The Ryan Hurd Lucid Dreaming Interview: Ultimate Guide To Lucid Dreaming

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I’m really excited to bring you in this episode, Ryan Hurd, the creator of dream studies and the lucid talisman, which is the coin that I’ve been promoting on my YouTube channel a few times.

Ryan is an Internationally recognised lucid dream researcher, author and all round lovely and very interesting guy!

If you’d prefer to watch the video, I posted it on my youtube channel: 

This episode is transcribed below for you, but you can listen to it on any podcasting platform. Just search for our podcast ‘howtolucid.com’ or ‘lucid dreaming experience’ on our YouTube channel.

Let’s get into it!

Ryan Hurd:

Hey, it’s good to be here with you. Yeah.

HowToLucid.com:

Thank you very much for coming on. Let’s just get right into it. Tell us about yourself, introduce yourself, you know how did you get into lucid dreaming? Give us the introduction.

Ryan Hurd:

Yeah, sure. So, so I consider myself an educator. First and foremost, I’m a lucid dreamer, lifelong lucid dreamer. I’m a dream researcher. I’ve written a few books academic and more self-help guides as well as eBooks.

And I have, you know, that’s been since 2007 ish dishing up dream research, consciousness studies, sort of whatever strikes my fancy in the moment, you know over the years, the content has shifted and changed.

And so that’s been a really fun project over the, you know, that last period of time. That’s really my, sort of my dream, how I am involved in the dream community. I’m a member of the international association for the study of dreams. I love that organization.

And I, you know I definitely, I cited every time I get a chance because it’s one of these places where I get to meet other dream colleagues, dream enthusiasts, researchers you know dream shaman and the, like we all get together.

Because it can be really isolating, you know being a dreamer and it’s, it’s nice to get together and have colleagues and dream together. So so that’s, that’s a little bit about me, but yet as a, as a dreamer, you know, you know, we’re all dream researchers.

And one thing that I really believe we’re all captains of our own ship and we’re all kind of exploring you know, the frontier in that kind of sense because each of us has our own inner worlds. And that’s, that’s really what I’d love to impress on people is, is that it hasn’t all been done. And we really, there’s so much more to discover about ourselves and about just the human condition as dreamers, you know, and for myself, it started when I was very young. I had lots of intense hypnagogic experiences when I was six and seven years old.

I would spiral into a board of seas of, you know, kaleidoscope colors as I fell asleep as a, and that was my gateway into sleep. And then later 13, 14 years old, I began having strong lucid dreams as well as see paralysis nightmares and out-of-body experiences. It all kind of came together.

You know, it’s sort of like that, maybe that part of the brain just sort of like booted up and that vigilance that self-awareness, and it all came together, the sort of the ecstasy and the terror and it was, it was a very, it was, it was sort of my inner light.

And I thought I was, well, I thought it was the only one for a while until, until really for a couple of years, until I met some adults who started talking about their dream, because I remember quite clearly being 14 years old and someone giving a talk to my class about, about having a dream diary, right.

Keeping a dream journal and, and looking at, looking at your dreams over time and looking and finding your sort of personal mythology. And it was just so exciting to me that other people were doing this and doing this in a systematic fashion that I started my dream journal that night. I did dream journal and ever since, since I was 14…

HowToLucid.com:

You know, when people just get started with lucid dreaming, they try everything, they can to remember their dreams and they just want to remember ONE dream.

And then as you get better at it, you start remembering, you know, one to two pages of dreams and then five pages. And you get to the point eventually where it’s just so much that you, you know, you have to just leave some of it just to disappear or, you know, only remembering the best bits.

Ryan Hurd:

Yes. There’s a point of diminishing returns for sure.

And I think that as we become more accustomed to our own individual dream lives, we can get an inner sense of the dreams that need to be, you know, honored, remembered, recorded, and replayed, you know worked with and, and whether they’re nightmares, they just have some potency behind them or they’re just really strange or weird dreams.

And ones that might have some kind of clue to our inner life.

And so you get a sense for that over time. And then you can say, ‘oh, you know, like I’ve had, for instance, the, you know, opening my locker dream a hundred million times, I don’t need to record it every time I’m in having the high school dream where I’m trying to do the combination for my locker’.

