Mindfulness and lucid dreaming are both skills. Like any skill we develop in life, they take practice, patience, repetition, and diligence. As you practice lucid dreaming and spend more time focusing on your dreams, you’ll surely realize there’s no shortage of strange, seemingly random aspects of the dreaming mind. Because of the strange, interesting nature of dreams, it’s easy to lose track of how valuable this practice can be.
Whether awake or asleep, the practice is all about improving awareness. Exercising mental stability and clarity during dreams is a remarkable opportunity to improve these skills while awake.
The cool part about Mindfulness-Based Lucid Dreaming is we get to practice during sleep.
But there’s so much variability when it comes to awareness during dreams – without some kind of scale or spectrum, you might be unsure how to describe your lucid dreams or whether you’re improving in your skillset. This breakdown aims to provide clarity for levels of lucidity we all can reach as we practice.
Lucidity has amplitude
Lucidity IS awareness – mental clarity of the fact that you’re dreaming. Think of your level of lucidity as a volume dial you can turn up or down while dreaming. Thinking of lucidity on a spectrum is a great way to benchmark your skill level during your dreams and throughout your practice.
These are just your standard REM sleep dreams.
The content of the dream can range from pleasant, insightful, prolific, euphoric, to nonsensical, boring, frightening or just plain weird. The recall when you wake up could be quite vivid; maybe you remembered the dream very clearly. But lucidity is about awareness in the present moment – So regardless of the content or how much you remembered, if you didn’t know you were dreaming during the dream, it doesn’t count – it’s a non-lucid dream.
Sub-lucid implies you were close but no cigar – Very common amongst beginners new to lucid dreaming.
These dreams are often characterized by searching for lucidity or talking to a dream-character about becoming lucid. The subject of lucidity comes up and you might be skeptical about whether you’re dreaming or not, but if you don’t explicitly realize it’s a dream at the time, it’s not quite lucid.
At this point, you’re interested, curious, and taking the right steps… but you’re just knocking at the door; it hasn’t opened yet – the dial is still turned down.
Mild lucidity is when you’re aware you’re dreaming, but it’s a faint awareness and can’t really change what’s happening. That “Ah-ha” moment has been achieved and you know it’s a dream, but it’s fleeting – the dream is hazy or shaky and you might lose lucidity immediately after you achieved it.
Definitely lucid, yes, but barely. You’re turning the dial a little bit – taking a peek in the door and getting a glimpse at what’s inside.
Now we’re talking. You know you’re dreaming, no doubt about it and the dial of awareness is turning up. You are awake inside your own subconscious mind and it is exhilarating, wonderous, and awe-inspiring. And at this level, you’d work on your ability to ‘control’ the dream, and prolong lucidity. Maybe you want to fly through buildings or plunge deep into the ocean and explore the depths… but how skilled are you?
At this moderate level, you’ll see there is an entire universe to explore, learning to be done, and skills to develop. How long can you maintain lucidity without getting overwhelmed and waking up? Or getting distracted and losing that sense of conscious awareness?
At the highest levels of lucidity, not only are you 100% lucid in the dream state, but you’re also more comfortable. The awareness dial is turned all the way up and you have full mental clarity. You feel a strong sense of familiarity here, and you are able to influence the course of events of the dream… Staying calm, focused and in-control come with the territory of the fully lucid dream.
The exhilaration is still here, but there’s more sense of purpose. This is the level of mastery in which you can make things happen at will; you feel strong, competent and ready to achieve goals.
It takes practice to get to this point, much of which was likely spent in the lower levels of lucidity. So once this level is achieved, there might be more of a sense of respect and sincerity – honoring the practice and getting more meaning and value out of your dreams.
Learn to improve lucidity
Along your journey into your mind, it’s useful to have these benchmarks so you can identify your skill level and establish clearer goals. We deep-dive into how to improve levels of lucidity in the app.
What level have you been able to reach? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments or reach out with questions by subscribing below!