Blog

A recipe to dream - An entree, main meal and dessert inspired by a dream of a cooking competition.

Saturday, January 17, 2015
Posted by Madrugada

Have you ever dreamed of something and then made it a reality? Dreams can be the inspiration for songs or stories, so why not a recipe?

This weekend, my girlfriend Carla (who’s studying to be a pastry chef) dreamed she took part in a cooking competition, where she and other contestants were asked to make an entree, a main meal and a dessert from a box of left over food. In the end, she decided to follow the recipe from her dream, and see how it turned out.

After waking up she told me the dream and so I started typing it on the computer so that she could remember the ingredients and would be able to remake the recipe later. In the end, after a few words of incentive from myself and her friends, she decided to follow the recipe from her dream, and see how it turned out.

Strawberry carpaccio entree, black bean salad, and chocolate-coated strawberries

Pictured above you’ll find the meal that featured in her dream of the cooking competition - a strawberry carpaccio entree, black bean salad, and chocolate-coated strawberries for dessert. Click here to read the recipe she developed on her blog (scroll down for the English version). Like any good cook she took inspiration from the recipe, but changed it as she saw fit. Here’s her original dream:

 

Cooking competition (11 January 2015)
I’m in a competition to see who can cook the best entree, main meal and dessert from leftovers. Each contestant has a wooden box with ingredients inside.

In my box there are strawberries, white chocolate, some unusual salad leaves, beans (already cooked), carrot, coriander, chilli, olive oil, lemon, balsamic vinegar, a little rice (pre-cooked) and tomatoes (already diced). There’s also some leftover lettuce in the box, but it’s so dead, that having seen a little more in the fridge, I asked if I could use it.

I see peanuts in the other contestants’ boxes but it is on the table in the front. I really want to use it with my beans, but I try to contain myself and not ask for some to mix with the beans - since I know that they are not going to give me them and I could be disqualified from the competition for using something that wasn’t in my box.

I feel very confident and determined to win, and so I think very quickly about what I have to do, even though I knew that there weren’t many options and I wanted to do something more sophisticated.

I start by preparing the dessert - I’m not very happy with my original idea because it seems very common and simple. But when I look at the table in front I see that the girls are doing the same thing as me, with strawberries on a skewer, coated in chocolate. The difference is that I have white chocolate and almost no black chocolate, and they have a lot of the dark chocolate and no white chocolate. I decide that I am going to do something a little different and I put the strawberries in the oven. The only thing is that I realise that by doing this, the strawberries will release the liquid inside and afterwards it will be very difficult to cover them in chocolate. I take out the strawberries from the oven - they have already begun to release the liquid - and I put them in the freezer. This way it’ll be easier to cover them in chocolate.

Having solved the problem of dessert, I start work on the entree - realising that I’ll have to present the first meal and don’t have time to lose. I remember that once, when I was doing my cooking course in Salvador, we made a honeydew carpaccio with pink peppercorns in class. Why not do a strawberry carpaccio with balsamic vinegar and these leaves? So I get to work on the entree - strawberry carpaccio with balsamic vinegar. I put the plastic wrap on the top and put it in the fridge so that the strawberry won’t release its liquid in the heat of the kitchen.

From there I start on the main meal. At the beginning I think of cutting the lettuce very finely like I would do for a salad and mixing with the beans, but I realise that this will be too simple and won’t help me to succeed from the point of view of presentation. I remember having seen a meal where the food was placed inside the lettuce, and I decide to make a bean salad and serve it inside the lettuce. I start slicing the carrot very finely to improve the final presentation of the meal.

I’m very relieved and happy that I’ve finished the meal, but I don’t remember if my dream stops there or continues.

Homework and Lucid Dreams

Thursday, January 8, 2015
Posted by Madrugada

Are you stuck for ideas for a homework task or university assignment or just not sure what topic would be the best to explore? Why not dream on it? Through dream incubation or lucid dreaming (realising that you are dreaming while inside a dream) you might be inspired to approach the task a different way.


Image: Intention by Keturah, http://www.flickr.com/photos/22304420@N05/3374447352

In an article titled The “Committee of Sleep”: A Study of Dream Incubation for Problem Solving (1993), Deirdre Barrett, Ph.D. demonstrates how dreams and hypnogogic imagery (the imagery that forms between the state of waking and sleep) have been a source of creative inspiration for scientists, writers and musical composers alike. She points to specific examples, showing how the Russian scientist Mendeleev developed a more complete version of the periodic table of the elements after a dream, and how the author Robert Lewis Stevenson “dreamed the two key scenes of his novel, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”.


