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The NLP Dream Machine Procedure

Use this high tech procedure to stimulate your mind to generate new ideas and behaviours.


(Abby Eagle) Some years ago I came across a reference to a Buddhist meditation exercise in which the brain is stimulated in some way as to create a florid visualisation. The meditator then replaces the content of the visualisation with their desired content. In the Dream Machine procedure you learn to harness the mechanism of your natural day dreaming ability and use it to stimulate your genius faculties.

Some people may find the Dream Machine procedure challenging as it requires awareness of your internal state as it shifts throughout the day in order to access a naturally occurring visual process.

When we dream at night there is some awareness of the dream process but it is not until we wake up do we realise that we were dreaming. Likewise during the day most people experience moments where they are lost in their thought processes and it is only when they come out of the day dream do they have some awareness of what happened.

There are two main steps to the Dream Machine Procedure.

  1. Elicit the submodalities of a naturally occurring thought process that is highly creative and rich in imagery.
  2. Replace the content with that of something where you want to generate new ideas or behaviours.


Procedure for the NLP Dream Machine.

Step 1. Bring awareness to how you drift in and out of your thoughts.
Sit in meditation and bring your witnessing consciousness to how you drift in and out of your thoughts. Watch the internal dialogue and the imagery. Watch the content of the thinking and notice how the tonality of the internal dialogue combined with the imagery produces or is associated with the kinaesthetics.

Step 2. Bring awareness to how you drift in and out of your thoughts during the day. (Elicit a thought process that is highly creative and generates a positive outcome.)

Once you have developed some awareness of how you drift in and out of your thoughts during meditation then bring this awareness to how you drift in and out of your thoughts during the day.

Make a mental note of one of the instances when you were creatively daydreaming. Make a note of the time and place this occurred. Make a note of the surroundings, what you were doing at the time, whether you were alone or with people, laying down or sitting, eyes open or closed, and whether there were any ambient sounds?  What you are looking for is the context that triggers your brain towards its natural creative function of dreaming and fantasizing.

What you need to notice happening is that periodically you get lost in your thoughts for a few minutes and that some of these thought processes are intense enough to increase the rate of your breathing and heart rate.

You may only realise that you were lost in your thoughts when you come out of them and at this point you need to consciously acknowledge that you were in a dream state. You need to bring your full awareness to being present and then remember the content of your thoughts, in much the same way that you might force yourself to remember the content of a dream when you awake in the morning.

On reviewing the content of the day dream note how you were able to think about the past and future – to distort the past and imagine the future in a way that creates new behavioural outcomes and creates an emotional state. You need to acknowledge to yourself that you may have little control over the thinking process as yet but at least try and understand its structure.

Some of your thought processes may be negative some may be positive. The actual content is not that important. What you are after is a thought process that is highly creative and generates a positive outcome.

Step 3. Elicit the submodalities of your Dream Machine.
Once you have identified a suitable thought process then you need to elicit the visual, auditory and kinaesthetic submodalities. Where is the location of the picture in your visual field? Is it big or small, black and white or in colour; a still or a movie; are you looking out of your own eyes or seeing yourself in the picture? In the auditory channel is there more than one sound or voice, what is the location, volume, tonality, tempo, distance and so on?


Step 4. Prepare content for your Dream Machine.
There are two types of content that you could run through your Dream Machine. You may have an event in which you would like to create new behavioural choices or you may want to work towards achieving a desired outcome. Work on something that you can test within a matter of hours. The feedback will give you more content to work on.


Step 5. Run content through the Dream Machine.
Create a mental state that allows you to access your Dream Machine. You will need to put your self back into the context in which your natural dreaming ability occurs. This may include putting your body back into the same position. Then get the very beginning of your Dream Machine, insert your content and let it run by itself. In NLP terminology you are inserting new content into the submodalities of a creative thought process.


NLP Dream Machine Example.

In this example I use my creative faculties to analyse my understanding of electricity and then take it to a new level of understanding. The submodalities are not clearly defined but I have enough of an intuitive grasp of them to get the Dream Machine to work.

Step 1. Eliciting the submodalities of the creative thought process.

  • Laying on my bed for a 10 minute afternoon nap after a hard day in the office, getting ready to go shopping.
  • Not sure what kicks off the strategy.
  • I find myself thinking and wondering about the universal laws of existence: electricity, electromagnetism and gravity.
  • I am trying to understand how electrons move along the wires in a simple circuit such as a transistor radio and how the transistor works like an on/of switches. (I have a small borderless created image.)
  • Then I remember building a transistor radio as a child. Now I see an image of a small plywood speaker box with a red fabric cover. Other images come to mind to of an earpiece from an early twentieth century phone, bits of wires, switches and a dismantling an old radio set. (Images from my child hood.)
  • I am trying to understand how the electrons move between the components. (I am creating images and there is internal dialogue.)
  • Then I think about some school friends at High school who were making electrical devices in an after school class. At the time I marvelled at how they were able to master working with electricity. I wish I had known about this class before hand. (I focus in on key elements of the images. There is also internal dialogue.)
  • Then I think about students at a technical college who were making an electric motor. (Once again I focus in on elements of the image with an associated internal dialogue.)
  • Then I create a small image of an electrical armature against a backdrop of blackness. In my mind I wind wire on to the armature and connect a battery. The motor works. I see, hear and feel the vibration of the motor turning. It feels good.


Step 2. Running new content through the Dream Machine.

  • The present situation: I remember chatting with a woman for a few minutes at a checkout in a supermarket. She was friendly and afterwards I felt that I could have squeezed more juice from the opportunity.
  • The desired outcome: I want to develop more flexibility in my communications with people in general and have more fun and playfulness in casual encounters.
  • I step back from the memory so that I can see myself in the picture and move my perceptual  position to the side so that I can see both myself and the woman. I have difficulty in creating an image of myself so I remember seeing a reflection of myself in a shop window before I went into the shop. I insert this image of myself into the picture with the woman.
  • I take the image of myself with the woman in the shop and put it into the submodalities of the Dream Machine right at the beginning where I see electrons moving along wires in the circuitry.
  • Automatically a rapid series of still images is created in which there is a natural progression of communication that occurs when you make a new friend, exchanging telephone numbers, addresses, ideas, and then moving onwards to other social activities such as sharing a video, dinner etc.
  • At a meta level I am trying to develop a new understanding of the dynamics between myself and the woman. I listen to our conversations, see how the two bodies respond to each other and feel the energy.


The only difference between a genius like Einstein, a mystic like Buddha and you, is how you use your brain and mind. __ © Author Abby Eagle


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