Part IV: Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams (MILD)
MILD is based on our ability to remember that there are actions we wish to perform in the future. Aside from writing ourselves memos we do this by forming a mental connection between what we want to do and the future circumstances in which we intend to do it. Making this connection is greatly facilitated by the mnemonic device–the memory aid–of visualizing yourself doing what it is you intend to remember. It is also helpful to verbalize the intention: “When such-and-such happens, I want to remember so-and-so.” For Example: “When I pass the bank, I want to remember to draw out some cash.”
The verbalization used is to organize the intended effort: “Next time I’m dreaming, I want to recognize I’m dreaming.” The “when” and “what” of the intended action must be clearly specified.
He generates this intention either immediately after awakening from an earlier REM period, or following a period of full wakefulness, as detailed below. An important point is that in order to produce the desired effect, it is necessary to do more then just mindlessly recite the phrase. You must really intend to have a lucid dream.
Here is the recommended procedure spelled out step by step:
1) During the early morning, when you awaken spontaneously from a dream, go over thedream several times until you have memorized it.
2) Then, while lying in bed and returning to sleep, say to yourself, “Next time I’m dreaming, I want to remember to recognize I’m dreaming.”
3) Visualize yourself as being back in the dream just rehearsed; only this time, see yourself realizing that you are, in fact, dreaming.
4) Repeat steps two and three until you feel your intention is clearly fixed or you fall asleep.
If all goes well, in a short time you will find yourself lucid in another dream (which need notclosely resemble the one you have rehearsed).
The mental set invovlved in this procedure is much like the thought you adopt when you decide to awaken at a certain hour, and go to sleep after setting your mental alarm clock. The ability to awaken in your dreams may be re- garded as a sort of refinement of the ability to awaken from your dreams.
If you find yourself just too drowsy to follow the procedure as described above, you might try to wake yourself up by engaging in several minutes of any activity that demanad it.
People are likely to differ as to which of these two factors–wakefulness and REM carryover–are more effective for them, and I recommend experimenting with both when using MILD to induce lucid dreams.