Since becoming an avid lucid dreamer a few years ago, I have made the practice of meditation a part of my daily life. Initially I began to meditate to strengthen my ability to consciously enter the dream state through the WILD (Wake-Initiated Lucid Dream) technique. But upon observing its corresponding benefits, I continued to practice the discipline.
Curious about the Tibetan practice of dream yoga as well as the comparisons made between lucid dreaming and meditation, I began to wonder what it would be like to meditate while lucid in a dream. I failed to come across any articles of substance through web searches and having only found tidbits on the topic in the Dreamviews forums, I thought it would be best to experiment with meditation in lucid dreams myself. Of course, sitting around doing nothing instead of partaking in a potentially epic lucid adventure seemed as appealing as cramming for a week of college final exams. However, I considered the impact of meditation on my waking life and decided it was worth a shot the next time I became lucid.
My first experience in lucid dream meditation was somewhat uneventful, but interesting nonetheless. I sat down where I became lucid, closed my eyes, and began to concentrate on my breath. What fascinated me about this experience was how much easier it was to meditate in a lucid dream. I could easily sit up tall and straight without the slightest twinge of discomfort in my lower back. The rewards manifested more immediately as well. I felt as though I was entering some ineffable state of consciousness. I awoke feeling tremendously tranquil, as though I had just completed an hour-long waking meditation in the few minutes I had actually spent meditating while lucid dreaming.
Intrigued, I continued to meditate in dreams upon achieving lucidity. In my various attempts, the objects of visualization exercises would clearly appear before me, sweeping oceanic feelings would overcome me, and sensations of spaciousness and spacelessness would simultaneously dawn on me. The task had turned out to be much more awe-inspiring and humbling than I had originally expected.
Currently my favorite meditation exercise to practice in a lucid dream is to meditate on the sacred syllable, Om. My preference for this specific exercise was precipitated by the blessed experience of my first attempt. Upon realizing I was in a dream, I sat down and placed my palms on my crossed legs as I began to hum the mantra. Without delay, the dreamscape began to reverberate wavelengths that pulsated throughout my body and surroundings. The sound of Om was no longer being produced by my own voice but by the dream itself. Unexpectedly, my arms involuntarily rose over my head into prayer position and then descended toward my heart. My folded hands then raised toward my brow and led me to lean forward and place my palms and forehead on the floor, similar to a traditional, Islamic prayer position. Aware that I had never before performed and was not familiar with this specific motion in my waking life, I continued to observe while attempting to contain my astonishment.
As far as I know, most advanced meditators take years of disciplined concentration and practice to achieve the unifying, mystical, and transcendent states of which most don’t even have the imaginative capabilities to conceive. Although I feel my lucid dream meditation experiences were only mere glimpses into these altered states, I still began to question if I was skipping a step or if I was cheating in some way by using the the gift of lucid dreaming to attain these wholly healing experiences. Nevertheless, lucid dream meditation has greatly enhanced not only my dream practices but also my waking world, leaving me with a feeling of connectedness and filling the spiritual void I so often feel in the midst of my busy, modern life. These experiences have encouraged further personal endeavors in lucid dream meditation to help me cultivate more compassion, loving-kindness, reverence and gratitude in my heart.
It has long been known that waking meditation can offer great rewards to those who practice the art, yet it seems very few are motivated enough to expend the time and energy to reap its benefits. For those who are indifferent to trying meditation or not willing to dedicate themselves to a practice, perhaps the more instantaneous rewards of meditating in lucid dreams may offer the incentives to seek more of these eye-opening states of consciousness that one could only dream of. Pun intended.
Originally published in The Lucid Dream Exchange, with edits. http://www.dreaminglucid.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/LDE-48-Fall-September-2008.pdf