14-8-00 12:07:05 -0400 (EDT)
I used to experience multiple awaking, sleep paralysis and what I then thought to be OBE since I was about seven or eight years old. They did not have a clue about what I was experiencing. The community didn't either and I had to search for my own answers.
Books on OBE and Lucid Dreaming and the Carlos Castaneda's series set me into a more serious experimentation with dreaming. Also I have had definite precognitive experiences and corroboration of events in unfamiliar places/times which I have later found to be true. I've heard songs which I've remembered but mostly forgotten, tried playing music in dreaming and made contact with other persons over distance and time.
I have found it most helpful to think of it as an alternative reality. Switching from dream to waking and back has been so deadly real that it seems a luxury to think that dreams are just strictly harmless entertainment.
I have now learnt to meditate and had for a long time stopped experimenting with dreaming and let it happen naturally. However, meditation itself has proved to develop the facility to remain conscious over the sleep transition and also to keep a balanced state of mind in a very volatile state of sensory experience.
By dreaming of course I mean lucid dreaming / out-of-"body" states
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