Lucid Dreaming to Heal Yourself and Others
This article is excerpted from Lucid Dreaming: Gateway to the Inner Self, recently released by Moment Point Press and used by permission of the publisher.
Dream worker and minister Jeremy Taylor tells the surprising story of lucid dreamer "Dan," who dreams that he attends a lively party at a fashionable penthouse. Suddenly Dan realizes that he's actually sleeping at a "cheap rented room in Chicago" and becomes consciously aware:
[Lucid now, Dan finds that an attractive woman sits on his lap and] asks him if he is having a good time. He laughs and replies that he is having a great time, but that he will have to leave soon -- his alarm is about to go off and wake him up. The woman asks him in surprise what he means, and he replies that all this is a dream and none of it is real.
"You mean you think I'm not real?," the woman asks in some annoyance.
"That's right," he replies.
With this, the woman becomes even more annoyed. "I'll show you who's real or not!," she says, and crushes her lit cigarette out on the back of the dreamer's right hand. Instantaneously the young man awakens in the rented room with a terrible pain in his right hand. He turns on a light and sees a round burn the size of a cigarette on the back of his right hand."
It's almost unimaginable -- a lucid experience crossing the boundary from conscious dreaming into conscious waking. Obviously, such an experience further extends the preliminary conclusion reached by Stephen LaBerge, after studying the physical body's response to lucidly dreamt events, that "dream events are closely paralleled by brain events." Various studies show a strong correlation in particular physiological measures between a waking event and the same event performed in a lucid dream.
This example may remind some people of experiments with hypnosis. In hypnotic studies, as I discuss in chapter 1, some subjects have shown the ability to manifest physical changes -- burn marks have appeared and disappeared, bleeding has increased or decreased, pain has been experienced vividly and then seemingly turned off -- simply through the use of concentrated focus and suggestion. In Dan's case, he may have shown the heightened suggestibility achievable in the lucid state and the dramatic potential to alter the physical self.
Which raises the question, if the body seems influenced by events in the lucid state, could a consciously aware dreamer heal his or her physical body in a lucid dream? Incredibly, the answer appears to be yes.
Lucid Dreaming Healing Techniques
Numerous examples exist of attempts at physical healing of self and others while lucidly aware in the dream state. Some lucid dreamers who attempt healing in the lucid state report very limited success or no effect on their symptoms. Other lucid dreamers, however, have reported considerable success at achieving one or more of the following:
1) a reduction in the severity of physical symptoms, 2) a surprisingly rapid healing experience, and
3) on occasion, a disappearance of the health issue altogether. Why do some lucid dreamers succeed, while others don't? My research into instances of successful and unsuccessful lucid dream healings has made clear to me the importance of the reality- creating complex of belief, expectation, focus, intent, and will (as discussed in chapter 10). A constructive use of these elements seems essential in creating a positive outcome.
Another success factor appears to be the healing method itself. Lucid dreamers have sought to approach the task of lucid healing via a variety of methods, such as the following:
1. Symbolically and literally entering and manipulating the dream body.
2. Directing healing intent, which often manifests as an unexpected light .
3. Directing sound energy, chants, or affirmations.
4. Using suggestion and imagery creation.
5. Seeking information about the cause or meaning of the illness.
6. Seeking a dream doctor, medicine, or healing environment.
Obviously, techniques varied. Some were direct versus indirect, others literal versus symbolic, while some showed varying degrees of internal and external locus of control. Nonetheless, each lucid dreamer utilized some form of projective technique to achieve a healing experience, though some techniques appear to be more effective than others.
Inside The Dream Body
For many lucid dreamers, it may never occur to them to manipulate their dream body. Normally, we focus our energies outward to the dream scenes and figures. Other than looking at our hands in lucid dreams (to become lucid or to stabilize the lucid dream) and touching things with our hands in the lucid dream, it seems rare to consider the lucid dream body at all. We normally "assume" the body into being as the presumed locale for visual perception, then forget it as we go about our adventures. When it comes to improving one's physical health, however, some lucid dreamers do focus upon manipulating the dream body, often with impressive results and in dramatically different ways.
Image by akshay moon, courtesy of Creative Commons license.