• Lucid Dreaming - Dream Views

    Memory Palace Interview

    Includes questions about my memory palaces and dream palace. Some things have changed since then but the general ideas are the same.

    How long have you been using a memory palace and how were you introduced to the concept?

    Iím thinking I got into it in 2011 or 2012? Used it for a while then stopped until the last month.

    I find so many things randomly through the internet, so I probably heard of it through Tumblr, Dreamviews, a book or something else. I do know that it was before BBC Sherlockís Baskervilles episode, as I recall looking through the Tumblr tag and not finding much, whereas now when you look, there are Sherlock mentions everywhere. XD

    How did you start putting it into use and improve with it over time?

    Being excited to test it out, I started out with groceries we needed. I still remember the Fig Newtons on the counter! I sometimes have a hard time getting rid of older things properly. I also put reminders in my bedroom, things that needed attention soon.

    I started adding words/definitions, but decided to make a separate room for them because I realized that Iíd need more room and felt like they needed a separate space. Same for phone numbers, I actually used a computer for part of that, it works pretty well since Iíve spent so much time on them.

    I decided that I really wanted to test how much I could store, so I made some pegs using characters from the webcomic Homestuck, assigned them numbers (I was worried about losing track of them) and found a website that generated items (this one). Every day I would add items to the characters. I think in the end I had 5 items interlinked on 20 or so characters and never had any trouble remembering them, so I knew filling up palace(s) with a lot of stuff wouldnít be a problem.

    I made another few connected palaces and started trying to store dreams in the one. It worked pretty well as long as I made the triggers memorable enough. And be awake enough to make coherent triggers I could decipher later, as I discovered recently. XD;;

    Then I decided to try and store some Esperanto language items, so I used my grandmaís house as a palace and made another from Lake Calenhad Docks from the game Dragon Age: Origins.

    To help me get the palaces down well, I stored the images on my iPod Touch and looked them over every day.

    I connected the palaces through a window portal on my wall (inspired by the ones from Homestuck) and circular transportation pads. The Homestuck flash games (such as Alterniabound or Egbertbound) are a great source for palaces because you can walk through the games! And Iím a sucker for hidden rooms and stuff.

    Presently, I use my own PAO list for numbers.

    I thought I had a great imagination, but a mind palace really forces you to have to use it to your full ability. Sometimes itís a challenge but itís always fun. I would like to work more on incorporating sound, smell and touch (and taste?) into things. Not just for my triggers but because I think it could help with dreaming, just like why Iím paying attention to various things in magazines and such to utilize. The more you have stored in your brain, the more variation you have to use in palaces and dreams!

    I find that interlinking works really well to keep things together. Iím still learning how to utilize space properly Ė I tend to go for the broader areas because Iím afraid Iíll forget something in a nook or cranny.

    Reading the interview with wings-of-poesy about how they store memories got me thinking about how I forget important events too much, and how there are things I want to change about myself but donít because I get distracted and forget.

    But with this method, Iíve so far stored five things I want to better myself at. ďAlways strive to be a better version of yourself.Ē

    For instance, when I call myself Ďstupidí for making a mistake, I can remember my trigger and remind myself that it was just a mistake and to do better next time.

    What sort of information do you store and how often do you access it?

    My house: Stuff that needs immediate attention, such as doing laundry or taking something out of the freezer to thaw.

    Grandmaís house: Right now it holds my PAO list (00-99).

    Pirate ship: Recipes.

    Pokemon Platinum: I picked out towns for specific topics.
    -Twinleaf Town for dreams
    -Sandgem Town for lucid dreaming topics
    -Jubilife City for memory topics
    -Canalave City for meditation
    -Eterna City for fitness
    -Veilstone City for food topics

    A few of these are WIPs. Word of caution: Make sure you get the differences in some of the houses down or it can get confusing if you want to try using a Pokemon game as a palace. XD;

    I go through everything at night, lying down an hour early. It currently takes me forty-five minutes to an hour.

    I go in-depth on new things but only glance over things that I feel like I know well.

    In the morning I go over my house stuff because it may have a few things I need to do before anything else.

    Why did you end up getting out of using a memory palace a few years back (lack of interest, fell out of use, etc.)?

    Definitely not lack of interest, more like fell out of use. Itís really easy for me to get distracted, having so many interests. The trick is incorporating something into my basic routine, and making it a habit. Then Iíll feel compelled to do it even when Iím distracted. Iíve had some practice with that since last time.

    How often, if ever, do you find yourself using something other than images to act as a trigger and how effective has that been for you?

