Dreams are fascinating keys to understanding ourselves more deeply. Dream work is as old as humankind. The ancient Greeks, for instance, believed that dreams could give them the answers to life’s problems, especially for illnesses and possible remedies, so entire temples were built just for people to use for dreaming. Today, dreams are a largely untapped source of information, but their wisdom remains available to all of us, free of charge.
Here are fifteen easy ways to begin accessing dream wisdom. Start tonight!
1. A little rosemary placed under your pillow helps you to remember your dreams.
2. Wake up slowly and gently – without an alarm – to better remember.
3. Dreams are multilayered. They may be about what you did yesterday, but they are always about much more.
4. Find at least one “dream buddy” with whom you can share your dreams, without an analysis first. Simply sharing dreams often opens up their mysteries.
5. Keep a tape recorder or a pad of paper and a pencil by your bed to record your dreams; even a single word or phrase can provide you with important information or help you remember more of the dream after you awake.
6. Ask your dreams to answer questions about particular issues, such as an illness or a physical symptom. Assume that any dream you have after asking such a question is an answer to that request.
7. Scary dreams are usually trying to get our attention. Ask yourself what needs attention in your life.
8. Stimulants, including chocolate, consumed around bedtime will make it difficult to fall asleep. Warm milk and chamomile tea help promote relaxation and sleep.
9. Try acting out your dreams: if you are dancing in your dreams, dance; if you are swimming in your dreams, go swimming.
10. Ask to meet your spirit guides in your dreams, and see who or what shows up. These guides can be used consciously as allies in the future.
11. Rather than buying a dream dictionary create your own. Figure out what snakes, cigars, or any other symbol means to you by free-associating about them each time they appear in one of your dreams. Over time you will discover what meaning the symbols hold for you.
12. Collect images from magazines and create collages of your dreams. Put the collages up on a wall and let your gaze turn to them daily. In this way you will slowly discover their meaning.
13. Consciously go back into a dream and take it beyond the point where it ended.
14. A single image quite often captures a whole dream. If you feel overwhelmed by the length of a dream, select the one image or scene that carries the most energy for you. Assume that this image will take you where you want to go.
15. Dream energies often carry over into our waking lives. Use the motional, feeling, physical sensation, or symptom with which you awake as you would a dream. Lie still, taking some time with the sensation; breathe into it, and allow some images to form in response. Share the whole experience with your dream buddy and see what other insights or awarenesses this raises.
Adapted from Healing Without Fear by Laurel Ann Reinhardt (Inner Traditions, 2002). Copyright (c) 2002 by Laurel Ann Reinhardt. Reprinted by permission of Inner Traditions Press.
Adapted from Healing Without Fear by Laurel Ann Reinhardt (Inner Traditions, 2002).