Been there, done that you know, I’m sure that we could analyze it to, you know, to the sun comes up. But I also, it vibrates at a certain level, and it’s not necessarily how I’m going to spend my time and my waking life writing down that particular dream.

HowToLucid.com:

Yeah. So you would look for something that’s different to what you’re normally doing about if, if what you normally dream about is the same thing all the time?

Ryan Hurd:

Well, it’s a double-edged sword, right…

Because especially as lucid dreamers, we’d like to look for repetitive dream imagery, right. Dream signs.

So that could be very, very helpful.

But once you kind of have that baseline yeah. You can kind of find those, but yeah. You know, there’s there’s big dreams and there’s little dreams and we ha we, each of us sort of have an intuitive sense for what that is. I think,

HowToLucid.com:

Yes. I guess we sort of figure it out as we go along that way…

Ryan Hurd:

Yeah. I mean, I don’t, I think when people say dreams are this or dreams or that it misses the point because we, we don’t try to make a similar theory about, about, you know, waking consciousness and the dialogue, the monologues that we have, or the images that we have in daydreams.

We don’t try to make a monolithic theory about what this is. So when we do that about dreams, it seems to me to be just sort of missing the point because dreams are, you know, it’s dreaming mentation, it’s the, it’s the creative mind going through sleep and there’s all kinds of phenomena and, and things that intersect. So dreams are not one thing, you know, that’s why I really encourage people to just to have a playful attitude about it and, and explore.

HowToLucid.com:

I think, yes, specifically with lucid dreams, there’s a lot we don’t know.

And even, you know, if we’d been lucid dreaming for years or even decades, I feel like there’s still things that our subconscious can do that will surprise us, you know, unexpected things or completely random tangents.

The dream can just go on and yeah, I guess that’s one of the things I really love about lucid dreaming actually…

Ryan Hurd:

Yeah, me too. Absolutely. I would agree. I, in contrast to, to sort of that, that 1 0 1 culture of lucid dreaming that focuses on dream control and manipulation for me, power of lucid dreaming is the ability to create a, a sanctuary or a a meeting space for the other elements of our psychic life and that spontaneous, you know, where spontaneous elements come to greet us.

And that’s what I love about lucidity is using my self-awareness to, to create these yeah. To create like a clearing in the woods, where then the creatures of the forest can come and meet me.

HowToLucid.com:

I think so. I always like to teach a mixture, you know, half of the time control the dream manipulate it do really, I guess you could say exciting, like things and, you know, fly around in the dream.

And I teach a lot of dream manipulation in that sentence, but then the other half the time I would say to take a step back, like you’re saying sort of observe, you know, what’s already there and just interact with it and, or not interact with it, you know, just let it happen and see, well, actually it is.

Is It Best To CONTROL The Lucid Dream Or Let It ‘Flow’?

Ryan Hurd:

Yeah. Great. And to be sure the practice of, of, of the dream manipulation and focus and all of that, it’s like, you sort of have to learn it to be able to turn the mirror to, to, to let it go. Right.

And so it’s sort of like ‘a mastery’.

And so once one discovers the limits of, of consciousness and self-awareness and the dream, and it looks different for different people. We have sort of different centers of gravity and once we understand our style and where we tend to sort of gravitate towards, and then to use that power to, for other, for other purposes as well, or to know, when is that fulcrum?

When is that the right time to flip the switch to make that act of choice that, you know, cracks open to a new, a new domain that’s, you know, in sync with the dreaming mind, that’s where these potent, you know, extraordinary experiences occur.

Ryan Hurd:

Because, you know, lucid dreaming can be very strange..

It can be wandering around a space and looking at objects and you know, you write it, you know, it, it, it’s not always like, it can’t always be extraordinary. But for someone who is wants those extraordinary experiences, it’s almost like a secret language to when and where and how to use those powers, in a way that works with those unconscious elements and TOGETHER creates these new possibilities..

And it, and it looks different for everyone what that kind of combination is.

HowToLucid.com:

Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. But just going back to your point, you said that sometimes you’re just walking around, you know, looking at objects and but I would actually say that’s quite, it can be exciting just doing that for some people, just to be able to be aware of this new world and, you know, in this new world, you can explore as if it were real.

