Deep Emotions

If you are presently in therapy or feel you need therapy, it would be better not to do the following exercise without first consulting a therapist of your choice. It is that powerful.

This exercise requires a deeply trusted friend who is willing to help you discover deep emotional issues. This is not a light matter. The person who helps you with this will be privy to some of your deepest fears. Better to not do this exercise at all than to try it with someone who is less than seriously committed to supporting your inner discoveries.

Sit together, with your partner on your right, in a way that allows your partner to hold both of your hands in your lap with his/her right hand, and place his/her left hand on the back of your neck.

You must close your eyes, and your partner now begins a gentle, very gentle, VERY gentle swaying of your neck and head from side to side-moving your head no more than a few inches in either direction. Back and forth. Back and forth. Each sway might take a few seconds per cycle. You will NOT HELP your partner to move your head. You must completely surrender to how much your head is moved by your partner, and how fast. No trying is allowed on your part.

Now you will begin to recall childhood memories–any will do. You will speak aloud about these memories and any images or emotions that come up while doing so. Your partner, for the most part, will be a listener, but she/he may ask questions about the experiences. This is done with voices that are almost whispers. The whole exercise is soft and gentle and loving. Your hands must not be used while you are talking. Let them simply rest in the gentle grasp of your partner.

Your partner will be looking for your resisting his/her moving of your head or your moving your hands. ANY resistance or ANY movement of the hands should be noted by your partner with a spoken signal that you agree to, such as the word “there” being spoken by your partner. Your partner’s main role is that of a living bio-feedback device.

Whenever your partner speaks “there,” that is a sign that some special area of your life is being touched upon by your mind, and that you should dwell there while your partner rocks and monitors you. While dwelling, you should continue to whisper about the images and emotions you are feeling. If a minute or so passes without your partner saying “there” then that will be a signal to end the session or to go on to another childhood memory.

This exercise is extraordinarily strong in lifting the veil between yourself and memories which may be supporting negative dynamics in your personality. It is not something you should do unless you are rested, serious, trusting of your partner, and ready to end it if things get too rough. Be prepared for deep emotions to surface.

This exercise can be quite draining. Once a month might be too much. Use your intuition to decide. Your partner must agree beforehand to never ask or otherwise encourage you to do another session. Nor should you feel that you must return the favor and rock your partner. There are two very different roles here, and you might not be the proper person for your partner. Your degree of comfort when considering this prospective role must be carefully attended to and honored.

Finally, if other persons that you trust can also be present during this process, it will be safer and also more powerful. If a group is present, try to limit the number of persons who are rocked to, at most, two or three.

Ask yourself:

Just what am I doing during this exercise? Why does it so quickly bring about strong responses? Just how close to the surface ARE my issues?

How do I feel after a session? Do I feel that issues have been wholly or partially resolved in any way?

How do I now feel about my partner? Has this been a bonding experience for us? Was this intimacy in any way something I would call “love?” How would I feel if my spouse or significant other did this with another “rocker?”

Do I have a lot of issues that need my conscious attention? What am I willing to do to resolve my mind’s subtle inner turmoil? Would I spend an hour per day for five years doing this sort of thing if I knew I would completely “clean house?” What would living in a cleaned house feel like? Could I live that way now and clean house later?

How much of my present life is strongly colored by past experiences that are dimly or not at all remembered? How do I feel about my childhood experiences and the impact they had on my present personality? Do I need emergency help, or can I take my time with this kind of self improvement?

How much of this session did I NOT actually “do” but, rather, had happen to me?

Why can something happen to me, and yet I feel that I was somehow, albeit inexplicably, the author of my experiences?

How deep do I go? Where does the pure me reside? Or, am I only an experiencing machine that recursively and continually churns a database of memories as it interacts with environmental stimuli?

Is the part of me that experiences thoughts and sensory data the pure me, or am I even beyond Being itself?

How does my definition of “soul” differ from “pure me?”

Doer or Viewer?

Though it might immediately appear otherwise, this exercise is easier than some might think.

Create, in rough outline form, a short “play.” This play might be about yourself or anything. The main idea is to get about ten to twenty “scenes” imagined in which about 10 to 30 seconds of “action” takes place. There should be a beginning, middle, and an end. Each scene should have notes about who’s in it, the kind of conversation and actions they will have and how that scene segues to the next scene. It can be done with just a few sentences.

