Here’s the short version…
Treat your subconscious mind like an unruly, stubborn child by telling it (kindly) what you want and it will carry out your “orders.” This post is about remembering your dreams (for those who have lost this “ability”). By telling your subconscious that you want to remember your dreams, you will remember them. There is a catch, though: you must be very specific in your wording and what you want from your subconscious.
The longer version…
I was at an independent bookstore downtown the other day and visited the philosophy and psychology sections (religion, spirituality, mind science, self-improvement, etc.). It had been awhile since I was last in this particular store, so when I reached the intended sections I was amazed at what I saw. There were three sections dedicated to these subjects (it’s a small store, not even close in size to a Barnes & Noble).
I’ve read and heard a lot of talk lately that there’s a global shift to a more conscious way of living, that more and more people are taking that journey to look inwards for answers to some deep questions, and seeing so many books covering a variety of themes on this seems to prove that the demand is certainly there.
I thumbed through quite a few books, then one in particular caught my eye. I don’t remember the title, but it was on lucid dreaming. I’ve recently been conducting my own “experiments” on dreaming, on how to remember them, so I was curious as to this writer’s method.
I skipped ahead to his section on what one must do to be aware of and remember dreams. He outlined something like 9 steps to do each night before going to sleep.
The experiments I’ve been doing requires one.
In all honesty, I’m not the science type (I’m a computer geek by day), but certain science subjects truly fascinate me. From quantum mechanics to brain physiology and almost everything in between.
Dreams typically occur in the theta and alpha brainwave states (electrical frequencies) of the mind (delta being deep sleep—a very slow frequency; theta the next stage; alpha, then beta being wakefulness—a high frequency). Being in theta, it’s like a direct communications channel with your subconscious mind. Deep meditation can take you to theta and it’s a fantastic place to be once there.
As you’re probably aware, everything in the universe is frequency based. The sun vibrates (a relatively recent finding in the science community) at a certain frequency. The moon. Our planet (Schumann resonances). The plants, animals and even us (with our mind vibrating at a different frequency than our heart).
When you dream, the information for your movie comes from your subconscious mind. It’s controlling the show. The problem with recalling dreams is that they’re happening at such a low state of brain activity (you’re almost in delta, almost in a deep sleep), that for all intents and purposes your conscious mind is off on vacation. It’s dormant. And you really need to be conscious to remember things. But how can you recall your dreams if your consciousness is off in la-la land?*
The trick is to peek in on your dreams with your conscious mind while they are happening. Viewing them this way plants a memory in your conscious mind. When you wake up, you remember your dreams (either just one or several dreams).
So, if you say you don’t dream (we all do, however) or you can’t remember them, here’s what you need to do. This will only work, however, if you truly desire to recall your dreams. If there’s not a sincere desire, these words will fall on deaf subconscious ears.
After you’ve turned your lights out and you’re settled into bed, after you’ve done your get-comfortable dance and your eyes are closed and you’re relaxed, simply recite these lines:
Okay, listen up.
You’re to make me conscious and aware of my dreams, in realtime, as they occur.
If there’s one I should remember, you’ll help me create a memory of it for the morning when I wake up.
And that’s it (place emphasis on the underlined words). You don’t have to keep repeating it. Just say it once with meaning and you should be good to go.
It’s not necessary to follow the third line exactly, so you can create a variation of it however you choose: “You’ll help me create a memory of all my dreams so I remember them when I wake up,” or something similar. You might want to start with remembering just one, though.
What you’re doing is you’re talking directly to your subconscious mind (because, in reality, it’s always listening). And you’re telling it directly (like an unruly child) what you want it to do. You’re specific and to the point. For the subconscious mind, that’s how you have to be. You cannot give it ambiguous instructions. It likes concrete specifics. If it helps, think of it as a computer. If you put specific instructions (code) in, you’ll get specific results. If you put vague instructions in, you’ll get spotty results.
I was telling a friend about this experiment and how I can now remember all my dreams every morning, and she expressed a desire to remember hers. I told her what to say and checked in with her several days later. She hadn’t remembered any of her dreams. I asked her what she was saying before sleep and her instructions were different. So, I wrote them down for her and she started saying them exactly as I had pointed out.
The next day, I received an exuberant email from her, telling me about a dream she had had.
So far, my experiment has worked on two people. If you’ve lost your ability to recall your dreams, I invite you to try the above statement before you go to sleep.
One caveat, though.
The second line, I’ve found, will sometimes wake me up in the middle of the night during a dream. If you find this happening to you often, modify that statement to:
You’re to make me conscious and aware of my dreams, in realtime, as they occur, but you don’t have to wake me up.
What I believe is happening through this statement (again, I’m no scientist and can’t prove it through laboratory studies) is that the subconscious increases the frequency of your brainwaves just enough to bring you into mid- to high-alpha (or in the case where you actually wake up during a dream, beta) to bring your conscious mind into play so it can 1) make you consciously aware of your dream (as it’s happening in realtime), and 2) possibly plant the memory of your dream.
During sleep and dream studies, participants are awakened (brought into beta) when they hit REM sleep (the dream stage). Immediately upon waking, they are asked to recall their dreams and, most usually, they can.
We’re doing something very similar, but we’re not bringing ourselves into beta. All we are doing is instructing the subconscious mind to make us aware of our dreams, and it knows in order to do this it has to bring us up in frequency for the benefit our our conscious mind.
So, give it a shot and see what you get for results.
What’s really exciting about this experiment is the execution of instructions from the subconscious mind. If this simple experiment can do this with our dreams, what else can we tell our subconscious to do?
There have been many reported cases where people go to sleep with a problem (they need to figure out how to do this or that) and awake with a solution (that’s happened to me on more than one occasion). Their conscious mind didn’t come up with the answer; their subconscious did.
I think it’s easy to program the subconscious mind. The difficult part, I believe, is getting the wording just right. I think that’s the key to unlocking the secrets that lie within all of us. Secrets that go way beyond just remembering our dreams: curing a health problem, dealing with an addiction, a strained relationship, solving a business issue, etc.. The list is endless.
But even just remembering and trying to decipher our dreams can be therapeutic (and fun).
The good ones, anyway.
Enjoy your days. And sweet dreams to you.
* Young children (below about age 14) often wake up from a dream or nightmare or can remember their dreams in the morning because their predominant waking state is high theta or alpha. Adults typically function in beta and beyond. (See http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2004/SamanthaCharles.shtml)
Dream study experiments
Brainwave frequency ranges
Books that may help with understanding the subconscious. Of course, there are many, many others as well:
Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself and Evolve Your Brain (Joe Dispenza)
The Mind and the Brain: Neuroplasticity and the Power of Mental Force (Jeffrey M. Schwartz, Sharon Begley)