I think you, over time, you start craving something MORE, whether that’s more spiritual, more practical or more profound, but this leads me nicely into my next point, which is can you tell us your most, one of your most interesting or unusual dream experiences?

What Are Your Strangest Or BEST Lucid Dreams?

Ryan Hurd:

Oh, man. Well, this is a dream that came up, came up recently because I I walked a labyrinth recently an outdoor, you know, the outdoor elaborative is based on the shorthand model. And, and, and I, and I caught wind of, and heard about sort of rosary remembering the myths of the, of the Minotaur and, and, you know, the monster in the middle of the labyrinth.

And it, it, it provoked this memory of a dream that I had probably about 15 years ago or so. And it was a lucid dream in, in the lucid dream, I realized I was dreaming and I found a a spiral staircase, which is a always in my dream is that’s when the spiral staircase emerges spontaneously.

That’s an invitation, right? That’s one of my personal images for ascent, right. We all have kind of our own, and it’s an image for it’s, it’s, it’s an opportunity to ascend in some way, but also it’s, it’s often confrontational.

And so, and so I don’t take it lightly when I go up the ‘spiral staircase’.

And so I did, I went up to spiral staircase and it became a tower you know, sort of like stone tower classic, where this, the staircase was filling the void. Right. and, and as I went further up the tower at the tower became more constricted, more and tighter.

And and this has happened so many different times. There’s so many different metaphors that could be used here, but in this particular time, the staircase emerged into single room on top of the tower and the room was at that point empty, but it has some objects around it. And so, yeah, like I was looking around at the objects with absolute fascination lucid, knowing I was in a dream knowing that this was sort of an archetypal space for me.

The Lucid Dream Is Like ‘A Classroom’

Ryan Hurd:

And I realized that, it was a bit of a classroom. There was a chalkboard on one of the walls, and there were some, there was a desk and some chairs scattered about. And then at that point I realized I wasn’t alone.

And out of the, sort of the, the shadows of the room came this tower and figure, and it was the minute har wow, gigantic, you know, head of a bull and, and a body of a human. And he, he, or it rushes at me with with ferocity and I’m absolutely, I think I have to fight it.

This is my lucid awareness.

And at the same time, I’m trying to reel back from that wondering, is that an assumption on my part, maybe I don’t have to battle, like, what are some other ways of interacting?

What can be done? You know, and so we meet in the middle of the room and surprisingly, it doesn’t try to attack me, but reaches out its hand and I reach out my hand and it drops something into my hand and I take a look at it and it’s a tiny piece of chalk, a tiny piece of chalk. And then I woke up.

I wrote it, you know, I was very confused. I wrote the dream down.

And as I wrote the dream down, the answer came to me that the Minotaur was giving me instruction to teach, handing me the shock. It was the missing piece. It was the missing piece of that, of that room.

I was the teacher in that room. And at that time, 15 years ago, I was in grad school. I was fighting my own destiny of being a teacher of using my, using my voice of being an educator. I I wanted to hide behind my words. I wanted to be solely a writer and a researcher.

And what I was finding is, is that’s not actually what’s going on with, with my development. And so that dream helped me realize that yeah, whoa, this is something, this is something that’s interesting.

Dream Symbols Have SPECIFIC Meanings

Ryan Hurd:

And the Minotaur, why the Minotaur and I’ve been reflecting on it that some of the things, if you look at the, the mythology, the Minotaur is that it’s this ferocious monster in the center of the labyrinth, but you know, the labyrinth isn’t actually, you know, the mentor’s not trapped, right.

Because in a labyrinth, there’s just one path. It’s not actually a maze..

The Minotaur is there because he WANTS to be there.

Why is the middle part, you know, just wanting to be in the center of the labyrinth and not leaving, you know, protecting the spaciousness that sort of inner sanctum.

I know you could go a lot of different ways with like, what does this mean? What, what could this be about? But for me in, in that particular moment, I see that as, as a dream, that, that I was lucid, but not in control, right. I was lucid enough to be able to, to meet something authentically. And I was given a gift for that effort.

HowToLucid.com:

Do you know what I think, actually being lucid and those sorts of dreams, is really interesting…

Because in those situations you don’t really NEED to be in control to get something really valuable out of it. So just being able to decide what to do on, you know, maybe what to ask or what to, how to act.

I think that’s really valuable actually.

