A Look at Lucid Dreaming with Thomas Peisel and Laurel Lyons [Interview]


Triston Lane

Photo Credit: Tristan “Maybe” Lane

We gather together as a community for lots of reasons, to shake it out on the dancefloor, to visit our beloved festival families, and to learn and grow as individuals. The word “Lucidity” describes something that is clear and understandable. As a festival, we have always been dedicated to living up to our name, shedding light on all kinds of topics through our many classes. This year we’re stepping things up with Lucid University’s intensive trainings April 4–6, 2016. Giving you a few extra days to spend at Live Oak Campground, and 3 full days dedicated to an area of study of your choosing, Lucid University is a great option for anyone looking to get their study on before the party! 

To give you a better idea what you’ll experience at Lucid University, we’ve interviewed the instructors of a course that promises to unlock the secrets of the waking mind, The Way of Lucid Dreaming and Lucid Living. Laurel Lyons and Thomas Peisel took time to speak with us about their experiences with Lucid dreaming, each bringing their own perspectives and approach which they developed in their formative years.

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Images Courtesy of Laurel Lyons (left) and Thomas Peisel (right).

What can someone attending Lucidity’s 3-Day Lucid Dreaming workshop expect to experience?  

Thomas: Lucid dreaming can be some of the most profound and life-changing experiences available to us. It can open us up to a bigger picture of who we are, how reality works, and how we shape our lives. But it means nothing to us if it remains just an “idea.” 

The 3-day Lucid Dreaming workshop is designed to accelerate someone’s practice with lucid dreaming. We will start from the very beginning (What are dreams? How do I remember them?), move together into some more foundational practices (How to become lucid, how to resolve and heal nightmares, strengthening awareness) and develop foundational practices that, when applied will allow lucidity (both in waking and in sleep) to arise naturally.

Laurel: I wouldn’t want the attendees to “expect” anything, expectation leads to the desire that there be a certain fulfillment or achievement established. The idea that there would be any particular “experience” in a LUCID DREAMING – LIVING workshop kind of defeats the open nature that some amazing things are going to circumstantially and spontaneously happen… That said, the attendees are going to get their minds opened up in magical and miraculous ways. The attendees will gain great access to the potent nature of their individual and incredibly vivid imaginations; their vivid imagination now asleep let’s say, will wake up. Some attendees are going to be inspired by some major disbelief, transforming to wonderment, while others will be soothed that they are not alone out there in the great dream REALm!

Harmonic Light

Photo Credit: Reid Godshaw / Harmonic Light

What inspired you to get involved in lucid dreaming and teach the practice?

Thomas: I began having lucid experiences when I was young. I remember telling my mom about them trying to find the right words, “I’m having dreams that are real” or “I was awake in my dream”, I remember saying. I didn’t have the right language to convey what was happening. I remember her telling me, “Oh, you have a wonderful imagination.” But it wasn’t imagination.

When I was a teenager they began happening again and this time I researched it. I found out that it’s not a new thing- conscious dreaming goes back thousands of years, and most of all—I could learn and train myself to master these experiences.

Since then dreaming has been my spiritual practice illuminating both my waking and sleeping hours with clarity and presence.

Juliana bernstein Get Tiny

Photo Credit: Get Tiny / Juliana Bernstein

Symbolism is a core theme of Lucidity, with each village having it’s own totem animal, and the overall vision of the Six Year Story which shapes each year’s event. Dreams are often regarded as being highly symbolic, is there any change to that when the dreamer is more aware or in control?

Laurel: Of course there is change, change is perfection. The number of symbols increase and the meaning of early symbols often changes too. For me I am the significant symbol now, I am the center piece or the focus or focal point…Lucidity sunrise to sunrise becomes one of our great blessings.

Thomas: Dreams speak in a very efficient way. Symbolism is an old language and a way to convey a complex idea in a simple form. But when we learn to become lucid, we won’t have to question what something ‘represents’ or what something truly means after the dream. When we’re lucid we can directly ask the dream, the dream character, the situation, etc, “What do you represent?” “What do you have to tell me?” “Show me what I need to know!” In this way, we won’t ever be left in the dark trying to interpret a dream’s meaning.

In part 2 we’ll dive deeper into the lucid dreaming experience, common misconceptions on what lucid dreaming is, and some of the greater benefits to bringing lucidity to your dream world.

If you’re on a budget and still interested in the Lucid University, we are offering one full scholarship for each area of study, and a number of partial scholarships

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