psychological development, exploring new behaviors, healing, and much more. I’ve found that all of these can apply, whether we find ourselves asleep or what we call “awake.”

Who thinks they know what I mean by lucid living???

Next, I need to cover a little
BACKGROUND***

I remember having had lucid dreams since about the age of seven. I faced up to scary witches in a recurring nightmare. You can see my web site: http://beverly.durso.org  for several detailed descriptions of this dream and other places where it got published. I will also put this presentation on my website soon after the conference.

Basically, I recognized recurring dream scenes where I begged these scary witches, who hovered over me, to  “Spare me tonight and take me in tomorrow night’s dream.” Because they only came when I was dreaming, one time, while they hovered over me, I faced up to them and they flew away ending these nightmares.

Years later, I helped do research on lucid dreaming at the Stanford Sleep Laboratory. I signaled, using electrodes near my eyes, from the dream to the physical lab while definitely asleep and dreaming.  I also led workshops and taught others how to have lucid dreams, and I have given presentations on the topic at IASD conferences for over 20 years.

I have remembered, on average, six dreams per night, for most my of life. I’d call between 2 and 20 dreams per week lucid, to various degrees.  So, I estimate that I have had over 20,000 lucid sleeping dreams in my life so far. As you can tell, I have had many more non-lucid dreams than lucid dreams.

How many lucid dreams would you say you have???
One per week?
One per month?
One per year?
A few in your life?
None?
All the time?

My dreams usually seem like what we could call waking physical reality until I become lucid, although I often know that I am dreaming from the start of the dream.  I believe in levels of lucidity, on a spectrum from slightly to extremely lucid. Sometimes my non-lucid dreams seem very bizarre, and yet I ignore this sign of dreaming and rationalize the experience.

For the next four or five minutes, I will cover some basic issues and terminology. These apply to both lucid dreaming and lucid living.

First,
SPONTANEITY VERSUS CONTROL***

How many people think you need to control your dream to call it lucid???

In my lucid dreams, I feel free to go wherever my imagination takes me, and I take care to balance spontaneity and control.

Keep in mind that, you can have a lucid dream without having control of the dream. Unfortunately, the media often stresses control as the main benefit of lucid dreaming.

The ability to control your own reactions, or to control the action, characters, or environment in your dreams can help indicate your level of lucidity, but you can definitely have a lucid dream without control. However, at times, I feel that it helps to take control of the action in the dream, for example, when you want to carry out goals.

Once, when working on my Ph.D. dissertation and experience a case of writer’s block, I used control in my dream to get me to my desk and surrender to get myself to sit.

I often find it best to “surrender” to the lucid dream. I don’t use the word “surrender” to mean “give up,” but rather to mean “go with the flow.” In this case, I still have control, but of my own reactions and not of what happens to me. I do not automatically feel fearful, for example, when something scary happens. I now often what I call “surrender flying” to get places in my lucid dreams, where I get pulled from my heart area, by an invisible force.

I only need to remain conscious that I am dreaming. When conscious that I am dreaming, I think of my “physical body self” as safe in bed, so I have less fear, see more possibilities, and view my true “self” as one with the whole dream environment. With lucidity, I also have more choices. In other words, I don’t need to change a monster. I can look it in the eye without fear and find out what it wants.

Although I focus on awareness rather than control in my lucid dreams, I do not call my lucid dreaming witnessing. I can experience myself fully in the dream, yet not of it, meaning that I know while dreaming that my part of my self exists outside of the dimension of the dream.

To me witnessing seems like watching a movie or a play. Dreaming seems more like acting in a play. In a lucid dream, I act in a play in perfect character, have all the character’s feelings and consequences, yet still see myself as essentially the actor, and possibly the producer and director as well.

Next, I’d like to discuss the concept of:
DREAM CHARACTERS***

Who do think the characters represent???
Aspects of yourself?
People from your waking physical reality?
Illusional or “made-up” beings?

With lucid dreaming, I feel as though I inhabit a character in my dream.  This dream character seems to exist in another dimension from my physical body, albeit a three-dimensional world that seems real.

One dream character often looks and acts like me. I sometimes call this my dream-body or dream-self.  I may experience other dream characters that look like someone I know or someone that I don’t know.

I imagine that one or more of these other characters might get inhabited by a person from what we might call waking physical reality, or even by someone who has died. In a similar way, I can perhaps inhabit a character in another person’s dream. This concept allows for what we call “mutual dreaming” and “psychopompic dreaming.”

I once tried to meet a student in a lucid dream. I got lucid by noticing a woman who had died, but I tried to rush off and find my student before I listened to the woman. From this dream, I learned that I kept getting blocked until I first dealt with what I found in front of me.

As for dream characters, I still believe that, at some level, the characters in my dream represent aspects of my mind, even if inhabited by others who, in a sense, serve as actors taking on the roles of characters in a scene.

When lucid, I realize that my dream-body does not reside in what we might call “waking physical reality,” but in what I might call my physical self’s mind, not necessarily in my brain. When I wake up, I merely change dimensions or perspectives. We can say that I take on the role of a new character, or inhabit my physical body once again.

When I find myself in a lucid dream, the dream character that I inhabit, or my dream-self, sometimes tells other dream characters that they are dreaming. Other times, a different dream character may say this to my dream-self.

Has anyone here had another character tell you that you were dreaming???

When I experience a high level of lucidity,  either all the dream characters I encounter know that they currently exist in a dream, or I encounter no separate characters at all.

I consider myself “not completely lucid” when I encounter any characters in my dream that don’t believe they currently exist in a dream. I say this because I believe that if any aspects of my expanded mind do not have lucidity, then I cannot call myself  completely “lucid.”

I’d like to ask Robert Waggoner to take a couple of minutes to describe his view of dream characters or “entities,” which I believe he will speak on in depth during our panel on Sunday from 2 to 4 in Cooperage 2. On this panel, I will focus on Interactive “Dream Healing” and Ed Kellogg will delve into “Demons”!!!

The next topic asserts that we:
CAN’T PROVE WE ARE NOT DREAMING***

We can think of having lucidity as not getting fooled, or not having the “illusion” of existing in a physical reality.

If you remember any dreams, perhaps you have gotten fooled by a dream that seemed real while it took place.  You may have even said, “I can’t be dreaming, this seems too real.”  Maybe you find that you couldn’t fly as you could in other dreams. However, when you wake up, you realize that you got fooled and you really were dreaming.

We can say that lucid dreamers don’t get fooled. They know, at some level, that a dream does not have to follow physical laws. Non-lucid dreamers assume that the physical laws hold because they lack lucidity.

I believe, then, that you can not know with absolutely certainty that you are not dreaming at any time. As in the case where you got fooled, you may just not have enough lucidity to question or notice that you might be dreaming. Even after you wake up, you may not  remember that you dreamed.

Now a little about        CONNECTING TO THE DREAMER***

We can also say that, when lucid, your dream character’s mind connects with the mind of the dreamer, or that the mind of the dream character has expanded. The dream character can now remember and act upon the goals, memory, and thoughts of the dreamer.

For example, the dream character can remember goals that your mind, the dreamer, may have set up to do in the dream before you went to sleep.  The dream character and the dreamer can then co-create the dream, although the dreamer may still have intentions that the dream character does not have awareness of, even in lucidity.

Who here has become lucid in a dream and remembered and carried out a goal?

As a lucid dream character, I do not detach myself from the dream environment, but rather I see myself as equivalent to the environment, the other characters, and more. Also, detaching from the dreamer would mean that I forget, at some level, that I help create the dream scene. I would then lose some level of lucidity.

To summarize, in a lucid dream, I feel more present than in a non-lucid dream, bringing my whole self into the experience. I experience myself as more than just my dream body. I know  that the source of myself also exists outside the dimension of the dream, or inside the dreamer.

I have gotten a better sense of my “source,” or what we can call “God” or our “higher power,”  through lucid dreaming, than by my metaphysical or religious training. These often seemed to infer that God existed either inside my body, or somewhere out there, up in the sky.

With this background, I now feel that I can talk about looking at life as a dream or what I call:

LUCID LIVING***

When I view my waking life as a dream, a dream in which I know I am dreaming, to various degrees, of course, I call this lucid living. Waking life may feel ‘real’ and unlike a ‘dream,’ merely because I lack lucidity, just as non-lucid dreams can feel like physical reality, until I become lucid.

I try to view life as an “actual dream” and not to merely use lucid living as a therapy or philosophy. The assumptions that come from viewing life as a dream can give us power and can expand our possibilities in life.

If I look at waking life as a dream, then I can also use lucid dreaming techniques which I learned from my sleeping dream experiences, to more easily become lucid in my waking life. One of the most valuable techniques I use involves looking for unusual or recurring scenes in my life, as I do in my sleeping dreams.

When lucid in waking life, I  know  unlimited possibilities, feel safe and connected to everyone, and sometimes even experience magic in my waking life, as I have in my sleeping lucid dreams. Next, I want to tell you how I developed:
MY IDEAS***

I had the idea of lucid living many years ago. First, I had a long series of validated precognitive dreams in 1982 that made me question the solidness of time and space, or what we call physical reality. I described these in a talk at Bridgewater for IASD2006.

About the same time, I participated in many television specials on lucid dreaming.  In one, we filmed an experiment at the Stanford sleep laboratory, to determine which part of my brain seemed most active while I sang a song in a dream.

On a commercial for a national television special, which played over and over again for weeks, I appeared on the screen in my bathrobe, with electrodes all over my face, practicing the song, “Row, row, row your boat … life is but a dream.”  I watched myself and thought, “maybe life is a dream, and I do not have enough lucidity to know this for sure.”

This led me to teach the benefits of calling what some call “waking physical reality” a dream. I wanted to help myself and others to become more lucid in life, which I called lucid living.

At first, I  had a lot of trouble convincing others, and myself at times that while awake, we can still exist in a dream. False awakening dreams helped me practice questioning if I was dreaming, even when I thought I had woken up.

In false awakenings, you think you wake up from a sleeping dream, for example, in your bedroom. You keep thinking this until either, you become lucid and know that you are still dreaming, or you wake up to what you might call waking physical reality.

Because I have remembered an average of six dreams almost every night of my life, I have gotten tricked many times by mistaking a dream for my waking life, or what we might call waking physical reality.

I finally convinced myself that I can easily tell when I do not exist in waking physical reality. This might occur when I can float, fly or interact with someone whom I know has died. I say that I am dreaming.  Of course, not everyone would find these tasks easy. Some may even say that we can fly or interact with the dead in other realities besides dreaming.

For purposes of this talk however, I will discuss and assume only two different realities, namely, dreaming and waking physical reality. Then, I will try to convince you that both of these may have the same properties, in other words, we can think of them as them as a single reality and say that their differences stem from our own level of consciousness, or lucidity.

I believe that we cannot prove that we are not dreaming. Therefore, why not assume that we are always dreaming,  look at what that implies, and use lucid dreaming techniques to become the more lucid in our waking lives.

If you prefer to consider many realities with different laws, so to speak, then you could still say that all these realities make up one single “experiential” reality. I don’t like to think this way, however, because I like to view life as having the powerful and beneficial “magic” that I find in my own dreams, and use dream analogies to explain how life may work. I suppose you can consider my views similar to traditional Buddhist or Hindu beliefs, which may call life a type of dream, but in their case, they see life as “unreal” as a mere “dream,” and they promote yet another different “true reality.

I’d like to ask Ed Kellogg to take a couple of minutes to describe his view of “realities.” !!!

We now need to ask an important question. If we view life as a dream, then who serves as the the dreamer?  In other words, if we become “dream characters” in the dream of life, who do we connect to when lucid?  My answer:

THE DREAMER OF LIFE***

In my view, there exists, outside of the dimension of life, or what we sometimes call “waking physical reality,” an all-encompassing mind is dreaming the dream we call life. I call this mind the Dreamer of Life. In one sense, we can think of this Dreamer of Life as our combined and expanded mind.

We could also use terms such as our Higher Self, God, or Source in place of the term “Dreamer of Life.” I feel that we can break down this Dreamer of Life into many levels, as well, forming a type of “Tree of Life.

Sometimes, I really do feel as though I am dreaming while awake and in what some call waking physical reality.  At these times, I feel connected to the Dreamer of Life. I even notice many synchronicities in my life occurring during these times.

However, I often get caught up in my life and forget that I might be dreaming. Because of my experience in sleeping lucid dreams, I try to never assume that I am not dreaming.

We can compare the process of connecting to the Dreamer of Life in lucid living with traditional forms of prayer or meditation.  In practicing lucid living, I first stop my train of thought and imagine that I am dreaming.  I try to come from the perspective of this Dreamer of Life, or our expanded self. I see others as aspects of it, trust it, and surrender to its wishes.

With lucid living I feel that we can deal with our fears,  see unlimited possibilities, and experience the connectedness of everything, So, I will go into each point in more detail.

First,
EXPERIENCING EMOTIONS AND FACING FEARS***

In my sleeping dreams, I have found power in surrendering and fully experiencing my emotions.  For example, I have brought the scary witches into my body, and I have gone with them to the place where they originate.

When I find situations in my sleeping lucid dreams that seem impossible or terrifying, such as jumping into fire or merging with a black void, I challenge myself to tackle them head on. Sometimes, in my sleeping lucid dreams,  I find myself falling faster and faster down an endless slide.  I have learned to surrender to this sensation of increasing speed.

Has anyone here taken such “risks without risk” in a lucid dream???

I see a parallel to surrendering and facing our emotions in life. When I practice facing my fears in life and surrender, as I do in my sleeping lucid dreams,  I usually have positive results.

When I have strong feelings, such as sadness, grief, or fear, I do not necessarily have to express them outwardly in reaction. I can surrender to them deep within myself, and try not to push aside or hold back my feelings.

By calling life a dream, I do not mean to imply that in my life, I take what one might call “unreasonable risks” or necessarily expect instant magic, as I often do in sleeping lucid dreams.  I never take dangerous actions unless I feel positive that I am dreaming, and I have evidence that normal physical laws won’t apply.

In a sleeping dream, I usually figure that if I can fly, then I can jump off a cliff.  I realize, however, that I could lose lucidity, and dream that I have broken all my bones.

In any case, when I have even a small amount of lucidity in my life, I feel safer because I believe that I am more than just my individual body and personality.

In waking life we may have the habit of thinking of our “body” as our “self.”  Similarly, in non-lucid dreams we might think of our dream-body as our “self.” Of course, we wouldn’t use term “dream body” because we wouldn’t recognize that we were dreaming.

In a non-lucid dream, we believe that if the body we currently inhabit dies, we die, because we do not have awareness of our expanded self, or the dreamer. We continue to feel this way until we wake up out of the dream.

We might think, after the fact, that we could have responded differently had we realized sooner that we were dreaming. We could have become lucid and experience ourselves as more than just our body before we “wake up” out of our dreams or in the case of lucid living, out of our lives! In lucid dreams, I have often let myself die, knowing that I exist as more that just a dream-body.

Has anyone here let their dream-body “die” in a lucid dream???

I also know that in sleeping dreams, when I dream that someone dies, I don’t necessarily expect that they have died in what we might call waking physical reality. From the perspective of the dreamer they could still be living.

I imagine that even non-lucid dreamers feel this way after they wake up.  So, I have to assume that when someone dies in my life, that they haven’t necessarily died from the perspective of the Dreamer of Life.

Second,
UNLIMITED POSSIBILITIES IN LIFE***

I also believe that I co-create my reality with the Dreamer of Life. As in sleeping dreams, I recognize that the Dreamer of Life may have intentions that I do not know about even in lucidity.

Whenever I feel myself in a dream, I believe that anything can happen, in mysterious, or even magical ways. I can experience the joy of helping make things happen more often in my life, by learning to become lucid in waking life and set upon accomplishing tasks with a new outlook, believing in unlimited possibilities.

At the very least, I can probably gain an understanding of how I may block myself and try again, knowing I have endless possibilities.

An example, from an early stage of my sleeping lucid dream development, illustrates this point. In my dream, I could not fly to my destination because I  kept hitting telephone poles.

When I eventually determined one time that I was dreaming, I could fly right through the poles. I also realized that my mind may have created the telephone poles to begin with!

A therapist once told me about a patient who could not get through a block in his life, which the therapist related to his dream block of not feeling able to fly through walls. After he suceeded in flying through a wall in a lucid dream, his “related” block in life actually disappeared.

Third,
CONNECTEDNESS OF ALL IN LIFE***

With lucid living, I experience everyone in my life as equal characters in one dream. I see us all as aspects of the Dreamer of Life.

When I have lucidity in my life, I want to understand the Dreamer of Life. I listen to others and try to see where there opinions come from, and what they can teach me, without judging them.

Now I will focus upon:
LUCIDITY TECHNIQUES AND RECURRING SCENARIOS IN LIFE***

As I have mentioned, I have developed techniques for becoming lucid in my sleeping dreams, that I can also use in my waking life. In my main technique, I look for unusual or impossible situations or recurring scenarios.

Has anyone here let their dream-body “die” in a lucid dream???

A great example of using a lucidity technique in my waking life occurred when I noticed recurring scenarios  during my love relationships before I got married.  With many different partners, I often found myself in an argument in a similar physical position and location.

My partner would be hovering over me looking scary and not unlike the witches from my childhood dreams.   During these arguments, many times my partner and I actually stood in the same place in my living room at the intersection of the couches that formed an L-shape.

The last time this scenario ever happened, right in the middle of the argument, I suddenly thought, “This seems like a recurring theme. What if I am dreaming?”

I immediately decided to see my partner as an aspect our expanded self, or the Dreamer of Life.  I thought about his point of view and what he had to teach me. I had less fear.  Internally, my reaction changed.  With trust and surrender, I stayed in the moment. You could say that I faced up to my partner.

Exactly as the witches did when I faced up to them, my partner froze, stopped yelling, and then turned and walked away.  It seemed as though I no longer needed to play out this drama.  I  had solved it, as I did my childhood nightmares. In my next relationship, my marriage of almost fourteen years, this scenario has not occurred.

By the way, my childhood nightmares took place in the same physical location each time also, at the bottom of the back porch stairs of my childhood home.

I used this method that I just described in many other situations. Once, during a heated discussion with my cousin in the waking state, I suddenly stopped to think, “If I look at this as a dream right now, then my cousin actually expresses a part of our expanded self, or the Dreamer of Life, which I want to understand.” At the exact moment I had this thought,  she actually started to explain how our points of view seemed related instead of opposed.

Another time, while in a hospital, a doctor merely said something that reminded me of a dream, and I immediately let go of my fear and accepted the situation, which seemed so scary only moments before.

SETTING GOALS***

to accomplish in my lucid dreams serves as a wonderful technique to motivate me to become lucid in a dream.

