April 3, 2010

CHAPTER VI - 6.1 Dream Incubation.



6.1 Dream Incubation.

Human interest in dreams dates back five thousand years. Lots of written records have been found in some of the first civilizations including formulas to incubate dreams. “Since dream incubation was defined as the practice of going to a sacred place to sleep for the purpose of obtaining a useful dream from a god, they believed that they needed holy places and gods.”(1) In former times, dream incubation was practiced in ancient Greece when sick people would stay in the Dream Temple, asking the gods for a dream of healing. Dreamers practiced incubation to obtain advice on problems and to become healed from a variety of afflictions. Nowadays, modern therapists effort to use dreams therapeutically probably descended from these ancient practices. 

Everyone can induce dream in any place where it is easy for him or her to feel peaceful and rested. Dr. Patricia Garfield, in her book Creative Dreaming, she suggests some techniques which help dreamers to incubate dream and relate dreams to their waking life based on the dream incubation methods used by ancient dreamers.

Simply put it means to ask your dreams to address a certain question in your life. Pick any topic you would like to dream about. For example: ‘I want a dream to tell me what to do about_____’ (a particular situation), or ‘I want a dream to tell me how to feel better,’ or ‘I want a dream of flying.’ Choose a specific dream topic.” (1)

It reports that many creative dreams are induced in that way. “Firstly, clearly formulate the desired dream, accept the fact that it is possible to induce dreams, and concentrate your attention patiently and persistently on the desired dream. You can use a simple, clear words or phrase request to yourself for a specific dream, repeat it many times and concentrating your thoughts upon it.”

Your body should be in a deeply relaxed state when you present yourself with suggestion for the intended dream.” Many methods of relaxing will produce a desirable body state. This step is particularly important because the mind is more receptive when the body is relaxed. Another helpful practice in inducing dreams is to visualize the desired dream as though it is happening.

Furthermore, the key to successfully incubating a desired dream and obtain answers from dreams rely on our belief. The power to advise or inspiration actually comes from within the dreamer, not from a specific god outside him. Belief is what makes dream incubation possible. 

(to continue - 6.2 Keep A Dream Journal.)

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