What’s So Important About Dreams?

Do you realize that all of us are creative geniuses? That’s right. Every living breathing human being is a potential Einstein or Picasso and the route to that genius is our dreams!

Mal has discovered that by guiding people to work with their dreams, a whole new world of self-discovery and actualization is opened to each of us.

Your dreams represent an essential part and expression of who you are, and nobody has the right or ability to interpret or direct you and your life’s course.

Rather than interpret your dream, Mal works with you to remember, write down, contemplate, digest, comprehend, and utilize your dreams to develop a fuller sense of self, life direction and meaning.

In a sense, Mal actually dreams the dream with the dreamer, and then intuitively, analytically, and even musically teaches you how to synchronize your conscious and dreaming self. You are the only true dream interpreter, contact Mal today and find your creative genius.

Open doors
Open your mind
Become the full and true you.

I am looking forward to hearing from you.

Do you know what dreams tell you?

My wife came across this interesting article (link to it seems to have moved) about finding meaning in dreams through her interest in EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique).

Do you need help with understanding the meaning of your dreams? Contact Mal and make an appointment today.

Do YOU Know What Your Dreams Tell You?

Last night I dreamed I was driving one of those big honkin’ trucks that farmers, horse folks and lumberjacks drive – like a huge amped-up Ford 250. It was night black, and it had those dual rear wheels that stick out on the sides – a real don’t-mess-with-me kind of truck.

A big, nasty storm came up, and the wind shrieked around the truck and the rain slashed the air, but I was safe and sound inside. Enormous trees fell left and right like wind-blown matchsticks.

The road gradually became narrower and narrower. A couple of trees that had fallen to each side funneled me into a space so narrow the leaves and branches were noisily scraping the sides of my truck. Then a huge trunk appeared right in my path, and I had to do a full stop.

I looked back and saw that there was space to back up, but it was uphill and so slippery that I couldn’t get the truck to go – low gears or 4 big rear tires be damned.

Suddenly, I felt the whole truck vibrate and begin to inch forward, move forward, rush forward – as if it was impelled by some inward dynamic that made its surroundings completely irrelevant. And –*-blam!-*– I was out of stuck-mode and in the clear.

I was now standing outside my truck – which was now a new, sleek Toyota – looking in on my dog, Io (pronounced EE-oh), who was in my driver’s seat. Io was a mid-sized dog who looked like a small, delicate black and white Malamute, or one of those sheep dogs in the movie Babe, but with finer features. I had the honor of being her Human in the 90s.

Io was somehow lying on her back, with her lovely, soft, white tummy exposed, looking at me with her big doe-eyes in total bliss. I reached in and scritched (not scratch! Scritch!) under her throat, and she closed her eyes and did one of her signature doggie-snore-purrs.

As I did that, I simultaneously heard and saw a dog much like Io but with shorter fur and thicker neck, kind of as if he had a bit of pit bull in him.

He was looking at me intensely, growling and greeting all at once, like, “hey! Where’s MY pets and hugs?”

Then I was squatting beside him on the sidewalk rubbing his back and under his throat, and playing with him. He was a really happy dog, and loved to play, but got a little over-excited so I’d have to calm him down again. It was easy, and he was just a bundle of love.

I awoke feeling really happy and buzzing with a core-kind of affection for life itself. A sense of lingering wonder has permeated the rest of the day today.

WHY AM I WRTING ABOUT THIS and what does it mean for you?

Because I want to invite you to look at your own dreams and see what underlying messages they have for you. Maybe you don’t dream – that’s OK – I bet you day-dream! You can use them the same way!

Because there were certain really obvious elements in my dream that show me exactly where I’m at, what’s going on, and some underlying themes that have gigantic import. And I bet your dreams do the same for you. More about that in a moment.

You know, I’ll admit something to you readily – it isn’t always easy for me to do all the things I do. If my kids weren’t grown up and out on their own, I wouldn’t be able to do half of them. You’ll notice that the folks you see being so successful online either are single or have families who help with child care and office duties. I’m single and loving it after the years of diapers and teenage hormones and moodiness!

But sometimes I think I do way too much. At the same time though, when I ask myself what I could cut out of my life, my heart sinks when I think of letting go my EFT practice or my passion for creating EFT books, writing articles, creating sites and giving teleclasses. And to think about giving up my artwork? Ha! I don’t think so! It’d be like not being able to breathe!

So occasionally I get hung up in thinking about it all and I feel stuck. Part of the thinking is that I ‘have to do it all and do it all right now!’ or ‘I have to choose one or the other and focus.’ I get caught in those thoughts once in a while. That’s how I was feeling last night – stuck between 2 huge forces (the trees): EFT and my artwork.

