Dreamwork: Good for Self-Integration & Self-Transcendence

Dreams are today's answers to tomorrow's dreams.

Go Within for Answers

John Welwood in his well-informed book Toward a Psychology of Awakening, notes that full human potential is realized when there is a combination of self-integration and self-transcendence.  Psychology has concerned itself with the former and spirituality with the latter. They are considered to be two entirely different areas of growth that are traditionally developed with different practice approaches.  For example, exposure therapy may be used in psychology to overcome fear and meditation is used in spiritual practice to move beyond the limitations of the waking mind.

On reading Welwood’s book, I am thinking that dreamwork may be a methodology which can be applied to both the integration of the self and the transcendence of self, even though these are two different areas for growth.  Dreamwork can be used to deal with psychological issues as well as spiritual ones, making it a particularly potent practice.  It’s not for nothing that Freud called dreams the Royal Road to the Unconscious.  Dreams can also access different energies and levels of consciousness both within each of us and also in the wider energy matrix that interconnects us all.

Dreamwork as a Methodology for Self-Integration

Dreamwork is well known for acquainting the dreamer with various hidden aspects of him or herself.  Just the mere dreamwork practice of considering all things in the dream to be representative of one’s own various energies allows the dreamer to notice and acknowledge things and behaviors previously unaware to the dreamer.  These newly discovered energies, once acknowledged, can be harnessed for a deeper understanding of life’s problems and offer more tools for living life.

Dreamwork as a Methodology for Self-Transcendence

A dream may be given or requested which can provide guidance or a solution, or offer a far greater vision that allows one to rise above the limitations of a binding mindset or a complicated situation.  The power of the dream provides new insights and even healing that change the game entirely.  A combination of both insight and healing totally changes one’s understanding of the body, psyche and spirit.   Also in dreamtime, one may encounter spiritual guides which lead a person on a journey of spiritual growth and deeper awareness.    One may actually develop a “working relationship” with these guides that can later reoccur during meditation or dreamtime.

The power of dreams is truly amazing but dreamwork is work requiring courage and consistency.  It is a practice that if done faithfully and diligently can help one to both self-integrate and self-transcend. Dreams can indeed answer many kinds of questions, spiritually and psychologically, to grow more fully human.

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Dreamwork & Meditation: Experiential Practices to Access the True Self

Recording dreams regularly will provide many insights not otherwise available to the waking mind.

Recording Dreams: A Form of Dreamwork

In a Spiritual Book Club I am facilitating, the members selected a very profound and experienced-based book by John Welwood called Toward a Psychology of Awakening.  At the start, Welwood makes the point that his Christian upbringing (and it is my personal opinion, many of our Christian upbringings) did not provide experiential practice for realizing our true natures even though there was wonderful ritual and music.  As a result, Welwood, like me and many in my generation, turned to Asian religions and other sources for insight.  Even today, I personally believe this is the primary reason why serious seekers are not attracted to the mainline Christian religions: there is often too much emphasis on the organization, joining it, being a member, and contributing to it—when what people really want is an experience of the divine!

In studying Buddhism at the graduate level, I was fortunate to have mentors who were well versed not only in meditation but also in working with dreams.  For me, it was primarily through dreamwork that I first developed a spiritual methodology that gave me a deeply meaningful experiential access to the spiritual life and its healing.  Later, through meditation, I experienced the power of intuition and other states of consciousness that inform one of the wide and awesome nature of our true being.  With such experience, the scriptures, rituals and music had all the more meaning!  I could personally relate to the stories of salvation and God’s presence in our lives.  These no longer seemed like myths and fairy tales.  Religion was no longer about following the rules or joining a group but about living a rich experience-based life with fellow seekers.

I think that if Christianity is to thrive, it will have to incorporate experiential practices such as dreamwork and meditation into regular activities such as bible class and Sunday school.

One of Intuition’s Gifts

Art often comes out of chaos.“In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order.” – Carl Jung

This interesting quote inspired some thoughts this morning.  When what it is important to us ends, like life, a marriage, a meaningful job, or even dearly held hopes or dreams, the world can seem to be in chaos.  We may feel that everything is falling apart and that our connection to what is real is broken.  We feel lost and alone.  In such moments it is really important to take some time be to choose to be apart, to separate ourselves from the daily grind, and affirm that feeling of disconnection. 

Ironically, it’s often by removing ourselves to a quiet place, and sitting in meditation, releasing all thoughts and concerns about the brokenness of everything, that we may experience in the peace something of the underlying order that is supporting us at all moments.  At these times, intuition may open, giving us the gift of the supporting sea of consciousness, which eventually offers hints at new directions and possibilities—and a new emerging order despite the possibility we may go through a long time sitting with the pain of the chaos.