For example:

Scene One: Mary comes home from work, yells out for her husband, has flowers behind her back, hears John in other room.

Scene Two: John comes from laundry room with an armload of clothes. Goes straight into bedroom without seeing the flowers.” Etc.

This exercise is NOT about being a writer, and if you are not “a creative type” that’s okay. Simply steal an idea off of any television show, or take the last half hour of your own life. All that is required here is that you get down on paper a series of scenes that create a story. If you “hit a wall,” well, okay, just take notes when you watch a sitcom.

Now, take each scene, read your notes, and close your eyes and begin to imagine and visualize that scene. Let the details come forth. The room, the furniture, the plants, the pictures, the clothes on the players, the smells, the textures, the colors, the sounds from the TV, etc. Go over this scene again and again until it pretty much gels, and you can go through it in an orderly way in your imagination. You’re the director, so make sure you’re satisfied. It’s your name that goes in the credits!

Do this for the whole “play.”

Make this as short as “you can get away with.” This is not about discovering your creativity, and this is not supposed to be hard work. Just be easy with it, and go from scene to scene until a comfort level is achieved.

Here’s how you know if you have succeeded: you can go through the whole story, from start to finish with eyes closed, not looking at your notes, and images and conversational bits come easily. You, in fact, view your own production as if it were on screen, and you are in the audience.

Enjoy. Warning: this is highly addictive to some personality types.

Ask yourself:

What part of me resists doing this kind of thing just for fun?

Do I have to have a strong skill or talent before I attempt something? Can I have fun doing things that I’m just no good at?

And, well okay, just how creative was I at this exercise that was not about creativity?

How did my mind do in terms of the clarity it achieved in my mental imagery, the details that came forth, the ease of it all, etc.?

What kinds of emotions did I feel when I ran the final version? How intense were these emotions compared to what I felt when I was first “gelling” the scenes?

What did I enjoy about the final production, since I knew that whole story? What was my payoff?

How was this different from dreaming? WAS I dreaming?

Why did my mind insist on changing details every now and then? What dynamic of my mind did that? How does this dynamic affect my daily life?

How come my mind was able to do this pretty much effortlessly? Just what WAS I doing during the final production? WAS I doing anything? How did my sense of being a “doer” change as the flow and effortlessness of the play increased due to my rehearsals?

Am I a doer most of the time or a viewer?

What is the difference between me as a doer and me as a viewer?

Subtle Mind

All experiences that you have will be improved by this exercise, but it should be used with at least some commitment if its power is to be fathomed. For best results, 15 – 30 minutes a day is recommended. Prepare yourself for true delight as a whole new world opens to you.

The exercise will seem far too simple to support the above promise, but innocent and attentive use of it yields tremendous results. This exercise magnifies and brings faint and largely unnoticed images (and the emotions and other mental synergies that attend them) into your conscious daily experiences. In this realm on the fringe of consciousness can be found incredible proof of the immense underlying complexity of all that you presently call “me.”

Images, clear or faint, make up a large part of your mental life. This is more easily observed during your experiences that you have during the dreaming process, day dreaming process, or simply thinking with eyes closed. Eyes-open-thinking also has many experiences that, for lack of better adjectives, can be called images, but largely these are less observable against the background of the comparatively more intense input and processing of the visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory and gustatory aspects of normal, daily, mental experiences and the thoughts and emotions that they trigger.

The exercise: With eyes closed, describe ALOUD (preferably into a tape recorder or to a human listener) the images that you see with your “inner eye.” Full images, partial images, flickering or sustained, will come to/through your mind, and you should SPEAK ALOUD words that describe them. For the most part, the words you use should be adjectives or short phrases. To “kick off” the images, try asking a question to yourself and then let go. The faster you toss out the descriptions the better, and try to follow as many “side” images as possible. This is not an exercise in story telling. No sense must be made with the order of the images or the words you use to describe them. You are NOT directing your mind with any wishing for images of certain types.

By following these instructions, your ability to be attentive to the fainter aspects of the contents of consciousness will begin to grow. Once you have developed this ability, still fainter, presently unknown, aspects of consciousness become available. In this way, an ever-approached horizon of mental life will be involved in a process of discovery.

Ask yourself:

Why is this so much fun?

What would be the long-term benefits of practicing this technique?