Well, the mind is our biggest muscle! So when I feel stuck like that, it’s time to haul out the big EFT and bring that muscle back into training. But last night I didn’t. I did my Chi Lel Chi Gung and went to bed, figuring that the energy I had just drawn in would help it resolve. You’ll see what happneded in a second.

What did that dream mean to me? How do you pick apart a dream to milk it of its wisdom>

Well, there I am in my truck – my life-force-vehicle – huge, black (I think of black being the color of the Void of All Possibilities), powerful, strong, hefty, capable are words that come to mind for it – and I’m stuck! Between these trees! Huge trees, not little saplings – EFT and Art – and one more in front of me – my ego, limited thoughts and beliefs perhaps?

But all of a sudden, from the inside of the truck – my life-force – comes this compelling energy that doesn’t pay one whit of attention to the supposed blocks, and pushes me right through them into the clear! The blocks became substanceless, literally immaterial.

Isn’t that what happens when you stay true to who you are? You know you feel stuck, but you stay in your heart-space, tap a bit, stay calm, and ask yourself, “what would I prefer next?” And the next thing you know, you’re out of stuckness and into a clear space. Something lines up in the Cosmos that unsticks you and propels you into a new space – you and your Divine Self are aligned and congruent.

The next thing in the dream was the presence of my dogs. Well, in truth, I really had only one dog, Io. She was the sweetest Being anyone could ever conceive of, and came to me out of the blue one day and was my little angel for ten years. But that’s another story.

So now I’m looking into my truck seeing her lying there on her back. The truck is now a beautiful new Toyota 4×4 pickup – totally practical for a sculptor who has to schlep big paintings and rocks around – capable and strong but not a macho machine – and Io is lying there in a state of bliss.

If you were to look at her as a symbol of my feminine inner instincts (thank you, Samantha for that idea), she’d be the perfect fit. Io, indeed, did save me from myself many times when she was on this planet. To have her in my life-force vehicle doing her funny little half-snore, half purr was absolutely delightful.

But then the other dog! What a surprise that was! I never had the male counterpart to Io, so seeing him there wanting attention, too, was awesome – and to be able to play with him and scritch and be able to keep him from being over-powering or sharp-teeth-scary-strong was even better.

I awoke feeling like there were all kinds of possibilities for me that I never even knew about, and that if I could just keep that thought, and do my best to stay in that state, all would be well.

There was a lot more to the interpretation, but I know you’d rather think and find out about your own dreams and what they mean to you. We’ll do that very soon.

I admire the heck out of online personalities and coaches like Ali Brown, Kathleen Gage, Fabienne Fredrickson, Jim Edwards, Yanik Silver and others – seeing how far they have come from zero to star-status – and I appreciate their example and their excellent products. It’d be really easy to get caught up in trying to be just like them and try to do what they do.

But I question the follow-them mentality. Would it be right, comfortable, appropriate or even fun for me to do what ‘they’ do? Don’t you feel a little strange about taking every step someone else has?I do, but maybe I’m more of a rebel. That’s not to say courses and program have no value! I just really ask myself if what I’m following is really for me. Parts of it can be, parts not. You have to stay alert and awake.

I kinda like being just my regular old, lazy, renegade, irreverent, weird, creative, frank, no BS, what-you-see-is-what-you-get floppy-aloha-shirt and paint-stained old black shorts-wearing, media-creating, painter-sculptor-unusual newsletter writer EFT maniac self. I’m totally OK with that. How OK are you with Being You?

That dream made me see once again that how I am is how I am. Period. And no matter what I THINK, that eternal Beingness is not only OK, but it will always prevail. What a relief.

How inspiring and enchanting that is! To know that there is that Something inside of you that you don’t need to boss around, guide, compel or manipulate! And that automatically (when you allow it!) sets you on the right track again and again and again if you’ll just LISTEN to it and pay attention to its message and take the appropriate actions.

I want you to be that OK with who you are, too. I know darn well how easy it is to do a gradual slide into feeling stuck (angry, ashamed, sad, etc.) and feeling like it will last Forever – and hating yourself for how you feel – been there.As if it isn’t enough that you feel down, to hate yourself for feeling down – and then hating how you hate yourself – man, what a mess.

So, since I used love to do Dream Readings for people for years when I lived in Sant Fe, NM, I decided I’d create a new Series of Dream Teleclasses that last night’s dream inspired. We’ll explore what YOUR dreams are telling YOU – and we’ll get you through the blocks and limitations you’re dealing with in order to get you feeling high and strong and grounded and peaceful and excited and calm and inspired – all at once.