Ryan Hurd:

Yeah. Right, right. Right. So to use the self-awareness to ask the question and then, and then use that self-awareness to be able to hold the space and wait for an answer.

HowToLucid.com:

Yeah.

Ryan Hurd:

That’s hard work. That’s super tricky. And, you know, for, you know, for every, like, for every awesome kind of mandatory dream I’ve had, I’ve got a hundred lucid dreams where it didn’t go so well.

Right. Where it sort of descends in different kinds of ways, you know, it out of lucidity just into where the dream characters themselves transform, it’s a lifeless clay dolls because they’ve been sort of sapped of vitality that, you know, there’s lots of ways.

I think every lucid dreamer has, again, their own inner language with this, but there’s, you know, there’s some archetypal images that come along with it of say like the lifeless doll or the puppet that, that, that show up when, when maybe we’ve overstepped that, that in art dance.

You Should ALWAYS Write Your Dreams Down

HowToLucid.com:

But I think this is definitely one of the types of dreams people should write down if there’s something like that’s where it’s really symbolic, you know, really unusual and abstract. That’s definitely what people should write down. Do you agree?

Ryan Hurd:

Absolutely. Yeah. So I, I totally wrote that one down. Yeah. And, and it it’s, you know, and for me, you know, it started with the spiral staircase, which is, which is a, a dream sign for me.

So I will be like in a dream saying a library and the dream, and I’ll see a staircase and a spiral. And that is the lucid instigating feature of the dream. Of course I miss it sometimes, but other times I do so, but I don’t take these things too seriously.

You know, there’s always more opportunities to go lose it and we always get to dream another night.

HowToLucid.com:

Yeah. Just a quick tip. I’d like to add for that. One is if, if people were having something, whether it keeps happening in their dreams, you know, like they always see a spiral staircase or something like that, then that’d be a good thing to look out for in waking life.

I mean, I don’t know how often, how often do you walk up the spiral staircase in waking life, but that would obviously be a good time to do a reality check if you wanted more lucid dreams, not everybody does, but if you did

Ryan Hurd:

Right, right. Exactly. Yeah. You can absolutely. Anchor, anchor extraordinary experiences and create lucid dreams in that manner.

HowToLucid.com:

And so that leads me onto my next question, which is, can you maybe give a few of your best tips or ideas for lucid dreaming that maybe have helped you or your students the most?

What Lucid Dreaming Techniques Or Tips Helped Your Students The MOST?

Ryan Hurd:

Do you mean in terms of induction or ways of being navigating the dream itself?

HowToLucid.com:

I mean, but maybe one of each or two of each or something like that.

Ryan Hurd:

Yeah. So when it comes to induction, so, so here’s my caveat, right? So I have been a natural dream lucid dreamer since I was 14, but I don’t have that many lucid dreams. Naturally.

They come spontaneously maybe once a month. Maybe I’ll have one once a month if I’m not trying to write and sort of living my life and falling asleep, but et cetera, not doing any particular tactics. And then sometimes I’ll have maybe two or three in a week just, just spontaneously naturally. And then it might be another six weeks or two months before I have another lucid dream. So that’s what happens to me when I’m not really doing anything.

When I decide to focus and do what I call a lucid immersion, or a time where I want to induce lucid dreams for a specific purpose, I can essentially have lucid dreams on call, not necessarily, always the same night that I want to, but within a night or two, if I make, if I make the space for it.

That’s because of the tactics themselves. And so what I’ve always found, what I teach in my classes and in my, in my ebook lucid immersion guidebook is to, is to use the scientifically validated techniques that we know work, but pick two or three of them and, and use them in combination.

And this has been found out by recent lucid dream research as well.

Daniel Earl has also discovered that there’s certain combinations of tactics that work better than trying them alone say doing reality checks all by yourself will not be as effective as doing reality checks during the day.

And practicing Stephen LaBerge is mild technique to together. They create a more robust system. You add Galantamine the supplement to that mix. And, and you’re going to find that you’re going to have a greater chance of lucid dreaming. And so, and so I think of it holistically.

