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(Excerpts from the Light Body Travelers Astral Projection Mastery and Self Illumination Curriculum,
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While the practice of recording one's dreams is most often associated with dream work, the use of a dream journal while learning the process of consciously inducing astral projection also proves to be crucial. Consider for a moment the use of such a practice as prescribed to those interested in lucid dreaming; for these individuals, the goal is not about recording the dream itself, but the development of a familiarity with the unconscious realms of the sleeping mind. The documentation of dream activity rapidly trains the conscious mind to focus within the dream realms, expanding awareness in a way equally useful for the astral traveler. The quality of dream recall improves rapidly with dedication to the journaling process.
The individual may also begin training their will by making the decision and effort to resist the urge of going back to sleep, choosing instead to follow the dream recall and journaling process described below. While it can take considerable effort to force oneself awake during the dark of night, let alone waking enough to write down a dream, this process easily achieves rapid results in advancing dream awareness. As well, dream recall is notoriously short lived, and those who choose not to journal dreams directly upon waking will often lose all memories of the content. In addition to increasing one’s success in recording dreams, and strengthening the practitioner's will, this process greatly aids in the inducement of lucid dreaming; indeed, those following this process may find themselves explaining the dream to the very characters that populated it, having re-induced (and recognized) the dream just documented. Sharp attention to one’s dream activity also inevitably leads to the realization that all of us have, throughout life, been calmly leaving the physical body during our sleeping hours. Once enough attention is focused into the dream state, lucidity will occur, allowing the dreamer to actively become the creator of the dream itself. This lucid dream state is a short step from conscious activation of the astral body itself.
The recommended dream journaling process begins by setting a gentle-toned alarm clock so that it will go off at random hours of the night. For a basic dream recall practice, it is irrelevant what specific phase of sleep one wakes from, as each individual will eventually learn about each of the states that make up sleep. Indeed, it is extremely important and beneficial to gain awareness of the many different states that occur during the night, not merely because this leads to greater accuracy in the interpretation of unconscious symbolism and coding, but more significantly because familiarity with the sleep cycle endows the student with knowledge concerning the travels of subconscious and unconscious aspects of mind during certain phases of the sleep cycle.
Upon waking to the (soft) alarm, do not shake off the sleep, but instead, allow yourself to lay awake. If no clear dream recall is consciously present, begin asking the following questions within the silence of the mind:
Was I somewhere familiar? Was I somewhere unfamiliar? Was I alone? Was I with others? Were they familiar? Did the events produce a feeling? What was the feeling, and when do I feel this same emotion while awake?
Do not force the answers, simply rely on, and trust in the power of the subconscious to produce an accurate recall of all the events within the dream, every time. Let the memory take shape, allowing your mind to recall every detail naturally. Do not force the answers, but let the mind answer the questions in its way, trusting that you are receiving the answer already. The dream will emerge in its own way, and your trust in that process will be rewarded. Once you have recalled the dream in full, ask your subconscious if the dream is complete, noting any new information it shares, then, whether you received new information or not, thank it for sharing it’s knowledge with you. Immediately proceed to your journal and document the details of the dream on to paper.
While it may sound strange, it is important to ask the above questions in this exact order each time. Beyond the benefits of repetition for teaching a process to the mind, the order of information being recalled here has been engineered for optimum result. While it is not our primary aim here, the knowledge from dream imagery itself can be extremely useful for self-awareness, decision-making, and living in accord with your subconscious knowledge. Should the individual seek to use dream journaling for spiritual growth and not just for increased dream recall, know that the final two questions are of greatest value: "What was the feeling? When do I feel this same emotion while awake?" These two questions should be applied to all dreams, even those that have been naturally recalled without the use of the preliminary questions. By clearly identifying the feeling, and connecting it to similarly emoted waking events, one begins to construct a bridge that spans across the great river dividing the mind, allowing congress between the borderland states of consciousness. As this bridge is built, the sleeping dream and the waking dream begin to actively connect, sharing and interacting through the frequencies of feeling and emotion.
To begin constructing this bridge between waking and dream state, one should also begin asking these same questions of emotional response throughout the waking day. Of course, instead of asking about it in relation to the waking world, one asks about the dream world now: “what is the feeling being experienced, and what dream has produced this same feeling?" Asking this of the waking mind reinforces the structure of this bridge and allows passage of emotional frequency to travel both directions. As well, it can disarm emotions, by reminding us that we create them, whether within the dreams of sleep or otherwise.
When journaling a dream always begin by writing in the present tense. For example, "I am walking in a strange city. Not "I was walking in a strange city.” Document all vivid colors, as well as numbers and, as already explained, all emotions. Again, if you are not a writer, do not think about it, simply allow the unconscious to supply the words. You can trust that you will write the dream as you should, and should relax and allow the words to come out of their own accord.
It is not necessary to analyze each dream, and often you will not even need to think but will know the meaning of the dream already. Realize that, for our primary goals, working and training the mind to maximize the recall ability is the key aim here. Review your dream journal weekly, by reading it. If a particular dream seems to want analysis, ask your subconscious if it can explain it to you. That will often be enough. The journaling process needs to be followed with dedication, but only for the seven weeks of the program. This dream journaling process has been carefully arranged to coincide with the weekly astral projection practices in the seven weeks to follow. Within this time span, these dream journal documentations will naturally transform into your astral travels journal, recording all of the details and emotions of your out of body states.
To illustrate the flightiness of dream recall, consider the story of German physiologist Otto Loewi. Often called the “Father of Neuroscience, Loewi said of the experiments he performed that first proved the existence of both neurotransmitters and chemical synaptic transmissions, that the idea had come to him in a dream. What’s more, when he had this dream, he failed to record the idea in a usable way. By morning he had forgotten the details, but knew he had lost an important idea about how his research should proceed. Fortunately, the dream struck him again, and, fearing that he might lose the idea once more, Loewi immediately went to his lab and performed the experiment.
In particular, do not force a name on an emotion. If you wish, you can go through a process to clarify the feeling associated with the dream. Simply imagine the feeling as energy in your body. Notice where that energy is and how it moves, notice what color, texture, sound, and taste you sense from that energy. Then imagine when else you have felt that same energy in your life. You needn’t have a name for a feeling to know it well; indeed, a name can often become a symbol that keeps us from noticing the real feeling.