I’ve been testing out a a lucid dreaming training technique with my Sirius Sound and Light Machine, and so far, the results are fascinating me.
If you’re unfamiliar with a Sound and Light Machine – also informally called a Mind Machine – it’s a device that combines binaural beats & brainwave entrainment, pumped into your ears via headphones, and pulsating colorful, psychedelic lights, shadowed over your closed eyelids with a pair of glasses containing multiple LED on each lense.
The idea behind Mind Machines is to induce a certain brainwave state associated with a desired goal.
- Beta – associated with awareness, an engaged and alert mind
- Alpha – associated with a non-drowsy but relaxed, tranquil state of mind
- Theta – associated with creative states of mind – imagery, visualization. This state is present during dreams and REM state.
- Delta – associated with deep, dreamless sleep.
I’ve been using Session 8 on my Sirius mind machine, which lasts 25 minutes and goes from Beta, Alpha, Theta, in that order, as I fall asleep.
This is one of my favorite sessions to use because the visuals are just totally captivating.
Update: check out my extensive Sirius Mind Machine Review.
Occasionally, with and without the addition of smoking marijuana with the mind machine, this session has induced the feeling coming out of my body and merging with the “scene” the pulsating light show has created in my entire field of vision, which can become like a very deep bubble in which I feel myself coming into. (It’s hard to explain. :))
I noticed recently how there is a mental trick involved in allowing myself to see or experience the visuals of the lights merging together into spirals and tunnels in which I feel myself coming towards and moving through. It involves letting go in a normal sense of viewing, and watching what’s happening in a more participatory manner, as if I weren’t just watching the scene but merging with the scene. It’s a strange combination of detachment combined with becoming.
I suspect this could also be described as viewing something with your “third eye”, if you want to put it in those terms. It also reminds me of how adventurous psychonaut Dan Carpenter recounts successfully moving into a high dose DXM trip in his book A Psychonaut’s Guide to the Invisible Landscape
Last week, I put on my Sirius and prepared to fall asleep, with the intention of retaining an inner awareness as I fell into the dream world.
My dream experiences that followed are really interesting. Here’s an excerpt from my dream journal, where I divided the following experience into 3 different dream sequences:
I’m reading a book. The words are clear as day. I am conscious enough to know I am dreaming. It’s almost like I’m awake but in a sort of dream trance. It’s shocking to me how clearly I can go from one word, one sentence and one paragraph to the next, and yet the words themselves lack any meaning as a whole. Some of the words are made up, and all sentences in their entirety are nonsense. I had the thought that I could read this out loud in waking reality since I was conscious enough to know what my situation was.
Still in a similar trance state….
Looking at a scene of trees, sidewalks, park, people – it’s very 3d. If I can lose myself in things I will be able to merge into the scene.
spider hyper realism —
I see a spider and the detail is enormous. My vision lunges at it, and everything changes, like it was the entry point to moving into the dream.
This is what I think happened:
I was put into a sort of dreaming, semi-lucid trance state by my mind machine. I was certainly conscious while reading the book in the beginning of this dream sequence. By the time the images had moved to a more involved, three dimensional scene, I was more on the sidelines watching it. Then, I see a spider and in the process of looking at the hyper detail of this insect, I finally joined the dream fully, yet lose conscious awareness of what was happening.
My thinking here is that using the Sound and Light Machine as a way to train myself to watch a developing visual scene, created by the pulsating lights, and merge with it, is very similar to the lucid dream induction technique where you remain aware of the hypnagogic imagery that slowly sneaks up on you, and continue to retain conscious awareness of the dream state, as those images blend into all out dream sequences.
The idea then is that a mind machine can help train you to do such a thing by allowing you to practice watching and then merging with the trippy visual scenes it creates, while you fall asleep.
I should confess, that I am quite skeptical of the straight forward claims put out by people selling sound and light machines and binaural beats. There is no magic device to give you lucid dreams (not yet anyway.)
I think the truth is much closer to what I’ve experienced here – using a product or a technology definitely won’t guarantee or specifically cause anything to happen, but can be used as a training ground to leverage your skills and work with other lucid dream induction methods, with success.
In the meantime, I am curious to test this out further with my sound and light machine. Personally, as far as my own lucid dream skills come, I feel like I am onto something with using a mind machine to practice this strange experience of detaching yet simultaneously becoming or merging with my surroundings.
Photo by Colleen Vasu