Part II, Intention, Gratitude and Faith: Recipe Ingredients for Transformation

Recipe for Transformation

Image via Pinterest.

In my previous blog, I stated that the road to spiritual transformation is essentially an inward journey that intimately connects us with our body, minds and spirits.  Intention, gratitude and faith are the ingredients that invite miraculous changes on this transformative path, changes that cannot be achieved by just following the rules or doing some other conventional practice.  Why is this so?

The reason is that these traits prepare one for the emptying of self, the total letting go, the kenosis that is ultimately required for transformation.  The emptying of self can be made in countless little decisions or in one major gesture whereby there is a willing and loving pouring out of one’s self, the using of all one’s resources and the expending of all one’s energies to undergo a transformation.  It calls to mind one of St. Paul’s statement in 2 Timothy 4:6, “I am being poured out like a libation; and my time of departure has come.” (NOAB, NRSV)  Jesus’ own life was said to be one long emptying of self for the sake of others.

Intention

Intention sets the choice of the individual and indicates in what direction all energies will be utilized and expended, if necessary.  Usually navigating the spiritual path asks a great deal of clear-sightedness, resolve and determination from the seeker.  Setting a firm intention will martial these qualities to serve the journey.

Gratitude

Gratitude has a way of opening and expanding the heart, tuning one to the frequency of higher consciousness energy.  It also has a way of making the person buoyant in the face of adversity.  It raises one up rather than pulling one down.  Gratitude can therefore raise a person above the fray, allowing for peace and well-being.  It is absolutely essential in allowing the person to “let go” with peace of mind.

Faith

Faith is the “assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”  (Hebrews 11:1, NOAB, NRSV)  It is a type of visionary knowing that instills confidence.  Without faith, one can do nothing involving risk and change.

Applying Intention, Gratitude and Faith to Our Spiritual Practices

Because intention, gratitude and faith are so important, it is very helpful when they are consciously brought into our spiritual life such as in prayers, dreamwork and meditation.  Intention sets one on the particular path.  It is very useful to intend dreams that ask for a specific piece of information or guidance.  It is good training to ask for things needed in prayer.  Faith is thereby deepened when we get answers to prayers and dream requests.  We find we have a give-and-take relationship with divinity.  Gratitude opens us to positive energies on the path because a grateful heart enriches meditation and life by connecting us to higher energies.  And believing all our requests and intentions will be heard and our gratitude appreciated opens the visionary pathway for the change that is to come.

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Intention, Gratitude and Faith: Recipe Ingredients for Transformation

Recipe for Transformation

Image via Pinterest.

Many try to live a good life by following the rules and expectations of a religion, family or society.  This practice may indeed bring a “good life” in more ways than one but it is not the primarily what is called for by Jesus and other great religious leaders.  It’s not what they wanted for us.  They wanted what in Christianity was called a metanoia, a change of heart that leads to complete transformation of mind, body and soul—or as some writers call it, the Great Death.  This is not the death of the body, but the death of our former ways of looking at the world which created the negative habits and practices we previously lived by.  It entails a change of identity, a death and rebirth while alive in this body that precludes turning back.  It is transformation at the highest order which entails a great deal more than obeying rules.

Setting Oneself on the Road to Transformation

Assuming, however, that one makes the choice to move beyond following the rules to undergo the transformation, how does one do it?

A very good way to set oneself on the road to transformation is to develop a profound relationship with one’s own mind, body and spirit.  The Kingdom of Heaven is within, as they say.  Therefore, it stands to reason to look here for transformative blessings.  For many people, the Kingdom within is the last place one would look for healing and growth because of the anxiety, depression, confusion, etc. that many people feel on a daily basis.  Yet, this place of often questionable turmoil and striving is the very field of play.

Progress on this inward field can be made by working with dreams, which Freud called the the Royal Road to the Unconscious, along with regular meditation and prayer.  It helps greatly when these practices are done with:

  • great intention to heal and subsequently manifest my true self at its deepest level,
  • gratitude for the many gifts that have been given
  • a profound faith that this transformation and any attendant healing will take place

My next blog will further discussion on why intention, gratitude and faith invite miraculous changes on the transformative path, changes that cannot be achieved by just following the rules. Please click here to see Part II of this blog.

4 Coaching Tasks of a Dream Mentor

Ashlynn Acosta with Dream Mentor

Ashlynn Acosta with her Dream Mentor, Maeve Merton

A dream mentor is very much like a midwife, but instead of helping the mother birth a new person into the world, the dream mentor supports the dreamer who is like a mother birthing of a new consciousness into awareness and action. Dreamwork, when done with the help of an experienced mentor, is an intentional exercise used to facilitate the process, much like a midwife would instruct the laboring woman to breath or sit in a position that will help the birthing process along.

A dream is a symbol for a new awareness waiting to take on life, and it is the role of the mentor to not create the new awareness but just to help it along. Dream mentoring is basically a helping and facilitating role, not a directing role. It is guided by nature’s way of bringing new awareness into our waking world.

