mamculuna: (Default)
( Mar. 29th, 2005 06:03 pm)
So many various people on my flist have been posting about dreams lately. Dreams fascinate me--one of my best experiences was being in a dream interpretation group. This particular group worked on Jungian premises (as developed by Jeremy Taylor) with some assumptions that I still find very helpful, especially when I have a disturbing dream:

1) that all dreams come in the service of health and wholeness;
2) that no dream comes simply to tell the dreamer what he or she already knows;
3) that only the dreamer can say with certainty what meanings a dream may hold;
4) that there is no such thing as a dream with only one meaning;
5) that all dreams speak a universal language, a language of metaphor and symbol

(From Taylor, Where People Fly and Water Flows Uphill)

What I found so helpful in this group was learning the language of my own dreams, which I did mainly by keeping a dream journal and by discussing dreams and interpretations with other people, allowing me to see my own patterns by contrast with theirs. For example, I had a long period where every dream had in it somewhere an old house--which I was always outside of. Eventually I found that for me, the house was the shelter of a family, and I came to realize that the marriage I'd been holding on to was not giving me that shelter that I needed, and that I needed to be free to find it. Dreamwork wasn't the only thing that led me to that realization, of course, but it definitely helped!

As with the symbols of the tarot, the images in dreams that are often shocking and horrifying often actually carry hopeful or at helpful messages from ourselves to ourselves--stuff we know but avoid seeing because the knowledge entails big changes that we're reluctant to make. The horror of the images doesn't necessarily mean that the message is horrible, but that we must remember and pay attention to the message. In some of my old house dreams, the houses were frightening, haunted, or I was pursued and trying to escape into the houses but was locked out. But I think the message I had to see was not the danger of ghosts or pursuers, but my need for a house. Which, by the way, I have now (in the symbolic sense of a sheltering family--that would be my husband. I actually owned a house at the time of the dreams).

Lately, however, I've been looking at the world through Buddhist eyes. I've found this commentary on dreams from that perspective: http://www.urbandharma.org/udharma7/dreams.html (which mentions Taylor et al.) Not sure where it will take me.

Would be very interested to hear how others approach dreams and working with them.
mamculuna: (Default)
( Jan. 18th, 2004 09:33 am)
Should not have read one of the Sandman books before going to bed last night, especially not down here, at the beach with just me and my sister and a howling wind. Not that it was a terrible dream, just an incredibly vivid one )

and then the wind in the trees woke me to a dark rainy morning.
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