If you are interested in any
subject related to dreaming, whether it's exploring the meaning of your dreams for personal and spiritual development or experimenting
with the possibilities of lucid dreaming, or even prophetic dreaming, the first step in your journey will always be to start
keeping a record of your nocturnal adventures in a dream diary or journal.
If it is done right the simple
act of recording your dreams can help you to reach further back into your dream, to bring more content up into conscious
memory. Looking back over your journal can also be an invaluable tool in analysing your dreams and identifying repeating patterns
First things first, and it
might seem like a bit of an obvious thing to say, but it is important to keep in mind that dreams fade from memory very
quickly - so it is vitally important to begin writing down as much as you remember as soon as you possibly can after waking
up. Your dream diary should therefore be kept close to your bed, with a pen or pencil ready for use.
When it comes to actually making
your notes in the morning you must be sure to do it in the correct way. Do not attempt to write out everything that
you remember in detailed and descriptive prose right from the start. That is the most common mistake. You should start off
by simply listing keywords, naming people and objects along with simple verbs like 'running' or 'falling' to describe what
was happening. The words which jump to mind first will be the most important dream symbols, and may not be those that you
would pick out as being the most significant when looking back over a written account later on.
It is also true that the portion
of a dream which we remember immediately after waking might not be all that we are capable of remembering. Quickly listing
keywords for what you remember will provide prompts to stop this part of the dream slipping from memory, which then allows
you to relax your mind and try to follow the dream backwards, potentially allowing you to remember much more. Once you have
done this you can replay the dream in your mind, using the keywords you wrote down as prompts if necessary and bulk out
your notes with more detailed description of what was happening and how it made you feel.
It can be useful to combine
your dream diary with a brief summary of each day, written just before you go to bed, so that you can see how your dreams
correlate to what is happening in your life.
You may also like to look back over your journal to find patterns; you may find, for example, that your dreams usually take
on a particular character on Mondays (in which case it's probably something to do with starting back at work after the weekend,
and how you feel about your job), or at certain times of the month or year.