What if I told you that you had access to a place where you had superpowers and could experience things you thought were impossible? Would you go there?
This week I am chatting with Robert Waggoner author of ‘Lucid Dreaming: Gateway to the Inner Self’. In this episode, we learn what is Lucid Dreaming and how it can be used for personal development, healing, and integration.
Topics: Lucid dreaming, shadow work, nature of reality, reprogramming the mind, healing using dreams.
(02:59) What is a Lucid Dream?
(03:54) How to become more aware in dreams?
(04:42) Robert’s first Lucid Dreaming technique
(06:34) Reality is strange
(07:44) Our habits of perception and how they shape our worldview
(08:56) Being playful in your practice and how children approach the world
(12:51) How lucid dreaming can change your perception of reality
(15:53) Why is Lucid Dreaming so effective in reprogramming ourselves?
(17:29) Surrendering to dreams vs controlling them
(21:01) Going beyond pleasure-seeking and using Lucid dreams as a means for integration
(24:19) Inner war and working with our shadows and suppressed parts of us
(27:49) Changing beliefs can help you heal: How Robert healed from seasonal Hay Fever
(30:09) Is Reality a tragic comedy? Exploring the true nature of reality
(33:44) The world is a reflection of what is inside. When you change that your reality will change
(34:58) The world exists in an interconnected oneness
(37:51) One small change and closing thoughts
“Vision experience is mind”
[00:01:43] Sushil: I am very excited to have our guest today. He specializes in a topic which interests me very greatly is an author who has written a couple of books on lucid dreaming. One of them is lucid dreaming the gateway to your inner self and lucid dreaming, plain and simple. And he's also been running a quarterly magazine for over 20 years called the lucid dreaming.
Very thrilled to welcome this week. Robert Waggoner. Robert. Nice to have you.
[00:02:16] Robert Waggoner: Hi, thanks so much. It's great to be.
[00:02:19] Sushil: Yeah, so very you're calling in from,
[00:02:21] Robert Waggoner: I live in the Midwest in the United States and from here I go around the world, giving talks on lucid dreaming.
[00:02:28] Sushil: yeah. I love that. Aspect of the remote podcast is that I get to connect with a lot of wonderful people from all over the world.
[00:02:37] Robert Waggoner: It's a lot of fun. And I love hearing from people all around the world too, because lucid dreaming is something that just happens to people around the world. It's great to hear all the different experience.
[00:02:48] Sushil: For sure. I know what lucid dreaming is, but I'm guessing not all of my listeners know what it is. So if you could tell us what lucid dreaming is really quick. That'd be great.
[00:02:59] Robert Waggoner: Yeah. So a lucid dream is any dream in which you realize within the dream that you're dreaming. For example, my very first lucid dream was I was in the library and I sold this little Tyrannosaurus Rex dinosaur walking through the library and I thought, wait a second. This can't be dinosaurs are extinct. And at that moment I became lucidly aware when I realized, Hey, this has to be a dream. I'm dreaming this. So anytime you're aware in a dream that you're dreaming, that's a lucid dream.
[00:03:30] Sushil: We actually tend to rationalize so much out of the extraordinary in our lucid dreams or in our regular dreams. If if you're suddenly in a flying car, I think we don't have that awareness immediately that it's not real or, you know, it's not something that would happen in waking reality.
So what is your view on that? How do people become more observant about these kinds of.
[00:03:54] Robert Waggoner: Yeah, that's a wonderful point. In most dreams, we just accept whatever happens. It can be totally unreal. Totally incredible. But we just go along with it or we make up the story. And so one of the things that I really encourage people to do is. To tell themselves before sleep tonight in my dreams, I'll be much more aware. And when I notice something strange, I'll realize I'm dreaming because that's what we lack in regular dreams is that kind of critical awareness. But if you can tell yourself before sleep that you're going to be much more aware, then you can help to increase that mindfulness that'll help you realize, Hey, this is a dream.
[00:04:37] Sushil: And how old were you in when you started lucid dreaming? First.
[00:04:42] Robert Waggoner: My first spontaneous lucid dream happened probably when I was 10 years old, but it wasn't until I was 16 or 17 years old that I created a technique to become lucidly.
[00:04:56] Sushil: Would you care to share that technique with us?
