The physical mind is limited, like a little bucket. The inner experiences you have on all the spiritual planes are like a vast ocean. It is useless trying to pour the ocean into the mind's little bucket.
Soul is running several bodies at the same time on other planes. Its scope of action is much greater than the recall ability of the dreamer's mind.
Sometimes the mind wants to protect you because the dream would shock you. It's a different world with different rules. You wake up here, and right away this world crowds in on you. And you say, 'I've got to get up, go to school or work'.
Some people naturally enjoy vivid recollections of their dream state, but those who don't can develop the skill.
You can set a dream in your mind as you wake up by repeating the points of it, then talking about it out loud or writing it down as soon as you get up.
It is also possible to develop a sharper recall of the dream state by keeping a notebook by the bed, with pen and light at hand. Make a resolution to wake - even in the middle of the night - to record any memory of the dream state, no matter how trivial it seems."
Youth Ask a Modern Prophet about Life, Love, and God, p. 87
Does each dream have a spiritual meaning or lesson involved?
"Every experience, waking or dream, has a lesson or message to impart to us. But let the meanings of your inner and outer experiences come naturally. In other words, if the lesson or message isn't clear, don't force it.
Soul, the spiritual self that you are, will send another dream again in some other way until your human self can easily grasp the meaning.
In Eckankar, dream study works on all levels. As with all things of a divine nature, accept each dream as a spiritual gift. Wonder about it. Roll it gently around in your mind to see whether loving patience on your part will reveal its significance.
This approach is the reason the Eckankar spiritual studies are called the Easy Way.
One other point. Dream experiences are real experiences from another time, place, or dimension. Some of them are from past lives, which you'd expect to be straightforward. Yet here's where the mind - or what you called 'just purely creations of my imagination?' - comes in.
The dream censor is a function, or part, of the mind. For purely karmic reasons it may decide that a certain past life would be too much of a shock to you. You might break off a relationship. Yet that relationship in the present time may be necessary to bring an important insight to you.
So the dream censor tones down dreams. It lets a dreamer go ahead with life and so profit from past-life experiences."
Youth Ask a Modern Prophet about Life, Love, and God, p. 88-89
What is a spiritual dream?
"A spiritual dream is any dream. There is a spiritual side to every experience or event, no matter how large or small, and whether or not it occurs in every-day life or in a dream.
But---and this is a big but---few people have the spiritual eyes to see."
Ask the Master, Book 1, p. 5
Are dreams real?
"A dream is a real experience. Soul Travel is a more-than-real spiritual experience. As Soul, you can (and do) have hundreds of experiences going on side by side at different levels. So does everyone else.
Here is a way to understand the variety of inner experiences: it's as if Soul experiences what hundreds of people in a town do on a certain day. The mind, meanwhile, can recall only a few experiences at a time.
You may remember a certain inner experience with someone on the inner planes because of its spiritual importance for you. However, the other person will likely remember completely different experiences because your needs are different.
In comparison to Soul, our mind holds only a few memories at a time. We remember those that mean the most to us spiritually. Only rarely do the spiritual needs of two people exactly coincide. When they do, both dreamers will remember the same dream. However, their different levels of consciousness will give each a special view of what actually happened in the dream state."
Ask the Master, Book 1, p. 1-2
What can dreams tell us about ourselves?
"Dreams hint at truth. I say hint instead of tell for a reason: Most people don’t actually want to know the truth. The truth hurts. Dreams can tell us when we’re unkind, unfair, vengeful, selfish, and other unpleasant facts that we need to work on spiritually. But truth makes most people uncomfortable, so they shut it out and forget their dreams.
I’ve tried many dream systems and have kept a record of my own inner travels for years. Of all the systems, the dream methods of ECK are the golden thread that has been of the most use to me for spiritual growth."
Ask the Master, Book 1, p. 14
What advice do you have for better dreaming?
“There are three main steps I recommend. First, arrange your schedule to get as much sleep as needed to be fresh in the morning.
Second, for a few minutes before sleeping, read from any of the ECK books to signal Soul of your intent to pursue spiritual activity during sleep: for example The Eternal Dreamer, The Dream Master, The Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad,The Spiritual Notebook, or Stranger by the River.
Third, contemplate upon the face of the Mahanta, the Living ECK Master at bedtime. Do this in either a seated or prone position. In the spiritual exercise, give an invitiation to the Master like this: ‘I welcome you into my heart as into my home. Please enter it with joy.'
Then go to sleep as usual, but leave the eye of Soul alert to the coming of the teacher. Look for me, because I am always with you."
Ask the Master, Book I, p. 25-26
What is the purpose of Soul Travel?
“All that Soul Travel is, is one means available for you to find the love of God.
The path of ECK is much broader than Soul Travel, of course. There are many ways that the ECK expresses itself to the human race, but many of the ways seem so commonplace that the average person doesn’t see or hear them anymore....
You do not have to Soul Travel to be successful in ECK.”
Ask the Master, Book 1, p. 166
What is Soul Travel?
"Soul Travel is one of the foundations of ECKANKAR. It ranges from the unmistakable state of becoming aware of yourself in the Soul body, while traveling on one of the neighboring planes, to more subtle ones, such as having an insight into a concern that previously seemed beyond your abilities to solve.
The dynamic of Soul Travel is unforgettable for anyone who is able to have it. It occurs through the practice of the Spiritual Exercises of ECK."
Ask the Master, Book 1, p. 163
I would like to see my past lives. How do I go about this?
"When we practice the Spiritual Exercises of ECK faithfully, the Inner Master will open us up to those things that are important to see concerning past lives. Most of them need not concern us. No matter what we were in the past during any other life, we are spiritually greater today.…
We live the spiritual life beginning where we are today. We look to see the hand of Divine Spirit guiding us toward the greater consciousness, which leads us to becoming a more direct vehicle for Spirit.”
Ask the Master, Book 1, p. 59-60
Do you have any tips on past life study?
"I prefer that ECKists trace their past lives through their study of dreams. There are many reasons for this that time does not allow me to go into here.
To awaken such past-life dreams, make a note of things you greatly like or dislike. Do that also with people. Then watch your dreams. Also note if a certain country or century attracts you. There is a reason.”