    Well, I only have major sound stored right now and some other minor ones I occasionally go through (like some dialogue and sound effects). The trick is to treat it like I do images. ďWhat do I see?Ē ďWhat do I hear?Ē I go through my palaces in 3rd POV so sometimes Iíll imagine what a character feels. ďThat would be cold, hurt, etc.Ē

    Like images, itís easy to forget other senses if you donít make sure they stick. Besides that, it works fine. Even if I canít actually hear the sounds or smell or taste, I can use sense memory to recall how something did. Kind of like how my dreams are, actually.

    How do you go about storing your dreams, and when do you store them (right after waking up, in the morning, journal, etc.)?

    I wake up, run through the dream(s) as much as possible in my head, then start adding them into my palace in Twinleaf, repeat as needed until I wake up for the final time. Later, I type them up in a document.

    A couple of days ago I filled Playerís House up (at least as much I was willing Ė if I interlink/cram too much I worry about keeping the dreams separate in my head, at least long enough to get them written down).

    Iím using the house next to it now. Once I fill up the whole town, Iíll mostly like Ďresetí it for reuse.

    Here is an example for this morning. I take notable themes from each dream and store them. Iím still experimenting with what works best.

    (Top room)
    Blue marbles: I turned the wooden table into a blue marble one.
    Pink note with number on it: Stuck on the TV (which is flashing ĎDreamí, because I often tend to dream of triggers, so if this made it in I might realize Iím dreaming).
    Honey: Bottle spilling over side of table.
    Marshmallows, flour and phone: Scattered on floor with honey dropping on it.
    Two characters: Sitting on the floor making a mess of the food.
    Time: Person-Action-Object in the corner watching.

    Thatís three dreams. Because I went over them in my head beforehand, Iím able to pull out the details with the overarching themes I store later in the day (thought the sooner I write them down the better).

    If Iím especially tired, it can be hard to wake up enough to remember and store properly (it was the same when I used a physical dream journal), so I try to keep a strict schedule (even though it canít be helped if I do more physical activity, which tires me out and makes me sleep deeper).

    You mention you do an in-depth walkthrough almost every night, why that route instead of just a glancing one?

    I do in-depth for new items, glancing for stuff that I feel I know well. For my bedroom, I do more glancing throughout the day to make sure Iím not forgetting something important.

    I like wings-of-poesyís idea about switching it up if you have a lot of info.

    When you go through your palace in third-person, what's that like (do you see yourself as a model, disembodied, etc.) and was it a natural thing for you or something you decided to do actively (I notice you have a lot of third-person/is so linear gaming experience, wonder if that's related)?

    When I go through my house, I start with me at my computer chair and look around my room, but itís like Iím looking through my eyes rather than being physically in my body.

    For other palaces, I sometimes see myself as a sort of willow-the-wisp, like when you die in some games, and Iím omnipresent.

    It came about this way because when I try to go first person and walk around, it takes so long and doesnít feel efficient, whereas it seems to work fine the way I do it now.

    When I need to get to the next destination (such as a different town/city in Pokemon), I just imagine myself there, or zoom to it. Sometimes I try and think of it as transporting but itís really just zooming. XD

    Speaking of Pokemon, I oftentimes utilize the player Dawn as a POV. Sheís riding her bike on the high-speed setting in Hearthome City, but other times for houses, I see through her eyes as I look around the rooms.

    I donít actually do that much gaming anymore (havenít had a good computer in a while), but I guess those experiences have helped me, as well as from my experience in reading and watching stuff, Iím always looking in from the outside and manipulating as needed.

    Dream storage is fascinating to me (especially after both you and @wings-of-poesy talking about it), just never got around to working on it - do you have any suggestions for folks looking to learn about it?

    Sure! You may never get me to shut up about it though.

    First, a little backstory. I never saw dreaming as something you could control, you just had them and remembered them whenever. I had some cool dreams when I was younger but dreaming eventually faded from my thoughts.

    Then I read the Wikipedia entry on Sleep, which led to Dreaming and Lucid Dreaming. Iíve never looked back since, even when I wasnít actively working on my recall.

    To people wanting to store dreams, the first thing I recommend is working on your recall. To do so, start out with a dream journal (a notepad works fine). Any time you wake up during the night, lay there for a moment and run through your mind for any dreams you might have had. It helps to run backwards through events as you remember. Then sit up (donít fall back asleep!) and write down keywords, or a short snippet in your journal. Go back to sleep and repeat.

    The problem I ran into doing that was that I often wouldnít remember the whole dreams from just a snippet or keywords, and my handwriting was near chicken scratch from being tired and sitting/lying awkwardly on my bed to write. But when I tried writing out whole dreams, it took a while, was hard for me to go back to sleep after, and my hand nearly fell off by the end of writing.

