Dreaming is the best preparation for dying because in dreams we travel the same roads, out of the body, that we will take after death, when we no longer have physical bodies.
In our dreams, we are released from the laws of physical reality, and travel into other dimensions, including environments where the departed may be living. Through dreams of this kind, we can begin to develop a personal geography of the afterlife, which will be vastly enriched when we learn the art of conscious dream travel, which is at the heart of myown teaching and practice.
In my workshops, I often invite participants to focus on a dream or memory of a departed person and make it their intention to journey – with the help of shamanic drumming – to seek timely and helpful communication with that person and to learn about the environment where that person is now living. From these journeys, we have collected multifarious and fascinating details of reception centers, transition zones, places of recovery and further education and communications arrangements on the other side. We have explored many afterlife locales shaped by human imaginations and collective belief systems.
I don’t think it is possible to overstate the importance of developing first-hand knowledge of the afterlife. If we know, as a matter of direct experience, that there is life beyond death, we are likely to approach the choices and challenges of our regular lives with greater clarity and courage. If we are aware of the conditions of the afterlife, we are less likely to become stuck or confused when we leave our bodies behind.
If we are going on a journey, it is useful to have a map. In preparing for death, many cultures have attributed huge importance to
receiving accurate maps for the soul’s journey, with directions on how to deal with gatekeepers and challenges along the way. The trouble with old maps is that they may be hopelessly out of date or -worse – may deliver you into a stale collective situation where you do not really want to be. So where do we get an up-to-date map? Through dreaming, and conscious dream travel, as explained in depth in my books Dreamgates and The Dreamer’s Book of the Dead.
The Lakota say that the path of the soul in dreams is the same as the path of souls after death. I believe this is exactly right. Our
dreams will show us, and our departed loved ones, the way.