Sunday, July 5, 2015
The Heart of Conscious Dreaming: Nine Keys to Your Dreams
I dreamed last night that I was having lively and happy conversations about my book Conscious Dreaming. It is almost 20 years since I published Conscious Dreaming, the first of my many books on dreaming, and the one that introduced my original synthesis of contemporary dreamwork and shamanism to the world.
Many hundreds of people have told me about the effect that Conscious Dreaming has had on their lives. It seems to be a flying book. I have heard, for example, about how it flew off a shelf in the Boulder Bookstore and hit a well-known shamanic teacher in the place of the third eye. He purchased the book and then invited me to lead a workshop in his home town.
The path to publication for Conscious Dreaming was opened when I incubated a dream for guidance. I received exact instruction, in symbolic language that spoke to me, on how to proceed. I followed that guidance immediately - and found myself staring at the key scene from the dream when on book tour in San Francisco nine months later.
Right now I want to honor my latest dream, and the book that confirmed my path as a dream teacher, by sharing the core of the practice offered in Conscious Dreaming.
Nine Keys to Understanding Your Dreams
1. Trust Your Feelings
Always pay attention to how you feel when you wake from a dream. Your feelings and bodily sensations may be your best guide to the relative urgency and importance of a dream, and its positive or negative implications.
2. First Associations
In keeping a dream journal, you will want to get into the habit of jotting down your first associations with the dreams you record. What floats to the surface of your consciousness in the first minutes after waking may come from layers of the dream that have eluded, or from deeper levels of dreaming.
3. Reality Check
Though dreams are inner experiences, they often contain accurate information about external reality. In both subtle and unsubtle ways, dreams incorporate signals from the outside environments.
4. Dream Re-Entry
Dreams are real experiences, and a fully remembered dream is its own interpretation. The meaning of a dream is inside the dream itself. By learning how to re-enter dreams, you will develop the ability to clarify messages about future events, resume contact with inner teachers, and resolve unfinished business.
5. Dialogue with Dream Characters
One of the best ways to work out what your dream characters are telling you is to ask them.
6. Tracking Your Dream Self
Who are you in your dreams? Are you the protagonist or simply an observer? Are you younger or older? Male or female? The character who appears in all of your dreams, even if only as a witness is you.
7. Symbol Exploration
Although the dream source tries to communicate with us as clearly as possible, it must often speak in symbols in order to carry us beyond the limitations of the everyday mind.
8. "What Part of Me?"
Dreams make us whole. They show us the many aspects of ourselves and help us to bring them under one rood. This is why it is often useful to ask "what part of me" different characters and elements in a dream might represent.
9. Dream Enactment
Write a dream motto: See if you can come up with a one-line statement that summarizes what the dream is telling you.
Confirm your dream messages: Especially if your dream seems to contain a warning about a situation looming up in external reality, you may want to take steps to check the information.
Dream fulfillment or avoidance: If your dream seems to promise good things, you will want to figure out practical ways you can help to bring them to pass. If your don’t like a future event you have glimpsed in a dream, you will want to consider how to get off the path that is leading you toward it.
Personal Rituals: Making a poem out of a dream report, drawing or
painting the images you have seen, or constructing a personal shield or dream talisman are all excellent ways to honor the powers that speak to you through dreams.
"Nine Keys" adapted from Conscious Dreaming: A Spiritual Path for Everyday Life by Robert Moss. Published by Three Rivers Press. All Rights Reserved.