First, please read my earlier blog on the subject of: “Does Every One Dream and Why Do Some People Remember Their Dreams and Some People Don’t?”
Second, let’s answer these questions a little more fully: “Is it important for me to try to remember any or all my dreams? If so, why?”
This is really up to you, and how you feel to use your time. But according to Paramhansa Yogananda, it is a good thing to work towards being fully aware of, and taking charge of, every level of consciousness in which you find yourself, 24-hours a day. This means gradually but constantly increasing your energy and therefore your awareness levels.
Paramhansa Yogananda’s 15- minute daily or twice-daily routine of Energization Exercises is perfect for being able to do this. If you don’t know and practice them regularly, this would be a very good place to start. You can learn them quickly and easily through www.ananda.org .
The next thing to do would be to have a regular practice of daily, silent sitting meditation. This teaches you how to change your level of consciousness (among conscious, subconscious, and super-conscious states of mind) AT WILL. Even 5-minutes of meditation each day, to begin with, is very helpful! Techniques to help you learn to meditate are also easily accessible through the same Ananda website mentioned above.
It does sound like paradox that you have to be more energetic and consciously aware to be able to remember your dreams successfully, when dreams happen when you are asleep—a time that it would seem that you are not energetic and aware at all. But so it is! We are never unconscious; rather we are inhabiting different levels of energy and consciousness at all times.
If you find yourself unable to remember your dreams very often, or at all, and you want to try to change this pattern within yourself, here are some suggestions about how to do it:
Increase your energy, will power, and awareness levels through the Energization Exercises mentioned above.
Meditate daily and strive to lift your energy out of sub-consciousness and regular waking consciousness into super-consciousness.
As often as possible, practice Yogananda’s suggested techniques for “Changing Your Level of Consciousness at Will,” described in The Meaning of Dreaming, (see pages 97-98)
Pray for help and guidance in this and all matters. Always listen for the “whisperings” of Divine inspiration, especially at the close of your meditations.
Pray just before going to sleep and ask for these 3 things:a) That you will experience refreshing, rejuvenating, and deep sleep. b) But then, when you dream, that your dreams may be from a more superconscious origin and/or spiritually instructive for you.c) That upon awakening, you will be able to clearly remember your dreams. especially any important ones.
Keep a notebook and pen by your bed. Immediately upon awakening—don’t wait a single minute or do anything else first, because dreams often fade out of memory very quickly—say a quick prayer for a clear memory of your dream to come to you now and then write down everything you can remember about your dream. Or speak it into a recording device.
If it then becomes obvious to you that whatever you dreamed is not particularly important to you, but falls into more of an “entertainment” category or subconscious memory meanderings, then bless it and let it go! You have better ways of spending your time, such as meditation.
Once you have recalled and written down all you can about an “important dream,” take what you have written with you to your altar or place of meditation. Put it aside, and don’t think about it anymore while you are quieting your mind and uplifting your consciousness in your meditation practices.
At the close of your meditation, pray for help and guidance, then look at what you have written (or listen to what you have recorded), then use the technique given in my book The Meaning of Dreaming (see pages 125-126) for determining the deeper meaning of the symbols in your dream.
Establish a habit practicing these techniques every day (and night) and you will get the hang of it soon. It will become much easier for you to remember your dreams, especially the important or instructive ones, which may be coming to you as messengers from God or your own Higher Self.