A woman physician in Alaska dreamed that her two grandmothers, one Athapaskan Indian, the other Euro-American, paid her a visit in the same dream. They told her, "Go to Robert Moss. You need to meet the Bear."
At the time, the doctor had never heard of me. But she entered my name on an internet search engine, and immediately pulled up the details of a workshop I was leading in Oregon a few weeks later. The title of this program was: "Dancing with the Bear: Reclaiming the Arts of Dream Healing."
The physician did not hesitate. She booked a plane ticket, flew down the coast, drove in a rental car out to a small center near Bend, and was soon singing an indigenous song to call in the healing power of the Bear. In the first morning of the workshop, she joined in a group journey to go down into the Cave of the Bear and receive its gifts. She came back with tears of joy in her eyes. She told us, "I now know what is required for me to be a true healer as well as a physician. When my patients come to me, they will get the best that modern medicine has to offer. At the same time, they will receive the healing power of the Bear, because that is all around me."
She later reported that she felt the Bear paws over her hands, gently guiding her in her work.
This rich and beautiful experience was only the first of our encounters. The doctor from Alaska came to subsequent Active Dreaming workshops, and in a journey for spiritual guides during a week-long adventure at the Esalen Instiute, she met a radiant being whose body seemed composed of liquid gold, who wrapped his own energy and insight, and that of his serpent companion, around her. She had received a vision of Asklepios very much in the way that the ancients perceived this sacred guide, the god of dream healing. She promised that she would carry this transpersonal energy, also, into the consulting room, and would urge her patients to bring her their dreams as well as their symptoms, and to seek both diagnosis and keys to personal healing through the visions of the night.
In this way, a doctor became more than a provider of medicine. In a sense, she became medicine, carrying the power and the insight to operate in the transpersonal and spiritual realms where keys to understanding the sources of illness and of healing are to be found.