Mary in Fall River, Massachusetts writes:
I have visions that happen sometimes. I have had dreams of people, and what I dream happens. I can tell what is going to happen before it happens a lot of the time. It is very scary. I know what people are going to say before they say it. My gut tells me if things are going to work out or not. I don’t know what to do with this ability, or how to control it.
The dream world is both a strange and a fascinating realm. Philosophers and psychologists have hypothesized about what the dream world offers us and why it exists. Sometimes, dreams can be metaphors for our life, offering us a different perspective on our day-to-day living. Often, we dream about problems and issues that are disturbing us, and sometimes our dreams can offer us solutions. Have you ever wondered if you can specifically enter into a dream for the purpose of finding a solution to a problem, or program your mind prior to falling asleep to aid in prophetic dreaming? The answer is yes, you can, and I am going to tell you how it can be done.
To understand the optimal conditions for dreaming and dream recall, it is important that you understand sleep patterns and the activity that the brain undertakes each night that you sleep. There are two primary phases of sleep: NREM (Non Rapid Eye Movement) and REM (Rapid Eye Movement).
Within the NREM there is very little dreaming, as the brain cycles through slower phases of brain activity. During this slowing down period, you may experience a sudden tweak or jolt in your body after you’ve hit the pillow. You will gently begin to lose conscious awareness of the external environment and thoroughly relax. This phase offers you a little “cat-nap,” not likely to lead to notable dream recollection, but great for an energy boost in the middle of a long day.
REM sleep is the phase of sleep that accounts for the memorable dreaming. During this time, the body also undergoes a temporary paralysis, most likely necessary to protect one from self-damage by physically acting out scenes from the vivid dreams that occur during this stage.
The human body typically completes a sleep cycle involving these phases every two hours. If you sleep the typical eight hours, you have approximately four opportunities for deep dreaming and dream recollection.
So by now you understand that everyone dreams, but not everyone remembers their dreams. The most important aspects of working with your dreams is the ability to recall the fine details that are often forgotten immediately after waking. The following are tips for you to program your dreams to seek information, and techniques to preserve your dreams which will offer you the chance to analyze them at a later time.
1. Keep a Dream Journal
Keeping a dream journal is a must for anyone desiring a stronger understanding of their dreams. You can either set a piece of paper and a pen by your bedside, or you may opt to purchase a fancy dream journal. I prefer a piece of paper. Often when I make notes, my eyes are still closed; grasping the faint images that remain that would otherwise disappear if I were to open my eyes. By keeping my eyes closed and allowing my hand to scribble barely-legible notes on a piece of paper, I am able to collect more details. Sometimes I can even sketch images.
My notes looks pretty scattered and meaningless, but it is amazing what I can recall when I look back at my notes. In certain writing, I can instantly remember images associated with words I had written, and the large messy penmanship has tremendous value. I simply can’t achieve the same results by waking, sitting myself upright, and opening up a dream journal while trying to remember images while I write neatly and articulately in a fancy bound journal. My notes are dated and kept in a three ring binder. With time, your scribbles won’t look so disorganized. Rather, you’ll begin creating a sketchbook of dream poetry.
2. Program Your Mind
Before going to sleep, program your mind so it will know what to expect. Tell yourself, “I am going to have a dream tonight, and I am going to remember it in detail.” Allow the repetition of this chant to send you into your NREM sleep as you consciously prepare yourself to retain the dream images and messages.
3. Set Your Topic and Ask for Advice
When drifting asleep, begin thinking of your troubling situation or issue for which you desire assistance. Call upon your guardians or guides to deliver advice in the form of images or spoken message when you are sleeping. The reason it can be easier to obtain a solution when you are dreaming, as compared to when you are awake, is because your conscious mind has the ability to interfere or criticize suggestions and doesn’t validate them. Also, at times of confusion, emotions are so heavy during the awake hour that it can be harder for the mind to hear a faint a solution. Dream time removes these conscious interferences and you are able to connect with guides easier, and less likely to ignore their advice.
4. Set Your Clock
Your goal here is to awaken while in the middle of a dream. Set your alarm clock to wake you in the middle of the night, in an attempt to wake during a REM phase of your sleep pattern, your most notable dream time. I suggest 3:00 am. Be prepared to wake very disoriented, but don’t attempt to regain awareness of your surroundings. Instead, immediately begin to recall the recent images and messages you were receiving in your dream. In addition (or as an alternative), set your alarm clock 20 minutes before you usually wake in the morning. By creating a rising time different from your usual schedule, you are likely to wake during a REM sleep phase and have a better chance of waking mid-dream.
5. Mentally Capture Your Dream
Instead of quickly getting up whenever you wake in the morning, or in the middle of the night, spend an extra few minutes keeping your eyes shut, reflecting on any lingering images or words you were given in your dream. Recapture specific scenes, including people, objects, colors and locations, noting any remnants from your dream. Recite these images over and over in your mind so that they become more obvious, as opposed to dwindling.
6. Write It Down
As soon as you wake, begin journaling. You may want to go to the bathroom or get a drink of water, but this is not the time to get comfortable. You have a specific mission, and that mission is to preserve the few remaining details which, if you can remember them, will unveil more details. If you get up to go to the bathroom, your conscious mind awakens and the dreaming mind disappears, along with all of your precious details.
Freethinking Thomas Edison, the American scientist best known for his invention of the phonograph, the motion picture camera and electric light bulb, was a prolific dreamer that relied upon programed dreaming to aid in his designs and inventions. Conscious dreaming is a tool for channeling your ambitions and creating an action plan to make them a reality. Sweet dreams!
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