Don’t think, just look….(Ludwig Wittgenstein)
In a stream of consciousness style, write for ten minutes without stopping the movement of your pen.
Mirror the dream by reflecting upon the images with as many observations and details as possible.
Riff with whatever thoughts present themselves. Is there at least one image in the dream which has no split and offers a reflection of unity?
Archive for the DREAM JOURNAL EXERCISES Category
Since we get a “free” extra day this year, perhaps we can honor it by relinquishing control and allow ourselves to jump from one place to another, vault over obstacles, leap into the dark spaces and spring into action!
Write for 10 minutes. In a few condensed sentences, write about what happened in the dream. Leave out the details. Focus on the Action. Who did What? Where? How? When? How does the dream end?
Riff about what is going to happen next in the dream? Open up your expectations and assumptions. Riff about what would happen if…. ??? Take a Take a Leap of Faith as you let your mind wander in a stream of consciousness.
Each dream has a particular environment, atmosphere or ambiance with its own unique qualities. Within the inner life, there is no separation between our minds, our bodies and the spaces we inhabit. The ground we walk upon or the architecture we inhabit, has a voice as vibrant as any of the characters in the dream. When we animate the landscape, we invite the indwelling spirit of our surroundings to come forth. The setting of a dream has the spirit of place and the presence of our souls.
Take ten minutes to write in a stream of consciousness…
How do the dream characters view the world and their place in it?
The Ouroboros is an ancient symbol depicting a dragon, snake or serpent swallowing its own tail to sustain its life in an eternal cycle of renewal. It appears in a circular form which symbolizes the cyclic nature of the universe: Creation out of Destruction, Life out of Death. The Ouroboros is a symbol for the integration and assimilation of opposites in which we incorporate our shadow. This ‘feedback’ process is parallel to the experience of working with dreams throughout our lives.
In our dreams, we often seem to be chasing our own tail in the repetitive themes of our lives. We feel condemned to recurring cycles of our life patterns. Yet, the perpetual movement of our dream narratives create a self-fertilization for self healing. As we track our dreams, we sense the cyclic pattern which continually returns, like the Ouroboros, to our beginnings in an eternal homecoming. The enigma of the dream is like the paradox of the Ouroboros who symbolizes “The One” that emerges from opposites – the beginning that originates from its own end.
Drop all of your preconceived notions about the “meaning” of your dream. Allow found images from magazines to guide you. Just as our dreams point to what is possible, allow found images and text to invite what is probable. Use the pictures to make a collage page in your journal. Through free association of feelings, relationships and memories, allow your inner Ouroboros to point toward the unity of transformation and integration. “Shift Happens” by simply swallowing your own tale.
Pandora was originally an earth goddess whose name means giver of all gifts. Her symbol was originally a honey vase filled with blessings; the source of all things. Her story DEVOLVED in a mythic inversion during the shift from matriarchy to patriarchy during the Hellenic Period. Pandora was demoted from her revered status as a goddess who gave all good things to men. She was transformed into a mortal woman who introduced every conceivable evil to mankind. Her gifted feminine nature was turned into a shameful and deceitful complexion.
Curiosity is the most fundamental key to creative DreamWork. Those of us who explore our interior worlds are guided by a sense of wonder for the strange and fascinating worlds within. Release some aspect of the dream that seems stored or trapped. When you dare to open your dream, what energy are you are releasing? Is it something fragile, fearsome, precious, or secret? Does your thirst for self-knowledge become a Pandora’s Box? Is your innate inquisitiveness an invitation to unforeseen complications? Does the opening of your dream reveal a gift or a curse?
Write for ten minutes and see what spills out.
Thanksgiving is the time of the year when our thoughts turn to the measure of grace in our lives. Grace is bestowed upon us without our conscious control or our egocentric will.
Yet, grace most often comes into our lives through unexpected dangers, toils and snares. Dreams most often come as perplexing or nightmarish narratives.
