All night the dark buds of dreams
open richly.
In the center
of every petal
is a letter,
and you imagine
if you could only remember
and string them all together
they would spell the answer.
Dream Work by poet Mary Oliver (1935-2019)

People often say “I just don’t recall my dreams!” Now you can become a power dreamer with the Dream Discovery method of dream recall. We call it the K.I.S.S. method since it's easy to remember.
K.I.S.S. Step 1 – Keep a Dream Journal 
You will recall more dreams if you offer them your attention. That’s because there is a direct relationship between improved dream recall and valuing your dreams enough to write them down. So make sure you create a dream journal for all your dreams and keep it handy by your bed. Develop the practice of immediately writing down everything you recall about a dream experience. Write the first thing on your mind as you awaken.
One thing to bear in mind if you’re not recalling “dreams” is to take care not to define a dream too narrowly. Not all remembered dream experiences follow a narrative storyline – some may be experienced as a single image like a painting, a collage or a poetic expression of words. Sometimes you may awaken with simply a clear insight or perhaps a nascent idea or mysterious inclination. 
Remember to appreciate, rather than judge whatever emerges from your dreams. You’re developing a relationship with your dreaming self so always be generous and curious. You will improve dream recall by paying attention to your dreams. But remember that even a single dream, if appreciated, can nourish you deeply for months, even years.
To support recall, give yourself a few minutes when you wake up to simply enjoy those moments of awakening, that liminal space, between your dreaming and waking worlds. Rather than being concerned about what you “don’t remember,” stay present with your feelings or mood upon awakening. Notice body sensations.
When you're ready to note your dreams spontaneously write down words or sketch images as they come. Don’t be concerned about a storyline. Even if all you write is a title and your mood upon awakening, just write it all down. Spontaneously give the dream a title. This practice often quickly sums up the dream experience. As a bonus, a title makes it easier to reference a dream. 
Add any images, colors, feelings, thoughts or words that come to mind. Even if this is all you have time for ~ do it. Since dreams tend to evaporate at the buzz of an alarm clock, don’t tell yourself “I’ll do it later” and delay writing anything down immediately. 
As you’re writing, if you come to a point where you don’t recall more but you sense there is in fact more, just relax and close your eyes for a moment and perhaps more will come. Be patient since sometimes more of a dream is suddenly remembered later in the day or even on another day. If you are really caught in a need to rush and postpone writing, it helps to say aloud what you remember several times so it’s imprinted on your mind and write it down as soon as possible. Giving voice to your dream by speaking it aloud is always a helpful dream recall practice.
When telling a dream it’s helpful to use the present tense. For example, “I’m driving the car…” rather than “I was driving the car…” Using the present tense helps your memory access the dream and brings a dream to life in your present experience.
If you make it a habit to use a dream journal, your dream recall will improve. Electronic journals are available for dreamers who prefer that method and some people experiment with audio recording dreams. But a written journal is typically used for engaging with dreams actively. Many dreamers enjoy embellishing their journal with sketches of dream characters using color markers or crafting a collage on their journal’s cover. You may find it useful to have a light-up pen or night light to illuminate the darkness just enough for writing in your dream journal without having to  turn on brighter lights. 
The "Dream Discovery Workbook and Course" are available here on this site. Allied with your dream journal, you’re now on your way to an ongoing treasure hunt in your dreamscape.

Flaming June, Sir Frederic Leighton

K.I.S.S. Step 2 – Incubate Dream Recall
Before sleep put today’s date on a new page in your journal. Next, in the upper corner of the page, you might want to briefly note any significant events or concerns of the day or even just your primary mood. This helps you associate your dreams with your daily life. 
When you incubate dreams you're nourishing the best conditions for the development of dream recall. A first step is to honor the dreams you’ve already been offered by your dreamer. Reading and reflecting upon a past dream can “kick-start” dream recall because you’re welcoming deeper realms of the psyche to engage with your conscious mind. So it's always a useful practice to review a recent dream before sleep. It's best to focus on either the most recent dream or a dream that has felt particularly significant, even if it is a dream from long ago. Whatever you have will shift you into dream catcher mode before sleep.
Next use the power of suggestion to program your mind to support dream recall on a regular basis. Just as you are drifting off, focus and repeat to yourself…”I will remember my dreams tonight.” Imagine you're entering the Temple of Morpheus, your own private temple of dreams. You’ll be a dream catcher sooner than you think.
For more on Dream Incubation see "Creative Dream Problem-Solving" below.

