What is lucid dreaming? Put simply, a lucid dream is a dream in which you — the dreamer — are aware that you are dreaming.
The first step is developing that awareness, which can be done through a number of practical techniques and exercises, many of which are explained in detail in the books below.
And then once you are able to come to awareness in your dreams, the real wonders begin: you can start to make decisions and conscious actions in your dreams.
The Tibetan Buddhist dream yogis have, for centuries, used lucid dreaming as a tool for spiritual development.
And today an increasing number of people around the world are experiencing profound personal, spiritual and relational benefits from the practice — including increased happiness and peace, better health, the healing of emotional wounds and relationships, and relief from nightmares and symptoms of PTSD.
Below is a list of some of the best books on lucid dreaming to get you started if you’re new to the concepts and methods, or to feed your practice and imagination if you’re an experienced lucid dreamer.
Adventure into your dreams with joy!
1. Are You Dreaming? Exploring Lucid Dreams: A Comprehensive Guide
A brilliant introduction to the benefits of lucid dreaming for beginners and experienced practitioners alike, with actionable techniques to get you started on your lucid dreaming journey.
It takes a scientific stance with references to numerous research studies as well as accounts of personal experiences from his large following of students.
You’ll find the answers to your burning questions about how and why to navigate your dream worlds with consciousness within these pages.
And with no nonsense — the author writes in straightforward terms and doesn’t ask you suspend reason.
2. Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming
If you’ve ever wondered about the insight you might gain by going within and exploring your mind while you’re dreaming, this book is one for you.
Unlike many dream books, there’s no pseudo-psychology here: Dr. Stephen Laberge, a researcher from Stanford University, draws you into the wondrous — and highly scientific — world of mapping relationships between the mind and body during dream states.
The authors also weave in key teachings of the Tibetan dream yogis, integrating this wisdom seamlessly with the advances of modern science.
And you’ll find practical steps throughout that will teach you how to start lucid dreaming in order to cultivate confidence and creativity.
3. Dream Yoga. Illuminating Your Life Through Lucid Dreaming and the Tibetan Yogas of Sleep
This practical guide to lucid dreaming is an invaluable resource for anyone looking for more lucidity in their dreams — and in their waking life, too!
The authors tell lucid dreaming stories from their own experiences and those of their students to illustrate the transformative power of taking control of your dreams.
Here, the art of awareness in dreams is framed as an opportunity for personal development both while asleep and when awake.
We have a lot to learn from the places our brains go while we’re sleeping, and this book guides us to connect with those lessons.
4. Dreaming Wide Awake. Lucid Dreaming, Shamanic Healing, and Psychedelics
David Jay Brown is a neuroscientist with a master’s degree in psychobiology, and in this book he pulls together strands from his various fields of research to give you new perspective on lucid dreaming — and a new perspective on your own mind.
Nestled within these pages is a goldmine of information and inspiration.
Along with accounts of the lucid dreaming experiences others have had, you’ll find explorations of the similarities and differences between lucid dreaming and psychedelic trips, and the knowledge that can be gleaned from shamanism too.
This book manages to be highly readable and personal at the same time as sharing a great wealth of information, and it will feed your fascination with the mysteries of dream states.
5. The Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep
To understand the roots of lucid dreaming and its potential for spiritual and personal awakening, you can look to the Tibetan dream yogis.
This book explores lucid dreaming techniques in their traditional forms and with their ancient purposes in mind, while also offering adaptations of techniques and a step-by-step foundational lucid dreaming course for you to try yourself.
As well as discussing the benefits of lucid dreaming — including blissful happiness and freedom — this book touches upon the potential dangers of lucid dreaming, and how to avoid them.
Although it’s firmly rooted in the traditions of Buddhism, conscious dreamers from any background will find wisdom here.
6. A Field Guide to Lucid Dreaming. Mastering the Art of Oneironautics
This truly inspiring text will lift you from the confines of everyday life and connect you with the liberation available to you in your dreams.
Dreams are, after all, unlimited by the boundaries of normal life — you can do anything, feel anything, and be with anyone.
And the authors, here, explain how having these experiences in your dreams can have a significant and positive impact on the way you live your ‘real’ life.
Written by three dedicated lucid dreamers, this is a practical guide and a motivational narrative at the same time.
You’ll learn about the history of dreams, the science of sleep, and delve into the adventurous world of traveling into the self and exploring the world in dreams.
7. Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Lucid Dreaming. A Comprehensive Guide to Promote Creativity, Overcome Sleep Disturbances and Enhance Health and Wellness
Johnson’s complete lucid dreaming guide is comprehensive, beautifully written, and totally motivating.
With this book you can learn how to lucid dream and discover myriad reasons why you should learn — not least of which is the real potential for healing emotional wounds in your dreams, and repairing relationships with those close to you.
The depth of knowledge, research and experience that Johnson has poured into this text makes it valuable for lucid dreamers with lifelong experience as well as for complete beginners.