[00:04:58] Robert Waggoner: Yeah. So I was reading a book by Carlos Castaneda called journey Ixtlan. And in that book, his Shamanic teacher ask him to try and find his hands in the dream state and realize he's dreaming. And so there really wasn't a technique. And so I just invented one and th this is what I did. Each night before I'd go to sleep, I would just look at the palms of my hands, just like this. Before I went to sleep and quietly in my mind, I'd tell myself tonight my dreams, I'll see my hands and realize I'm dreaming tonight. My dreams, I'll see my hands and realize I'm dreaming. And I would just repeat this tonight in my dreams. I'll see my hands and realizing. For about five minutes and then I'd fall asleep. So on the third night of doing this practice, I'm walking through my high school hallway and all of a sudden my hands, boom, they just shoot right up in front of my face and they go, Oh, my hands, this is a dream. And I went on and just had an amazing first consciously induced lucid dream. So That was the technique that I created long ago to become loosely.
[00:06:09] Sushil: Oh, I can attest to that. When you're in your dream, your hand looks so weird most of the time. Sometimes my hand looks like a Swiss army knife or sometimes. It's just weird. There's like a screwdriver for a finger or, you know, very strange things happen when you look at your fingers in the lucid dream.
And I also like that you brought up journey to Ixtlan the book by Carlos Castaneda. It's actually the only book I've read by him, but I want to read more of his work. Uh,
[00:06:34] Sushil: I think a central theme in that book was that his teacher is constantly trying to tell him that reality is strange. And I think Carlos keeps coming back to them and saying, this is not real, or this is not real.
Or he's trying to rationalize all of his experiences or his fantastical visions. This is not real. But I think the idea there was that we have a very fixed perception of what reality is this is what we experienced now. Me talking to you right now, that's reality and nothing else. What are the thoughts on, that?
[00:07:06] Robert Waggoner: Th that's what I loved about the book as well. It showed us that there is an alternate way of relating to. Our experience. So for example, in that book was a practice called not doing. And what that practice meant is that you revise what your perceptual habits were and stopped doing them.
For example, you might look at a tree and when you look at it, you realize, oh, I'm just looking at the leaves that have sunlight on them. Not doing would mean you had to look at the shadow areas, the areas where nothing seems to be. And
[00:07:44] Robert Waggoner: part of that is just breaking up our habits of perception because by the time or 20 or 30 or whatever, we have really strong habits of perception. But instead of making us free, they just make us get in this narrow, narrow, narrow view of things. And in order to become free, we have to realize sometimes what our habits of perception are and break the. So that?
we begin to get more information and become more mindfully aware
[00:08:14] Sushil: amazingly put and to elaborate on that point, when you said our perception is shaped by what we are conditioned with a thing, which I really found interesting was when a child is growing up, he looks at a bird and he doesn't have any words for it, or he doesn't have a perception of what it is.
But then once you say that this is a bird he stopped seeing bird. He starts associating everything with a word, but as opposed to what it actually is. And we do that with every object. I think it's, there's a lot of literature in Buddhism. It says that when we look at a cup and we are making it a cup our perception and our words is shaping our reality and we're not really experienced.
[00:08:56] Robert Waggoner: Exactly. and and I like how you brought up children, because when I uh, go around the world and give workshops and interact with people, I always ask them to play with these ideas. Just play with them, have fun with them because sometimes by the time night comes around, we're tired. We don't want to do any practice or anything, but if you play with it like a child, then you have the energy and it's fun and you go ahead and have success with lucid dreaming. So I really want to encourage people to play with it and be sponsored.
[00:09:31] Sushil: That's a very good point. And I think maybe I should say. Down because over the last few months I've been having some lucid dreams, not like great success. But I think it's become like a chore for me, as opposed to actually enjoying the process and going in with an exploitative mindset and incorporating play is is really good advice.
[00:09:54] Robert Waggoner: One thing that I used to do I would imagine during the waking state sometimes I'd imagine what if this was a lucid dream right now? What if I knew this was a dream? Oh, if I knew it was a dream, then I would fly up to that telephone pole and I would walk on the water. Or I would fly around the classroom and grab pencils off of everybody's desk and whatever. But what I found is, as I began to play with my imagination is very closely connected to dreaming. And when you realize that your imagination is much like a waking dream, Sometimes I would imagine myself being on the front of a car that was driving along, down the street and then three or four nights later in my dreams, I'd find myself on top of a car, uh, that was driving along and like surfing on the car and I'd become a lucidly aware. And so if you play with it like a child does, then it doesn't become a chore. It becomes fun. And if you use your imagination, then you're connecting with the essence of dreaming.
