I've never, ever used one of those neat, bound,
blank books as a dream journal. Never have, never would, and I'll tell you why.
I'm a creative dreamer. And I'm a sociable dreamer. Have been since the
beginning of my involvement in dream research. Sociable creativity is the prime
influence on how I keep my dream journals.
Here, in the outside of life, above the surface of existence, I share dreams
and dream for, about and with fellow dreamers. We often send each another
letters or e-mail and attachments...which can generate or translate into the
traditional paper text. But we might also send drawings, postcards, photos and
notecard affirmations; in fact, whatever greases the interactive dream wheel.
Whether they come over the Internet or via snail mail, there's no way, José,
all that can fit into a bound notebook. So I use binders to collect the papers
and plastic sheet protectors to gather odds and ends.
In the private underside of life, I write letters to my dreaming self and
dream characters. I go into a lucid dream, introduce myself and start a
dialogue. I listen to what my dream characters say and note the most intriguing
or inspiring conversation in a special journal. I draw my dream characters and
create poetry of their lives. I use even more binders.
When the linking begins, I find repeating themes and places and dream
characters. My fellow dreamers and I compare dream reports with an eye for
similarities between one another's dream or waking life. We discover
synchronicities and psychic events. We dream of one another's dream characters.
The binders overflow into file folders.
Once, I asked my dreaming self the incubation question, "What do you
want to do?" No, me, you. It wasn't long until a nonlucid dream bubbled up
from out of the depths of the sea of unconscious. The response was clearer than
any other I'd received. My dreaming self stated that she wanted "to teach
people how to dream big." Given the opportunity and support, she is quite
adept at producing social, psychic and mutual dreams. My dreaming self is highly
interested in that wide screen movie from the communal underground called The
So I asked myself, how can I gift my dreams to my fellow dreamers in a way
that they will most easily connect the dots of the Big DreamTime Picture? When a
partner asks, "Have you ever had a dream like mine?" or "What
were you dreaming about in mid May?" how could I easily place my hands on
that information? Obviously, I needed a Table of Contents for my binders.
Nothing so bogs down the reciprocal pace as having to thumb through years of
journals without a clue to light your way to that dream you can't find. And
nothing so defeats the interactive process as sharing a dream that was scratched
in pencil at 3:00 in the morning in a journal whose thick binding won't let you
Xerox it for love nor money. Clearly, I needed legible copy.
Now, I'll admit that handwriting better matches my flow of consciousness and
I'd rather record the dream curled up under the covers with a legal pad balanced
on my knees. Large margins provide space for notes and doodles. I underline or
highlight correlating elements in the dream. In some cases, I might return
several months after the initial recording to connect my dream with a waking
But even in the beginning, when I shared dreams with others, I used a
typewriter. Thank goodness for word processors and e-mail. What may be just
peachy for us as we ruminate in private, must be reevaluated when we move into
communal waters. Whether we share and compare for scientific, artistic,
practical or esoteric reasons, we need a type of dream journal that supports
It really doesn't take all that much to create such a journal. Right after
you finish recording your dream, you know the main symbols and action. Fine.
Simply bring your pen back up to the top of the page and write them down. Voila!
You've got a TITLE. Then, turn your head and look at the calendar that you have
tacked to your bedroom wall. Boom! You've got the DATE.
That night, take your eyes off the TV commercial, grab your sheet of paper
and place it in your binder (if need be, invest in a 3-hole punch). Then, once a
month, during a dull TV new report, grab another sheet of paper, list the dates
and titles, and place the list in the front of your binder. Pow! You've got a
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Then, if you want, and only if you have the time, convert your nocturnal
scribbling into computer format. (I have so many dreams recorded, it would take
forever to type them up. In a case like mine, Cynthia Pearson Turich, of the
*Dream Journalist* web site, suggests keeping just a Table of Contents
When it comes to dream journaling, my dreaming self and I invite you to think
partnership, to think connection and to Dream Big. Creatively, of course.