Stay tuned, and be prepared to be amazed and inspired and surprised by what your Inner Self is trying to say to you!

aloha –
Angela

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© Angela Treat Lyon 2009 • I invite you to feel free to use this article as long as you use it in its entirety, including my © and contact information. Lyon at IDareYouRADIO.com • Thank you!

Dreams: Night School

I came across this interesting article in Psychology Today Magazine, Nov/Dec 2007, as articles tend to disappear I have also copied it below.

Dreams: Night School

A hundred years after Freud, one man may have figured out why we dream. You’ll never think the same way about nightmares again.

By: Jay Dixit

The Dream Robbers

What happens when a rat stops dreaming? In 2004, researchers at the University of Wisconsin at Madison decided to find out. Their method was simple, if a bit devilish.

Step 1: Strand a rat in a tub of water. In the center of this tiny sea, allot the creature its own little desert island in the form of an inverted flowerpot. The rat can swim around as much as it pleases, but come nightfall, if it wants any sleep, it has to clamber up and stretch itself across the flowerpot, its belly sagging over the drainage hole.

In this uncomfortable position, the rat is able to rest and eventually fall asleep. But as soon as the animal hits REM sleep, the muscular paralysis that accompanies this stage of vivid dreaming causes its body to slacken. The rat slips through the hole and gets dunked in the water. The surprised rat is then free to crawl back onto the pot, lick the drops off its paws, and go back to sleep—but it won’t get any REM sleep.

Step 2: After several mostly dreamless nights, the creature is subjected to a virtual decathlon of physical ordeals designed to test its survival behaviors. Every rat is born with a set of instinctive reactions to threatening situations. These behaviors don’t have to be learned; they’re natural defenses—useful responses accrued over millennia of rat society.

The dream-deprived rats flubbed each of the tasks. When plopped down in a wide-open field, they did not scurry to the safety of a more sheltered area; instead, they recklessly wandered around exposed areas. When shocked, they paused briefly and then went about their business, rather than freezing in their tracks the way normal rats do. When confronted with a foreign object in their burrow, they did not bury it; instead, they groomed themselves. Had the animals been out in the wild, they would have made easy prey.

The surprise came during Step 3. Each rat was given amphetamines and tested again; nothing changed. If failure to be an effective rat were due to mere sleep deprivation, amphetamines would have reversed the effect. But that didn’t happen. These rats weren’t floundering because they were sleepy. Something else was going on—but what?

What Dreams Are Made Of

Dreaming is so basic to human existence, it’s astonishing we don’t understand it better. It consumes years of our lives, and no other single activity exerts such a powerful pull on our imaginations. Yet central as dreaming is, we still have no idea why we dream. Freud saw dreams as convoluted pathways toward fulfilling forbidden aggressive and sexual wishes; frightening dreams were wishes in disguise—wishes so scary, he believed, they had to transmute themselves into fear and masquerade as nightmares.

Later came the idea that dreams are the cognitive echoes of our efforts to work out conflicting emotions. More recently, dreams have been viewed as mere “epiphenomena”—excrescences of the brain with no function at all, the mind’s attempt to make sense of random neural firing while the body restores itself during sleep. As Harvard sleep researcher Allan Hobson puts it, dreams are “the noise the brain makes while it’s doing its homework.”

“There’s nothing closer to a consensus on the purpose and function of dreaming than there’s ever been,” says Deirdre Barrett, a Harvard psychologist and editor of the forthcoming The New Science of Dreaming. Indeed, no theory has been able to reconcile the findings of various subdisciplines of dream science. Until now.

Finnish psychologist Antti Revonsuo believes the marooned rats lost their ability to defend themselves not because they were exhausted but because they were robbed of their dreams. Dreams, he contends, are a training ground in which animals and people alike go over the behaviors that are key to their survival. Prevented from dreaming, the rats were unable to rehearse their survival behaviors. In other words, they were defenseless because they were out of practice.

A Theater of Threats

Say you’re in a fight and somebody wraps his arms around you from the front, pinning your arms to your sides—a bear hug. Most people reflexively stiffen their body. But this is actually the worst thing to do; making your body rigid makes you easier to lift—and lets your assailant pick you up and drop you on your head, or worse, haul you off somewhere.

Better to bend your knees and lower your center of gravity so you’re harder to lift. You’re then free to punch your aggressor’s testicles, claw the skin on his back, kick out his knee, stomp his foot, even bite his neck—unappetizing options, but effective against even the biggest thug.

The difference between the typical and optimal response could save your life. But making such a reaction swift and automatic takes practice. It’s the reason martial arts students drill their movements over and over. Frequent rehearsal prepares them for that one decisive moment, ensuring that their response in an actual life-or-death situation is the one they practiced.