Image: The Periodic Table of the Elements (today), http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Periodic_table_large.svg

While many of the accounts of “solving problems or producing creative products during sleep” that Barrett highlights were the result of spontaneous dreams, she suggests that we can also learn to incubate dreams with a specific intention or question in mind. She describes an early study she conducted with 76 college students, who were asked to incubate dreams addressing problems of a “personal, general objective, or academic nature.” Students were asked to write out the problem in a simple form and carry out dream incubation according to a particular method.

Incubating a dream to help with your homework
While I’m not familiar with the specific approach for dream incubation used in the study, the process is generally straightforward. If you’re looking for assistance with your homework, you might approach it as follows:

  1. Decide on a problem that you want help with, e.g. “What would be a good topic to write about for this assignment?”
  2. Write down your question/problem on paper.
  3. Clear your mind and remind yourself of your intention just before you go to sleep.
  4. Keep a pen and paper by your bed and record the resulting dream as soon as you wake.
  5. Write a personal comment to explore any connections you notice between your dream and your original intention.

In Barrett’s study, students were asked to follow the dream incubation procedure nightly for a week, or until they had a dream which solved the problem. Interestingly, Barrett found that about half of the students were able to recall a dream which they felt was related to the problem - and of these seventy percent believed that their dream contained a solution to the problem. In addition to the students themselves, independent judges were also asked to rate students dreams in terms of their relevance to the problems identified, and the capacity of the dream to find a solution. The results were surprisingly similar.

An example from the study demonstrates how one of the students was able to incubate a dream seeking assistance with a personal problem.

Problem:  I have applied to two clinical psychology programs and two in industrial psychology because I just can't decide which field I want to go into.
Dream: A map of the United States. I am in a plane flying over this map. The pilot says we are having engine trouble and need to land and we look for a safe place on the map indicated by a light. I ask about MA which we seem to be over right then and he says all of MA is very dangerous. The lights seem to be further west. I wake up and realize that my two clinical schools are both in MA where I have spent my whole life and where my parents live. Both industrial programs are far away, Texas and CA. That was because originally I was looking to stay close to home and there were no good industrial programs nearby. I realize that there is a lot wrong with staying at home and that, funny as it sounds, getting away is probably more important than which kind of program I go to.

If you want to know more about how dreams can be used for creative purposes like these, check out a much more recent book by Deirdre Barrett, The Committee of Sleep: How Artists, Scientists, and Athletes Use Their Dreams for Creative Problem Solving - And How you Can Too. It looks like a good read!

A note for lucid dreamers
If you can already lucid dream, you might go about this slightly differently. Holding a clear intention is still key, however once you become lucid and conscious that you are dreaming, you could ask a dream figure (perhaps a wise professor?) for advice directly, or even hunt down a room in which your finished work is being presented to your classmates.

4 steps to deeper dreaming and more lucid dreams

Sunday, December 28, 2014
Posted by Madrugada

Are you fascinated by dreaming? Do you want to have more lucid dreams? With the year coming to a close, now might be a good time to think about your dream life and the steps you can take to improve it. Here are a few ideas:

//www.flickr.com/photos/alittletune/3578099883/)
Image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/alittletune/3578099883/

1. Journal more of your dreams
Keeping a dream journal is a must if you want to remember more of your dreams. Making and decorating your own handmade dream journal is a great way to get started (click here for an example), though you can also start a free online journal here at Sea Life where you’ll have the added benefit of being able to receive commentary and feedback from other dreamers. If you already have a dream journal here, you might be pleased to know that you can now keep track of how many dreams you’ve recorded per month. Can you do better in 2015?

Dreams can be easy to forget come the morning. Whilst recording the entirety of a dream may be difficult at night, keeping a pen and paper by the bed means you can take a few quick notes on the spot and expand on them when you wake. Writing an intention for dreaming each night can also help make the meaning of your dreams more clear. Try holding a question (e.g. How can I prepare for my job interview?) or a goal (e.g. I want to have fun in my dream tonight) in mind as you drift off to sleep and then consider the resulting dream in light of your original intention.


Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidreber/4909220354/

2. Set aside some time to work with your dreams
When work or studies get busy, they can quickly detract from your memory of your dreams. Take a look at your free time and try and pencil in some times for working with your dreams each week. You might use it to write up your dreams or respond to them creatively (e.g. by drawing a meaningful scene from a dream). If you’re going through a dry spell, you can browse through some old dreams, or settle down with a good book on dreams to regain some inspiration.


Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/times_up/15535995145/

3. Choose some goals for your next lucid dream
If you’re keen to have more lucid dreams it might help to write a brief list of things you’d like to do the next time you become lucid, and choose one to concentrate on. Repeat your intention to yourself during the day to reinforce your goal - this way you’re more likely to remember it when you do become lucid.


Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cfrausto/3320154770

4. Spend more time in the twilight zone.
Usually the first few hours of sleep are quite deep and our memories of dreams that takes place at this time tend to be less vivid. Try waking up at about three or four in the morning, and sit up in the bed for ten minutes or get a drink of water. Lie down again, but this time try and maintain a state of alertness, even as sleep pulls you back to it. I like to think of this as going on ‘night watch’. You’re on guard, but conscious that your awareness is drifting.

In this 'twilight zone' state, it’s quite common to start noticing moving images forming in your inner vision, or to hear unusual words or sounds. If you have a specific intention for lucid dreaming, hold it in mind. You can even trying to return to a previous dream scene by visualising/borrowing a memory from the dream. Allow the visions you see to develop. The twilight zone is a gateway to lucid dream journeying - aim to spend more time there this year.

Sea Life goes multilingual

Saturday, August 16, 2014
Posted by Madrugada

Sea Life has gone multilingual. You can now visit the site in English, Portuguese or Spanish. All you need to do is choose the appropriate language at the top of the page.

//www.flickr.com/photos/80497449@N04/10012162166/
Image: World Map - Abstract acrylic by Nicolas Raymond

We've also started our first Dream Team in Portuguese, Pescadores de Sonhos (fishers of dreams) - moderated by EmersonPawoski of Brazil. Thanks also go out to Ness from Canada, who's been helping with the Spanish translation of the site.

At the moment you click on a flag (English, Brazilian or Spanish) to change language. While  I like having a visual representation of language, I'm not convinced a flag is appropriate. After all, Portuguese is spoken not only in Brazil but in Portugal, Mozambique and many other places around the world. It's a similar story with Spanish - it's not just the language of Spain.

A simple dropdown list of languages would probably work, but if you have any ideas of a good way to represent a language visually, I'm keen to hear about them. Just add a comment.

5 Ways to Improve Self Awareness in Lucid Dreams

Sunday, July 20, 2014
Posted by Madrugada

This is a guest post by lucid dream enthusiast, Kerry McGlone:

Self awareness is essential to every lucid dreamer. Self awareness for lucid dreaming is defined to be conscious of feelings and emotions through your dream. Having the ability to become self aware in a dream is what makes lucid dreams possible. You can become aware of your surroundings, your feelings and your desires enabling endless possibilities within the lucid dream.

I am going to share with you 5 methods you can become more self aware in both reality, and in your dreams.

Method #1: Observe Your Surroundings

As you lucid dream, it makes the task of becoming more aware of the dream far easier than not lucid dreaming. When entering a lucid dream, set yourself a goal of making detailed observations. Take into consideration the colors of everything which is being discovered, the things you may encounter, and even the different smells you observe. Taking all these things into consideration will allow for you to become more self-aware in the lucid dreams you have.

For example, if you enter a scene which seems to be unrealistic, deeply observe every detail you possibly can for an increased awareness. From the floor color, to the smell of the air. Don't be afraid to spend a significant amount of time making observations of the scene - it can be fun!

Method #2: Observe Yourself

As you enter a lucid dream, strange things may happen; things out of the ordinary, which would not likely happen in real life. Now, how does it feel to watch and observe those things? Feels pretty strange, correct? That is completely expected, and is very common for lucid dreamers. However, what many people don't do is observe feelings during these moments. Take a deep breath, and for a few moments you should observe your feelings. Are you feeling numb? Is your body aching? These are the sort of things you need to ask yourself within a lucid dream.

For me, I found that when I become lucid, my body gives numbing sensations although I am freely allowed to move. It's a strange, but pleasurable feeling that can only be understood once experienced. I can assure you that when I woke up; it was one of the first things I noticed about the dream, and allowed me to instantly differentiate the dream from reality with further lucid dream experiences.

