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Stimulating dreaming and recall

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Author Topic: Stimulating dreaming and recall  (Read 434 times)
Lori Anne
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« on: September 10, 2011, 10:13:33 am »

Although lucid dreaming is always the primary focus for dreamers, nonetheless ordinary dreams are not only integral to the development of lucid dreams, but they are important in their own right.

Once a person makes the decision to set foot on the path to spiritual attainment, to dedicate their future to the pursuit of knowledge of the deepest truths of our existence, something changes in our dreams. This is because something changes in our sub-conscious. It is the beginning of what we loosely call our ‘double’.

We start by stimulating our normal dreaming and dream-recall. This is what we want to ratchet up in this workshop. All the theory, pondering and reflection are only the guiding influences.

Here are the steps and items I would like everyone to follow during the workshop:

1.   Place a notebook and torch beside your bed. When you awaken during the night or in the morning, write down your dreams immediately. This lends attention to your dream recall, stimulating something inside us to take notice of our dreaming.
Don Juan warned against this practice, but after years of working on dreaming, I have realised it remains a very useful technique. The reason don Juan warned of it, was because Carlos wrote down everything. But more than this, he was a warrior of the Third Attention – dreaming was only a means to that goal, not an end in itself. He was concerned that dreaming does not become simply an extension of our First Attention obsession. Our First Attention, left-brain self, is always trying to arrogate everything within its own obsessive scheme.

His strategy, as earlier explained, was to develop the Second Attention until it could stand against the First Attention as an equal and fully comprehensive world. Only then could the conflict inherent in these two full world views work open the crack between them.

The best way to guard against this danger is to avoid obsessive dream interpretations. Avoid analysing every bit of a dream, especially by using symbolism which has a lot of cogitative associations. There is a way to interpret dreams without destroying their mystery.

2.   Rearrange your sleeping situation. If possible, sleep in a different bed, in a different room or house. Some will have difficulty with this, but it is important to try to change something about your sleeping arrangements: change the position of your bed, sleep around the opposite direction, turn on a low light, put a pillow under your knees or against your back, take a hot water bottle to bed, wear different bedclothes or no clothes at all, play some very, very quiet music (you can turn this music down to almost inaudible levels). You have to be imaginative and come up with something which can add a small alteration to your sleeping pattern.

3.   Get to sleep early. Staying up late and hitting the sack dead tired is not conducive to remembering dreams.

4.   Utilise the morning hours. The best dreaming, if not dreams, happens when you wake up and drift off numerous times in the hours before finally getting up. You have to be not too tied to use this, and you have to be able to drop off back to sleep. If you are an insomniac then that’s a different matter, and we can deal with that if it’s a problem for some. The art of dreaming does require facility at falling asleep.

Drifting in and out of dream in the morning hours is a perfect time to work on transferring into lucid dream directly and to set intent for dreams.

5.   Practice night awareness. I mean sleep-awake awareness. Typically when we drop off to sleep, or awaken during the night, we try to maintain our ‘out-of-it’ sleepiness, so we can get back to sleep easily. This has to be changed. It took me years to develop this facility. I used to purposefully pull myself out of drop-off into sleep, maintain an awareness of who I am, where I am and what I was doing.

Thus every time you awaken, even slightly, during the night, you recall immediately your task – to intend a dream subject, and to sustain lucid dream purpose. Never revert to fuzzy, groggy mind in these times.

6.   Entering sleep. This is the most interesting of exercises. Go into sleep gradually, under control. The idea is to maintain the deepest inner core of awakeness, while allowing everything outside that to fall asleep. We pull back all our sense of aware-self into the tiniest essence, sustaining that light as we fall into sleep.

Lying on your back is best, if you can, as lying on your side can be too comfortable. As you drift towards the threshold of sleep, there is a period of ‘in-between’ that has been spoken of by all mystical traditions since ancient times. This is the critical moment. Try to go to sleep with enough energy to elongate this phase.

One exercise I have used successfully for this, is when I have to go somewhere, especially when someone is coming to collect me. I get ready in plenty of time, then fully dressed and packed, I lie on the bed, on my back, and wait. Because I’m not tired, but don’t have tasks pulling me away, I am able to drift easily into the ‘in-between’ phase for extended periods. I’m not tired enough to sleep, and not agitated enough to get up.

I have also utilised what I call ‘props’ for this. Props are external supports, which can assist in getting into the correct position. In this case, I found a special drink to be useful. In a tea pot, place a light amount of ordinary tea, with an equal amount of camomile or valerian (which is best if you can get it). Don’t use coffee, as it creates heat and agitation. Tea is smooth and keeps awake in a relaxed way, while the camomile or valerian relaxes the nervous system. Mild incense can also be good, especially Japanese incense.

In this ‘in-between’ phase, watch carefully for the dream images to appear before your inner eyes. It is possible to practice ‘seeing’ into the darkness – don’t allow your eyes to go to sleep. At first you can catch glimpses of static or moving images, before they suck you into them. As soon as you see these images, hold back – drift back away from the threshold. Then allow yourself to drift towards it again.

In this way we exercise the process of extending our capacity for the ‘in-between’ phase. We also practice the skill of entering sleep under aware-control.

7.   Hands. It is extremely useful to have a feature to focus on, to remember to look at. Hands are great, but also try periods of looking at the palm of the hands, and then the backs of the hands. After awhile, also try periods of using your feet.
One of the main tasks of hand dreaming is to get a perfect replica of your hands – you can even practice palm-reading your dream hands. Typically your hands will appear misshaped or weird coloured. With practice, you can get your hands to appear normal all the time. This is good practice for the whole process of training your dreaming to give up weirdness for no purpose. Our dreaming is too often distorted with unnecessary embellishments – this has to do with the maturing of our subconscious.

