Sacred Moments in Dreams

Dreams can bring sacred moments that help us through difficult times.

What are some of your sacred moments that have sustained you?

We all need sustaining visions that will get us through the worst times and give us clues to the good things that are to come.  Ironically, it is often when we begin to go through difficult times, the veil is lifted from our eyes and we are given the grace, a “sacred moment” that gives us the strength to undergo any ordeal we must face.  I remember a woman telling me that she was very nervous before a surgery to remove a cancer.  As she prayed in the hospital bed, waiting to be taken to the operating room, she had a vision of light that came into the room and surrounded her.  It gave her great comfort, so she was able to undergo the surgery with great peace.

One way we can experience profound sacred moments is in dreams.  Almost everyone I’ve met has had some dream that is profoundly spiritual and sacred to the person who has had the dream.  They may dream of flying effortlessly or they may dream of Jesus coming to visit them.  They may dream they are healed of some shame or regret they once had.

My experience has been that the very special dreams we have are meant to prepare us either for a special mission, an ordeal like a surgery or a difficult transformation.  For example, a dying person may dream of someone special, a loved one who has already died, coming for them and possibly leading them somewhere.  The dream has a sacred quality about it and tends to literally help the dying person die.  The dream then is a sacred moment which is preparing the person for transitioning from the worldly plane to the spiritual plane.

All of us have had “sacred moments” in our lives, either in dreams or in lived experiences.  Some people have had visions and some have experienced a deep connection with God, nature or another person.  What are some of your sacred moments?  How have these moments helped you feel that life is worthwhile, even in the midst of the most difficult times?  If you are in a low spot in your life you might consider asking for a dream that will present you with a “sacred moment” to get you through the hard times.

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Your Life Purpose (Ikigai) as Seen in Dreams

Dreams can help us find our life's purpose.

Ikigai: One’s Life Purpose

The Japanese have a word for one’s life purpose and that is ikigai.  It’s what makes you want to wake up in the morning.  It’s what motivates you to push through all sorts of obstacles. It’s your reason for living.

Many people aren’t sure what their true igikai or life purpose is, even though they may be in a rewarding job and enjoy a good family life.  This unsureness may be felt in a vague restlessness or dissatisfaction that has no specific cause.

The deepest callings of our souls sometimes remain hidden because the timing may not be right for us to know such information or we may not be prepared to receive such news.  Sometimes it takes a lifetime to uncover the deep callings.  Thomas Merton, a well-known monk and spiritual teacher suggested we may never know what our true vocation is in this life!  It may be revealed to us after we die.

Dreams Can Give us Clues to Our Ikigai

Dreams, which are messages from the soul, can give us hints and even outright statements as to what our life purpose is.  I remember when I graduated with my new Master’s Degree, I wanted to know how this degree would help me work toward my life’s purpose.  I then had a dream in which a voice said, “The purpose of your life is to teach people how to swim in the sea.”  Since I am not a strong swimmer, I knew that the dream did not literally mean for me to teach swimming.  However, since I just got my degree with emphasis in Religion & Philosophy, I thought the dream was giving me the green light to teach people how to swim in the sea of life.  My degree certainly prepared me for that.  I have found that after forty years of working, some of the most meaningful jobs have involved helping people “swim” in the sea of life by being a teacher, life coach and writer.

Other Ways Our Dreams Try to Communicate Our Life Purpose:
  • Leading us to places in dreamtime, often with a dream guide. If you find you are being led somewhere you don’t know, be sure to ask, “Who is leading me?”  The person, spiritual being or animal leading in the dream may give clues about where you are going.  For example, I had several dreams of Edgar Cayce leading me and pointing out the right direction to take.  Edgar Cayce taught a lot about holistic health, and got me specifically going in this direction—beyond the generalized “swimming in the sea.”
  • Opening a door in dreamtime. What is the kind of door and what is beyond the door?
  • Going somewhere on a train, plane or boat. What clues can the symbols and processes in the dream give?

