“I was walking in the meadow of beautiful emerald, black and purple flowers. I lifted my eyes to look at the lilac sky and suddenly I understood – I am sleeping! I laughed, lifted my hand up and flew above the flower sea. This is how I had a lucid dream”.
Lucid dreaming is an alternate state of mind when you are asleep but you are aware that you are dreaming. You might have experienced it by yourself or heard about someone who did. Lucid dreams are not what an old quacksalver claim to have, but an exciting ability of our brain that is currently studied by biologists and neuroscientists. Lucid dreaming is believed to help to treat nightmares and relieve negative mental conditions. Lucid dreaming can be practiced by pretty anyone, it only requires little skill development. And here’s an ultimate technique to exercise your dreams control – practice playing the handpan.
How to become a lucid dreamer?
What is it like to be a lucid dreamer and what do you need that for? There’s a great bunch of scientific works, educating materials and records of people who share their lucid dreaming experience.
There is a good variety of techniques that you can involve in exercising your dream control – keep a diary of your dreams, practice meditation, self-hypnosis, taking a habit of questioning yourself – am I dreaming now? But two of the most crucial things that make it possible are relaxation and mindfulness. And here is when the handpan comes out onto the stage.
Self-awareness is a magical button that makes the lucid dream happen. However, most of us face great problems with staying mindful. If you are not a Buddhist monk, you can also feel like you are unable to escape the vicious circle of disturbing thoughts. Playing music helps to switch the control from these thoughts to an outer object. This refers to many musical instruments, but only some of them can let you relax. If you ever tried to play the piano or percussion instruments, you know how much concentration it requires to not play off the key. The handpan and tongue drum’s greatest advantage is that you do not need to even concentrate on the notes you are playing to create a good melody. Handpans are the instrument with very soft, meditative, ethereal sound. If you never heard them before, switch on the handpan podcast for just a couple of minutes and you’ll instantly feel their soothing and relaxing effect.
Although all the handpans have a soft harmonious sound, they are tuned with different scales and provide different moods. For lucid dreaming opt for the handpans with a calm and soothing voice like the D Celtic Minor and the F Pygmy RAV Pan. They will help you to relax and reach the mindful state of mind.
How to involve playing the handpan into your lucid dreaming practice?
Play the handpan by yourself or listen to the handpan music during the day and especially before your lucid dreaming session. Even if your head has been overwhelmed with annoying thoughts and emotions during the day, a few minutes with the instrument will help to achieve very deep relaxation and set yourself up to lucid dreaming. It will also help to create a strong connection in your brain between the handpan sound and the future lucid experience. You’ll make your body set up automatically for relaxing and lucid dreaming when hearing the handpan sound.
Save the time before you go to bed. Turn off and set aside the phone and any other devices at least an hour before. Put on some loose clothing. Place yourself comfortably, take the handpan and start playing the random notes. Don’t try to create a full-fledged melody. You can even choose a single note and tap it all alone. The sound of the instrument will do everything by itself. Let your thoughts fly away, don’t concentrate on your memories or worries about the future, let them go by like the cars on a highway. This ritual will help to wind you down and get ready for dreaming. When you feel relaxed enough go to bed and start your lucid dreaming experiment.
Maybe for someone it’ll be easier to play the tongue drum rather than handpan, especially if you don’t have any musical background. The tongue drums like the RAV Vast drums will work perfectly for this purpose, just follow all the previous steps with your RAV drum.
After you saw your first lucid dream
Keep a diary close to your bed. When you wake up, put down the notes of your experience. Keep your observations. You can note that some certain kind of melodies or rhythms work better for you.
A frequent question is if I start practising it, will all my dreams be lucid? Of course, you can still enjoy your usual uncontrolled dreams, it only depends on you how many of them you’ll manage to be lucid. But it’s hard to not surrender to temptation. There’s almost something magical about having an ability to investigate the world inside you with full awareness…