Both dreams and visions involve the viewing of symbolic images on a screen within one’s mind.
Often we would think of a “dream” as images received while we sleep. A “vision” is a similar screen we see, but usually we are awake. I have experienced both for many years. Whenever I have a vision, its like a projector on a wall (but without the wall) and I see it clearly as a moving picture to either the right or left side of my regular vision. Often the interpretation is much clearer then a dream which needs interpreting.
Daydreaming may seem a lot like a vision but the daydreamer is the creator of the images he sees within his mind’s eye. If you like to meditate or do yoga visualizations, you are the creator. If you have a teacher who walks you through a meditation, then it’s her idea, but you create the images according to how you perceive her suggestions. A lot like an artist would sketch the ideas of another. If a teacher asked you to draw a tree, then all of the student artist would draw a tree in his own image. They would be similar, but not exactly the same.
However, Daydreaming is not the same as a dream or a vision. With daydreaming and meditation, you are in more control of the images created within your mind. A vision or dream from God is sent from God using imagery you would understand. It is better to present the “eyes of the heart” to God and ask Him to fill them with a divine flow of dreams, visions and godly imaginations.
Why do we forget our dreams? I often hear the comment of “I never Dream.” Science has proven that we all do dream, not once, but several times every night. I recently read an article in TIME magazine that states, “The purpose of sleep is to rest the body…and to DREAM.” Therefore, you don’t know you are dreaming, because you are not remembering them. Those who dream are of sound mind more then those who say they don’t. Dreams are healing to the mind…more then you know.
Things You Can Do to Help Recall Your Dreams
1. Tell yourself that you want to remember your dreams and that you believe they contain a valid message just for you. Many people don’t remember their dreams because they choose not to, for a variety of reasons that I won’t go into right now. Therefore, by telling yourself that you want to remember, you are giving permission and accepting validity.
2. Pray before you go to sleep, asking God to speak to you through your dreams and ask the holy spirit to bring them to remembrance when you awaken.
3. Keep a journal or a pad and pen by your night table. The moment you begin to waken, write down anything you remember from a dream, even if it’s only one word. Keep the lights dim as lights will wake you to full consciousness too quickly. The first five minutes upon awaking is the most important time of recall. When I first began journaling, I didn’t turn on any lights, I scribbled in the dark. You’d be surprised how well you can scribble and how legible it is to read. I would write important words, like red car, wooded area, my kids, other people, water, the ocean, etc. By looking at those words, I was able to recall most of my dream.
4. Eliminate any deterrents in the room, (a noisy room-mate, a buzzing loud alarm clock). You can easily program the subconscious to wake you up 5 min before the alarm does and 5 minutes before your room-mate gets up. Or, I use an alarm that plays a soft music CD and that’s my signal to start waking up and remembering.
5. Journal the night before, to clear your mind of the days activities, the racing thoughts, things you have to do tomorrow, etc. Clear your mind of mind traffic so you can clearly remember your dream/s. Otherwise your dreams will be based on the events of the day, worries at home or work, and you’ll wake up more tired then when you went to bed.
6. As you waken, discipline yourself to waken gently, lying still, focusing on you dream rather then permitting your mind to wander on other events. If you wander, you will more then likely forget the dream.
7. Be more aware of how you feel when you wake up. This often signifies what you may have been dreaming about. Do you feel peaceful and rested? Do you feel anxious, scared?
8. Discipline yourself to write something! A symbol, a word, a feeling. You honor God by making an attempt to remember. It becomes easier as you go along.
9. Keep the idea of dreaming at the forefront of your mind for a few days. Read a book on dreams, talk about your dreams with others, draw a picture of your dream or a scene within the dream that stood out the most. All of these steps are programming the mind to REMEMBER!
10. Beware of the temptation to reject any dream. Just because it makes no sense to you or it seems silly, don’t ignore it. You will be surprised what you can learn from such symbols!
Last of all, be patient with yourself. The dream will come and so will the recall. I have not had anyone fail me yet that followed these steps. I’ve been challenged by many who insisted that they “never dream,” only to prove to them that all things are possible, if we’ll just believe.