I’m flying now, zooming up to slip and glide on the air currents which send warmth through me. I tingle from the hair roots to the tips of my toes. It’s effortless: pure freedom and lightness. I can see the stars and feel their light prickle on my skin. (Clare Johnson,1996)
We all take on a dream body every night; how else could we dream of scaling cliff faces, hugging a friend, running from danger? In a lucid dream, where we know that we’re dreaming, we have the chance of fully experiencing the dream body with conscious awareness.
It’s quite something. The lucid dream body is lighter and faster than our waking physical body. It has a tendency to float. It can stretch – we can have ‘normal’ length arms one moment, and Mr. Tickle arms the next. The lucid dream body can transform into an animal or bird. It can fly. It can go through walls without getting hurt. It can grow a new limb if one is hacked off in battle. It can turn invisible. The more thought we give to the capabilities of the lucid dream body, the more it seems that we’re dealing with some kind of superhero.
Yet beyond all these abilities, the lucid dream body holds deeper lessons. It can teach us about the way that energy flows through our physical body. It can help us to notice the areas of our physical body that might need healing. The lucid dream body can teach us about being bodiless, because we don’t always need a dream body while we’re sleeping. In learning about how it feels to be without a body, we can learn more about what might happen when we die.
The lucid dream body is worth exploring for all these reasons. It’s not just a vessel that gets us from A to B in a dream – after all, in lucid dreams we can teleport ourselves instantly to another dream scene without needing a body at all. When we direct our lucid attention to the dream body, when we experiment and play with what it can do, we learn on many levels.
Since being in a lucid dream body feels so different from our heavy, earthbound physical body, this is a great lucidity trigger. Notice when you feel floaty – look at your feet. Are they slightly off the ground? Could this be a dream? The more attention we pay to the dream body, the faster we’ll recognise that we’re dreaming. This means more (and more) lucid dreams!
Exploring the lucid dream body
- To get to know your lucid dream body, explore it in your next lucid dream. Is it a different shape and density from your physical body? What can you do with it? What do you like about being in this dream body? Try turning somersaults mid-air – it’s wonderful!
- Practising yoga, qigong or tai chi while awake is an excellent way of understanding the flow of subtle energy around the physical body. The feel of this energy is very similar to the flow we feel in the lucid dream body. It’s especially noticeable when we fly. The more tuned in we get to this energy flow in the waking state, the more likely we are to notice when we are in a dream body… and become lucid.
- Do yoga (or any other movement or sport) in a lucid dream. Any yoga pose is possible! I’ve been doing yoga in my lucid dreams for decades and it helps waking life practice and mental focus. Others prefer lucid snowboarding or swimming.
- Ask your lucid dream body a direct question about your health and see what kind of response you get. It might be an image, a voice, coloured light, or something altogether unexpected.