Sometimes after getting lucid in my nighttime dreams, I decide not to change the direction of the dream, in order to carry out a goal. In this case, I go with the flow of the dream. When I do have an interesting goal, and feel that the situation calls for it, I get motivated to become and remain lucid so that I can accomplish the goal.

In my lucid dreaming classes, I suggest that my students start with a simple goal to accomplish in their lucid dream. I ask them to decide the first steps of the goal ahead of time, while awake. They also must think about how they can perform the steps from wherever they might find themselves in the dream. I have discovered  that a goal of “becoming lucid” does not work as well as a goal of doing something fun in the limitless world of dreams. We must remember this in life!

I’d like everyone to think of a goal that they would like to try in a lucid dream which they can practice in waking life???

Now let’s move on to:
GOALS FOR LUCID LIVING***

In my waking life, I often “go with the flow,”  but I still form goals. When I determine my goals, I strive for them to conform with the goals of the Dreamer of Life. This usually happens when I experience great passion.  In my life, I have gotten through many potential blocks, while getting my Ph.D., enjoying an exciting and prosperous career, and having an excellent family life.

———–

I took this approach when I had a goal of having a family. A series of dreams helped me see that my life was proceeding appropriately, whenever I seemed to let go of hope. I dreamed of going into my past and several possible futures to communicate with myself at various ages. I also dreamed of my future child and took actions in my sleeping lucid dreams to try to help the process.

Most importantly, I also had a belief while awake that things would work out, even if they took longer or didn’t proceed as I imagined. This belief came from trusting my concept of lucid living, or seeing life as a dream.

I acted with lucidity in my waking life when I met my husband. I noticed him across the room at a party, went up to him, and talked to him. Although much younger than me, I recognized him in some kind of deeper sense, and I felt him playing a part in my future. I would call this moment the most lucid in my life so far.

I felt that I completely surrendered to the Dreamer of Life, or our expanded self.  I stayed in the present moment continuously, without fear, and with total trust. I remained with him and totally focussed on him, while part of me observed our interaction.

I believed in magic and totally accepted whatever happened.  I listened to him, as if he truly formed part of my higher self. Married for almost fourteen years, I still view him as my perfect mate.

I also used lucid dreaming and lucid living to overcome the tremendous odds we had against bearing a child, as well. We now have a son who just turned twelve years old.

————

Now, I would like to share a few
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS***

I believe lucid living can have a profound effect on all our lives. Of course, as in our sleeping dreams, we can easily go on automatic and lose lucidity.

However, the more we practice lucid dreaming skills, whether while asleep, or during our waking life, the more lucid we will likely become at all times. In this way, we can live the most illuminating, clear, and conscious  life as possible.

I usually suggest that you ask your self if you are dreaming everytime you do some regular daily activity, such as walking up or down stairs. Look around and perhaps even practice carrying out our goal, if you can. Eventually, you’ll do this in a dream!???

If every person viewed life as a dream in this way, I believe that the world could heal.  Even if people simply opened up to the possibility to seeing life may as a dream, the Dreamer of Life would become more lucid.

Also I feel that, if any one person consistently believed they are dreaming in life, then amazing healing of the world could take place. I have this as a goal and it motivates me to make the effort to write and present my ideas.

The Dreamer of Life needs to have more lucidity in order  for us to experience magic. We need to remain open to lucid living and look for evidence that we are dreaming for this to happen. Then, when we see the magic, our beliefs would strengthen, and we would see ourselves as co-creators of our reality.

—————-

Like puppets, who think they act separate from the puppeteer, we often feel disconnected. Using the puppet analogy, we can begin to identify more with the puppeteer, or the Dreamer of life.

As in sleeping dreams, the dreamer can only speak through a dream character. When a dream character connects to the dreamer in lucidity, and the dream character doesn’t get in the way, the dreamer’s goals and thoughts can get manifested.

The Dreamer of Life, our Higher Self, or our Source needs us, its dream characters, to connect to it so it can speak through us and get heard.

One can say that while we exist in life, because life seems real, we can only call it a dream from an outside perspective, or after we die.  However, since we can know that we are dreaming while in a sleeping dream, and remain in the dream, then why can’t we also know that we are dreaming in the waking state while remaining in it.

As a sleeping lucid dreamer, I learned how to remain in a  dream, to wake up out of it, to change it, to go back into it, and to become more lucid and accomplish intricate goals while in the dream. I would like to do this, and more, in my waking dream as well.

So remember, I say we are dreaming now. View every situation in your life as a dream, experience and let go of your fears, see unlimited possibilities, including the connectedness of everything, and make your own dreams come true.

In conclusion, I will present a list of

OTHER VIEWS***

I have discovered that ancient traditions and religions, as well as modern best-selling authors, movies, and songs talk about concepts similar to lucid living.  Some of these include: the Hindus and Maya; the Buddhists and Connectedness; the Christians and Resurrection; The Course of Miracles and the Happy Dream; plus Jane Roberts and SETH;

I would also add: Deepak Chopra; Wayne Dyer; Don Miguel Ruiz; The Wizard of Oz; Star Trek; The Matrix… The list goes on and on.

Let me share my favorite: “Row, Row, Row, your boat, gently down the stream, merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream!”

Thank you.

For more information or a copy of this presentation see my website:  http://www.durso.org/beverly

Monday, March 29, 2010 Categorized under Healing, Lucid Dreaming

Interactive Dream Healing for Ourselves and Others

Interactive Dream Healing for Ourselves and Others
by
Beverly (Kedzierski Heart) D’Urso, Ph.D.,
Copyright (c) 2005

Submitted to the International Association for the Study of Dreams Conference in Bridgewater, MA, June 2006.

SUMMARY

I often attempt physical and emotional healing for myself and others in my dreams, where, potentially, it could have the most effect on us. The results often seem positive. Besides giving examples and techniques, I will present a number of important issues.  For example, do we also heal ourselves when we try to heal “others” in our dreams? Should dream healers follow an ethical code? Can dream healing have negative effects?

ABSTRACT

I often attempt physical and emotional healing for myself and others in my dreams, where, potentially, it could have the most effect on us. My experiences at the Stanford Sleep Laboratory of monitoring my physical conditions and seeing them change as I attempted various tasks with my dream body, which I also refer to as one of my dream “characters,” proved to me that what I dream can affect my waking life. This led me to try healing from the dream world. I have developed interactive techniques, such as: asking for advice, using “experts,” sending energy, often through my hands, and reciting chants or affirmations to attempt healing. I set goals, practice, and use induction methods before I go to sleep. Although my dreams often involve lucidity, my techniques and methods have also proven themselves valuable for non-lucid dreams or visualizations, as well.

When I assist others to heal in my dreams, I feel that I also heal, or experience more wholeness, myself. I view all my dream characters as representing aspects of my higher self, while at the same time, I feel that they can, potentially, have a connection to other people. I might ask others to come into my dream by connecting to my dream characters, or I might go looking for dream characters that I feel best represent them. By the term dream “character,” I mean a type of dream “body” or “entity” that may have a connection to a physical person, but not necessarily. For example, I usually “connect” to the dream character that looks and acts like myself in my own dreams.

I recognize that a healing attempt may not always best serve myself or others, and will not always get at the source of the problem. However, I feel that a healing may help, but only if the subject desires it. Therefore, I make sure the dream character, whom I attempt to heal, agrees to the healing. When helping heal another person from my waking life, I usually ask permission of the person in the waking state before I decide to dream of the person. Discussing the healing with the person ahead of time also means that I can share my results with the person and determine any benefits. The dream character that I work with may or may not appear exactly as the physical person does, but usually I can still recognize the character as the person.

As I explore other issues involved in interactive dream healing, I realize that the possibility exists where one might adversely affect dream characters, and hence their possible physical counterparts, while attempting a dream healing. However, I  think that this can happen only if the subject allows it. I also believe that, potentially, anyone can tap into positive energy, or what we might call “love” or “God,” when attempting a dream healing. Because of this, I see interactive dream healing as a form of “prayer.”

Interactive Dream Healing for Ourselves and Others
by
Beverly (Kedzierski Heart) D’Urso, Ph.D.,
Copyright (c) 2005

Presented to the International Association for the Study of Dreams Conference in Bridgewater, MA, June 2006.

INTRODUCTION

Good Afternoon.

Today, I’d like to tell you about ways that I often attempt physical and emotional healing for myself and others in my dreams. I believe it can have a valuable effect on us in waking physical reality. Although difficult to measure, the results of my healings have usually seemed positive.

I will give you some examples and techniques of interactive dream healing, as well as discuss a number of important related issues and questions.  For example, do we also heal ourselves when we try to heal “others” in our dreams? Should dream healers follow an ethical code? Can dream healing have negative effects?

MY BACKGROUND

I’ll begin talking a few minutes about my own background.

Although I do not feel it necessary to use lucid dreams for dream healing, many of my healing attempts have occurred when I felt lucid, so let me clarify what I mean by lucidity.

To me, lucid dreaming does not mean merely “clear” dreaming, or even “controlled” dreaming. It only means that I feel aware at some level that I am dreaming while I am dreaming. However, I believe that the more lucid I get, the more a dream healing may affect me.

In a lucid dream, I feel more present than in a non-lucid dream, bringing my whole self into the experience. I know myself as more than my dream body and that the source of myself exists outside of the dream or inside the mind of the dreamer, or what I call our greater self.  When lucid, I connect to this dreamer, let go of any fear, and see endless possibilities.

Starting in the late 1970’s, I helped do research on lucid dreaming at the Stanford Sleep Laboratory. I would signal from the dream to the physical lab while being definitely asleep and dreaming. Our experiments of monitoring my physical conditions and seeing them change as I attempted various tasks with my dream body, proved to me that what I dream can affect my waking life. This led me to try healing from the dream world.

As I have said, most of my dream healings have occurred in lucid dream reality, when I remembered my healing goal. Many times I did not a need a goal, but merely went along with the dream, with more power, such as lack of fear, because of my lucidity, and I got a healing result.

I do, however, feel that even without lucidity, we can use other methods for healing such as, dream induction, visualization, or acting-out while in waking physical reality. Without ever getting lucid, one can ask for help with a problem in a dream before going to sleep and then accept what the dream offers. Setting a goal for a lucid dream actually serves as a type of dream induction.

When I led groups and workshops on the topic of lucid dreaming/lucid living, I usually ended each session with a guided visualization. After getting everyone still and relaxed, with their eyes closed, I would describe an imagined scene and activity that usually included a healing. This helps non-lucid dreamers get a sense for what can happen in a lucid dream.

Such non-dreaming techniques prove useful to lucid dreamers as well, because it helps to practice in waking physical reality what one would like to do in a dream. Many people actually believe that dream reality, in general, provides us with additional power because we seem more connected to our essence.

Before I discuss healing issues in general, I’d like to give you an example of a healing dream that I had last summer. A friend asked me to try to help her son, whom I’ll call Erin. Erin has Perthes disease, which does not allow blood to flow to his hip properly causing discomfort and difficulty participating in sports. I spoke to Erin and he agreed to my doing a dream healing for him in the near future.

First, using a suggestion from Ed Kellogg, I formulated a goal that I would attempt when I knew I was dreaming. I decided to chant a Harry Potter spell called “scourgify,” which roughly means, “clean up,” while pointing my index and middle fingers at Erin’s body.

I had the following dream on July 26, 2005. In this dream, I find myself standing in an open structure, which looks like a barn. I remember that I am dreaming. However, because Erin does not appear near me in the dream, I decide to do the healing actions as if he stands invisible in front of me, making this a practice session.

I point my index and middle fingers straight out in front of me and say “scourgify.” I look at my fingers and see that a sticky, thick yellow liquid emanates from the pads of my fingers. I then put my fingers to my mouth in order to taste the yellow liquid. As I do this, the liquid turns green. Its consistency stays the same, and I do not notice any flavor. I have had several experiences in the past year where objects or substances turn green after a healing, almost as a sign of completion.

Next, in the dream, I see a group of children playing outside, and I decide to find Erin. I look around and call out his name. I find him in the middle of the group, who soon separate.

I say to him, “It’s Beverly. I am here to do the dream healing we talked about.” He acknowledges me, so I point my fingers toward his leg and say “scourgify.” I have a clear intention for the best possible outcome. To make sure I have reached his hip, I repeat the process up and down his whole body.

At this point, I see that he has about a half dozen small holes all over his body. A dark-purple, watery, liquid squirts out of them. Thinking that this shows his blood flowing, I ask, “Why are you bleeding?” He says he’ll have to consult the Ouija board. I feel surprised that he knows of Ouija boards. He says he used it when he was born.

I return to waking physical reality and have a series of false awakenings of both trying to record the dream and of calling Erin’s Mom.

When I do call his Mom in the morning, I discover that her family had planned to leave town the next day for a month. I had been trying to attempt my healing goal for about a week. I describe my dream to Erin’s Mom, and she tells me that she has wondered if his disease might relate to blood problems he had at birth. Erin also mentioned his birth in my dream.

Erin’s Mom then asks him if he had any dreams. He reports that he dreamed he was in a video game, got hurt, and was instantly healed. One of the characters in the video game has the name “Luigi”, which sounds almost exactly like “Ouija,” the board mentioned in my dream.

Erin seemed to feel better after the healing because he did not ask for pain medicine during the next month, as he did in the months before the healing. Since then, his condition has improved and his doctors finally plan to let him get back into regular sports this Fall.

Did my healing attempt have an affect on Erin’s condition? Would he have improved at the same rate without it? I cannot say one way nor another, but I still feel pleased that I tried to help him.

To offer you more examples to consider, at the end of this presentation, I will briefly mention some of my other explorations in the healing potential of dreams. For now, I’d like to discuss some general issues concerning dream healing.

HOW DO WE DEFINE HEALING?

The dictionary has many definitions for the word “heal:” To make sound or whole; to restore to health; and to cause an undesirable condition, which I will call a “problem,” to be overcome.

CAN WE AFFECT OUR PHYSICAL BODIES BY WHAT WE DO IN DREAMS?

I believe that what we dream or imagine can affect us physically. At the Stanford Sleep Laboratory, when I dreamed of moving my dream body’s eyes in a particular manner, electrodes picked up similar movement from my physical eyes. Many other people have also showed positive physical effects from active visualization. I, personally, have many examples where my life seemed positively affected by my dreams.

DOES HEALING ALWAYS SEEM APPROPRIATE?

In certain cases, it might not best serve the subject of the healing to eliminate a problem. As an example, a doctor may not want to resuscitate a patient who asked ahead of time not to do so in certain situations, such as when they would only exist in a vegetative state.

Also, some problems exist as symptoms of other problems, which should, perhaps, get addressed first. For example, one may first want to learn to eat and exercise better before getting a “tummy tuck.”

Therefore, when attempting a healing, we should always ask for the “best possible outcome.” Many problems have several layers of complexity and may involve different aspects of our mind, body, and spirit.

WHAT CAN WE ATTEMPT TO HEAL?

We may want to heal an internal physical problem of ourselves or others, involving our organs, bones, muscles, nerves, or other functions, as in the example of Erin. However, we may want begin with simpler problems, such as a cut, burn, or wound. We can also consider emotional, mental, or spiritual problems, such as the pain of grief, depression, or of not seeming able to complete our goals, and thus not feeling whole.

DO WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO TRY TO HEAL OTHERS?

We need to consider the ethics and rights of others during the healing process. Do we need another’s request or permission to try to heal them in our dreams, or for that matter in waking physical reality? While in a dream, do we ask the dream character for permission, or do we need to wait to ask the person represented after we wake up?

By the term dream “character,” I mean a type of dream “body” or “entity” that may or may not have a connection to a physical person. For example, I usually connect to the dream “character” that looks and acts like me.

What do we do if we’d like to heal our pet, a person who has died, or a more general situation, such as our country? With these cases we cannot easily ask the subject represented and necessarily expect an answer.

I feel that a healing may help, but only if the subject desires it. Therefore, I make sure the dream character, whom I attempt to heal, agrees to the healing.

When helping heal another person from my waking life, I usually ask permission of the person in the waking state before I decide to dream of the person. Discussing the healing with the person ahead of time also means that I can share my results with the person and determine any potential benefits from the healing. A dream character that I work with may or may not look exactly like the physical person I wish to heal, but I can usually recognize something about the character that seems the best match to the physical person in my dream.

For people concerned about possible ethical issues of mutual dreaming, I will try to explain what seems to happen for me. I sometimes ask others to come into my dream by having them take on the role of a character in my dream. This seems similar to how a director might ask actors to take on a role of a character in her play. The actors must accept responsibility for any extreme emotions or harm that their characters may experience in the play, which could have lingering effects on them after the play finishes.

I also may search for characters that I feel best represent the people I want to heal while dreaming.  When I look for specific dream characters, it feels as if I am attempting to take on the role of a character in someone else’s dream. I feel that the other person, serving as the director of their own dream, has the right to not accept me. In this case, I would probably not succeed in finding them. I would never try to force myself into another’s dream.

WHAT HEALING TECHNIQUES CAN WE USE AND WHO CAN ASSIST US?

In dream healing, we can use various activities or props, including energy forms, such as sparks shooting from our fingertips at the subject of the healing, hands-on manipulation, chants, affirmations, potions, experts, or even alternative selves. Basically, we can use whatever we can imagine! However, some people feel that we should not make up techniques, such as chants, but use only historically proven or accepted techniques.

Other healing methods include asking to see the subject in perfect form in a dream, or just willing the problem away. Many times, merely having the subject face a scary situation or go directly into the pain in a dream can result in a fabulous healing. I will share a few of these examples toward the end of my presentation.

Sometimes, we may want to ask pertinent questions before going to sleep or in a lucid dream, about how the subject can best deal with his or her problem. In the dream, we may hear an answer spoken directly, or see it written on something, such as a book or a wall. Answers can also come indirectly through symbols, scenes, or activities.

For example, we could discover foods which we should or should not eat. We might find our dream body in a pool of warm water, which could mean that some form of heat or water therapy may help in physical reality.

We may want to ask an expert, or even a random person, in our dreams to assist in the healing. I feel that all dream characters represent, in part, aspects of our greater self, so anyone can have healing abilities in dreams.

WHAT EFFECTIVENESS CAN WE EXPECT?

Of course, a dream healing, as any kind of treatment, may only have a minor role in the healing process, or none at all. How we measure the effect of a healing becomes another area of investigation. The results may vary depending upon: the receptiveness of the subject; the ability, intent, and focus of the healer; the condition to heal; the appropriateness of the techniques; and many other variables.

CAN ATTEMPTING TO HEAL OTHER DREAM CHARACTERS HELP US?

When I assist others to heal in my dreams, I feel that I also heal, or experience more wholeness, myself because I view all my dream characters as representing aspects of my greater self. At the same time, I feel that the characters in my dreams can, potentially, have a connection to other people and therefore help these people as well.

