Can You Take Control of the Seemingly Uncontrollable?
The Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How of Metacognition and Its Link to Your Body’s Power
Close your eyes—let’s see.
Dreams occupy one aspect of our lives that seem unreal but are in fact, VERY real. I concede that some think an entire sequence of events playing out while one is sleeping has ‘a bit of bizarre’ written all over it. Fortunately, it is a natural occurrence that everyone is familiar with, even those who often say “I don’t dream, ever”. Dreams are a projection of our subconscious – which actually contains an immeasurable amount of inaccessible information – and sometimes, reflects our current conscious state of mind. A person dreaming is usually quite detached from the dream, so much so that details of many dreams are often forgotten by the dreamer after waking. But what if you are able to play an active rather than a passive role in your dream state?
Rather than being a passenger in a car you can’t control, it is quite possible for you to be aware of the fact that you are dreaming while the dream occurs in your consciousness (in dream-time, if you may). That is called lucid dreaming. It is a type of metacognition or the notion of intentionally being aware of your awareness. Whew—that sounds deep and/or confusing, doesn’t it? It just means you are cognizant of the events flashing through your brain and that they are not actually happening. Sometimes when this happens, we think to ourselves (and within the dream too), “This is a dream, I’ll be fine”, when things are not going quite right. And if the events are quite pleasurable, we think, “This better not end up being a dream”. We even control how the action unfolds in the dream sometimes and wake ourselves when we are done or when we are ready.
Many studies have proven the existence of lucid dreaming. Yet, a sundry of research reports has all made different conclusions on lucid dreaming and the factors that cause them. They have explored questions and tabulated very convincing facts on how many people experience them, how likely they are to occur to a person within a year, how certain kinds of people experience them more than others, and how one can self-induce them (one of these ways involves the use of chakras, which will discuss).
Experiencing Lucid Dreaming
There is a particular type of sleep in which you are likely to experience lucid dreaming. It is tagged the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) Sleep. It is marked by faster breathing sequences, eye motion, and general increase in brain activity.
The REM sleep occurs about 90 minutes after falling asleep and lasts about 10 minutes. It lasts longer as the sleep continues, eventually lasting up to an hour in total. It is during this stage that your brain is literally bouncing off the walls and stretching what the brain is actually capable of.
Initially, it was quite difficult for researches to figure out why lucid dreams happen. Eventually, certain traits were noticed in people who frequently experience lucid dreaming. The prefrontal cortex of these dreamers (the very frontal part of the brain) was noted to be bigger than that of the average person. These people are also said to be very reflective people who normally go over the same thoughts in their heads while awake. This category of people also generally included those who can meditate, practice mindfulness, and seek higher level of self-awareness or consciousness.
Lucid dreaming may look ordinary and may be just one of those things you brag about or laugh over with friends the next morning. However, clear benefits have been noted as a result of lucid dreaming.
When you continuously experience lucid dreaming, you feel empowered and in control, especially in dreams where you are able to control the unfolding of events and the eventual outcome. This serves as a form of therapy over the occurrence of nightmares. It allows the dreamer to feel less anxious or worried about ‘real’ events in the waking state that are out of their control.
Problem Solving and Creativity
Many researchers have concluded that lucid dreams can play vital roles in solving problems that require unusual levels of creativity or unconventional/unclear actions such as personality disputes, political or social injustices, or stagnant productivity. These kinds of dilemma require more than numbers and logic to solve, and lucid dreaming can give access to insight beyond the surfaced, rational answers.
Inducing Lucid Dreams
Many methods have been proven possible in inducing lucid dreams. Some of these methods can be practiced right before going to sleep in order to ensure an experience in which the dreamer is in control.
This may sound childish, but it actually works. As the name implies, it is a practice by which you “test reality”. You simply need to ask yourself multiple times during the day whether or not you are sleeping. Making it a continuous habit will lodge the notion into your subconscious, so then when you are actually dreaming, you may just decide to question that state, in the dream.
Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams (or MILD) is a practice where you sleep for a long period of time – say five hours – and wake up for a bit. You then tell yourself several times that you will be aware of your dream state the next time it occurs. Before you doubt this technique, think of it as a way of mentally reminding yourself to perform an activity in the future, the same way you would do if you were awake. Except that this time you will be performing the task asleep. We have incredible control of our mind if we simply ask for it.
Chakra Induced Lucid Dreams (CILD)
Now, what is the relationship between lucid dreams and the chakra system? First, let’s consider the fact that our chakras are special physical points in our bodies that help control our minds and our emotions. Thus, chakras can be used to attune our minds to the nonphysical aspects of our reality including our dreams. Chakra refers to the flow of energy through our energy points, from the base of the spine (where the Root Chakra is located) to the top or slightly above of the head (the Crown Chakra). Don’t these connections or flow lines of progression make perfect sense for how accessing our chakra energy enables us to operate from our base to beyond our bodies in a different plane of consciousness?
And since our chakras are sensitive to sounds, vibrations, movements, and frequencies, couldn’t it also be completely reasonable to assert that we can control and leverage their power if we activate them through sounds, vibrations, movements, and frequencies? Thus, sleep meditation, mantras, yoga, tuning forks, or frequencies attuned to certain chakras can grant access to a controlled spiritual enlightenment through lucid dreaming.
If you just wanted to focus on one chakra in particular rather than the whole flow of energy, then you should concentrate on the Sixth ‘Third Eye’ Agnya Chakra. As it has been proven, the prefrontal cortex (forehead—the exact location of the Third Eye) is an essential part of the brain with regards to experiencing lucid dreams. Consequently, opening up this chakra will help put you on this pathway. Without going into an entire list of methods to unblock or activate this chakra, I will just offer one that has worked for many. First, the dreamer wakes up after about four to six hours of sleep, lays down with their head prodded up, and focuses their mental energy on their forehead, while internally affirming the intention to experience lucid dreaming with the OM/AUM mantra. The third-eye chakra is responsible for our intuition and sixth-sense, which also makes it the most relevant energy point for achieving this sort of purpose.
Lucid dreaming may come to you naturally, unexpectedly, or may be induced. Never underestimate the power and impact of our dreams on our perception of reality!