You’re on the back of a motorcycle, holding a shotgun in one hand. Behind you, your zombie neighbor, and throes of zombie citizens, give chase. What if in this dream — instead of being bitten — you have a magic wand that turns all the zombies to takeout from IKEA? What if you could make that happen? With your mind.
Lucid dreaming is essentially that: controlling your dreams through conscious manipulation of your dreamscapes. I’ve only done it a few times, and it mostly involved flying. With specific training, though, the dream body can go ANYWHERE. The moon, the sea, galaxy clusters, foxholes, volcanoes, the underworld, celebrities’ bedrooms, a gorilla’s head. The possibilities are endless.
Even if you never get to the point of controlling your dreams, by paying careful attention to them, you’ll at the very least gain the phenomenal power of remembering your dreams. And the Dalai Lama agrees that you should pay more attention to your dreams, saying, “Otherwise at least a few hours each night will be just a waste.” He goes on to say that dreams shouldn’t be taken too seriously, but think about it this way: What else are you doing with those eight hours Besides, dream material can, in the very least, make excellent fodder (if not, sigh, for casual conversation) for writing and making art. What’s the worst that could happen?
These 7 books will get you closer to making your dream world a whole lot more tangible:
Extraordinary Dreams and How to Work With Them by Stanley Krippner
This book is an excellent starting point for anyone — whether unfamiliar with dream history, skeptical of dream interpretation, or schooled in dream science. Extraordinary Dreams and How to Work with Them breaks down dreams by type, includes plenty of riveting examples, and will get you primed to experience the extraordinary power of your own dreams.
Lucid Dreaming: A Concise Guide to Awakening in Your Dreams and in Your Life by Stephen LaBerge
Considered one of the leading experts on dream research, Stephen LaBerge wrote THE book on lucid dreaming in 1991, and this updated follow-up, Lucid Dreaming: A Concise Guide, combines in-depth scientific evidence with ancient Tibetan philosophy, and includes a CD with exercises to trigger lucid dreaming at night.
A Field Guide to Lucid Dreaming by Dylan Tuccillo, Jared Zeizel, and Thomas Peisel
This easy-to-follow and practical guide to controlling dreams — A Field Guide to Lucid Dreaming — features breathtaking, retro-style illustrations and detailed instructions for how to become lucid and what to do once you get there. Plus, the text is interspersed with brief, actual dreams to satisfy your thirst for narrative.
Are You Dreaming? Exploring Lucid Dreams: A Comprehensive Guide by Daniel Love
A little on the dense side, Are You Dreaming? includes a complete history of important dream pioneers, as well as the latest in dream research and science. Search the index to find answers to specific dream questions, or read this book from cover to cover for a comprehensive account of all things dreamy.
Dreaming Yourself Awake: Lucid Dreaming and Tibetan Dream Yoga for Insight and Transformation by B. Alan Wallace
For those of you who thought lucid dreaming only happens during sleep, sorry to burst your bubble. Dreaming Yourself Awake discusses how the practice of lucid dreaming translates to daily life and a whole lifestyle that harmonizes your dream and waking selves.
Lucid Dreaming: Gateway to the Inner Self by Robert Waggoner
With its autobiographical leanings, Lucid Dreaming reads like a novel but has all the wisdom of a scientific expert in the dream field. It proposes five stages of lucid dreaming and breaks them down for readers using accessible formats and illustrations.
Dreams of Awakening: Lucid Dreaming and Mindfulness of Dream & Sleep by Charlie Morley
After teaching hundreds of lucid-dreaming workshops around the world, Charlie Morley brings his personal experience, knowledge, and humor to print with this entertaining guide to the history and practice of lucid dreaming. To find out what’s happening today in the wide world of dream lucidity, don’t miss Dreams of Awakening.
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