Honoring Dreams as Sacred Gifts
Rev. Bonnie Tarwater leads weekly dream groups, workshops and is also available for individual dream sessions
There are many ways to work with dreams and I support and use many different techniques. There may be more than one meaning to every dream and because dreams come to teach us what we do not necessarily know about ourselves we embark on the hero and or heroines inner journey. Before we begin, I give you my blessings and congratulate you on your courage to begin this inner journey of the sacred and or your souls. As a minister, I use God language when people are open to it and I have also studied Jungian dream theory and use many different dream traditions. I encourage using all the world religious stories, myths, metaphors, archetypes and symbols for our individual and collective healing and consciousness raising.
Three ideas are suggested as we honor our dreams;
1. It is suggested to keep a dream journal and write and or draw your dreams regularly. Keep a journal next to your bed and write your dreams down immediately when you awake or use a tape or phone audio recording to be able to “catch” the dream. If possible, bring written copies of your recent dream for the other group members to be able to read as well as hear your dream. Making drawings of dreams is often even better than written words for as Carl Jung write,"Often the hands will solve a mystery that the intellect has struggled with in vain."
2. There are many different kinds of dreams and even the smallest dream fragment is worthy of our attention. Dreams come for healing especially nightmares.
3. There must be emotional and spiritual safety and confidentiality in the dream group and an appreciation that only the dreamer can know for sure what their own dream symbols mean. Dreams are gifts and messages from God or our higher self or whatever language you feel comfortable with. Whatever our religious beliefs, the more we honor our dreams the more they will give us insights. Sharing dreams in small groups is can be a profound sources of intimacy and sacred experience.
Each dream group begins with a short check in and the group ends with a check out inviting everyone to share what they are feeling. We suggest not having “cross talk” or conversation during check in, check out and dream sharing. Everyone is invited to share a recent dream and then we honor each dream individually by inviting characters and symbols to join our sacred dream circle and we interact with them. We begin and close with a prayer and or mediation in order to invite holy blessings on our dreams and dream sharing time together.
Dreams and visions yearn to be known and interacted or played with. lf God is the creative force and if God is love what a gift of love and creativity dreams offer. The bringer of dreams is the creative improviser extraordinaire! All of life dreams. If God is a process and in relationship with us God seems to want to PLAY with those who are AWAKE!
“…we tell ourselves stories make-believe stories, we create our own versions of other people’s stories, we pretend to be people we admire and people we fear, we imagine what it would be like to get things we desire most, we revisit (in a safe space) recent experiences that were strange, disturbing , or scary, we mischievously overturn the many rules that burden us in our “serious” lives, and we envision what life might hold for us as we grow into the future. (my emphasis)” Visions of the Night by Kelly Bulkeley
God and dreams are both relational, luring us to not only survive but thrive. Dreams are God’s messages luring us to adventure, zest, truth, beauty, peace and LOVE. All visual and performing art are inspired by dreams, day and night dreams, visions and mental imaginations.
Honoring dreams helps us celebrate the universe as creative, interrelational, dynamic, and opens us to a new future. Healing comes when we can take the pain of our past and transform it into a new life story. In process theology, God is relational, present in every moment of our lives and in all entities and levels of being. The world is interconnected, in effect a giant ecosystem where what harms or blesses one, harms or blesses all. God feels everything with every life form and as my teacher John. B. Cobb says, “To love God is to attend to what God is doing in the world especially in ourselves. It also means to open ourselves so that God may work more effectively in us.” Dreams are an ancient spiritual time whose time has come back.