How To Practice Dream Incubation?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Everytime I hear or read about planting a seed in the mind, scenes from the movie 'Inception' quickly pop up along with it. Thank you dear Christopher Nolan for leaving a strong impression which is enough to solidify an interesting association.

While much of the content of the movie remains fictional, the idea of planting a seed in your own mind is not so absurd as it can be very practical.

Before we go out somewhere, we have an idea planted in our brains of the things that we intend to do or look for.

If you're going to meet a friend to watch a movie, you'd have it in your mind, the face of that friend, the time at which the meeting is to occur. In reality this is easy because you are directing your body to do just that. In matters of the mind when you sleep, it takes a bit of tweaking.

Dream incubation is an ancient technique of using dreams to provide an answer or other alternative solutions that may have eluded us to waking-life dilemmas. Fascinatingly, it involves a practiced method of learning to plant a seed in the mind.


You can also use dream incubation recreationally accompanied with lucid dreaming to roam the matrix of the other side of life while asleep.

In a study about dream incubation conducted by Dr Deirdre Barrett at Harvard Medical School, the participants who were her students (47 women, 29 men ages 19 to 24) were asked to focus on a problem, such as an unsolved homework assignment or other objective problem before heading to sleep each night for a week.

The study results reveal that two-thirds of students had dreams that addressed their chosen problem, and that one-third reached some form of solution within their dreams.

The benefits of dream incubation are only known to those who take time to remember their dreams. If you're interested, there's only more that you can learn about yourself and studying the internal going-ons of the mind, is quite a fun thing to do.

An article published in Scientific American summarizes the steps to dream incubation as suggested in the book "The Committee of Sleep" authored by Dr Barrett.

Basically, if you are really going to use your dreams as guidance or a source of inspiration or a solution haven, you have to create an intention within your mind.

You must really really think about the questions or whatever dilemmas that you have and sit by them until you feel a vivid emotional bond at the thought of them.

It's easier to dream something that stirs you in an emotional way than it is with one that is of an intellectual curiosity in nature.

Remember the dream of intense anger that you had after a day trying to stick some sense up your best friend's head. Yup, that's what I'm talking about. When you feel strongly about something, you dream about it most effortlessly.

Creating that intention is thus the first thing you should be focused on.

You can do this by writing down a list of open-ended questions that you want answered or solved in your dreams on paper.

Sit and muse about it one hour before you sleep. If you're an insomniac, you have to treat the underlying cause of your sleepless nights before you can attempt to dream incubate. No short-cuts here.


Once you have created the intention, you can start by sleeping in an atmosphere that is most conducive to deep slumber.

As you drift off into slumberland, let the questions go on a repeat like a mantra. If there's an image that you relate strongly to the question, hold it gently in your mind.

Dream recall is a vital component of dream incubation. You must know the moods and content of your dreams to understand them. To some people, dream recall may be easy. To the rest, it takes practice.

For first time dream incubators, you will need to start practicing on recalling your dreams for at least a few days.

In my experience of dream recall, the moment when you're just only waking up from a dream is usually pregnant with all sorts of details that will float through your mind. These can be emotions, general atmosphere of the dream, characters' interactions, the role that you play in your dream and etc.

Keep a pen and paper nearby so that you can record your dream details as you remember them and hold your judgments as you write them down.

Avoid jumping out of the bed immediately because once you're conscious, the physical reality and other immediate obligations will distract you from the details of your dream.

This can take seconds and you may lose a significant chunk of memory that pertains to your dream. Prevention of the loss of the dream recall can be done by remaining in bed as you regain conscious. Let the dream play back in your mind and start recording them.

Record the dream details even if you don't get their significance. Just pen it down as your mind remembers them. Your dream's meaning may be elusive at first but as the day progresses you will be pleasantly surprise when the dots connect.

Image Credit:
Dream Painting By Eleatta Diver
Dreaming Of The Seven Sisters By Leah
Portrait Painting Of A Sleeping Person By Jos van Riswick


shanaz@RS | 12:31 AM | Labels:

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