Dream reliving and meditation as a way to enhance reflectiveness and constructive engagement in dreams

Gregory Scott Sparrow, Mark Thurston, Ralph Carlson


Lucid dreaming has been defined as the experience of becoming aware that is one is dreaming during a dream, as evidenced by the statement, “I am dreaming,” or “This is a dream” in the context of the dream report. This categorical treatment stands in contrast to observations and empirical findings that reflectiveness, volition, and other aspects of waking mentation are present in lucid and non-lucid dreams alike, and may have distinct functions in accelerating psychological integration, dream ego responsiveness, and personality development within the dream state. This study tested the impact of middle-of-the-night meditation and dream reliving on lucidity, as well as non-lucid levels of dreamer development––Reflectiveness and Constructive Engagement––as described originally by Rossi (1972). Using one instrument designed to measure levels of Reflectiveness and Constructive engagement, and another instrument designed to measure levels pre-lucidity and lucidity, we investigated whether this middle-of-the night tandem treatment would result in significant increases in post-treatment measures. Despite several validity problems, some significant results were found. We discuss the implications for using this tandem intervention for promoting positive outcomes in dreaming, as well as for the specific attenuation of distressing dreams.


lucid dreaming, dream reflectiveness, induction methods, meditation, dream reliving

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11588/ijodr.2013.2.10151

URN (PDF): http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:bsz:16-ijodr-101515