Part II: Dream Recall
In order to have a lucid dream and know about it when you awaken, you have to remember your dreams. For one thing, the more frequently you remember dreams, and the clearer and more detailed your pictures become, the more likely you are to remember lucid dreams. The more familiar you become with what you own dreams are like, the easier you will find it to recognize them as dreams while they happen. Thus, if you want to learn to dream lucidly, you need first of all to learn to reliably recall your dreams.
One of the most important determinants of dream recall is motivation. For the most part, those who want to remember their dreams can do so, and those who do not want to do not. For many people, simply having the intention to remember, reminding themselves of this intention just before bed, is enough. One effective way to strengthen this resolve is to keep a dream journal beside your bed and record whatever you can remember of your dreams every time you wake up. As you record your dreams, you will remember more dreams. Reading over your dream journal can provide an added benefit: the more familiar you become with what your dreams are like, the easier it will be for you to recognize one while it is still happening and therefore to awaken in your dream.
An infallible method for developing your ability to remember dreams is to get in the habit of asking yourself, every time you wake up, “What was I dreaming?” This must b your first thought upon awakening; otherwise, you will forget some or all of the dream due to interference from other thoughts. You must not give up too quickly if nothing is recalled at first, but persist patiently in the effort to remember, without moving or thinking of anything else, and in most cases, pieces and fragments of the dream will come to you. If you still cannot remember a dream, ask yourself what you were just thinking and how you are feeling. Examining your thoughts and feelings in this way can often provide the necessary cues for retrieving the entire dream.
In developing dream recall, as with any other skill, progress is sometimes slow. Do not be discouraged if you do not succeed at first. Remember: each of us masters the ability to recall our dreams at our own rate.