One time, while in the sleep lab, I asked another dream character to move his eyes. The results on the polygraph showed movement in my physical eyes. This made me wonder if characters other than the one we seem to take on also have a connection to our physical bodies.

CAN WE ALSO CAUSE HARM?

I realize that the possibility exists where one may adversely affect dream characters, and hence their possible physical counterparts, while attempting a dream healing. However, I  think that this can happen only if the subject allows it.

I also believe that, potentially, anyone can tap into positive energy, or what we might call “love” or “God,” when attempting a dream healing. Therefore, I see interactive dream healing as a form of “prayer.”

I see “evil,” not as a separate force, but merely as the absence of love. Therefore, someone might not have the ability to heal, but this does not mean that they can tap into evil in order to intentionally cause harm.

MORE EXAMPLES

As I said at the start of this presentation, I have used my dreams to better myself, as well as others, in many ways all my life, without formally calling it dream healing. I will now summarize some other dreams that you may or may not have heard me speak about in the past.

As a child, I helped end the suffering that came from my nightmares by facing up to “the witches” in my first lucid dream. The witches still looked terrifying while I said, “Let’s get this over with,” without fear because I knew I was dreaming. After this dream, my witch nightmares ceased.

As an adolescent, I felt less inhibited by trying out frightening or embarrassing situations initially in my dreams. When my best friend died, I dealt with my grief by talking to her in my dreams.

I started doing formal lucid dream healings almost twenty-five years ago. Dr. Stephen LaBerge, from the Stanford Sleep Laboratory, suggested that I try rubbing my hands together and shooting out healing energy from my fingers to my neck when I complained of a stiff neck one night in the lab.

At the time, we were doing an experiment for Smithsonian Magazine. I remember that sparks shot out from my fingers in my dream, but then my hair caught on fire. I spent the dream trying to put out the fire. The reporters got a good example of losing lucidity in a dream!

I later asked others in my dreams to work on my neck. One time, I asked a janitor, the first person I saw in an elevator, to rub my neck. This action seemed to help my neck afterwards in waking physical reality.

I often shot healing sparks at my dog in dreams to avoid any old-age problems she might encounter. She lived a very long and happy life for her breed. I did the same for my Mom while she lived and after she died, when she appeared to me in a dream as needing some healing.  Recently, I added more techniques to my healing repertoire, such as chants.

In my twenties, I solved a writer’s block in a dream by letting myself get sucked into the “pit from hell.” Afterwards, I felt able to complete my Ph.D. in waking physical reality.

To help me with the frustration of finding a mate in my thirties, I found my alternative selves in a dream and listened to their advice.

In my forties, when I felt devastated about not getting pregnant in waking physical reality, I worked on the issue in my dreams by pulling my creative force, the witches of my childhood dreams, into my body. Soon afterwards, I had my son, now a healthy eleven-year-old boy, whose birthday is today! For the record, “Happy Birthday Adrian!”

In the year 2000, my mother had a sudden, massive stroke, and I became faced with taking her off life support. I dealt with my extreme grief in my dreams, in part, by surrendering to my now familiar “witches.”

With minor injuries, I try to get optimum healing through actions in my dreams. My dreams told me that a second degree burn I received last summer needed to heal slowly. To assist the healing in my dreams, I chanted a “Harry Potter” spell, similar to the one from my dream for Erin, and spontaneously shot yellow liquid at my burn site. The area appeared to get much better afterwards in physical reality.

I will give one last detailed example of an interactive healing dream. In waking physical reality, on Monday, March 7, 2005, I went in for a routine, annual gynecological exam. During the exam, my doctor found that I had an “expanded uterus.” He immediately did an ultrasound test and determined that I had: “both a large cyst and a mass that looked like it might be a tumor.” He told me to return when I got my period to do another ultrasound test to see if my condition changed.

I decided that I would try to have a lucid dream about my condition. This time, instead of just zapping my uterus, I wanted to understand more about why the situation occurred.

As a goal for my next lucid dream, I chose to ask some questions. I wanted to know precisely: “What message does this condition want me to know?” and “What can I do about it?” I also felt open to any healing that would occur naturally in my dreams. I finally had some lucid dreams on Monday morning March 14th.

I got answers to some of my questions in my earliest dreams. In my dream of 6:45 am,  I experienced a very direct healing.

In this dream, my nine-year-old son and I find ourselves in a camp-like setting. We look for a bathroom and can only find an odd one.

Standing outside, we notice these huge geometric figures in five different colors hovering and circling over us in the sky. They seem as large as ocean liners. A turquoise colored one comes closest to me. It has the shape of two candy dishes pressed together. They all seemed to shoot a kind of energy on me which I experience as a healing. I become very relaxed and open to taking in this invisible energy. I would describe it best as a type of heat.

My son seems scared, but I tell him not to worry. I explain, “They came to heal me!” Afterwards, we go back to the strange bathroom, which apparently now works.

In the last dream of this night, I find my childhood home getting rebuilt. Later, I discover that it did get rebuilt in waking physical reality around the time of the dream.

At 2:45 pm that same day, I went back to see my doctor. He did another ultrasound test searching for the cyst and the mass, but they did not exist anymore. He found my uterus “no longer expanded, but completely normal and healthy.” One year later, my uterus still remains normal.

Although these dreams had a powerful effect on me emotionally and physically, I can not say for certain what part they played objectively in my healing. Even so, I believe that they played a large part in my healing experience, and I feel very grateful that I had them.

You can find the details of these examples and more on my website: beverly.durso.org

I now welcome any questions that you may have. Keep in mind that I will also speak tomorrow on the PSI dreaming panel at 2:15 pm in the auditorium, where I will discuss, for the first time in public, some of my precognitive dreams, which I also consider very healing experiences.

Thank you.

Monday, March 29, 2010 Categorized under Healing, Lucid Dreaming

The Art of Dream Healing

Healing Picture

The Art of Dream Healing

by Beverly (Kedzierski Heart) D’Urso, Ph.D.  ©2005

Presentation for the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD) PsiberDreaming Conference, September 2005

What do we mean by “healing?” Who should do healing and how? What can we heal? Do you think it always seems best to heal a problem? Who do we heal? When, where, and why do we do it? What about special considerations for dream healing? Do healings have more effect when done in a very lucid dream? Would you like some examples of dream healing? We will address these questions in this workshop, as well as probe for more.

After considering many issues, I will ask you to format and perform a healing yourself. You could plan to do the healing in a dream and/or in waking physical reality (WPR), as a visualization or an acting-out process. By acting-out, I mean doing while awake what some people might plan to do in a dream. So, get ready to overcome some condition for yourself or someone you care for. The results may amaze you!

The dictionary has many definitions for “to heal.” These tell why we’d want to do a healing. A few of these include: to make sound or whole; to restore to health; and to cause an undesirable condition, which I will call a “problem,” to be overcome. Some words similar to the term “heal” include: cure, rehabilitate, treat, rejuvenate, alleviate, fix, relieve, or repair.

In deciding to do a healing, it helps to consider what the subject of the healing could now do as a result of a successful healing. For example, a person who has trouble even walking, due to a sprained ankle, could perhaps play a favorite sport again, if the ankle gets restored to health. Of course, a dream healing, as any kind of treatment, may only play a part of the healing process, or none at all. How we measure the effect of a healing becomes another area of investigation. The results may vary depending upon: the receptiveness of the subject; the ability, intent, and focus of the healer; the condition to heal; the appropriateness of the techniques; or other variables. Of course, healing can apply to problems other than physical ones.

What can we heal? Usually, we think of  healing our “problems,” or those of others. In certain cases, it might not best serve the subject of the healing to eliminate a problem. As an example, a doctor may not want to resuscitate a patient who asked ahead of time not to do so in certain situations. Also, some problems exist as symptoms of other problems, which should get fixed first. For example, one may first want to learn to eat and exercise better before getting a “tummy tuck.”

Therefore, when healing, perhaps we need to always ask for the “best possible outcome.” Many problems seem complex, and involve many aspects of our collective mind, bodies, and spirit. For purposes of examination, I will try to classify some problems that might need healing.

We can begin with problems of the physical body. We may want to heal an external problem, such as a cut, a burn, or other wound. We could also try to heal an internal problem involving our organs, bones, muscles, nerves, or other functions. Next, we need to consider emotional, mental, or spiritual problems, such as the pain of grief, depression, or of not seeming able to complete our goals or not feeling whole.

Who should do the healing and who should get healed? Perhaps only people who feel some connection to a higher-self should attempt to heal. We also need to consider the ethics and rights that come into play during the healing of those other than ourselves. Do we need another’s request or permission in order to try to heal them in WPR or in our dreams? If in a dream, do we ask the dream character, or do we need to wait and ask the WPR person represented? What if we’d like to heal our pet, a person who has died, or a more general situation, such as our country?

Who can we trust to assist in the healing? In dreams, for example, we may want to ask an expert to appear to help out, or even the subject’s alternate self or future self. What about asking a random character in a lucid dream to perform a healing? Perhaps anyone can heal in a dream.

How do we heal? Most people feel familiar with Western medicine, as well as other healing techniques, such as the use of herbs, acupuncture, chiropractics, or massage. In this workshop, I want to discuss healing techniques which get initiated from the mind or spirit, in particular “dream healing.” I have expanded this to include visualization and acting-out in WPR. These non-dreaming techniques prove useful to dream healers as well, because it helps to practice in WPR what one would like to do in a dream. Of course, many people believe that dream reality provides us with additional power or “connection to our essence.”

In “mind/spirit” healing, we can use all kinds of activities or props, including hands-on work, energy forms, such as sparks shooting from our fingertips at the subject of the healing, chants, affirmations, potions, experts, or alternative selves. Basically, we can use whatever we can imagine! Other techniques include seeing the subject in perfect form or just willing the problem away. Many times, merely facing the scary situation or going into the pain in a dream can result in a fabulous healing.

Sometimes, a healer may want to first ask questions, before going to sleep or in a lucid dream, about how the subject can best deal with the problem. The dreamer may hear the answer spoken directly or see it written on something, such as a book or a wall. Answers can also come indirectly through symbols, scenes, or activities. These can include, for example, discovering foods to eat or avoid, or finding one’s dream body sitting in a pool of warm water.

With dream healing, or other mind/spirit healing, come additional questions. Can what we imagine or dream actually affect our physical bodies or the bodies of others? If we heal another character from our dream, have we in some sense healed an aspect of our self? If we can heal in our dreams, does this mean we can also cause harm? Should healing come from our own dream body, other “expert” dream characters, or only the highest source, such as “God?” Should we make up techniques, such as chants, or use only historically proven techniques?

I speak from my own experience in saying that I believe that what we dream or imagine does affect WPR. At the Stanford Sleep Laboratory, when I dreamed of moving my dream body’s eyes in a particular manner, electrodes picked up same movement from my physical eyes. Also, when I went directly into my pain in my dreams, I got relief in WPR from various emotional issues, such as grief. My healing dreams also seemed to help remove WPR problems, such as neck pain, infertility, and uterine masses, to name a few. See the text, appendices, and references below for more details.

Most of the dream healing I have initiated occurred in lucid dream reality (LDR), or when I knew I was dreaming while I was dreaming and remembered my healing goal. Many times I did not a need a goal, but merely went along with the dream, without fear because of my lucidity, and I got a healing result.  However, I feel that even without lucidity, we can do the same with dream induction, visualization, or acting-out while in WPR.  Without ever getting lucid, one can ask for help with a problem in a dream before going to sleep and then accept what the dream offers. We can also consider a goal for a lucid dream as a type of dream induction. In my lucid dreaming/lucid living groups and workshops, I always ended each session with a guided visualization. After getting everyone still and relaxed, with their eyes closed, I would share an imagined scene and activity that usually included a healing. This helps non-lucid dreamers get a feeling for what can happen in a lucid dream.

I have used dream healing to help my own life, as well as others, in many ways. As a child, I helped end the suffering that came from nightmares by facing up to “the witches” in my first lucid dream. The witches remained terrifying while I said, “Let’s get this over with!” I said this without fear because I knew I was dreaming.

See: Reference 9

http://beverly.durso.org/Autobiography-Paper.html

As an adolescent, I felt less inhibited by trying out frightening or embarrassing situations in my dreams. When my best friend died, I dealt with my grief by talking to her in my dreams, even though I still felt uncomfortable talking to a “dead” person.

See: Reference 11

http://www.spiritwatch.ca/LL%204.2/The%20Representation%20of%20Death%20in%20My%20Dreams.htm

I started doing formal lucid dream healings almost twenty-five years ago. Stephen LaBerge, from the Stanford Sleep Laboratory, suggested that I try rubbing my hands together and shooting out healing energy from my fingers to my neck when I complained of a stiff neck one night in the lab. We had been doing an experiment for Smithsonian Magazine, I think. I remember that sparks shot out from my fingers, and my hair caught on fire. I spent the dream trying to put out the fire, and the reporters got a good example of losing lucidity in a dream! I later asked others in my dreams to work on my neck. One time, the first person I saw in an elevator, a janitor, rubbed my neck and it seemed to help me very much.

See: Reference 13

I have often used my hands and fingers to initiate dream healings on myself and others. Some time ago, I shot healing sparks at my dog in a dream to avoid any old-age problems. I feel pleased to say she turned fifteen this summer, a very old age for her breed. I did the same for my Mom while she lived and after she died, when she appeared to me in a dream as needing some healing. Lately, I have added more techniques to my healing repertoire, such as chants and questions.

When I felt needy and depressed, I used dreams to help me understand my problem and eventually solve it. Sometimes the problem got solved immediately in the dream. In my twenties,  I solved a writer’s block in a dream by letting myself get sucked into the “pit from hell.”  Afterwards, I felt able to complete my Ph.D. in WPR. To help me with the frustration of finding a mate in my thirties, I found my alternative selves in a dream and listened to their advice. In my forties, when I felt sad about not getting pregnant in WPR, I worked on the issue in my dreams by pulling my creative force, the witches of my childhood dreams, into my body. Soon afterwards, I had my son, now a healthy ten-year-old

See: Reference 4

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

In the year 2000, my mother had a sudden, massive stroke, and I became faced with taking her off life support. My life, as well as my dreams, became quite a struggle. I wrote a paper about how I dealt with my grief in my dreams, including surrendering to my now familiar “witches.”

See: Reference 5

http://beverly.durso.org/ASD2003_paper.html

This year, when my doctor discovered a uterine mass, I looked to my dreams to find out why it existed and what I could do to solve the problem. In one dream, colored, geometric figures came down from the sky shooting healing energy at me. That same day, my doctor found, through ultrasound, that the mass no longer existed.

See Appendix-5  (HEALING OF MY UTERINE MASS)

With minor injuries, I try to get optimum healing through actions in my dreams. My dreams told me that a second degree burn I received this summer needed to heal slowly. To assist, I chanted a “Harry Potter” spell and spontaneously shot yellow liquid at it in a dream. The burn appeared to get much better after the dream.

See Appendix-6 (HEALING OF LEG BURN)

Last month, a friend asked me to try to help her son, who has Perthes disease. I had a healing dream for him and he remembered getting a healing in his dream of the same night. He currently seems better than before the healing. I will use this dream for the pre-healing template and post-healing template examples in Appendices 2  and 4.

See Appendix-7 (HEALING FOR EN’S HIP)

To conclude this workshop, I’d like anyone interested to participate in a healing experiment as follows. Sometime during the next two days, decide upon a healing you would like to do. Consider all the issues that I have presented, as well as others that come up on this thread. I will include a pre-healing template for your goals to assist you.

If you’d like to share your goal, often an excellent way to help you succeed, you can post your completed pre-healing template on this thread. Although the conference attendees have agreed to confidentiality, do not share any information that you do not feel comfortable telling others. I have included an example of a completed pre-healing template, which shows that not all slots need to get filled in.

See:
Appendix-1 (PRE-HEALING TEMPLATE  and
Appendix-2 (PRE-HEALING TEMPLATE EXAMPLE)

Then, after you carry out the experiment, share how you felt doing it and any results you may have discovered. You can use the post-healing template to help you decide what to report. I have also included an example of a completed post-healing template.

See:
Appendix-3 (POST-HEALING TEMPLATE) and
Appendix-4 (POST-HEALING TEMPLATE EXAMPLE)

Continue the art of dream healing as often as you see fit and in whatever manner works best for you. Remember that sharing the process benefits us all!

___________________________________________________

APPENDICES

Appendix-1 PRE-HEALING TEMPLATE

Title:    _______________
WHO:
Healer(s):
Your Name (or initials)    _______
Additional Healers
Expert            _______
Alternative Self    _______
Source/Higher-Self    _______
Random Character    _______
Other            _______
Subject of Healing (Name or Initials)     __________
Permission?    ______
WHAT:
Part or System or Symptom
Physical
Internal    ________
External    ________
Emotional/Mental/Spiritual
Grief            __
Depression        __
Unfulfilled Desire    __
Other            __
WHEN:
Date:        _________
Time:        _________
Place (e.g. home in bed; city): _________
WHERE:
Reality of Healing
Induced Dream    ___
Lucid Dream        ___
Visualization        ___
Acting-out        ___
Other            ___
WHY:
Tell one positive action you hope the subject will feel able             to take as result of the healing:                                ______________________
______________________
HOW:
Planned Techniques
Question(s)    ___________________
___________________
Chant(s)
or Word(s)     _________________
Action(s)            _________________
Color(s)            _________________
Energy Form(s)    _________________
Other            _________________
___________________________________________________

Appendix-2 PRE-HEALING TEMPLATE  EXAMPLE

Title: Healing for EN’s Hip
WHO:
Healer: Beverly D’Urso or
Source  or
Whoever appears
Subject: EN
Permission: yes
WHAT:
Hip problem (Perthes’)
WHEN:
July 20, 2005
11 pm – 4am
Cabin bed; Arnold, CA
WHERE:
Induced and
Lucid dream and
Visualization and
Acting-out
WHY:
So, he can play his favorite sports
HOW:
Ask: “What can he, or his family, do to help his situation?”
Try: Energy shooting up and down his body from my fingertips
Chant: Scourgify
__________________________________________________

Appendix 3 (POST-HEALING TEMPLATE)

Title: ____________________
WHO:
Your Name (or initials)    __________
Who else appeared        __________
Subject of Healing         __________
Did the subject have any related dreams? ____
WHAT:
Summarize the dream or other process
or include your dream report
_____________________________________
_____________________________________
Did the subject appear as usual?    ___________
Scene: (inside, daytime, city, etc.)    ________________
Any symbols, energy forms, information, or unexpected         actions or objects?     ____________________________
____________________________
WHEN:
Did the timing occur as planned?      _________
Date:                    _________
Time:                    _________
Place (e.g., home in bed; city):    _________
WHERE:
Reality of Healing
If lucid dream, rate lucidity (Scale: 1- 5=highest)     ____
WHY:
Any reported change in the problem or the subject?                 ______________________
______________________
HOW:
What ended up happening as the healing?
_____________________________

___________________________________________________

Appendix 4 (POST-HEALING TEMPLATE  EXAMPLE)

Title: Healing for EN’s Hip
WHO:
Healer: Beverly D’Urso
No one else appeared to assist
Other children played nearby
Subject: EN
The subject dreamed he got healed in a video game with a character called Luigi. I dreamed of him saying “Ouija.”
WHAT:
See Appendix-7 (HEALING FOR EN’S HIP)
EN did not look exactly as he does in WPR, but he responded to his name
Outside, daytime, camp-like setting
Purple liquid looking like blood flowed out of tiny holes that appeared all over him
Thick yellow tasteless liquid comes out of my fingertips on a practice attempt
WHEN:
Six days after planned, just in time before a trip
7/26/2005
4am
Cabin bed; Arnold, CA
WHERE:
Acted-out during the week in WPR
Visualized every night
Lucid dream level 4
WHY:
EN did very well after the healing and did not ask for pain medicine during this past month, as he did before the healing
EN’s Mom says his problem could relate to blood problems at his birth, similar to something to he said in the dream
HOW:
I point my fingers toward his leg and say “scourgify.” I have the clear intention for the best possible outcome. To make sure I have reached his hip, I repeat the process up and down his whole body. I forgot to ask the planned question or anyone for help.

