Burning Man Redux (Part 3)

September 19, 2010

(continued from Part 2)….


In the default world, we’re in a trance. We move in lock step to each destination.. work, gym, store, home.  And when driving in between them, we’re anywhere but here as our minds wander into whatever fantasy or fear is in our thoughts.


Now imagine if someone interrupts that trance… when a stranger walks up to you and starts talking to you.   Suddenly we go into fear… “Who is this person and what do they want?  Now I might be late to dinner. I gotta get outta here!” …and back into that safe trance. 

But what if you knew it was all a dream? What if you knew that you’ll be waking up to your warm cozy bed later?  Well that would mean you could simply explore, learn, play, have fun.  Nothing really matters, so there’s plenty of time to just enjoy the moment. 

This is what it’s like to wake up within a dream and know you’re dreaming.  So back to Burning Man and the Advanced Dreaming Class. 

How to Wake up in a Dream, and Take Control




Ever wonder why you could dream a pink elephant walks by singing Michael Jackson and you never think to yourself, “This is really weird. Maybe I’m dreaming.”  It’s because despite the circumstances, you’re still in a trance. You’re still in the same state of mind as you are in the real world, which accepts everything at face value.  So the only way to really notice you’re dreaming is if you start to question the real world.

You’re reading my blog post right now in the real world.  Are you sure you’re not dreaming?



The Reality Check


Here’s how you question reality throughout your day:

  1. Stop for a moment and look around for a number (it’s easiest if you have a digital watch).
  2. Look away.
  3. Look back at the number.

If you’re in the real world, it will stay the same.  If you’re in the dream world, it will change to another number, or perhaps change shape, or color, or turn into a muppet. Who knows. But it certainly won’t be the same. (Note: It’s important that you only use numbers. I’ve tried this with words and it does not work as well).



If you do this several times a day, you will start to do it when you’re dreaming. And it’s like receiving a message from yourself to wake up within the dream. Once you do, it’s like the holodeck on Star Trek. It all feels totally real, and yet you can do anything you want!


Ground Yourself in the Dream


Before you go flying, or talk to God, or whatever it is you want to do, it’s very important to ground yourself in the dream world.  There is such a rush of excitement when you realize you’re dreaming that it’s easy to go into emotional overload and quickly wake up.  The most advanced lucid dreamers are very good at tempering their emotions.


To ground yourself, pay attention to all your senses. What are you hearing, seeing, smelling?  Look at your hands to connect with your body in this world. Take a moment to breathe.  This will help extend your dream time.




You can do whatever you’d like at this point, but here are a few interesting points that came from the Advanced class:


1. Nightmares and Dream enemies


These are often people who have a message for you. They represent something you’ve pushed out of your conscious. You might try asking them what they mean. Or give them unconditional love (Note: I tried this technique after Burning Man.  My enemy turned into a child crying, but I couldn’t get him to tell me what he signified. Ah the power of repressed thought!)


2. Bring dreams into your reality


To become more aware, try telling people about your dreams.  It’s important for you to be able to remember your dreams before you can try all of this. If you can’t remember your dreams, set your alarm clock to 4am, when you’re very likely to be in an REM state.  Wake up, write down your dream and go back to bed. (Note: I like to record mine on the voice recorder of my iphone)


3. Supplements


There are supplements you can take such as Huperzine-A, Mugwort and Galantamine.  There is a book all about this, as well as Tim Ferriss’ blog post below.  Note that while these supplements are very safe, there may also be a downside to long-term use, as very experienced lucid dreamers have said that it can reduce your number of lucid dreams once you go off of it.

Best Resources for Further Exploration:




Best Book on the Subject:  Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming
Tim Ferriss’s blog post


I believe this is one of the best skills you can possibly learn, because you’ll be dreaming your whole life.  In fact, I’ve begun to wonder… perhaps this entire world we’re in now is “one level deep” to quote Inception.  Perhaps each earth life time we have is like one day in our lives as a soul.  So when we die, we go back to the real world for awhile, and then dream into another life.


The Red Pill is real.

I got this email last week:


“Thanks for the playa gift! I’ve tried it several times and prescribed it to other folks, and it really works!
A friend of mine may be emailing you to obtain his own “prescription.”


After the dream class, I gave away 10 bottles, and 10 more people wanted them so they followed me back to camp to get their own.


Do you want your own? Email me your address. I have 10 left.


The Ski Party.


That night I waited for my camp to get ready to go out.  This can take hours, easy.  It’s herding cats in the real world, but add all the confusion of camping, dressing in the dark, creating crazy costumes, and hooking lights up to your outfit.


As I waited, I heard the most amazing music in the distance. It was a combination of bands like INXS with amazing break beats mixed in.  Upon hearing the happy vibe, I got up and left the group to go out on my own…


I walked into a huge geodesic dome to an Apres ski party!






There was snow falling, everyone was in ski outfits, and I don’t know how to explain this but it felt like we all knew each other.

Next time:The utopian French Cafe, Costco Soulmate Trading Outlet, and Mental Foreplay.

Read Part 1
Read Part 2