Dream Gates

Dream Gates

Bringing our lost children out of the glass bubble

posted by Robert Moss

DreamSoulHome_cvr.inddI am out in the woods in the middle of the night, on Cortes Island. I notice other figures, animal and human and hybrid, moving among the trees, taking form then fading back into the shadows. I find three clear and reliable travel companions. Red-tailed hawk scouts ahead, gray wolf flanks me on the left, bear advances on my right,

We come to the crest of a hill. Now the scene is open. There is a building in the distance, modern in style, with huge glass doors under sweeping arches. On the right side of the grassy hill is a huge glass dome. Inside, young children are playing – at least twenty of them, aged from perhaps 2 to 11, both boys and girls. They seem unaware of the world outside their glass bubble. I wonder if the inside surface of the glass is treated so they can’t see out – mirrored, or presenting the semblance of solid walls or a different landscape.

I have the clear sense that the kids in the bubble are the child selves of adults I’m working with. I’ll need to figure how to get them out without scaring them by shattering the glass.

This is my record of a lucid dream adventure that began when I set the intention of receiving guidance from the night for a group I was leading in a depth workshop on Cortes Island in British Columbia. I shared the dream with my group after opening the workshop the following day. There was a stir of excitement when I proposed that we should all enter the dreamscape, with the help of shamanic drumming, in a conscious group journey to investigate whether some of our lost boys and girls were inside the glass dome, and if so, how we could release them to reclaim their vital energy and imagination in our lives.

Before we embarked on the group expedition, I invited the twenty dreamers in our circle to recruit their own animal guardians to assist them on their missions, though hawk and wolf and bear would be available to all. We spent a little time discussing the nature of soul loss – how we are liable to lose parts of our vital energy and identity in life through pain or shame or confinement or wrenching life choices – and how a form of negotiation is often required to reclaim a child self who has been gone missing. The wounded child who may have “checked out” of an early passage in our life because the world was too lonely or too cruel will need to be reassured that we are safe and also fun to be around.

A further agreed intention for the group journey was to explore what was in the intriguing building beyond the glass dome.

The group expedition was wonderfully deep and vivid and healing for all. The preferred mode of access to the bubble was by tunneling underneath. My Bear ally used his huge paws like earth moving equipment, and then I found that the hard flat bottom of the dome could be slid open like that of a giant snow globe. Three younger versions of myself appeared as helpers; I don’t think they were with the Lost Children in the bubble; I think that they had companioned me, unnoticed, till it was time to assist the other children. I was moved to tears by the intrepid operations of these young Roberts in finding other kids and helping to persuade them that their adult selves were SAFE and could even be FUN.

When I entered the building, I found its center was a magnificent room with a vaulted ceiling where a fountain spurted at least two stories into the air. The room filled with eager children who gathered around the figure of an Old Grandfather Storyteller who told the most wonderful tales, making it clear that keeping our inner children present will involve telling and living better stories – stories they want to hear and to which they can contribute. This was a beautiful and powerful shared adventure in Active Dreaming. The stories of the twenty dreamers who found younger selves in the giant snow globe all spoke of deep soul recovery healing. Once again we see how a dream can provide a map for a journey, and that the right dream can carry a whole group to a place of healing and discovery.

For more on Active Dreaming for soul recovery, please see Dreaming the Soul Back Home by Robert Moss. Published by New World Library.

 

 

 

Dream groups as models for a new community

posted by Robert Moss
dream sharing at Mosswood Hollow

dream sharing at Mosswood Hollow

Community, as Peter Block defines it in a provocative  book, is about the experience of belonging. To belong is to feel at home, to know you are among family or friends. When something belongs to you, you are an owner; you have a stake in something. Playing with the word, Block notes that belonging evokes longing to be – to come fully alive, to embody fully a deeper purpose in life.

The model leader in the kind of community Block seeks to midwife is one who can bring the right people together in the right way, name the right questions for group exploration (“what can we create together?”) and listen as others find their voice and their power. Such things are best done in small groups, which Block promotes as the best agents of transformation.
It strikes me that dream-sharing groups are now at the vanguard in developing the kind of social space that Block advocates. Dream groups are typically small (six to twelve people) and establish a different kind of space, and a deep sense of belonging to an intentional community. They are circles in which each member receives the gift of deep listening, the chance to play leader or teacher, and the opportunity to tell their life stories and re-vision those stories.
In Active Dreaming circles, we recognize the need for strong leadership to provide the structure and dynamic within which extraordinary group experiences can be shared. This includes selecting and defining a safe and protected physical space. It means gently insisting on time limits (dreamers can get things done on time), building and maintaining circle energy and keeping everything moving for the two or three hours of a typical session, and making sure that everyone feels at home and that everyone’s voice is heard. Part of the leader’s job in an Active Dreaming circle is to ensure that a lively alternation of discussion, movement and conscious group dream travel keeps everyone alert and engaged..
Above all, the leader will enforce simple rules that ensure that no one present – least of all the leader herself – will try to claim authority over anyone else’s dreams or life story. We are only permitted to comment on each other’s material by saying “if it were my dream” or “if it were my life.” In this way, we offer associations and suggestions while encouraging the dreamer to claim the power of her own dreams – and to take the necessary action to embody their energy and guidance in the world. Finally, the leader of an Active Dreaming will give her power away repeatedly by inviting others to take charge in leading the processes.
In these ways, we fulfill Block’s definition of the mode of leadership required to restore and re-story our communities: “Perhaps the real task of leadership is to confront people with their freedom.”
The quotes are from Peter Block, Community: The Structure of Belonging (San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers)
For more on community dreamwork, please see my book Active Dreaming, published by New World Library.
 