___________________________________________________

Appendix 5 (HEALING OF MY UTERINE MASS)

My Lucid Dream Geometric Healing Experience
by Beverly D’Urso

On Monday, March 7, 2005, I went in for a routine, annual gynecological  exam. During the exam, my doctor found that I had an “expanded uterus.” He immediately did an ultrasound test and determined that I had: “both a large cyst and a mass that looked like it might be a tumor.” He told me to return when I got my period to do another ultrasound test to see if my condition changed.

I decided that I would try to have a lucid dream about my condition. Often, I attempt “direct healing” in my lucid dreams. In this case, I might chant that I want the cyst and mass to disappear and zap my uterus with healing energy which usually comes from my fingertips. However, this time, I wanted to understand more about why the situation occurred after so many years of normal exams. I have had other uterine problems, but not for the last decade.

As a goal for my next lucid dream, I chose to ask some questions. I wanted to know precisely: “What message does this condition want me to know?” and “What can I do about it?” I also felt open to any healing that would occur naturally in my dreams. I practiced repeating these questions to myself during the day, when I first went to bed, and when I awoke in the middle of the night. However, I did not feel very well that week and did not even record my dreams for several nights. After recording dreams all my dreams on Sunday morning March 13th, I finally had some lucid dreams on Monday morning March 14th.

In an early dream, I ask dream characters, “What does my condition mean and what should I do about it?” They do not give me clear answers, so I decide to ask the “Source” to show me answers on the wall structure in front of us. I ask the two people to look at the wall as well. I immediately see these projected images.

The first image shows skeletons similar to the ones we had hanging on Halloween. I think they might represent death. Next, I see a  traffic scene. An ambulance and fire truck appear. Finally, an airplane comes smashing down from the sky onto a freeway. I ask the person next to me what she saw and she responds, “I saw the airplane crash in Chicago.” I tell her that I grew up near Chicago and ask her what she thinks it means. She says she feels too tired and that I need to ask her later. I respond that I need to wake up and write all this down.

The images  seem to represent: (1) my fear of a serious condition, (2) a sudden attempt at healing, and (3) a destruction of the unwanted condition. I continue to interpret these images in many ways.

In my dream of 6:45 am, my nine-year-old son, Adrian, and I find ourselves at a camp-like place. We have dinner and he spills some food or drink on me. I have on a levi skirt and a burnt orange sweater, both of which I would not wear these days in waking physical reality. We look for a bathroom and can only find an odd one.

Standing outside, we notice these huge geometric figures in five different colors hovering and circling over us in the sky. They seem as large as ocean liners. A turquoise colored one comes closest to me. It has the shape of two candy dishes pressed together. They all seemed to shoot a kind of energy on me which I experience as a healing. I become very relaxed and open to taking in this invisible energy. I would describe it best as a type of heat.

Adrian seems scared, but I tell him not to worry. I explain, “They came to heal me!” Afterwards, we go back to the strange bathroom, which apparently now works.

I obviously experienced a very direct healing. Notice that the bathroom, which often represents the area of my bladder and uterus, seemed “odd” at the start of this dream. By the end of the dream, the “bathroom worked.”

At 2:45 pm that same day, I went back to see my doctor. He did another ultrasound test searching for the cyst and the mass, but they did not exist any more. He found my uterus “no longer expanded, but completely normal and healthy.”

I later discovered an interesting connection between my “colored, geometric healing figures” and similar ones described in a book called: Through the Curtain by Viola Petitt Neal, Ph,D. and Shafica Karaguella, M.D. To summarize the book: Dr. Neal has lucid dreams where she attends classes that teach her about topics such as the “healing effects of geometric figures and different colors.”

See: Reference 12

Since this day, I have felt more relaxed and find that I can clear my mind more easily than before, especially when I visualize the turquoise figure or see images in my life that represent it. I have begun making a model of this figure. The day after the dream, I received two dinner containers that seem almost perfect for my model.

I have also taken much better care of myself physically after these dreams. I find it easier to exercise more and eat better. The message,  which I requested in my dreams, seems to have told me to “do what I can to remain as healthy as possible.”

Although these dreams had a powerful effect on me emotionally and physically, I can not say for certain what part they played objectively in the remarkable disappearance of the cyst and mass that the second ultrasound revealed.  Even so, I believe that they played a large part in my healing experience, and I feel very grateful that I had them.

See the original paper for more details, including the last dream of this night. In this dream, I find my childhood home getting rebuilt and later discover, unbeknown to me, it did get rebuilt in WPR at the time of the dream.

See: Reference 3

____________________________________________________

Appendix-6 (HEALING OF LEG BURN)

Lucid Healing Dream of my Leg Burn
by Beverly D’Urso

July 15, 2005 6:25 am PST

Task: To try to heal a second-degree burn on my right thigh that I got on June 27, 2005.

Plan: To use a “Harry Potter” chant that Ed Kellogg suggested: “Scourgify,” while pointing with the index and middle fingers of my right hand towards my burn.

I find myself at my childhood home at night. I go outside to explore, first at the side of the garage where I buried pets. Next, I go to the alley. When I decide to fly back inside, I realize I am dreaming.

Still in the back and side of the house, I quickly chant “scourgify” and point my index and middle finger of my right hand to my right knee. About a 3 inch diameter area raises up like a volcano about 2-3 inches high. The very tiny apex of the “bell-shaped” area appears red. An invisible force from my fingers  seems to pull the “volcano” up and out. Lemon-yellow, liquid-like substance surrounds the volcano, like a puddle of lava. (Later, I say it seemed the consistency of mustard or liquid soap.) I do not feel certain that the liquid came from my fingers, but it probably did. I call out “scourgify” several more times.

Soon, I realize that I have targeted my knee, somewhat below the burn on my thigh. I repeat the process pointing to my burn this time. The same volcano-like bump forms, with even more yellow “lava”. I add that I want “optimal” healing results.

I notice that I still feel very lucid and will remain in the dream. I fly into the backyard asking, “What should I be doing in my life?” I see a large screen with moving pictures of organisms, amoeba or bacteria. I don’t understand what this means, so I go inside the house to ask people.

I see many people milling about. I single out a old, short, Chinese man wearing a costume. He has a patch over his eye and acts like a philosopher. At this time, I am running my hand over my burn trying to and heal it again. The man begins to write out a list on a tablet, or large pad, of what I should do in my life. I look over to read it and say something like, “Oh, basically you want me to “wing it.”

Later, I read online that “wing it” means to do something with little preparation. It comes “from the theater, where impromptu performances were given by actors who received prompts from the wings.”

In WPR, my friend told me that she felt concerned that my burn looked awful and did not seem to get any better between July 2nd and July 8th. When she saw it again, four days after the Scourgify experiment on July 19th, she couldn’t believe how well it looked, like a “small pink heart.”

____________________________________________________

Appendix-7 (HEALING FOR EN’S HIP)

Lucid Healing Dream for EN
by Beverly D’Urso

July 26, 2005

Task: To try to heal EN, the seven-year-old son of a friend, who has Perthes’ disease. It affects his hip by not allowing blood to flow to his hip properly.

Plan: To chant “Scourgify” (a Harry Potter spell) while pointing my index and middle fingers at his body. I previously talked to him and his Mom about performing a lucid dream healing and they agreed to it.

In this dream, I find myself in a camp-like setting during the daytime. I am standing in an open structure, such as a barn. I remember that I am dreaming. Because EN does not appear near me in the dream, I decide to try the healing actions as if he stands invisible in front of me, making this a practice session. I point my index and middle fingers straight out in front of me and say “scourgify.” Not having an object, forces me to look at my fingers. I see that a sticky, thick yellow liquid emanates from the pads of my fingers. I decide to put my fingers to my mouth and discover the taste of the yellow stuff. As I do this, the stuff turns green. Its consistency stays the same, and I do not notice any flavor.

Next, I see a group of children outside and decide to find EN. I look around and call out his name. I find him in the middle of a group of other children, who soon separate. I say to him, “It’s Beverly. I am here to do the dream healing we talked about.” He recognizes me, so I point my fingers toward his leg and say “scourgify.” I have the clear intention for the best possible outcome. To make sure I have reached his hip, I repeat the process up and down his whole body.

At this point, I see he has about a half a dozen small holes all over his body. A dark-purple, watery, liquid squirts out of them. Thinking that this shows his blood flowing, I ask, “Why are you bleeding?” He says he’ll have to consult the Ouija board. I feel surprised that he knows of Ouija boards. He says he used it when he was born. I return to WPR and have a series of false awakenings of both trying to record the dream and of calling EN’s Mom.

When I do call his Mom in the morning, I find that they plan to leave town the next day for a month. I had been trying to attempt this goal for about a week. I tell EN’s Mom the dream and she tells me that she has wondered if his disease might relate to blood problems he had at birth.

She then asks EN if he had any dreams. He reports that he dreamed he was in a video game, got hurt, and was instantly healed. One of the characters in the video game he played has the name “Luigi”, which sounds almost exactly like “Ouija!” EN did very well after the healing and did not ask for pain medicine this past month, as he did before the healing

___________________________________________________

REFERENCES

1.    “Publications,” D’Urso, Beverly (Kedzierski Heart).

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

2.    “Lucid Dream Healings,”  A collection of   reports, Kellogg III, E.W.

http://www.asdreams.org/documents/1999_kellogg_lucid-healing.htm

3.    “My Lucid Dream Geometric Healing Experience,”  D’Urso, Beverly (Kedzierski Heart),  The Lucid Dream Exchange, Number 35, 2005.      [Also in E.l.e.c.t.r.i.c   D.r.e.a.m.s,     Volume #12,   Issue #8,  August 2005.]

4.    ”Dream Speak: An Interview with Beverly (Kedzierski Heart) D’Urso: A Lucid Dreamer – Part One, Two and Three”, The Lucid Dream Exchange, Numbers 29, 30, and 31, 2003 – 2004.
[Also in E.l.e.c.t.r.i.c   D.r.e.a.m.s, Volume #11,   Issue #7,8,9, 2004.]

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

5.  “Witches, the House, and Grief: Developing and Avoiding Lucid Dreaming”, D’Urso, Beverly (Kedzierski Heart,) Paper at the Association for the Study of Dreams (ASD)  Conference 2003, Berkeley, CA, June, 2003 (Available as an audio tape from ASD.)

http://beverly.durso.org/ASD2003_paper.html

6.    ”A Look at Lucid Dreams and Healing,” Waggoner, Robert, The Lucid Dream Exchange, Selected Articles on Lucid Dreaming, 2003.

http://www.dreaminglucid.com/articlehealing.html

7.    Healing Dreams: Exploring the Dreams that can Transform your Life, Barasch, Marc, Riverhead Books (Penguin Putnam Inc.), New York, 2000.

8.    ”I learned to use my dreams to improve my life”, about  D’Urso, Beverly (Kedzierski Heart), First for Women Magazine, Volume 8, Issue 26, June 24, 1996.

9.    ”Facing the Witches”,  Heart,  Beverly (Kedzierski D’Urso), Autobiography Paper, February, 1992.

http://beverly.durso.org/ASD2003_paper.html

10.    Dreams & Healing: Expanding the Inner Eye, Winsor, Joan, Dodd, Mead & Company, New York, 1987.

11.    ”The Representation of Death in my Dreams”, Kedzierski, Beverly (Heart D’Urso), Lucidity Letter,  Dream Lucidity and Death,  Volume 4  Number 2,  December, 1985.

http://www.spiritwatch.ca/LL%204.2/The%20Representation%20of%20Death%20in%20My%20Dreams.htm

12.    Through the Curtain, Neal, Viola Petitt  and Karaguella, Shafica, Devorss Publications, Marina del Rey, CA, 1983.

13.    ”You’re dreaming, but do you know it?”, (including Kedzierski,  Beverly (Heart D’Urso)), Smithsonian,  August, 1982.

14.    Dreams and Healing, Sanford, John A., Paulist Press, New York, 1978.

___________________________________________________

Dr. Beverly (Kedzierski Heart) D’Urso, an “extraordinary” lucid dreamer all her life, originally worked with Dr. Stephen LaBerge at Stanford. Numerous major magazines, such as LIFE, Smithsonian, and OMNI, television specials, books, and radio talk shows have featured her life and her dreams. Using her practical philosophy called lucid living, she has taught her own workshops and presented at conferences for decades. Working with Stanford University Professors, she completed her Masters degree in 1980, involving Cognitive Psychology, and her Ph.D. in 1983, focussing on Artificial Intelligence. Prior to working as a researcher, consultant, and a college professor, she created several startup companies. Dr. D’Urso has over fifty publications and has won several awards, including first place in this year’s IASD Dream Telepathy contest.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010 Categorized under Lucid Dreaming

Extreme Dreaming: First Hand Reports from Lucid X-Dreamers

Extreme Dreaming: First Hand Reports from Lucid X-Dreamers

by
Beverly (Kedzierski Heart) D’Urso, Ph.D.,
Copyright (c) 2004

Panel at the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD) Conference 2005, Berkeley, June, 2005.

Welcome to the session on:

Extreme Dreaming: First Hand Reports from Lucid X-Dreamers

Today we have four long-term lucid dreamers discuss our decades of experience, insight, and perspective on lucid dreaming.

Besides some techniques, the panel intends to focus on interesting, unusual and thought-provoking examples. They hope to inspire and encourage beginners, as well as experienced lucid dreamers, to reach past their boundaries.

Ed Kellogg earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Duke University. A proficient lucid dreamer, he has a long-standing interest in the phenomenology of dreaming.

He has presented numerous papers and workshops on such topics as the lucidity continuum, lucid dream healing, and mutual dreaming. In 2002, 2003, and 2004 Ed organized and hosted  ASD’s online PsiberDreaming Conferences, and he plans another in September.

Robert Waggoner began lucid dreaming in 1975.  He co-edits and writes for The Lucid Dream Exchange, and other dream publications.  A member of IASD since 1995, he serves as Treasurer.

Lucy Gillis has been lucid dreaming for over 15 years. She co-edits, publishes, and writes for The Lucid Dream Exchange.

She has also written articles for other publications, a short book on dream interpretation, and has contributed to a book on sleep paralysis.

I call myself Beverly (Kedzierski Heart) D’Urso. A lucid dreamer most all my life, I did research on the topic in the late 1970’s and 1980’s with Dr. Stephen LaBerge at Stanford.  Numerous media specials have featured my work. I have led workshops, have over 30 dream publications, presented at ASD conferences since 1986, and have been writing a book on Lucid Dreaming/Lucid Living.

For today, we have all determined ten questions in which different panel members will speak briefly in different orders and amounts. We will then open up the session for questions, comments and discussion during the last 20 – 30 minutes.

1.  Discuss your favorite lucid dream

You can view my favorite lucid dream as a Saga that started with my First Lucid Dream called the Witches.  You can find out more about these dreams, and others, on my web site www.durso.org/beverly.

As a quick summary, when I was about five years old,  I found gruesome witches in my nightmares who would sneak out and come after me. Just as they were about to devour me,  I’d wake up.

After years of this same recurring dream, I’d find myself pleading, with the witches hovering over me, “Please, spare me tonight.  You can have me in tomorrow’s night’s dream!”  At that point, they’d stop their attack and I’d wake up.

I would often lie in bed and tell myself that the witches only came in my dreams, while I was safe in bed. I tried to get myself to remember this the next time they appeared.

In one dream, when I was about seven years old, those horrifying witches caught up to me. 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 this  must be a dream!”

I completely faced my fear, knowing it was a dream.  I looked the witches, who still looked very scary, straight in the eye and said, “What do you want?”  They gave me a disgusting look, but I knew I was safe in a dream.

I continued, “Take me now.  Let’s get this over with!”  I watched with amazement, as they quickly disappeared into the night.

I need to point out that some lucid dreamers may have turned the witches into something less scary.  I believe that my choice of surrendering to my fear and controlling only my reaction, served as an excellent choice for my first lucid dream.

I never had the witch nightmare in this form  again!  However, I would later have new episodes with the witches in my dreams and discover similar witch scenarios in my waking life, some of which I talked about in my workshop at the ASD conference in 1997.

In the 1970’s, I looked for the witches of my childhood in a dream, and they appeared as harmless, little old ladies. In the 1980’s, I noticed that a similar witch drama appeared in my waking life as well.

In 1994, doctors gave me terrible odds against having a child. So, I looked for the witches in a lucid dream, thinking of them as my “creative power,” and I brought them into my uterus. Within a year, I got pregnant with my son, Adrian who this week turned ten years old.

In 2002, right before I needed to sell my childhood home, I spontaneously dreamed that I found the witches in it. I surrendered to them again, and they pulled me under the closet door, where they came from.  I merged with the witches and the biggest fears of my childhood were resolved.

In my dreams, my fear was to go with the witches.  In life, my fear was my mother’s death which occurred on Christmas Day 2000.  At last, I felt I could sell the house, and I felt that I had healed quite a bit from my mother’s death when I finally went with the witches.

In the last dream I had of my childhood home, I flew out the picture window like a powerful witch. I discussed these dreams at the ASD conference in 2003.

My most recent attempt to work with the witches just occurred on March 7th of this year. I tried to find them in a lucid dream to help me heal a uterine mass my doctor found.

One of these dreams seems to have succeeded. and is written up in the latest issue of the LDE. I plan to demonstrate it at the Dream Ball on Tuesday night.

At this time, I also had a verified precognitive, or PSI dream, where I correctly determined the current state of my childhood home where the witches live!

