Wake Induced Lucid Dreams - or the WILD technique - has been used by Tibetan monks for over a thousand years. It is one of the most powerful lucid dreaming techniques, leading to highly vivid dreams. Once you master it, this Mind Awake / Body Asleep method can help you lucid dream on demand.
The aim of the WILD technique is to fall asleep consciously, while observing and then interacting with your hypnagogic imagery. It is a very blissful state of being. You can achieve it naturally or with the aid of a lucid dreaming entrainment MP3 like the one featured above right.
How To Have Wake Induced Lucid Dreams
The best time to practice WILD is after 4-5 hours of deep NREM sleep, when your REM cycles become longer. Either set your alarm for the early morning, or tell yourself to wake up at a certain time while looking at your alarm clock. This works surprisingly well for me. Then follow these steps...
#1 - Relax Your Mind and Body
Close your eyes and lie on your back. Take three deep breaths in and out. Feel your body sinking into the bed, and let go of all the tension in your muscles. Enjoy the feeling of relaxation, and focus on your intention to control your dreams.
Allow any thoughts to pass you by, without interacting with them. Keep your body totally relaxed and still. Repeat over in your mind: "One. The next scene will be a dream. Two. The next scene will be a dream. Three..." etc. This will set your intention and keep your mind alert while your body slowly drifts back to sleep.
#2 - Observe Your Hypnagogic Imagery
After 5-10 minutes you will see hypnagogic imagery. This is the beginning of the dream state! Blobs of color will swirl around behind your closed eyelids. Observe it if you like, but also be aware of other sensations beyond your field of vision. Let your inner voice go quiet. As the dream state deepens, you will be aware of voices and sounds. This is normal - they are coming from inside your own head. Hold on to this state of blissful relaxation, while focusing on your intention to recognize the dream state when it occurs.
#3 - Fall Asleep Consciously
Remember you are tricking your body to fall asleep consciously. So hold on to that thin strand of conscious awareness as your mind goes deeper. This is the great secret of meditation. It is not easy at first, but practice makes perfect.
When your body falls asleep, you may hear a loud vibrating or humming sensation in your head. It's exciting at first, and may ruin your early attempts at the WILD technique. This is the point of transition: from waking to the dream state. If you try to move now, you may find your body has naturally entered sleep paralysis. This is normal and occurs every time you go to sleep - you just aren't usually aware of it. It's a weird sensation but nothing to worry about. Most people don't even notice this state when practicing Wake Induced Lucid Dreams.
#4 - Enter The Lucid Dream World
By now, your mind is aware but your body is asleep. Whether you followed your hypnagogic imagery into the dream state, or the images came from beyond your natural field of vision, you will notice a dream scene emerging in front of you. There are two ways to enter your lucid dream now.
First, you can simply step into the picture, so that it becomes 3D around you. To do this, simply push your awareness deeper into the dreamscape.
Alternatively, you can "climb out" of your physical body. In your mind's eye, imagine you have two bodies; a physical body and a dream body. You can roll, sink, or float off the bed, but be careful not to move your physical body by accident. Or simply imagine yourself in a different location. This movement out of body is what finally releases you from the waking world to a lucid dream world.
Tips on How To Fall Asleep Consciously
The hardest part about Wake Induced Lucid Dreams is staying awake while your mind and body become completely relaxed. If you lose focus for just a few moments, you can fall asleep for real. However, with practice you will learn to maintain this mental state on the very edge of consciousness.
The hypnagogic state can be fascinating: the longer you observe the images, the more complex they will become. You will also feel peaceful and relaxed. You are literally watching your dreams take shape while you lie consciously in bed. The deeper you go, the less you will notice your body. Eventually, the dream will snap into being, like someone switching on a light. The images will no longer be behind your closed eyelids - but right there in front of you! Lucidity will be yours.
To help you stay conscious during the WILD technique, I recommend listening to the Lucid Dreaming MP3 by Unexplainable Store. It uses brainwave entrainment tones specifically designed to aid both MILD and WILD attempts. I find it excellent for inducing lucid dreams early in the morning from a waking state.