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    About StephenBerlin

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    Date of Birth
    October 23, 1948 (71)
    About StephenBerlin

    I am attempting to deconstruct six decades of cultural programming, embedded assumptions and an army of false ego structures while - at the same time - trying to pause the mighty avalanche of my conditioned human thought.

    In 2007 I produced an online series of 11 videos on the subject of Lucid Dreaming and Transcendent States of Consciousness accessible through your dreams. They are free. You can access these videos using the website link(s) I've provided in this profile.

    Having lived in Boulder City, Nevada for 32 years, I moved to upstate New York in 2009 - currently and pleasurably residing in Saratoga Springs. I am retired, single and unencumbered.
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    The Importance of Keeping A Dream Journal

    by StephenBerlin on 05-28-2012 at 01:33 AM
    The Importance of Keeping A Dream Journal

    It is relatively common when the subject of dreams is brought up that someone will say, "I never dream." Of course we know this isn't true. At the other extreme are individuals who claim, "I remember all of my dreams." This is also a delusion. In all instances, we simply don't remember the dreams we forget.

    Keeping a dream journal takes effort. Those who truly believe that they remember all of their dreams have the perfect excuse not to do it. It is easy for them to conclude (and I have personally heard it expressed), "Since I remember my dreams when I wake up, why should I keep a dream journal? It has the same effect, doesn't it?"

    Well, actually no. It does not have the same effect. Once you awaken to the realization that many, more accurately most, of your dreams are forgotten, you will either decide to keep a dream journal, or you will never improve your dream recall. Without adequate dream recall, there is very little chance that you will become a lucid dreamer. If you are unwilling to pay, you can't play. By keeping a dream journal and following a few fundamental rules, you will be granted access to a vast inner world with very few rules at all.

    Keeping a dream journal sounds much simpler than it is.. The strong urge to slip back into sleep when a dream is still fresh in your mind is a formidable adversary. Equally insidious is the almost irresistible belief that you can wait until morning to record the details of a vivid dream. Not only will you forget the details of the dream, it is even more likely that you wont even remember that you had it.

    In most cases, we only remember our last dream prior to awakening unless some waking event triggers the memory of an earlier one. Most of us have experienced this phenomenon. You must admit that without the coincidental event that stimulated the memory, you probably would never have recalled the dream. Consequently, the wisest course of action, when you wake up in the middle of the night with good memory of a dream, is to get it recorded while the getting is still good. Believe me, at the time, you will feel certain you will remember it. You won't.

    You can easily prove this to yourself. Some night, when you awaken from a clearly remembered dream, force yourself to jot down the key points along with a few unusual details. Go back to sleep. The following morning, dwell for a little while on all you think you remember about the dream before referring to the notes you scribbled a few hours earlier. I predict that you will be surprised to discover that there were significant elements in the dream that you had forgotten.

    Once you have gained respect for a dream journal's effectiveness in improving dream recall, you will be prepared to recognize a secondary benefit which is especially important for lucid dreamers. A dream journal will reveal personal "dreamsigns," a subject which is best covered in Stephen LaBerge's books. Briefly stated, these are objects, places or events which tend to occur repeatedly in your dreams. For me these include car trouble, violence, airline crashes, tornadoes, unusual attics or cellars, and provocative girls. Following Stephen LaBerge's advice, every time I experience any of these in "waking life," I immediately do a "reality check" to prove that I am indeed awake and not dreaming. By adhering to this simple discipline, you will certainly one day do a reality check when confronted by one of your dreamsigns - and lo and behold - you will discover that you are dreaming! If unfamiliar with reality testing techniques, see Stephen LaBerge's books or visit the Lucidity Institute website at Lucidity.com. (I am not affiliated or compensated.)

    Keeping a dream journal has other benefits. From a philosophical perspective, wherever you choose to put your attention, there you are. Expressed as a maxim, if you pay attention to your dreams, your dreams will pay attention to you. Just the decision to remember and document your dreams will increase your dream recall and, it follows, your likelihood of having a lucid dream.

    A good dream journal takes time, and for most of us, time is a precious commodity. If you are just starting and working to increase your overall dream recall, try to record each and every dream you remember. Even the ones that appear to be nonsense are initially useful. Once you have established a reliable routine and have identified your primary dreamsigns, you can back off a bit. Being experienced at lucid dreaming, I admit that I don't record every remembered dream. I quickly assess and rate my dreams. It is easy for me to distinguish between dreams that I consider significant from those that are confused, chaotic, or an apparent expression of my apparent hoard of fears and anxieties. I record and seriously reflect upon the former. I only briefly reflect upon the latter.

    If you sleep with anyone you care about keeping, you will very likely need to negotiate alternative arrangements on the nights you target for dreaming. This is one sacrifice that keeping a good dream journal typically requires. I also recommend spending a minor amount of money on a voice recorder (or use that feature on your smartphone). Writing out a long dream can sometimes make it difficult to get back to sleep, and you won't have to worry about trying to translate what usually looks like hieroglyphics the following morning. I reach for my recorder, conveniently placed. I begin drowsily talking. The next day (or whenever) I play it back. Listening to it brings the whole dream back into memory as though I just woke up. I then type it with acceptable grammar and spelling, and it gives me the opportunity to add retrospect impressions and comments.

    That's it. I hope this is helpful. Start a dream journal tonight. It speaks for itself in results. /Stephen Berlin