Another dream-recall related exercise introduced in EWLD and further developed in A Course in Lucid Dreaming is identifying "dreamsigns." This term, coined by LaBerge, refers to elements of dreams that indicate that you are dreaming. (Examples: miraculous flight, purple cats, malfunctioning devices, and meeting deceased people.) By studying your dreams you can become familiar with your own personal dreamsigns and set your mind to recognize them and become lucid in future dreams. The Course also provides exercises for noticing dreamsigns while you are awake, so that the skill carries over into your dreams. This exercise also applies to lucid dream induction devices, which give sensory cues--special, artificially-produced dreamsigns--while you are dreaming. To succeed at recognizing these cues in dreams, you need to practice looking for them and recognizing them while you are awake.
What is Lucid Dreaming?
The basic definition of lucid dreaming requires nothing more than becoming aware that you are dreaming. However, the quality of lucidity can vary greatly. When lucidity is at a high level, you are aware that everything experienced in the dream is occurring in your mind, that there is no real danger, and that you are asleep in bed and will awaken shortly. With low-level lucidity, you may be aware to a certain extent that you are dreaming, perhaps enough to fly or alter what you are doing, but not enough to realize that the people are dream representations, or that you can suffer no physical damage, or that you are actually in bed.