Examiner.com: Dreams 101
Dreams 101: How to work with your dreams as spiritual practice
by Linda Mastrangelo
One of the more fascinating movements to emerge in recent decades is the study of dreams. This esoteric, if not indigenous, practice has certainly been around for much longer and yet we Westerners are hesitant to embrace this nocturnal sacred act that could very well hold the key to our shift in consciousness and perhaps even solve the daily challenges in our lives. Here are a few tips to truly map out your interior landscape in a way that can truly enrich, enhance and enable you to make more highly conscious choices for a mindful Self and ultimately a healthier community and planet. Also an excellent way to celebrate the Self and ring in the New Year.
- Embody the Dream This becomes a ritual each morning before you start the day. Sit with the dream (making sure to move into the same sleep position for better recall) to embody all its emotions(very important) and the senses like taste, touch, sight, sound and audio before writing it down.
- Honor the Dream. By keeping a dream journal we are in turn honoring and encouraging the dream. Personal preferance is a blank paged artist’s sketchbook to evoke freedom to play. One can sketch, color, paint, collage, illustrate using poetry, prose or myth: Basically whatever is the desired and/or appropriate medium to ground this dream. The subject of “dreams” is vast and includes visions, daydreams, waking dreams, hypnagogic and hypnopompic imagery, sensations etc… In other words, there are certainly variations or types of dreaming and you can pick up on these subtle nuances the longer you keep a journal.
- Share the Dream One of the most important aspects of dream practice is to bring the dream into the world. Most indigenous cultures would agree that dreams are a significant part of bringing the community together in terms of cosmology, spiritual/personal fulfillment, problem solving and connecting with the numinous aspects of Nature. Forming a dream group of your peers to share dreams with the intention as stated above is an excellent start. This could be any group that has a pressing social/spiritual/environmental issue that needs to be addressed (i.e. women’s issues, racism, education) and in any organization or facility like schools, hospitals, companies, etc… NOTE: Dreams are sacred and sharing dreams takes an innate sensitivity. Protocols for dream sharing can be found at the International Association for the Study of Dreams website.
- Dream Activism This is where the magic happens. By exchanging dreams we are in turn dreaming the dream into the world. We can dance the dream, act out the dream, paint the dream, recite the dream. We are moving the dream into the body, the mind and the spirit. It isn’t surprising that many inventions, scientific discoveries, composition both musically and literally have been discovered creatively in dreams. So why not move the dream into solving current issues in a holistic way? By grounding the dream we are creating community by bridging social and environmental activism with spirituality.
- Bring the Dream into the World We have taken all the steps but now we must bring the dreams out of the group and into the community in the form of service and wholeness. If we practice mindful dreaming we are in turn practicing mindful waking with the intention of shifting and expanding consciousness. Dreams are the maps to our true potentials as human beings: If we follow these maps we are in essence following our true natures. Dramatic shifts in perspectives in the Self as well as in others involved in dream group sharing has been well documented as incredibly affective for tapping the source of collective wisdom. In turn we are embodying the holistic relationship with the earth, others and self in the form of environmental sustainability, social justice and spiritual fulfillment.