Dreams may do the same thing. A dream researcher at the University of Turku, in Finland, Revonsuo believes that dreams are a sort of nighttime theater in which our brains screen realistic scenarios. This virtual reality simulates emergency situations and provides an arena for safe training. As Revonsuo puts it, “The primary function of negative dreams is rehearsal for similar real events, so that threat recognition and avoidance happens faster and more automatically in comparable real situations.”

Faced with actual life-or-death situations—traffic accidents, terrorist attacks, street assaults—some people report entering a mode of calm, rapid response, reacting automatically, almost without thinking. Afterward, they often say the episode felt unreal, as if it were all a dream. Threat simulation, Revonsuo believes, is why.

A Season in Hell

As a grad student in psychology in the early 1990s, Revonsuo often had bad dreams. What struck him the most was how lifelike they were. “I would say to myself, in my dream, ‘Oh shit! I’ve dreamt of this before, but now this is really happening!’ ” he recalls.

“Credible world analogs” are what cognitive psychologist David Foulkes calls dreams. Although we tend to dwell on the bizarreness of dreams, most dreams are quite mundane, Foulkes notes. You move around, talk, run, interact with others, experience emotions, and feel the passage of time, just as in everyday life.

When Revonsuo began studying dreams, he asked his students to start keeping logs of their own nocturnal escapades. He noticed something striking. The dreams were filled with dangerous events, negative emotions, monsters, chases, escapes, fights, and near-death experiences. The dream world was a hellscape of danger, teeming with threatening events far more sinister than in waking life.

These weren’t the misfirings of diseased brains. Threat dreams were the norm, accounting for a staggering two-thirds of all dreams. Revonsuo discovered that we grossly underestimate the number of nightmares we have. As it turns out, we have 300 to 1,000 threat dreams per year—one to four per night. Just under half are aggressive encounters: physical aggression such as fistfights, and nonphysical aggression such as verbal arguments. The rest are about car crashes, falling and drowning, missing a meeting or a test, being lost or trapped, and being naked in public. The whole dream world seemed to have a negative bias: more negative emotions than positive ones, more misfortune than good fortune, more nightmares than fantasy.

A Theory Is Born

In the ancestral environment, Revonsuo reasoned, our dreams served to protect us, teaching us how to respond when a wild animal was chasing us or when we got lost in the forest. That was why the dream world was so filled with peril: to simulate the potential threats and prepare us to react quickly. But how could dreams help us select the optimal response, given that dream recall is so fragile? After all, we remember only a few of our dreams, and even those fade fast in the tumult of the day.

Revonsuo believes that by providing rehearsal, dreaming helps us recognize dangers more quickly and respond more efficiently. We don’t need to be aware of this rehearsal, just as you don’t have to recall exactly where you practiced your tennis serve in order to reap the rewards.

The idea that dreams are a dojo for perfecting waking activities fits well with what is already known about practice. Mental rehearsal through visualization improves skills, enhances learning, and changes the brain, polishing performance in almost any domain, from sports to piano playing.

The single most pervasive theme in dreaming is that of being chased or attacked. Just as athletes in training repeat parts of their performance, we may, in our nightmares, be attacked and chased over and over again, not to solve a particular problem but to actually practice efficient escape behavior.

Saber-toothed tigers no longer stalk our villages, but Stone Age themes still rule our dreams. “Nowadays, the evolutionary footprint is clearest in the dreams of children, who often dream about being chased by monsters, much the same way we were once chased by predators,” says Revonsuo. As life has evolved, so have the threats we rehearse. “You insert a modern danger into that ancestral key and get a bizarre combination,” says Revonsuo. “We dream of being chased, shot, or robbed, getting into traffic accidents, a burglar in our house, or perhaps smaller mishaps such as losing our wallets—and that prepares us for our waking life.”

The dreaming brain, explains Revonsuo, scans emotional memories. When it detects a memory trace with a strong negative emotion, it constructs a nightmare around that theme. The more traumatic the event, the more intense the nightmare. The brain’s system for detecting threats is sensitive and flexible: Anything the brain tags with a strong negative charge gets thrown into the threat bin and dredged up at night.

Sometimes this system works well: Dreaming about a boy running in front of our car better prepares us should that danger crop up in real life. But sometimes the modern world throws the threat-detection mechanism out of whack: Watching horror movies can trigger nightmares about vampires, ghosts, aliens, or zombies. Such “nonsense nightmares” don’t rehearse any useful threats; they’re like an allergic reaction, says Revonsuo. Just as our immune system can mistake pollen for a pathogen and mount a defensive campaign, the threat-detection system misperceives horror movies and deploys its defenses by generating a nightmare.