If any of you remember, for my very first Dream Ball at the ASD conference in Charlottesville, VA. in 1986, I dressed as one of these witches.

So, the witches are still definitely a part of my life that I treasure, as I do all of my lucid dreams.

2.  Describe the levels of lucidity

I personally believe in levels of lucidity, as a spectrum. I would say I am partially lucid, if I just remember to question if I am dreaming.  I’d call myself definitely lucid, if I know I am dreaming for sure.

I consider myself very lucid, if I can control or change things in the dream, not that I always do. Finally, when I am most lucid, I often do not experience a body, nor any environment, but I have a very powerful, spiritual-like experience.

3.  Discuss false awakenings, remaining in the dream, changing dream scene, waking yourself up, etc.

With false awakenings, sometimes, I would ‘wake up’ ten or twenty times in a row, but usually the time it took me to realize that I was still dreaming shortened exponentially. For example, I would realize I was still dreaming when I left the house for the day in a dream.

The next time, in a similar dream, I would recognize I was still dreaming earlier, when I was in the shower, and so on. Finally, I would still be in bed, waking up, when I’d realize I was still in a dream. I have gotten better at recognizing false awakenings through the years.

In order to go into a dream scene as a child, I would lay in bed imagining myself doing backward summersaults and float right into my dream, without ever losing consciousness, as I fell asleep. I can change the dream scene, and even how to repeat the same dream, in a similar way. Sometimes, I would change the ending of a particular dream several times. I also figured out how to stay in a dream, if I felt I was waking up. I focus on the visuals or my own emotions.

As a child, I made up ways to wake myself up from dreams, such as staring at bright street lights in the dream, whenever I wanted to end a dream. I have also tried going to sleep in the dream, which can wake me up. If I have trouble waking up, I relax and meditate through any gray or black space.

4.  How have you challenged yourself in lucid dreams?

I gave myself challenges throughout my life, first with the witches I described, but also in most of the estimated 20,000 lucid dreams of my life so far!

I often dream of loved ones who died and I also occasionally try to find them. I travel to other places and time periods or try to heal myself and others. I like to attempt mutual dreams with my students and friends, especially Ed Kellogg here. For decades, I also tried many lucid dream tasks for experiments at the Stanford Sleep Laboratory.

A great example of this type of dreaming is when I was asked to do a lucid dreaming experiment at the lab for the television show 20/20. I consider this my favorite lab dream.

While being hooked up to electrodes used to verify my sleeping brain waves, I sat next to Hugh Downs, the host of the show. I had known him from television since I was a child. He wanted to try his luck at becoming lucid in his dreams that night.

I became lucid easily that night, finding myself in a bed that looked like the one in the lab where I had fallen asleep. Because I did not have a specific task that night other than signaling lucidity, I got the idea to head towards Oakland and maybe make it to a scheduled Grateful Dead concert. I got half way there, when I remembered that I was being filmed for a national television show. One of my goals was to bring Hugh Downs flying.

I turned around midair and quickly flew back to the Stanford Sleep Lab. I looked for what I thought would be the wall of Hugh’s room. I nudged him on the side and said, “Hugh, wake up! I have come to take you flying.” He seemed very sleepy, so I took his hand, and I gently pulled him out of bed.

We got to the coliseum just as the Grateful Dead were playing on stage. Because we were like ghosts, it was easy to merely float right over the band, in fact, directly over the lead guitar player, Jerry Garcia’s, head. We had the best location in the place, and the music sounded especially clear and vibrant.

The next morning, I asked Hugh if he remembered any dreams. Unfortunately, he didn’t, but he seemed very pleased when I told him mine. The reporters interviewed me, but as far as I know the segment was never shown.

I will speak about another interesting laboratory dream that demonstrated the world’s first recorded sexual orgasm during my session on Monday at 1:45 pm called the Ethics of Dream Sex.

5.  Do your lucid dreams ever seem more real that WPR?

I have had lucid dreams where they seem more real that WPR. This is difficult to explain in WPR. Sometimes, they include “seeing more,” such as simultaneously seeing the back and front side of an object. Of course, many of my lucid dreams have extremely vivid and clear visuals, sounds, and emotions.

I have also been known to do experiments in the lucid dream world, where I wake myself up, perform a task in WPR, and then go back into the same dream and ask technicians what they saw happening.

6.   Describe the unusual physics of lucid dreams

My flying dreams best illustrate the unusual physics of my dreams. I refer you to a description of these dreams in a LDE interview I did in 2003, which you can read on my web site.

Briefly, I learned to fly in different ways in my dreams. Usually, I would be lucid. I started out flying like a little bird, having to flap my wings to stay up. This could take much effort. As I grew up, I discovered that I could fly like superman, soaring effortlessly through the air, arms first.

At some point, I must have hit some telephone wires or some other barrier because I fell. I soon realized that because it was my dream, I could fly right through physical objects of any kind. I also realized that it was my mind that created the telephone wires to begin with!

After decades of flying, I noticed that the only thing that could stop me was if I ignored a character in order to hurry off flying somewhere else.

I had fun flying through walls and even deep into the earth. As I matured in my lucid dreaming skills, I could eliminate flying by merely imagining that where I wanted to go was right behind me. This soon got boring, and I went back to flying for the simple pleasure it brought me.

However, lately, I have been doing what I call “surrender flying.’” I lean back, and I let an invisible force pull me upwards from my heart area. This is a very ecstatic sensation, and it often leads me to places of great peace and power, which remain with me even after I wake up.

7.  Did you ever visit any possible parallel or probable realities in dreams?

When I was thirty-seven years old, I wanted to find a mate, get married, and have children. During the Christmas holidays, while visiting my parents, I had the following dream. I met up with myself at the age of twenty-one, who was sad because she was about to leave her college boyfriend, so she could travel and have a career.

I told my twenty-one year old self that I had done those things. I said that I now wanted a husband and children. She introduced me to my alternative self, who was also 37, and who had married my college boyfriend. They had three children, and now she wanted to divorce him. My twenty-one year old self and I decided that everything was as it should be.

Finally, I woke up. As I am writing down the dream, I hear an inner voice, as if from a future self, who says, “Everything is perfect as it is!” I finally believed it. I trusted that I would find my perfect mate, when the time was right. I didn’t need not worry about it. Eventually, I decided that if life is a dream, then my dreams would come true, and they did when I met and married my perfect mate. We have been married for almost twelve years.

8.  Talk about surrender vs control in lucid dreams or other spiritual aspects of lucid dreaming?)

Many people criticize lucid dreaming because they assume that lucid dreams must involve control. They fear losing what the dream was trying to show them.

In my lucid dreams, I feel free to go wherever my imagination takes me and I take care to balance surrender and control. By surrender, I do not mean “to give up”, but rather “to go with the flow.” I feel that I can have lucid dreams without control taking place.

Controlling my own reactions, or the action, characters, or environment in my dreams can indicate that I have reached a definite level of lucidity, but I can still have a lucid dream without control. At times, it helps to take some control of the action in the dream, for example, when I want to carry out goals.

I get power by surrendering to my lucid dreams. I may still have control of my own reactions, but not necessarily of what happens to me. For example, I am not automatically fearful when scary things happens. I can face up to them while they remain terrifying. I only need to remain conscious that I dream.

Being lucid, allows me to have less fear, to see more possibilities, and to see myself as one with the whole dream environment. With lucidity, I have more choices. In other words, I don’t need to change a monster. I can look it in the eye without fear and find out what it wants.

I like to surrender to my lucid dreams and totally experience my emotions. For example, I pass into and right through fear. I find this one of the most valuable lessons that lucid dreaming has taught me, which I can apply to my waking life, as well.

Here is an example of how, in graduate school, I solved a “writer’s block” in a lucid dream, where I used both control and surrender. In the dream, I found myself lying in bed, with my desk in the wrong place. I became lucid and headed for my computer to start writing. I found that I could not move and felt paralyzed.

Using control, I told myself, “This is my dream, and I can do what I want! ” I slowly made it to the desk. I looked down, and I saw that the chair seat had become “the pit to hell.” Flames swept up, and it sounded and smelled awful! However, I felt determined to succeed.

Holding my breath, I sat down, ready to get sucked into the pit. I did not change the scene, but surrendered to it. After I woke up, within a very short time, I finished writing my Ph.D. dissertation.

I have more examples of surrender and control in my 2004 Psiberdreaming Conference paper called: Over the Waterfall and Gently Down the Stream: Surrendering to the Lucid Dream also on my web site.

9.  Have you tried to fly as high or as deep as possible with unusual results?

I’ll begin with an dream of traveling deep down into the ocean. I had a lucid dream where I was flying over a river near my childhood home, when a cartoon figure of a dolphin floated in front of me. The dolphin danced around, and then asked me if I’d like to go on an adventure.

After putting out its fin for me to hold onto, it proceeded to pull me down into the ocean, which was now where the river had previously been. Something similar had happened to me with a whale shark, in the waking state, while I was scuba diving a few years before this.

The dolphin and I traveled deeper and deeper, faster and faster. I felt both ecstatic and somewhat dizzy, almost as though the experience were too intense. I woke up, however, feeling fantastic; very peaceful, yet energized.

Coincidentally, a year or so later, I ended up giving a lucid dreaming/lucid living workshop on board a sailboat in the Bahamas and a WPR dolphin actually rubbed against me while swimming.

Here’s an example of a lucid dream where I fly as high as possible. I appeared in a lucid dream with nothing physical around me, so I decided that I would fly in the direction that seemed up and merge with the sun.

I sped upwards like superman, accelerating rapidly until, about half way there, I heard a great sound. It was very intense, and yet blissful. I felt extremely lucid for the next several days in both my waking and sleeping states.

I had a similar  experience when I tried to fly to infinity and beyond in a lucid dreaming experiment for the LDE, which you can find in a recent issue.

10.  Have you learned how to act more lucidly in your waking life?

When I view my waking life as a dream, a dream in which I know I am dreaming (to various degrees, of course), I call this lucid living.  I feel that waking life may seem ‘real’ and unlike a ‘dream,’ merely because I lack lucidity, just as non-lucid dreams can feel like physical reality, until I become lucid.

I always try to view life as an “actual dream” and not to merely use lucid living as a therapy or philosophy. The assumptions that come from viewing life as a dream can be very powerful and I know can expand what we feel is possible in life.

If I look at waking life as a dream, then I can also use lucid dreaming techniques that I learned from my sleeping dream experiences, to more easily become lucid or “conscious” in my waking life.

So, when lucid in waking life, I can become more “free”, have fun, accomplish goals, feel connected, and maybe even experience magic in my waking life, as I have in my sleeping lucid dreams.

In lucid living, I think of our physical selves as dream selves in a dream called “waking life.” I also imagine a Dreamer who is dreaming our lives. Sometimes, I view this Dreamer as some “Being” asleep in a bed in another dimension.

Other times, I view the Dreamer as a nonphysical “God” or an all-encompassing, collective “Mind.” I guess there could be levels of Dreamers as well.

Either way, when I am lucid in waking life, I sense a connection to this Dreamer, whom I sometimes call our Higher-Self. I begin to respond to things from the perspective of this Dreamer.

As in a lucid sleeping dream, I feel “safe,” I believe in “limitless possibilities”, and I see everyone in waking life as “one” or “parts of a whole.”

Here are a few examples of how I have become lucid in my waking life. Once, during an argument with my cousin, I suddenly stopped to think, “If I look at this as a dream right now, then my cousin actually expresses a part of the Dreamer and I need to listen.

At that exact moment I acted from the perspective of the Dreamer,  she actually started to explain how our points of view seemed related instead of opposed.

Another time, a boy friend was yelling and hovering over me like the witches from my sleeping dreams. I noticed the similarities to the witch nightmares, and I saw this as a pattern in my life.

The situation actually happened in the same physical place in my house with different boyfriends. This time, I faced up to my friend, like I faced up to the witches, and my friend suddenly stopped, walked away, and the pattern in my life ended, in the same way my witch nightmares ceased.

You can read about these examples in my 2002 Psiberdreaming Conference paper called: From Lucid Dreaming to Lucid Living.

I believe that my marriage, my child, my degrees, my career, and my amazing adventures, too numerous to mention, are all examples of how lucid living has assisted me in having such an incredible and diverse life.

I could go on and on about lucid living and I hope to talk to many of you about it during the rest of this conference. I hope the everyone else will read my future book on Lucid Dreaming/Lucid Living currently called We Dream NOW.

We have to close now, but thank you from all of us for participating and pleasant X-dreaming!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010 Categorized under Lucid Dreaming, Test

Over the Waterfall and Gently Down the Stream: Surrendering to the Lucid Dream

Over the Waterfall and Gently  Down the Stream: Surrendering to the Lucid Dream

by Beverly (Kedzierski Heart) D’Urso      Copyright (c) 2004

Presentation for the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD) PsiberDreaming Conference, September 2004

In my lucid dreams, I feel free to go  wherever my imagination takes me (see Appendix 1: Definitions  of Lucid Dreaming.) I take care to balance surrender and control.  By surrender I do not mean “giving up”, but rather “going with the  flow.” Controlling my own reactions, or the action, characters, or  environment in my dreams can indicate that I have reached a definite  level of lucidity, but I can still have a lucid dream without control  (see Appendix 2: Characteristics of Lucid Dreaming.) At times, it  helps to take some control of the action in the dream – for example,  when I want to carry out goals.

I gain power by surrendering to my lucid dreams.  Although I may  still control my own reactions, I do not  control what happens to  me. For example, I do not automatically feel fearful when scary things  happen. I can face up to them while they remain terrifying. I only need  to remain conscious that I dream. This allows me to have less fear, to  see more possibilities, and to see myself as one with the whole dream  environment. With lucidity, I have more choices.  For example, I  don’t need to change a monster. I can look it in the eye without fear  and find out what it wants.

Although I focus on maintaining awareness of dreaming rather than  control in my lucid dreams, I do not call my lucid dreaming  “witnessing” as such. I find myself fully “in the dream and  yet not of it,” meaning that I know while dreaming that part of my self  exists outside of the dimension of the dream. To me, witnessing  would feel like watching a movie or a play. Participating in a  lucid dream feels like acting in a play in perfect character,  having all the character’s feelings and consequences, while still  identifying myself as an actor, and possibly the producer and director  as well.

I like to surrender to my lucid dreams and totally experience my  emotions. For example, I pass into and right through fear. I find this  one of the most valuable lessons that lucid dreaming has taught me,  which I can apply to my waking life, as well.

I will now describe some lucid dream scenarios, as well as life  scenarios from my work in Lucid Living, where surrender has paid off.

In my first lucid dream at age seven, I faced up to terrifying witches  from recurring nightmares. (see Appendix 3: My Witches Dream.)  Some lucid dreamers may have first turned the witches into something  less scary before dealing with 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 learned to deal with the witches again in very powerful  ways, as I will describe later.

Since childhood, I have also learned to develop my flying skills in my  lucid dreams. These dreams taught me that surrender, rather than  control, often works best. Usually, I would find myself lucid in my  flying dreams. I started out flying like a little bird, having to flap  my wings to stay up. This could take much effort. As I grew up, I  discovered that I could fly like superman, soaring effortlessly through  the air. At some point, I must have hit some telephone wires, or some  other barrier, because I fell. I soon realized that because I knew I  dreamed, I could fly right through physical objects of any kind. I had  fun flying through walls and even deep into the earth. Of course, this  took some control.

As I matured in my lucid dreaming skills, I could eliminate flying  altogether by merely imagining where I wanted to go and have the place  appear right behind me. Lately, I do what I call surrender flying.  I lean back and let an invisible force pull me upwards from my heart  area. This feels very ecstatic. It also often leads me to places of  great peace and power, which remain with me even after I wake up. Again,  I find value in surrendering to the lucid dream.

When I first began to have lucid dreams with characters who have died in  life, I remembered the value of facing my fear and surrendering to the  dream. I learned to stay in the lucid dreams that I had of my teenage  friend who had died and talk to her. It took me time to get accustomed  to hearing her voice and not waking myself up because I felt scared of  talking to a dead person. Finally, I learned to ask her questions, and  eventually, listen to her answers. I felt very relieved to connect with  her this way. Since then, I have regularly had lucid dreams of many  other people who have died in life, including both my parents.

In graduate school, I solved a “writer’s block” in a lucid dream,  where I used both control and surrender. In the dream, I found myself  lying in bed, with my desk in the wrong place. I became lucid and headed  for my computer to start writing. I found that I could not move and felt  paralyzed. Using control, I told myself, “This is my dream, and I  can do what I want! ” I slowly made it to the desk. I looked down,  and I saw that the chair seat had become “the pit to hell.” Flames  swept up, and it sounded and smelled awful! However, I felt determined  to succeed. Holding my breath, I sat down, ready to get sucked into the  pit. I did not change the scene, but surrendered to it. After I woke up,  within a very short time, I finished writing my Ph.D. dissertation.

Another time, I tried a mutual dream experiment of trying to find  one of my students in a lucid dream. At the start of my dream that  night, I saw a neighbor, whom I knew had died, and I became lucid. In  previous dreams, I would see her and say, “You’re dead!!” and  would then immediately try to accomplish my goal. She would get upset  and say, “I’m here now, so talk to me!” Unless I did, I learned  that I would have trouble completing my goal. My need to control the  action in my dream caused me problems. So this time, I first stopped to  talk to my neighbor. Afterwards, I easily found my student in the dream  and succeeded in my part of the mutual lucid dream experiment.

Merging with other aspects of the dream demonstrates another great form  of surrender and “letting go of fear,” as well. In one lucid dream,  I found myself alone in front of a campfire. I took this as another  surrender challenge and stepped right into the center of the roaring  fire, directly experiencing any existing fear. Having fun, I decided to  try eating the flames. Interestingly enough, they tasted salty.

In another lucid dream, I appeared with nothing physical around me, so I  decided that I would fly up and merge with the sun. I sped upwards like superman, accelerating rapidly until I heard a great sound about half  way there. It sounded very extreme, yet blissful. I had merged with a  black void. Although initially I had control concerning this goal, after  a while I had to surrender to this intense experience rather than resist  it. I knew I would get overwhelmed and would wake myself up if I  didn’t. I felt very lucid for the next several days in both my  sleeping and my waking states.

In my thirties, I had a life goal of getting married and having a  family. In one lucid dream, I met up with myself at the age of  twenty-one. She felt sad leaving her college boyfriend so she could  travel and have a career. In the dream, I told my twenty-one year old self that I had done those things. I said that I now wanted a husband  and children. She introduced me to what she called my “alternate  self,” also thirty-seven years old, who had married my college  boyfriend. They had three children and now she wanted to divorce him. My  twenty-one year old self and I decided that everything “was as it should be.” When I woke up and wrote down the dream, I heard an inner  voice, as if from a future self, who said, “Everything’s perfect  as it is! Surrender to the present!” I finally believed it.

