Please welcome Adam Palmer, owner/author of AstralZen.com, for an intriguing look at how using a dream journal can help you achieve lucid dreaming.
Dream Journal: Your Key to Lucid Dreaming
If you want to start lucid dreaming- that is, becoming aware of your dreams while you’re actually IN them- you need to start a dream journal. While there are certainly other ways to develop lucid dreaming skills, it really is one of the most important tools in your lucid dreaming arsenal. Not only does it help you remember those fading embers of your last dream before it burns out forever, it also helps you develop skills to better see the bigger picture of your dream.
How to start a dream journal
Starting a dream journal is as simple as grabbing a notebook and pen, then setting it next to your bed where you can easily find it when you awake. You don’t need to get fancy, anything with paper works well. However, if you feel that a nice, bound journal will encourage you to use it more often, then by all means, get the fanciest leather-bound, parchment-filled book out there. The key is to get something you’ll actually use and stick it next to your bed.
It should go without saying, but you need to keep that dream journal next to your bed! Don’t take it into the living room to re-read over a cup of coffee. Don’t take it into the kitchen to fill in while you make breakfast. It has to stay next to your bed, otherwise you risk forgetting to put it back before your next dream. Nothing ruins a good flow of dream journaling better than having to scour the house for it in the middle of the night. By the time you find it, you’ll forget at least half the important details.
Now that you have it exactly where it’s supposed to be, remember to use it! Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your dream journal.
- Get into the habit of writing in your dream journal first thin in the morning, before you get out of bed for the day. Set your alarm for a few minutes earlier if you need the extra time.
- Even if you can’t recall your dreams from that night, write down something in your journal. Describe how you feel when you wake up. Did you awaken feeling particularly sad, happy, angry? Note it down.
- Let the words flow, don’t worry about grammar, spelling or punctuation. Just write as much as you can remember as fast as you can, before it fades away.
- Once all the thoughts are out of your head, take some time to organize them a bit if you want. On the next page of your journal, write down your thoughts about what the dream meant. What is your mind trying to tell you? This isn’t a vital step, but it can be helpful.
- Use a small book light for those middle-of-the-night awakenings. Turning on your bright lamp sends a signal to your brain that it’s time to wake up. This in turn does two things: it “chases” away your dream and it makes it difficult to fall back to sleep.
As you practice writing in your dream journal, you should find that it becomes easier to recall your dreams. Recalling your dreams makes it easier to become aware of when they are happening, which makes lucid dreaming easier to achieve.
About the Author: Written by Adam Palmer at Astral Zen. I’ve been consciously practicing lucid dreaming and exploring the out of body state for over 10 years now. Now I want to help others share the experience.