In around 2006 I enrolled to do a 10-12 week course with the Perth School of Philosophy. It was 3 hours every Saturday morning. It was something I wanted to do for years. I went along with an open mind, not really sure what was going to be covered in the time there.
An activity they called “the practice” was part of each session. This was simply to focus on the NOW by tuning in to my senses of smell, touch, hearing, taste and sight. Focusing was a challenge at first but it got easier with practise :-). I really enjoyed it as a form of meditation and it worked well for me as compared to other meditation I experimented with.
During this period I had a really unusual experience in my dreams. It was incredibly positive and enjoyable but it was a different dimension to what I experienced before. I was dreaming I was browsing in a china shop and at some point I was entirely aware that I was in a dream state. It occurred to me that I could do anything I wanted to without getting into strife.
So what did I do? I started swinging my arms about and knocked the china off the shelves! I then stood back and waited to see what would happen, but nothing did. So I did it some more. It is hard to describe how much I enjoyed doing that! It wasn’t an act of anger but a deliberate act of doing something I know I wouldn’t normally do. When I awoke properly I was intrigued by what had happened.
Over the coming weeks I had more dreams where I could decide the script as I went along. It usually started in the middle of a “normal” dream and I would become aware that I was in a dream state and have a ‘conscious’ choice what was to happen next. Most time I chose to fly. Flying is great fun!
I hadn’t heard of lucid dreaming and I didn’t know if anyone else had ever experienced something similar. At one of the philosophy classes I spoke to one of the leaders there and she shared that she experienced similar episodes. I started reading up on the internet about it and discovered there is a whole industry of websites and books etc on the topic.
I still have the occasional lucid dream and I still opt to fly when I get the opportunity. I must be lacking imagination when I could do anything else in the world without consequences. The philosophy leader said that lucid dreaming is a gift and not something we can chase after. I am to enjoy it if I have the opportunity but don’t hold it too tightly or it will disappear.
I link the experience of lucid dreaming to my time studying philosophy as I believe the meditation I was learning brought me a real peace of mind and freedom. It may not have anything to do with it however.