I trusted I would eventually find my perfect mate at the right moment,  surrendering to the thought that if I viewed life as a dream, then my  dreams would come true. When I met my husband, I completely surrendered  to what became my most lucid life experience. I stayed in the present  moment continuously, without fear, and with total trust. I remained with  him and totally focused on him, while part of me observed our  interaction. I believed in magic, while accepting whatever happened. I  listened to him and reacted to him as truly part of myself. Married for  over eleven years, I still see him as my perfect mate.

In 1994, doctors gave my husband and I extreme odds against having a  child. I decided to work on the issue in my dreams. I looked for the  witches in a lucid dream, now thinking of them as my “creative  power.” Even though they still looked very scary, I faced my fears  directly and spontaneously brought them into my uterus. Note that I took  control by looking for them, yet surrendered by bringing them into my  body, which I had not planned. Within a year, I got pregnant with my son  Adrian, now nine years old.

My mother died on Christmas morning of the year 2000, after a sudden,  massive stroke and my life, as well as my dreams, became quite a  struggle. I really had to surrender to both at this point. I resigned to  taking my mother off life support and my dreams helped take me through  my grief.

A year and a half after my mother’s death, I needed to sell my childhood  home. I wondered if I could surrender to this task. Spontaneously, I  dreamed that I found the witches in the bedroom of my childhood home. I  surrendered to them again, and they pulled me under the closet door  where they came from. I merged with the witches and resolved the biggest  fears of my childhood. In my dreams, I feared going with the witches. In  life, I feared my mother’s death. At last, I could sell the house, and  I felt that I had healed quite a bit from my grief. In the next dream of  my childhood home, I flew out the picture window like a powerful witch!

Surrendering to my lucid dreams has often given me more power than  control. However, I still try to balance the two, as one would balance  the male and female, or yin and yang aspects of one’s self.

Appendix 1: Definitions of Lucid Dreaming

With lucid dreaming you have awareness that you dream  while asleep and dreaming. You may think of the dreamer as you,  or your physical body’s mind, although I would not say that the  brain contains the mind. In a lucid dream, I feel more present  than in a non-lucid dream, bringing my whole self into the experience. I  know that I exist as more than my dream body and can identify the source  of myself as outside of the dream or inside the dreamer.

One can also describe lucidity as what happens when a dream  character’s mind connects with the mind of the dreamer. The mind of  the dream character has expanded. The dream character can now remember  and act upon the goals, memory, and thoughts of the dreamer. For  example, your dream character can remember goals that you may have set  up to do in the dream before you went to sleep. The dream character and  the dreamer can then co-create the dream, although the dreamer may still  have intentions not known by the dream character, even in lucidity.  Therefore, we can see the value of both control, in helping direct the  dream, and surrender, in accepting the unexpected.

Appendix 2: Characteristics of Lucid Dreaming

Some people never remember their dreams, some remember them awhile after  waking up, and some remember them just after or before they awaken. Lucid dreamers “remember” the dream while the immersed within the  dream. They do not necessarily analyze the dream or look for symbols,  but directly and consciously experience the dream, shortening the time  it takes to realize they dream. To me, lucid dreaming does not mean  merely “visualizing” or “daydreaming”. I do not think of it as  “clear” dreaming, or even “controlled” dreaming, necessarily, if  you did not have the awareness that you dreamed at the time.

I personally believe in levels of lucidity, which fall on a  spectrum. I do not see lucid dreaming and non-lucid dreaming as binary  states. In other words, we cannot call a dreamer merely lucid or  non-lucid. I call myself partially lucid, if I merely remember to  question if I currently dream. I’d call myself definitely lucid,  if I know for sure that I dream while I dream. I consider myself very  lucid, if I can control or change things in the dream, not that I  always do. Finally, when most lucid, I often do not experience a  body, but more of a black void or a white light, where I have powerful,  spiritual-like experiences.  You can find my spectrum discussed in:  “What I ultimately learned from Lucid Dreaming is Lucid  Living” and a somewhat different spectrum, but more detailed one,  in Ed Kellogg’s paper:  The Lucidity Continuum (see References.)

Keep in mind that frequent lucid dreamers may not have much lucidity in  their dreams, while occasional lucid dreamers may have a high degree of  lucidity. Non-lucid dreamers also vary quite a bit. Some have tried to  get lucid and couldn’t. Others never heard of lucid dreaming, so they  don’t know if they could do it. Some really want to have lucid dreams  and make it a struggle. Others just don’t care about becoming lucid.

I don’t feel that lucid dreaming really takes effort, but instead,  motivation. One does not need to make lucid dreaming difficult. People  may not succeed in becoming lucid because, for example, they don’t  start with simple enough tasks to perform. They see control as so  essential, that they try to, for example, locate a departed loved one  before they even try to do something normal, such as sing a song, while  remaining lucid in their dream.

Appendix 3: My Witches Dream

At five years old, I remember having a series of recurring nightmares. I  imagined gruesome witches living in the back of my dark and scary  closet. In these dreams, I’d find myself quietly playing or just lying  in bed. Without notice, the witches would sneak out and come after me.  I’d scream and run through the house, making it to the back porch and  sometimes down the back stairs, but never any further. I’d fall on the  cement at the bottom of the stairs, spread eagle on my back, and just as  they would almost devour me, I’d wake up. In an icy sweat, breathing  fast, I’d be terrified of going to sleep again. For a few weeks, the  witches would leave me alone, but, when I least expected it, they’d come  back.

After years of this same recurring dream, I’d find myself pleading, as I  lie 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, they’d stop their attack and I’d wake up. However, the dream  still felt very upsetting, and I always hated going to sleep. I would  lie in bed and tell myself that the witches only come in my dreams,  while I lay safely in bed. I tried to get myself to remember this the  next time they appeared.

One hot, sticky summer night, at the age of seven, I felt especially  afraid to go to sleep. I felt sure the witches would appear in my  dreams. My mom slept that night on the living room couch, which she  often did during hot nights. We kept the front door opened to create a  breeze. So, still awake about two in the morning, I grabbed an old, dark  pink, American Indian blanket. I put the blanket on the floor close to  my mom, and I fell asleep.

Soon, I found myself back in my bedroom, unknowingly in a dream. I  noticed the closet door creaking open. Instantly, I recognized the  witches and ran for my life. I barely made it through the kitchen. As I  raced across the porch and down the stairs, I tripped as usual and those  horrifying witches immediately caught up to me. Right 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 this must be a dream  now!” Suddenly, my fear dissolved. I looked the witches straight in  the eye and said, “What do you want?” They gave me a  disgusting look, but I knew I felt safe in my dream, and I continued,  “Take me now. Let’s get this over with!” I watched with  amazement, as they quickly disappeared into the night. I woke up on the  floor next to my mom feeling elated. I knew they had left for good. I  never had the witch nightmare in this form again. However, I would later  create new episodes with the witches in my dreams and discover similar  witch scenarios in my waking life, as well (see “Witches, the  House, and Grief: Developing and Avoiding Lucid Dreaming” in References.)

References

“Illuminating Insights from Lucid Dreaming”, D’Urso, Beverly (Kedzierski  Heart), Panel at the Association for the Study of Dreams (ASD)   Conference 2004, Copenhagen, June, 2004.

“Lucid Dreaming, Lucid Living”, D’Urso, Beverly (Kedzierski  Heart), Symposium at the Association for the Study of Dreams (ASD)  Conference 2004, Copenhagen, June, 2004.

We Dream NOW, D’Urso, Beverly (Kedzierski Heart), Book  in Progress, 2003.

“Dream Speak: An Interview with Beverly (Kedzierski Heart)  D’Urso: A Lucid Dreamer – Part One, Two and Three”, The Lucid  Dream Exchange, Numbers 29, 30, and 31, 2003 – 2004.

“From Lucid Dreaming to Lucid Living”, D’Urso, Beverly (Kedzierski  Heart,) Paper at the Association for the Study of Dreams (ASD)  Second Annual Online PsiberDreaming Conference, September 21 to October  5, 2003.

“Witches, the House, and Grief: Developing and Avoiding Lucid  Dreaming”, D’Urso, Beverly (Kedzierski Heart,) Paper at the Association  for the Study of Dreams (ASD)  Conference 2003, Berkeley,  CA, June, 2003 (Available as an audio tape from ASD.)

“Lessons in Lucidity:  Explorations in Lucid Dreaming”,   Waggoner, R., Webb, C., and D’Urso, B. (Kedzierski Heart,) Panel at the Association  for the Study of Dreams (ASD)  conference, Santa Cruz, CA ,  July 12, 2001.

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

Hidden Assets, Bryant, Mark,  [Chapter 3: Reality and  Lucid Dreamers ( includes D'Urso, Beverly (Kedzierski Heart)], New  Leaders Press, 1998.

“Living Life as a Lucid Dream”,  D’Urso,    Beverly (Kedzierski Heart), Bay Area Dream Workers (BADG) Presentation,  Palo Alto, CA , March 21, 1998.

“The Dreamer and the Dreamtribe”, Halonen, Arto, (writer and  director), Documentary [includes D'Urso,  Beverly (Kedzierski  Heart)], A  Mandrake Productions/Art Films Production, 1997.

“Living Life as a Lucid Dream”,  D’Urso  Beverly (Kedzierski  Heart), Workshop presented at the Association for the Study of  Dreams (ASD) Conference 1997, Asheville, NC., June, 18, 1997  (Available as an audio tape from ASD.)

Lucid Dreaming Meeting, hosted by:  D’Urso  Beverly (Kedzierski  Heart), Association for the Study of Dreams (ASD) Conference 1996,  Berkeley, CA, July, 1996.

“I learned to use my dreams to improve my life”, about   D’Urso, Beverly (Kedzierski Heart), First for Women Magazine,  Volume 8, Issue 26, June 24, 1996.

“Lucid Dreaming”, (including D’Urso, Beverly (Kedzierski  Heart,) NBC’s Next Step, May, 1996.

“A Lucid Dreamer: Beverly (Kedzierski Heart) D’Urso”,  ABC  TV:  WLS Chicago 10 O’Clock News,  May 11, 1995.

“Lucid Dreaming and Dolphin Swimming”, Workshop, given by  Heart, Beverly (Kedzierski D’Urso),aboard a sailboat in the Bahamas,  June 1993.

“What I ultimately learned from Lucid Dreaming is Lucid  Living”,  Heart, Beverly (Kedzierski  D’Urso), Presented  at the Association for the Study of Dreams -   Lucidity  Association Conference, Santa Cruz, CA,  June, 1992.

“The Lucidity Continuum”, Kellogg III, E. W.,  Paper  presented at the Eighth Annual Conference of the Lucidity Association in  Santa Cruz, June 28, 1992. (paper available from author alef1@msn.com  )

“Facing the Witches”,  Heart,  Beverly (Kedzierski  D’Urso), Autobiography Paper, February, 1992.

Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming,  LaBerge,  Stephen, including Kedzierski,  Beverly (Heart D’Urso,)  Ballantine Books, New York, 1990.

Dream Life, Wake Life, The Human Condition through Dreams,  Globus, Gordon, Page 60  [Kedzierski, Beverly (Heart D’Urso)],  State University of New York Press, Albany New York, 1987.

The Three Pound Universe, Hooper, Judith and Teresi, Dick,  Chapter 11 -  Chuang-tzu and the Butterfly: Dreams and Reality   [Kedzierski, Beverly (Heart D’Urso)],  Jeremy  P. Tarcher,  Inc., 1986.

“Stephen LaBerge: The Doctor of Dreams”, (including Kedzierski,  Beverly (Heart D’Urso)),  LIFE,  October,  1986.

“Personal Exploration of Lucid Dreaming”,  Kedzierski,  Beverly (Heart D’Urso), Lucidity Letter,  Proceedings from the  Lucid Dreaming Symposium  (ASD 1986 Panel), Volume 5,  Number  1, June, 1986.

“The Representation of Death in my Dreams”, Kedzierski,  Beverly (Heart D’Urso), Lucidity Letter,  Dream Lucidity and  Death,  Volume 4  Number 2,  December, 1985.

“Lucid Dreaming”, New Age Journal,    (including Kedzierski, Beverly (Heart D’Urso)), November,  1985.

Lucid Dreaming: The power of being awake and aware in your dreams,    LaBerge, Stephen, (including Kedzierski, Beverly (Heart D’Urso)), Ballantine Books,  New York, 1985.

“You can direct your dreams”, (including Kedzierski, Beverly  (Heart D’Urso)), Parade Magazine,  February ,1984.

“Physiological Responses to Dreamed Sexual Activity during Lucid  REM Sleep”,  LaBerge, S.P. , Greenleaf, W. , and Kedzierski,  Beverly (Heart D’Urso), Psychophysiology,  20 (1983):  454-55, Presented at Asilomar Conference, Fall, 1983.

“You’re dreaming, but do you know it?”, (including Kedzierski,  Beverly (Heart D’Urso)), Smithsonian,  August, 1982

“Design your own dreams”, (including Kedzierski, Beverly  (Heart D’Urso)), Omni,   March, 1982 .

“Discover  the World of Science:  Lucid Dreaming”,  (including Kedzierski, Beverly (Heart D’Urso)), Television Special,  1982.

“Two on the Town,  A Day in the Life of Beverly Kedzierski  (Heart D’Urso): Lucid Dreamer”, Television Show, 1982.
____________
Beverly (Kedxierski Heart) D’Urso, a lucid dreamer all her life, has  done research on the topic since the 1970’s with Dr. Stephen LaBerge.  She leads her own groups and workshops on Lucid Dreaming/Lucid Waking.  Numerous books, magazines, conferences, and TV specials have featured  her work, which emphasizes living life as a dream.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010 Categorized under Lucid Dreaming

Illuminating Insights from Lucid Dreaming

Illuminating Insights from Lucid Dreaming
by
D’Urso, Beverly (Kedzierski Heart)
Copyright (c) 2004

Panel at the Association for the Study of Dreams (ASD) Conference 2004, Copenhagen, June, 2004.

WHAT IS LUCID DREAMING

I will begin with some background on lucid dreaming. As you probably know, lucid dreaming is when you are asleep and aware, at some level, that you are dreaming.

We typically call you the dreamer and say you are lucid. The dreamer  can also be thought of as your physical body’s mind, although  I would not say that my “mind” is contained in my “brain”.

MY BACKGROUND

I remember having had lucid dreams since I was seven years old and I faced up to scary witches in a recurring nightmare. I will discuss this dream briefly, in a moment. You can see my web site: durso.org    for a detailed description of this dream and a list of places that it has been published.

Starting in the late 1970’s, I helped do research on lucid dreaming at the Stanford Sleep Laboratory. I was able to signal from the dream to the physical lab while being definitely asleep and dreaming.  I also led workshops and taught others how to have lucid dreams, and I have given presentations on the topic at ASD conferences for almost 20 years.

I have remembered, on average, six dreams per night, for most my of life. I’d say that between 2 and 20 dreams per week were lucid, to various degrees.  So, I’d estimate that I have had over 20,000 lucid sleeping dreams in my life so far.

My dreams usually seem like what we call waking physical reality  until I become lucid,  although I often know that I am dreaming from the start of the dream. Sometimes my non-lucid dreams are very bizarre and yet I ignore this sign of being in a dream and I rationalize the experience.

CHARACTERISTICS OF LUCID DREAMING

Some people never remember their dreams, some remember them after they have been awake for a while, and some remember them just after or before they awaken. Lucid dreamers remember they dream while the dream  takes place.

They do not necessarily analyze the dream, or look for symbols, but directly and consciously experience the dream, shortening the time it takes to realize they dream.

To me, lucid dreaming does not mean merely “visualizing” or “daydreaming”. It is also not just “clear” dreaming, or even “controlled” dreaming, necessarily,  if you were not aware that you were in a dream at the time.

Also, I personally believe in levels of lucidity, on a spectrum. I do not see lucid dreaming and non-lucid dreaming as binary states. In other words, one is not just lucid or non-lucid.

I would say I am partially lucid, if I just remember to question if I am dreaming.

I’d call myself  definitely lucid, if I know I am dreaming for sure.

I consider myself very lucid, if I can control or change things in the dream, not that I always do.

Finally, when  I am most lucid, I often do not experience a body, but more of a black void, where I have powerful, spiritual-like experiences.
Keep in mind that frequent lucid dreamers may be not very lucid in their dreams, while occasional lucid dreamers may have a high degree of lucidity.

Non-lucid dreamers also vary quite a bit. Some have tried to get lucid and couldn’t. Others never heard of lucid dreaming so they don’t know if they could do it. Some really want to have lucid dreams and make it a struggle. Others just don’t care about becoming lucid.

I don’t feel that lucid dreaming really takes effort, and instead I feel that motivation is the key. One must not assume that lucid dreaming is difficult.

People may not succeed in becoming lucid because, for example, they don’t start with simple enough tasks to perform. They feel that control is so essential that they try to, for example, locate a departed loved one before they even try to do something normal and merely remain lucid in their dream.

CONTROL VERSUS SURRENDER

In my lucid dreams, I feel free to go wherever my imagination takes me, and I take care to balance spontaneity and control.

Notice that you can be lucid without any kind of control taking place.  Being able to control your own reactions or the action, characters, or environment in your dreams can be an indicator of how lucid you are, but you can still be lucid without control. However, at times, it helps to take control of the action in the dream, for example, when you want to carry out goals.

I have learned that often it is best to surrender to the lucid dream. In this case, I still have control, but of my own reactions and not of what happens to me. I am not automatically fearful, for example, when something scary happens.

I only need to remain conscious that I am in a dream. This allows me to have less fear, to see more possibilities, and to see myself as one with the whole dream environment. With lucidity, I have more choices. In other words, I don’t need to change a monster. I can look it in the eye without fear and find out what it wants.

Although I focus on awareness rather than control in my lucid dreams, I do not call my lucid dreaming witnessing. I feel that I can be fully in the dream yet not of it, meaning that I know while dreaming that my part of my self can be found outside of the dimension of the dream.

To me witnessing would be like watching a movie or a play. Being in a dream is like being in the play. Being in a lucid dream is like being in a play in perfect character, having all the character’s feelings and consequences, while still knowing that you are essentially the actor, and possibly the producer and director as well.

DREAM CHARACTERS

With lucid dreaming, I feel that it is important that you know you’re taking on the roll of a dream character in your dream.  This dream character seems to exist in another dimension from your physical body, albeit a three-dimensional world that may seem  real, while you, the dreamer, are safe in bed.

One dream character often looks and acts like you, but it may not. We sometimes call this our dream body or dream self.  You may have other dream characters that look like someone you know or someone that you don’t know.

When lucid, you realize that your dream body is not in physical reality, but in your physical self’s mind. When you wake up, you change dimensions or perspectives.

When I am in a lucid dream, the dream character that I incorporate sometimes tells other dream characters that they are in a dream. Other times they might be the ones to tell my character.

