Trial and Error of OBE: Keeping a Dream Journal
Since my first spontaneous obe in 98 I have desired to achieve regular and frequent controlled out of body experiences, and in 2008 I set out to achieve this goal.
I began sifting through books and websites for information and direction. If you have looked into this yourself, you will know that everyone has their own variation on how to obe or lucid dream. Essentially, this is about trying to alter the way we experience sleep and, as each of us has different body chemistry and life experience, this is not a precise science, to say the least. For most of us switching off the mind as our bodies go to sleep, is a life long habit that is hard to change.
I realised quickly that there was going to be a lot of trial and error involved, and that the process could take a rather long time. I'm quite dedicated to this particular goal, and all the little successes I do have along the way propel my enthusiasm further each time, suffice to say I'm in this for the long run..
So, I would need to begin keeping records of my attempts so that I could adjust and fine tune my method to find the perfect combination of techniques for me.
Over the years keeping any sort of journal or diary has been a great struggle for me, and believe it or not, dragging yourself out of dream world in the middle the night to record information is not always easy. So I designed this little template so that I could quickly and easily record what I needed to, and leave the detailed analysis till the morning.
It's small enough to staple onto a page in your journal, and is designed as a quick reference, for when you're flipping through the journal at a later date.
My Dream Records Template.
Title. A descriptive title, this title can be brief, but needs to be something that will trigger your memory of that experience, and remember to date it too!
Rating out of 5: This helps when you're flipping through the journal to find past successes.
0 = Fell asleep/nothing happened.
1 = Remembered Dreams.
2 = Paralysis or energy sensations.
3 = Phase shift of Separation.
4 = OBE or Lucid Dream - foggy, uncontrolled, false awakening
5 = OBE/Lucid Dream - Full control, full lucidity.
You can design your rating system however you like, so long as it makes sense to you.
Bed Time & Wake time. This is where the trial and error starts. Getting the right amount of sleep at the right time of the night, before attempting anything, will make all the difference.
Slept for __ hours. This is important. Everyone has slightly different sleep cycles. Find your sweet spot, probably somewhere between 3 and 5 hours
Stayed awake for __ mins. How long were you awake for until settling down to make your attempt. You don't want to wake your self up too much, and you don't want to be so sleepy that you fall straight asleep.
Sleep notes: How did you sleep? Did your wake from dreaming? Was it difficult to wake up? Were you hot or cold? etc
Wake notes: What did you do during the waking period? Read about lucid dreaming, went to the toilet, got a drink, meditated, exercised, lay in bed staring at the ceiling? Did you turn the light on? Candle light or electric? What colour was the light? What was your emotional state? etc
Timer: Nick at Lucidology has designed a great little timer in flash, for the purpose of assisting you to the cusp between wake and sleep. It is set to go off at specific intervals to wake you up just as you drift off. I would always record what timer setting I use (if any) for future trials.
Notes: This is for any important notes you want to record about any obe or lucid dream experience you had. You can then elaborate on these in the morning.
Nutrients Here you record if you had vitamin supplements the day before, if you had cheese and chocolate for dinner, coffee before bed, or a banana for a midnight snack. You get the picture, what we eat affects how we sleep and dream.
You can down load a pdf sheet of the template here.
Feel free to modify it to your own experiments if you like. Cut up a pile of them and clip them inside the front page of your dream journal so you can quickly and easily record what you need to during your own trials, but remember to write a full entry each morning too.
When I really started getting into it my journal came to be an invaluable part of my research. I have had periods where I fell out of routine practice, due to other stuff happening in my life, but whenever I get back to it, I frequently look over my past entries to recall just what worked and what didn't for ideas for further attempts and experiments.