Step 2 : Increasing dream recall
The Six Basic Steps by Marc Vandekeere
The following is an excerpt from my manual, The Ultimate Lucid Dreaming
Manual Basics and Beyond. I hope it can be used to maximize your lucid dreaming
progress. If you find this information helpful you may want to check out my
lucid dreaming website for further info, tips, resources and more. The URL of my
site is http://how.to/luciddream and if you have any questions, feedback or
comments, feel free to send me an email. I'm always happy to hear from other
dreamers and love to help out. if and when I can, firstname.lastname@example.org .
So now we've come to the payoff. In order to make this material more
user-friendly, the information has been divided into four categories, and there
will also be an summarized outline at the end of the manual. By getting an
overview at a glance, it may be easier for you to thoroughly learn, absorb and
internalize all the information. Hopefully, it will help tighten all the
concepts into one working whole.
Section One - The Six Basic Steps
Section Two - Other methods
Section Three - General tips
Section Four - Tools and Tactics
All these sections have one objective - teaching you how to become lucid in
your dreams. After you've learned the process, methods, tips, tools, and
tactics, we'll cover the more advanced techniques that you will need to know
once you become lucid.
There are many techniques and methods that you can use for inducing lucid
dreams, but there are basically two different ways of becoming lucid. You can
either have dream-induced or wake-induced lucid dreams. Stephen LaBerge coined
the term D.I.L.D. (Dream Induced Lucid Dream) for dreams in which you become
lucid while within a dream. By training your awareness, you will somehow realize
that you are dreaming while you are dreaming. This is by far the most common way
of having a lucid dream, but it is also possible to directly enter a lucid dream
from a waking state. These Wake Induced Lucid Dreams, or W.I.L.D.s, are far more
rare, but as LaBerge so aptly labeled them, they are quite an experience. While
covering the basics we will be dealing primarily with dream induced lucid
dreams. When we move beyond the basics, we will be dealing with the more
advanced techniques that will include inducing W.I.L.D.s. There are many
methods to induce lucid dreams, but there is an underlying process behind most
if not all of them. I've broken this underlying process down into six basic
steps that will serve as our beginning regime. Once you absorb these steps and
start following them, it is only a matter of time before you have your first
lucid dream. In case you are wondering how long it will take for you to have you
first one, just follow through with the steps and have faith that you will have
According to statistics, the time it takes for someone to have their first
lucid dream averages from three weeks to two months, but yours may be tonight so
don't be discouraged if you try for a while and don't succeed. There seems to be
an obsession in our society for instant results. If you are one of these people,
realize that this is one of your first obstacles to overcome. Only one thing is
certain - If you never stop trying, you are guaranteed to succeed.
The Six Basic Steps
1) Doing the Mental Prep-Work - see Electric Dreams 7(4) April 2000
2) Increasing dream recall -FOCUS THIS MONTH
3) Keeping a dream journal
4) Becoming familiar with your Dreams
5) Adding Awareness to your Waking Consciousness
6) Linking your Awareness to your Dreams
Step Two) Increasing Dream Recall
As mentioned earlier, if you can't remember your dreams it makes it that much
harder to have lucid ones so this step focuses on increasing your dream recall.
You may be one of the fortunate ones who remember a lot of dreams, but if you
are not, don't be discouraged. There are many tried and tested methods for
developing your dream recall. There are so many effective tips for increasing
dream recall that you can count on remembering more and more of your dreams
within a few weeks of disciplined practice.
For starters, do you really want to remember your dreams? Why? Could you be
subconsciously blocking your own recall because you may be afraid of what you
see? These are legitimate questions to be asking yourself. Be honest with
yourself. You must make the commitment to yourself to increase your dream recall
because it is important to you and it is something that you want to develop. You
need to make it a conscious priority. After taking this step, it is just a
matter of incorporating these techniques into your morning schedule.
Here is a list of tips and techniques that will help increase your dream
1.) Wake Motionlessly. Upon awakening, don't open your eyes. Don't move. Lie
completely still. Stay in the exact position you are in upon awakening and
attempt to remember your dreams without moving a muscle.
2.) Wake Slowly. Allow yourself time to naturally remember your dreams. Don't
start thinking about what you are going to do for the day. Don't allow your mind
to be flooded by your waking thoughts or your dreams will start fading or may
even disappear entirely like bursting dream bubbles. Let your mind be focused on
whatever you were just dreaming.
3.) Let your mind drift. Allow your thoughts to meander through whatever
mental imagery you may have. Once you remember one part of a dream. Relax and
allow the rest of the pieces to fall into place.
4.) Drift through your dream checklist. If you have absolutely no initial
recall then you should start running through a dream checklist in your mind.
This list should include people you know, activities, places, foods, smells,
music, anything that may trigger a dream fragment to surface. Allow your mind to
drift through this list and ask yourself if this person or this place was in
your dream. Movement is very common in dreams so try to think about action. Were
you walking or running or climbing or flying? Emotions are also very prevalent
so try to think about your moods. Were you happy or afraid or surprised or
confused? The more familiar you become with your dreams the better you will know
which questions will most likely trigger your memory, but in the beginning you
can use any list as long as it is a big one.
