Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Can't stop the dreamers drumming
Sivananda Ashram, Bahamas
Those in authority have decided to ban shamanic drumming for groups, in the way we practice this in Active Dreaming circles. They have concluded that the combination of drumming with personal dreams and imagery, used as portals for shamanic journeys, is just too powerful, opening direct access to the sacred and to self-healing.
However, the practice has become so popular that it cannot be stopped. Efforts to interfere result in groups everywhere taking up the practice and it spreads like benign wildfire, cracking open the carapace of hand-me-down doctrines and entrenched skepticism. The mood is soon celebratory. Dream droughts are breaking everywhere.
I wake feeling very cheerful, even triumphant, from this dream today. I have the sense of a great wave whose ripples are being felt in many communities. My mind goes to the Singing Revolution in the Baltic. When I first visited Tallinn (where I am teaching again next month) I visited the Museum of the Occupations (note the plural noun) which preserves the memory of the suffering of Estonians under the heel of two totalitarian dictatorships, those of Hitler and Stalin. I will never forger listening to a recording of the chief of the Soviet KGB in Tallinn as people gathered in their hundreds of thousands to sing folk songs together, defying an official ban. As the singing crowd mounted, the Soviet secret police boss reported to Moscow, "We have lost". The collapse of Communism followed.
I know the power of the combination of dreamwork and shamanic journeying that I have called Active Dreaming. There is an immense gift available in any image that comes to us spontaneously, especially in dreams we have not asked for and may or may not want. Any image that is authentic and personal can be worked with in the direction of healing and guidance.
If you have been running away from something that scares you in dreams, you want to learn to go back and confront that fear on its own ground. You may find that what is waiting for you, beyond the fear, is your own power. You may find that by clarifying what is going on in the dream, you are able to avoid a crisis in waking life - an illness, an accident, the rupture of a relationship - that the dream has been trying to prepare you for.
You may have met someone in a dream with whom you want to have an extended conversation, a departed loved one, a spiritual guide, an enigmatic figure you would like to identify.
When you learn to journey through the portals of your own dreams, you will soon discover that a dream can be your gateway into the multiverse. You can use a dream door to travel to past or future or to a parallel self on a parallel life path. You can even find your way, through the space of a dream, to connect with a younger and brighter aspect or yourself that may have gone missing through pain or trauma or disappointment and bring her vital energy to reside in your heart and your life.
This is the royal road to becoming a lucid dreamer any time of day or night.
Steady drumming on a simple frame drum, of the kind that humans have been using for many thousands of years (first in Mongolia and Siberia) provides excellent rule and focus for this kind of journey. I have recorded my own shamanic drumming CD specifically for dream travelers
They truly can't stop the dreamers drumming.
Photos: (1) drumming with a people of the Singing Revolution on the Bay of Riga in 2011
(2) scene on the beach in the Bahamas near the ashram where I am teaching today.