Hello again. Have you remembered any interesting dreams lately? Let's
talk about the benefits of recording them in a dream journal:
Keeping A Dream Journal
Once you remember even the smallest piece of a dream upon awakening,
it is exciting and extremely useful to capture whatever dream content
you have received as soon as possible so that you can easily access it
Once you have recorded this dream material, you can explore it to
receive spiritual and personal-growth insights, guidance, and artistic
inspiration. You can also relive a healing dream experience in your
mind as a positive visualization, or use dream images in many other
Choosing a dream journal is a very individual decision. We encourage
you to pick any size or kind of notebook that best suits you. A bound
notebook or sketchbook, for example, works well because it is portable
and keeps everything together and well organized in one place for easy
reference. If you are the type who often finds yourself capturing
dreams on separate sheets of paper at different times, collecting and
storing them in a three-ring binder accomplishes the same goal.
A dream journal serves multiple purposes. The act of writing down your
dreams as soon as you receive them will often increase your dream
recall. In addition, this practice will provide a valuable record of
your dreams over time. You can review this collection regularly and
discover recurring messages, patterns and symbols that reveal the
deepest issues of your life and the evolution of your psyche.
The "predictive layer" of dreams also begins to emerge when you review
dreams that are one to six months old. In some cases, you can clearly
see in retrospect that an old dream actually foretold events that have
since come to pass.
When writing down your dreams, it helps to keep your dream journal
and a writing implement right next to your bed for easy access if you
wake up during the night and remember any part of a dream.
Once you realize that you are awake and are remembering part of a
dream, it helps to lie still in the same position for a few moments
and review the dream in your mind a few times to retain it in memory
before changing positions to grab your dream journal.
Often, by that point, if you can remember even a snippet of the dream
and start writing it down, those details will trigger more and more
recall of the dream as you go along.
Here is a handy technique for writing down your dreams in the dark
without turning on the light and awakening your partner: After you
have written the first line across the top of the page and your hand
is positioned at the right margin, move your hand straight down about
an inch, then straight across back to the left margin of the page like a typewriter carriage return, and begin the next line. This process
usually leaves enough space between lines to ensure that they don't
overlap. Although the first few times you try this, you may be amused
(or dismayed!) the next morning by the results, with repeated
practice, you can master this technique.
As an alternative, you can purchase a special pen, like the
NiteWriter, with a built-in light to illuminate the writing area. You
can even buy a battery-lit notepad designed specifically for recording
dreams in the dark! The Nite Note writing pad lights up when you pick
up the attached pen (specially designed to write at any angle for
recording dreams while lying down), and the light turns off again when
you replace the pen in its holder.
When writing down your dream, don't worry about grammar or censor your
word choices; just let the words flow as quickly as possible. There is
no wrong way to record a dream, and the particular words and phrasings
your psyche spontaneously chooses provide valuable information. Do not
worry about the length of what you recall either, since you can glean
much information from even the smallest snippets of dreams.
Once you have captured your dream to your satisfaction, simply flip
your notebook to the next blank page and bookmark your place with your
pen so that you are all set to record your next dream. You can then
set your notebook down and fall right back to sleep.
The next day, if you have not done so already, write down the date of
the dream and give it a title. Simply pick the first title that comes
to your mind, without thinking too much about it, since the words you
spontaneously choose will contain clues to the dream's meaning.
If you prefer, you can keep an audio dream journal. In this case, keep
a tape recorder next to your bed instead of a journal, and speak (or
whisper!) your dream into the tape recorder upon awakening.
If you are using the audio dream recording method, the same principles
still apply: Remain as much as possible in the same position after
awakening, and don't worry about grammar, word choices, or the amount
of dream content you can recall. Just capture what you remember on
tape. The next day, record the date and a title as an addendum, just
as you would in a written journal. You can later transcribe or type up
the material for further exploration or work directly from listening
to the tape, perhaps more than once.
Once you have captured your dreams, you can also draw or paint images
from them in your dream journal, or use the dream content in any way
you desire. You may know about Carl Jung's amazing oversized leather-
bound dream journal, in which he wrote out his dreams in beautiful
script accompanied by many impressive drawings and paintings. Well-
known dreamworker Jeremy Taylor also keeps an oversized dream journal
filled with dreams, drawings, stickers, and the like. Your dream
journal is an entirely personal creation, limited only by your own
To apply this lesson, purchase or create your own dream
journal (or enhance yours if you already have one), and start
recording your dreams. Use your creativity to personalize your dream
journal to suit you.
Next Lesson: Starting to Work on Your Dreams.
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Dr. Ron and Debbie