Tag Archives: Dream incubation

Q&A: Can I choose to dream about a particular topic?

Q: I’ve often heard you say that dreams can offer guidance, they can help us heal, solve problems, and more. Can we ask our dreams directly for answers to the questions that are on our mind? Or do we just have to wait?



A: Dear Impatient,

Life is too short to sit around and wait for the phone to ring–or for the dream to serve up a custom answer to our pressing questions. So, yes, go ahead and ask. Tell the dream what’s on your mind.

I know, most people think dreams are purely random occurrences over which we have no control. But the practical reality is quite different. With even a little effort and practice, most anyone can learn to incubate a dream. The instructions I offer are quite simple:

  • Practice remembering your dreams by taking an interest in them. Start to record them in writing, drawing or even using the voice memos feature on your phone. Even if you don’t remember a dream, record anything at all you do remember, including emotions, a felt sense of having dreamt about a general situation or topic.
  • Once you’ve gotten to the point where you are remembering dreams on a more regular basis, you’re ready to try to incubate the answer to a specific question. Before bed set an intention: “Tonight in my dreams I will learn about …” “Tonight in my dreams I will see what’s in store if I decide to …” “Tonight in my dreams I’ll find healing for …” (Don’t bother with “Yes or No” questions, though. Dreams are better at showing you possibilities–rather than checking off an answer in a little box.)
  • Put a picture or object that represents your intention near your bed, or under your pillow or mattress.
  • Record your dream in the morning and review it for any ways it might connect with your intention. If you don’t remember any dreams, try again until you do.
  • Expect results! Don’t be wishy washy about this. Whatever dream you receive in the morning is the answer to your question, even if you don’t see the connection right away. Consult with a dream therapist or an interested friend to explore the dream and find where it connects to your query.

Incubating dreams by setting dream intentions is a way to focus your attention—a skill that is helpful both awake and asleep. Where our thoughts go our actions and energies go. Where our dreams go, so our consciousness follows.

Setting dream intentions makes us more conscious agents of our lives and our environments.

So, my impatient pal, don’t just sit by the phone. Dial up a dream and see what happens.

Dreamily yours,

Tz …


Want to learn more about your dreams? Contact me to find out about upcoming dream groups in western Massachusetts, or individual dream sessions by phone, Skype, or in person.

Have a Dream Question? Send it along! I’d love to hear from you.


To learn more about conscious dreaming, dream incubation, and/or how to use your dreams for personal or planetary healing,  contact me for an individual dream consultation. Learn more atwww.thirdhousemoon.com



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Birthday Dreams: A gift to me–and you

Each year on my birthday eve I incubate a dream to offer me guidance and wisdom for the coming year.

Today I woke with several dreams including this one:

I wonder what I could or should be doing with my time on planet Earth. I try to think from the perspective of the “After Life”; in other words, after my life is over, what will I wish I had done? As I pose this question, I open a door that leads into the next dream. I have entered a kitchen, ordinary but decorated with bright colors. I realize I should appreciate this scene with all of my senses, because being alive is a rare opportunity to see and touch and enjoy all my senses—because these are things that in the afterlife we presumably don’t have and can’t appreciate. So I look up close at the colors, patterns, and textures of dish towels and all the objects in this everyday environment. When I do so, everything comes into vivid focus—infused with life and energy—“as if” in a lucid dream! I feel warmth on my skin and the sensation is deliciously sensual when experienced in this state of ultra-presence.

End of Dream

This dream is a gift to me, and I offer it as well as a gift to you. Open your eyes to the ordinary wonders of your life today … and every day!



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I posted recently about my experience at a dream conference about creativity and dreaming. At that conference I presented a paper about the intersections between dreaming and creative writing. I explained that dream incubation is one way to use dreams in the service of writing (or any kind of problem solving). So, last week I incubated a dream asking for help with a story I’m working on. Read on to learn what happened:

“DREAM DICTATION: Character Sketch”

She’s someone’s mother, the woman in the kitchen baking bread.

Two loaves a day, she says, and hands me a bit of golden crust.

She’s a character in the story I’m writing, one I hadn’t met before.

The protagonist’s mother, just back story, it seems. I’ll have a look around, glean

a few defining details for my prose. I see clay pots, painted, empty,

on the upper shelves. But no potted plants. Is that significant?

