Lucid dreamer Mike Porter learned of the potential of lucid dreaming, then used that knowledge to create a deeper, more meaningful life. Learn how in this interview by Robert Waggoner.
When did you first learn about lucid dreaming? What did you think when you heard about it? (This might not apply if you were a natural lucid dreamer as a child.)
I guess I only really learned about it around six years ago. I’ve lucid dreamed naturally my whole life, but never knew it was something special. I just assumed it was a normal part of dreaming and everyone did it. It never occurred to me to even mention it!
About six years ago, I had a spiritual awakening that led me to begin working with my dreams. I soon learned about lucid dreaming’s potential. Upon reading Lucid Dreaming: Plain and Simple, I realized I’ve wasted a lot of years just flying around!
Did you have immediate success with lucid dreaming, or did it take a while? What happened in your first lucid dream?
I suspect I’ve had lucid dreams from the start. The earliest ones I recall are also the earliest dreams I can recall, lucid nightmares from when I was very young. Some are still vivid to this day. For some reason, I had it in my head that if you die in a dream, you’ll also die in waking life. I occasionally have dreams today in the same setting, such as an old, dark mansion. Now, I walk around the place nostalgically, laughing about the old monsters.
One that I find funny today occurred when I was about five years old. I was sitting on the stairs of a small house, facing the front door. All was dark. The door opened, and a large, hairy beast was there, looking to get me. I closed my eyes and concentrated as hard as I could to wake myself up. It didn’t happen. I opened my eyes to see the monster at the bottom of the stairs. I ran up a few flights, sat down, closed my eyes, and tried even harder to wake up. No dice. I opened my eyes and saw the monster coming up. I ran up a few more flights and tried again. Still no success. I was getting increasingly frustrated as the monster kept coming, albeit slowly. After a few more rounds, I finally woke. Looking back, that little house must have been 30 stories high!
As you went along, did you have lucid dreams that surprised you? Or led to unexpected events? Tell us about those.
Ha! They surprise me all the time! Where do I begin? I’m still floored by the precognitive warning dreams. I submitted one to LDE (“A Pancreatic Problem”—Spring 2016 Issue) where my wife came to me saying, “It’s pancreatic.” After waking, I thought she was talking about a certain friend who had a lot of health issues. I was wrong. Two days later, a different friend was hospitalized with Pancreatitis. A few months later, I found out one of my wife’s friends had also been diagnosed with the same disease.
One of the most important ones for my family happened two years ago, nine nights after we lost my father’s beloved black lab, Ebbie. Here’s my dream.
Ebbie Visits During Mic Check!
I’m in a basement room of a small shop. It seems to be a dining room with a couple of tables and a small stage in the corner. The décor seems out of the 1970’s with wood panel walls and an orange carpet. I’m on stage, testing my microphone and amplifier in preparation for an event. I see a couple of workers cleaning up from a previous event, including a table with leftover meat and apples. I look around for my amp, but can’t find it. I speak into the mic, hearing my voice amplified, so it must be hooked up. Where is it?
As I step off the stage looking for it, Ebbie Dog comes running into the room. Knowing she just died, I realize I’m dreaming. I’m so happy to see her! She looks like her healthy, younger self, except her hind end is grey instead of black. I kneel down to greet her and give her a hug. She licks my face vigorously. She rolls over onto her back to have me rub her belly (like I used to). I oblige. As I pet her, I get a sense she has completed her transition to the other side and is here to tell me she’s doing great.
After getting up, I mentioned to my wife that I got to see Ebbie. She said that was funny as she dreamed of seeing Ebbie, too. Her dream occurred one hour after mine. We decided to call my father to tell him. He normally doesn’t remember any dreams, but said he was surprised to have a dream about her, too! His dream was two hours before mine. We later talked to his wife. You guessed it. She dreamed of Ebbie as well, about an hour before mine.
What a coincidence, right? I mean, what are the odds Ebbie would appear to all four of us, in succession, an hour apart, especially since one of us rarely recalls dreams, and another never remembers his dreams? We did a little “back of the napkin” odds calculation and guessed this event would occur randomly once every 288 years!
Ebbie’s visitation has led my father to take an interest in his own spirituality, including learning about beliefs of the afterlife. He’s now remembering dreams that we examine together. Ebbie still visits him regularly.
What was it about lucid dreaming that fascinated you?
I’ve been studying my dreams for a few years now and have come to the conclusion there is an external consciousness, I think you call it the Dream Awareness, that directs our dreams. It’s so much smarter and wiser than me! In normal dreams, I feel this awareness is teaching and guiding me, offering insight if I can decipher it. Through lucidity, this guidance becomes a two-way conversation where I can participate actively. Talk about a way to accelerate soul growth! The awareness always answers my queries, but rarely in a way I’m expecting.
What techniques were you using to become lucid? Which did you find most helpful?
It’s funny, even though I get lucid spontaneously on a regular basis, I’m actually pretty lousy at inducing them on purpose. Most of my spontaneous lucid dreams occur later in the morning, such as on weekends when I sleep in. Having problems sleeping or getting up to use the bathroom also help, so I guess WBTB would be my default method.
One of the few times I was successful inducing a lucid dream occurred two years ago for Lucid Dreaming Day. It was a night where I woke up a lot, so each time I tried to go back to sleep, I kept repeating in my head, “This is a dream.” I had lots of dreams that night, but no lucidity. With about 20 minutes until my alarm would go off, I gave up and nearly got up. Instead, I fell asleep and had the following dream.
My Wife’s Flying Car
It’s dark, just before sunrise. I’m riding in a small red car with my wife driving. We’re on a long, straight, country road. She’s late to catch a plane to work. As we approach an intersection, I suggest flying the car up to the plane since it has already taken off. She agrees. I get out and watch her head off in the car. She has trouble getting airborne, bouncing a few times. It finally hits me… a flying car??? Oh, I’m dreaming!
She finally stays airborne, turns around and flies by me in a low pass. Success for both of us! I look around, enjoying the beautiful dream scenery, rolling hills with palm trees lining the road. There are even stars in the sky. I feel ecstatic! As I see the car fade away, fireworks begin in the background and the 1812 Overture begins playing. Fireworks explode in time with the music. What a wonderful celebration and reward!
It sounds like you read one of my books, and learned how I encourage people to ignore the dream figures and ‘ask’ a question of the non-visible larger awareness. Is that right? What did you think when you came across this idea?
That’s correct. Actually, reading your book completely changed the way I interact with the dream! At the time, I was excited to try a lot of the engagement suggestions. Unless I have a specific task to accomplish, I currently just stop and surrender to the awareness, allowing it to provide what it thinks I need for that session.
In practice, I seem to have the best dream “conversations” by engaging the larger awareness through dream characters. I’m guessing that’s the communication method that works best for me. I ask for some form of guidance, then a dream character appears and responds. It probably evolved from earlier dreams where I would get a response in a visual or auditory form, but failed to properly interpret the image. Luckily, the larger awareness figured out I need the responses dumbed down. Ha!