MILD Technique

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MILD Technique

by Neil Brown

MILD is an acronym for a Mnemonically-Induced-Lucid-Dream. A mnemonic is a learning technique which promotes memory. It is a method which assists in remembering to recognise that we are not awake in the tangible world but immersed in the dreamscape. Dr Stephen LaBerge of The Lucidity Institute pioneered this method to allow himself to have more lucid-dreams and detailed it in his seminal work Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming.

It functions by planting a suggestion into our unconscious mind to recognise the dream-state. It also involves programming the subsequent dream-scene to contain symbolism that triggers an awareness that we are, in fact, asleep. This method is a valuable approach to the induction of DILD's and is appropriate for beginners and more advanced practitioners alike; it is an essential weapon in the lucid dreamer's arsenal.

As previous dreams are a fundamental element, reasonable dream-recall is a necessary prerequisite for this technique. If you are unable to recall at least one nocturnal adventure each morning, you should concentrate on improving your recall before proceeding. Even if you do become lucid you will probably not be able to remember it anyway!

How to do the MILD technique?

The MILD technique requires visualising a recent dream-scene in which you were unaware, but this time recognising a dream-sign. You neurologically program yourself to question reality when confronted with a particular dream sign.

If you dreamt of your boss breathing fire but didn't become aware of the fact that you were asleep, you can utilise that failure to assist you in becoming cognizant the next time. Imagine the situation in as much detail as possible. Recall your feelings and thoughts. But this time visualise yourself recognising the trigger - people don't breathe fire! See yourself performing a reality-check and it failing. Rescript the remaining portion of the dream as if you were lucid. If you knew you were dreaming, what would you do? How would you feel? Where would you go? Envision yourself interacting and manipulating the dream scene. Repeat this exercise several times; ingrain the recognition into your brain. Then allow yourself to go back to sleep. You may find yourself in the same dream scene from which you previously awoke or an entirely new setting. Either way, the neurological programming you did will have dramatically increased the chances of you recognising that you are dreaming and becoming lucid.

If you didn't remember the previous dream, select another from your journal. If you find yourself falling asleep before completing the exercise, prop yourself up in bed to perform the neural programming and then return to a comfortable position to sleep.

When to do the MILD technique?

As the average person experiences several REM periods per night, you have multiple opportunities to employ this method. You can use it after each awakening or only when you feel sufficiently motivated. Many people report more success in the later stages of sleep - in the early hours of the morning when the REM period is longer and the dreams are often more vivid.

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