Table of contents

Keeping Dream Diaries
Dream Incubation
Lucid Dreaming
Precognitive dreams
Things to do in dreams
Mutual dreaming
A bit about the Dream World
Diets and Drugs
Objects in dreams
Dream Dictionaries
Children's Dreams
Last Words
Other titles by this author


This is the free online version of the Guide to Dreaming. This version might be a bit more expansive than the one available from e-book stores, but the e-book will stay available for download, if only because the internet is not available everywhere.
This book is a companion book to my novels Dream World and Dream School. However, it is a freestanding book, there is absolutely no need to read the novels to use this book. I will also not be punting my novels at each opportunity, so relax!
This guide to dreaming is meant to give you, the reader, some insights into the world of dreams and dreaming. It will, hopefully, show you how to enjoy the rich life available in the dreaming world.
And now for the disclaimer: I do not take any responsibility for anything that happens to you or anybody else because of your use of this guide. You read this guide, you use this guide, you take the responsibility.
As far as I know, none of the methods I mention in this book have been scientifically proven to work, and it would be almost impossible to do so. Anecdotes abound, from stories about dreaming recorded in the ancient Christian Bible to more modern day tales, to lots of content on the Internet.
Most people know dreaming as snatches of visions remembered upon awakening from sleep. Often, a particularly strange or vivid dream or nightmare might be remembered.
When this happens, the dreamer will often go rushing off to the book shop, or nowadays more likely the Internet, and look for a dream dictionary to explain what the dream meant. That is a bad idea, but more about that later.
To make things clear, I use the words ‘Waking Reality’ for the normal world we live in, and ‘Dream Reality’ for that strange world where we live our dreaming lives while asleep.

Keeping Dream Diaries

To get going, the first and most important thing to do is to learn to keep a dream diary.
Some people find keeping a dream diary to be intrusive, especially if they sleep with a partner, but it is of cardinal importance. Your dream diaries is where the evidence lies hidden, of future events, and answers to life’s riddles.
Write down as much of your dreams as you can remember, in as much detail as you can remember. Record the date and time of the dream, even if you only write ‘at night, during sleep’ for the time.
On reviewing dreams from your dream diary, or even as you are writing down the dream, you might often realize that what you dreamed was a hash-up of the previous day's experiences. Sometimes a snatch of conversation, or even a sentence or part thereof, will set off a whole dream sequence. Learn to recognize these dreams, so that later, when you become a stronger dreamer, you can discard them when you are looking for other, more important dream aspects, such as precognitive dreams.

Dream Incubation

Incubating dreams means deciding before you sleep what you want to dream about and doing some simple yet effective exercises to make those dreams occur.
A word of warning here – although dream incubation is fun, it can mess around with your sleep patterns, because you force yourself to dream of stuff that your brain would not usually dream about. Give yourself a night or two off now and again to get a proper night’s sleep.
One of the first things you might want to try to use dream incubation for is to help you have lucid dreams. However, dream incubation can also be used to have flying dreams, dreams about that sexy person you saw at the mall or any other fancy or fantasy that you can think of.
Before you fall asleep you need to think about, concentrate and visualize what it is you want to dream about. It takes a bit of practice and getting used to, but it is really as simple as that. You can also do dream incubation while you do self-hypnosis as described a bit later.

Lucid Dreaming

Lucid dreaming means that you realize that you are dreaming. It is like becoming aware during a dream and suddenly realizing: 'Hey, this is a dream!'
Most people do not stay lucid for very long. This is because they make no effort to do anything during the lucid dreams
If you are going to have lucid dreams, and especially if you incubate lucid dreams, you might find that, the first few times you become lucid, you become so excited that you wake up. Don't worry if this happens to you, you will eventually become used to lucid dreaming and have some wonderful experiences. Stick with it. Decide beforehand what you would like to do during your lucid dream, be it flying, overcoming some inner fear or simply to look at the real world to gain a better understanding of what is going on in your life.
There are exercises you can do during your waking hours to help bring on a lucid dream.

The first is to make a habit of looking at your hands. During the day, look at one or both of your hands now and again and ask yourself 'Am I awake or am I dreaming?' If you do this often enough, it will become a habit that will carry over into your dreaming world, and you will start recognizing when you are awake and when you are dreaming.
Another exercise is to check the time, and to make sure that the time is correct, and that the hands (or numbers) on the clock is correct and not moving erratically. For some reason, our dreaming minds always have difficulty with this kind of thing, which makes it easy for us to catch ourselves out as being dreaming.
If you are trying to read something and it just does not make sense, take note, you are probably dreaming, and the time is ripe to have a lucid dream!