Neither Grace nor Dream can be created from desire or intention.
We explore dream journal techniques to acknowledge that the divine, omnipotent, omniscient cosmic spirit of Grace is always present in our dreamings.
Is there a moment of balance, beauty, purity, or simplicity in one of your dreams? Is there a sense of kindness or compassion? Is there a point of reconciliation? Is there an inexplicable spirit or presence that hovers through the dream landscape? Is there some quality of effortless renewal in your dream?
Unlike Inspiration that often comes as a lightening bolt, Grace comes as a whisper. Grace is the ultimate mystery of the universe. Allow found images from magazines to help you find hidden aspects of Grace in your dream.
Surrender yourself to what you find and open yourself to what finds you. Embellish and beautify these precious, unexpected images in your journal.
Although most experienced Dreamers know that dreams mirror our deepest truths, we often awake confused by symbols and situations that reverse our notions of integrity and morality. As long as the ego interferes, we experience a world of opposites. We are often confronted by a reversal in a mirror world that shows up as a split, a distortion, a double image or a duality. The maiden appears as a crone, the prince appears as a beast. Yet, the dream reflects a self portrait – if we care to look deeply into it.
EXPLORATIONThe Mirror… is without ego and without mind… It receives and reflects back what is there— nothing more or nothing less… It does not evaluate, judge or act… If we are to see as [the Dream] sees, we must first become mirrors. We must become no-thing so that we can receive some-thing…. Richard Rohr
In a stream of consciousness style, write for ten minutes without stopping the movement of your pen. Mirror the dream by reflecting upon the images with as many observations and details as possible. Riff with whatever thoughts present themselves. Is there at least one image in the dream which has no split and offers a reflection of unity?
Anima Mundi is the soul of the world. It is the animating spirit in all matter and nature in the same way that the soul is the animating spirit in the human being. Similar to the Anima Mundi, every dream image, sensation, location is inextricably united with spirit. When we acknowledge the living presence within the dream, we can shift our attitude toward the landscape, the creatures, the sensations, the objects, the relationships, and the activities. We can dissolve the boundaries between the self and what we perceive as “other.” We can transform our sensations and experiences by viewing the dream world from a multitude of other perspectives.
Bring your dream images alive. Make a list poem with each of the images (both animate and inanimate.) Begin each line with “I am.” Endow every image with a voice.
In waking life, there are many aspects of ourselves that we don’t want to face. Often these characteristics project themselves in dreams onto “the bad guy”, “the evil one”, “the dark shadow”, “the one that doesn’t acknowledge us”.
Create a scapegoat to carry the burden of emotional attachments and old patterns reflected by characters and events in your dream. Expressive image-making invites us to release the anger, the fear, the neglect, the haunting memories within our dreams.
Find a contemplative space by a river or a body of water. Bind branches and stones and nature’s ephemera together to make a sacrificial bundle. Tie up the sorrows and guilty feelings that weigh upon your dream characters. Create a ritual scapegoat to carry the frustrations and injustices within the dream narrative.
Cast your scapegoat onto the waters.
Release, forgive, absolve.
A dream is a microcosm of time, memory and space. Each dream holds a simultaneous reflection of the body, the soul, the waking life and the unconscious. Dreams encode multiple layers of meanings that can be understood on infinite levels.
Diagram multiple levels of your dream around a central axis. Use circles, squares, crosses, triangles and spirals to create concentric shapes. Scribble words, make marks and patterns to create a symbolic language that express the multiple layers of feelings and impressions from the dream. Work from the outer layer inward toward the center.
Write for ten minutes with a still, calm voice from the center of your dream. Speak about your journey inward toward your most sacred center.
When we care for our dreams in a similar manner to cultivating a garden, we invite understanding to grow. Dreams are a fertile plot of ground where tremendous growth and expansion takes place from small beginnings. Like gardening, DreamWork takes time and patience. Often we have to dig in the dirt. Persistence in confronting the weeds in the garden is similar to keeping the demons from growing in our psyches. The dream gardener must be vigilant.