Am I mining my deeper veins of thinking? Am I finding out more about how things are connected?

What kind of surprises do I get with this? Am I seeing images that startle me, scare me, and inspire me? Am I flabbergasted at the amount of creativity my mind constantly manifests?

Is my heart opening up with this method?

Do the questions I ask to start the images get answered? Are the images in any way symbolic of the answers I would ordinarily expect in words?

Lucid Dreams

The set up:

Imagine yourself inside a dream with complete and total awareness of who you actually are–a sleeping person whose brain is manufacturing the dream, and who has a “real reality” that can be obtained by simply waking up. Of course, you would have complete recall of the dream content should you wake up.

In this dream, you are, well, no other way to describe it, almost God. You, by simply intending it to happen, can create anything you can imagine. And knowing that the entirety of this “world” is sprung directly from your imagination, there is not the slightest moral qualm or fear for you within this world.

Want a troop of baboons who are entirely shaved, dressed in typical Wall Street attire, speaking with perfect cogency about Kurt Godel’s formally undecidable propositions at a cocktail party? No problem. Want to go slaloming the rings of Saturn without a spacesuit? Pihhhh! Child’s play! Or, get this, want to look into a dream mirror, see your actual body’s image, and have this incredible feeling of satisfaction? Done deal.

Get the set up? You’re in this dream world, and you can do ANYTHING, you can feel ANYTHING, and you can be ANYTHING. Within this reality, you are freedom personified.

The exercise:

Jump ahead. Think of yourself having had this ability to be anything you want to be in your dreams for TWENTY YEARS. Hours every night for years have been spent having every experience you could imagine. You’ve done it all. You’ve done it all with polka dots, you’ve done it upside down, inside out, and Mobiused. You have been a super hero, a villain, a genius, and a billionaire. And, now, nothing, nothing, NOTHING is left to do that isn’t, well, ho hum.

So here you are, twenty years from now, in the following dream sequence: You’re at one of your fabulous astral parties. You’ve outdone yourself. You’ve created hundreds of people decked out in finery that would make Liza Doolittle’s coming out party seem an “oh so drab affair.” You waltz, you tango, you hip, you hop, and you change genders and costumes ten times in ten minutes. You know, YOUR typical dream.

Now, someone comes up to you. This dream person, Pat, doesn’t know who you really are, and instead has been precisely created to KNOW that you are this incredible person who is adored by everyone at the party for reasons not a single one of them has ever examined the veracity of for a nanosecond. Pat, easy on the eyes, has designs upon you. Pat wants to get jiggy with you, and says, “Wow, some party!”, and proceeds to attempt small talk with you using a rather impressive knowledge set, and, like an amalgam of Jim Carrey and Stephen Hawking, pulls off being thoroughly entertaining AND deep!

Unfortunately, this is the fourteenth time you have had Pat come on to you like this. In fact, variations of this Pat character have done, said, felt, and been every possible thing for, to, with, under, and of you. You’re sick of Pat! And, you’re sick of anything that remotely has the “stink” of being entertainingly deep! Been Mobiused, done that Mobiused. You’ve got a closet full of Pats and Robins and Kims and Dales and Chrises and Mickeys.

Pat doesn’t “get” that the ultimate fabric of the universe is about a pound of cerebral cortex snoozing on your pillow!

What to do? THAT’S THE EXERCISE! Think of something to do in this wonderful environment after twenty years of having done so. What would you do? (Remember, you’ve already done it.)

Ask yourself:

How many years WOULD I really need to get THAT jaded?

What is the nature of my wanting to have experiences that it so disallows obvious repetition?

Have I already done this? If I could remember all my dreams, would I pretty much be in the same situation? Are my dream experiences actually affecting my ability to enjoy real life? Am I sort of “rusting”?

What IS the difference between a perfect, red, luscious, sweet, firm strawberry with a dollop of sugary whipped cream and a real strawberry that you can really eat–not that imagined one in this sentence?

If I had a dream about me sitting at my computer reading this exercise right now at this very word, and then I woke up with reality being absolutely in sync with my dream, how would I know I woke up?

Am I awake, or am I dreaming I’m awake, or am I a character in Pat’s dream? How do I know the answers?

Is Pat-talking-to-the-dream-me a little like, a lot like, or completely like, the “real, waking me” talking to an enlightened person?

Do I have to have had every possible experience to finally be wise?

