Once a dream has been recalled, it can be worked with in a number of ways to promote conscious understanding. This understanding need not be seen as a mining of the unconscious mind, but as a kind of teamwork–an attempt to bring the contents of the unconscious mind into the light of awareness.
An initial technique that can be used is called dream re-entry.
Dream re-entry can be done in a number of different ways, and all of them can help merge what is aware with what is not, thereby giving rise to insight, humor, creativity, and so on. The method below is a modification of Robert Moss’s method.
Dream Re-entry Method:
1. Sit in a quiet and comfortable place. This will preferably be in a room where you will not be disturbed, and where you feel safe and calm enough to relax deeply. If you have a room designated for spiritual practice and prayer, then this would be appropriate.
2. Rest your mind calmly and quietly. This can be done via resting the mind on the breath, a mantra, or other meditative method. It can also be done simply by resting calmly with the intention to re-enter the dream.
3. Re-envision the dream scene in your mind. Make your unconscious a partner here. If a part of the scene comes up that you were not necessarily interested in exploring, go ahead and see where it goes. Feel into the scene, using all of your senses–taste and smell the air, feel the textures, see the bright colors, hear the sounds. Vividly re-imagine yourself being in the dream.
4. Use a light touch. Often we want to bend dream content to our conscious will, which is precisely what we try to do with most things in our waking life! Instead, allow events to unfold naturally. Surprises are good, and mean that your unconscious mind is involved in the process. Allow the dream events to play out, and see if anything new or different happens.
5. Ask questions. Any of the dream projections and characters can be spoken to. In your mind, ask them things such as:
- Who are you?
- Why are you here?
- Why are you so _________ (insert relevant emotion)
If another question suggests itself, go with it, and make a note of the response, if any.
6. Expect everything and nothing. You may feel in your first sessions that you are “making it all up.” The more you work with this practice, and the lighter your mental touch, the more interesting the activity becomes. If the dream figures don’t respond, or you feel that you are consciously making them say things you want to hear, relax. It gets better, stronger, more realistic, and more effective with time.
7. Make notes in your dream journal. If anything unexpected happens, you are invited to record it in your journal, or otherwise remember the lesson and continue on with your day.