- Mental Health
Daydream flying is something that I started doing only a year or so ago. It's not so much about the flying as it is about where you choose to go. It happened quite accidentally, but I was very pleased that it did. But be under no illusion, what I experienced was purely in my mind, and was in no way shaman-like, nothing to do with an out of body experience, and absolutely not a drug-induced hallucination. Daydream flying is simply a nice meditative experience that I like to enjoy when I need to relax for a few minutes. No equipment at all is required, no special place needs to be found. I can wear whatever I like, I can sit or stand, or even be walking. Basically, wherever I can daydream I can do this exercise.
It is up to you, but you may prefer to do your daydreaming when you are alone, rather than in a crowded office or when you are in the middle of a conversation with someone. If you are surrounded by people they may feel a little disconcerted at the glazed look that crosses your face when you are transporting your mind to a different location. You may wish to spare your friends or colleagues the worry, and yourself the embarrassment. Or perhaps not: perhaps you may wish to flaunt your new hobby, and encourage others to experiment.
Daydream flying is not to be confused with lucid dreaming. During a lucid dream you are actually still asleep, but are in some way conscious of the fact. In a daydream, unless you have inadvertently nodded off, you are fully awake, and unlike ordinary dreaming you are fully aware at all times that what you are experiencing is purely in the mind. You will not feel any physical sensations of flying as you do in an unconscious dream. My hub on Dream Flying explains a little of those feelings, as they are to me, and you can read it here.
You do not have to do what I do in the daydream. That fantasy is yours, and you can do with it whatever you wish. I usually prefer to close my eyes, though this is not essential. But it does allow images to be seen more clearly by the mind's eye.
Then I just go. I take a trip around the world. I see a picture of the whole of the Earth in my mind, and I zoom in on one part. I do not feel any rush of air with this kind of flight as I do in a sleeping dream. This flying is more filmic, I am watching the place that my conscious mind chooses to take me. It's similar to how I would imagine a time machine to work - the machine would put me slap bang in the centre of the action, but would keep me enclosed and invisible in a protective kind of skin, breathable but impenetrable.
I suppose I am restricted at the moment by my ignorance of geography. But I can go literally to any place I think of. When I first indulged in this kind of daydream I spent quite a lot of time in a place that looked like Egypt. There were camels, sand dunes, and men wearing galabeya. I never speak to anyone in the daydream, because I am not pretending to be there in body. That is not the purpose of this exercise, for me. But you could interact with imagined people if you wanted to.
I just enjoy watching and listening. I cannot make out words, but I get a sense of an accent. I do see faces very clearly, and I see clothes. Actually I can see anything I want to very clearly. I do go to places I've been to before, so I revisit Austria, and I walk in the valleys and at the tops of some of the peaks. I look out over the Alps, where the mountains really do extend as far as the eye can see. I see the half timber houses, with the flower-filled window boxes, I can smell the food, and the white beer. I can hear the music and the cowbells.
I've been to cities, to green fields, to rivers, on the rooves of skyscrapers, behind waterfalls, in the middle of deserts, inside stately homes, sitting on the front step of an apartment block in San Francisco, on the veranda of a house in New England. I have looked into the water in the middle of the Atlantic, and glided over powder snow in deepest Siberia. I have explored rainforests and have run at the speed of sound on the savanna.
The only place I have not yet been, in a dream, is under the sea.
What I aim for in these dreams is as clear a picture as possible, with as much sound as I can imagine. I would like to be able to utilise my other senses, to be able to touch and smell also, but perhaps I will improve with more practise. And as a writer I think that this kind of exercise is a good workout for the imagination muscles. You can do whatever you like with it - use it to explore problem areas in your writing, use it to find characters, settings, situations. Or you could just keep it for relaxation, which is perhaps just as important.
This is something that could become addictive, so do try not to dream your days away. You still have work to do as well, you know. But the nice thing is that you can take this fantasy flying with you wherever you go.