Become a Dream Catcher
Become a Dream Catcher
Enter the Temple of Morpheus
Enter the Temple of Morpheus
You may wish to further support dream recall by using mnemonic practice, a learning technique that aids memory. Here are several mnemonic practices that are definitely helpful for remembering dreams. Choose an object in your environment and observe it carefully from various angles and distances. Touch the object. Then close your eyes, relax, and see how much you can recall about the details of that object. Practice this several times daily for a few days and note if it influences your dream recall. 
You may also want to try the advanced version of this exercise: walk through a small section of your home absorbing as many details as possible. Choose several objects to touch and observe more closely. Then close your eyes, relax, and see how much you can recall about the details of that experience. Again, practice this daily for a number of days and note if it influences your dream recall. 
Here is another mnemonic practice: the easiest details of life to remember are the most recent events or the most significant ones. To support dream recall, you want to practice remembering details you are likely to forget like those you consider insignificant.  Before sleep, practice mentally reviewing the most recent events of your day by reviewing your day backwards, starting with the most recent ones that are likely to be rather insignificant, such as brushing your teeth.  Mentally review just the last several hours before sleep in as much detail as possible.
For more on Dream Incubation see "Creative Dream Problem-Solving" below.
K.I.S.S. Step 3  – Support & Stay in Dreamtime
Set an Alarm
We train our dogs to “Sit and Stay” and can train ourselves for dream recall if we practice “Set and Stay.” Experiment with setting your alarm for 20-40 minutes earlier and use a simple alarm without distraction (so no radio news). Set the alarm 20-40 minutes earlier and you will likely awaken during a dream. Most dreams occur during the REM stage of sleep. REM occurs every 30-90 minutes three to four times each night and our longest periods of REM occur in the morning – prime time for dreaming. For awhile you could even practice awakening several hours before you typically do since the longest period of REM is during the last two hours of sleep.
Stay in the Dreamtime
Dreams seem to slip away so easily because they are stored in short-term memory. To counter this, make it a practice to stay in dream time for a few moments while your mind crosses over the bridge to consciousness bringing your night dreams with you into daily life. Give yourself a few moments to remain focused inward with the intention of staying with your dream experience rather than mentally focusing outward on upcoming plans for the day. Your body remembers your dream experience so remain in the position you find yourself upon awakening. Any movement and activity can stir your mind to leave dream time and connect to your busy daily life.
Upon awakening, focus on any available trace of the last image you recall and follow it backwards in your mind to reveal more of the dream as if you’re re-walking a trail you’ve been on before. Ask yourself, how do I feel? Where am I? What am I doing?
K.I.S.S. Step 4  – Share Your Dreams
Sharing our dreams with others is fun, supports dream recall and enhances our powers of intuition and imagination. Many native peoples, such as the Senoi people, have had a daily practice of sharing their dreamtime for guidance. 
You can enjoy dream sharing by joining a dream circle. Contact Dream Discovery for more information.
Just Sleep On It: Creative Dream Problem Solving​​​​​​​
Maybe you’re like to spark more creativity, insight or inspiration? 
Perhaps you’d like to resolve a relationship problem? 
Or need to chose between two opportunities or more easily pursue a goal?

Then “just sleep on it.” This is what Dream Incubation is all about. Did you know that numerous scientists and artists have made creative discoveries with the help of dreams? Harvard Medical School dream researcher Deirdre Barrett found in her research that about 50% of people who practice dream incubation get gratifying results that can be independently verified and many more get results they find inspiring even if the results are not scientifically verifiable.
So how can you creatively problem solve using your dreams?
If you’ve practiced the Dream Discovery method of dream recall described above you’ve discovered that intention, focus and sharing have supported dream recall and your dream life. You and your dreamer self have become true allies.
When you’re dreaming, you’re free to creatively problem solve with no limits. Now you can practice the ancient art of dream incubation to focus this creative power of your dreaming mind. Become a Dream Discovery Creative Intelligence Agent by investigating the world of your dreams to create the life of your dreams. Here are the Dream Discovery C.I.A. strategies to do just that:

The most important part of dream incubation is setting your intention. Choose an intention that directly matters in your life right now. Incubation is a powerful process so truly want what you choose and appreciate the results of your dream incubation practice. Contemplate on it a bit during the day and then let it go until time for sleep. When you incubate dreams, you’re nourishing the best conditions for insight into a problem, resolution of a dilemma or development of a particular skill or quality.
Incubate your intention by supporting the best conditions for results. To make your intention more vivid, it’s helpful to write a brief description of your intention in your dream journal. Perhaps you would like to have a symbol of your intention in the form of a picture or object on your bedside table. As you relax for sleep, use the power of suggestion by holding your intention clearly in mind. It may be in the form of a question or an affirmation. Ask yourself to experience and to remember a dream that supports your intention as an insight, an actual experience, or both. As you drift off to sleep, trust that you will be successful. Use the power of suggestion to encourage your dreaming mind: “Tonight I will dream…..”

Dream Incubation is actually an ancient process. The ancient Greeks consulted with oracles who taught them how to incubate dreams to receive guidance. Dreams in ancient Greece were used to help make decisions, to predict and influence future events and to diagnose and treat illness. Now you can practice dream incubation in your dream life.
The moment you awaken, write in your journal any dreams, images, feelings or thoughts in your dream journal. Next reflect on how they connect to your incubated intention. Remember to appreciate rather than judge whatever emerges from your dreams because you’re developing a relationship with your dreamer self. Our dreams are a source of great wisdom so don’t be surprised if the dreams that follow incubation respond to your inquiry on such a deep level it prompts you to alter your initial question and dig a bit deeper.
Write down every dream you remember for a couple weeks during a period of dream incubation and continue to make connections to your intention. It’s important to be patient with the process to encourage more guidance to come. Appreciate whatever you receive as this will encourage further insight and future success. 
After writing about your dream experience, reflect for awhile on what you’ve written in your journal. Activate your dreams by freely making associations to your intention. To further activate your dreams ask yourself "How can I put these insights or ideas into practice in my daily life?" For more tips about this practice read "Be a Dream Activist."
We’ve all heard the phrase “Just sleep on it!” Many of us have experienced going to bed distraught or confused as we turn over and over in our mind a question or dilemma only to find the next morning we awaken delighted to have in mind a helpful insight or idea. This is what dream incubation is all about. With a dream incubation practice an answer sometimes appears the first night. But be prepared to be patient as often it takes practice.  Even if you do not remember a dream that seems to help in a direct and conscious way, most likely a dream has in fact helped you discover your way. If you do remember a dream but it just isn’t obvious how it relates to your concern, the meaning and connections may become clear at a later date. Your mind may simply need to incubate your intention further. So trust the process and continue to practice creating a bridge between your dream world and waking life.  Soon you'll become a wizard in your dream life.​​​​​​​
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Dream Discovery by Hollye Hurst, Ph.D.