There are many books on self-hypnosis.
The methods I discuss here are simple tricks, they are not going to put you into any kind of trance or weird state of mind. You will be fully conscious and in control all of the time. Unless you fall asleep.
You can use these exercises to enter the dream world straight from the waking world, without falling asleep and hoping to become lucid while dreaming. You can also do your dream incubation while doing this exercise, or you can use the exercises as simple relaxation exercises to help you sleep better. You can even, if you are having troubling dreams such as nightmares, use these exercises to calm yourself and get rid of the troubling dreams.
Here is what to do.
Firstly, choose your location. The bedroom is usually a good place, if there are no distractions. Also, choose a time when you are least likely to be interrupted. Switch off the phone or at least switch it to silent. Some people find that a bit of quiet background music helps. Soft background music can help to mask some of the more intrusive sounds, such as the neighbor screaming at her husband. Try a few things, like music. If it works, great, if it doesn't, do without it.
Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing.
Before starting this exercise, decide what it is you want to achieve. Maybe you just want to relax, maybe you want to incubate a dream, or maybe you want to move straight into a lucid dream-state without falling asleep and hoping to become lucid. Get that thought firmly fixed in your mind.
Lie down on your back, stretched out, with your hands next to you. No part of your body should be crossed.
Take a deep breath and sigh deeply, letting out most of the air in your lungs.
Close your eyes. Imagine that you are drifting in space, and slowly drifting down. Start counting backwards, starting from five, and ending at zero. Take your time, you can do one count for every breath you take. Some people will tell you that you must clear your mind. I find that impossible to do, my mind is a very busy place and it will clear the day I die. I prefer to concentrate on something specific, such as my body. Try to feel every part of your body, from your toes up. Toes, heels, ankles, and so on.
When you reach zero, breathe deeply once again, and slowly let out the air. Now it is time to start using your imagination.
Imagine a flower. Your favorite flower, be it a rose or a poppy or whatever. Let us use a rose. There is a rose hanging in the air in front of your eyes. You can see every part of it.
Dark, rich red petals edged with black. The green bulb. The stem below it, on which there is still a leaf. From this leaf hangs a drop of water, glinting in the light. The light hits the drop of water and spreads out in a prism of colors. See every color of the rainbow in that prism. Hold this image in your mind for a while.
Let the image fade, and replace it with whatever task it is that you decided on before starting the exercise. This is a visualization exercise, so remember to visualize everything.
Make the image as vivid as you can.
You might fall asleep during this exercise, especially if you actually wanted to enter the dream world by using the exercise.
If you didn't, and you are finished with the exercise, don't simply open your eyes and go about your daily life.
Come out of the restful state you are in by reversing the way you went in, by slowly counting from zero up to five, all the time imagining that you are rising up. Feel your body.
Chances are that during the visualization you lost contact with your body as you would do during normal sleep, so this is a good time to reconnect.
There are a few things that might get in your way of doing this exercise. One is the position you are lying in. I sometimes find that my tongue slips back in my throat, leading me to making a snoring sound, or actually snoring, and that wakes me up instantly. To counter this I have taught myself to do this exercise while lying on my side, but I find that I often fall asleep in this position. It might take you some time to find the perfect position, but remember, whatever the position, don't cross your limbs. Crossing limbs often causes blood to stop flowing to extremities, which leads to numb limbs waking you up.

Precognitive Dreams

As the name suggest, precognitive dreams are dreams that foretell the future.
This is often the part that many people have a problem with, especially if the religion they subscribe to forbids it, or if they themselves simply do not believe in it.
There is nothing I can say to make you believe in precognitive dreams.
However, if you have done the most important exercise of this manual, which is keeping a dream diary, you might surprise yourself. Keep a meticulous diary, describing your dreams in as much detail as you can. Read your diary entries. Even when the diary gets old, maybe you reach your third or fourth diary, keep on reading your old diaries.
You might be surprised at how many of your dreams actually came true. But, of course, you can never know this if you do not keep the diary!
Keep a page in your diary open, say the last page, as a reference page. Here you will write down the date you had the dream, and the date on which the event came true. Do not be alarmed when these start adding up faster and faster as you gain dreaming powers and experience.
Be careful of trying to use dreaming to predict the future. You can drive yourself nuts trying to do this. I myself have never figured out how to do this, and rather content myself with checking when my dreams do come true, and then wondering how in the world my dreaming mind can know about something that is going to happen in the future.