The Call to Change As Seen in Dreams

Dreams call us to change.

Don’t sleep through your dreams!

Recently, American public life has shown how accepting so many people have become to the low moral standards both in themselves and in the public figures they elect.  One wonders how far it will go before there is a momentous push in the other direction, when a huge number of people finally say “Enough is enough” and wake up and take a stand.  Seeing the need for change in oneself and in society signifies growth in awareness.  Where does this perception first come from?

Dreams Call Us to Change

One of the primary functions of dreams is to call us to our truest and best self—and this is often at odds with what the ego wants.  Our conscience often speaks most clearly in dreams, unfettered by the ego’s desires.  One could say that our guardian angel appears in dreams in various disguises to help us on our way.  When we are going down a path not meant for us, a dream will let us know—assuming we are paying attention.  If we don’t make an effort to remember our dreams or take them seriously, we could miss this message all together.  Sometimes I think so many people ignore or don’t want to remember their dreams because they inherently know that their dreams might be calling them to take a road they are not taking in waking life, such as standing up for what is right.

Examples of Dreams Calling for Change

Many years ago I began a relationship with a man whom I enjoyed being with for his charm, intelligent conversation and good looks.  I knew I was probably getting more involved with him than I should because I really wasn’t in love with him and had no plans for a serious, long-term relationship.  One night I had a dream of Big Bird, the TV character, standing in front of me wagging his finger in disapproval.   While this was in no way threatening, but actually a little comical, it sent me a strong message to change and get out of this relationship.   A bird is often a dream symbol for the soul so to have a big bird, my higher self, communicate something like this to me was a real “wake up call.”

Another similar dream occurred when I was extremely angry at the breakup of another relationship, almost to the point that I didn’t recognize my feelings but were engulfed in them like a fish is in sea, taking it all for granted.  During this time I had a dream of a funny little man dressed in black who spoke to me in a stern and commanding voice, saying “Don’t be so angry!  You nearly missed coming down with a serious disease!”  That dream really jolted me awake, and made me also realize there must be a relationship between negative emotions and illnesses.  I vowed to let go of my anger, realizing my health was more important than indulging in negative emotions, with the result that my life has continued for many years with great health.

How are your dreams calling you to change?

Are You Pissing? Anger as Seen in Dreams

Dreams help us repond rather than react.

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Anger is often a feeling that is suppressed, especially by women, because it may not be considered socially acceptable for woman to display, express or channel anger in ways that men can.  This is often true in Asian cultures.  The need for such courses like Anger Management testifies to the difficulty of recognizing and controlling anger in a healthy manner.  Uncontrolled, reactive outbursts of rage and anger from a seemingly calm and collected person suggest anger has always been there but it has been denied, hidden or used in a passive manner that is not so obvious.  This lack of expression of anger can lead to serious consequences, especially if the pent-up rage explodes in a violent or abusive manner.

Dreams are A Good Way to Spot Hidden Anger

Dreams can alert a person to hidden or denied anger, so that the aware dreamer may be less susceptible to being victim on his or her sudden, uncontrolled outbursts.   If the dreamer actually dreams of acting in a violent or angry way in a dream, this is a sure indication of anger growing in waking life.  These are obvious signs that the dreamer needs to get in touch with his or her feelings before this behavior manifests in waking life.  When the dreamer is aware of his or her dream content, the dreamer has a better chance of expressing his or her anger in a creative, constructive way rather than a violent or abuse way by reflecting on the causes of the anger and doing dreamwork such as talking about the anger to supportive persons.  A creative response to an anger-filled situation can bring healing both to the dreamer and to others involved.

Other Signs of Anger in Dreams

Dreams of going to the bathroom, or needing to go, indicate there are negative energies that need to be released.  Dreams often use puns to get their message across.  Dreams of peeing or “pissing” use a common pun to suggest the dreamer is “pissed off.”  If you dream of pissing, ask yourself what you are pissed off about in your waking like.  You might also check the predominant color in a pissing dream.   If you are in a particularly bright red bathroom, your anger may be related to first chakra issues like survival because red is the color most often associated with the first chakra.  Are you angry about not getting a good job—or losing a good job?  If the urine in your dream is bright yellow, it might mean it is related to the third or power chakra which is associated with the color yellow.  Could you be angry about feeling helpless in a frustrating situation?  Peeing a bright yellow stream might also mean that like in waking life, you are not getting enough fluids or nutrition (support) to clear out your negative waste—in other words you may feel you are not getting enough support on issues connected to your anger.