Heroes of Our Own Dreams

In the jungles of the amazon lives a tribe called the Mehinaku. The Mehinaku lead the traditional life of hunter-gatherers. They spend their days fishing and gathering roots. Since they believe that dreams predict the future, they are scrupulous about remembering them and sharing them with others. That makes them perfect for an ethnographic study of dreams. In 1981, anthropologist Thomas Gregor surveyed their dreams and analyzed the content.

As it turns out, the Mehinaku dream profusely about the dangers in their everyday lives: being attacked by wild pigs; chased by jaguars; bitten by snakes; stung by wasps, ants, or bees—all potentially lethal. “Their dreams simulate over and over again what to do and how to do it quickly when they spot these animals in the wild,” reports Revonsuo. Across a tribesman’s lifespan, a single failure to react efficiently could be fatal. If threat simulation even marginally increases the likelihood that such fatal failures won’t occur, it would prove adaptive.

If the threat-simulation theory is correct, dreams should focus on the self, and when confronted with a threat, the dream self should react realistically to ensure its own survival and that of its loved ones. And so it is. We are the heroes of our own dreams. We don’t dream about other people’s adventures or about fictional superheroes battling monsters. We dream about ourselves.

If dreams evolved to simulate the threats in our environment, then being exposed to more dangers in real life should activate the nightmare function, overstuffing our dreams with threats. This is precisely what happens. Even a single exposure to a life-threatening situation can plunge a person into an inferno of post-traumatic nightmares, dreams in which the threatening event—the attack, the rape, the war—is repeated over and over in every possible variation.

Studies of traumatized Iraqi and Palestinian children who grew up in extremely violent environments, some of whom witnessed their parents’ deaths, show that their dreams are phantasmagoric carnivals of threatening events. People who watched more television on September 11, 2001, and saw threatening images were more likely to dream about the events of that day; people who merely talked about it with others were less likely to dream about it.

Traumatic dreams do seem to rehearse relevant threats. Just four weeks into the first Gulf War, as Scud missiles were raining down on Tel Aviv and Haifa, the war was already encroaching on the dreams of Israeli college students, according to a study. The most prominent topic: gas masks.

But not all our dreams contain threats. That’s not surprising, says Revonuso. There’s no reason a biological system has to express its function at all times. Many bodily systems spring into action only in critical situations. Take sperm cells. The average man ejaculates over 100 million sperm at a time, yet over the course of his life, only a few will ever accomplish their biological mission of fertilizing an egg. Every day, millions of sperm are wasted—and while this may, as Monty Python sings, make God quite irate, it doesn’t mean that sperm cells have some function other than fertilizing eggs and competing with other sperm.

The Nighttime Edge

Intriguing as Revonsuo’s theory is, not everyone is sold on the idea that dreams are primarily a theater of threat rehearsal. Dream researchers have known for centuries that dreaming helps problem solving, for example—but they still do not know why.

Some researchers argue that dreams are designed specifically to help us come up with creative solutions. But if that’s the case, it’s infuriatingly inconsistent—and complicated by the fact that we rarely remember our dreams.

Those who awake with brilliant solutions to scientific or artistic problems are the exception. German chemist Friedrich August Kekulé struggled to find the molecular structure of benzene until he dreamed about a snake devouring its own tail and realized benzene was a closed circle—a ring. The self-taught Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan came up with every one of his proofs in dreams. Paul McCartney dreamed “Yesterday,” woke up, and wrote it down.

Problem solving may be a side effect of the simulation system. The mere fact of running scenarios over and over may inevitably generate new solutions. That’s why when we have an important decision to make, we like to “sleep on it” first, why, according to a study by University of Maryland psychologist Clara Hill, couples who dream about their relationship are more likely to resolve their conflicts than couples who don’t.

It’s also known that we get better at tasks just by dreaming about them. Robert Stickgold, a sleep researcher at Harvard Medical School, has found that if you time people as they tap out the sequence 4-1-3-2-4 with their fingers, then ask them to do it again later that day, they are no better.

But let them sleep in between and their performance improves—literally overnight. The implication seems obvious: Sleep provides practice. People given brainteasers before bed dream about the answers. Math students are all too familiar with dreams about algebra problems. Anyone who’s ever played too much Tetris knows you can start having Tetris dreams.

Stickgold holds that dreaming is much more complex than rehearsal. He points, for example, to the ability of sleep to allow us to integrate and consolidate knowledge. During sleep, our brains are making sense of the world, discovering new associations among existing memories, looking for patterns, formulating rules. “That’s how we create meaning,” says Stickgold. “Our brain puts things together.”