[00:11:00] Sushil: I like that because I noticed that if I am like more playful in my waking reality, like if I I'm painting a lot and if I'm making paintings with a lot of rich colors and stuff, I see that the walls in my dreams, they're like paintings. They have. So many colors and infinite number of hues and shades.
And it's all very bright as if it's like I have an art gallery, 360 degrees, and it's amazing how like your waking reality and how incorporating more play in your day-to-day also can feed into like having wonderful dreams.
[00:11:34] Robert Waggoner: Yeah. And that's what I love about how children approach the world. When I watch little kids walking along on the side of. They're playing. I can see how they're stepping around the cracks in the sidewalk and they're doing this, that, and the other. They play with their personal experience, but sometimes the older we get we stopped playing. And I think that's when our experience becomes heavy and dense and hard to re-imagine. But when we
begin To play with it like a kid, then we can begin to reimagine. New experience and have fun with it at the same time.
[00:12:12] Sushil: Yeah. I read a book recently on this called all work and no play by an Australian author named Dale Sidebottom. He spoke about his journey about how he went through burnout and it was because. As you said, life got in the way and everything became like, it's a compulsion or like that hamster wheel of nine to five going through the motions.
And the funny thing is when I was a kid, I always wondered, like, why do people do jobs? Why would anyone subject themselves to this? And yeah that's, that is really good to know that, maybe we have to perceive a reality. As if it's a gift. So on that point,
[00:12:51] Sushil: how has lucid dreaming changed your perception or changed how you interact with waking reality?
Because I'm guessing you must have been lucid dreaming for many, many years.
[00:13:02] Robert Waggoner: Yeah, that's right. I taught myself how to lucid dream in 1975 by using the hands technique. And then in 1980, the scientific evidence for lucid dreaming came out. And for me, that was incredible because I was a psychology major in college. And finally somebody had validated lucid dreaming. And there's been a lot of experimental evidence since. But what I realized at first I just played around with lucid dreams. I become lucidly aware and I'd go fine or I'd fly through a wall or I'd walk on water. Or I talked to a dream figure and I just played around. But as I kept going deeper and deeper, I realized that lucid dreaming was showing me how the mind creates experience. Through our beliefs and our expectations, our focus and intent, we help to co-create our experience for example if if I believe that I could fly through this wall because it's dream stuff, then I'd fly right through. But if I flew up to it and expected it to be really hard to get through, then I might bounce off the wall, even though it's a lucid dream. And so I realized that, oh, my expectations and my beliefs are being projected into this dream space. And it's reflecting back to me what my beliefs and expectations are. And that's when I began to realize the same thing as occurring in the waking state as well. If we believe something's going to be impossible, then it becomes impossible. If we believe that our parents aren't going to listen to us, then they just shut down and don't listen to us. If we expect that's something bad is going to happen, then there's a good chance we're helping to create that experience. But if you can flip your beliefs, if you can flip your expectations. And the lucid dream. There's a sudden automatic change. And I'll tell you if you work at the right way in waking as well. If you begin to change your beliefs and expectations, then your waking reality will change.
[00:15:11] Sushil: I can relate to that a lot In my twenties, I had a couple of surgeries for some joint pain and I have lost like complete range of motion in my left wrist. And what happens is does sometimes I expect that my wrist won't be functional, even in my dreams. my dream body is shaped by my waking body and.
Part of the reason I got into lucid dreaming was to unravel these beliefs that why do I feel unworthy? Or why do I feel like I can't do this? Or, so many layers of conditioning and things that are not true built over 20 or 30 years. And I've been working on those. And that's how I found lucid dreaming as a way.
[00:15:52] Sushil: Why do you think lucid dreaming is so effective in reprogramming ourselves as opposed to waking reality.
[00:16:00] Robert Waggoner: In Buddhist dream yoga, they have a saying that, action performed at the level of lucid. Dreaming is nine times more powerful than one performed at the waking up. So when I affirm something or believe something or in 10, something like if I intend healing on my wrist and the lucid dream state, because I met this deep level of conscious. It's really very impactful and powerful. And so sometimes people have a sudden healings or they wake up and now they have 80% better movement. It's not totally healed, but it's 80% better. So I think it's because we're at this deep level and if we know how to focus we can, alter our beliefs and expectations and we can also alter our personal experience.