Watch your dreams.  They can be your best friend for helping you keep your head–and help you respond in a healthy way.  They tell you much about your emotional state and leave you much better prepared to deal with difficult situations in constructive and creative ways.

Treating the Symptoms of Kundalini Clearing Energy

Essential oils and herbs can help with kundalini clearing symptoms.

Image via Pinterest.

Many people are fascinated by kundalini for its many health and spiritual benefits.  It is known that the energy improves health, promotes longevity and gives paranormal gifts like ESP, the ability to see auras and angels, etc.

For those who actually experience a kundalini awakening, they often do receive these benefits ; however, what they are most often faced with is the profound clearing of negative energy that can take place over a long period of time—energy that often is released with uncomfortable physical accompaniments of “clearing” through bodily processes such as loose bowel movements, nose and chest congestion, headaches, and a host of other discomforts that may last a brief or a significantly long amount of time.

While you are undergoing such a clearing, you may think you have come down with the flu or have caught a cold.  One way to tell this isn’t so is that you actually don’t look sick!  Quite the contrary, you may have a glowing look of health as the body actually rids itself of the negative energy that has been held in memory in the body’s cells.  While you feel off, a good thing is actually happening in your body.

In my experience, at times like this, one should not take the usual stomach, cold or flu medications for these events—this will only add to the substances the body will need to discharge.  It is important to drink plenty of healthy fluids such as water to help with the clearing and try to take it easy by not adding any unnecessary physical activities.  I have found that essential oils and herbs may help ease the symptoms a bit.

What are some other ways to know you are experiencing a clearing and not a cold?

Because so few people in the medical profession understand kundalini, most people with kundalini clearing symptoms will be diagnosed with a cold or the flu, and the usual medications will be prescribed.  Here, the person with the symptoms has to make the final call as to what is actually happening to him or her and decide how to use the medication and if it really helps.  Sometimes, I have found that the medication doesn’t actually work because a cold isn’t what is causing the problem.  While not wanting to challenge the authority of the medical profession, fortunately, there are other ways to get accurate information on a phenomenon not usually recognized by the health professions.  Dreams and insights obtained from intuitive meditation can give you the correct diagnosis, especially if you have learned to trust these avenues of information.  For example, if you have dreams of needing to use the restroom, this is a clear sign you have negative energy that needs to be released.  Also, asking for a dream to give a specific diagnosis to your ailment is possible.  Just make the prayer or intention to have such a dream before you go to bed.  Or before you enter meditation, ask for inspiration that will provide the answers you need.  You may be surprised how helpful your dreams and insights can be!

Spicing Up the Chakras in Dreams

Spicing Up the Chakras in Dreams

Image via Pinterest.

In Healing the Chakras in Dreams, I stated that the condition and work of the main seven chakras can be reflected in dreams.  For example, if one dreams of urinating in a bright red bathroom; it could indicate that one is clearing anger about survival issues, or “pissing” in the realm of the first chakra which often manifests itself through the color red, especially when survival issues are at stake.  Through dreams, we can become more aware of the state of our chakras and do something about healing them.  The color in dreams give clues to the chakras because each chakra has is its own color.  Note the color and you can recognize the chakra and issues of that chakras.  (See Healing the Chakras in Dreams for the color correlations.)

One of the ways we can heal chakras is to feed and spice (energize) them, and this can also be done in dreams. The reason is that dreams essentially convey healing energy from centers of energies beyond our own energy field such as divine energy and the energy of loving people.

One way to tell if your chakras are being fed is to dream of eating.  If you dream of eating really delicious-looking, healthy food such as bright colored veggies, it could be a sign that your chakra energy fields are being fed.  For example, last night I had a dream I was digging into a big dish of some beautiful red and green peppers.  In fact, I did eat some red and green peppers the other day and found them to be delicious.  No doubt that inspired the dream.  What the dream was trying to tell me was exactly that:  the activities of my life (and perhaps choosing to eat healthy food was part of it) were feeding the energy of the first chakra (which is red) and the heart chakra (which is green.)  I do know these are two energy centers seemed depleted recently due to challenges and setbacks, so I certainly could use a boost in these areas to keep me confident and courageously open-hearted in my day-to-day endeavors!

Meeting Your Kundalini Guides in Dreams

Dreams can help one meet kundalini energy guides.

Image via Pinterest.

A kundalini awakening is a major existential event meant to bring profound change of body, mind and spirit.  One thing is for sure: very little of a person’s “being” will remain the same as the kundalini energy works its way through the body and into one’s life.  Most likely, there will be significant upheavals felt in all areas of life, particularly in one’s career life if one is not already working in a compassionate, service-oriented, creative field.

