Developing the skill of lucid dreaming and making progress comes in fits and starts. One week we make a lot of progress, then maybe 3 weeks go by with seemingly zero lucid dreams and very few remembered dreams at all.
The biggest culprit behind a plateau in lucid dreaming is habitual responses, which shut out opportunities for progress. In my case, if I have the habit of waking up and immediately moving around or checking the time or thinking about whatever is stressing me out, then I almost certainly will not remember any dreams, even if some of them were lucid. I’ve also found that when I sleep in a new environment (in a hotel while traveling, or after re-arranging my bedroom furniture layout) I consistently remember many, many dreams and it is easier to have lucid dreams. This new-environment effect supports the idea that it is habituated responses that interfere with lucid dreaming progress, as a new environment is an easy way to clear out and reset habits.
We make the best progress when we attend to the fundamentals. This is true in basketball, rock climbing, meditation, and it is also true in lucid dreaming. For lucid dreaming, the fundamentals are 1) dream recall 2) state tests and 3) an open mind. Shift focus back to these three items for a few weeks, letting go of having a lucid dream, and you’ll almost certainly experience lucid dreams again.
The ultimate goal of lucid dreaming is to work with the mind. As long as we meet ourselves where we currently are and see the world and our experiences more flexibly, then we are making progress in the ways it will bear the most fruit.
Contributed by Arthur Van Siclen.