Her pantry is a light-filled room, painted cheerful reds

and yellows, and packed with jars and cartons: cornmeal, flour,

all the staples you’d expect to find. She’s happy in her kitchen,

effortlessly handling those cast-iron pans. I should help out, and not just stand

around. But, there’s not much I—having no flair for the domestic arts—can do.

I could help empty the dishwasher, at the very least, I muse.

But no, I’ll go home and write this down, instead.

I leave her house, and quickly lose my way. I turn back to find her place,

again—but can’t. Too late, I realize: I don’t know her address, or her name—

this character, of my creation.

© Tzivia Gover 2013

DR 5-31-13


To learn more about my dreamwork practice, schedule an appointment for dreamwork, purchase a dream journal, or buy a dreamwork gift certificate for friend, visit me at Third House Moon.


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New England Dreaming (Out & About in the World of Dreams)

The Sefirot in Jewish Kabbalah

The Sefirot in Jewish Kabbalah (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What happens when some 50 dreamers convene on a rainy Saturday in New England?

Among other things they are treated to a dream-inspired Cantata, they share dreams, synchronicities and dream analysis, learn how Jewish mysticism and dreams can work together, and how to use dream incubation to gain creative inspiration.

Those were just a few of the highlights from the “The Creative Power of Dreams: The New England Regional Conference offered by the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD)” on May 25th at Regis College in Weston, Massachusetts.

I was among 11 presenters at the day-long conference, along with Harvard’s Deirdre Barrett, PhD, the author of The Committee of Sleep, Dr. Curtiss Hoffman, a professor of Anthropology at Bridgewater State University (who dreamed up the above-mentioned Cantata), and Dr. Ernest Hartmann, a professor of Psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine.

Since “Creativity and Dreams” was the theme of the day we learned of many instances where famous discoveries or works of art and architecture were aided by a dream. Works of literature from Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to Steven King’s “Salem’s Lot” were dream-inspired, as have been numerous scientific discoveries and mathematical formulas.

Richard Mansfield Jekyll

Richard Mansfield Jekyll (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So what should you do if you want to incubate the solution to a vexing problem, or to help you with a creative dilemma of any sort?

Here are some tips (as summarized from a lecture by Deirdre Barrett, PhD):

  1. Write down your question or problem.
  2. Review your question or problem a few minutes before going to bed.
  3. Once you get into bed, visualize the problem.
  4. Tell yourself you want to dream about the problem as you are drifting into sleep.
  5. Keep a pen and paper by your bed, so you are ready to record any dreams that you have.
  6. On waking, lie in bed quietly for several minutes before getting up to allow your dreams to come to mind.
  7. Write down your dreams.

You can also try visualizing yourself dreaming about the problem, waking, and writing your dreams down. Another way to help bring about results is to arrange objects representing the problem or question beside your bed.

If you are feeling badly about missing this conference, don’t despair. The International Association for the Study of Dreams‘ annual conference is coming up in June in Virginia Beach. I’ll be there (and I’ll be presenting a workshop about dream poetry!) … I hope you’ll join us. Click here for details.

Wishing you happy and creative dreaming!


Corner View is a weekly appointment – each Wednesday, where bloggers from all corners of the world share their view on a pre-arranged theme. 


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Lesson Learned: A New App for Dreamers (CV)

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

This week I’ve been participating in the International Association for the Study of Dreams cyber conference on Lucid Dreaming.

I’ve been picking up fun tips and being introduced to profound new thoughts about dreaming there.

I’d like to share this one with you now … and stay tuned for more later.

From a paper posted to the cyber conference by Linda Lane Magallón, MBA, I learned a new tool and technique for incubating dreams. And best of all there’s an app for it!

Here’s the deal: Magallón recommends making vision boards, the kind popularized by Rhonda Byrne in “The Secret,” for incubating dreams. That in itself is a great idea. I’ve used the vision board concept in the past to help me materialize my intentions, but I never thought of using this technique for dream incubation.

And here’s the new take on an old idea. Back in the day I’d collect images from old magazines and paste them onto a piece of paper or pin them to a bulletin board to create a point of visual focus for materializing my  intentions. Everyone loves a nice collage, but now there’s an app, so you can input the images directly to your iPhone, and you get to carry your dream vision board with you all day long.