Things to do in dreams

There are lots of fun activities you can do in the dream world. You can try flying, or have your absolute fantasy involving that sexy person who works at the bookstore at the mall. Or you can use the dream world for more serious stuff, such as trying to figure out personal problems.
Some people have used it to locate lost objects such as keys and rings, by using the dream world to backtrack on their memories. (Although this takes a skilled dreamer.) Do not think that a connection to the dream world will solve all your problems in one day, it does take time. Use day one for fun, the more serious stuff can come later.

Mutual Dreaming

A mutual dream is a dream shared by two or more people. To have a mutual dream, you would have to obtain the permission from the person you want to share a dream with, and that person would probably have to be as strong a dreamer as you are. You would need to agree on a date and a time to have the mutual dream, and probably have a fixed agenda too, like meeting each other at a specific place and taking part in a specific activity.
To prove that the two of you did have a mutual dream, you would both have to be keeping dream diaries, and the entries in the diaries would have to match up.
Mutual dreaming is probably the most difficult of all types of dreaming, and is almost impossible to prove.

About the Dream World

The dream world is a special place. It is also a real place.
The Dream World is a place where fantasies come true, but also a place where all our worst fears come to get us. Scared of spiders? I can guarantee you the biggest, blackest, scariest spiders.
One of the few things that we do know about the dream world is that things that happen in waking life, especially stressful situations, will often cause dreams.

Something that is perhaps not quite so obvious is how external factors will influence dreams. A car passing in the road outside, a dog barking or an aircraft flying overhead can all set off dreams, or be incorporated into our current dreams. If you know this, and you do your exercises, you can use this to your advantage, for instance to create lucid dreams.
In the Dream World you can be anybody or anything you want to be. It is like creating a false persona for yourself, an avatar. As a person you probably know what your limits are. You might be scared of heights, or of dogs. In the Dream World though, you do not need to have any of these inhibitions. By realizing that, you open up many doors to fantastic dreams.

Diets and Drugs

Let me start off by saying that you should not use drugs. Unless they are prescribed by a doctor, for a specific reason, there is no good reason to use drugs to alter or induce dreams.
If you want to have vivid dreams, there is an easy, legal way.
Certain foods will bring on vivid dreams. Of course, this depends on and changes from person to person, so you might have to experiment a bit to find out what works for you.
One of the favorites is spicy foods, especially ginger.
Although most people know it, this is probably a good place to mention that eating heavy meals right before bedtime is known to cause nightmares. Try to eat at least two hours before going to sleep.

Objects in Dreams

Once you know how to lucid dream, it is easy to create objects in dreams, you simply create the object with your imagination, much like you imagined the rose in the self-hypnosis exercise.
Something which will be much more difficult, but which some people have claimed to have done, is to bring such objects out of the dream world into the waking world. Actually, I don’t really believe this can be done, but only because I have never been able to do it.
Let me know if you are successful. . .

Dream Dictionaries

I do not believe in the use of dream dictionaries.
Dream dictionaries, for those that do not know, are books available in book-stores or Internet sites that connects things seen in dreams, or dream experiences, to certain meanings. One of the worst of these images would be roses. You dreamed about a rose, therefore, according to these dictionaries, you dreamed about some aspect of love. If the rose is withered, it means withered love. If the rose is burning, it means a burning desire.
Nonsense, in my opinion.
Different things have different meanings to different people. Let’s imagine you live at the sea. You have a seaside cottage and one night you have a dream about walking on the beach. For a person living at the beach, that would not be a strange dream. However, imagine you live inland and have not seen a beach in ten years. Now the dream could have a completely different meaning. If you have never been to the ocean, then once again the meaning of the dream would change completely.

The best thing to do is to record the dream in your dream diary. Firstly go over the events of the previous day carefully. Did someone perhaps mention the beach? Did you see a program or movie, or read a book with a beach in it? If it is any of these, you can safely disregard this dream as the typical dream hash-up the brain creates.
If not, think what connection you feel to the beach. Mostly, you will find that the dreams are quite innocent. It is only on rare occasions, when we find that the dream was precognitive and have come true, that we realize what a dream was about. By this time, it is usually too late to take advantage of the fact that we knew about this in any case, so best to just leave it be.

