Guess what happens when you can’t remember your dreams?
It’s easy: you won’t remember being lucid.
Maybe it doesn’t seem like a big deal now, but it will when you become lucid and you can’t remember anything. Nothing’s more annoying than a blank memory.
Luckily there’s an easy way to remember your dreams. So easy a flying monkey could do it.
All you need to do is write them down in a dream journal.
Stretch your mind like an elastic band
You have to slowly stretch your dream memory so you can fit in more each time. You do this by running through your dreams when you wake up in the morning.
Think of a big wall. On opposite sides lie the dream memory and normal memory. When you try to remember a dream it creates a little hole in the wall and a tiny bit of dream memory escapes. Every time you run through your dreams that little hole gets bigger and bigger until you remember more and more.
Sound easy? Apart from the effort it takes to write something down each morning it’s simple.
You want something nice to use as the dream journal. Personally, I can’t see past a Moleskine notebook, but if you can acquire a nice book from work/school, that’s great.
Before you rush ahead and start writing everything down, let’s go over some pointers.
As soon as you wake up
This is important: don’t open your eyes as soon as you wake up. You know what your memory’s like. As soon as you think about what you’re having for breakfast your dream memory is wiped clean.
This takes time. Don’t expect to wake up tomorrow morning with your eyes closed. As with any skill it takes practice. I’m only telling you this because I don’t want you to worry if you can’t keep them closed right away.
As soon as you remember what you should be doing, just close your eyes again as quickly as possible.
How to tackle the dream
So your eyes are closed. Now you need to go over the dream in your head to ingrain it in your memory long enough to write it down.
The first thing I like to do is instantly zoom through every memorable moment in the dream: jump from one thing to the next as quickly as possible. This just keeps the main events fresh in my mind.
Now I use the traditional method of starting from the end of the dream and working towards the beginning, thinking about everything that happened in more detail.
Next I go the opposite way and play the dream over in my head again from beginning to end. Once you’ve been over it twice — once each way — you should have a good idea of what to write.
Things to note
You won’t be able to remember lots about the dream the first time you try. Again, it takes time. Remember: each time you use this technique you’re stretching the dream memory, so it doesn’t matter if you do it slowly. You’ll get better; fast.
What to look out for
This may sound obvious but look out for things like:
- Location – where did it takes place?
- People – who did you meet?
- Actions – what did you do?
- Emotions – did you have any strong feelings?
- Objects – what did you see/use?
- Smells – any certain smells you remember?
- Sounds – anything you’ve heard?
- Tastes – anything you tasted?
- Touch – things you remember touching?
Writing a story
I like to write a story in my journal. Nothing big and fancy. Just a simple little story in chronological order, which I can later read back and relive in my mind.
The obvious problem with this method is the ease at which you can read through the journal if you’re looking to pick out similar facts from different dreams. To combat this, highlight certain words or phrases you think are important.
Now when you go through the journal it’s a lot easier to pick out facts because they will jump out at you.
Be quick writing it down
Once you’ve ran through the dream and are confident you remember everything, jump up, grab your journal and fill it in straight away so you don’t forget anything. It will only take 5 minutes. Don’t be lazy.
Now I mean this in the least condescending way possible but please make sure you fill the journal in as neatly as possible, because it makes it much easier to understand at a later date. My writing used to stink so I know what it’s like.
What’s going to happen
Something wonderful is going to happen as soon as you start writing down your dreams. Your dream memory will begin to stretch back more and more as the days go by.
The amount of information you remember will skyrocket and you’ll be able to work your way back much further into the beginnings of a dream. This is the first amazing thing that will happen on your lucid dreaming journey. Remembering your dreams is a lot of fun.
Once you’ve started writing stuff down
You now want to use your dream journal as a tool to help you expand your dream memory as much as possible.
Every night before you go to bed, read over your journal and go back over the dreams in your head. Try to picture yourself back inside the dream going over what it was you done.
Make sure you are writing down at least one dream per night as soon as you are capable. Once you begin to remember more than one dream each night you can write them down if you wish. I just stick to writing down one dream, but I always run through all the other dreams in my head.