Dream Incubation Experiment Instructions
Incubation Applications | Dream
Incubation Experiment: Feedback Form
Getting Started with
Step 1: Improving
Before attempting the incubation experiment, it
might be beneficial to practice improving your dream recall
for a few days. Dream recall and its benefits are significantly
enhanced with intention, practice, and focus. Making a consistent
effort to remember and to record your dreams will help your
waking mind ally itself more closely with your dream experience.
This will also increase your imagination and intuitive capabilities
while preparing you for dream incubation.
Try this exercise: Before sleep, reread a couple
of your previous dreams from your journal. This will allow you
to connect with your dream memory. It's also an opportunity
to interpret your dreams and spot connections to the day's events.
As you go to bed, clearly suggest to yourself to remember any
beneficial dreams when you awaken either in the morning or during
the night. Remind yourself that it's a simple, natural process.
Suggest to yourself to spontaneously awaken when you need to
without using an alarm (which can be set fifteen minutes later
as a backup), since alarms can inhibit recall. This method works
well with practice.
Any time you awaken, keep your eyes closed, or
shut them if already open, and remain as motionless as possible.
If you moved since waking, return to your earlier body position.
Gather as many images, feelings or impressions as you can, then
rise and immediately record them using a bedside journal or
tape recorder, no matter how brief or vague they may at first
seem. You'll be surprised at how much more you can remember
as you write, speak, draw, paint, etc.
Be playful, patient, and persistent. Although
most people start having success the first week or two, dream
recall is a mental muscle that may require some time to get
back into shape. If your recall is poor, trust that it will
come in time. Trying too hard or being too serious can limit
A few days of practicing dream recall should help
ready you for successful dream incubation.
Step 2: Incubating a Dream
For this first exercise, select something that
you'd like to bring into your life. It can be the answer to
a problem that's troubling you at school, at work, or with a
relationship. Perhaps you'd like to improve your health, your
state of mind, or resolve a recurring nightmare. Maybe you'd
like creative inspiration or an insight on how to better pursue
one of your personal goals. What's important is that you truly
want whatever you select and that you will honestly appreciate
and make use of it once it comes. Incubation is a powerful process
and should be given appropriate respect. For the purpose of
this experiment, try to find something that applies directly
to your life right now.
Sit on the side of your bed and quiet both body
and mind. Next, hold your question or problem clearly in mind
for a few minutes, then lie down. As you prepare for sleep,
gently ask yourself to have and clearly remember a dream that
reveals the answer as either an insight, an actual experience,
or both. As you drift off to sleep, keep your question in mind,
trusting that the exercise will be successful. If other thoughts
distract you, return to your incubation focus.
The moment you awaken, whether in the morning
or during the night, record any dreams or thoughts that you've
had. At this point, do not judge content, simply record what
you remember. After you get up, read the Dream Interpretation
Primer accompanying this article. Then reflect upon any dreams
and thoughts that you recorded, and make whatever associations,
interpretations, and waking life connections that you can.
The answer may or may not be obvious, but trust
that the process is working regardless, and try to put any insights
you get into practice. This last step may involve facing personal
fears or overcoming personal limitations. Try to maintain a
grateful appreciation for any guidance you receive, as it will
likely promote further insight and future success.
Even if you don't remember any dreams or have
little success understanding the dream experience you've had,
rest assured that your incubation and the dream experience itself,
remembered or not, has had an effect. It may simply be simmering
on unconscious levels and may come to you as a sudden revelation
or as an insight to act upon during the day, though you may
not connect such a moment with your incubation at all. The dream's
meaning may also only become clear at some later date.
Make a report (typed) the day after your incubation,
even if you remembered no dream (for statistical purposes) or
felt no relation to your incubation goal. Include the information
listed in the Dream Incubation
Experiment Feedback Form. Rest assured that all reports
received will be kept strictly confidential unless permission
is given otherwise.
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