Aware and Asleep

teddy bear with camera film over eyes for lucid dreaming how to lucid dream


Take a dive into the lucid dream world and explore advice for new dreamers.

The sky was lavender. The Himalayan hills a slate gray, hiding the sun, and the concrete roof of our yoga hall a steely blue beneath the evening sky at sunset. Daniel sat on a short square pillar near the building’s edge. His hands were outstretched and his gaze slightly downward. His palms faced in. After a few moments, he turned them away and directed the backs of his hands toward his body. Later, I gathered the courage to ask him what I witnessed that evening. “It’s called a reality check,” he said. “I count my fingers.” Daniel, it turned out, was an experienced lucid dreamer. A reality check like observing one’s hands and counting fingers helps people know if they’re awake or if they are dreaming (repeating a consistent reality check throughout the day is also one of the most widely recommended tips for beginning a lucid dreaming practice; see box). After developing this reality check habit in our waking life, we look at our hands in a dream, but instead of them appearing the way they normally do, we might see extra fingers, odd growths, or, in my experience, giant hands (what h …

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