May 22, 2007 at 3:32 pm #22275
I seem to have a bit of a dream practice going! Years ago I bought Winn’s “Dream Practice” tapes and really enjoyed the theory and all, but the dream commands did not work for me at all. Frustrated…and sleep deprived, I stopped.
The flavor of the approach Michael took is in these quotes from an article by Juan Li, taken from the link below: “In Taoist dream practice one of the first things the practitioner does is make a firm decision to remain conscious as one enters dream state. This initial step is done by voicing a mental command of what one intends to practice or experience during that sleep session…. It is suggested in dream practice that we begin with the simple command to have a restful sleep regardless of how many hours we sleep. From that one follows with the command to remember dreams or simply to awaken at a certain time without alarm clocks. From those simple commands then one can eventually build up to the monumental task of becoming conscious within the dream that one is asleep.”
My dream practice began on my camping trip a couple of weeks ago, lying in my little green tent during an all-day rain. I did simple focusing/meditation, becoming aware of the shape and dynamics of the energies / emotions / moods / thoughts / memories, and then the shape and dynamics of the energies behind them and…wooooo a-drifting I would go. But, I wasn’t really sleeping, and not really day-dreaming, and certainly not thinking. I can’t remember the content, but I was exploring with some intention through these…dreams.
When I came home, that got lost as I now had to do work and house-work and family-work and go with the rhythms of all that and so couldn’t just…drift…away…to me. But, a quote from one of my wife’s teachers led me to buy a book called “let your body interpret your dreams” by Eugene Gendlin, the creator of “Focusing”.
I was reading his suggestions about dream interpretation one of which was called “Only the Dreamer Should Interpret the Dream”…and I slid into an AHA! I shouldn’t interpret my dreams, but the dreamer – the part of me in the dream – should interpret it. I should get into conversation with the part of me in the dream, not order it around like the “dream commands” seem to require (though, someone could probably interpret them differently than I did). Funny thing is, Gendlin meant something else – you shouldn’t let anyone else (e.g. spouse, friend) interpret your dreams.
Just that idea, though, has changed my dreams. During the last two nights as a dream has been winding down, I have respectfully entered the question / suggestion with a feeling of “what do you want to happen next?” to the dreaming part of me. And the dream continues in a different way. And, when I wake up I have an understanding of what the dream was about in a deeply felt way.
I hope this new relationship continues.May 23, 2007 at 1:35 pm #22276
I recall Michael’s Dream tapes too and on one there is an extended meditation of him…. snoring…hehe.
I like the approach you are being led to. I find it difficult to articulate what it is I do but it is true I need to sleep a few hours before I can do any ‘work’. I remember M mentioning this.
At that latter more yin point of the night it is a weaving dance between conscious awake intent of awareness and exploration of whatever is ‘up’- worry, fear,anticipation,tension, memory- and the sudden dropping into the underworld of inner life.
In some ways it is watery for everything becomes a bit less solid but more real too. It is an amazing daily death.
I dive in and emerge many times from this place and am also interested in how to establish more communication without too controlling a ‘command’ or attitude.
I have found sleeping on my side as suggested works best. Just opens the joints more and allows for more safety. Embryonic I guess.
I also come out without a cognitive understanding as much as a deeply felt understanding this is a continuing process and one that supports me in ways I only understand within the dreaming world.
Perhaps the subtle intention I have given myself ,one I haven’t voiced till now, is that the dreamspace become an extension of my cultivation/exploration/opening for I am quite active and alert in this world if not separate enough to analyze after.
I will try to place in here “what do you want to happen next” if it comes up and see how it works for me. Even without that particular question I see you are developing communication between your two levels of self and that is really cool. Thanks for the sharing, barryMay 27, 2007 at 11:10 pm #22278
Thanks for the thoughts. Intriguing!
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.