Practicing being conscious within a dream is a great way to use the time when the physical body is resting. It is essentially very similar to astral projection; what differs is the way of arriving to the astral plane.
As we leave the physical body behind during our sleeping hours, we normally enter the astral plane (which is one of the two planes of the 5th dimension of existence) unconsciously. This then translates into having regular dreams, in which we are unconscious. In such dreams we are somewhat aware of ourselves, our surroundings, and people in it, but we do things mechanically and unconsciously.
Lucid dream occurs when in the middle of the above described dreams, we become conscious that our physical body is sleeping in bed and that we are actually within a dream. This realization ideally gives us the same level of consciousness that we have when awake in the physical world.
Once we discover that we are dreaming and become ‘fully’ conscious, the dream images (which are subconscious projection) may disappear and we would see what is really there in the astral plane. For example, often time when we dream we project images of familiar places and people around us. If we are conscious enough when we wake up within the dream, these images may just melt away and we would then see that the place we are in could be unfamiliar to us, and we may also notice that people we are talking to are not the ones that we thought they are when we were still dreaming.
There are many ways to induce lucid dreaming. A very good one involves a technique known as “reality checks”. It entails questioning during the day the reality in which you are in; posing questions to oneself in order to verify in which dimension you are. For example, every now and then during your waking life you can pause and mentally ask “Where am I a now? Is this a dream? How did I get here?” etc. And then you can do a small jump with intention to float. If you are in the physical world you won’t float, but if you are inside a dream/astral world, then you will, because in the astral plane we can float and fly.
Once we are conscious in the astral plane, we can go on to explore the reality of it in the same way as we would via the mean of astral projection. It is the same place that we end up in; the only difference is how we got there.
Once there we can try to find out things about our spiritual development, such as how we are doing on the path, what our obstacles are, how far we have come…We can look into our past lives, visit deceased people that we’ve known, talk to our spirit guides and awakened masters of wisdom.
Potentials are infinite, but the same rule applies as with astral projection – the more we advance on the path of transformation, the higher access we get to esoteric knowledge.