Montag, 27. August 2012

Improving the efficiency of writing the dream diary

How can I write my dream diary more quickly

Some lucid dreamers consider painstakingly writing your dream diary as essential for having a good dream recall.
After a short time of writing down your dreams every night you will perceive a steady improvement of your ability to recall dreams. That is definitely a good thing but unfortunately consumes time.
Is there any possibility to use the time more efficiently?

Learning a shorthand

There are several shorthand systems which make note taking easier and quicker. If I write conventional longhand, I can do 50 words per minute (wpm), a regular speaker has about 150 to 180 wpm.
You find a complete list of all shorthand systems at the Wikipedia.

I had a look at a few of them and Boyd's Syllabic Shorthand looks pretty cool. Here you find an online coursebook to study for free.
According to the author of the online course above you need about one month of practice to attain a speed of 100 wpm and after further practice you may reach even 200 wpm. I find this quite astonishing.

The quickest shorthand system I have found so far was the Gregg Shorthand which makes writing speeds up to 280 wpm possible.

What I dislike about both systems is the fact that you don't really have orthography. You just write everything phonetically which may be confusing to read. Maybe one can get used to it with further experience.

Dutton Speedwords
Ron Hale-Evans introduces in his book 'Mind Performance Hacks' a way of speeding up taking notes with the Dutton Speedwords.
Similar to other shorthand systems important words will be replaced by shorthand symbols: 'the' becomes 'l', 'and' becomes '&'.
The dutton speedword language has a grammar of its own like conjugation of verbs. Within certain limits you can use this system as a constructed language like Esperanto. 

Yublin Shorthand
Jon Aquino developed the Yublin Shorthand System, which is similar to the system invented by Dutton. The 600 most frequend words in english language were replaced by abbreviations and symbols which are based on english language.

Freitag, 24. August 2012

The quick and dirty way to lucid dreams (short tutorial)

I want to give a short overview how to learn lucid dreaming.

A lucid dream is a dream in which you are aware that you are dreaming.

How can you realize that you are dreaming while you are dreaming?

Short speaking there are two ways: Either you recognize the dream during the dream (DILD) or you consciously fall asleep (WILD).

The DILD technique/ critical awareness technique

Why don't you usually ask yourself during a dream if this might be a dream?
Because in dreams you do things you usually do when you are awake. And that's the key in this technique:
During your waking day you start asking yourself if you are dreaming or not. 

How did you get here? Do you have any gaps in your memory? Is there anything really strange, maybe out of context?
Additionally you may do a reality check: You check if you are in waking reality or in a dream. In waking reality you have 5 fingers and you are not able to breath if you shut your nose with your hand.
When you are dreaming you mostly have either more or less than 5 fingers or you miscount often and mostly you are able to breathe through a shut nose.

After a period of adaption or familiarization checking the reality becomes a habit, even in your dreams.


If you have your first lucid dream: have fun and rub your hands to prolong it.



The WILD

You also may enter the dream consciously which is the second possibility.

The technique of WILD (waking induced lucid dream) is often combined with the WBTB technique: Wake up and go Back To Bed.
After sleeping for about 4 to 6 hours you get up for a period of 15 to 90 minutes and afterwards you go back to bed for another 2 to 4 hours.
You have to try and experiment to get the parameters which work for you.
How often you try the WILD is up to you and your daily schedule: If you have time enough you may start an attempt to WILD every day or every other day. If you have less time it's perfectly ok to do it once or twice a week at the weekends.

Nevertheless: After your waking period you lie down and relax. You focus on your body and your mind.
Now your body starts falling asleep and your brain also. You may get funny sensations. For example you may feel a rocking or turning motion in your bed or you may see hypnagogic imagery like dancing fireflies in front of your closed eyes.
Just relax and perceive this. Do not try to influence this, just enjoy.

Your hypnagogic imagery may become more and more intense to geometric figures, pictures and finally whole movie scenes.
That's the time you may slowly start acting in your dream. 

Good Luck! I wish you many lucid dreams!

Recommended Reading:

Exploring the world of lucid dreaming
Very good book by Dr. Stephen LaBerge, a pioneer in lucid dreaming

Conversation between Paul Tholey and Stephen LaBerge
Interesting discussion, gives further information.