    I did try using the laptop for a while, which worked fine, although light isnít the best thing for you when trying to keep your mind in a sleepy state. But I canít use the laptop for that anymore.

    So once you can remember at least two dreams every day, you can try storing them in your memory palace.

    The key for me is to be awake enough that Iím consciously going through my palace and placing triggers, so that when I examine it later Iíll understand what it means and the details will pop out at me easier. It can take me a bit to get back to sleep but itís worth it for me.

    I highly recommend reading these articles from my favorite dreaming site to get a full understanding of dream recall:



    They are mainly focused on recall for lucid dreaming (being aware that youíre dreaming from within the dream), but the methods are great for anyone wanting to remember their dreams properly.

    The Compendium tutorial has a good mention of a method similar to mine, where you basically interlink words to bring out full recall later, only I put them in my palace instead of a dream journal.

    Hereís a breakdown of my dreams from March 4th.

    Dream 1. Me and Rane (sister) steal a treadmill from a storage unit full of them, because, ďshe will never notice, she has so many of themĒ. In my head I see what the unit looks like, there are at least seven treadmills, one being blue. Iím initially worried because but then realize the truth of that statement.

    Inspiration: (Nearly) stole an elliptical in a previous dream. Storage unit from a memory palace trigger plus a different dream.


    A few days ago, I extended the current house Iím using to be wider, and I created two doors leading to a bathroom and a bedroom. I edited the bedroom from a previous house to be more distinct (yellow colors!). Iíve been experimenting with creating/editing rooms for my Pokemon Platinum palaces in the last few days.

    In the left corner of the bedroom, my sister is vigorously exercising on a treadmill.

    Dream 2. Iím trying to escape a room Iím locked up in. The room is kind of messy with things scattered around. Iíd already tried the windows in the main room but they were locked securely, so I went to another smaller room and took off all the coverings on the window to open it.

    I went back to the other room and started shoving things into a sack, including a few long-sleeved things and two of my pajama pants in waking life (one with moons and stars, another with clouds).

    I went out the window, and there was a wooden porch, but there was a gap to get to the ground. As well, there was some kind of torch system going at intervals, and the only way to get down was to go around it, and risk getting burned. Plus the railing was thin, so I had to balance carefully.

    I carefully climbed around and tried to pass the fire when it was off, but it came back on and the heat of the flames burned my left thigh. It was intense but not a strong burning sensation. I hurried on and jumped down to the ground, where I saw some water trickling out of a gutter or something. I turned from it and let it hit my thigh. It was cold.

    Back at the house, some time seems to have passed since I escaped. A woman says to a man that itís all his fault I left. It kind of felt like they were supposed to be my parents. Then I see a scene the man had set up. There was a small bag (think tea bag) labeled ĎMarijuanaí and a paper that had ďDo itĒ written on it. He was trying to set the woman up for something.

    Inspirations: The porch felt like my grandmaís back porch despite the differences, in which case her house is one of my memory palaces and is a dream sign. Marijuana probably comes from the trigger Ďmethí in my dream palace.


    In waking life, I sometimes use my elliptical machine as a catch-all for clothes, so in the palace I put the pajama pants on the treadmill. I could easily make my sister trip up on them to make it more memorable.

    In the main room, thereís a fire licking at the walls and a meth plant on the dresser. The sprinkler on the ceiling goes off and cold water rains down on the room.

    I put Dorian, number #11 in my PAO, standing for the Ďdtí in ĎDo ití, staring out the window smoking the marijuana.

    It was 7:20 in waking life for these dreams so I used my PAO system, Hyuuga telling glasses (7-2-0), and placed him coming out of the bathroom and cursing ďI canít see with all the water on my glasses!Ē

    I did initially forget a few details when I went through my palace (for instance, the pants and Marijuana part), but as long as I follow the threads, I can bring them out.

    I have noticed that if it was a dream from an early-waking period, I can forget something, so itís better to be more detailed or flashy with a trigger then, which can be hard for me because Iím so dang logical sometimes, itís hard to get me to do something out there. Also, I have a harder time waking up the earlier in the night it is, so Iím working on sitting up in bed to do the trigger part.
    My method may not work for everyone, thatís why I feel itís important to think about your strengths and experiment. Itís fun and exciting when you start remembering so much of this whole other world! Especially if you throw in lucid dreams.

    I really enjoy getting to talk about my mind palace, and talking through something has always been the best way to sort through things for me, so itís helping me a lot to solidify things in my head too. So thanks! XD

    Iím actually toying with the idea of making posts about how I do things, for if others are curious about my methods or want to do fandom-related mnemonics like me. Or maybe a separate journal since mine is so full of fandom stuff.