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Theraputic Dreaming

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Therapeutic Dreaming

Over the past seven years, exploring the depths of my subconscious through

dreaming has become an increasingly integral catalyst for understanding who I am. Up

until the age of 18, I had always been very intrigued by the subject, but hadn't done much

research. Like many others, I accepted my dreams for face value, and found little

correlation between them and my waking life. They seemed to be more of a venting of

extraneous thoughts that accumulated during the day than anything else. However,

this vantage point changed drastically with the discovery of dream interpretation and my

first Lucid Dream(a dream in which one becomes aware that they are dreaming and

retains control of all mental processes).

It is very common for people to report that they rarely have dreams or do not have

them at all. For a long time I concurred and felt as though the dream state was elusive

and occurred randomly. However, upon investigation, it was discovered that we all

dream, every night, during REM(rapid eye movement) sleep. In adults, it typically

occupies 20-25% of total sleep, lasting about 90-120 minutes. Consequently, the rentless

stress and concerns of everyday life can cause many of us to lose the ability to recall our

dreams. This prompted me to start a dream journal, which significantly helped in

increasing the frequency for remembering my dreams.

After weeks of diligently filling page after page with descriptive, detailed,

accounts of my dreams, I began to notice a change in their vividness. The scenarios

became increasingly bizarre and I had several recurring dreams that were either centered

around global cataclysms or my teeth falling out. Although painless, spitting out

handfuls of bloody molars every night was becoming quite disturbing. This forced me to

start asking questions. What did these dreams mean? Why do I keep having them? How

do I stop them? I even began to regret developing my dream recall simply for the fact

that I was waking up every morning feeling distant, distracted and shaken.

Scouring the internet for answers eventually led me to a website called

LD4ALL.com. It explained Lucid Dreaming in detail and had reports of others that were

having similar recurring dreams. The concept of becoming aware within a dream and

gaining control of its content fascinated me to the fullest. Motivated and determined, I

began practicing techniques the website had outlined.

The first technique involved doing "Reality Checks" throughout the day. This

meant asking myself, as often as I could remember, "Am I dreaming?". Only a couple of

days into this practice, it became habitual. I was looking at my hands and asking myself

if I was dreaming every half hour. On the fourth day, after my nightly routine of

meditating and rereading past journal entries, I retired to bed. The first dream of the

night started out with me in a grocery store, standing in line and holding a green, plastic,

basket, half full with tootsie roll pops. It seemed a little odd to be purchasing hundreds of

suckers, but I didn't think twice about it. Then, purely out of habit, I looked at my right

hand and asked, "Are you dreaming?". My fingers began to melt down slowly until they

were nothing but short stubs. I immediately knew I was dreaming.

A rush of adrenaline surged through me. Everything was crystal clear and

observable at my discretion. At first, the awe was so great that all I could do was stare in

amazement at the creations of my subconscious. Textures

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