Conceive that all things imagined are created and the creations wait for you to return to them. Creating ‘dream-realities’ for me serves many purposes. First, it can be a lot of fun stretching the imagination and then using various dream techniques to explore. Dreams have served to catapult creative projects and ideas and most importantly they have helped me to comprehend deeper aspects of my own spiritual nature while guiding me in my daily life.
The first question I often get is how is it done, I am sure there are many ways to complete the task. I use a combination of methods and try what peaks my interest, but I find that the dreaming mind (the subconscious is what I’m referring to here) seems to have its own agenda. It feels like my initial experiences with watercolor paints on rice paper. The flowing pigment sometimes seemed to have its very own creative idea.
I’ve been easily recalling vivid dreams for as long as I can remember. Even to this day it is easy for me to talk about dreams I had when I was a very small child in complete detail. If your a person that says “I don’t remember my dreams.” The road is a bit longer.
My first, intentionally initiated lucid dream, came in 2001. However, the moment I became lucid the dream seemed to lose its construct and literally fell away from me like folding walls. I was inspired to look deeper, research and listen to the words of other dreamers.
The Way I Do It
Trial and error have helped me over the years to develop various techniques that I use in my own dreamscapes. Daily meditative practice and journaling have been important keys. Understanding has come with repetition, retrospect and re-reading through journals. The most basic of techniques has involved simply asking questions, letting them go and then recording the dreams. I use the practice of dream incubation and work on maintaining awareness to produce lucid dreams in which I am completely aware that I am dreaming but may not have complete control over the dream scenes. In order to trigger these experiences, I first had to explore my own dreaming. I spent time identifying symbols, feelings, people, environments and situations that appeared most often. I developed an awareness of what my dreaming self was thinking or feeling by ritually paying attention to my thoughts and emotions on a daily-waking basis. These practices began to leak over into my dreaming.
The sketch of my process looked something like this:
Establish dream recall nightly. I began by keeping a journal and a low light lamp on my end table by the bed. It was easy for me to lean over and write things down before trying to get back to sleep. I found this to be useful later when I wanted to go back to a dream I was just having.
Establish writing ritual but keep it to simple words like identifying plants, animals, feelings, objects etc. Then go back and put it together. This was tricky because my mind seemed to recall every dream I had backward.
Find a kick-start, it is what sets off the lucid experience. I noticed while I dreamt that I often looked at my hands. I also seemed to be enveloped with the feeling that I had seen everything before. To a friend, I commented once “It is like I’ve had every dream I am having before. It is like I am living my life backward.” The repetitious feeling became a later cue used in combination with affirmations such as: When I have a dream that I’ve had before, I know that I am dreaming. I took what I’d discovered and began experimenting with it with results that pushed me onward.
Begin creating your own special place in your dreams. Spend time conjuring up images of this place in your mind, support it with creative projects by drawing or painting it. Guide yourself into it during meditation, add details that appeal to all of your senses. I first created my own place only for me, I asked myself how I’d get there and what made it comfortable. In my free time, I fantasized about being in this space. Like my other ritual practices, it bled over into my dreams offering more possibility.
My daughter and I spent time playing “The World of Zoo game for the Wii when it was my turn I made a very hungry, playful blue alligator. It was a lot of fun and became the subject of a later joke during bed time. “I’m going to sleep before you do so I can eat your cupcake castle,” I said to Illiondra to convince her to go to sleep as quick as possible. “Oh no you don’t, I have towers of cupcakes and you will never eat them.” I cocked my eyebrow in defiance, “Oh yeah, I’m bringing my fat, hungry blue alligator with me!” She laughed. Each night we’d add a little more to the joke. It didn’t dawn on me that we’d seed these ideas so deeply that they’d come to have their own life within my dream worlds.
Troublesome signs once left me with an urge to use my dreams to find answers. As I laid myself to sleep, I sought to “get higher.” The movie called Mirror Mask further inspired me to do this. The main character found herself lost in an alternate reality playing the role of the hero. Following clues, she realized she had to get higher in order to discover the “Queen’s sign.”
My mission was just to get a general overlook of the situation at hand. Prior to bed, I focused on what I knew but without clear focus, I overshot my mark and ended up in the upper lands full of mists, light and clouds. A metal and wooden bridge arched from stone cliffs that seemed never ending in both directions. Endless clouds and blue sky greeted me on my left but on my right was the beginnings of a large castle with cupcakes. Maroon colored scaffolding seemed to hang in the air while small workers in yellow hats pulled buckets of pink icing, cupcakes and large gingerbread crackers from the clouds below him.
Amused, I crossed the brown and red bridge and came to cliffs with guard rails. I looked over. Too many clouds I thought to myself when an older grey-headed man appeared behind me. “Seems you folks came too high,” he said in a matter of face tone. “You can say that again.” I turned over my shoulder and he’d vanished.
A week later, I found myself sunbathing in a very large satellite. A pool of blue-green water had settled into the center of the old satellite. I settled to the edge of it with bare feet and threw back my head to absorb the light. The water moved. I looked again and noticed to very large yellow eyes staring straight at me like lunch. It may have only been a dream, but I knew what an alligator eyes looked like from spending time in Florida in the waking world.
It jutted forward revealing its prehistoric-looking head and teeth only from head to the tip of its tail the gator was a bright cerulean blue. Still, I was cautious. Like an excited dog, the 17-foot alligator flipped, rolled and bounced for attention. It tumbled over on its back and I rubbed the belly of the beast. I woke up from this dream giggling. After breakfast, we played with our friendly blue alligator on the Wii for a while.
Choosing to work with dreams, creating and co-creating worlds that consciousness can travel into and work in can be a profoundly enlightening experience. It took me beyond myself and into the joy of building dreams with others. If the spirit of overwhelming curiosity has taken over searching the topics below can catapult you into more fantastic information on this topic
- Lucid dreaming
- The Books: Conscious Dreaming or Dream Gates by Robert Moss
- Dream walking by Michelle Belanger
- Research the work of Joseph Cambell