I came across an interesting book a few weeks ago. While meandering between shelves at my local library, I found myself in the dreaming/psychology/occult section. Sometimes I feel as if a book finds me. This one must have stood out because without conscious effort it was suddenly in my hands. Titled simply, “Remembering Your Dreams” by Craig Hamilton-Parker, I decided it was relevant to my situation. I’ve had mediocre dream recall lately due to numerous factors, but in large part to the medications I’ve been prescribed for Bipolar I disorder. Even on a low dose they make me tired upon waking and less present.
The book opens with this quote:
“The dream is the small hidden door in the deepest and most intimate sanctum of the soul, which opens into the primeval cosmic light… in dreams we pass into the deeper and more universal truth and more eternal man, who still stands in the dusk of original night in which he himself was still the whole and the whole was in him in bright undifferentiated pur nature, free from the shackles of the ego.”
– Carl Jung
What a great book! After a conversation about what dreams are, it delves into techniques to aid in sleeping well, dream recall, dream interpretation, lucid dreaming, recalling past lives and remembering the future. While the dreamers out there who require strong scientific grounding in their sources might feel uncomfortable at the mere mention of “past lives” or the seemingly oxymoronic “remembering the future,” I feel like this book contains some substantial practical suggestions for all.
I’ve been getting to bed fairly late recently. This usually hinders recall for me. However, there was one day that I inadvertently performed a successful wake-back-to-bed technique.
I woke up ~6hrs after going to bed to say goodbye to my younger brother who was leaving town. I had a cup of mugwort and rosemary tea (a special dream tea concoction recommended in the book). ~30 – 45 mins later, I went to bed. I did a quick body scan relaxation and then another exercise recommended in the book. It involved visualizing a vibrant blue ring opening over the throat (throat chakra visualization), like a lotus flower opening. The book explains this helps stimulate the back of the brain (occipital lobe – visual processing center) which can make dreams more vibrant and memorable.
I like the book because even while taking about chakras and other things spiritual, the author uses language like, “you may find that by doing this technique…,” and “nobody yet knows how or why these ancient techniques work…” which made me feel he was not forcing these ideas down my throat, but alerting me to some things that I might find helpful.
I also used a WILD technique variant brought forth by dreamer, Maria Isabel Pita, called The Surfer Technique . By visualizing myself picking up a surfboard and wading into the surf, in a few moments I somehow transitioned gently into a scene of me driving a car over a bridge, consciousness intact.
I proceeded to engage in this lucid dream which lasted a few minutes.
It’s impossible to tease out the effective factors from the unnecessary ones; however, it’s likely that each factor worked together synergistically.
If you’re interested in lucid dreaming and need extra help with recalling dreams, this book is definitely worth checking out. For those attempting WILDs with limited success, check out the link to The Surfer Technique. I have had few WILDs over the years, but this technique somehow made it much easier. I’m going to try again over the next couple days before school starts up again. I’ll report back! Please comment if you have questions or anything to add