[00:16:52] Sushil: Yeah, I can see that. I think a lot of it has to do with how, like a lot of, lot more of your brain is active during a lucid dream or an altered state. And I think lucid dreaming is a way of getting to that state without using entheogens or psychedelics. But I've noticed that similar kind of. Teachings are given in a therapeutic settings where you use psychedelics.
I went to an Ayahuasca retreat and they were having an emphasis on, be more playful have fun with it. Don't try to control the journey. You will see what you need to see. So
[00:17:29] Sushil: what do you think about surrendering to dreams or letting the dream go with the flow versus trying to control.
[00:17:39] Robert Waggoner: So a lot of lucid dreamers discover this, that they become lucidly aware. They stabilize the lucid dream, and then they announced that they're surrendering to their larger awareness or to their divine self. And oftentimes when they surrender to. Then spontaneous things begin to happen that are just extraordinary. What I encourage people oftentimes to do is when you become elusively aware and stabilize it, stop talking to the dream figures and the dream setting. And instead, just reach out with a request to your unconscious mind or your larger awareness Hey dream, show me something important for me to. And sometimes the entire lucid dream will change and you'll be looking as something that's important for you to see, but by doing these kinds of open-ended approaches where you either surrender or you ask your larger awareness, show me something important. Sometimes those are the most incredible lucid dreams, because then your inner awareness takes you to something that, that is there to help you at that.
[00:18:47] Sushil: Yeah. And I liked that element of, ultimately it's an inner awareness that guides you through this integration process, because culturally we're in a place where you see ads, you see everything around you. It says there's something wrong with you. And this thing outside.
Or buy a product and it'll be, it'll improve you or you will not be as crappy as it used to be. And I liked the element of how, like a lot of this work that we do is basically you're using help when we need it. But it's essentially us finding our truest self or connecting more deeply with our guests.
[00:19:25] Robert Waggoner: And I think what people discover is that when they become lucidly aware and begin to interact with. Larger awareness that it also helps us in the waking state. Suddenly we'll have intuitions and impulses that come from these deeper layers of ourself that oftentimes if we follow them, then we'll revise how brilliant. The information that we received. And so part of lucid dreaming is connecting with this larger awareness and understanding that it actually exists and that it's trying to help us during the day through intuitions and impulses, but oftentimes the ego and waking mind, just shut it down. Oh, that silly, or why do I want to do that?
Why should I go outside now? I should stay here and keep working. And instead you get up and go outside and then you meet somebody. Who has the answer to the question that you were just thinking about but couldn't figure out a good solution for so so that's why this playful aspect is also very important because when you play with your experience, then you're open to spontaneous action. But when you stay in this narrow vein and I gotta do this, I gotta do that. I gotta do this. Gotta do that. Can't focus on anything. That then you stop that, that deeper aspects of the self from being able to move you away from your work focus or your just total focus on what you believe is necessary.
[00:20:58] Sushil: Yeah. And I also feel that.
[00:21:00] Sushil: The shadow gets in the way a lot as well in lucid dreams. If you are stuck in this pleasure seeking mindset or, if you're doing that constantly in waking reality, or looking for that next dopamine hit, or always trying to ride the pleasure wave then.
You lose out on what lucid dreaming can offer, because it's, first of all, when you start out, it's very fleeting. You have like maybe a few minutes of lucid dreams or something. And then if you keep like repeating the waking patterns, then you miss out on all of that.
How did you realize that I want to go beyond this,
what was your Come to Jesus moment in terms of, I want to use this for more than just acting out my pleasures.
