How I Got Into Lucid Dreaming back in 1999

31 Jul

Psychedelic Roue by Aeruginosa

Psychedelic Roue by Aeruginosa


I can’t remember the exact point when I first heard about lucid dreaming.

I always maintained an interest in my own dream and I actually recall dreams that I had when I was maybe as young as 4 or 5 years old.

But the earliest I can place my interest in lucid dreaming is 1999.

I was 19 years old and this was the year I first experienced a lucid dream.

The idea was something my high school buddy Jeff and I talked about a lot. I had these conversations, a few books (I think by Stephen LaBerge), and then luckily stumbled onto some very old but functional DOS (yes, as in the OS pre-cursor to Windows) lucid dreaming program for free, somewhere online.

I don’t remember what it was called, but I do recall that it was old-school as hell, even for 1999. You could say it’s something of a primitive version of DreamPort’s Infinity Software, except the DOS program contained the actual reality tests and other activities as part of the program – this was the program itself, actually.

The very day I downloaded the program, I went ahead and did the exercises that night.

They consisted of a letter test, where a letter would come up on the screen, and you had to press the corresponding key. There was also a phone dialer program, some kind of light switch exercise, and a few other tests.

The plan was to use the software right before going to bed, or wake up and do it in the middle of the night, and then go back to sleep.

Then…if you’re lucky, you’d have a dream about doing the exercises, but in the dream things would get a little weird as soon as you started finger-pecking the keys or tried to dial a phone number; then you become aware of the fact you are dreaming and become a God. (Or something like that.)

Amazingly, it worked. On the first try.

The very first night I used the program I had a lucid dream!

How cool is that?

It was the phone dialer program that did it for me.

That night I dreamt I was at work. I picked up the phone and started dialing and something wasn’t right – maybe it was the numbers, or my inability to correctly place a call, but at this point something clicked and I knew I was dreaming!

And what an ecstatic feeling it was!

I raced out of the office and into the hallway and guess who was there? My friend Jeff, the one who shared a mutual interest in lucid dreaming. He was just standing there smiling at me. My boss was there too. I grabbed her excitedly by the shoulders and exclaimed, “Debbie, I’m dreaming! I’m dreaming!”

Then things get weird – my boss simply melted before my eyes, exposing organs and blood and all the lovely gore that makes up a melting body. This happened of its own volition – that is, I was not intending it, nor thinking negative thoughts about her. In fact, I was quite fond of my boss.

And that’s the whole dream. (Yes, a lucid dream combined with the characteristically bizarre nature of the dream world. Too classic, eh? )

The next day I excitedly told Jeff about my dream. I had this glassy-eyed stare into the clouds when I thought that maybe, just maybe, he would tell me he had the same dream!

Alas, this hope that we had a shared dream was mere fantasy; he was just another dream character, one that I happened to know, who in real life was happily living out his own dreams, seperate from mine.

For the next few years I flirted with lucid dreaming, and had maybe a dozen or so lucid dreams. I can probably remember them all if I tried; luckily I have them all written down somewhere (I’m an avid journal keeper.)

I still wrote down many dreams (I have dream logs back to 1999!), but in general, my interest began to fade, becoming less of something I tried to do and more of an idea I was generally intrigued by.

About a year ago I decided to get back into the game. Not just talk about it but try to do it. I knew I needed something bigger than myself to ground my interest and this is where the idea of starting this blog came from.

I started Dreaming Life because I wanted something that I could share with others, something that would inspire not just myself but hopefully everyone reading the blog to pursue their interest in lucid dreaming.

Hopefully it’s working. 🙂

So now, it’s your turn.

I invite you to answer this question either with a comment here or on your own blog:


How did you get into lucid dreaming?


And to make this more fun, I’m going to specifically call out the following blogger friends to answer this question either here or on their own blog:

Hatter at Dreaming to Infinity, Kris at Reality Shifter, Sophia at Visions of the World, everyones favorite barefoot runner at Zen at the Art of Dreaming , Bill at Lucid Blog, David at It’s All In My Head, Bodhi at I Am Shaman’s Blog, Jacob at Reflections, Ideas, and Dreams, Neurosoup’s Video Blog, Breeze Debris, Darcy at Spiritual Blog Reviews….