Dreams do have a certain edge over conscious thought. Neuroimaging work has shown a distinct pattern of activation and inhibition in the dreaming brain. Visual and emotional centers are abnormally activated, while censoring mechanisms are deactivated. When we try to visualize during the day, imagery is thin and insubstantial, less real than the real world. But studies suggest that vivid hallucinations during dreaming rival the clarity and detail of vision itself.

“Dreaming is a sensitive system that tries to pay much attention to the threatening cues in our environment,” Revonsuo concludes. “Their function is to protect and prepare us.”

“Yes,” says Harvard’s Barrett, “dreams are worrying about disasters. But they’re also planning for nice things and they’re fantasizing and they’re problem solving.”

She contends that the purpose of dreaming is “as broad as all waking thought. That’s why I say dreams are really just thinking in a different biochemical state.”

Finding the Meaning in Dreams

I came across this article at the Hartford Current at www.current.com and found it worthwhile to share.

Finding Meaning In Dreams

November 26, 2006
By DAN ZAK, Washington Post It is January 2009.

Imagine, for a moment, that the new president begins his inaugural address by saying he has written down and studied his dreams. With a level head, and without detouring into the psychic or prophetic, he says he hopes to understand himself better by doing some dream work.

“I mean, how would that go over in the press?” says Gayle Delaney, who for the past 30 years has striven to mainstream dream work – the practice of sidestepping classical dream interpretation for a more nuanced, personalized meditation on one’s dreams.

Delaney is the founding president of the International Association for the Study of Dreams. She has written books and virtually shorted out the lecture circuit in the United States and Europe. Still, many people think dream work is bosh and bunkum.

“Prejudice against dreaming is huge, in part because so much nonsense is written about it,” Delaney says.

Ask any professional with dream experience, and their message is clear: Ignore quick-fix dream “doctors” on TV and the Internet. Toss your conventional dream dictionaries to the curb; they are too strict, too patrician.

And their meanings? Meaningless.

“After all, a dream about a house must mean different things to a carpenter and an arsonist,” says Karen Shanor, a clinical psychologist in Washington.

Dreams should be worked rather than cut and dried into categories, Shanor, Delaney and others say. No book, and no one, can tell you what your dreams mean, because one’s dreaming life can be understood only in the context of one’s waking life.

As Dr. Phil-ish as it sounds, dream work is a matter of self-therapy, of being open to the possibility that reflecting on your dreams may yield some holistic or entertaining insights.

“People would just as soon think that dreams are random activity in your cortex,” Delaney says. “There are still huge swaths of movers and shakers whom I have as clients who say, ‘If I tell anybody I’ve seen you, I’ll have to deny it.”‘

Oh, if those Hewlett-Packard knuckleheads had prefaced their morning meetings with a little dream analysis …

That scenario is not so crazy. Business schools and management training programs in England and India use dream therapists to help hone problem-solving skills. Working through a conflict in a dream scenario may have a practical application to one’s waking life.

Still, there is bias against dreaming, agrees Clara Hill, a professor in the Psychology Department at the University of Maryland. Some comes from a lack of understanding dream work, particularly the aspects that sound a little paranormal.

Take dream incubation, in which people condition themselves to dream about a certain topic, or prodromal dreaming, in which the body sends signals to the dreaming mind about impending illness. The validity of both is supported by a wealth of anecdotal observation and some supplementary research.

But they still have that faint whiff of the psychic. Extrasensory powers may exist, but there is no way to gather statistical proof about clairvoyance.

“I think the jury’s still out on that,” says Deirdre Barrett, a Harvard Medical School professor who uses dream work in clinical and classroom settings. “It’s a matter of faith. Most of us hear really dramatic anecdotes in that direction, and I think it’s possible there’s something we don’t understand happening in communication outside of what we’re consciously aware of. But we also underestimate coincidences.”

What about the skeptics? How does Hill respond to naysayers who invoke psychiatrist Allan Hobson’s theory that dreams are products of benign psychosis – a mostly random firing of neurons?

“They might be, but if you can use them therapeutically, and it works, that’s great,” says Hill, who has conducted about 20 studies on dreaming. “So I get out of the argument that way. The research we’ve done so far is that people really can gain insight.”

You Are the Supreme Dream Interpreter

Is it necessary to visit a professional Dream analyst to have the deepest and most hidden meanings of your dreams revealed? Absolutely not! Just try this simple and effective technique and a whole new world of dream growth will be opened for you.

Literal Meaning

Our dreams have a literal meaning or obvious meaning. Simply look at your real waking life, ask what’s going on and important in the here and now, and see if your dream is acting as a literal commentary and evaluation of real life events. Dreams often offer us simple solutions to complex life problems.

