Speaking of techniques, experiences, symbolic content, sensory modalities, and the lucid dream technique for this week - here's something that might be connected with all 5. I'm not sure what it is, and I'd be interested to know if anyone else has experienced it.
Every once in a while as I fall asleep, and sometimes while already dreaming, the following will happen - I'll lose touch with my body (in the normal way as you fall asleep), and shortly afterword I feel like I am being compressed into a smaller and smaller space. There is also a sound like a freight train coming towards me, and a white light that either takes up my visual field or is growing brighter. All this happens at the same time, and it is very disconcerting.
Sometimes (usually, these days) I have no clue what is going on and I jerk myself awake because I think I'm dying or something. When I practiced dream and astral projection techniques a lot, along with sobriety, I was able to remain aware and ride it through. Many times, if I were able to ride it through I would find myself lucid dreaming. Perhaps sometimes I wind up dreaming normally. If I am not able to ride it through, I wake up.
This is an extremely vivid and shocking thing that has happened to me (or that I have done) many times, and it seems to be connected to dreaming and lucid dreaming. Has anyone else gone through this? Does anything different happen to you as you fall asleep? How do you experience your wake/sleep/dream transitions?