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Dreaming Techniques

Working with Night Dreams, Daydreams, and Liminal Dreams

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Harness the transformative power of night dreams, half-awake dreams, and daydreams for healing, manifestation, and insight

• Examines the types of dreams we have and how to remember and interpret them

• Offers techniques for using night dreams and liminal dreams to improve our health and well-being and for manifesting our dreams in reality

• Provides techniques for using daydreams for healing, insight, and creativity

• Explains how dream techniques can be used to influence the behavior of people, things, and nature in the waking world

Dreams can change our lives in profound and tangible ways. In this guide to mastering the art of dreaming, Serge Kahili King, Ph.D., explores techniques to harness the power of dreams for healing, transformation, and changing your experience of reality.

Drawing on his analysis of more than 5,000 of his own dreams as well as those of students and clients from his almost 50 years of clinical work, King examines the types of night dreams we have, how to remember them better, how to make use of them to improve our health and well-being, and how to interpret them. He explores how dreams are understood in neuroscience and psychology, in Native American and Aboriginal cultures, in indigenous Senoi dream theory, and in India, Tibet, Hawaii, and Africa as well as ancient Egypt, Greece, and China. He examines the power of liminal dreams--those experienced in the half-awake state before or after sleep--for manifestation and self-understanding. He offers techniques for enhancing the dream experience for both night dreams and liminal dreams, along with practical methods to induce lucid (conscious) dreaming and to create healing thoughtforms.

King then explores daydreams in depth, including fantasy, guided imagery, meditation, visions, and remote viewing and provides techniques for using daydreams for healing, insight, and creativity. He divides daydreaming into two categories, defining “active daydreaming” as the scripted dream in which you envision a goal happening and “passive daydreaming” as allowing ideas and memories to arise spontaneously from the depths of the mind. Reflecting on how dreamlike our daily experience is, King shows that each of us can use dreams as tools for seeing the world differently and influencing the behavior of people, things, and nature.

From Chapter 8: Remembering and Interpreting

Remembering Dreams

Let’s look at different methods for remembering dreams, from the simple to the serious. First, though, don't expect to remember all of your dreams, or even all of a particular dream. Part of that has to do with the first method for remembering that I list below, but I also believe that some dreams are experiences that simply cannot be translated into written language, in the same way that no words can describe Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. You might also remember that you had a dream, but nothing would come back when you tried to recall it. Many times I have held pen in hand over my dream journal with a dream in mind and a complete inability to write down anything about it.

Dreams with a lot of emotional or energetic content are quite often remembered easily, and sometimes for an entire lifetime, even if they aren't nightmares. But the Dream Techie needs to remember a lot more than those occasional special ones. Here are some methods to help in remembering dreams.

Changing the Wake Pattern. It's a fact that most dreams often fade away quickly after waking up. I have developed two conclusions about that fact. One is that the content of some dreams just doesn't translate well into our usual perceptions of experience. My other conclusion, supported by numerous experiments, is that a great many of our memories are associated with our body position at the time of the experience. In a similar way, dreams can be more easily remembered after you wake up by assuming the same position you were in when you awoke.

Even memorable dreams will fade quickly if, like many people, you immediately turn over, sit up, or get out of bed when you wake up. Frequently, I have been able to bring the memory of a dream back just by resuming the position I was in at the moment of being aware of being awake. The point is that even dream memory is often related to body position.

Dream Description. If you wake up during the night after a dream you want to remember, give it a brief description and put some emotion into it as you repeat it several times. I had a very involved dream that featured Kirk Douglas and a bookstore, so I repeated “Kirk Douglas and a bookstore” about half a dozen time with feeling before going back to sleep. I was able to recall that dream easily in the morning because the phrase came back to me, and the effect lasted for several days.

Another way is to give it a name, like detectives do with their cases. You might come up with something like “The Dream of the Orange Spider,” or “The Dream of the Sinking Ship” that would help you remember it in the morning.

Affirmation. I have found that if I confidently affirm to myself that I can remember the dream after a fadeout on awakening, this also helps to recall the dream.

Relaxation. Purposely relaxing your body in bed or in the shower will often work, too.

The Crystal Connection. I have experimented with putting many types of crystals (and even magnets) under my pillow or taped to my forehead before going to sleep. It doesn't always work, but very often it increases the number of dreams I remember and their vividness. This one is my favorite that is still vivid after more than forty years.

“I am on a bus, apparently returning from the laundromat with fresh laundry. A small piece of chrysocolla is taped to my forehead and a woman on the bus looks at me oddly. I start to get off the bus, but have to get back on, because I almost forgot the towels. I notice that I am losing hair on top of my head and it seems related to the stone (I did have a chrysocolla stone taped to my forehead all night as an experiment).”

Change Direction. An odd method that I have used successfully may work for you. It's based on the idea that aligning yourself with the magnetic field of the earth can have many beneficial effects. What it has done for me is to evoke very vivid dreams, which makes them easier to remember. In this method you sleep with your head toward magnetic north and your feet toward magnetic south (it isn't automatic, because curling up breaks the link). Some people have found that a different orientation works better for them.

Journaling. By far, this is the most effective, tried and true method for remembering your dreams, used by all the great dreamers. My own journaling began in 1971 and was quite intensive into the 1990s, then less so as I finally decided that I no longer wanted to wake up after each and every dream, and then more so again as I began to write this book.

All it takes is a pen and a pad of paper next to your bed, AND the determination to record whatever dreams, parts of dreams, and half-awake thoughts you have during the night. You can do it as I did for many years, which was to write down in detail each and every dream I could remember by training myself to wake up after having a dream. Or you can do as I do now, which is to scribble keywords when I do wake up during the night and then do a fuller recording in the morning while having a coffee.

The first way provides a far richer source of dream information, because even though some dreams will still only be remembered in snatches, others will be so long and detailed as to merit being turned into a novel or short story. The down side of that, of course, is a lot of interrupted sleep. Using the keyword method I don't remember as much, but there is still a lot of fascinating stuff to work with.

Serge Kahili King, Ph.D., is the author of many works on Huna and Hawaiian shamanism, including Urban Shaman and Instant Healing. He has a doctorate in psychology and was trained in shamanism by the Kahili family of Kauai as well as by African and Mongolian shamans. He is the executive director of Huna International, a non-profit worldwide network of individuals who have dedicated themselves to making the world a better place. He lives on the Big Island of Hawaii.

“More than just a collection of electrical impulses, the captivating mystery of dreams has intrigued humanity from the beginning of time. Dreaming Techniques is an excellent in-depth gem. It might answer questions about many of your dreams’ storylines and help you gain profound insight into your inner life and the inner life of others.”

– Itzhak Beery, shamanic healer, teacher, speaker, and author of The Gift of Shamanism, Shamanic Tran