Emotions

Your feelings are the key! The true meaning and significance of your dream is always highlighted by the emotions evoked. By writing down these feelings, then linking them to the dream itself, and often the meaning becomes immediately clear and obvious.

Symbols

Dreams are like onions, composed of many layers, each one deeper and harder to get at. Below the more literal and immediate layers, your dreams become symbolic and visual. By analyzing your dream symbols and imagery, often links to life situations, conflicts, and problems become clear, and solutions offered.

Talk About Your Dream

Thinking and analyzing your dream is great, but when you actually talk about it deeper levels of understanding and awareness often arise. For example: an unpleasant dream of hordes of bugs might initially appear silly and insignificant. However, by actually talking about it, you might find that the “bugs” in the dream might actually be a visual pun, representing something in your life that is “bugging” you.

Dreams: The Key to Your Full Potential

by Mal Cohen

Did you know that there is one behavior that links all of us regardless of age, sex, race, etc. … dreaming! While mysterious and totally personal, at the same time dreaming is normal, necessary and universal. In our “advanced” and “modern” Western culture we often view our dreams as meaningless, superficial or silly. However, if we open ourselves to the deeper meaning and reality of our dreams, there exists a limitless potential for guidance, knowledge and growth. Today we have learned that professional Analysts and Therapists are not required to open this inner door, but in fact, the dreamer himself is the only one fully equipped with the knowledge and ability to comprehend and interpret his dream. All that’s needed is the key to open the lock to the dream source: our unconscious mind. Simply turn that key, open the door, and suddenly we have before us a new power to remember, understand and grow through our dreams.

What Is A Dream?

a: consciousness
b: personal or subjective unconsciousness
c: universal or collective unconsciousness, linking all humanity

Dreaming or what Jung calls “sleep consciousness” occurs naturally and spontaneously and is a secondary means of communication. The problem, however, is that most of us have never learned, or perhaps forgotten this language. So when we learn the simple but potent 2nd language, the door is opened for true integration. All we have to do is temporarily leave behind our objective, structural and thought-oriented verbal language, and instead focus on our visual, symbolic and image-oriented dream language. And you thought that you would never be “bilingual”.

Why Dream Counseling?

Every person’s dream is a totally original,
Technicolor, stereo, piece of creative genius.

The trouble is that nearly all of us through negligence or will do not remember most of our dreams, let alone their meanings. Dream Counseling will aid the dreamer accept, remember and interpret his dreams while linking it to his life as a whole. The key is personal responsibility. No therapist or professional, no matter how skilled or qualified, can ever begin to know you the way you know yourself. So it’s obvious that each of us is best qualified to experience, interpret, understand, and develop through our dreams.

What Does A Dream Mean?

There are as many dream meanings as there are dreamers. Once we accept the reality and validity of our dream, we are ready to investigate the “hidden language” of images and symbols.

Why Bother with Dreams At All?

We humans are much more than physical being, conscious minds, existing in the “here and now”. We are all linked to and part of our personal and collective pasts and futures, and our dreams represent the best and easiest means of developing this awareness. Through our dreams true growth and self-actualization are realistic and easily obtainable goals.
Can Dreams Be Dangerous?

Probably the greatest danger involving dreams rests in ignoring them! True, some Professionals still hold on to the antiquated view that lay or subjective dream study might prove dangerous due to potential destructive sudden traumatic awareness of inner turmoil, repression, nervosis, etc. However, this perspective does not respect personal autonomy, independence and responsibility. Even given the extreme case of disease or disability, nobody other than oneself can bring about a true cure. Dreams, although occasional painful or stressful, are not in themselves dangerous. If anything, ignoring our dreams constitutes a much greater danger.
Dream Analysis Versus Dream Awareness

Dream Counseling incorporates aspects of dream analysis. However, it is a primary and highly effective developmental technique rather than therapy, the goal being personal growth and problem solution. When spontaneous therapy occurs, it is somewhat like icing on the cake.

  • Do you want to really know who your are?
  • Do you want to be fully in touch with your inner voice?
  • Do you want to direct your future?
  • Do you want to transform into a fulfilled person?
  • Dream Analysis — Don’t Just Dream About it; Do it through Dreams!