What experiment could Pat do on the dream me to determine if the dream me was actually awake, too? What questions could Pat ask that would yield answers from me that Pat could verify (remember that Pat is as smart as Hawking)? How would Pat be able to know that the tale I might tell about my other reality was true?

What is the difference between knowing me and being me?

Creating All This

Below is an exercise that you can find on the Internet in thousands of variations. It is usually put into the “new age” category. Read it over a few times, and see if you think your deepest understanding about life is in harmony with it on one or more levels.

The exercise:

“For just a few seconds stop and take a look around.

Stop and see ALL THIS as if from the eyes of a far soaring bird floating high above the fray.

From that vantage, look at the beauty of your world. Note the colors, the sounds, the shapes, the sheer uniqueness of everything that poetically interacts with itself in a glorious play.

Take on the ownership of ALL THIS, and know that it is your divine expression of all that you are.

Savor yourself being the creator of ALL THIS.

Know that from this moment on, you are going to, every day in every way, become better at knowing your power to change ALL THIS and to better form the heaven on earth that you deserve.

Ask yourself:

Really, now, just how much does this kind of “thing” match my experiences in REAL life? Do I really feel it would be possible for me to change even a tiny fraction of ALL THIS? Have I ever in my life felt truly godlike in the least?

Do I think it could be this simple–that believing this “kind of stuff” could transform my meager powers to such heights?

Is this “divine inner powers” concept true for ANYONE? Really now, do I believe that even one out of a million persons on this planet RIGHT NOW is capable of changing the world to any significant degree?

Just whom IS this statement targeting? Is it me? Me? Me, the person who cannot predict the very next thought that is going to occur to me? Me, who talks, berates and argues with VCRs, toasters, and a host of other small appliances? Me, who thinks Mickey Mouse loves Minnie?

At this point, at this late date, with me having read a lot of these Consciousness Exercises, am I really any better off at all? Aside from having been around the “consciousness block” a few times, just what have I gained here?

Do I identify with daily life more than I identify with this new age stuff? Are all the “negative affirmations” and disempowerments of daily life too overwhelming for me to have any hope of counteracting? Can I rewrite my patterns with this Pollyanna approach?

How absurd is it to think that I have any role in creating most of what I call daily life? Do I have the slightest sense of causality here? Just when have I EVER felt myself to be the author of, say, a chair across the room, the flight of a bird across the sky, the next word in this exercise? What can I make of all this new age insistence of my ultimate empowerment when it is so clearly not only otherwise for me, but also, it seems for EVERYONE?

Can it be that I am not who they are talking about? Where’s that other person?

Am I really the invisible, unknowable, transcendental, author of ALL THIS? When I compare what I am now to my nightly dreamt up characters and their limited understanding of causality in their dreamy “all this” world, am I godlike?

What God stands EXACTLY behind me when I look into the mirror?

How does Mickey Mouse go about meeting Walt Disney?

Interpretation

This is a flexibility challenge. Try to figure out a way that all these situations could be wonderful, instead of accepting the negative interpretation that immediately comes to mind. Practice putting on different colored lenses until you find a “right interpretation” for the description.

Example Situation: You and your family have almost no food to eat–less than a day’s worth. You are all sleeping out the on the ground with very little to cover you, and the nearest help is miles away.

Example Situation’s Happy Interpretation: You are on a family camping trip with a sumptuous feast in your backpacks. You stay overnight after a scenic day’s hike, enjoy your fireside repast, crawl into your thin summer sleeping bags, and watch the stars until sleep comes. The next morning you hike back perfectly refreshed.

For the rest of these situations, try not to use any explanation more than once.

1. You are up to your neck in a liquid that contains a wide variety of poisonous chemicals.

2. You’re resisting and violently struggling with someone who eventually overpowers you and pushes you out of a plane without a parachute.

3. Your body is aching with burning sensations.

4. Slowly, again and again, a needle is inserted into your body.

5. Many people all around you are counting on you in an extremely tense situation. They watch you closely, some are quite desperate. Then, right before their eyes, you fail them, and all they wanted is left unfulfilled.

6. You viciously kill an attacker. So hard do you strike out that your own blood is mixed with the remains of your victim.

7. Someone tells you, quite seriously, “You are going to die. Prepare yourself.”

8. You’re colder than you have EVER been in your entire life. You can hardly breathe. In your fear, you are almost certain that you are dying. The brightest light you have ever seen shines painfully into your eyes. Then the worst pain you have EVER felt in your entire life hits you.

