How to Break a Dream Drought – Book Giveaway!

We are giving away a copy of Active Dreaming: Journeying Beyond Self-Limitation to a Life of Wild Freedom by Robert Moss. Check out this sneak peak from the author and don’t forget to leave a comment for your chance to win the book!

How to Break a Dream Drought
By Robert Moss

Have you lost touch with your dreams? Is your dream recall limited to fragments that fade away as you hurry off into the business and traffic of the day? Relax. Here are some fun and easy ways to renew and refresh your relationship with your dreams:

1. Set an intention for the night

Before sleep, write down an intention for the hours of dream and twilight that lie ahead. This can be a travel plan (“I would like to go to Hawaii” or “I would like to visit my girlfriend/boyfriend”). It might be a specific request for guidance (“I want to know what will happen if I change my job”). It could be a more general setting of direction (“I ask for healing” or “I open myself to my creative source”). You might simply say, “I want to have fun in my dreams and remember.”

Make sure your intention has some juice. Don’t make dream recall one more chore to fit in with all the others.
If you like, you can make a little ritual of dream incubation, a simple version of what ancient seekers did when they traveled to temples of dream healing like those of Asklepios in hopes of a night encounter with a sacred guide. You can take a special bath or shower, play a recording of the sounds of nature or running water, and meditate for a while on an object or picture that relates to your intention. You might want to avoid eating heavily or drinking alcohol within a couple of hours of sleep. You could get yourself a little mugwort pillow — in folk tradition, mugwort is an excellent dreambringer — and place it under or near your regular pillow.

2. Be ready to receive

Having set your intention, make sure you have the means to honor it. Keep pen and paper (or a voice recorder) next to your bed so you are ready to record when you wake up. Record something whenever you wake up, even if it’s at 3 a.m. If you have to go to the bathroom, take your notebook with you and practice doing two things at once. Sometimes the dreams we most need to hear come visiting at rather anti-social hours, from the viewpoint of the little everyday mind.

3. Be kind to fragments.

Don’t give up on fragments from your night dreams. The wispiest trace of a dream can be exciting to play with, and as you play with it you may find you are pulling back more of the previously forgotten dream. The odd word or phrase left over from a dream may be an intriguing clue, if you are willing to do a little detective work.
Suppose you wake with nothing more than the sense of a certain color. It could be quite interesting to notice that today is a Red Day, or a Green Day, to dress accordingly, to allow the energy of that color to travel with you, and to meditate on the qualities of red or green and see what life memories that evokes.

4. Still no dream recall? No worries.

If you don’t remember a dream when you first wake up, laze in bed for a few minutes and see if something comes back. Wiggle around in the bed. Sometimes returning to the body posture we were in earlier in the night helps to bring back what we were dreaming when our bodies were arranged that way.

If you still don’t have a dream, write something down anyway: whatever is in your awareness, including feelings and physical sensations. You are catching the residue of a dream even if the dream itself is gone. As you do this, you are saying to the source of your dreams, “I’m listening. Talk to me.”

You may find that, though your dreams have flown, you have a sense of clarity and direction that is the legacy of the night. We solve problems in our sleep even when we don’t remember the problem-solving process that went on in our dreaming minds.

5, Remember you don’t need to go to sleep in order to dream.

The incidents of everyday life will speak to us like dream symbols if we will are willing to pay attention. Keep a lookout for the first unusual or striking thing that enters your field of perception in the course of the day and ask whether there could be a message there. Sometimes it’s in your face, as happened to a woman I know who was mourning the end of a romance but had to laugh when she noticed that the bumper sticker of the red convertible in front of her said, “I use ex-lovers as speed bumps.” After this incident, she had started recalling dreams again, and had several to share in the new class. She had dreamed she was in Washington DC, at a conference on transportation. As we explored this dream, she revealed that she had a friend in Washington and that her current work mostly consisted of arranging conferences. “But I know nothing about transportation — except maybe how to drive the wrong way down a one-way street.”

When we start paying attention to the dreamlike symbols of the day, we often reopen our connection to the dreams of the night.

Related: 7 Common Dreams, 6 Ways to Reap the Benefits of Dreams, Why Do We Forget Our Dreams?