Find a quiet space inside yourself for a few moments for writing in your journal.
• What kind of care is needed for your positive dream images to grow and thrive?
• Which dream images appear as destructive predators, pests or weeds? What kind of boundaries must be created to control them?
Each dream offers images that either hold or withhold the freedom to act, to speak or to think. Invite psyche to reveal all aspects of your dream that pertain to issues of freedom or the lack of it. What are the old laws restraints, regulations and old patterns that have governed your dreams?
Independence day is a day of liberation from dependency and external control. This is a day for release from restrictive attachments.
WRITE A DREAMER’S DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE!
Like a museum, a dream is a repository of ancestral connections, memories, recollections, and reminiscences. Like a museum, a dream is filled with fragile relics, peculiar old stuff, things remembered and things forgotten.
Collage or draw journal pages that resemble museum exhibits. Create memorabilia, souvenirs, keepsakes, relics and specimens of each of the dream images. Record memories, reminiscences and experiences from the dim recesses of the mind.
Each dream is like a seed of potential, a new beginning where tremendous growth and expansion take place from small beginnings. As with the fruits and flowers, some dreams return year after year. Others must be planted in the dark time and allowed to germinate throughout the long dark winter. Some must be grown from fresh ideas in the spring. When we care for our dreams in a similar manner to cultivating a garden, we invite understanding to grow.
EXPLORATIONFind a quiet space in the landscape for contemplation. Create an imaginary garden from the images in your dream. Is your garden formal, natural or wild? Which issues in the dream are perennial and return year after year? Which issues have been planted for the first time? What kind of care is needed for your dream garden to grow and thrive?
A castle is an impregnable fortress that has been built for self defense. It is a structure of security with thick walls surrounding an inaccessible inner refuge. Like a dream, it is difficult to approach. In fairy tales, myths and dreams, a castle may represent the heart’s desire or the innermost fortress of the soul. Like a spiritual quest, a castle may represent a fearful challenge or a shining goal.
Recast your dream images within the atmosphere of a fairy tale castle. Take ten minutes to rearrange your dream images so that they fit the archetypal structures of an inner refuge. Write about the dream as if you are penetrating the walls of an enigmatic stone fortress.
In dreams, as in life, the truth is prey to inherent conflicts. The complex structure of a dream allows us to explore the fallibility of our inner contradictions by shifting our points of view.
Allow several dream images to recount their version of the dream. Images can be characters, animals or inanimate objects. How many versions of this dream can be told from different points of view?Truth is One, Paths are Many. Sri Swami Satchidananda
LIFE, WHAT IS IT BUT A DREAM?
Burning with curiosity, Alice follows the white rabbit into a strange and curious land of dreams. She travels through a lopsided world that doesn’t obey logical rules. She wonders if she has changed in the night. If she is not the same, who in the world is she?
Alice converses with herself, pretending to be two people as she tries to make sense of this strange upside-down, inside-out world. She has odd conversations with characters and animated objects that she meets along her journey. Although she tries very hard to remain sane and logical, she is often misunderstood and confronted by irritable creatures that pose riddles and unreasonable commands.
Your Mission Should You Choose to Accept It…
Allow Alice to fall into your dream and to wander as an observer though your dreamscape. Invite her to narrate her journey. Listen to her as she politely asks questions of each of the dream images. In your journal, faithfully record the questions and the responses which may or may not make any sense at all.
As civilized members of society, we present ourselves as nice, unselfish, polite, noncompetitive and obedient. But our dream selves are untamed, selfish, impulsive, competitive, and awkward. We often hide these secret parts of ourselves. Over time, our hidden layers of protection become more complex with time. Unfortunately, some of the best parts of our secret selves become concealed as well. The dream provides a mirror image of this shadowy realm with all of its treasures. We project the best and the worst of ourselves onto the images in our dreams.
