Lucid Dreaming – Chapter 10

Mandala 3

I eventually became Arturo’s business manager, and organized his dream workshops. Arturo’s style of dream interpretation involved drawing your dreams, rather than writing them. It was a brilliant idea, since language, unless it is poetic, is anchored in the Waking World. One of Arturo’s jobs in the United States was to help people expand their ability to listen to the Dreamtime. Pictures were more likely to keep the group connected to the Dreamtime state.

Paying so much attention to my dreams, I connected with a broader source of information than I accessed through science. Deep into the sleeping dream world, I remember one particular time I had a lucid dream, in which I was conscious that I was dreaming and able to directly influence it.

I awoke within my dream to find a huge chandelier hanging over my bed that hadn’t been there when I went to sleep. I arose, reached my hand toward the chandelier, and proceeded to put my hand right through it. It was made of light, not glass. I thought, “This is a dream, and I’m awake in it. If I’m awake in my own dream, I can create the dream any way I want.”

 So I decided to fly. I flattened out, horizontally, about four feet off the ground, and floated out of my room into the living room toward the front door.

At the front door, I thought, “I’m not in my body now, so I don’t have to open the door. I can go right through it.”

But I couldn’t quite convince myself that I would be free from injury should I pass through the door. Old beliefs followed me, even into my dreams. So I put one hand through the door, then the top half of my body, and, voilá, I was outside.

Then, uh oh! There wasn’t a roof over my head to contain me, and I started to float away. I had a scary struggle against my own buoyancy. I went from containment inside my house to no containment at all. Then my face moved in my bed, and brushed against the sheet.

Instantly, I was in my bed again, awake. Upon examination, at first I was critical of myself for missing the opportunity to really fly. I felt frustrated, and thought the dream was telling me about my proclivity to struggle unnecessarily. But I was learning to be leery of this self-critical tendency to judge myself negatively. Upon further examination, I arrived at a kinder interpretation of the dream. This was my first lucid dream. I was new to this way of interacting with my dreams, and didn’t yet have the mental discipline to keep the lucidity going. I later understood that it is normal to go in and out of lucidity within a dream. I needed to develop the mental muscle to stay conscious in a dream, just as I needed to learn to stay conscious in the present moment when I was awake.

In my imagination the “danger” of not being contained in my house became the real experience, and I forgot that I was the architect of the dream. Staying lucid in a dream is a skill that takes practice. Similarly, when I was awake, I had a tendency to segue off into my imagination, into a memory, resentment, or worry about the future. I was more entertained by the drama of imagination than by what was real. I was already in the process of becoming enchanted by the mundane. This dream was a poignant illustration of how easy it can be to segue out of the present moment, and how much we lose by doing this.