Happy solutions are given below the questions section.

Ask yourself:

What’s more important when interpreting a situation, my imagination or the context of the situation?

How do words, and how they are strung together, so strongly overpower my neutrality? How often do I allow an “inner jury” to consider something before I have an opinion about a situation?

Do I always have an interpretive choice or do some words and phrases always say what they mean?

How often do I assume the wrong context for a situation? Should I become more aloof or scientific about my conclusions?

Why do I feel like these situations are unfairly worded? Who promised me that this exercise wouldn’t cheat?

Are any of life’s tragic situations interpretable, or is the meaning of all of them absolute? Wars? Famine? Genocide? Suicide?

How often do I apply a false interpretation to a behavior of mine so that it seems better? Do I tell white lies?

When I look into the mirror, how happy am I with my looks? Do I think photographs look like me?

Do I lie to children? Do I attempt to pre-filter reality for them to save them from something?

Happy Solutions:

1. You are swimming in a pool with chlorine and other highly diluted chemicals.

2. You’re a stunt-person on a movie set.

3. You are in a gym working out and going for the burn.

4. You are getting acupuncture.

5. You are Greg Norman and come in third in the Masters, but you win hundreds of thousands of dollars playing a game you love.

6. You swat a mosquito.

7. Your friend wants to tell you about the latest thriller movie with incredible special effects and exaggerates in a typical fashion.

8. You are being born.

 

Repetition

Select a new song by an artist to whom you do not typically listen–one that is not a song that you liked the first time you heard it, ¬†and one that you have not paid attention to when it is being played.

Now listen to it again and again and again, and watch your mind discovering that certain parts of it are more pleasurable than other parts.

Watch as you slowly develop a favorite part(s).

Ask yourself:

Why did I reject this song so quickly when I first heard it?

DID “I” reject it? Or, did some”thing” else do that for me? How can I be more aware of my evaluation processes?

Have I, at least in some small way, changed my mind about this song now?

Because I have done this small experiment, have I fundamentally changed my way of listening to new songs?

Do I now want to listen to other songs by this artist?

What is the nature of mental repetition, and what is its effect on interpretation of the qualities of an experience?

Why do I begin to like certain parts of this song?

Why is it that the song is losing its power to annoy me?

What is the nature of repetition that it dulls my emotional responses?

Does this song now replay itself in my mind? Is my mind fickle or what?

Am I so powerful that I can find good in anything? Should I do this more often? What would the long-term payoff be to me to support this proactively?

Patterns

Using your body in new ways by breaking old patterns helps you see that precise moment when an automated aspect of consciousness is operating and gives you conscious choice. One way to do this is to resolve, for the entire day to switch your handedness. This means you would comb your hair, brush your teeth, stir your coffee, and do other simple tasks with your non-dominant hand, and when you can, also chew on the non-dominant side of your mouth, enter doorways or start stair climbing always with the non-dominant foot, etc.

Do this as much as possible and try to keep a score card going about how often, in hindsight, you realize you missed an opportunity or purposefully skipped the exercise for that particular situation (such as shaking hands with someone.)

Ask yourself,

Is this really just the tip of the iceberg? How many layers upon layers of patterns that react to or are triggered by other patterns do I have going here? Am I an unravelable Gordian knot? What sword would I use to give myself an Alexandrian cut?

Should I fight patterns or give into them so completely that I no longer “author” my own life? Which way would be more work? Which way would be the most spiritually advisable?

What amount of time did it take for me to accommodate to this exercise’s intent? Did the intent fade over time? What secondary processes are affected by this switching? How often did I do something with the “wrong” hand, before I developed the new habit? How did I feel about myself when I erred?

What part of me resists this experiment? Is there a “comfortable” pattern at work here that knows how to “argue” with “me” about this?

How many patterns do I have that I have never “gone against?” How do most of them get “in there?”

If I could, which of today’s discovered patterns would I instantly erase? How would I use such a pattern-eraser right now to better my life?

How much wisdom do I actually have that I can believe in my judgment of how I should change patterns? Am I that wise?

Was this pattern-discovery process a mental process that I can properly call a creative act?

Okay, bottom line now, just what percentage of everything I do, think, feel, say, and sense is completely pattern based? And what percentage of that are patterns that I dislike?