[00:21:39] Robert Waggoner: Yeah. So, you know, At first lucid dreaming just seems fun cause you can fly around and go through walls and do all that kind of stuff. But after a while
when I began to realize that I could communicate with my larger aware of. That was really a game changer because then sometimes I could ask to have experiences like Hey dream, besides show me something important for me to see. It was like, Hey dream, let me hear my personal mantra. And then I just had the most incredible experience or Hey dream, let me experience unconditional love. And then I just had the most incredible experience. So that's how I got beyond kind of the. Pleasures and the waking interests is that I began to just open up to this larger awareness and that's when it began to teach me and show me things. But the most important thing it showed me, I feel as I, it showed me that all of us stay in a comfort zone. We stay in an area that is easy and what we feel is friendly and conducive, but instead it's really constraining. And so what it showed me is that I needed to resolve my fears and limiting beliefs in order to grow as a person. And so sometimes in my lucid dreams, it would bring forward some issue that I needed to get beyond. And I needed, I realized that, oh, a creative response is how I get beyond this. And for example if I might meet a angry or aggressive dream figure, I learned to send it love and compassion and understand that. And then that angry figure, it would begin to shrink and get smaller and smaller. And if I totally accepted it, it would become light. And that light would come into me. It was like, I reintegrated with that energy. Again I use my larger awareness as a teacher of lucid dreaming. And then I also realized that sometimes in the lucid dreams, I had to go to the area of the most. If I became lucidly aware and there was something going on over there that seemed energetic. I would go over there and I realized, oh, my inner self is showing me something in a symbolic fashion to help me grow our, realize the issue that I need to address. So that's how I kept moving forward and kept going deeper into.
[00:24:10] Sushil: That is beautiful because I have been having a similar experience of seeing what I need to see in the dream state. They're not all lucid, but
[00:24:19] Sushil: I had this regular team of violence in my dream in terms of there's always a fight, this was actually before the war in Ukraine and I felt like there was a war happening in my dream.
And I felt like there was military action. People who are being suppressed and , very authoritarian events taking place. And I realized that, this is a more like an inner war where I feel like part of the.
It was very suppressed or maybe the shadow the rejected part of me is acting out. Like, You will take a notice of me. You will see what I have to say. And there's always this back and forth with this part. And that's what I found interesting that this is what I need to work with right now.
Find a creative way to accept these.
[00:25:03] Robert Waggoner: You know, I, I
I'm so glad you brought that up because the shadow. As Carl Young talked about, it was the denied, ignored, repressed parts of the self. And sometimes in my dreams and lucid dreams, when I would encounter the shadow, I realized that, Hey, wait a second. I've got to start looking for the shadow in my waking life. And that's when I began to pay attention to what I was ignoring. And so like when I would go out and give talks on the lucid dreaming, if there were three guys in the back row with their arms folded looking really like they were pissed off at me, during my. When we had a break, when we had our break, they were the first persons I went back to talk to, I quit ignoring and denying the people whose, who seemed unhappy or whatever. Instead, I went to them first and Hey, how's it going? And just ask them some open-ended questions. And then a lot of times they gave me good feedback or they brought up an issue that. Failed to mention and all. And so so I began to see how I was relating to the waking world, oh, I'm gonna deny seeing those poor people over there.
I'm just going to ignore them. Or I'm going to deny that, oh, there's some angry issue over here or something. And instead I started going through it with the idea of thinking, how does this connect to me in my. W what is this showing me that I'm ignoring in my current life. And it really brought new revelations to me, uh, about, about the nature of things, and also made me feel less afraid in my waking life and also more connected with everything that was going.
[00:26:48] Sushil: Yeah. And I think there's a cultural shift where everything negative is perceived as bad. If you have a negative thought, like we are like, oh, stuff, it stuff at differ, repress it. And then you have this hyper positivity moment where everyone's like, you be your own cheerleader and all of that.
But the negative thoughts are coming for a reason. And if it, if you ignore them in waking reality, they end up is very violent dreams from personal experiences.
[00:27:14] Robert Waggoner: That's exactly what I discovered too, is that you have to open up and recognize what your mindstream. What it's saying. And also sometimes if I'd have a negative emotion, I try to follow it back to the beliefs that supported it. And that was really interesting as oh, now I understand why I feel this way. Oh, that emotion as I followed it back, I found the beliefs that I had. And to me, beliefs are just habitual ideas that we carry around with us.
[00:27:48] Robert Waggoner: But you can change habitual ideas, habitual beliefs, just like you change a pair of clothing. And that's one way I actually healed myself by changing beliefs. I had about about a medical condition.
[00:28:02] Sushil: Yeah, I'd love to hear about that.