In the ‘in-between’ phase, instead of waiting to see images appear, for the hand practice, we purposefully ‘see’ our hands in front of us. Feel your dream body’s arms become active, and raise its hands before your eyes. Keep looking for them even when you know they are there but you can’t see them. Eventually they will appear, in varieties of clarity and form.

When you get good at this, return to watching for the images to appear, and keep refocusing on your hands at short intervals. Back and forth – from the image of your hands, to the images that appear before you randomly. Never feel that what you are looking at, in these initial random images, is important – that a dead giveaway into the dream. No matter what presents, it is just an image, and nothing more.

To get the best effects of the hands exercise you have to do it throughout the day.

8.   Look at your hands before going to sleep. This is such a simple practice, yet so important. If you forget before you turn off the light, still look at your hands in the dark, even if you can’t see them. Then look for them in your imagination – see them in front of your face with your mind’s eye.

9.   Setting the intent. Take some time each evening before you go to bed, to focus on something with which you want to seed your dreaming. Or do some meditation to calm and set your intent to enter dreaming purposefully. I will have a dedicated topic for dreaming seeding.

10.   Lucid daytime. This is absolutely critical. Your inability to recall dreams and become lucid in dreaming is matched by your absorption and enchantment during the day. Practice awakening to the ‘day dream’ of everyday life. Practice looking at your hands throughout the day, and adopting exactly the same feeling you would have at night in realising you are dreaming. Advanced dreamers recognise there is no difference between the dream of our daily life and of our night sleep – we are equally asleep in both.

11.   Active Imagination. If you don’t understand this, or haven’t developed it, then I recommend you begin right here. This is where in a meditative or trance state we initiate an imaginary scenario. To get this correct though, it has to go beyond controlled imagination, and become a life force of its own. This is a way of directly entering into the Second Attention, and can be more effective for using the Second Attention for intended purposes, as it combines both the power of the dream world and the First Attention will.

Good idea to practice this daily, even for a short time, before going to sleep. It can be a good way to place a final intent into your dreaming.

12.   Carry your dream through the day. In the morning, write down your dream or better, just a small snippet from it, on a piece of paper and put it in your pocket. Take it out throughout the day and recall the feeling of the dream. In this way we try to remember the world of dreaming within our daily world – it helps bring the two parts together into a working unit.

13.   Meditate. Set aside time each day to meditate at least half-an-hour, and more is possible. This builds the essence of real dreaming, and is the most critical of all the techniques.

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The Great Spirit, in placing men on the Earth,
desired them to take good care of the ground and do each
other no harm...

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Lori Anne
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« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2011, 10:15:50 am »

Especially number 12.  I do this often and it works wonderfully!
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The Great Spirit, in placing men on the Earth,
desired them to take good care of the ground and do each
other no harm...
cabbageman
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« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2013, 04:07:42 pm »

Hey L-A,

How do you do #3? Every time I try and go to bed early I just end up laying there. It's like I have so much energy I could just go for a run.

It seems like I can only sleep unless I am dead tired.

Any ideas on how to fall asleep with lots of energy?

And for #6, when you lay on your back, do you have a pillow? I find it very uncomfortable with a pillow.

Thanks!
« Last Edit: June 03, 2013, 04:08:45 pm by cabbageman » Report Spam   Logged
Skyflower
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« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2013, 07:55:00 pm »

Hey L-A,

How do you do #3? Every time I try and go to bed early I just end up laying there. It's like I have so much energy I could just go for a run.

It seems like I can only sleep unless I am dead tired.

Any ideas on how to fall asleep with lots of energy?

And for #6, when you lay on your back, do you have a pillow? I find it very uncomfortable with a pillow.

Thanks!

Meditation, relaxation exercises, chakra work, relaxing sounds and tones, supplements, the list goes on and on and on...
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Everything on the earth has a purpose, every disease an herb to cure it
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« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2013, 12:21:11 pm »

Well yes, but my question was specifically what YOU do. Tell me what you did last night for example.

I do all those things you mentioned, but what I want to know is what you do when you hit the pillow, after you have meditated and done all those things you mentioned. Do you let your mind wander creatively, visualize, or focus on your breathing?

I ask before I believe I have a history of insomnia, that predates my smoking. Any knowledge helps.
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Skyflower
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« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2013, 05:18:33 pm »

Well yes, but my question was specifically what YOU do. Tell me what you did last night for example.

I do all those things you mentioned, but what I want to know is what you do when you hit the pillow, after you have meditated and done all those things you mentioned. Do you let your mind wander creatively, visualize, or focus on your breathing?

I ask before I believe I have a history of insomnia, that predates my smoking. Any knowledge helps.

Here you go:

I try to just go with the flow.  So whatever feels right per night, that's what I do to fall asleep.  During the Workshop and while I was preparing for it, I fell asleep practicing the exercises as outlined.  In general though sometimes I will listen to sounds and tones, sometimes do some recap, even re-watch scenes as they unfolded throughout my day.   I've never had trouble falling asleep, except during a full moon, but if you do, relaxation exercises are a good idea. 

If I have something specific I want to work on in dreaming that night, I will state my intent and think about that as I fall asleep.  Example, if I have healing I want to do, or a specific person I'd like to contact in dreaming, I will keep that in my mind as I fall asleep. 
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Everything on the earth has a purpose, every disease an herb to cure it
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« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2013, 05:38:38 pm »

Ah yes you did say this already. Lol. I apologize.

Thanks again dear Smiley
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« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2019, 11:47:42 pm »

Bump bump
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Everything on the earth has a purpose, every disease an herb to cure it
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