Is my life a re-run? Was “I” set in motion long, long ago along with all the other pattern-people just so that “someone” could watch all the “billiards bounce about” or “listen to the patter of little feet?”

Needs

Examine your relationship with someone you love by noting the reasons why you NEED this person in your life.

Take about five minutes to do this. Make some notes.

Now pick one of your needs, and pretend that you can “just push a button” which will cause this need to cease completely.

Take a few minutes to imagine what your relationship would be like after that need was no longer operating. Pretend you know the future and see how this would affect the relationship for years to come.

If time permits, examine ALL the listed needs in this manner.

Ask yourself:

Has listing these needs given me any insight about the relative intensities of them? Am I much more “addicted” to this other person in some ways and only “mildly dependent” in others?

How did it feel to list the various ways that I need this person? How much “at risk” am I for having so much invested in this person’s attitudes, behaviors, physical attributes, values, support, philosophy, etc.? How do I feel about being so connected in so many ways to this person?

If this person fails to “meet” one of my needs, what happens to my love for this person?

How much more and in what way will I love this person if I do not need this person at all?

If both of us did not need the other but continued to “stay with” each other, would this be a “higher” love? Is this even possible?

When someone meets my needs, do I always “fall in love” with them to some degree? Is this a matter of how many needs are met or of what particular needs are met?

In light of the fact that identical behaviors are being compared, how do I emotionally react when someone I love serves me a meal, as opposed to the emotions I have when that same meal is being served by a waiter or waitress? CAN I actually determine this? Can I isolate and evaluate these incidents with such precise analysis?

How do I feel when I serve my own meal?

Big Rocks

A popular story going around the Internet these days is about a time management expert who was speaking to a class of business students. He did the following “consciousness exercise” on them.

“Okay, let’s have a pop-quiz.”

He put a large, one-gallon, wide-mouthed jar on the lecture table. Then he brought out a box full of various “ingredients.” To start, he took apple-sized rocks and put them, one at a time, carefully into the jar until it was filled to the top, and no more rocks would fit.

“Now,” he asked, “Is this jar full?”

Everyone in the class pretty much nodded or shrugged out a “Yes.”

“Really?” He asked.

He reached into the box and started to put scoops of gravel into the jar while he shook the jar to get the gravel to work down into the spaces between the rocks.

“Now, is the jar full?” He asked, but, of course, these future business types were already waiting for that question.

“Nah,” one of them snickered.

“Right!” he said.

He continued to shake the jar while putting in scoops of sand.

“Now, is this jar full?”

“No!” said the class, as they were again well ahead of him.

Smiling, he said, “Good.”

Next, pulling out a large bottle of water, he poured it in and filled the jar to its lip. Then he stopped, scanned the class, and asked, “Why am I doing this demo?”

Quickly, someone who hardly disguised his boredom, “It doesn’t matter how tight your schedule becomes; if you’re smart you can always fit some more things in it!”

“Nope,” the speaker said, “that’s not the reason.

“Here it is: Put the big rocks in first, or you’ll never get them in at all. Be sure that, on all your projects, the ‘big rocks’ go in first. For that project you call your life, rocks are children, loved ones, values, education, dreams, a passionate cause, teaching others, loving what you do, finding time for yourself, health, your life partner. These rocks need a place in your life, and being BIG they need to have first priority, or you’ll never get them in at all. Call each day a jar to fill.”

Ask yourself:

Do these kinds of stories touch me very deeply? Can I learn a deep life lesson from “just one shot” like this? What if I could find 365 of these kinds of stories, would that improve me if I read one a day? How much? What would be better?

What is the most important rock of life?

Are any of these rocks more important than my ability to be conscious? If I were in a coma, what value would any of these rocks have to me? Would I even “be there” without consciousness?

Am I putting consciousness into my life first? Is that the first rock that goes into my jar? How much bigger is it than anything else? Will it even fit into the jar?

Can I “grab consciousness?” Is this metaphor applicable to this kind of “rock?” Do I need a “bigger” definition of what my “jar” is?

If I don’t know consciousness as a pure and separate entity, how can I “grab/prioritize” it? How do I go about taking care of my Self– my consciousness? Can it be exercised, increased, manipulated, or what?

How would a character in a dream go about improving the dreamer’s ability to dream?