Towards this end a good dream mentor will prepare the dreamer to give birth to new consciousness by coaching the dreamer:

  1. To record and remember dreams. For many people, just making the intention to do these two things is a major step in a new direction and often prompts the dreamer to remember his or her dreams. Following through on the choice alone quite often helps people to become more aware of their dreams.
  2. To work with dreams through various kinds of processes such as association, storytelling, improvisation, and re-enactment.
  3. To proactively seek solutions for problems and concerns through dream incubation and lucid dreaming. Instead of just waiting for an answer from a dream, the dreamer can request a specific answer from a dream by asking to have a dream that will provide the answer. Writing the dream down and making the intention the night before helps a great deal to get a good result.
  4. To work in a dream group whereby members can help each other with their dreams or can dream for each other such as is done in Henry Reed’s Dream Helper Ceremony.

For an example of how a dream mentor works, please read or have your children read Dead Men Do Tell Tales, a teen mystery novel. In the story thirteen-year-old Ashlynn Acosta learns how to work with dreams from a dream mentor, Maeve Merton. With this assistance she learns to turn nightmares into problem solving tools, heals grief and helps save a friend suspected of a murder. She has learned skills that will help her for life and set her above her peers in accessing an important inner resource that can be relied upon in time of crisis.

4 Benefits of Using Dreams to Work with Grief

Dreams Can Heal Grief

Emerging Dream Insights of Ashlynn Acosta


Dreams of loved ones either shortly or long after they have passed seem to indicate that our ties with them are not cut. Over many years of working with my dreams and helping my students work with theirs, I am of the belief that a relationship with a deceased loved one can actually get resolved or made better through dreams.
Dreams provide the opportunity to meet once again with a person who is irrevocably gone from us on this earth. Through a visitation in a dream, we can say what we need to say and hear what we need to hear from the deceased. For example, while she was alive, I always thought my mother never really understood me even though I knew she loved me. However, the night after she died, I saw her standing before me, looking healthy, happy and radiant. She told me that now she did truly understand who I was and how special I was to her. This dream healed an old heart ache and provided great joy. As it would be for most people, this dream was for me a serendipitous gift given; something not consciously intended but some great and fortuitous “A-hah” experience that just happened out of the blue.

We Can Request a Dream Meeting with a Deceased Person

What most people don’t know is that a dream like this can be requested for a specific purpose. All that is needed is a strong and sincere intention or request made before sleep to have such a dream. Be as specific as possible why such a dream is desired. Write down the request on paper and put it by the bed.
This method is especially good in working with nightmares connected to the loss of a loved one. In Dead Men Do Tell Tales, Ashlynn Acosta learns that by asking for dreams about her mother she can even turn nightmares into dreams of joy and abiding peace—good indicators that the grief associated with her loss is healing as well. So through a visitation in a dream, like Ashlynn, we can say hello again, ask how the person is doing on the other side, seek advice from that person or work through issues that remain unresolved. Through dreams, discovery is made at the gut level that:

1. The deceased person is still alive and in relationship.
2. The deceased is nearby and helping in some capacity.
3. Goodbyes and good wishes can still be given and received.
4. Old issues can still be resolved.

Bringing Gratitude, Caring, Focus and Intentionality to Creative Problem Solving

Ashlynn Acosta Dreams:  Meaningful Symbols Appear in Dreams

Ashlynn Acosta Dreams: Meaningful Symbols Appear in Dreams

 

Dreaming and intuitive work are important tools teen detective Ashlynn Acosta uses to find clues in Dead Men Do Tell Tales because they are intentional and proactive methods used to get a focused result that can be trusted in a rather short amount of time.

This is very different from the way intuitive insight is often handled in mystery stories where the detective may be lucky to get a vague gut feeling relating to the case.  Often the detective doesn’t know why he has the feeling or what the feeling might be connected to in the vast number of variables related to the case.  This gut level method suggests that one needs to sit around and wait for some “Aha” to arrive out of the blue to give understanding to the hunch.

However, Intuition and information from dreams are gifts that are available to us almost all the time when we have an important problem to solve.  We just need to set the stage to receive those gifts, and readers of Dead Men Do Tell Tales discover along with Ashlynn how this might be done.  Here are some prerequisites for making oneself ready to receive intuitive insight, either in waking or the dream state.

  • Be thankful for any insights you have received in the past from dreams and gut feeling
  • Focus on a specific issue that you are genuinely concerned about, either for yourself or someone else.  Studies by Henry Reed, Ph.D., of the Edgar Cayce Institute for Intuitive Studies indicate that intuition works more strongly when used in service to the needs of others.
  • Before meditation or going to sleep, ask or make an intention that you want information about the specific issue.  Be precise as possible about the information you are seeking.  For example, instead of asking how to bring about peace in the world, you would ask what you could do today that would contribute to peace in your part of the world.

An attitude of thankfulness opens your heart out to the providence of your inner resources.  Focusing on a genuine problem with an attitude of helpfulness directs and jump starts the flow of energy in the Universe. Being specific helps control the type, quality and relevance of information you receive.  With the stage set, you can expect to receive useful information and will be one step closer to connecting you to the many gifts that lie within.