[00:28:04] Robert Waggoner: Yeah. Here in America I would have every August and September, this thing called hayfever, and that's where there's all this pollen in the air and you breathe it in and then your sinuses get inflamed and you have to sneeze all the time and it, at night, your throat gets all clogged up with all the sinus stuff. And so I began to really hate August and September, because I would worry about this hay fever or all this pollen, but then I thought wait a second. Tell me that I'm actually, co-creating this reality and that the mind gets expressed in my experience. So, So I told myself, okay, I'm going to change my mind.
And this is what I did. Every time. I begin to think about hayfever or August and September being really bad. I'd tell myself no, not this year. And then I realized I had to tell my unconscious mind what I wanted to experience. So then I would tell myself this year I will breathe easily and naturally. And every time I thought about hay fever, I thought, Nope, not this year I breathe easily and naturally. And if I see a TV commercial about, Hey, hay fever is coming, Paula, and then the error worry, fear, or fear. I say, Nope, not me. Not this year. I'll breathe easily. And naturally the first year I had 70% less symptoms and the next year I had 90% less symptoms. And now I don't even think about it. I resolve that issue just by changing my mind, changing my beliefs and expectations. And that's why that's what I love about lucid dreaming. It showed me how important my beliefs and expectations were and in the lucid dream, if I changed my belief in the expectations, things change, but then I realized, oh, in my waking life, if I changed my belief and expectations, then things change too. It's a little bit slower and waking reality. Then in the dream reality, It's the same principles.
[00:30:08] Sushil: Yeah. One thing when he was talking about reality, what came up was in one of your previous talks, I heard you say something like the whole world seems like a trap magic comedy. And, you know, I found that, I found that very funny because I've had this perception often, you know, like, is this reality seems, seems very strange at times and whatever is happening, right. it seems like we are in a simulation I wanted you to elaborate more on.
[00:30:35] Robert Waggoner: So 20 years into lucid dreaming, I began to realize that all my experience, whether I was dreaming, waking, or in a lucid dream, it was all the co-creation. Of my awareness and my hardware awareness, helping to make it happen. And I think that's how it is for each person. We're bubbles of perception. And sometimes our bubbles merge a little bit and we have interactions but normally. We're the center of the universe in terms of our view of things. But then I began to wonder if all of this is a co-creation of my beliefs and expectation and my focus and intent along with my larger awareness, is there a real reality? And so when I began to think that all of a sudden I'd fall asleep at night and the entire night was nothing but blue. Huh? There was no mean, no action, no plot, no symbols. It was just blue height and I'd wake up the first time it happened, I woke up and I thought, what do I put my dream journal, blue height, that there was just nothing but blue height. And this kept happening over and over. And one morning I went down to the breakfast table and my wife looked at me and. Robert what's happening to you. And I said why did you ask me that? She said, last night I looked at your face and I've never seen someone in so much bliss before what's happening to you. And I told her well, I'm trying to understand the true nature of reality. And I'm having really interesting experiences. And this kept going then and there's more to the story, but this was just the beginning of other things that began to happen. What I began to realize was much like the fivefold teachings of the Dawa Gyaltsen, whom I later heard about.
He was a Buddhist dream yoga teacher and his first teaching his vision experience, his mind. And that's what I got to when I began to realize that, oh, my beliefs and expectations and my heart. Are all helping to form my personal experience. I got to this place of understanding that's the nature of things. The vision and experience are of the mind. When I changed my mind, my experience changes. Oh, I'm seeing a reflection back to me of where my mind is at and the trouble isn't out there. The trouble is my beliefs expectation. My focus, my intent, my ignorance. And my larger awareness is helping me on this path of education. So that's how deep lucid dreaming will take you. It's truly phenomenal.
[00:33:19] Sushil: As humans, we are addicted to torturing ourselves. And I think that's where the tragic comedy aspect comes, because I think it's very simple to let go of the baggage sometimes, but we still we're like addicted to this mindset that existence is suffering, but we add like a lot of gift wrapping paper on it and elevate make it much worse than it is.
[00:33:42] Robert Waggoner: Yeah, W
[00:33:43] Robert Waggoner: when we begin to realize that, that the issue is not out there, that out there as a reflection of the inner. And when we realize, when we begin to focus on our beliefs and expectations and change them, and then see the waking world change, it's a huge revelation. It can truly transform you.
