Long Term Journaling Panel Talk

©1998 Linda Lane Magallón

I am a sociable dreamer. Have been since the beginning of my involvement in dream research. Sociability is the prime influence on how I keep my dream journals.

As an extroverted sociable dreamer, I share dreams and dream for, about and with fellow dreamers. I highlight our connections with colored pens. We send each another letters or e-mail as well as drawings, postcards, photos and notecard affirmations; in fact, whatever greases the interactive dream wheel.

There's no way all that can fit into a bound notebook. So I use binders to collect papers and plastic sheet protectors to gather odds and ends.

But I'm also an introverted sociable dreamer. I write letters to my dreaming self and dream characters. I go into a lucid dream, introduce myself and start a dialogue. I listen to what my dream characters say and note the most intriguing or inspiring conversation in a special journal. I draw my dream characters and create poetry of their lives. I use even more binders.

When the linking begins, I find repeating themes and places and dream characters. My fellow dreamers and I compare dream reports with an eye for similarities between one another's dream or waking life. We discover synchronicities and psychic events. We dream of one another's dream characters. The binders overflow into file folders.

Once, I asked my dreaming self the incubation question, "What do you want to do?" No, me, you. It wasn't long until a nonlucid dream bubbled up from out of the depths of the sea of unconscious. The response was clearer than any other I'd received. My dreaming self stated that she wanted "to teach people how to dream big." Given the opportunity and support, she is quite adept at producing social, psychic and mutual dreams. My dreaming self is highly interested in that wide screen movie from the communal underground called The Big Dream.

So I asked myself, how can I gift my dreams to my fellow dreamers in a way that they will most easily connect the dots of the Big DreamTime Picture? When a partner asks, "Have you ever had a dream like mine?" or "What were you dreaming about in mid May?" how could I easily place my hands on that information? Obviously, I needed a Table of Contents for my binders.

Nothing so bogs down the reciprocal pace as having to thumb through years of journals without a clue to light your way to that dream you can't find. And nothing so defeats the interactive process as sharing a dream that was scratched in pencil at 3:00 in the morning in a journal whose thick binding won't let you Xerox it for love nor money. Clearly, I needed legible copy.

Now, cursive handwriting better matches my flow of consciousness and I'd rather record the dream curled up under the covers with a legal pad balanced on my knees. Large margins provide space for notes and doodles. I underline or highlight correlating elements in the dream--in this case, I returned several months after the initial recording to connect my dream with a waking event.

But that's not the format I share with dreaming partners. Machine printing is. Nowadays most of my dreaming partners use word processors or typewriters. The few that don't have such equipment use navy blue or black pen and handwriting that closely approximates printing.

What may be just peachy for us as we ruminate in private, must be reevaluated when we move into communal waters. Whether we share and compare for scientific, artistic, practical or esoteric reasons, we need a type of dream journal that supports such efforts. A Table of Contents with dreams that are titled and dated is the bare minimum for a sociable dream journal.

It really doesn't take all that much to create such a journal.

Right after you finish recording your dream, you know the main symbols and action. Fine. Simply bring your pen back up to the top of the page and write them down. Voila! You've got a title.

Then, turn your head and look at the calendar that you have tacked to your bedroom wall. Boom! You've got the date.

That night, take your eyes off the TV commercial, grab your sheet of paper and place it in your binder (if need be, invest in a 3-hole punch).

Then, once a month, during a dull TV news report, grab another sheet of paper, list the dates and titles, and place the list in the front of your binder. Pow! You've got a Table of Contents.

I also use alphabet keys to help me locate my dream. "F" for flying, "LC" for lucid conversation, "P" for precognitive and so forth.

When it comes to dream journaling, my dreaming self and I invite you to think partnership, to think connection, to dream Big.

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