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Wednesday, November 7, 2007

On Dreaming

Thought I'd post a little article I wrote some years ago on the subject of dreaming. Although its largely in outline format, I don't have the HTML knowledge to repeat that here--apologies in advance...

On Dreaming

On Oct. 3, 2000 I started actively trying to remember all the dreams I could in an effort to regain the lucidity I had as a child (and therefore, to dialogue directly with my subconscious mind.) In the previous year I remembered 8 dreams. The first year of my formal attempts at recall I remembered 228. During the year I’ve learned much about recalling and interpreting dreams.

On going to sleep;
1. Use repetitious, positive thought as you drift off, i.e.; "I WILL remember my dream, I WILL remember my dream."
2. As your mind slips into the hypnogogic stage (pre-sleep,) watch the images that appear as though watching a movie. Remain detached, but aware.
3. When you realize you’re dreaming (i.e.; you notice flying turtles or some other, nonsensical event,) take a moment to think back to what’s led to the current moment. Whenever you reach this lucidity (conscious awareness of dreaming,) go back and remember what has gone before.
4. Feel free to ask for the answer to a problem you’ve been having as you lie in bed. See what potential answer appears in the subsequent dream.
5. Relax.

On dream recall;
1. Keep a pen and paper (or dream journal) within easy reach of your bed.
2. Allow yourself to wake naturally, without such distractions as an alarm clock or phone.
3. On waking;
A. DON’T MOVE! Lie still. Physical movement stimulates the brain, pulling us more quickly away from our dreams.
B. Mentally review dream images to set them in your mind.
C. Write down everything you remember as soon as you remember it (trust me.) When you wake in the middle of the night remembering something, even if you set it firmly in your mind, chances are it’ll be gone when you wake in the morning (or whenever.) This goes for remembering something later in the day, too. If you can’t write things down immediately, set them as firmly as possible it in your mind (at least,) and begin questioning (if possible, see following.)
D. Probe deeper with questions. Some I use are;
~ Was it day or night?
~ Indoors or out?
~ How did I feel? Did anything trigger other emotions?
~ Was I alone or with others?
~ Which direction did things face and/or was I going? North, South, East, West?
~ Who was I with? Male? Female?
~ If there’s water in the dream, what form is it in--lake, river, sea? Was it calm or agitated? Was the water dirty or clean?

On dream analysis;
1. Look for patterns/recurring themes
A. In individual dreams, themselves--were there a lot of colors? Numbers? Shapes?
B. In a series of dreams over a few weeks (or even longer.)
2. What was the main setting? Theme?
3. DON’T waste money on dictionaries of dream symbolisms. They reflect the opinions of their authors (and others.) Only we, ourselves, can truly determine what such symbols mean to us. Begin compiling your own dictionary of symbols. Your own definitions will likely change depending on your life situation.
4. Write the main symbols and actions down with lots of space around them. Near those words, put descriptors and other information that comes to mind (i.e.; WOLF--pack animal, social, hunter, lone wolf, etc.) Afterwards, draw lines between any correlating words you’ve written.
5. Think “outside of the box” (i.e.; a gym may represent someone you know named Jim.) Notice words that rhyme in your dream. They might be connected in some way.

Looking back at that year’s dreams I find that not only have they taught me much about myself, but that they’re often premonitions of things to come (usually within 3 days of the dream.) Now I find I remember at least something from pretty much every night’s dreaming. The subconscious mind is fertile soil for those who seek to Know Themselves.

Sweet dreams.


Brave Astronaut said...

I remember back in high school reading Omni magazine. There was one issue completely devoted to dreams. How to influence them, how to fly in your dreams, getting yourself to meet your heroes in your dreams, etc.

Of course, these days, who had time to dream. Sleep, when it comes, is mostly just sleep, or at least the dreams don't register.

Then again, I remember a girl from high school (who I liked and hung out with) who drew pictures of dragons and other fantasy topics. For years, I had one of her dragon pictures. It always made me smile.

Then she moved to Canada and then to New Orleans, where I found her a few years ago. It's nice to rekindle old friendships, isn't it? :)

Thanks for the update with the blog url. This comment should allow you to get to mine.

Charles Gramlich said...

You should have given the presentation at Pagan Pride Days on dreams, sweetness. Good stuff.

Btw, if Brave Astronaut likes Dean Koontz he might like a certain book called "Cold in the Light" by this guy named Charles Gramlich.

Lana said...

I see you, "Brave Astronaut." ;) Omni was a great magazine, wasn't it? I was so sorry to see it go...
BTW, if you need another dragon picture, I still have tons (although my focus these days is more on landscapes or abstracts.) I'm about to head to work, but look forward to stopping by your blogs this evening. :)

Charles; Like heck! Did you read my comment about public speaking a while back? *LOL*

disa said...


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