Waiting In The Lucid Void

Since I was a child, I have had conscious dream experiences that take place in immense, spacious realms. Sometimes these spaces are truly voids and my own dream body does not exist. Other times, these spaces fill up with abstract geometric patterns, or multi-colored buzzing particles that resemble the “snow” from a television set.

It’s a terrifying place to be sometimes, simply because everything is stripped away and I am facing the unknown. However, this void simultaneously has held some of my most trusting moments in the dreamstate.

In the lucid void, we have an opportunity to die to our self-perceptions and be reborn in every moment.

Charting Imageless Lucid Dreaming

I call these uncanny spaces imageless lucid dreaming. In the dream studies literature, the works of Kenneth Moss and Linda Magallon in particular resonate strongly with my experiences. More recently, thanks to The Lucid Dream Exchange, I was able to read about many others who have also visited this lucid space that seem to resemble my “void,” most notably Robert Waggoner and Ed Kellogg. Waggoner talks about “the gray state” and Kellogg details his lucid journeys into a vast abstract world he calls “the Matrix.”

[pullquote]We are still in the dark about the state’s physiological signatures[/pullquote]

Also, psychologist Fariba Bogzaran has detailed a similar realm that she has named “Hyper-space lucidity,” characterized by lightning-fast travel and filled sometimes with dark light. For Bogzaran, the experience is non-dual in nature. The spectrum of possibility here no doubt has to do with the individual’s paradigm of reality, mental set, and cultural background.

To date, there have been no laboratory studies that look at this experience in particular, so we are still in the dark about the state’s physiological signatures. Is it REM? Hypnagogia?  Imageless lucid dreaming is in a similar place to where lucid dreaming was thirty years ago: experienced first-hand by many, and scolded by other non-believers that it is merely a “micro-awakening” between dreams.

Until we have third-person validity, therefore, it’s important that we continue to document the first-hand experience of this unique altered state. I hope you join me in this exploration and share your findings.

Moving into the Void

I’d like to now share my lucid void practice that appears to invite powerfully emotional lucid dreams.

By engaging in a meditative state during the lucid void, the dream recrystallizes around you. If you hold an attitude of trust and acceptance, the new dream scene will spontaneously regenerate.

What emerges is different for everyone, but suffice to say that you will be brought precisely to the place you need to be.

It begins with realizing you are dreaming and remembering your intention. You can then enter the void at will by disturbing an ongoing dream scene by walking through a mirror or sinking through the ground, or whatever works for you.

I used to crawl into television sets, but I lost a few opportunities as I would wander around the dream looking for a TV. The best methods are those you can do anywhere, without a prop.

From there, you may experience a number of disorienting spaces.

Entoptica, 2005 Ryan Hurd

I often experience various geometric shapes and bizarre bodily feelings of flying or drifting. Sometimes a vortex is created –such as in my painting above — and I (the ego core without a dream body) enter the swirling lights, travel through a twisty-turny tunnel, and am then spilled out into a dream scene with a normal dream body.

Many of these new dreams would be powerfully emotional dreams, with opportunities for working with issues core to my personal mythology.

Waiting and trusting in the unknown

Try waiting in the void with a meditative attitude.

Notice what is happening around you, and notice your thoughts as they come and go.

Try not to have any goal or expectation, but when one does crop up, note it and then return to your waiting posture. If you feel fear, remind yourself that you’re safe in this space and if you choose, you can wake up at any time.

Sooner or later, the dream will re-form around you.

Where will you end up?

You may be surprised.

This article is adapted from my new ebook Lucid Immersion Guidebook, which is now available on Amazon as a Kindle download.


Bogzaran, F. (2003). Lucid art and hyperspace reality. Dreaming, 13(1), pp. 29-42.

Kellogg III, E.W. (2005) Enter the Matrix: Exploring the Source Code of Dreams. Presentation at the 2005 Psiberdreaming Conference.

Magallon, L. (1991). Awake in the dark: Imageless lucid dreaming. Lucidity, 10(1&2), pp. 46-48.

Moss, K. (1991). Experimentation with the vortex phenomenon in lucid dreams. Lucidity, 10(1&2), pp. 49-51.

Waggoner, R. (2009). Lucid Dreaming: Gateway to the Inner Self. Needham: Moment Point Press.

CC First image: Tunnel by Mariana C.

About the Author:

Ryan's recent dream research focuses on lucid dreaming, sacred sites, the anthropology of dreaming, and sleep paralysis. DreamStudies.org


  1. Alan Underwood (aka Openfoot) May 4, 2012 at 3:47 am - Reply

    Hello Ryan

    Many thanks for this post. Although I have noted my own dreams over several decades it is only in recent years, and thanks to the web, that I have begun to take more of an interest in the dreams of others. Your post is perhaps the clearest expression I have seen of a phenomena that has become familiar to me over the years. It is my experience that when first encountered these spaces can indeed be rather frightening and troubling because the require the giving up of so much that is normally conceived of as the “I’. My early experiences of entering these states was always of a strong and district boundary, the crossing of which frequently involved rushes of energy, sound and or light. Nowadays the transition is smooth and any boundaries, if perceived, are hard to detect.