As you observe your physical state, you should then move on to more emotional aspects of your dream. Are you feeling anxious? Scared? Stressed? As you begin to open up to these feelings, you will allow for yourself to becoming more aware of your situation which can enhance the lucid dream experience.

Method #3: Imagine Impossible Scenarios

Being lucid in a dream gives you the opportunity to do whatever you please with your mind. This means you can explore deep scenarios which may definitely make no sense in real life, which is also heavily related to reality checking.

Take any item you can think of, and imagine something impossible happening to that item. For example, a glass full of water can be used to demonstrate the impossible scenario. Throw the glass against the wall and imagine it bouncing back into your hands. As you experiment with impossible scenarios, you will automatically have a more vivid memory rather than if they all made logical sense. Of course, a class is one of the infinite amounts of scenarios you can come up with to establish an impossible scenario.

Method #4: Imagine a Dream Scene

Each night before you sleep, imagine a scene where you would love to be, and eventually you will be situated in that dream. This may sound easy in theory, but it will take time and practice for it to work. The more established of a lucid dreamer you become, the easier it will be for it to happen.

A scene, for example, is essentially anything you can think of - whether or not it makes sense. Because, as you know, most lucid dreams don't make sense which is how they can be differentiated from reality. One scene which could be imagined would be bouncing on the clouds. Because of the impossibility of this ever happening in reality, it will increase the amount of awareness gained in the dream, which is the goal of this method.

To enhance this method further, as you visualize the dream scene, a good idea would be to add emotion to the dream. A dream is more than likely going to be memorable if particular emotions were used in the dream. That being said, negative emotions can cause conflict in the dream. This includes watching a scary movie before attempting this dream scene method, or if you had experienced trauma at some stage in your life. Unfortunately this can also lead to reoccurring nightmares which you generally won't want to remember. From this, using positive emotions for the dream will allow for a more memorable lucid dream opposed to some negative experience.

Method #5: Practice Self-Awareness

Once you're in a lucid dream, a combination of techniques can be used to reinforce the fact you are dreaming, and not awake. As soon as you become lucid, begin exploring your surroundings by looking around you and choosing a target found interesting. This can be accomplished through doing a 360 from whatever position you're in. As you observe shapes and objects, you will find that the objects may begin to either shrink or grow, which is not uncommon. As you expect to see the impossible, it will happen which will assure you're in a dream which consequently will improve yourself awareness.

Conclusion

From these 5 different methods used to improve self awareness, you can be confidently assured that each hold benefits you can use to your advantage. I personally found that looking at my hands made me instantly know I was in a dream, and from then onwards using the 5 different methods I was able to remember my dream vividly and was completely aware of my lucid dream throughout.

Bio: Kerry McGlone is a Lucid Dreaming enthusiast, and creator of http://www.dreamlucidly.info/

As a frequent researcher, she has attained knowledge and experience on lucid dreams, resulting in an enhanced understanding and having the passion to share knowledge with others. If you're interested in becoming a lucid dreamer, feel free to give Dream Lucidly a visit!

Psiberdreaming Conference coming in September

Thursday, July 10, 2014
Posted by Madrugada

Join IASD in an exploration of Dreaming With the Other in the 2014 PsiberDreaming Conference: two-weeks of online papers, workshops, presentations and discussion from Sunday, September 28 to Sunday, October 12, 2014.

Dreams can tell us much about ourselves. But some dreams may take us beyond the familiar boundaries of ourselves. Have you ever had a dream that seems to be from, or for, or as, or with someone else? Another person? Another species, animal or alien? A different culture or distant world? Some other dimension? The “other side”?

Dream // A Better Future

Saturday, May 3, 2014
Posted by Madrugada

Delia, one of our members in Sydney, Australia, is running a dream workshop on Saturday, 10th May where you can learn to catch your dreams.

Dream // A Better Future
Image by Moyan Brenn - Some rights reserved
Image: Iceland Northern Lights by Moyan Brenn

You can fly. You can create and invent wonderful things. You can explore places you’ve never seen. You can heal yourself and others, chase down foes, guess the future, and maybe even change it. You discover clues, solutions, and ideas you need right now to navigate life’s challenges.

In your dreams? Absolutely.

