Are you dreaming? Seriously, maybe you are? Are you?
You just did a reality check. The more often you do this the likelier you are to realize that you are dreaming when you are.
In the movie “Inception” (sorry for a spoiler alert but it’s an old movie), the character played by Ellen Page builds a dream totem to help her determine whether she is dreaming or not. The dream totem is a major fixture in the plot of the movie and represents not only a mental reality check but a physical one. The main character, Cobb played by Leonardo Decaprio is obsessed with his totem because it belonged to his late wife Mal who he accidentally incepted with idea that she was dreaming even though she had awoken. This was classic movie that introduced that was beautifully executed and brought lucid dreaming to the masses but it exaggerates and twists certain particularities.
The use of dream totems to help determine reality is an embellishment on practice but does have a grain of truth. Dream practitioners often use totems, but in a completely different way then the storyline mentions. A totem is an object that reminds you of something. It could be as simple any philosophy that you believe in that enriches your life. Christians often wear crosses to remind them of the Holy Christ and what that represents. That is a form of totem. Common dream totems are far less ceremonial on the other hand but none the less are equally used to remind you of something, but in a more practical sense. Many lucid dreamers use alarms on their watches to remind them to question whether they are dreaming or not. Others have simply build a habit of asking themselves this questions on a regular basis. This goes far past a physical totem. Totems are just a reminder to question your reality in order to increase dream lucidity.
Are you dreaming?
The more habitual you make this question to yourself the more likely you are to ask yourself the question within a dream. At that point, simply questioning reality can induce lucidity and it often does. It is common to get excited and wake up but the more you do this the more natural it will become. Eventually when questioning your reality becomes habitual, lucid dreaming will as well and the experience will become more normal. That’s when you can truly start your exploration.
Another way you anchor reality checks within your day is to set casual cues. Whenever someone says your name for example, or looks at you in the eyes, ask yourself the question; Am I dreaming?
Having this thought cross your mind right before going to bed can help because the thought is fresh in your mind as you fall asleep. I have found that nights in which I read about lucid dreaming right before I go to bed, I tend to remember more dreams and more lucid ones. It’s interesting how you can influence your subconscious thoughts with mantra. That is all I’m suggesting. Using a mantra…
Using this mantra on a daily basis will increase the number of lucid dreams you have. All it takes is discipline which can be facilitated with a physical objects, sounds or cues throughout the day, if need be. Repeat this mantra regularly throughout the day to train your mind so that dream lucidity comes more easily. It will eventually happen.