4.) Think and question backwards. Try to work your memory backwards from what
you can remember. You will usually remember the most current dream scenario
first so for maximum retrieval it is helpful to think backwards, or think in
terms of effect and cause instead of cause and effect. If you can remember one
part of the dream, ask yourself how you got there? Or where did a certain dream
object come from? Did you find it? Was it given to you? One dream fragment will
usually lead to another until the whole dream starts to take shape. You can
increase your dream recall by questioning yourself about what you already
5.) Try different sleeping positions. After awakening and remaining
motionless for long enough to remember all that you can of your dreams, try all
of your common sleeping positions before getting out of bed to maximize your
recall. You will have the best recall when you are lying in the same position
that you were in while you were dreaming. If you wake up on your right side
don't move until you recall all you possibly can, and then repeat this process
on your left side, then your back, and then on your front. This may jar loose
some memories and it certainly will speeds up your recall.
6.) Keep Trying. Sometimes, you may have no morning recall but flashes of
dream memories will surface during your day. Be prepared to remember or write
down any time-released memories. They may unlock your access to even more
7.) Ask yourself to remember your dreams. This may sound silly or too simple
to be effective, but it is a very powerful tool. Before going to bed, set up a
desire to remember your dreams, and simply ask yourself to remember your dreams.
Whenever I have foggy recall for a few days in a row, I use this technique and
it usually produces great results.
If you are still having trouble recalling your dreams, here is a sure-fire
method that will have your remembering your dreams in no time. We know that most
of our dreams occur in the last hours of our sleep so we can safely assume that
this is the target time to be exercising our recall. We also know that we have a
much greater likelihood of remembering a dream if we awaken directly from it,
and this leads us to the ultimate method for maximizing your dream recall, the
Alarm Clock Method.
The Alarm Clock Method: Using an alarm clock is one of the quickest and
easiest ways to start increasing your dream recall especially if you rarely
remember your dreams. The idea is to set your alarm for a time when you will be
dreaming and awaken yourself directly from a dream while fresh memories are
still in your head. The earlier morning hours are the best time to use this
method since this is when you are most likely to be dreaming. Your alarm clock
will become a valuable tool for increasing your dream recall, and in a later
section I will mention how it can be used to induce lucid dreams. Here are a few
ways to take full advantage of your alarm clock. Try them all to see what works
best for you.
"The Early Morning Technique" Set your alarm for two hours before
you normally would awaken. When it goes off, reset it to go off in a half an
hour. Do this each time it goes off and you will have instant and plentiful
recall. This is one of the most effective techniques because it takes full
advantage of your natural dreaming cycle and it creates a daily target time when
you habitually practice your dreaming skills. These few hours before you
normally would awaken are going to become your new training grounds. This target
time zone will be described in much greater detail when we cover lucid dream
induction methods and again when we take a look at the lucid dream terrain.
Depending on how poor your recall is you may want to immediately write down
your dreams each time the alarm awakens you. If you don't, you may experience
what I refer to as "dream superimposition." It happens when you wake
up during the night and have vivid recall of your dreams. Your memories are so
vivid that you are sure you will remember them later; however, when you go back
to bed you have even more dreams and upon reawakening the most recent dream
memories have replaced the previous ones. As a result, those once vivid details
are now foggy or even completely erased. As you exercise your dream recall your
memory will become better and consequently less dream superimposition will take
place, but even after years of training it still happens to me sporadically.
"The Waking at Odd Hours Technique" This technique is pretty
self-explanatory. Set your alarm to go off at any random times throughout the
night. The major advantage of this technique is that if you are extremely eager
to develop your dreaming skills you may not want to settle for only two hours of
practice a day. You can use this technique along with the previous one to
maximize your exercise. If you are someone who needs a good night of
uninterrupted sleep than this technique may not be for you, but if you can bear
the intermittent buzzing the results will be well worth the effort.
"The Snooze Button Method" Set your alarm for a time before you
would normally wake up and then continually hit the snooze button until you have
to get out of bed. This is probably the most common technique, and the odds are
that you have already had some experience with this one unless your alarm does
not have a snooze button. By hitting the snooze button you are constantly coming
in and out of dreams so you dramatically increase your recall, and it is very
helpful for inducing lucid dreams as well, but let's not get too far ahead of
ourselves. We need to increase our dream recall before we can start focusing on
inducing lucid dreams, and this leads us to one of the most significant steps of
all, keeping a dream journal.
Next Month : Keeping a dream journal
For more information about lucid dreaming, brainwave entrainment and if you
would like to get involved in some group lucid dreaming research, please surf
your way over to my lucid dreaming website at http://how.to/luciddream
Check the link to The Dream Initiative website for info on getting involved.
We are always on the lookout for a few good dreamers, and even if you're not so
good at it yet, it certainly helps to have the support and input from others who