I am forever indebted to Von Braschler for drawing my attention to the endless possibilities of lucid dreaming during a radio program with George Noory. After that unforgettable interview, I decided to order in a local bookstore his "Conversations with the Dream Mentor", thinking that the book would be contain more and deeper revelations about astral journeys and contacts with masters from other dimensions.
To put it in a nutshell, this book has been a total disappointment.This is due to two main factors:
The first is that the incidents reported by the author in what amounts to little more than a slightly edited dream journal are regrettably but nonetheless positively uninteresting. Most of the book deals with Von Braschler's wanderings in more or less exotic settings, during which his mentor will usually keep silent while he will utter an ocasional "how nice!" The master will sometimes prepare a test, which Von Braschler usually fails miserably. Towards the end, he begins to get better while his guide becomes more talkative, but by then the reader will have lost all interest in his dull adventures.
The second reason is the poor quality of the author's writing, which is incredibly dry and repetitious. I have lost count of the number of times in which he uses the phrase: "I put myself in a state o heightened consciousness". Most sentences do not exceed a dozen words, all arranged in exactly the same subject+verb+object pattern and exhibiting a very limited vocabulary. My assumption is that most of the book is in fact a transcription of Von Braschler's own dream journal, which would explain the insipid prose.
The book ends with two short chapters stuffed with tips on how to meet a dream master and put oneself "in a heightened state of consciousness". If you have read Laberge's work or any other how-to manual about lucid dreaming, you will find little that is new here and considering the feeble interest of the author's own experience I expect most readers to just give up any attempt to follow in his blundering footsteps.
The only thing that I find commendable about this story is the author's honesty and tone of deep humility, to which I would add its unrelenting realism. If you try to lucid dream yourself, you will probably find that the unimpressive incidents scattered in "Conversations with the Drean Mentor" are exactly the stuff of which your own dreams are made. In this respect, this book is the exact opposite of the sensational accounts of people like Robert Moss &Co, whose wild adventures are as exciting as they are unlikely to happen to you.
Conversations is an excellent guide to establishing contact and working with the higher self. The author provides his personal history of how he got to know his inner guide, whilst providing practical advice to the reader on how to achieve this and explaining the benefits of the numinous experience.
The techniques include meditation, astral travel and lucid dreaming. The chapters are titled Contacting a Dream Mentor, Exploring Other Realms, Selina's Riddle, Learning to Perceive Color, Flying like a Kite, The Rock Peddler, The Light in the Cavern, Seeing Beyond the Walls, The Initiation, Time Perception and Mastery, Selina and Kirilian Magic and Practical Considerations.
There are many similar books on this topic, but the author's engaging style makes this one a pleasure to read. I would also like to recommend the book How To Meet And Work With Spirit Guides by Ted Andrews, a classic of the genre.
In addition, the use of recorded guided meditations is a sure way of facilitating contact and in this regard I recommend the CDs and tapes of Dr. Eldon Taylor as they are technologically advanced and very effective.