Ryan Hurd:

I think of it as you want to do mental practices, w you know, one or two of them, you want to also think about the physical domain in terms of supplements or your, your lucid diet, or you know, getting some exercise, being out in nature or certain things that steroid lucidity and stir vigilance, you know in waking life, cause that transfers over and then the emotional layer…

You know, have some sort of emotional support system in place when doing lucid tactics, whether that means someone to talk to, or you’re doing specific practices for shadow work, or just simply a way of, of, of or maybe spiritual practices say meditation or something that can help stabilize emotions because lucidity and particular kind of, you know, healthy vigilance that you have to promote it, it does stir up the muck of the unconscious.

Ryan Hurd:

And so it’s nice to have some emotional sort of safeguards in place. And so that’s what I call a holistic system. And I found when people do this for a limited amount of time, like they do practices say for for a week and, and then, and then rest on the practices and then see what comes.

I find that if people just keep hammering on specific practices day in and day out that they’d, they’d lose motivation and in the practices themselves lose their potency. And so, and so, you know, I almost see it as like doing like a going on lucid retreat in a sense, but finding a way to make it work for your waking life. How do you make it work for your job?

Is this a good time to go, to do lucid dreaming?

Do you have time to sleep in, do you have time to, you know, disrupt your sleep in the middle of the night, is your, is your partner, your sleep partner going to be irritated with you? If you turn on the lights, start scribbling down dreams in the middle of the night, because that can have a suppressive effect. Right? So anyway, so really just look at the whole picture and that’s, so that’s what I did. That’s my approach to lucid dream induction. And I find that it’s, it’s very effective.

HowToLucid.com:

I love it. I love it. So next one is, what do you think people should use lucid dreaming for?

And I say should, I mean, obviously people can use it for whatever they want, but in your opinion, what do you think people should let’s say if you have someone who can lose a dream one to three times a month, what would you advise them to use that time for?

Ryan Hurd:

So I take a very wide approach. I’m a big believer in cognitive Liberty. I, I try not to use shuts. We’re all culture bound. We’re all individuals, we’re all going through our own process. Right. and so, and so if you look culled cross-culturally of how dreams have been used throughout history in, in different cultures, it’s used for different purposes.

There’s there’s the of course we know about the spiritual practices and I know that you’ve spoken about that a lot in this podcast about Buddhism…

There’s a lot of different ways of approaching lucid dreaming from a mindfulness or meditative path, but there’s also sort of a shamanic side to lucid dreaming.

Historically cross-culturally where lucid dreams were used for sorcery, for lack of a better term for, you know, for augmenting power, for looking for knowledge for, for discovering plants.

And this is the belief systems that those who are using it, you know, using out-of-body experiences to get information and for healing, right, for for healing, others, for healing clients, as well as self healing.

And so, and so that in the Western approach, we always take sort of, it comes down to this individual because we have the sense that this is my dream and, and everything I see is reflected myself which I essentially agree with because as a Western, that’s how my consciousness works.

I have every once in a while, there’s a crack in the dam. And I realized I’m part of something larger, but mostly I’m a pretty dualistic dude. And and that’s just how my consciousness works. And so, you know, we’d look at lucid dreaming as a self-help, right.

Ryan Hurd:

How can we you know, face those fears that show up and become stronger and kinder and use it a as sort of focusing that way. So, so I don’t have a, should I think that we all, I think there’s this initiatory aspect to lucid dreaming this, maybe not discussed as much as I wish it was, but, you know, there’s a natural urge, I think, for young adults to, to lucid dream.

And, and there’s a natural urge to want to have better control over our psychic life, over our unconscious life and to, and to gain some mastery over our emotions and the stuff that starts kind of emerging in young adulthood that can be overpowering.

And it’s, it’s, I think it’s absolutely essential to, to go with those urges, to, to go towards self-mastery, to learn how to manipulate dreams to realize what it feels like when you hurt yourself versus you don’t, and you can feel it when you wake up from a dream there’s a sort of sour feeling in the stomach.

If you’ve, you’ve sort of done something against your own best interest, we get this sort of intuitive sense over time about what our own ethics is like, and how do we treat our dream and figures.

And I think we all have to come to our own conclusions about that. But we learn it, we learn it over time. And so I think we’re all on a, on a different journey. And at the same time collectively, you know, we tend to kind of go different ways. Some of us really are interested in the insight and interested in those abstract spaces that sort of philosophical Sage like spaces that lucid dreaming can offer.