    In Jungian terms I have come to see them as the expression of this comment by Jung.

    “The whole course of individuation is dialectical, and the so called “end” is the confrontation of the ego with the “emptiness” of the centre. Here the limit of possible experience is reached: the ego is dissolved as the reference point of cognition.”

    To exemplify my own experiences I offer a relatively recent dream that ends, if my understanding is correct, in a state such as you describe. It seems to me that in this state the dissolution of ego leaves only an awareness of spacious awareness with no intruding sense of identity. It seems to me that it is impossible to experience these spaces without then undertaking a radical re-examination of what the waking world and the waking “I”, “consist off”.

    D413: May 6th 2011. Deep dive Sitting up in bed I relax and “watch” myself fall asleep. I am aware of moving directly into the dream state and find myself standing on a high, very steeply sloping, grassy mountainside. The ground falls away rapidly in front of me. As I often do in these situations in waking life I begin to get a bit dizzy, a touch of vertigo and a fear of falling come over me. But then I remember. I am dreaming and surely I’m not going to come to any harm in this state. Just to check, my awareness rises back towards the waking state and sure enough I am still sitting up in bed. I’m quite safe. There is nowhere I can fall from here! I slide back into the dream state and resume my position standing on the hillside. Now that I know I’m safe I look up and out into the space in front of me. At first I feel a bit giddy but then I centre and stabilise. Then I’m off! Off into the wild blue yonder, flying over the landscape far below. After a little while I spot a prominent ridge of upturned, vertical, greyish, rock strata. Down I zoom to take a look. Soon I’m flying along the ridge, dodging back and forth as I weave between pillars and flat slabs of rock, I speed along the eroded vertical bedding planes. From here I can see the signs of weathering and erosion on the rock’s surface; small hollows and holes in the rock’s surface come into view. I take a sharp left and I find myself flying down a short eroded rock tube. I quickly reach its end but find that this is no obstacle. On I go through the pore spaces in the rock, dodging between the mineral grains and on down, down. Now I’m dodging between atoms! Looking about I see I am surrounded by a soft pink-yellow light. I occurs to me that this must be the quantum level and with that thought there is a very soft, quiet, POP! and I am – all is, a soft pure yellow-pink light. “I” rest here for an indeterminate period and at some point lose awareness.

    Best Regards

    • Ryan Hurd May 5, 2012 at 5:58 pm - Reply

      remarkable dream Openfoot, thanks so much for sharing it. this certainly sounds like the lucid dream as vehicle to a nondual space/place to me. what I like about your report is the attention to “am I safe” and being able to travel further once establishing it. inspiring!

  2. Linda Mastrangelo May 4, 2012 at 11:01 am - Reply

    I am so thrilled you posted this, Ryan. These experiences can be terrifying and so thrilling.I have been fascinated with the different types of gateways that lead to different worlds and states of consciousness. My own experiences resonate with yours including geometric patterns, black holes, tunnel of stars and even passing through membranes.

    My most terrifying (yet humorous!) Void lucid dream was literally being suspended in a “No-Place” and witnessing the Sun above blocked by a type of webbing (hard to describe) and below me what appeared to be liquid, bubbling smoke like you would see in movies (dry ice effect). I was hovering over the smoke, not sure what to do. I felt ridiculous. Do I enter the liquid smoke? Go towards the light? I never had a context for my own experiences until I started exploring lucid dreams and the World Tree. Thank you!

  3. Ryan Hurd May 5, 2012 at 8:44 pm - Reply

    what an interesting dilemma — do I want to go up towards the light, or down into the underworld? I have been in similar moments of ambiguity like that; good stuff to work with!

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  5. Bruno January 30, 2013 at 4:01 am - Reply

    super interesting. Have you read tibetan literarure? I think got you are experiencing is what they call “clear light” the space betwen dreams, but in a lucid way. Its supposed to be the most profound lucid dream experiencie.

  6. My Training as a Dream Warrior September 8, 2013 at 5:17 pm - Reply

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  7. katie July 6, 2014 at 5:47 pm - Reply

    Hi, i just want to thank you for this. All my life ive had very strange dreams, almost like a second life that i can manipulate very well. Travelling within the dreams is like travelling in a waterbased current system, whereby nobody gets wet. Its so bizarre and thrilling. Ive made a lot of sense from the things youve said and i think im just glad im not the only one getting these types of dreams

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