Tuesday, November 24, 2009
When There Is No Dream
For many reasons, there are times I don't remember my dreams. Sometimes it happens in short stretches, a few days, others longer. Because I pay attention, I usually don't go a month without recording a night dream.
In every group I lead in dream play, there are some who say they don't remember their dreams, or "I don't dream;" so I find the issue of increasing dream recall important to address early on.
The first reason many don't recall is lack of attention. If we're use to popping out of bed, or even slithering out, to the jar of an alarm, then immediately focusing on the day and waking life events, it's no surprise we don't remember anything from the night's dreams. We're simply not paying attention. To remedy that is easy, right? Pay attention. Soft alarms are best if one must be used; jarring yourself out of sleep tends to work against dream recall, but even this can matter less if our attention is focused on remembering.
I find it's important to use a different type of remembering; ask myself questions that have to do more with recalling an experience than remembering content. Not what did I dream, but where was I? Who was there? What happened? Then I scan my inner screen for images that linger. Sometimes it's all very vivid and I begin writing immediately. This seldom feels like a duty; more like really wanting to keep this record of events to play with later.
But, if any dream recall is slipping away, I relax my attention more and see what might float back to me. I give it time and just call it back to me by wanting to see, hear and feel that dream again.
The analytical mind is a wonderful thing, but it's only half of the brain functions we have. The right brain uses different processes, a different knowing. It's intuitive and built in, just not highly valued above the age of 6. No wonder Jesus loves the little children; spiritual thinking is also, in my eyes, not analytical.
If I don't recall a dream at all, not even the feeling of one, I've got about a zillion recorded that can be my sandbox that day. I just pick one at random and ponder or play. This is the payoff for writing them down; you've got them to play with for a long time, as long as you don't lose your journal. The random choice invites synchronicity; returning to a dream often sparks just as much for me as a fresh dream does. Dreams are truly timeless and synchronicity is a very juicy thing to invite into the dream game.
I'll return to this topic, there's more. Would love to hear from anyone; thanks for your attention.