For example, when I wanted to incubate a dream of healing for the earth for 350 Dreamers last month, I collected images of nature, balance, love and creative solutions.

I used my new Happy Tapper vision board app (.99 cents) and created my dream vision board on my iPhone in a matter of minutes — then used it to incubate my healing dream. And, I’m happy to report, every image I placed on my vision board entered my dream in one form or another.

I’m looking forward to continued fun with my new app … and now I  have one more reason to say that the iPhone is a Dreamer’s best friend!


To learn more about how I can help you learn about your dreams (including learning to have lucid dreams, create dream intentions, or simply understand your dreams better), tap here.

To see what your soon-to-be-friends around the globe are learning to do, tap right here.


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New Years Dream Come True

Do dreams come true?

As I mentioned in a previous post, one of my New Year’s traditions is to incubate a dream for the New Year. On January 1, 2010 I woke with dreams of moon dust and pussy willows. On December 30, 2010 I walked past this tree on the lawn of the Newport Art Museum …

Pussy Willows 2010: First the dream, then the manifestation.

And now my year feels like it has come full circle, from dream to reality.

If I come across a handful of moon dust before day is done I’ll really be impressed.

What were your New Years’ dreams? How might they materialize in 2011?


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Many ways to achieve lucidity … and not

Sometimes I get the feeling my dreams are playing games with me. Recently when I attempted to have a lucid dream, I instead had a non-lucid dream of a window with a little brass plaque hanging from it. I leaned in to read the words etched into the plaque and read: “Still and Clear.” The dream took me literally, I suppose. What is lucidity, after all, if not clarity and transparency (like a window).

Of course what I wanted when I requested a lucid dream was one of those dreams when you know you are dreaming. Most people experience this during a nightmare, when just before getting eaten by the monster or being backed into the wall of flames they realize: “This is only a dream …” and then they wake, safe in their beds.

But I don’t like to wait until a lucid dream happens, I like to encourage them to happen. But perhaps my dreams don’t like to be bossed around. Here’s another example of how my the dream played me, if you will …

This time I had been trying for several nights in a row to have a lucid dream, but with no success. Finally, after a week of this, and ready to give up, a friend at work mentioned that I was in her dream the night before. “Really?” I asked, “Tell me what happened.”

“Well,” she said, “you know those dreams when you know you are dreaming?” “Sure do,” I said, trying not let my envy show … It turns out that my friend had had a lucid dream that night in which I appeared, sitting on her bed, in fact, sorting photographs and putting them into picture frames.

Does it count as having a lucid dream if instead of having one myself I appear in another’s? At that point I was willing to “count” anything. In any case, the next night I finally did it, I achieved lucidity.

Why all the fuss about having lucid dreams? If you’ve ever had one, you probably know. There are a lot of fun things to do in the lucid state, such as fly, visit beautiful places, jump from tall buildings and not get hurt …

But there’s more, too. The lucid dream state is a powerful and creative level of consciousness where you can tap into healing powers, seek out information, solve problems, etc. A lucid dream is like a laboratory where you can explore the dream state itself. You can look beyond the dreamscape, interview dream characters and ask questions of the dream maker.

As you can tell from reading this post, I’m no expert on lucid dreaming at will, but with a few nights effort I can usually wake within my dreams. To do so I think about my intention during the day, asking myself at intervals: Am I awake or dreaming? The hope is that during the night the same question will occur to the dreaming mind and as soon as you can answer, “I’m dreaming!” then you’ve done it … you’re lucid within the dream.

I have found that this simple technique works …

… except when it doesn’t. One night, not long ago, my attempt at lucidity was just another opening for my dream to play tricks on me: In a dream I looked out the back door and thought, something’s wrong here. Then I asked the question within the dream: “Am I awake or dreaming?” My dreaming self considered the matter: “Well, if I’m dreaming I’ll be able to levitate that pumpkin in the driveway,” my dreaming self concluded. So, I focused my attention on the pumpkin but it didn’t budge. “That settles it,” my dreaming self said. “I’m awake.”

Well, hopefully you’ll do better. Give it a try and let me know how it goes!

(And if you want a fabulous resource on Lucid Dreaming check out Robert Waggoner’s book by the same name.)

Who says dreams can't be literal? I asked for a lucid dream and received a dream image of a window! Clear and transparent, yes -- but not what I had hoped for 🙂


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