We can fix this. I’ve spoken to people who never remember their dreams. After a few simple suggestions, many of them report remembering their dreams the very next day.
The importance of remembering your dreams for lucid dreaming can’t be over-emphasized. It is the foundation. You might be having lucid dreams right now, but how would you know if you are not remembering them?
I am on a camping trip while I right this post. I had some amazing lucid dreams last night. I had two sets of dreams, each felt like they lasted 30 minutes or more. However, I only remember snatches of them because I did not follow some of the cardinal rules in remembering dreams. Here are the cardinal rules. Follow them and you will remember your dreams almost immediately.
- Tell yourself before falling asleep you will remember your dreams. Repeat a phrase like, “Tonight, I am paying attention to my dreams. Upon waking, before I even move a single muscle, I will think about what I was just dreaming.”
- Put a flashlight, pen and a dream journal by your bedside.
- Resolve in your mind that no matter the time of the night, when you awake, you will apply effort to remember your dreams.
- Resolve in your mind that once you remember a dream, no matter what time it is, you will write it down.
- Once you waken, do not move. Do not open your eyes. Do not even shift your body in the slightest. Your first thought needs to be – “What was I just dreaming?” Think. Remember. Feel. It will come to you. Play it back a few times. Then, move to use the flashlight (if needed) and write as much as you can in your dream journal.
It’s that simple. If you follow those 5 steps, you will remember your dreams. I’d be happy to coach your personally if you follow those steps and cannot remember a dream.
Last night I had a dream in which I heard Russian. Do I speak Russian? Not really. I spent about 5 weeks learning Russian over 6 years ago to prepare for a mission trip. Though in my dream, my two Russian dream characters were speaking what appeared to be flawless Russian. Lets put it this way – if you asked me to imitate two Russian speaks while I am conscious, I could not have done what they did in my dream, even if it wasn’t proper Russian.
So where does the mind get its material for dreams? Certainly one aspect is our day to day lives. We’ve all had dreams about events, places and people whom we saw during the day. Dream researchers have found is that REM sleep is critical to establishing memories. If you need to memorize something, try reading it several times before going to bed. Your mind will work on your behalf throughout the night.
However, I did not have any thing in my day (that I am consciously aware of) to do with Russia. Ah, wait! Just as I write this I remembered one thing. I am listening to “Delivering Happiness” by Tony Hsieh. He mentioned a Russian currency debacle in the late 90s. This is probably where Russia came into play last night for me. OK, lets pull on this thread a bit.
Other elements of the dream included waiting in line for a movie (I thought about heading to the movies instead of working yesterday afternoon). Another element was a token that would guarantee my place in line. The token was a keychain with a plastic fish on it, the exact kind our church uses to pick up kids. I distinctly remember our Pastor asking my wife to pick up her kids and hand her the green fish token authorizing my wife to pick up her kids. Interesting.
So is all dream material from our every day lives? Some make the case it is. Last night’s dream is certainly turning out to be made out of “every day” content. Yet I have had dreams that have no trace of the “every day” stuff. Does the material come from other days long ago? Do we somehow tap into a “collective unconscious” as Carl Jung called it? This is one of the central questions I’d like to explore. Lucid dreaming, the ability to consciously control elements of the dream world, is an excellent vehicle for probing the depths of dream material and its source. My next post will start with the basics – how to prepare to have your first lucid dream.
It started with a question. “Can the mind be hacked?” Reflecting back, it is a strange question. But not so strange for a dream. Yet, this was no ordinary dream. It was a lucid dream, meaning it was a dream where I was aware I was dreaming.
Not only was I aware that I was dreaming, I had brought into this altered state of consciousness a task, a dream task. The task was to interact directly with my subconscious mind.
Not possible? It is. I’ve done it. This ability to have a discourse with one’s own subconscious mind is perhaps one of the greatest discoveries I have experienced in my life. With this portal to the subconscious via a heightened dream state, human potential has new possibilities. These possibilities are as limitless as the mind itself. They are as unknown and untapped as the subconscious itself.
It was this experience that triggered a series of events that has led to this day. Today, I welcome you to themindhacked.com – a place to read about my journey in tapping the vast potential we have within us. My hope is to inspire and challenge others to find ways to realize their God-given potential. Thanks for reading.