 

 

Common Symbols for Kundalini in Dreams: Fire and Flame

Fire: A Symbol of Light and Purification

 In a series of blogs on kundalini energy as it appears in dreams, Kundalini can be symbolized by fire in dreams.I have written about snakes and volcanoes as being important symbols.  Fire and flames are also dramatic and powerful symbols for kundalini energy, and when they occur in dreams, it is hard to forget.   The dream is very wise to choose this symbol to convey the workings of kundalini energy because fire is similar to kundalini in that it burns away all that is harmful or not necessary and brings light to guide those touched by its energy.

Working with a Fire Dream

Dreams about things burning can have many meanings on the physical and spiritual level, but first and foremost one should look for a spiritual meaning because all dreams have a spiritual message at some level, and fire dreams are particularly connected to the work of the spirit.  The imagery of something burning calls to mind the biblical story of Moses and the Burning Bush (Exodus 3:1-17).  A burning object always attracts our attention and focuses our mind on a dramatic transformation that is taking place before us:  the transmutation of something physical into something else such as gas and ash, or in the case of the Burning Bush, the presence of a divine being because the expected transmutation wasn’t taking place.  Spirituality is about transformation and being in the presence of the divine.

As in dreams about snakes and volcanoes, one has to ask what is going one in one’s life so that fire and flame appear.  A fire dream may be merely an expression of one’s fears about a house catching fire because of fire hazards in the house.  However, if one is experiencing strong kundalini energy in one’s body, it may be giving the dreamer a chance to observe what this energy is doing and how it can be managed.

Dream: My Car is on Fire

I am with a friend and some other people. They have just come out of a store.  I invite them into my car since I can seat 6 people.  When I start the car, a little alert icon on the dashboard goes on and I yell for everyone to get out.  The car is on fire!  Everyone jumps out and is OK.  I want to use my cellphone to call 911 but my friend says not to.

This dream came about a year and a half before I experienced the onset of kundalini energy in my body.  A car can be a symbol for the body or for how we get around in life.  In any case, it was alerting me to the possibility that my life would be affected by a strong energy like fire.  It would cause me fear and concern but the dream is also telling me that I (and the many parts of myself represented by the others) would be OK.  My friend (who is a wise and knowledgeable person in waking life) tells me it is not important to call 911.  This is odd so it makes me think this dream is not predicting something physical but maybe a spiritual process that is meant to happen.  The burning car is a symbol of a transformative process that is OK.

 

The Challenge of Seeing the Many Aspects of Me

Look at each piece of the dream and see what it says about you. Fit it all together.

The Dream: All About You!

The German psychiatrist Fritz Perls is credited with developing the dreamwork practice of considering that everything in the dream is a part of oneself.  To be more specific, I tend to think every symbol, process and event in the dream is indicative of energies within the person and what is transpiring with those energies.  Either way, using this method to work with dreams can be challenging in that it asks the dreamer to “own” certain symbols, processes or events he or she would, in many cases, rather deny.

For example, if I dream I am in a room where an angry man is beating a weaker man, I may not want to admit that a part of me is capable of beating up another person, especially if I am a person who is uncomfortable showing any kind of anger.  Yet, this is what this dream method is asking us to do.  It can be heady stuff but the method will allow the dreamer to discover hidden aspects of him or herself and bring that to light, and perhaps even heal.  Using this method I may discover that I am capable of being angry enough to beat another person or I may find that a part of me is beating up on me!  This humbling realization is often what spiritual growth is all about.   We find that we are not perfect, and in that discovery develop compassion for not only other beings but ourselves also.  It’s as if each piece is part of whole and our job is too see how each piece fits into the whole, like doing a puzzle.

Next time you have a dream, write it down and consider that each symbol, process and event is part of you.  What energies are evoked?  What makes you feel uncomfortable?  What is the “saving grace” or helpful element in the dream?  The darkness and light within you will be there to discover, and the intelligent interacting of the two will be there for you to appreciate and give you wisdom.  It is a challenge that is well worth taking up in dreamwork as you take up the pieces and fit them together.

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.

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 alert us to the need for change.

Dreams are like wake-up calls.

Recently, American public life has shown how accepting so many people have become of 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.

Image via Pinterest

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!