Exercises in Dreaming
A Paper Compiled by Philip C. Cavanagh
Edited by Robert Bruce
Many people find it hard to remember what they have dreamed. At one
time or another I too had great difficulty, not in remembering what I
dreamed, but living the dream and taking control of it as in a lucid
I believe that we do not stay in our bodies when we dream, but do a
form of Astral Projection.
I tried many ways to remember and take control of my dreams. Some
methods helped a little, others a lot. One of the biggest aids to
dream control I have ever come across are the energy work and breathing
exercises in a book by Denning and Phillips called " The Llewellyn
Practical Guide To Astral Projection."
Since doing these exercises I have found that we can all lead two
different lives, one in the physical world and another in the
dream world. In the physical world we live, work and play. We
experience pleasure, pain, happiness and boredom. But in a dream world
of our own creation we can have a plethora of vastly richer experiences
than we ever could on Earth. We can work out and solve all our
problem, by living them, and we can enjoy our deepest fantasies, by
living them too.
The following will hot harm your body in any way, like dreaming, this
is perfectly natural. It will improve your general health and is good
for your subconscious well-being.
Do the following rhythmic breathing exercises for 10 -15 minutes per
night before you fall asleep. The first step in this exercise is
learning how to breathe in rhythm.
I found that this exercise alone helped me from suffering with Asthma
all winter like I always do. This is something which you can do
anytime during the day, even when you're doing something else, like
To get the best possible results from this exercise, keep your spine as
straight as possible. You can do this while lying in bed, standing or
To begin with, find a quiet spot where you won't be disturbed. Sit or
lay comfortably, close your eyes and relax. Listen to your heart beat,
the more relaxed you are the louder it will become. If you have
difficulty hearing your heartbeat, find a pulse in your throat, temples
or wrist. As soon as you find the rhythm, begin counting beats.
What your trying to do is establish a pattern of breathing in which you
can comfortably hold your lungs full of air for a certain number of
heart-beats, then breathe out during "twice" that number of heartbeats
so that your lungs are as empty as you can comfortably make them, keep
your lungs empty for the "original" number of beats, then breathe in
during the count of the double number, your lungs being well expanded
at the end.
The Tibetan mystics call this "The four fold breath." It is not the
number of heart beats you use for this discipline but the ratio of the
pattern that is important. Try the following pattern until you feel
comfortable with it. You can increase the base number of beats later,
as long as the ratio is kept the same.
Breathe in during 4 heart beats, hold lungs full for 2 beats, breathe
out during 4 beats, hold lungs empty for 2 beats.
Now you will find that after awhile you can breathe in and out for
longer periods of time. If you feel comfortable with increasing the
number of breaths per cycle, by all means do it. Just remember to keep
the ration ( 2 to 1 ) the same, ie.
( 2 - 1 ) ( 2 - 1 )
4 in, 2 hold, 4 out, 2 empty.
6 in, 3 hold, 6 out, 3 empty.
8 in, 4 hold, 8 out, 4 empty.
All these cycles have the same 2 - 1 ratio.
Energy Centres: These are situated at: 1. The base of the spine
(between the anus and the genitals) 2. The spleen (slightly below the
belly button) 3. The solar plexus (1 hand-span above the belly button)
4. The heart (centre of the chest) 5. The base of the throat. 6. The
centre of the forehead. 7. Crown ( whole top of your head). They are
best imagined as roughly the size of your hand, except for the crown
chakra which is much larger and covers the whole of the head above the
Earth centre ( between the feet )
Establish your rhythmic breathing until you feel quite settled into the
pattern. On an OUT breath, become aware of the Crown centre as a
sphere of intense white light. On an IN breath, draw down a shaft of
white light from the Crown centre to the Third eye centre.
On an Out breath, become aware of the Third eye centre. Also continue
to be aware of the Crown centre and the connecting shaft of light.
On an "in" breath, draw down a shaft of white light from the Third eye
centre to the base of the throat. On an Out breath, become aware of
the Throat centre. Again keep a consciousness of the Crown Centre, the
Third eye centre and the connecting shaft of light.
On an IN breath, draw a shaft of white light down from the Heart
Centre to the Base centre. On an OUT breath, become aware of the Base
centre. Keep consciousness also of the Crown Centre, the Third eye
centre, the Throat centre, the Heart centre, and the connecting shaft
On an IN breath, draw down a shaft of white light from the Base centre
to the area in between your feet. On an OUT breath, become aware of
the Earth Centre. You should now be aware of all six spheres of white
light positioned, and connected by a shaft of brilliance. Draw three
or four rhythmic breaths as you contemplate these centres. This white
light is part of your inner being, brought into greater awareness and
radiance by the light you have brought down from the Crown centre. This
white light is a symbol and manifestation of your Higher Self.
If you do these exercises regularly, in a couple of weeks you will
notice a big difference in how you perceive your dream plane reality.
Your dreams will become more real to you and you will begin living two
separate lives. Believe me, the dream plane is much more fun.
The above information came from the book "The Llewellyn Practical
Guide to Astral Projection", written by Denning & Phillips, 1993.
Philip C. Cavanagh. < UI423@FREENET.VICTORIA.BC.CA >