And so, you know, honor honor the, those, those in claims and, and, and find a teacher or read up what you can.

And so then Buddhism or the shamonic path, which is harder to notice because it’s sort of in the shadows of our culture, but if you have a lot of lucid nightmares and dark dreams, that can be a cue for needing to do emotional work and shadow work and using lucid dreams to sort of either face old fears, or maybe even deeper, like looking at ancestral patterns, like stuff that kind of lives in our bones or our culture, right?

Ryan Hurd:

Like, because our culture comes through us as well. So yeah, so there’s different ways of being, and there’s no right way to lucid dream.

HowToLucid.com:

Great response by the way, really interesting. But yeah, this is one of the things I actually love about lucid dreaming is there’s so many things you could do with it. Like there were some people that literally just want to fly around, like, like Superman, and then there are people who want to explore that spirituality, you know, their, their consciousness and everything like that.

So yeah, it makes it interesting, you know, it makes it far more interesting to have all these different things you could do in lucid dream.

Ryan Hurd:

Right? Yeah. And I, in, in basically for beginners it’s, it’s, you know, that first, and I think Robert Waggoner really gets this right.

In his, in his book, he talks about sort of the, the first beginner lucid dreamers have, have a need for primacy for, for power to in part of that power is just simply the power to keep remembering a urine, a dream and the power to take an active role in dreaming, because I think we have to unlearn that dreaming is something that happens to us, but rather than it’s an altered state of consciousness that we can have an active participatory role.

And so we have to, we have to go through almost that painful process in the dream itself of not being victims and not sort of slipping into where things are just happening to us and taking an active role.

And sometimes that looks like violence and standing up for yourself in which is absolutely appropriate sometimes. I mean, for myself, I used to have lots of dreams about being bullied because I was working through a lot of my own childhood and standing up to bullies was absolutely essential for, for me at those times.

And, and, and having in reclaiming some power in that way. And then what happens is that we, we tend to, after the death, there’s like a clearing and there’s different paths and there’s, and it doesn’t mean that you have to like, stay on that particular path, but you just sort of follow where your, where your intuition leads you.

What Is Sleep Paralysis And How Can You Use It?

HowToLucid.com:

Absolutely. I’m actually going to go on a bit of a tangent now. And so for those of you who don’t know how I’m going to talk about sleep paralysis quickly, so sleep paralysis is where your body essentially paralyzes your muscles as your, in between waking and sleeping.

And also when you’re asleep, it’s to stop you acting out your dreams so that you don’t start, you know, kicking your partner or hitting your hand against the wall, or in extreme cases, sleep walking, although there are sleep disorders associated with that, but you talk a lot about sleep paralysis and your website.

So I’d love, if you could explain a bit more about that how it works and maybe some tips for avoiding it, or, you know, even turning it into a lucid dream.

Ryan Hurd:

Yeah. And you know, it’s not as much of a tangent as you’d think, because I think sleep paralysis is actually part of that almost shamonic aspect of lucid dreaming when one realizes, oh, this is sort of a dark creepy path, but it’s actually one of, one of the ways into yeah. Into, into lucid dreaming.

So yeah, sleep paralysis, you described it very well. It’s this feeling of paralysis. When, when we wake up or go into sleep, if I had the experience just a couple of nights ago I get it, I get it, I would say relatively infrequently now, but there are times in my life, it was more frequent because for, for many of us, it’s, it happens as, you know, the, the sleep stages get a little mixed up.

And so if you’re, you know, not getting enough sleep or sometimes after an alcohol binge or too much exertion, physical exertion there’s just different things that affect our sleep.

And so the, the staging becomes a little chaotic and that’s sort of what sleep paralysis becomes more common. That’s why you see people who are like night shift workers or nurses and students who keep odd hours or drink a lot of caffeine at odd hours.

They tend to suffer more from, from this. And it’s not something that hurts you. It’s really a sleep symptom.

Now that said there are some people who experienced sleep paralysis as part of narcolepsy sleep, apnea, sleep apnea. And it also can be for some, an indicator of larger health concerns, such as diabetes, or a host of other sort of physical ailments that affect sleep.

And therefore he gets sleep paralysis as a symptom. But most fried say, you know, by the numbers, most people get it in a sense where it comes kind of spontaneously on its own, and it’s not harmful.

