Charlie Morley talks about lucid dreaming as a yin and yang practice. In order to get to the dream world, a certain amount of effort is required: waking up, doing the practices, being diligent with the journaling, and so forth. That is its yang.
On the other hand, once we are in the dream world, a heavy-handed and masculine approach (egoistic, commanding, and insecure) is not as helpful for actual growth and change. If the ego could have its way (which it can’t, by the way) it would never change. It would always be the same static concept. What a drag.
What’s crucial to remember (and experience and practice) is that no matter what state of consciousness one is in (waking, dreaming, or dreamless sleep), awareness is always present. It is awareness that actually becomes lucid. Ego may provide some structures (thought patterns, intention, willpower, etc.), but fundamentally, lucidity is the nature of awareness. It is lucidity that recognizes itself.
And your lucid nature requires no effort at all. In fact, it is just the opposite.
If we are able to recognize the nature of awareness, and become aware of it, we can begin to understand how dream practice is just part of the story. We can also see how the waking dream, in nature, is no different from the sleeping dream.
And we also find the perspective, so to speak, to lucid dream without effort.
As we continue our path of lucid dreaming, we find our own balance between effort and non-effort. As the Tibetans say, “The strings on a lute cannot be too loose or too tight. Too loose, and you get no music. Too tight, and the strings break.”
Once we find the right tautness, we find the right chord. Once we’ve found the right chord, we find that we can sing. Wishing you all luck on the journey.