For the past few months, I’ve been partaking in something I’ve come to call “The Dream Challenge.”

The background behind this is basically the curiosity of a friend and I regarding just how powerful conscious intent is in creating and affecting dreamscapes. We decided one night that we would pick something, an object or a topic, to dream about for the night, and keep track of who would have a dream including the topic first, at which point we would come up with a new topic.

This has trained me to the extent that I actually consciously ask myself in dreams “What was the dream challenge tonight?” Sometimes this brings me toward lucidity, sometimes lucidity precedes it, either way I become lucid. And though sometimes I get excited and distracted, I usually have the power to complete the dream challenge once I become lucid.

Sometimes the challenge is completed unconsciously; this typically happens the-night-of, when there is the most hype regarding the topic. The seeminly increased probability that I will dream about a given thing on a given night I don’t believe to be chance. It’s likely because each time I start a new dream challenge, I give my unconscious the instructions for my dreams for the night. Whether consciously or not, the content we intake during the day affects our dream output.

And thus, I have increased the purpose to each night of sleep I indulge in. I implore you to try and do this yourself. For one night, choose something to see or experience in your dreams. Keep track of it, surround yourself with it, leave a conscious intent to dream about that thing. Record your results each time you succeed, and form a new goal. See if this leads to any changes in dreaming patterns. You might be surprised what you come up with.

I should probably stop using words like “implore” when I’m trying to persuade people.

I’ll make it a point.

Increasing Dream Length

March 19, 2010

This is going to be a brief post; I hope you’ll tune in anyway.

One common problem with dreamers is that they will get overexcited and wake up in the middle of a pleasant dream. Sudden emotion interferes with the dreaming process, so the optimal solution would be to stay calm at all times… but this is obviously not easy, as dreaming can be exciting (especially when lucid!), and it’s not a foolproof solution as there are many other reasons for a dream to suddenly stop (including boredom, surprisingly).

Next time you wake up abruptly in the middle of a dream, visualize the end to which your dream was going and the desire you held with that. Act out the situation in your mind as long as you would like to, since the moment it ended, but as if it had never ended. This simple exercise will, before long, increase the length of your dreams and help you stay in the dream state despite any sudden excitements you will hopefully come across.

Happy dreaming,

Adriana D.