When I am very lucid, either all the dream characters I find know that they are in a dream, or there are no characters at all.  I consider myself not completely lucid when there are any other characters in my dream that don’t believe they are in a dream.

Because I see the dream as being created by the mind, I also know that anything I, the dreamer, can imagine can happen.

By believing that everyone and everything around me in the dream, including my dream self and other dream characters, exists in the mind, I also experience everyone as “one”, or “made of the same substance” and all “parts of a whole.”

BEING FOOLED

If you remember any dreams, perhaps you have been fooled by a dream that seemed real while it was happening.  You may have even said, “This can’t be a dream, it’s too real.”  Maybe you notice that you can’t fly as you may have been able to do in dreams. However, if at one point you wake up, you would then realize that you had been fooled and it really was a dream.

Remember, lucid dreamers are the ones who know that the dream is not a solid physical reality, which is precisely what non-lucid dreamers usually assume because they are not lucid.

We can say, then, that you can not be absolutely certain that you are not dreaming at any time, because as in the case where you were fooled, you may just not be lucid enough to question or notice that you might be dreaming until you wake up.  Even then, you may not even remember that you have a dreamed.

CONNECTING TO THE DREAMER

Another way to describe lucidity is to say that your dream character’s mind connects with the mind of the dreamer. We can also say that the mind of the dream character has expanded. The dream character can now remember and act upon the goals, memory, and thoughts of the dreamer.

For example, the dream character can remember goals that you, the dreamer, may have set up to do in the dream before you went to sleep.  The dream character and the dreamer can then co-create the dream, although the dreamer may still have intentions that the dream character is not aware of, even in lucidity.

As a lucid dream character, I do not detach myself from the dream environment, but rather I see myself as equivalent to the environment and more. Also, detaching from the dreamer would be similar to forgetting that I am, at some level, creating the dream scene. I would then lose some level of lucidity.

To summarize, in a lucid dream I am more present than in a non-lucid dream, bringing my whole self into the experience. I know that I am more than my dream body and that the source of myself is outside of the dream or inside the dreamer.

In this talk, I want to focus on surrendering to the lucid dream plus facing and totally experiencing one’s emotions, for example “letting go of fear.”  I believe that these are the most valuable lessons that lucid dreaming has taught me. I will also describe scenarios that led me to my current work called lucid living.

I presented a workshop on lucid living at ASD97 in Asheville and I will highlight it at the end of this presentation. Tomorrow, I will present at a symposium called lucid dreaming, lucid living at 1:15pm in room five.

THE WITCHES

Here is my story. I grew up in a small suburb of Chicago, the only child of a lower-middle class family. I was very close to my parents.

When I was about five years old, my alcoholic grandfather came to live with us. It was around this time that I remember having a series of recurring “witch” nightmares.

Perhaps the witches represented my grandfather. However, I did not think of this until I was much, much older. Maybe my negative feelings of not wanting my “scary” grandfather living with us had to come up as nightmares, because I was too young to express them.

In any case, I found gruesome witches in my nightmares who would sneak out and come after me. Just as they were about to devour me,  I’d wake up.

After years of this same recurring dream, I’d find myself pleading, with the witches hovering over me, “Please, spare me tonight.  You can have me in tomorrow’s night’s dream!”  At that point, they’d stop their attack and I’d wake up.

I would often lie in bed and tell myself that the witches only came in my dreams, while I was safe in bed. I tried to get myself to remember this the next time they appeared.

In one dream, when I was about seven years old, those horrifying witches caught up to me. 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 this  must be a dream!”

I completely faced my fear, knowing it was a dream.  I looked the witches, who still looked very scary, straight in the eye and said, “What do you want?”  They gave me a disgusting look, but I knew I was safe in a dream, and I continued, “Take me now.  Let’s get this over with!”  I watched with amazement, as they quickly disappeared into the night.

I need to point out that some lucid dreamers may have turned the witches into something less scary.  I believe that my choice of surrendering to my fear and controlling only my reaction, served as an excellent choice for my first lucid dream.

I never had the witch nightmare in this form  again!  However, I would later have new episodes with the witches in my dreams and discover similar witch scenarios in my waking life.

FUN

My dreams were really fun after I faced up to those witches.  Remembering the feeling of being safe in a dream, I learned to recognize when I was asleep and dreaming most of the time.

Whatever I desired, was possible.  Whatever I thought, would occur.  I felt ecstatic. I could face other fears, heal or nurture  myself emotionally, resolve conflicts or blocks, have adventures, help others, or just have fun. I could fly, visit places, people, or time periods, and generally “do the impossible!”

FLYING

My flying dreams, in particular, taught me that surrender, rather than control works best. Usually, I would be lucid in my flying dreams. I started out flying like a little bird, having to flap my wings to stay up.  This could take much effort.

As I grew up, I discovered that I could fly like superman, soaring effortlessly through the air, arms first.  At some point, I must have hit some telephone wires or some other barrier because I fell.

I soon realized that because it was my dream, I could fly right through physical objects of any kind.  I had fun flying through walls and even deep into the earth.

Walls were easy to get through. My head merged into the wall first, and then I noticed the wall moving through my body, a foot at a time. The wall felt as though it was vibrating and humming slowly, like the jiggling molecules that I imagined made up the wall.  Finally, my feet popped out the other side.

As I matured in my lucid dreaming skills, I could eliminate flying altogether by merely imagining that where I wanted to go was right behind me.

However, lately, I have been doing what I call “surrender flying.’”  I lean back, and I let an invisible force pull me upwards from my heart area.  This is a very ecstatic sensation, and it often leads me to places of great peace and power, which remain with me even after I wake up. Again, I find the value of surrendering to the lucid dream.

TEENAGE YEARS

My lucid dreaming experiences continued throughout my teenage years.  However, I never knew the term “lucid dreaming.”  I thought that everyone dreamed this way every night.

I  often dreamed of my close friend from high school, who died in a car accident, when I was nineteen.

At first, I’d see her in a dream, and we would relate as we would have when she was still alive.  One time, I remembered that she had died while I was with her in a dream. It scared me so much that I woke up.

Remembering the value of facing the fear and surrendering to the dream, I learned to stay in the dream and talk to her.  It took me time to get accustomed to hearing her voice, but I was finally able to ask her questions, and, eventually, listen to her answers. I felt very relieved to connect with her this way.

It helped me deal more easily with my father in my dreams after he died, in 1992. By then, I was an expert! However, I later found that I had much more trouble letting go of fear in my dreams when my mother died, probably because we were so very close and I feared her death for so long.

STANFORD

In the late 1970s, I moved to California to finish my graduate work at Stanford University. By this time, a therapist had told me that I had a great skill and it was called lucid dreaming.

While I was finishing a master’s project with a Stanford Cognitive Psychology professor, I told one of his other students that I was a lucid dreamer.  The student said that I had to meet his friend Stephen LaBerge, who was doing his dissertation in psychophysiology on this exact subject.

Stephen invited me to participate in some experiments at the Stanford Sleep Laboratory. I ended up sleeping at the lab and doing experiments about once a month for many years.  I also did many experiments for publicity, such as television or magazine specials.

We wondered how what we dream in our mind affects our physical body. In the lab, I would signal from a dream, and my signals would be picked up by EEG machines in the lab via electrodes on my body.

The experiments showed that the same parts of the brain are activated while dreaming a task, as when doing it while awake.

In one lab experiment for a television special, I had to sing the song, “Row, row, row your boat…. life is but a dream.” The week that the show was to air, they used a clip of me singing this song with electrodes all over my face, wearing my blue robe, for a commercial. It was shown several times a day that week.

A few times, when I turned on the television, the commercial was playing and I saw myself saying, “Life is but a dream!” It was a very strange experience indeed! I decided it must be some kind of message from the universe, and I better pay attention. I was formulating the ideas that would eventually become what I now call, “lucid living!”

PRECOGNITIVE DREAMS

In 1982, after becoming extremely proficient in lucid dreaming, I spontaneously began having precognitive dreams. These are dreams of things that happen later in the waking state. My previous view of the physical world as being “solid,” and having precise rules, had turned upside down!

I thought of life being a dream and how that would explain how such things like precognitive dreams could occur. We could all be dream characters in a dream we call life. Was there a Dreamer dreaming us all?

However, during this time, I was still a scientist trying to finish my Ph.D. in Computer Science. I did not want to be distracted by these ideas so much, that I never finished my degree. I decided to put them off for awhile.

WRITER’S BLOCK

In my waking state, I was having trouble writing my doctoral dissertation.  I decided to try writing it in my dreams first. In one dream, I found myself lying in bed. The desk in the room was in the wrong place, so I realized that I was dreaming.

I headed for my computer, to start writing.  I found that I could  not move. I was paralyzed. I told myself, “This is my dream, and I can do what I want! ” I slowly made it to the desk. I looked down,  and I saw that the chair seat was an opening for “the pit to hell.”

Flames swept up, and it sounded and smelled awful!  I was, however, determined to succeed. Holding my breath,  I sat down, ready to be sucked into the pit.

Instead, I woke up, and within a very short time, I finished writing my dissertation in the area of artificial intelligence.

CAREER AND GROUPS

I finished my Ph.D. in 1983 and my career really took off!  I was very involved in starting up businesses and traveling around the world.  In 1987, I took a short break from this computer science work to help Stephen LaBerge form the Lucidity Institute.

After this, I began leading my own workshops and groups. During this time period, I would sometimes give myself and my students challenges as well.

One time I tried a “mutual dream” experiment of trying to find a student in a lucid dream. The first thing that happened in my dream that night was that I saw a neighbor, whom I knew had died, and I became lucid. .

In previous dreams, I would see her and say, “You are dead!” and try to get on with my goal. She would get upset and say, “I’m here now, so talk to me!” Unless I did, I learned that would have trouble completing my goal. This time, I first stopped to talk to her. Once again I saw the value of surrendering to the lucid dream.

MERGING

Merging with other aspects of the dream demonstrates another great form of surrender and letting go of fear, as well.

One time, I found myself alone in a lucid dream, in front of a campfire. I took this as another challenge and stepped right into the center of the roaring fire, directly experiencing any fear that could exist.  I was having fun and decided to try eating the flames. Interestingly enough, they tasted salty.

In another lucid dream, I appeared with nothing physical around me, so I decided that I would fly up and merge with the sun. I sped upwards like superman, accelerating rapidly until, about half way there, I heard  a great sound. It was very intense, and yet blissful.

I found that I had merged with a black void.  I felt extremely lucid for the next several days in both my sleeping and my waking states.

WANTING A FAMILY

When I was thirty-seven years old, I became very anxious to find a mate, get married, and have children. In one lucid dream, I met up with myself at the age of twenty-one, who was sad because she was about to leave her college boyfriend, so she could travel and have a career.

In the dream, I told my twenty-one year old self that I had done those things. I said that I now wanted a husband and children.  She introduced me to my alternative self, who was also 37, and who had married my college boyfriend.

They had three children, and now she wanted to divorce him. My twenty-one year old self and I decided that everything was as it should be.

Finally, I woke up. As I was writing down the dream, I heard an inner voice, as if from a future self,  who says, “Everything is perfect as it is! Surrender to the present” I finally believed it.

I trusted that I would find my perfect mate, when the time was right. I surrendered to the thought that if life is a dream, then my dreams would come true.

MEETING CHRIS

I met my husband, two years after this dream, by noticing him across the room at a party, going up to him, and talking to him.  I had an extremely strong sense that he would be in my future, even though he turned out to be much younger than me. This is a great example of how I began to act lucidly in the moment in my waking state.

I felt that I completely surrendered to the experience. I was in the present moment continuously, without fear, and with total trust. I remained with him and totally focussed on him, while part of me observed our interaction.

I believed in magic, while been totally accepting whatever happened.  I was able to listen to him, as if he were truly part of myself. We have been married for over ten years and I still feel that he is my perfect mate.

HAVING A CHILD

Chris and I were married in less than a year after we met. We knew that we wanted to have a child.  After much medical help, I decided to work on the issue in my dreams.

Before my son, Adrian, was born, however, I also had some interactions with my childhood witches.

My witch dreams went through many transformations during my life. In 1960, I faced up to the scary witches from my recurring nightmares. In the 1970’s, I looked for the witches of my childhood in a dream, and they appeared as harmless, little old ladies. In the 1980’s,  I noticed that the witch drama appeared in my waking life as well. I’ll discuss this in my presentation tomorrow.

In 1994, doctors gave me terrible odds against having a child. So, I looked for the witches in a lucid dream, thinking of them as my “creative power.”

Even though they still looked very scary, I faced my fears directly, and I brought them into my uterus. The decision to do so was spontaneous. Within a year, I got pregnant with my son, Adrian, who will be nine years old on Monday.

MOM’S DEATH

My mom, who wasn’t very well after my father died, was feeling better during the years after Adrian was born. She visited us often, and we would go to Chicago to see her, as well. Adrian and her became best friends.

In the year 2000, I had the biggest challenge of my life. Right before she was due to come out to California for the holidays, my mom had a sudden, massive stroke, and all four quadrants of her brain were instantly destroyed.

She would only exist in a vegetative state.  I needed to take her off life-support, as she requested in her living will. For her sake, I was forced to face my greatest fear ever. My mother died right at midnight, officially Christmas Day morning.

My life, as well as my dreams, was quite a struggle after this.  I really had to surrender to both at this point. In my dreams, I hated to see my mom, only to remember that she had died, which would happen when I was lucid. I decided not to have lucid dreams for awhile. I presented on this topic at ASD2003 in Berkeley.

A year and a half after my mother’s death,  I needed to sell the house I was born and raised in, and had always called home.  I wondered if I could surrender to this task?

Spontaneously, I dreamed that I found the witches in my childhood home. I surrendered to them again, and they pulled me under the closet door, where they came from.  I merged with the witches. The biggest fears of my childhood were resolved.

In my dreams, my fear was to go with the witches.  In life, my fear was my mother’s death.  At last, I could sell the house, and I felt that I had healed quite a bit.  In the last dream I had of my childhood home, I flew out the picture window like a powerful witch.

Soon after this, in a dream, I said to my mom, “You are safe now, you are in heaven!”  I heard the message for myself, as I see my mother as part of our higher self, the Dreamer of life.

LUCID LIVING

This brings me to a brief summary of lucid living, which I will present tomorrow in much more detail.

When I view my waking life as a dream, a dream in which I know I am dreaming, to various degrees, of course, I call this lucid living.

I decided that waking life may feel ‘real’ and unlike a ‘dream,’ merely because I lack lucidity, just as non-lucid dreams can feel like physical reality, until I become lucid.

The assumptions that come from viewing life as a dream can be very powerful and can expand what we feel is possible in life.

I can let go of fear and experience myself as more than just my body, know that anything is possible in my life, and see everyone and everything as part of our expanded minds, our higher self, the Source, or what I call the Dreamer of life.

If I look at waking life as a dream, then I can also use lucid dreaming techniques, that I learned from my sleeping dream experiences, to more easily become lucid in my waking life.

When lucid in waking life, I can become more “free”, have fun, accomplish goals, be “in the moment”, and maybe even experience magic in my waking life, as I have in my sleeping lucid dreams.

I believe, my marriage, my child, my degrees, my career, and my amazing adventures, too numerous to mention, are all examples of how lucid living has assisted me in having such an incredible and diverse life.

Finally, I’d like to say that I have discovered that ancient traditions and religions, as well as modern best-selling authors, movies, and songs talk about concepts similar to lucid living.  These include the Hindus and Maya; the Buddhists and Connectedness; the Christians and Resurrection; The Course of Miracles and the Happy Dream; as well as Jane Roberts with SETH; Deepak Chopra; Wayne Dyer; Don Miguel Ruiz; The Wizard of Oz; Star Trek; The Matrix… the list goes on and on.

My favorite remains: Row, Row, Row, your boat, gently down the stream, merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream!

Please come to my talk on Lucid Living  tomorrow at 1:15pm in room five.

Thank you.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010 Categorized under Lucid Dreaming, Lucid Living

Lucid Dreaming, Lucid Living in E-Prime

E-Prime LogoLucid Dreaming, Lucid Living  in E-Prime

by

Beverly (Kedzierski Heart) D’Urso, Ph.D. Copyright (c) 2007

Symposium at the Association for the Study of Dreams (ASD)  Conference 2004, Copenhagen, June, 2004.

OVERVIEW

I will start with an overview. As we discussed, lucid dreaming occurs when while asleep, you have awareness, at some level, that you are dreaming.

We typically call you the “dreamer.” To get more precise, we can think of the “dreamer” as your physical body’s mind, although  I would not say that my “brain” contains  my “mind”.

Once we understand, and hopefully have experienced, lucid dreaming and related topics, such as levels of lucidity and techniques for becoming lucid, we can discuss what I call lucid living. I need to first give you a little background on myself and my views of lucid dreaming, so you can see how I came up with the idea of lucid living.

MY BACKGROUND

I remember having had lucid dreams since about the age of seven. I faced up to scary witches in a recurring nightmare. You can see my web site: http://beverly.durso.org  for several detailed descriptions of this dream and other places where it got published.

Basically, I recognized recurring dream scenes where I begged these scary witches, who hovered over me, to  “Spare me tonight and take me in tomorrow night’s dream.” Because they only came when I was dreaming, one time, while they hovered over me, I faced up to them and they flew away ending these nightmares.

Years later, I helped do research on lucid dreaming at the Stanford Sleep Laboratory. I signaled, using electrodes near my eyes, from the dream to the physical lab while definitely asleep and dreaming.  I also led workshops and taught others how to have lucid dreams, and I have given presentations on the topic at IASD conferences for over 20 years.

I have remembered, on average, six dreams per night, for most my of life. I’d call between 2 and 20 dreams per week lucid, to various degrees.  So, I estimate that I have had over 20,000 lucid sleeping dreams in my life so far. As you can tell, I have had many more non-lucid dreams than lucid dreams.

My dreams usually seem like what we could call waking physical reality until I become lucid, although I often know that I am dreaming from the start of the dream.  I believe in levels of lucidity, on a spectrum from slightly to extremely lucid. Sometimes my non-lucid dreams seem very bizarre, and yet I ignore this sign of dreaming and rationalize the experience.

For the next four or five minutes, I will cover some basic issues and terminology. These apply to both lucid dreaming and lucid living.

SPONTANEITY VERSUS CONTROL

In my lucid dreams, I feel free to go wherever my imagination takes me, and I take care to balance spontaneity and control.

Keep in mind that, you can have a lucid dream without having control of the dream. Unfortunately, the media often stresses control as the main benefit of lucid dreaming.

The ability to control your own reactions, or to control the action, characters, or environment in your dreams does help indicate your level of lucidity, but you can definitely have a lucid dream without control. However, at times, it helps to take control of the action in the dream, for example, when you want to carry out goals.