Robert Moss is the creator of Active Dreaming, an original method of dreamwork and healing through the imagination. Born in Australia, his fascination with the dreamworld began in his childhood, when he had three near-death experiences and first learned the ways of a traditional dreaming people through his friendship with Aborigines. A former professor of ancient history, he is also a novelist, journalist, and independent scholar. His eight books on dreaming, shamanism and imagination include Conscious Dreaming, Dreamways of the Iroquois, The Three “Only” Things, The Secret History of Dreaming,  Dreamgates and the newly-published Active Dreaming. Visit him online at

Based on the book Active Dreaming. Copyright 2011 by Robert Moss. Reprinted with permission of New World Library, Novato, CA. or 800/972-6657 ext. 52.

WIN THE BOOK! Enter a comment for your chance to win a copy of Active Dreaming: Journeying Beyond Self-Limitation to a Life of Wild Freedom by Robert Moss. Winner will be selected May 31. Good luck!


Jaclyn S.

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Wioletta S.
Wioletta S.4 years ago

I've got one this night

Rebecca Andrews
Rebecca A.4 years ago

I went through a long phase of not dreaming, and was so very pleased when a side-effect of new medication was dreams suddenly back in my life (or not so much the medication, but the partial subsidence of the anxiety that must have been blocking them).

Now I have dreams again, and I jump on the memory of them every morning because I know I only have a tiny window of opportunity to grab the tail end of them before they vanish. I won't get out of bed until I have at least a piece of them in my grip to work over.

I look forward to dreaming each night - even though they are often not good dreams - as they provide for me more interest than my daily life. I've tried to tell my mind what I want to dream of, but maybe I'm asking too much of it.

As for recording dreams - I've always wanted to (most especially to see if I am really dreaming elements from previous dreams or if it's just part of new dream that I think I already had memories of it - dream de ja vu), but the idea completely overwhelms me and stops me before I start. I've such a digressive way of thinking, dreaming and am doubly so in my writing, that my entries would go on and on and spiral all over the place and I'd just lose my way every time I tried to make a solid account.

Jon Hoy
Jonjon Hoy4 years ago

A dream like a vision that you been in a place before in a past life if freaky when you actually see it in real life. It's like you know the place or town and where everything is at even though you have never been there.

Jon Hoy
Jonjon Hoy4 years ago

I have dreams that I fight my way out of them and struggle with the dream cause I don't want the dream that I'm having at the time. Sometime the next night I'm back in the same dream cause it haunted me through the day so I watch a good movie before bed. That helps escape the dream from coming back.

Jon Hoy
Jonjon Hoy4 years ago

I have dreams that I fight my way out of them and struggle with the dream cause I don't want the dream that I'm having at the time. Sometime the next night I'm back in the same dream cause it haunted me through the day so I watch a good movie before bed. That helps escape the dream from coming back.

Lucia D.

I would love to get reunited with my dreams. I go through periods of remembering them, and I ahve had some dreams that really helped me gain insight, but due to recurring severe depressions my dreams are sometimes far away :-(

Brenda Gilbert
Brenda Gilbert4 years ago

Thank you for this useful information. I hope whoever wins the book will be able to use it to enrich their life.

Carole K.
Carole K.4 years ago

There are much written material concerning using the stuff of waking life to re-design & make yourself into a better version. Now, here is a text that devotes itself to the other half of your life to gain self realization. Awake or asleep, you are the same you. I want to become all that is possible for me to be & I've always been interested in dreaming & the interpretation of them. TY for this article & the chance to win a book with a truly enthralling subject.

Kathleen Warner
Kathleen Warner4 years ago

The tip # 3 is great. When working with dreams it is good to outline/categorize dreams (setting, characters, emotions, thoughts, feelings, senses, etc.) and give it a title. One finds the more one works with the dream content the more one will begin to remember. This categorization process is most useful with either very long, complex dreams or simple fragments. Never ignore any content of dreams no matter how fragmented if one seriously wants to work with dreams. One might even argue that a simple remembered fragment maybe that much more important, that it was remembered and the rest was not.

Jaclyn Svarrer
Jaclyn Svarrer4 years ago

Thank you.

Dreams are an aspect of my being that I have sadly neglected lately, due to being preoccupied with the more tangible day-to-day realities of work, school, wedding planning, etc.

It is an area I need & wish to revisit.

Peace & love.