[00:34:03] Sushil: very recently I had an experience. It was an altered state. I was doing one of my Ayahuasca ceremonies and they asked us to reconnect with nature. And I noticed that I was not me anymore. All my thoughts were gone and it was completely blank. I felt like there was no ego or, I'm not social anymore. And I was just like observing reality with no words, no perceived expectations from it. And I know it was, it's funny that I had to take a plant or a brew to get to that state. But ever since I had that experience, I at least in like small glimpses, I've started noticing that reality.
Is really very special in a way. once you disconnect from all the perceptions and the beliefs and everything that has been given to you, then you can actually start seeing how magical it can be.
[00:34:57] Robert Waggoner: I think as we go deeper into our realizations and lucid dreaming, we realize we exist in an interconnected oneness and. Even though it's hard to believe the house you live in is aware that field over there is aware. This valley is aware. You realize that you exist within an energy stream of interconnected oneness. And sometimes in my waking state meditations, I would connect with a. The physical environment and it would tell me things. It was just like, oh my gosh. And so sometimes it was very important. One time my wife and I were on a trip in the grand canyon and we were in this a narrow canyon and I reached out to the canyon and I said, canyon, what do you have to say to me? And it told me, get out while you still can. And I thought that was so strange until about five minutes later, I looked up and saw a thunder cloud, a thunderstorm, and I realized, oh, a thunderstorm is going to happen. And there's going to be a flash flood in this narrow canyon. And so I told my wife and everyone we have to get out of here. And then the people from the boat came running up the trail, telling us to get out. There's going to be.
a flash flood. So it's interesting when you begin to realize that. You live in a living environment, you're just a little bubble of perception moving through this interconnected oneness. And if you learn to reach out to it on an inner level, uh, sometimes you'll hear back what it has to.
[00:36:43] Sushil: Yeah, it sounds a lot like how like indigenous tribes and indigenous people lived off the land. They actually understood how we are connected and how to take messages from the world. And I think Currently, we have lost some connection with our dreams, but I feel like from a very, from very ancient times, I think there was this practice of sharing your dreams with your tribe and actually learning what they have to say.
What are the messages and working out a way to live in harmony with all of existence.
[00:37:14] Robert Waggoner: And so that, that's why connecting on these inner levels is so important because, if you become entranced or hypnotized by outer activity, you'll think that's where it is. That's the important. The important thing is reconnecting on these inner levels. We're where we begin to get in touch with our inner awareness, our larger awareness. And from that, we begin to see a way forward and a way to grow. And re-imagine.
[00:37:43] Sushil: Ah, that's an amazing message to bring this to a close, but before we close I'd like to ask for our listeners,
[00:37:50] Sushil: what is one small change someone can incorporate in their life today to learn more from their dreams or even their waking dreams.
[00:37:59] Robert Waggoner: Begin to look at the patterns in your life. All of us have recurring dreams on occasion, but what's your recurring life. What's it trying to tell you, and what is the new creative response that you can give to that recurring dream or that recurring life dream that will satisfy it. That will move it to a new level. Don't give it the same old response, the same old behavior, the same old beliefs. What's a new creative response. And then see what else.
[00:38:34] Sushil: It's been an absolute pleasure to chat with you and learn so much about dreams and how they can accelerate the healing process. If you want to connect with Robert, the best way to do so is to reach out and connect with them on Twitter. At dream, Bob, you can also check out his website where he sh he posts a quarterly magazine.
I believe he also does workshops all around the year on lucid dreaming and how to use dreaming to further your knowledge of self where can we find those workshops?
[00:39:06] Robert Waggoner: The magazine firstname.lastname@example.org and also the, my personal website is lucid-dreaming-advice.com. So thank you so much for having me. It's been a.
[00:39:20] Sushil: Absolutely. And I'll be linking all this information in the show notes. If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to leave a comment and and subscribe to us on various podcasting channels. And yeah. Thank you, Robert.
[00:39:34] Robert Waggoner: Thanks everyone.
Author and Lucid Dreamer
Robert Waggoner wrote the acclaimed book, Lucid Dreaming - Gateway to the Inner Self, and the award winning, Lucid Dreaming Plain and Simple (w/ co-author Caroline McCready). A lucid dreamer for many decades, Waggoner co-edits the free online magazine, Lucid Dreaming Experience, and serves on the Board of the International Association for the Study of Dreams.