Saturday, 18 March 2017

My Impressions Of Last Week's Conference: Concluding Post



 photo courtesy of woub.org

This week I’ve been sharing observations made during the Body Mind Spirit Expo held in Hillsboro, Oregon.

Will I understand the dream?
It may surprise some of my readers, but when I begin working with someone on a dream, I experience a rush of anxiety. My concern can be expressed like this: “Is this a dream that I am not going to understand at all? Am I going to look like a fool because I will show the dreamer how little I know? What if this dream has no decipherable meaning?” This worried stream of consciousness goes on in my head unabated until the dreamer starts to talk. At that point, all my fears go away.

The fact is, I have never encountered a dream that couldn’t be understood. Dreams don’t come to us for any reason other than to be used as a vehicle for the dreamer’s growth and enlightenment.
Dreams want to be used, and they want to be helpful. That’s why they come to us in the first place. Given even a modicum of effort, they can bring tremendous understanding.

The only times I have ever had problems with dream interpretation is when I have been impatient or demonstrated mild arrogance, trying to rush the process along. When that happens, it is because I have tried to insert my own views into the process rather than allowing the dream itself to tell its own story. These days, I’m happy to report that those occurrences are infrequent. But when they do happen, I am unfailingly pulled up short by the process itself. My warning will come from the dreamer, who will make a comment like, “No, I don’t identify with that.” When I hear those kinds of remarks, it’s a warning to me that I have stopped serving the dream, and am probably just serving my own ego.

The importance of dreams
During the Expo, I was settled enough into the correct groove that I was consistently hearing other kinds of reactions. In every case there was at least one “Ah-ha!” moment when the dream message penetrated deeply into the thoughts and psyche of the dreamer. At that point the dream had done its job, a vitally important one.

The job of the dream is to focus the dreamer’s attention on some conflicted thought or behavior that is being expressed or acted out. Once the dreamer’s attention has been focused in this manner, then the dream goes away, and the real work begins. Dreams are a highly effective shortcut to the gist of any problem. They efficiently “cut to the chase,” to use a metaphor.

At the Expo, every dream session ended up in a discussion of how most effectively to make the changes that the dream was recommending. Almost always, the discussion involved helping the dreamers break loose of old patterns and old messages that had kept them from living life away from their unencumbered centers. These were satisfying discussions.

Next week, we’re back to dreams, themselves.

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