I hope you enjoyed the first article in this 3 part series which introduced lucid dreaming.  If you need a refresher, you can find the post here.  Thank you for stopping by to read about two more steps you can take to induce lucid dreaming so that you can reap the benefits that Adam described previously.  Part 3 of this series will go live on Friday – hope you join us again!  

Step #2 – Dream Journaling

Dream journaling builds a powerful foundation for lucid dreaming. Whether you believe it or not, you do dream – you just don’t remember it as often as you used to. Not only does keeping a journal dramatically increase the length and quality of your dreams, but at the same time it actually increases your chances of becoming lucid. By journaling, you send your intention to lucid dream into your subconscious.

If you can, go out and get yourself a nice hardback journal that you can use. A good quality journal will help improve your overall commitment to the process.

Each morning, when you wake up, try not to move. Keep your eyes shut and stay as still as possible. Mentally run through as much detail about your dreams as you can. It doesn’t matter how vague it is – even if you can only remember a feeling or emotion, that’s OK. Run all the details through until you’ve committed them to memory.

Once done, put down everything you can remember in your dream journal. Journal in whatever way is most comfortable for you – you can include words, pictures and mind maps.

I keep a small voice recorder by the side of the bed. When I wake up in the middle of the night, I am able to record my dreams into the voice recorder and then commit it to journal when I wake up in the morning.

Before sleeping the following night, review your dream journal entries from previous nights. Don’t just read it, really experience and relive the dreams in as much detail as possible. Whilst reliving your dreams, imagine yourself as being fully lucid and aware within them.

Within just a few days of practice, you’ll begin to notice a change in the quality and quantity of the dreams you are able to remember. Not only will your recall improve but remember that dream journaling sets your subconscious intention to lucid dream – practicing this alone will improve your chances of hitting a lucid dream. Journaling alone will improve your chances of hitting a lucid dream.

Step #3 – Reality Checking

Regular reality checking is the primary method used to induce lucid dreams using the ‘DILD’ method. Of course, the induction method you use is irrelevant – the target is the lucid dream.  Most of us day dream our way through large parts of the day – when was the last time you were truly aware of your surroundings and what you were doing?

The purpose of the reality check is to get into the habit of truly questioning your environment. With regular repetition, you’ll find yourself performing a reality check within a dream, realizing you are dreaming, and immediately becoming lucid.

Reality Checks

  1. Pinch your nose and try to breathe.
  2. Try to push your finger through your opposite hand.
  3. Look at your hands – do they look normal? Really?
  4. Look at a digital clock – is the time valid? If it reads 52:88 then you might just be dreaming.
  5. Try to push your finger through a wall – does it go through?

When performing reality checks, don’t automatically expect them to fail – if you do, you’ll perform them ‘mindlessly’ within a dream with no effect. Really intend your reality checks to work and focus deeply on the reality check when you perform it.

Our early lucid dream experiences are usually very unstable and often end very quickly. With practice, the quality and stability begins to improve quickly. Once that happens, we can then take our dreaming practice to the next level.

In the final article, I’ll discuss techniques to stabilize and prolong lucid dreams, as well as a manifestation and insight technique.


Adam Palmer has been consciously practicing lucid dreaming and exploring the out of body state for over 10 years. Now he wants to help others share the experience.  Connect with Adam at Astral Zen.