If ever there was a “This isn’t Kansas anymore” event, the kundalini awakening is it.  It is no wonder that in India kundalini devotees sought out gurus or guides to help them manage the strong energy animating and energizing their being, and make appropriate decisions for living and working with this energy.

For persons living outside of India who experience a kundalini breakthrough, getting a reliable guru can be problematic.  Many people in the Western medical and helping professions like physicians and psychologists haven’t even heard of kundalini, and the chances of being diagnosed with and erroneously treated for some other condition are highly probable.

Dreams Can Introduce You to Your Guides

Because the kundalini experience is so basic and true to the nature of the person, such an event would be long predicted at the dream level for the purpose of preparing the dreamer for this new spiritual development.  Dreams of snakes coming to the dreamer, atomic explosions, lightning rods, and volcanic eruptions may herald the onset of a kundalini awakening.  Along with or after these kinds of dreams, guides will appear who seem to have a connection to the onset of kundalini energy.

Examples: I dreamed of two male guides who wore light blue, close-fitting suits like in the Star Trek TV series.  On their sleeves they wore patches decorated with a lightning rod that gave me a clue they were related to kundalini.  They were guiding me to work situations where my kundalini experience would be of value.  This was a tremendous need at the time because I had been working in a high-stress corporate environment which is nearly impossible to do while experiencing kundalini.  I needed a new career.  A number of years later, I dreamed of these same two guides leading me to another work situation where the kundalini experience would be very valuable in helping people.

Look for Your Guides in Dreams & Request to Meet Them in Dreams

So if you are experiencing kundalini energy, be on the outlook for guides in your dreams that can help you in ways you need helping.  You might even ask to meet such a guide by making such a request before you do to bed at night.

Dreams Help Us See the Bigger Picture

While reading the biblical story of Joseph welcoming his brothers into Egypt years after they had sold him into slavery (Genesis 45:1-15), and noticing his forgiving and gracious reception of those who did him in, it was clear to see that Joseph understood the bigger picture of God’s plan in the awful treatment his brothers gave him.  Joseph held no grudges or desire for revenge.  Instead, he welcomed his brothers, saying “God sent me here to preserve life.”  He was able to offer his brothers refuge in Egypt from the famine that was rampant.

Joseph was a famous dreamer of dreams.  He had vivid prophetic dreams which told him early on he would have power over his older siblings.  This, of course, is what added fuel to the flames of sibling rivalry, resulting in his being sold into slavery.  Later, Joseph’s dreams and ability to interpret dreams won him Pharaoh’s favor in Egypt.  In other words, Joseph knew all along his troubles would lead him to greatness, even though he probably suffered greatly when his dreams seemed far from having anything to do with reality.  However, he kept the faith and believed in his dreams.

Being in touch with one’s dreams over a long period of time gives one clues to the major themes, meanings, challenges, loves and tragedies of one’s life.  Much of this drama is played out ahead of time in dreamtime if one is only “awake” enough to witness it, record it and remember it.  As they say, the story is not nearly so scary when there is an inkling of the ending, and the drama doesn’t dominate one so much.  An aware dreamer like Joseph is able to act with kindness because he or she understands the deeper meanings already suggested in dreamtime.

Joseph’s ability to see the big picture of his life surely made him understand that resentments, grudges and revenge had no place in the greater drama of God’s plan as shown to him in dreams.  It lifted him above the level of cruelty and pettiness of his siblings to a higher consciousness where God gave him the grace to act well on a grand stage.  If we are in touch with our dreams, they will guide us through the story of our lives, helping us to act with dignity and graciousness even in the worst of times.

Meditation Classes: Heart Centering, Relaxation and Visualization for Health

Spiritual Life Program at St. Mary's, Honolulu

Grow Spiritual Seeds

Starting Classes on Meditation!

Many thanks to your generosity, we are starting our first class on Thursday, Aug. 31, 6:30 pm at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 2062 S. King St., Honolulu, HI  96826. Topic: Heart Centering & Relaxation Meditations. The second will be the following Thursday, same time and place. Topic: Visualization Meditations for Better Health. BOTH CLASSES ARE FREE! So please come and tell others.

If you want to support more classes like these to grow spiritual seeds please visit https://www.gofundme.com/StMary-SpiritualLife or make a check to St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, send to same at 2062 S. King St., Honolulu, HI 96826 and put “Spiritual Life Program/Ministries” on the memo line. A BIG MAHALO!