Dr. Keith Hearne, the scientist who first proved that lucid dreaming is possible back in 1975, called it “a significant book” — high praise from a pioneer of dream exploration.
8. Advanced Lucid Dreaming. The Power of Supplements
Taking a slightly different perspective from the other books on this list, Yuschak explores the potential of enhancing your experience with lucid dreaming supplements.
With Masters degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Modern Physics, Yushchak has been studying lucid dreaming for decades and has a particular interest in different ways of inducing lucid dreams.
Instead of the practical techniques other lucid dreaming teachers share, he suggests that certain supplements can bring on a lucid dream without the user having to practice their techniques every day.
It’s a controversial book, with many lucid dreamers highly skeptical of the benefits — and safety — of using chemicals to induce their experience.
But it’s an interesting read whether you’re for or against it (or undecided), and you’ll learn lots about the ways in which chemical reactions affect how you feel and what you think.
9. Dreaming Through Darkness. Shine Light into the Shadow to Live the Life of Your Dreams
Charlie Morley is a best-selling author and renowned lucid dreaming teacher who splits his time between London and his Tibetan Buddhist teachers in the Himalayas.
He has spent a decade studying the ‘Shadow’ from both Buddhist and Western perspectives; the Shadow is the formation of all the parts of ourselves that we hide from other people, both dark and scary, and bright and beautiful.
Morley is dedicated to using lucid dreaming techniques and teaching to help students connect with their Shadow, because he has learnt that there is incredible creativity and love within it — if we can bring it into the light.
This book is a combination of practical exercises, anecdote, ancient teachings and scientific knowledge.
10. Lucid Dreaming, Plain and Simple. Tips and Techniques for Insight, Creativity, and Personal Growth
Waggoner draws on extensive lucid dreaming experience (including a stint as the President of the International Association for the Study of Dreams!) to co-author this beautifully written and highly detailed book on lucid dreaming.
You’ll find out exactly what lucid dreaming is; how to do it; and why you’d want to do it.
And you’ll be encouraged and supported by the perspectives of two passionate lucid dreaming experts and practitioners.
Rich with personal experience, it’ll make you look forward to going to bed and getting into your dreams tonight!
11. Dreaming Yourself Awake. Lucid Dreaming and Tibetan Dream Yoga for Insight and Transformation
This book brings the dream world to life with an enthusiastic foray into the adventurous possibilities which exist after you close your eyes.
It is a beginner’s handbook, with detailed guidance on how to start using daily techniques to access your free will during dreams.
But it’s also a deeper text: an exploration of how lucid dreaming can be more than just a fun activity, but rather a tool to strengthen your creativity and problem solving ability and to develop your understanding of yourself.
12. Lucid Dreaming. Gateway to the Inner Self
This book is a personal take on lucid dreaming.
It is an autobiographical account of Waggoner’s own dream stories — and worth a read, as he is an extraordinarily dedicated and talented practitioner.
He writes of how he learnt to interact directly with his Inner Self during lucid dreams; an experience which challenges modern psychology’s understanding of consciousness.
Waggoner’s meetings with his Inner Self became a life changing force for him — and within these pages he shares his advice on how to access similar encounters.
13. Lucid Dreaming. A Beginner’s Guide to Becoming Conscious in Your Dreams
His own lucid dreaming journey started while he was a teenager, and in this inspiring — and yet wonderfully comforting — title he teaches you how to begin on your own path to conscious dreaming.
Reading this book is a bit like sitting down with a good friend and listening to their heartfelt advice.
You will learn how your dreams can be your door to connecting with your subconscious, and how doing so can allow you to heal emotional wounds, overcome fears, and discover greater creativity.
And you will learn how to do that with practical and relatable guidance and exercises.
Perfect for beginners — but a great text for those who are already in touch with their lucid dreaming abilities but want to learn how to use their dreams for a deeper purpose.
14. Lucid. The Tao of Dreaming
Daniel Love is a lucid dreamer and a consciousness researcher, endlessly fascinated with what goes on beneath the surface of our conscious minds.
Here, he draws on knowledge from Zen, minimalism, Taoism and Oneirology — the Greek science of dream study — to give you a solid foundation in the philosophy of dreams.
This books makes the perfect companion to more practical lucid dreaming guides; it’s about the philosophy, the history, and the very fabric of our dreams.
Read this book to feel inspired — to feel the power of creativity that resonates in your mind while you sleep.
I hope you find this list to be a useful resource.
A place for you to find inspiration to start lucid dreaming, and motivation to continue on your journey — even on those days when you just don’t feel like practicing.
Your dreams are personal, and the insight and self-knowledge you’ll find within them is unique to you.
Remember to be kind to yourself, because learning to lucid dream with great control takes time and dedication.
Keep going — and keep reading — and you are certain to encounter new realms of yourself.
You might just learn to fly in your dreams, too!
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