Exploratory meditation and dreaming
Anyone practice lucid dreaming?
I've recently started to notice that I dream when I'm awake. If I'm trying to sleep, my thoughts will break away into a dream-like state, which I follow through with while retaining depressed awareness of the world around me. Essentially I'm awake and thinking, but my thoughts are blurred into dream-like thoughts rather than your typical cognitive thoughts--no conscious goals or problem solving, but rather self-driven to the point that the events and even characters present are autonomous.
I've been doing some exploratory meditation, trying to meditate (insight meditation) while in a sleeping posture and allow those thoughts to form. Usually I lay there thinking, and my thoughts naturally drift out of my control as I move to a dream state. With this experiment, I'm not intentionally controlling my thoughts; but I am intentionally controlling my mental state. What's resulted is a much weaker effect, but one that I can somewhat control: I've been able to consciously examine the world around me and my thoughts without breaking the dream state (eroding it, but not outright breaking), so it continues for a short while and I get to build an understanding of the phenomena.
My goals here are to understand the dream state; to induce dreaming; to remember my dreams; and to enter lucid dreaming states. Potentially, I should be able to enter a sleep state without losing conscious connection with the world or awareness; the dream states that have prompted this exploration do provide sleep-like rest. With such control, I may be able to raise myself from sleep more slowly and allow my memories to consolidate, allowing for greater recall and recording of my dreams.
Has anyone tried this?