 

 

Tips to Remember Your Dreams

I came across this article in the Body Mind Spirit Magazine from May/June 1994

by John R. Aberle, a freelance writer from McAllen, TX

  1. Before going to sleep at night, tell your subconscious what you want to work on. If you are aware of having a master, guardian angel or Higher Power, ask its help to find an answer. Be persistent. Only on rare occasions does someone with no prior training get something the very first time.
  2. Develop the habit of recording something every day when you wake up. All new habits take a minimum of 21 days to develop so commit yourself to recording somethings for 21 days. Even if you do not recall the dream, write something down immediately upon waking.Remember, feelings are as important in dream interpretation as are images and words. In fact, they may save you a lot of work. The ideal is to wake knowing what the dream meant.
    But if you get none of these, then write something even as simple as “I do not recall any dreams today.” What you write is not as important as the act of writing because you are trying to train your subconscious into giving you something to record.
  3. Keep pen or pencil and notebook or recorder conveniently placed near your bed. Especially when you are just starting to develop the skill of remembering your dreams, you need to record them immediately upon waking. Dreams flee from memory rapidly, often within seconds of coming awake.
  4. Train yourself to wake before your alarm goes off . The shock of the alarm clock or the music and talk of the radio can cause you to forget what was happening in your dreams when you woke. By giving yourself the the command to wake up at a certain time, you can actually get your subconscious to wake you several minutes before your alarm turns on.
  5. Try to remember your dreams after a nap set an alarm for 20 to 30 minutes after you lay down for the nap. While this sounds contradictory to the above point about alarms, everyone is different. If several of these techniques do not work for you, this one may.
  6. Command your memory to recall your dreams upon waking. This again is a matter of training. You must work at it before you will master it. Think of your dream memory as muscle which must be exercised to get strong. It rarely happens overnight but only after repeated drills.
  7. Instruct yourself not to remember any dreams. If the above techniques do not seem to work for you, use ‘reverse psychology’. Sometimes your subconscious is perverse and refuses to do as it is told, so tell it not to do what you really want done.
  8. Read something spiritually uplifting before going to sleep. This may help raise your consciousness above the concerns of daily life which are crowding out the very dream messages to help you handle these concerns.
  9. Before going to sleep, sing or chant a sacred word to raise your awareness. Some sounds or words to choose from include “Amen,” “Om,” “Mana,” or “Hu.” The same principle applies as in number 8 above.
  10. If you recall a feeling but no memory of any dream, try to imagine a situation that could create this kind of feeling. In this case, you are trying to draw back to memory more of the dream. Such a ‘mock up’ imagery may prime the (mental) pump.. Something you imagine may thereby bring back a snatch of the dream.
  11. Try to imagine a favorite or common expression for various emotions and experiences. By imagining how you would picture these expressions, you may trigger recall of a past dream. Try picturing the following emotions and experiences: anger, change, fear, love, training or preparation, and work. To spark your creativity, the following are some examples of expressions which can be visually depicted for the above emotions and experiences.
  • Anger – Add fuel to the fire; blew up; bullied his way through; dark cloud of anger; madder than a hornet; “see red”; snorting fire.
  • Change – Death (major change), earthquake; move or trip, as to a new home or another stare; tornado or “wind of change.”
  • Fear – Being all tied up; grizzly hear; suffocating; “Wolf is at the door.”
  • Love – Candlelight and roses; green with envy; puppy love; rose colored glasses.
  • Training or Preparation – Camp; college; school.
  • Work – Military career; field of real estate; construction industry; “A man’s work is his mistress.”

 

Don’t Worry, It Was Only a Dream

by Mal Cohen

Was it only a dream? Why do we belittle our dreams? Why do we dream in the first place? We dream to make sense out of our lives and to “digest” what has happened during the day. Some nights we dream and don’t remember them in the morning and other nights it seems like we went to the movies and remember everything.

There is a message hidden in those dreams we remember. The ones we don’t remember have served their purpose. When we understand that dreams are a picture of feelings and that we can understand their meaning, suddenly a whole new world opens up for us. Understanding bad dreams and nightmares becomes vitally important. Thus, repeated dreams are our subconscious’ way of informing us that there is has a message for us; something important to convey and we just don’t seem to get it. Once we understand the message, the bad dream or nightmare will stop, because we got it. Dreams are also indicators of the progress we are making in our lives. They tell us when we are stuck and when we are moving along just fine.

Dreams historically held an important place in ancient cultures. The dream counselors held an esteemed and honored position in the community. Today, in our fast-paced, technological world we hardly pay attention to our dreams, but we still keep on dreaming and then dismiss them as unimportant or as a nuisance.

Could it be that collective dreams are the heartbeat of society and that we are loosing touch with our inner selves? Is it then surprising that people are finding that there is something to dreams and that they can help and guide us?

Today’s dream counselors are facilitators, they help the dreamer interpret his or her own dreams. They are the dictionary between the pictorial language of the dream and the daily language we speak. By asking the dreamer questions and then restating the answers, the dreamer will see a picture emerging and will begin to understand the meaning of the dream.

“The future belongs to those who believe
in the beauty of their dreams.”