I find it best to “surrender” to the lucid dream. I don’t use the word “surrender” to mean “give up,” but rather to mean “go with the flow.” In this case, I still have control, but of my own reactions and not of what happens to me. I do not automatically feel fearful, for example, when something scary happens.

I only need to remain conscious that I am dreaming. When conscious that I am dreaming, I think of my “physical body self” as safe in bed, so I have less fear, see more possibilities, and view my true “self” as one with the whole dream environment. With lucidity, I also have more choices. In other words, I don’t need to change a monster. I can look it in the eye without fear and find out what it wants.

Although I focus on awareness rather than control in my lucid dreams, I do not call my lucid dreaming witnessing. I can experience myself fully in the dream, yet not of it, meaning that I know while dreaming that my part of my self exists outside of the dimension of the dream.

To me witnessing seems like watching a movie or a play. Dreaming seems more like acting in a play. In a lucid dream, I act in a play in perfect character, have all the character’s feelings and consequences, yet still see myself as essentially the actor, and possibly the producer and director as well.

DREAM CHARACTERS

Next, I’d like to discuss the concept of dream characters in more detail. With lucid dreaming, I feel as though I inhabit a character in my dream.  This dream character seems to exist in another dimension from my physical body, albeit a three-dimensional world that seems real.

One dream character often looks and acts like me. I sometimes call this my dream-body or dream-self.  I may experience other dream characters that look like someone I know or someone that I don’t know.

I imagine that one or more of these other characters might get inhabited by a person from what we might call waking physical reality, or even by someone who has died. In a similar way, I can perhaps inhabit a character in another person’s dream. This concept allows for what we call “mutual dreaming” and “psychopompic dreaming.”

However, I still believe that, at some level, the characters in my dream represent aspects of my mind, even if inhabited by others who, in a sense, serve as actors taking on the roles of characters in a scene.

When lucid, I realize that my dream-body does not reside in what we might call “waking physical reality,” but in what I might call my physical self’s mind, not necessarily in my brain. When I wake up, I merely change dimensions or perspectives. We can say that I take on the role of a new character, or inhabit my physical body once again.

When I find myself in a lucid dream, the dream character that I inhabit, or my dream-self, sometimes tells other dream characters that they are dreaming. Other times, a different dream character may say this to my dream-self.

When I experience a high level of lucidity,  either all the dream characters I encounter know that they currently exist in a dream, or I encounter no separate characters at all.

I consider myself “not completely lucid” when I encounter any characters in my dream that don’t believe they currently exist in a dream. I say this because I believe that if any aspects of my expanded mind do not have lucidity, then I cannot possibly call myself  completely “lucid.”

GETTING FOOLED

We can think of having lucidity as not getting fooled, or not having the “illusion” of existing in a physical reality.

If you remember any dreams, perhaps you have gotten fooled by a dream that seemed real while it took place.  You may have even said, “I can’t be dreaming, this seems too real.”  Maybe you find that you couldn’t fly as you could in other dreams. However, when you wake up, you realize that you got fooled and you really were dreaming.

We can say that lucid dreamers don’t get fooled. They know, at some level, that a dream does not have to follow physical laws. Non-lucid dreamers assume that the physical laws hold because they lack lucidity.

I believe, then, that you can not know with absolutely certainty that you are not dreaming at any time. As in the case where you got fooled, you may just not have enough lucidity to question or notice that you might be dreaming. Even after you wake up, you may not  remember that you dreamed.

CONNECTING TO THE DREAMER

We can also say that, when lucid, your dream character’s mind connects with the mind of the dreamer, or that the mind of the dream character has expanded. The dream character can now remember and act upon the goals, memory, and thoughts of the dreamer.

For example, the dream character can remember goals that your mind, the dreamer, may have set up to do in the dream before you went to sleep.  The dream character and the dreamer can then co-create the dream, although the dreamer may still have intentions that the dream character does not have awareness of, even in lucidity.

As a lucid dream character, I do not detach myself from the dream environment, but rather I see myself as equivalent to the environment, the other characters, and more. Also, detaching from the dreamer would mean that I forget, at some level, that I help create the dream scene. I would then lose some level of lucidity.

To summarize, in a lucid dream, I feel more present than in a non-lucid dream, bringing my whole self into the experience. I experience myself as more than just my dream body. I know  that the source of myself also exists outside the dimension of the dream, or inside the dreamer.

I have gotten a better sense of my “source,” or what we can call “God” or our “higher power,”  through lucid dreaming, than by my metaphysical or religious training. These often seemed to infer that God existed either inside my body, or somewhere out there, up in the sky.

LUCID LIVING

With this background, I now feel that I can talk about what I call lucid living, or looking at life as a dream. When I view my waking life as a dream, a dream in which I know I am dreaming, to various degrees, of course, I call this lucid living. Waking life may feel ‘real’ and unlike a ‘dream,’ merely because I lack lucidity, just as non-lucid dreams can feel like physical reality, until I become lucid.

I try to view life as an “actual dream” and not to merely use lucid living as a therapy or philosophy. The assumptions that come from viewing life as a dream can give us power and can expand our possibilities in life.

If I look at waking life as a dream, then I can also use lucid dreaming techniques which I learned from my sleeping dream experiences, to more easily become lucid in my waking life. One of the most valuable techniques I use involves looking for unusual or recurring scenes in my life, as I do in my sleeping dreams.

When lucid in waking life, I  know  unlimited possibilities, feel safe and connected to everyone, and sometimes even experience magic in my waking life, as I have in my sleeping lucid dreams. Next, I want to tell you how I came up with my ideas and what they imply.

DEVELOPING MY IDEAS

I had the idea of lucid living many years ago. First, I had a long series of validated precognitive dreams in 1982 that made me question the solidness of time and space, or what we call physical reality.

About the same time, I participated in many television specials on lucid dreaming.  In one, we filmed an experiment at the Stanford sleep laboratory, to determine which part of my brain seemed most active while I sang a song in a dream.

On a commercial for a national television special, which played over and over again for weeks, I appeared on the screen in my bathrobe, with electrodes all over my face, practicing the song, “Row, row, row your boat … life is but a dream.”  I watched myself and thought, “maybe life is a dream, and I do not have enough lucidity to know this for sure.”

This led me to teach the benefits of calling what some call “waking physical reality” a dream. I wanted to help myself and others to become more lucid in life, which I called lucid living.

At first, I  had a lot of trouble convincing others, and myself at times that while awake, we can still exist in a dream. False awakening dreams helped me practice questioning if I was dreaming, even when I thought I had woken up.

In false awakenings, you think you wake up from a sleeping dream, for example, in your bedroom. You keep thinking this until either, you become lucid and know that you are still dreaming, or you wake up to what you might call waking physical reality.

Because I have remembered an average of six dreams almost every night of my life, I have gotten tricked many times by mistaking a dream for what we might call waking physical reality.

I convinced myself that I can easily prove I am dreaming. I only need to float, fly, or see someone whom I know has died.  Of course, not everyone would find these tasks so easy.

However, as I said earlier, I believe that we cannot prove that we are not dreaming.  Therefore, why not assume that we are always dreaming,  look at what that implies, and use lucid dreaming techniques to become the more lucid in our waking lives.

THE DREAMER OF LIFE

We now need to ask an important question. If we view life as a dream, then who serves as the the dreamer?  In other words, if we become “dream characters” in the dream of life, who do we connect to when lucid?

In my view, there exists, outside of the dimension of life, or what we sometimes call “waking physical reality,” an all-encompassing mind is dreaming the dream we call life. I call this mind the Dreamer of Life. In one sense, we can think of this Dreamer of Life as our combined and expanded mind.

We could also use terms such as our Higher Self, God, or Source in place of the term “Dreamer of Life.” I feel that we can break down this Dreamer of Life into many levels, as well, forming a type of “Tree of Life.

Sometimes, I really do feel as though I am dreaming while awake and in what some call waking physical reality.  At these times, I feel connected to the Dreamer of Life. I even notice many synchronicities in my life occurring during these times.

However, I often get caught up in my life and forget that I might be dreaming. Because of my experience in sleeping lucid dreams, I try to never assume that I am not dreaming.

We can compare the process of connecting to the Dreamer of Life in lucid living with traditional forms of prayer or meditation.  In practicing lucid living, I first stop my train of thought and imagine that I am dreaming.  I try to come from the perspective of this Dreamer of Life, or our expanded self. I see others as aspects of it, trust it, and surrender to its wishes.

EXPERIENCING EMOTIONS AND FACING FEARS

In my sleeping dreams, I have found power in surrendering and fully experiencing my emotions.  For example, I have brought the scary witches into my body, and I have gone with them to the place where they originate.

When I find situations in my sleeping lucid dreams that seem impossible or terrifying, such as jumping into fire or merging with a black void, I challenge myself to tackle them head on. Sometimes, in my sleeping lucid dreams,  I find myself falling faster and faster down an endless slide.  I have learned to surrender to this sensation of increasing speed.

I see a parallel to surrendering and facing our emotions in life. When I practice facing my fears in life and surrender, as I do in my sleeping lucid dreams,  I usually have positive results.

When I have strong feelings, such as sadness, grief, or fear, I do not necessarily have to express them outwardly in reaction. I can surrender to them deep within myself, and try not to push aside or hold back my feelings.

LESS FEAR IN LIFE

By calling life a dream, I do not mean to imply that in my life, I take what one might call “unreasonable risks” or necessarily expect instant magic, as I often do in sleeping lucid dreams.  I never take dangerous actions unless I feel positive that I am dreaming, and I have proof.

In a sleeping dream, I usually figure that if I can fly, then I can jump off a cliff.  I realize, however, that I could lose lucidity, and dream that I have broken all my bones.

In any case, when I have even a small amount of lucidity in my life, I feel safer because I believe that I am more than just my individual body and personality.

In waking life we may have the habit of thinking of our “body” as our “self.”  Similarly, in non-lucid dreams we might think of our dream-body as our “self.” Of course, we wouldn’t use term “dream body” because we wouldn’t recognize that we were dreaming.

In a non-lucid dream, we believe that if the body we currently inhabit dies, we die, because we do not have awareness of our expanded self, or the dreamer. We continue to feel this way until we wake up out of the dream.

We might think, after the fact, that we could have responded differently had we realized sooner that we were dreaming. We could have become lucid and experience ourselves as more than just our body before we “wake up” out of our dreams or in the case of lucid living, out of our lives! In lucid dreams, I have often let myself die, knowing that I exist as more that just a dream-body.

I also know that in sleeping dreams, when I dream that someone dies, I don’t necessarily expect that they have died in what we might call waking physical reality. From the perspective of the dreamer they could still be living.

I imagine that even non-lucid dreamers feel this way after they wake up.  So, I have to assume that when someone dies in my life, that they haven’t necessarily died from the perspective of the Dreamer of Life.

UNLIMITED POSSIBILITIES IN LIFE

I also believe that I co-create my reality with the Dreamer of Life. As in sleeping dreams, I recognize that the Dreamer of Life may have intentions that I do not know about even in lucidity.

Whenever I feel myself in a dream, I believe that anything can happen, in mysterious, or even magical ways. I can experience the joy of helping make things happen more often in my life, by learning to become lucid in waking life and set upon accomplishing tasks with a new outlook, believing in unlimited possibilities.

At the very least, I can probably gain an understanding of how I may block myself and try again, knowing I have endless possibilities.

An example, from an early stage of my sleeping lucid dream development, illustrates this point. In my dream, I could not fly to my destination because I  kept hitting telephone poles.

When I eventually determined one time that I was dreaming, I could fly right through the poles. I also realized that my mind may have created the telephone poles to begin with!

CONNECTEDNESS OF ALL IN LIFE

With lucid living, I experience everyone in my life as equal characters in one dream. I see us all as aspects of the Dreamer of Life.

When I have lucidity in my life, I want to understand the Dreamer of Life. I listen to others and try to see where there opinions come from, and what they can teach me, without judging them.

LUCIDITY TECHNIQUES

As I have mentioned, I have developed techniques for becoming lucid in my sleeping dreams, that I can also use in my waking life. In my main technique, I look for unusual or impossible situations or recurring scenarios.

RECURRING SCENARIOS IN LIFE

A great example of using a lucidity technique in my waking life occurred when I noticed recurring scenarios  during my love relationships before I got married.  With many different partners, I often found myself in an argument in a similar physical position and location.

My partner would be hovering over me looking scary and not unlike the witches from my childhood dreams.   During these arguments, many times my partner and I actually stood in the same place in my living room at the intersection of the couches that formed an L-shape.

The last time this scenario ever happened, right in the middle of the argument, I suddenly thought, “This seems like a recurring theme. What if I am dreaming?”

I immediately decided to see my partner as an aspect our expanded self, or the Dreamer of Life.  I thought about his point of view and what he had to teach me. I had less fear.  Internally, my reaction changed.  With trust and surrender, I stayed in the moment. You could say that I faced up to my partner.

Exactly as the witches did when I faced up to them, my partner froze, stopped yelling, and then turned and walked away.  It seemed as though I no longer needed to play out this drama.  I  had solved it, as I did my childhood nightmares. In my next relationship, my marriage of almost fourteen years, this scenario has not occurred.

By the way, my childhood nightmares took place in the same physical location each time also, at the bottom of the back porch stairs of my childhood home.

I used this method that I just described in many other situations. Once, during a heated discussion with my cousin in the waking state, I suddenly stopped to think, “If I look at this as a dream right now, then my cousin actually expresses a part of our expanded self, or the Dreamer of Life, which I want to understand.” At the exact moment I had this thought,  she actually started to explain how our points of view seemed related instead of opposed.

Another time, while in a hospital, a doctor merely said something that reminded me of a dream, and I immediately let go of my fear and accepted the situation, which seemed so scary only moments before.

GOALS IN LIFE

Setting goals to accomplish in my lucid dreams serves as a wonderful technique to motivate me to become lucid in a dream. However, sometimes, after getting lucid, I decide not to change the direction of the dream, in order to carry out a goal. In this case, I go with the flow of the dream. When I do have an interesting goal, and feel that the situation calls for it, I get motivated to become and remain lucid so that I can accomplish the goal.

In my lucid dreaming classes, I suggest that my students start with a simple goal to accomplish in their lucid dream. I ask them to decide the first steps of the goal ahead of time, while awake. They also must think about how they can perform the steps from wherever they might find themselves in the dream. I have discovered  that a goal of “becoming lucid” does not work as well as a goal of doing something fun in the limitless world of dreams. We must remember this in life!

Throughout my life, I have discovered many uses for lucid dreaming. Some of these include: psychological development, exploring new behaviors, healing, and much more. I’ve found that all of these can apply, whether we find ourselves asleep or what we call “awake.”

In my waking life, I often “go with the flow,”  but I still form goals. When I determine my goals, I strive for them to conform with the goals of the Dreamer of Life. When I have great passion in realizing my goals, I feel that I have conformed appropriately.  In my life, I have gotten through many potential blocks, while getting my Ph.D., enjoying an exciting and prosperous career, and having an excellent family life.

I took this approach when I had a goal of having a family. A series of dreams helped me see that my life was proceeding appropriately, whenever I seemed to let go of hope. I dreamed of going into my past and several possible futures to communicate with myself at various ages. I also dreamed of my future child and took actions in my sleeping lucid dreams to try to help the process.

Most importantly, I also had a belief while awake that things would work out, even if they took longer or didn’t proceed as I imagined. This belief came from trusting my concept of lucid living, or seeing life as a dream.

I acted with lucidity in my waking life when I met my husband. I noticed him across the room at a party, went up to him, and talked to him. Although much younger than me, I recognized him in some kind of deeper sense, and I felt him playing a part in my future. I would call this moment the most lucid in my life so far.

I felt that I completely surrendered to the Dreamer of Life, or our expanded self.  I stayed in the present moment continuously, without fear, and with total trust. I remained with him and totally focussed on him, while part of me observed our interaction.

I believed in magic and totally accepted whatever happened.  I listened to him, as if he truly formed part of my higher self. Married for almost fourteen years, I still view him as my perfect mate.

I also used lucid dreaming and lucid living to overcome the tremendous odds we had against bearing a child, as well. We now have a son who just turned twelve years old.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS

Now, I would like to share a few final comments on lucid living. I believe lucid living can have a profound effect on all our lives. Of course, as in our sleeping dreams, we can easily go on automatic and lose lucidity.

However, the more we practice lucid dreaming skills, whether while asleep, or during our waking life, the more lucid we will likely become at all times. In this way, we can live the most illuminating, clear, and conscious  life as possible.

If every person viewed life as a dream in this way, I believe that the world could heal.  Even if people simply opened up to the possibility to seeing life may as a dream, the Dreamer of Life would become more lucid.

Also I feel that, if any one person consistently believed they are dreaming in life, then amazing healing of the world could take place. I have this as a goal and it motivates me to make the effort to write and present my ideas.

The Dreamer of Life needs to have more lucidity in order  for us to experience magic. We need to remain open to lucid living and look for evidence that we dream for this to happen. Then, when we see the magic, our beliefs would strengthen, and we would see ourselves as co-creators of our reality.

Like puppets, who think they act separate from the puppeteer, we often feel disconnected. Using the puppet analogy, we can begin to identify more with the puppeteer, or the Dreamer of life.

As in sleeping dreams, the dreamer can only speak through a dream character. When a dream character connects to the dreamer in lucidity, and the dream character doesn’t get in the way, the dreamer’s goals and thoughts can get manifested.

The Dreamer of Life, our Higher Self, or our Source needs us, its dream characters, to connect to it so it can speak through us and get heard.

One can say that while we exist in life, because life seems real, we can only call it a dream from an outside perspective, or after we die.  However, since we can know that we are dreaming while in a sleeping dream, and remain in the dream, then why can’t we also know that we are dreaming in the waking state while remaining in it.

As a sleeping lucid dreamer, I learned how to remain in a  dream, to wake up out of it, to change it, to go back into it, and to become more lucid and accomplish intricate goals while in the dream. I would like to do this, and more, in my waking dream as well.

So remember, I say we are dreaming now. View every situation in your life as a dream, experience and let go of your fears, see unlimited possibilities, including the connectedness of everything, and make your own dreams come true.

OTHER VIEWS

In conclusion, I have discovered that ancient traditions and religions, as well as modern best-selling authors, movies, and songs talk about concepts similar to lucid living.  Some of these include: the Hindus and Maya; the Buddhists and Connectedness; the Christians and Resurrection; The Course of Miracles and the Happy Dream; plus Jane Roberts and SETH;

I would also add: Deepak Chopra; Wayne Dyer; Don Miguel Ruiz; The Wizard of Oz; Star Trek; The Matrix… The list goes on and on.

Let me share my favorite: “Row, Row, Row, your boat, gently down the stream, merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream!”

Thank you.