Learn how to make the most of this free, proven resource in our dream journal workshop – learn how to recall, document, and decipher your dreams.

Cost includes a blank customisable journal, basic art materials (BYO optional), notes, and a free six-month membership at Sea Life Dreams, an online dream group where you can continue to share your dreams with friends from around the world! 

Participants also receive 20% off any Unknown Quantity stock in store on the day.

How to maintain a lucid dream

Saturday, April 19, 2014
Posted by Madrugada

This week, we have a guest blog entry from Kerry McGlone. Kerry is a lucid dream enthusiast, and the author of a new website called Dream Lucidly.


Image: My forest dream is still a dream (Vinoth Chandar)

HOW TO MAINTAIN A LUCID DREAM

Okay, so you’ve experienced a lucid dream. That’s great, but how long did you remain in a lucid state for? Unfortunately, the first time you experience a lucid dream may not last very long. You may become aware of the lucidity, get excited and wake up as a result. This is completely normal. It is common for first time lucid dreamers to be unable to sustain a lucid dream for a long period of time. Although it may seem like a bad thing to wake up from being excited (and it’s disappointing, that’s for sure), at least you’re on your way to sustaining a lucid dream for a long period of time. The main piece of advice you can hear is to ensure you remain calm as you enter a lucid dream.

As you progress into the lucid dream, it needs to be ensured that focus is kept on the dream itself, and nothing else. When entering, pause for a second. Try to grasp the scenario, and then proceed calmly. Don’t focus too much on actually controlling the dream at first – that may require more experience to be done correctly. First things first: focus solely on remaining lucid, and nothing else. In order to focus on anything else, you will need to perfect the time you remain lucid – this is essential! By all means, feel free to experiment with your lucid dream, just don’t get so overwhelmed by the whole experience. This will reduce the likeliness of remaining in the lucid state.

There are two very common and useful techniques you are able to perform in order to enhance your lucid dreaming experience. These techniques can be used, whether it to be increasing the awareness of the lucid dream, or to make sure you don’t lose the lucid state. These recommendations are not guaranteed to work as everyone is different, but they are two of the most renowned ways you are able to maintain your lucid dream, and have it last longer.

Hand Rubbing

Staying lucid is critical to and lucid dreamer. One common method used to ensure the lucid state is remained is to simply rub your hands together. This will reinforce the idea of keeping focused on the dream opposed to waking up – which is obviously something you want to try and avoid. When in a lucid dream, you may dream you’re indoors or outdoors. If indoors, try touching furniture or the walls. If outdoors, touching the ground may be useful. Essentially rubbing your hands is destined to stabilize the lucid dream you’re in.

Dream Spinning

One common experience may people face is a lucid dream beginning to fade unexpectedly. If you begin to sense the lucid dream is coming to an end, a common technique used for prevention is called dream spinning. Dream spinning is actually relatively easy. Imagine yourself as a child and spin around on the spot. Sounds easy, right? This technique is practiced by many lucid dreamers and is considered to be reliable in sustaining a lucid dream. In order to receive the full effects of dream spinning, it will likely take 10-30 seconds of spinning. Once you come to a finish with spinning, you will often find that your lucid state has restored, and the position of your lucid state may also change, i.e. environment, place, etc. Not only is it possible to change your setting through this method, but it is also a common practice to experiment with dream spinning in order to achieve a different setting, regardless if the lucid state is diminishing. That being said, a smart practice is to continue to remind yourself that you’re lucid dreaming whilst dream spinning as you may find yourself losing lucidity as a result.


Image: Tight spin by Aaron Wagner

Yes – these two techniques should work on the typical lucid dreamer. The most important thing you can do is not get too worked up on losing lucidity when you first begin to lucid dream. Instead – praise yourself having gained lucidity which many people fail to do, you deserve it! I know, it sucks finally becoming lucid only to lose the state moments after, but it will get better if you set your mind to it; it all comes down to self belief and determination.

You can read more of Kerry's tips and tricks at:
http://www.dreamlucidly.info

Pages

About me

Hi, I'm Nick Cumbo. I'm a primary school teacher who loves to dream. My travels in other parts of the world have also fuelled a fascination with languages, and I'm currently studying a Master of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).

In this blog, I'll be writing in the language of dreams - reporting on interesting articles or books, my impressions of the dreaming experience and new features that have been added to the Sea Life website. Enjoy!