Mark Twain on drilling dream memory & dreaming parallel lives

posted by Robert Moss

- Mark Twain A.F.Bradley 1909In one of his later stories, “My Platonic Sweetheart”, Mark Twain wrote, “In our dreams — I know it! — we do make the journeys we seem to make, we do see the things we seem to see.”

He also described a practice for “drilling” the memory in order to catch more dreams and use them to discover the nature of the personality and of reality itself. “Few drill the dream-memory, and no memory can be kept strong without them.” The drill involves writing down dreams when they are fresh, then studying them and revisiting them and trying to figure out “what the source of dreams is, and which of the two or three separate persons inhabiting us is their architect.”

 Mark Twain’s experience was that in dreams we can find ourselves in parallel worlds where we lead a continuous life, usually forgotten after waking. In these parallel lives, we may be following a path from which we departed in ordinary life. We may find ourselves living with a lost love.

As a cub pilot, Sam Clemens (as he then was) was smitten by a lovely fourteen-year-old girl in braids called Laura Wright. He spent two days hours as close to her as he could get, then they were forced to separate and embarked on separate lives. Mark Twain’s notebook entries suggest that he dreamed of Laura, and a parallel life in which they were united, over most of his life.

He wrote enigmatically, in a letter in 1893: “I dreamed I was born, and grew up, and was a pilot on the Mississippi and a miner and journalist and had a wife and children — and this dream goes on and on and on, and sometimes seems so real that I almost believe that it is real. I wonder if it is?”  He wished to be able to migrate to a parallel world where he could be with loved ones from whom he was cruelly separated.

Adapted from The Secret History of Dreaming by Robert Moss. Published by New World Library. All rights reserved.

Photo: Taken in 1909 by A.F.Bradley. Public domain.

Jesus tells me he’s an Ace up my sleeve

posted by Robert Moss

BoyWhoDied_cvr.inddOur spiritual guides take forms adjusted to our understanding. “I saw him in the way I was able to perceive him,” runs a line on this subject in the Gnostic Acts of Thomas. In the Western Mystery tradition, the term “contact picture” is used to describe a form a being from the larger reality make take, through a kind of mutual agreement with the perceiver, in order to be visible and comprehensible.

The form of the guide may be familiar and comforting, fitting traditional belief systems and culture patterns. Or it may be shocking and radically new, as if devised to tear through the carapace of received beliefs and carry us beyond our comfort zones.

In the midst of my spiritual crisis in the late 1980s, I found it entirely shocking to come upon a form of Jesus Christ in bright midday sunshine, near the old white oak. I thought I really had lost it at that point, especially since I rarely go to church and had wandered very far from the teachings of organized religion.

This Jesus figure appeared as a figure of solid light, wearing a crown of thorns. I interviewed him, ready to conclude that I was talking to a projection. I began by asking, “Why are you still wearing a crown of thorns?” The figure responded, mind to mind, “Because of all the evil that continues to be done in my name.” That gave me pause; it was quite unexpected, and carried a sense of truth.

Years later, walking a gritty downtown street with a Dominican sister, I had another vision of Jesus. I was again shocked to feel and see his presence. He gave me some good counsel. The best bit was his parting remark. “You don’t have to talk about me. Just regard me as the ace up your sleeve.” Now that, I remarked to my Dominican friend, is a Jesus I can relate to!

- adapted from The Boy Who Died and Came Back by Robert Moss. Published by New World Library. All rights reserved.

Previous Posts

Bringing our lost children out of the glass bubble
I am out in the woods in the middle of the night, on Cortes Island. I notice other figures, animal and human and hybrid, moving among the trees, taking form then fading back into the shadows. I find three clear and reliable travel companions. Red-tailed hawk scouts ahead, gray wolf flanks me on th

posted 9:15:37am Apr. 11, 2014 | read full post »

Dream groups as models for a new community
Community, as Peter Block defines it in a provocative  book, is about the experience of belonging. To belong is to feel at home, to know you are among family or friends. When something belongs

posted 5:12:19am Apr. 09, 2014 | read full post »

Mark Twain on drilling dream memory & dreaming parallel lives
In one of his later stories, “My Platonic Sweetheart”, Mark Twain wrote, “In our dreams — I know it! — we do make the journeys we seem to make, we do see the things we seem to see.” He also described a practice for “drilling” the memory in order to catch more dreams and use them t

posted 9:27:42am Mar. 23, 2014 | read full post »

Jesus tells me he's an Ace up my sleeve
Our spiritual guides take forms adjusted to our understanding. “I saw him in the way I was able to perceive him,” runs a line on this subject in the Gnostic Acts of Thomas. In the Western Mystery tradition, the term “contact picture” is used to describe a form a being from the larger reality

posted 5:54:06am Mar. 22, 2014 | read full post »

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