I will explain how to perform Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams (MILD), and show you multiple ways to do so. MILD is a beginner-friendly technique, and I would recommend everyone to start with MILD first before you try to do other techniques like Wake Induced Lucid Dreams (WILD).
What is MILD?
MILD is better known as the Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams. MILD is one of the first techniques created on the western side of the world, by Dr Stephen LaBerge of The Lucidity Institute. LaBerge invented this method while studying at university in order to have lucid dreams. It is very effective and ideal for beginners because everyone is able to do it.
How do I perform MILD
You can perform MILD in 4 steps. These are:
- Dream Recall.
- Reality Checks.
- Intention or Mantra’s.
- Visualize your dream.
First Step: Dream Recall
It is important to have a dream recall. Without a dream recall you are able to lucid dream, but can you remember it? Probably you can’t because you don’t have a dream journal.
A dream journal is a journal where you write down your dreams. A dream journal helps you with recall and can give you some awareness of dreams. I wrote an amazing guide on how to write your dream journal efficiently. You can read this article here.
I would recommend just start only with a dream journal. Just write for a couple of weeks before you start with the next step. This is important because then you have your fundamentals down. The fundamentals are:
- Sleep Schedule.
- At least 8 hours of sleep.
When you think you have the fundamentals down you can proceed to the second step.
Second Step: Reality Checks
Reality checks can be important to do. Reality checks are checks you do during the day that can help you perform a Dream induced lucid dream (DILD). A reality check does not have to work inside a dream to make it worth your time since reality checks are able to work as awareness.
An example of a reality check is checking if you have 10 fingers. When you don’t have 10 fingers you are lucid! There are dozens of ways to have reality checks, and I will explain them all in a separate article. This article is called “what is reality checks“.
A reality check is a simple check to see if you are dreaming or not. A reality check is definitely worth your time. Reality checks don’t work directly in your next night it develops over time. Someone who is using a reality check for over 3 years may be having lucid dreams left and right. Someone who just started may have 1 or 2 a month.
You can choose a reality check you like, just be sure the waking state has a different result as the result you have when you are sleeping. Reality checks can fail and that’s why you do multiple reality checks to be sure. It is recommended to do reality checks at least 15 times a day. Try to put reality checks at dream signs. If you are putting your reality check at regular dream signs. They can help you perform reality checks in dreams more often.
Third Step: Intention and Mantra’s
When you are laying in your bed you can go over a mantra or set an intention for your night. A mantra is something you say over and over again until your subconscious remembers it and performs it in your sleep. An intention is basically the same as a mantra, but instead of saying it over and over again, you put your intent behind it to make it work.
Intention is my go-to way of doing so. Intentions can be also set during the day, and when I am doing a reality check I will make sure to repeat this intention. The intentions I use are:
- I am dreaming. I will say I am dreaming before bed to set the intention to my subconscious that I am dreaming, and that I want to be aware of this. We found out that this intention works like a charm. It works for the early stages of my sleep, but I also want it to work in the later stages and that is why I use the next one.
- Wake up. I use to wake up to make myself wake up somewhere during the night. You can also set a more specific time with intentions. “I want to wake up at 3am” and I wake up around 3 am. You must believe in it and it works. In this Wake Back to Bed (without an alarm!) I try to set my intention if I am dreaming again.
- Reality check. I will tell my subconscious that I want to keep doing my reality check, and this way I will be able to keep up my reality check all day. I use a reality check where I check the gravity of the waking state and compare it with the lucid dreaming state.
Mantra’s is also great. This is more for people who struggle in believing in themself. It forces your subconscious to listen. Back in the days I only did mantra’s before I went to bed, and I used:
- I dream. I dream works because It is short and I could say it over and over again in a flow. You could use anything that would make it work for you. When you are from another language keep it short and keep it easy. I am from the Netherlands so I used “ik droom”.
- Do a reality check. This mantra would help me to do my reality check inside my dream. It worked like a charm when I did this mantra in a Wake Back to Bed. This is when you wake up in the middle of the night to do MILD or WILD.
Mantra’s do not have to be done until you fall asleep. My advice is that you use a mantra or intention just a couple of times and not more than a minute.
Fourth Step: Visualize your dreams
The fourth step is probably the best way to become lucid from MILD. You can do this in all kinds of ways. For someone who is not planning to incubate a dream scene you want to have the best way to start is going through your dream journal from the last couple of nights, or if you can still remember those dreams think of one of the dreams you liked the most. To make visualization work you have to do this before you fall asleep. You can also do this in a Wake Back to Bed.
You start visualizing this dream. Go into as much detail as possible. Use all the senses you can use with visualization. Now comes the fun part. Change the dream scene to something you want to happen. When your dream is boring, try to make it more fun. Use your dream goals as a goal where you want the dream to move towards, and when it happens to your reality check.
For people who want to choose their own dream, this is called incubation. Incubation is when you try to make a dream scene happen in your sleep, this is also possible with visualization. Think of your dream goal and build a scene around it. for example, you want to fly! Visualize a place you want to fly from, and do a reality check. Then continue your flying dream and try to make it last for some minutes.
Visualization can be hard for some people. You can also do a test to see if you are great at visualization, this test is called Vividness of Visual Imagery Quiz. You can practice visualization during the day by just looking around you and visualize something next to it or on top of it. When you struggle with other senses, you can try to smell your favorite food or touch an object and try to visualize the feeling of it.
Additional Step: Meditation
Meditation is not part of MILD, but I would suggest everyone that hasn’t tried it before to try it once. Meditation can help you relax and give more awareness in dreams and more vivid dreams. You can even visualize your dream while you meditate!
There are multiple ways of doing meditation. You can find great resources online on meditation practices. I would suggest you start with mindfulness meditation and visualization meditation. These two give you great practice for awareness and dream awareness.
Mindfulness meditation is where you focus on your breathing and try to stay mindful. When there are thoughts annoying you try to not give attention to them, when you give them attention you get lost in thoughts. This takes practice… When you start with mindfulness meditation try to build it up. When you do it before bed, do it first for 5 minutes and slowly build up to 15 to 30mins.
Visualization meditation is where you do visualization practices while you are laying in your bed. You can do anything in visualization. Visualization is like lucid dreaming, but everything you do has to be visualized.
A great example of a visualization exercise is tic-tac-toe or when you are better in visualization chess. Play against yourself and see if you can still remember where you put your pieces.
You can also try to meditate during the day, this will still benefit your dream awareness and vividness, but you may have stressed before sleeping and the meditation session was almost for nothing.
Who is Dr. Stephen LaBerge
Stephen LaBerge was born in 1947 in America. He is a psychophysiologist specializing in lucid dreaming. In 1967, he received his degree in mathematics. He began researching lucid dreaming for his Ph.D. in Psychophysiology at Stanford University, which he received in 1980. He developed techniques to enable himself and other researchers to enter a lucid dream state at will, most notably the MILD technique, which was utilized in many sorts of dream experimentation. In 1987, he founded The Lucidity Institute, a corporation that promotes research into lucid dreaming, also as running courses for the overall public on the way to achieve a clear dream. He also wrote a book called: A Concise Guide to Awakening in Your Dreams on amazon.com.
MILD is a great technique developed by Stephen LaBerge and has been changed a lot since he made it. There are multiple ways people see MILD, and I see mild this way. I have explained what the steps are for MILD and how to perform it. When you still don’t understand MILD you can take look at my friend’s guide. Naiya Simple Mild.