It’s not a warning sign of anything, except maybe, maybe get some more sleep in general, make some more room for rest in your life.

And it’s terrifying and it feels like, and this is difficult to describe to someone who hasn’t experienced it, but it feels like you are awake and being held down by an unseen entity. If there’s a sense that something or someone is in the room, something that has ill intent is generally how it’s experienced.

And then something like 15% of the time. And I think some people have it more than others. This combines with actual projected dreams occurring along with the paralysis symptoms.

And so they’ll have actually seen an entity in the room. Someone’s sitting on the edge of the bed. Someone, you know, actually assaulting you in the, in the, in the most profoundly disturbing cases is the supernatural assault which is, you know, the experience of being raped by an unseen entity or scene sometimes while you can’t move into the victimization.

And there’s some, there’s some people who have this because of histories with their own sexual histories, PTSD sufferers also have this experience. It’s, it’s fantastic in the sense that it’s truly supernatural in that it seems like I’m having an encounter with another entity.

And it happens all over the world. Cross-Culturally and the creatures look different though for different cultures. And so it’s, it’s for me as someone who delights and nightmares I think it’s just fascinating and I’ve, I’ve spent quite a lot of time researching and looking into it.

HowToLucid.com:

Another name that is the sleep paralysis demon, or, you know, the, the hat man, the old hat man… Have you heard that?

Ryan Hurd:

Yes. And there’s a lot of, there’s a lot of cultural norms that sort of consolidate around sleep paralysis. And a lot of people take a paranormal edge to it.

Like therefore, like the hat man is something that, that is you know, it’s like somehow tied to the deep state or to alien consciousness, or, you know, everyone’s kind of got, there’s all these different subcultures that look at the phenomena in different ways.

But here’s something that’s often misunderstood about it is, is that one can have positive experiences in sleep paralysis as well. There angel visitations can occur from these states you know, ancestral encounters can occur positive benevolent figures, religious people have religious figures come to them in the state and experience healing sensations, white lights, sensations, and then it can be also a portal to out of body experiences as well.

And so there’s, it’s sort of a, it’s a gateway to all these extraordinary states. And once one realizes that sleep paralysis, is it going to hurt you? And you can find a way to get past your fear and become curious if your curiosity is greater than your fear. And you have an, a strong intention.

You can really use that as wish. Where do I want to go? Do I want to delve into a lucid dream? Do I want to try it for the experience of an out of body experience?

HowToLucid.com:

I really want to just emphasize that for everyone listening, but it can’t harm you because a lot of people are put off by the idea of sleep paralysis, you know, especially hearing things like this. But other, among other things, and they start thinking, oh, well I want to lose a dream, but I’m scared of sleep relatives, but it really isn’t anything too. It shouldn’t put you off.

You know, if anything, it should encourage you to, to know that if you have, if you’re having sleep paralysis, you’re actually one step closer to lucid dreams in many cases. But even if you’re not, it’s nothing to be worried about.

Don’t Be Scared Of Sleep Paralysis!

Ryan Hurd:

Yes. And in fact, I would say to be brave, because if you’re prone to sleep paralysis, it’s an indicator that essentially that you have an initiatory ordeal to go through.

If you can make it through it, if you can go into sleep paralysis and, and, and conquered that fear, and you’ll become a very powerful dreamer because it essentially is the shamonic path to lucid dreaming it’s it’s because one has to essentially do tantric level work with your emotions.

You have to really look fear in the face. And, and once you get used to doing that, it’s amazing how empowering it is for, for, you know, every cell in your body becomes just aligned. And it has a huge effect in waking life, in terms of, of one’s confidence to move about in waking life. It is a true power.

HowToLucid.com:

Absolutely. I completely agree. Now on that note, what do you think the future of lucid dreaming is going to look like

Ryan Hurd:

The future? I think the future is bright. I have been seen in know I’ve been in the space for quite a while, and there’s been a wonderful pullover peripheration of, of, of dream teachers, lucid dream workers, doing workshops, creating content, making videos.

We’re finally at the point that I think that lucid dreaming is a house hold word. Yeah. I think inception had a lot to do with that. The movie inception was a huge bump. I don’t.

