Wouldn’t it be great if at night you could dream anything you wanted? What would you dream about? Would you imagine yourself to be a superhero, patrolling the streets for crime? Would you sleep with your favorite celebrity? Would you practice a skill you want to get better at? Only your imagination limits you. So what if you could… program a dream? You can! The only question that remains is, to what heights would you dare to dream? What experiences would you give yourself?
If you’re not familiar with lucid dreaming, it’s simply the act of becoming aware that you are dreaming while you are still dreaming. While lucid you can take control of your dream and change characters, setting, outcome, and lots more. I’ve been lucid dreaming since I was a young teenager, and over time I’ve not only mastered having lucid dreams, I’ve mastered such things as picking up on a dream where I left off (even years later), communicating with spirit guides and other celestial beings consciously, and learning how to pre-program the dream I want to have. Yes, these are advanced lucid dreaming skills, but anyone can master them if they put in the time.
If you want to learn the basics about lucid dreaming, read my articles on lucid dreaming in the Sleep and Dreams section of my blog. Once you’ve got the gist of that, come back and read this article for tips and tricks on programming the dream you want to have.
There are two ways programming a dream will work. The first is by commandeering a non-programmed dream and bending it to your will, and the second is to go into the dream from the get go with the programmed content ready. Let’s discuss each in turn.
Most of the time that a lucid dream occurs is during a dream that’s already in progress. Often nightmares will trigger a lucid dream and an urgent desire to wake up, but you can also become lucid during any normal dream. Sometimes when the dream has a really odd element to it, a lucid dream is triggered, such as dreaming you lost all your teeth, or seeing yourself in a mirror with two heads, or something equally fantastical. When you become lucid you must try to remain calm because getting too excited will trigger your mind to wake you and then it’s bye bye lucidity. Once you are lucid you can snap your fingers or blink your eyes or use whatever method you want to start changing the content of your dream. If you’ve got pre-programmed content ready to go, it’s like uploading it to the dream matrix and you’re off. More on pre-programming content in a minute.
The other way to get a programmed dream is from the first moment you start dreaming. What often happens to me is that I’ll pre-program my dream and, when I get to the dream, some or most of the elements I wanted are there but not all of them, so I have to do a little rearranging. No big. I just get to work, get my pieces in place, and run the program. Sometimes I stay completely lucid during the dream, continuing to direct my “actors” into following the script, and sometimes I allow myself to play along with whatever wants to happen, giving my “actors” some free reign in determining their next move. Yeah, I’m like a God in my dream world. Fun fun.
So how do you program the content? Lay down while you’re tired but make sure you can stay awake for at least 10 minutes or so before drifting off. Now literally think and daydream the dream you want to have. Let it play out in your mind. For example, if you want to play superhero (one of my favorites) then create your character. What powers will you have? Who are your villains? Team mates? What is the setting? High rise building? Sewer? The more details you can imagine, the greater your chance of getting what you order. Then run the scene over in your mind as many times as you can before falling asleep.
If you don’t know all the details, or you don’t want to program an entire scene, you can simply select the components you want to have there. Certain celebrity you want to “date” in your dream? Imagine them in as much detail as you can before you fall asleep. Try to put yourself in the scene as much as possible. Imagine dialogue and action. You’re the writer and director of your own movie, and if you don’t know something, your mind will fill in the details. One night I couldn’t decide if I wanted to spend time with Johnny Depp or Keanu Reeves. Voila, they both appeared in my dream. One was a pirate-like villain and one was a King Arthurian knight. It was fun playing with both.
The more times you can let the scene play out in your mind before you fall asleep, the better. It’s best to do this while you’re tired. Keep thinking of the scene and characters as you fall asleep. Don’t start thinking about your morning’s to do list or how you’re going to avoid that phone call from your in-law. Just keep your conscious mind on the dream images you want to have.
If you find yourself becoming lucid in a regular dream, just remember the dream you wanted to have and start shifting and changing the dreamscape. If you find yourself in a reasonable facsimile of the programmed content, run with it. Sometimes I’ll have a non-lucid dream related to programmed content, so even if things don’t go exactly as I’ve planned them, I still get most of what I wanted.
If you’re not convinced that lucid dreaming is the best thing since sliced bread, you may not have the imagination needed to make it worth your time to learn it. But for those of you who are already lucid dreaming out there, try pre-programming some content and see how exciting THAT is!
Sweet and pleasant adventuring fellow oneironauts!