The Art of Remembering and Interpreting Dreams
By Judith Orloff, M.D.
At different times in my life, I am a physician, a teacher, a friend and an author, but
being a dreamer is what I value the most.
Whatever I am doing, I always hear my dreams echoing in a distant
underground chamber beneath my thoughts and feelings, attuned to the rhythms of my body
and the very substance of the earth. They are my compass and my truth; they guide me and
link me to the Divine. They call out to me in an intimate whisper, always knowing how to
find me. They speak my real name.
For me, dreaming is a direct line to a place where magic abounds
and nothing is without meaning. It is a pristine state of awareness, unpolluted and clear.
Direct guidance for healing lies in our dreams, the natural territory of intuition.
Here, time and space are non-existent and anything is possible. Like a blank, white canvas, our
dream world is a spacious medium where intuition can freely express itself. We have only
You are in partnership with your dreams. Initiate an ongoing
dialogue with them. It’s like consulting the wisest doctor you can imagine who knows you
inside out. You can ask your dreams anything. No question is trivial if it is meaningful
to you. Expect answers. Some will be direct. Others may require interpretation.
Your dreams can reveal many truths about your life. They can
provide extraordinary intuitive insights, and give you information that can help your health,
love life and career. You’d be surprised at the straightforward advice that your dreams
give, either spontaneously or on request.
Dreams can keep you well. Dreams provide answers. But first you
must retrieve them. Here are my four strategies to help you remember your dreams:
Keep a journal and pen by your bed.
Write a question on a piece of paper before you go to sleep. Formalize your request.
Place it on a table beside your bed or under your pillow.
In the morning do not wake up too fast. Stay under the covers for at least a few minutes
remembering your dream. Luxuriate in a peaceful feeling between sleep and waking, what
scientists call the hypnagogic state. Those initial moments provide a doorway.
Open your eyes. Write down your dream immediately; otherwise it will evaporate. You
may recall a face, object, color, or scenario, feel an emotion. It doesn’t matter if
it makes perfect sense-or if you retrieve a single image or many. Record everything you
When you’re finished, refocus on the question you asked the previous night. See how your
dream applies. One, two, or more impressions about the who/what/where of your solution
may have surfaced. Get in the habit of recording your dreams regularly.
Be assured I’ve never met anyone who can’t be taught how to remember. Keep at it. Remember to practice. Soon
it will become second nature to you!
In addition to the practical aspects of remembering dreams, there’s
an intuitive level to understanding dreams. Reliable intuitive information stands out in
very specific ways. Watch for these clues:
Statements that simply convey information
Neutral segments that evoke or convey no emotion
A detached feeling, like you’re a witness watching a scene
A voice or person counseling you, as if you’re taking dictation from an outside source
Conversations with people you never met before who give instructions.
I’ve found that my most dead-on intuitions either come across as compassionate or have
no emotion at all. Develop a careful eye as you practice separating the content of your
dreams from your reactions to it. Soon you’ll be able to tell the difference between unreliable
guidance and truly reliable guidance.
Be aware that your dreams go by different rules than your waking life. Get ready for a
mind shift. Physical laws no longer apply. Gravity changes. In dreams you can fly!
Judith Orloff, M.D., 2007
Dr. Judith Orloff, M.D. is a board certified psychiatrist, energy and intuition expert,
and author of the bestselling books:
Guide to Intuitive Healing and
She is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA with a private practice
in Los Angeles and she leads workshops on the interrelationship of intuition, energy, and
She is known for her ability to synthesize the pearls of traditional medicine
with cutting edge knowledge of intuition and energy. She passionately believes that the
future of medicine involves integrating all this wisdom to achieve emotional freedom and
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