YOUR MISSION SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT…
Write for ten minutes about the dark undercurrents in your dream. Express all of your pent up feelings. Dare to be wild, spontaneous and raw. Pry open your closely guarded secrets. Give voice to all that has been lying dormant.
The heart is symbolically the center of emotion, love, compassion, desire, faith and hope. The heart is also the energetic center of the life force in the body. It maintains the flow. Within the heart of each dream, no matter how perplexing or fearful, there is a core of knowing that is always present with spiritual illumination, truth, moral courage, and understanding.
Your Mission, Should You Choose to Accept it….
Write a love letter from one of the dream images. Describe the dream journey as you transform toxic images and allow them to become replenished with fresh energy. Speak about the most vital, most essential, vigorous inner core of the dream. Speak of the life force in the center that never changes.
In the matrix of our dream stories, there is no distinction between important events and insignificant details. Every component of the dream has equal weight – Each substance, situation and environment encapsulates a vital piece of information.
YOUR MISSION SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT…
Become a photographer with a telephoto lens or a scientist with a microscope. Zoom in with a magnifying lens. Observe how your dream images change proportions when you get very close.
Make a list of the smallest images and dream details that appear insignificant, inconsequential or unimportant. Write for ten minutes about one or more obscure dream features. You might find some surprises!
Janus is an ancient deity with two faces. His shrines are found at the crossroads. He is the Guardian of the Gate through which we must pass at the beginning of the year. He reminds us that as we meditate on new beginnings, we also must ponder over the endings.
Janus is the presiding deity who holds the knife that cuts both ways in the dream. This spirit’s blessing is necessary for embarking upon any fresh outlook or new venture in the new year.
YOUR MISSION SHOULD YOU ACCEPT IT….
Create a pair of journal pages in which you explore the past and the future of one of your dream images.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -Joseph Campbell
The Ouroboros is an ancient symbol depicting a dragon, snake or serpent swallowing its own tail to sustain its life in an eternal cycle of renewal. The enigma of the dream is like the paradox of the Ouroboros who emerges from the clash of opposites – the beginning that originates from its own end. This ‘feedback’ process is parallel to the experience of working with dreams throughout our lives.
The perpetual cyclic nature of our dream narratives can create a self-fertilization for the integration and assimilation of “the opposite” in which we incorporate our shadow.
Your Mission should You Choose to Accept it….
Drop your preconceive notions about the recurring themes in your dreams and in your life.Turn your dream situations upside down and inside out. Balance your assumptions about the meaning of your dream by visualizing polar opposites. Nothing is fixed or unalterable in the world of dreams. “Shift Happens” by simply wandering through the dreamscape.
The Three Magi were Zoroastrian Persian Priests who could interpret dreams. As they were looking for a sign to guide them to the birth place of God incarnate, a star more brilliant than all others aroused their adoration. The Star of Bethlehem beamed with a brightness that illuminated the darkness with the light of divine grace.
The Three Magi followed the star to the birthplace of Jesus. Upon their arrival in Bethlehem, they offered precious gifts.
YOUR MISSION SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT…
Find or create a gift to present to one of your compelling dream images from 2010. The gift can be an object that sits on your dream altar; or a photo, drawing or collage in your dream journal.
A shrine is a place of worship where one can find communion, peace, forgiveness, assistance, atonement, repentance, healing, and love. The altar is a container for cherished treasures, keepsakes, mementos and antiquities that have survived the passage of time. It holds objects that honor deities and the memory of loved ones.
The dream, like a shrine, is a container for relics. It holds a collection of memories, emotions, hopes and beliefs. So often, all that remains of our dreams are fragments, yet each image, like a token on an altar, is imbued with powerful vestiges of feelings and associations.
Regardless of your affection or repulsion for the dream images, consider the power within each of the dream images.
Create a shrine to honor the sweet, the bitter, the painful, the mysterious and the sacred dream images.