What is the Lucid Light? Where do dreams come from? What is Mindful Dreaming?
I was interviewed for a very popular US radio show, Coast to Coast, which reaches 5 million people. George Noory had some great questions about lucid dreaming, my concept of the Lucid Light, and my new books, Mindful Dreaming and Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Lucid Dreaming.
The full interview can be listened to here, and below you can read some of the conversation.
The title of your new book is Mindful Dreaming – what is that?
Dr Clare Johnson: Mindful dreaming is becoming mindful at every level of the sleep experience – it’s not just about lucid dreaming, where we’re super-aware of our dream experience while it’s happening – it’s also about mindful sleeping, creating calm bedtime rituals, cultivating dream recall, welcoming your dreams, practising dream incubation and keeping a dream journal. Doing these things is an excellent way of having mindful contact with your dreaming mind.
Mindful dreaming is also about doing waking dreamwork, which is when we shine the light of conscious awareness onto our dreams by working with them in insightful and illuminating ways. Mindful dreaming is all about bringing consciousness to dream experience. Scientists say we have about 6 dreams a night, which means we have over 2000 dreams a year, so six whole years of our life are spent dreaming! Imagine how much life you miss out on when you don’t pay attention to your dreams!
Dreams are an incredibly important part of our lives and our entire sleep experience – we shift into different states of consciousness and experience different things on our way into and out of dreaming sleep. All of these states and experiences deserve mindful attention.
What is “Lucid Light”?
Dr Clare Johnson: The Lucid Light is something I talk about in my new book, Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Lucid Dreaming. The Lucid Light is a blissful light that anyone can experience, but it’s easier to experience in altered states such as meditation, deep relaxation, or lucid dreaming.
It’s a state of pure conscious awareness – I believe the Lucid Light is our baseline state of consciousness, the state from which all forms and matter arise, and it’s similar or identical to the light that people report when they’re pronounced clinically dead and feel themselves moving towards a light, or immersed in light.
Experiences of the Lucid Light can be deeply spiritual and also highly regenerative – if you feel exhausted, and then you lie down and have a Lucid Light experience, you wake up feeling amazing! So there’s this strong ability to revitalise us. And this is a baseline state of consciousness – the light we were born out of and that we return to when we die.
Where do dreams come from? The brain?
Dr Clare Johnson: Dreams are linked to the brain but the brain acts more like a radio transmitter. To say exactly where dreams come from, we’d have to know where we come from, ultimately – it’s one of those huge questions. But we can all explore the dreaming mind on our own, we don’t need someone else to tell us: “This is how you do it, this is what you have to do.” In lucid dreams, you can carry out your own experiments. You can do anything you want to do and ask any questions you want of your own consciousness.
In one lucid dream, I asked, “What are dreams made of?” And the whole room vibrated and everything fell apart, and this response was so familiar to me that I laughed and said, “OK; so dreams are made of energy!” And then I added, “Then answer me this: what is energy made of?” And the dream stopped shaking so much and suddenly these amazing chains of light formed all around me and I gasped in wonder: “Oh! Dreams are made of light!”
That’s the kind of experience I’ve had – but don’t take it from me! You can go into your lucid dreams and find out for yourself what dreams are made from.
The full Coast to Coast interview can be listened to here.
For tips on how to have lucid dreams, check out this short video.