And so I think it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s entering this point where we’re lucid dreaming is actually shifting the culture of what is possible with dreaming and in a way it’s allowing Western culture to, to reclaim their mythologies because, you know, we let people dream for us. That’s what Hollywood is, right.

People, we pay people to dream for us. And when we, what lucid dreaming is doing is, is reminding people that we have our own power, our own myths and our own journeys.

And it’s, I just really, I think it’s bright. And so, you know, what’s going on with some of the, you know, the herbal approaches to lucid dreaming is exciting. You know, I’m involved with the Galantamine research and Stephen LaBerge has also published some peer review work on Galantamine recently.

It’s, it’s a very helpful syndicated herbs that helps with lucidity, and it might have some other beneficial effects as well emotionally for dream stabilization. And so I think it’s a healing herb. It’s not just about lucidity.

I think it’s truly a healing herbs. And then the technology what’s going on in virtual reality is actually finally happening. So the virtual worlds, looser worlds are beginning to merge. Virtual reality is an excellent way to learn how to lose the dream in, I think we’re going to start seeing that these, that these, these worlds are merging. So I’m very excited about it.

HowToLucid.com:

Yeah. I’m, I’m super excited as well. Obviously I’m always an optimist, but I think there’s a huge potential in the lucid dreaming and technology space. And yeah, I guess for sleep tracking in general, I mean, I’ve, so I’ve recently got an apple watch and it’s quite an old one. It’s the version three, I think, but the sleep tracking that it can do is actually quite good.

And so I’ve been implementing, you know, trying to work out when the best times, what is the dream is, but not just start working out, you know, what things affect my sleep and how to get better quality sleep. Like, does that make a difference if I have the window open or let little things like that, which without this sleep tracking technology, I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t be able to see the effect that I had other than my subjective experience when I woke up.

But yeah, I think there’s a huge potential with the future of lucid dreaming. Absolutely huge.

Ryan Hurd:

Yeah. Yeah. And finally, the dream masks are coming on the market that had been promised to us for so long, right. Yeah. In so many scams, There’s some good tools out there.

HowToLucid.com:

Yeah, absolutely. Well, I think that about wraps it up for today, but thank you very much for coming on. It’s been an absolute pleasure. Before we go, is there anything, maybe you can give like a last message to people, a tip where they can find you online, you know, whether they way where they should go to hear more from you?

Ryan Hurd:

Yeah. So, so my website is dreamstudies.org. And you also mentioned the lucid talisman is lucidtalisman.com and that’s where we sell my partner, Lee Adams. And I got from the cosmic echo. We sell these wonderful copper talisman for creating lucid dream moments for basically using them as reality checked you know, tokens to keep in your pocket. And that’s been a really fun art project that I’ve been involved with for a few years and they ship all over the world. I mailed one today to Hungary and in the UK.

And it’s just, it’s fantastic. Those, those those lucid dreaming coins are going further than my books and that’s okay. So yeah, that would be two, two ways to find me online. And you can also find some of my work on Amazon. So one thing I’m excited about is that I’m involved in a lucid dreaming study and we’re still taking participants.

Ryan Hurd:

Actually, we’re going to be closing it fairly soon, probably in the middle of April this year 2020. And so I’m looking for, particularly for lucid dreamers who have taken a Galantamine in the past and are willing to take Galantamine again and who reside in the United States.

And if you meet those criteria and there’s a third criteria, that’s optional is that we’re looking for people who also suffer from nightmares. It doesn’t have to be a lucid nightmare, but nightmares say if you suffer from nightmares like once or twice a week, that’s, those are people we’re looking for too.

But what we’re studying this has has to do with the university of Texas and with Scott Spiro, and I’m in a larger crew, are looking into doing more Galantamine research, seeing how it affects dreams, how it affects consciousness, and perhaps if it can be useful in reducing severity or impact of, of nightmares. So, so take a look at the link in the show notes and I’d love if you participated.

HowToLucid.com:

Cool. Great. Thanks for that. Yep. Go and subscribe to that and enter it if you in time, hopefully you’ll be in time to enter that one and, yeah. Cool. Thanks very much.

Summary And Closing Notes

Wow.

What an amazing interview with such an interesting man!

I really enjoyed picking Ryans brain here, and hopefully you got some useful tips and insights out of it too!