Children's Dreams

Once again, please remember that what you read here is something that you have found on the Internet. It has no basis in science or medicine, so, for the sake of your child, please treat it as such.
Having said that, most of what I have said about dreams so far will be true for children as much as for adults. And like for adults, nightmares, especially recurring nightmares, is something that you should take a closer look at. (Although nightmares is not the only reason a person might want to know more about their child’s dreams.)
I suggest you start with a dream diary. Keeping a dream diary for a child will be a lot more challenging than keeping one for yourself. The dreams, as the child remembers them, will probably be told in fragments, and from those fragments you will have to piece together what is going on in the child’s sleeping mind.
Once you have a collection of your child’s dreams, you could try to analyze them in the same way as I suggested you do your own - to try to find out what caused them. In today’s life with its over-abundance of artificial influences, this might be a daunting task. Dreams, normal or bad, could be caused by anything viewed on television, computer games, the Internet, a snippet of conversation or something glimpsed through the course of the previous day. The barking of an angry dog, easily ignored by you as an adult, might set off a bad dream in a child.
Look for recurring themes in your child’s dreams, or maybe a specific person, animal, an event or anything else that keeps on cropping up. If you find something, try to work it back to waking life to find the cause of the dream.
In case you are reading this guide only because of your child’s dreams, I suggest that you start working on your own dreaming mind too, as this will give you an understanding of how the waking world influences the dreaming mind. Keep a dream diary of your own dreams, and try to analyze what caused your dreams. By learning to recognize what influences your dreams, you will learn to recognize what is influencing your child’s dreams.
People might be tempted to believe that a child’s dreams are all the result of a young, overactive imagination. Keeping your own dream diary might bring you to the strange insight that all of us, no matter what age group, have over-active imaginations when it comes to dreaming. We fly, we create impossible scenarios, we fight, we discover treasures and often people who have already passed away are still alive in our dreams.
Some books on dreams make out that dreaming about deceased people is bad, even evil or occult, or they might play on religion or spiritualism, but why should it be? Dreaming of things from the past is normal, why should dreaming of people from the past be any different? Trauma, such as the loss of a parent, friend or pet, could have a serious impact on a child’s dreams (exactly as it would for adults!) It is certainly not only the little ones who have over-active imaginations.
Remember that the bogyman is more real to children, especially young children, than it is for us adults. We have already learned that there really is no monster under the bed, but for a child that monster is still very real, and could easily manifest in dreams.
In the same way that children have to learn life skills, they have to learn what dreams are. Don’t be alarmed if your child now and again confuses the waking world with the dream world, even adults do this quite often. I have been present in a social situation where a child told his parent a strange, total fantasy story of things that could never have happened to the child, and yet the parent never realized that the child was recounting a dream. Instead of listening carefully to the child’s story and analyzing it as a dream, the parent simply felt embarrassed and told the child to stop talking nonsense.
Again, like with adults, diet can have a major influence on the child’s sleeping mind. Large or spicy meals soon before bedtime should be avoided. Drugs, prescribed or self medicated, should be carefully monitored. If the onset of your child’s bad or overly vivid dreams co-insides with the beginning of a course of medication, or a change in medication, speak to your doctor as soon as possible. If your child is sick and has a fever, then remind yourself of the dreams you were having the last time you had a fever - it might be something they will get over as soon as the fever clears up.
If your child is not having nightmares but is simply having vivid dreams, you should still keep a dream diary of them if possible - in the long run it might teach you valuable things about your child, and how the waking world is influencing their dreams.
I have already mentioned how external factors might influence a dream - this is no less true for children’s dreams. Any noise, conversation or even something like a light can influence dreams. For this reason, give your child a quiet spot to sleep, away from the television, arguing adults, barking dogs and, well, you get the picture. If you keep on picking up something consistent but bad in your child’s dreams, look for one of these external factors first. The bogyman might turn out to be nothing other than the luminous flashing of an electronic clock on the table.
Have fun with the kids, enjoy their dreams with them, and teach them that they do have some sort of control over their dreams, it is an important skill they can carry with them for the rest of their lives.

Last Words

The dream world is a magical place, and a very real place. Make it work for you.
By controlling your dreams you control things such as nightmares and fears. Enjoy the dream world, have some fantastic experiences, and always remember to keep an open mind.

Other titles by this Author

Dream World
Dream School
Story of Enchantment
Night is for Nightmares

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