Have trouble remembering your dreams? Dream recall is like taking your blood pressure, weighing yourself, or getting biofeedback: you don’t need to do a lot to stay aware of what’s going on, if you know how to read and use the data. Dream recall is also a pre-requisite to lucid dreaming. How do you know if you are having lucid or pre-lucid dreams if you don’t remember them?
In the following interview we see one approach to increasing your dream recall. You can follow the process and develop your own unique solution!
What life issue are you wanting to focus on?
Increasing dream recall
What feelings does that issue bring up for you?
Frustration; annoyance, irritation.
If those feelings had a color (or colors), what would it be?
Black and white
Imagine that color filling the space in front of you so that it has depth, height, width, and aliveness.
Now watch that color swirl, congeal, and condense into a shape. Don’t make it take a shape, just watch it and say the first thing that you see or that comes to your mind: An animal? Object? Plant? What?
Now remember how as a child you liked to pretend you were a teacher or a doctor? It’s easy and fun for you to imagine that you are the shape that took form from your color and answer some questions I ask, saying the first thing that comes to your mind. If you wait too long to answer, that’s not the character answering – that’s YOU trying to figure out the right thing to say!
Zebra, would you please tell me about yourself and what you are doing?
I am grazing happily on a gigantic African plain with other zebras. I’m female and I am a beautiful zebra and very happy!
What do you like most about yourself? What are your strengths?
I am a good mate, a good parent, and I have an even temperament. I enjoy my life. My strengths are that I’m nurturing and tough. Predators like lions and cheetas better not mess with me or I’ll kick their ass. They stay away…
What do you dislike most about yourself? Do you have weaknesses? What are they?
I can’t think of any. I migrate a lot, going where the grass and water is, but I like it.
Zebra, you are in Joseph’s life experience, correct? He created you, right? What aspect of Joseph do you represent or most closely personify?
Oneness with nature!
Zebra, if you could be anywhere you wanted to be and take any form you desired, would you change? If so, how?
No, I don’t think so. I am content with my nature and my fate, which is to grow old and die someday.
(Continue, answering as the transformed object, if it chose to change.)
Zebra, how would you score yourself 0-10, in each of the following six qualities: confidence, compassion, wisdom, acceptance, inner peace, and witnessing? Why?
Confidence: 10 I have not met a situation that I haven’t dealt with well.
Compassion: 5 I care about myself and other zebras. I have no problems with predators either, as long as they keep their distance.
Wisdom: 8 As zebras go, I’m wise!
Acceptance: 9 What’s there not to accept?
Inner Peace: 9 Definitely!
Witnessing: 3 I am pretty much one with nature. I don’t require much objectivity. While I don’t do drama, I am immersed in the drama of the natural order of life.
Zebra, if you scored tens in all six of these qualities, would you be different? If so, how?
Hmmm…I would have wings, which would allow me to be a ten in witnessing and expand my freedom and safety. I would also have inner sight that saw what was out of balance within me. I would then know what to do about it.
How would Joseph’s life be different if he naturally scored like you do in all six of these qualities all the time?
He would feel more secure and free in his outer and inner worlds.
If you could live Joseph’s life for him, how would you live it differently?
Meditate more; cultivate more of a meditative consciousness in all states.
If you could live Joseph’s waking life for him today, would you handle Joseph’s life issue differently? If so, how?
While I am not concerned with dreams or recalling them as a zebra, if I were him and wanted to recall them more I would meditate more and be me when he is falling asleep. Also, he can use my appearance in a dream to remember a dream or to go lucid.
What life issues would you focus on if you were in charge of Joseph’s life?
Nothing, other than to cultivate a meditative consciousness in whatever is going on, and deepen that which he already has.
In what life situations would it be most beneficial for Joseph to imagine that he is you and act as you would?
Whenever he wants to feel more one with nature. When he wants to be in a meditative state. When he wants to soar above the two-dimensional dramas of natural life; when he wants to feel free and secure. When he wants to have better inner vision for self-awareness.
Character, do you do drama? If not, why not?
Nope. I am too busy living my life.
What is your secret for staying out of drama?
I don’t put myself into the roles of victim, rescuer, or persecutor.
Why do you think that you are in Joseph’s life?
To show him that dream recall is a focused form of waking up; as he becomes more awake, he’ll remember more dreams. Meditation is a great way to wake up. So is practicing becoming me.
How is Joseph most likely to ignore what you are saying to him?
I am just the latest in a long procession of self-aspects. I can easily become lost and forgotten.
What would you recommend that he do about that?
Read over this interview from time to time, particularly before sleep!
Joseph, what have you heard yourself say?
I have heard that being one with my nature is most important to this internal perspective, and that meditation will help me to do that more by generating more of a meditative consciousness. One quality of that consciousness is wakefulness, and one form of wakefulness is dream recall. Become this part of myself when I want freedom, security, objectivity, and inner vision.
If this experience were a wake-up call from the most central part of yourself, what do you think it would be saying to you?
Make cultivating meditative consciousness in whatever I do the priority.
Notice that this Zebra isn’t particularly interested in Joseph’s issue – remembering dreams. However, the implication is that if emphasis is first placed on its agenda – developing meditative consciousness – then the questioner’s issue will be addressed. This type of indirect response is not unusual and is not unexpected, since in IDL we consult other perspectives with other priorities. The test of the method is, in this case, to increase meditation and see if dream recall increases or not.