& you too, dear blog-less reader. 😉

What’s mine is yours.

Leave a comment and share how you got into lucid dreaming!
Photo by Aeruginosa.

12 Responses to “How I Got Into Lucid Dreaming back in 1999”

  1. Zataod July 31, 2007 at 6:19 pm #


    That is a great story. I’m not sure I remember all the details of how I got into lucid dreaming, but I will see what I can come up with and post it.

    Like you my interest has gone up and down over the years, mainly due to other things that end up sucking up a great deal of time.

  2. Darcy August 1, 2007 at 2:23 pm #

    How amazing that you remember your first lucid dream in such detail! I certainly don’t remember my first round of lucid dreams, but I started exploring lucid dreaming in my last few years of college…’91-’92. I was a huge fan of Carlos Castaneda and I believe I journaled more than once about finding my hands consciously in my dreams.

    Thanks for this post…I think I’ll try some “hand finding” tonight!


  3. Ben August 3, 2007 at 2:34 am #

    Glad you enjoyed the post. 🙂 I look forward to seeing yours. Didn’t you once write that one of your early encounters with Lucid Dreaming was an article in Omni magazine? When I read the book Control Your Dreams, they mention this article too. Must’ve been one damn good article!

    Hey no problem if you can’t remember them, just go back and read the dream journal. You kept one, right? 😉
    BTW, if you’re trying to “get back into” Lucid Dreaming, I totally recommend running over to DreamPort and downloading their (free) Infinity software.

  4. Zataod August 4, 2007 at 12:06 pm #

    At one time, Omni was a pretty good magazine. I think that article was the first time I heard about Stephen LaBerge. It was many years before he had written any books. I read more about his and others’ research back in the 80’s when I was in college. After a min-trip, I hope to come back and put together the details in a post.

  5. marchel August 8, 2007 at 9:04 am #

    hi ben , my answer to that question is ; for me lucid dreaming started when I was around 6 or 7 , didn’t know how it was called back then ofcourse, I just did it naturally ,during puberty all went into the background but around 22 of age I dove right back in it all. things changed over the years and I used it for ewxploring , looking for answers back then , nowadays I have a deeper understanding of things and practice the things of consciousness on all levels possible.

    safe journey 🙂

  6. Ben August 8, 2007 at 10:55 pm #

    Marchel – thanks for sharing! I see you’ve got a pretty new blog too – hope you keep it up. 🙂

  7. Reality Handbook August 18, 2007 at 12:50 am #

    Hello Ben, found your site with StumbleUpon

    I’ve been a lucid dreamer for a decade now, it startled me when it
    started and I thought it was just a game…like living in your own virtual
    universe. But my opinions changed over time to think that it is
    possible to visit shared spaces.

    I am able to “interview” beings in my dreams…and tell them about my
    waking life and the date/time/location of my physical body. I
    frequently read and remember things that I see (in books or in web browsers
    within the dream), and keep a laptop at the foot of my bed for jotting down
    notes when I wake up. Sometimes I post those notes online…I’ve made
    over a hundred entries spanning the last couple of years.

    I’ve been hopeful that I could make connections among
    channelers/mediums/shamen who have perceptual gifts PLUS the strong desire to experiment
    and analyze the mechanisms by which they are working. But not many
    people seem to be able to design controlled experiments or ask pointed

    If anyone does have the time to check out my journal, here are a couple
    of essays I put in there which demonstrate how I think of my

    Drunk dreaming and the value of recall
    Marco Polo and the dream of validation
    Different interpretations of dreaming


  8. Jason December 18, 2007 at 3:17 pm #

    I got into lucid dreaming after hearing about it in a psychology class that I was taking. I have always thought it was possible to control my dreams, and that class confirmed the possibility.

    I have been a lucid dreamer for about 4 years, and I have loved every second of it!

    Great post!

  9. Rasselas21 November 28, 2009 at 4:47 am #

    I remember that issue of OMNI Magazine… Cool!

    It had a beautiful article illustration of this sleeping woman with a green morass of tangling vines and leaves growing in place of hair (rather like Medusa only prettier and nicer). It must have been around 1985 or so.

    Anyone remember the Omni issue with a short-story of the Tower of Babel (and how it was like a moebius strip or something)? That was also a favorite issue of mine.

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