Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Little Drummer Girl

The beautiful little drummer girl in the photo is 18-month-old Jaslyn. She came with her parents, Roger and Gabby, to a very special gathering I led on Gore Mountain, in the New York Adirondacks, last weekend. Jaslyn joined us in the opening rounds of drumming to call up the dreams and visions that wanted to play with us, and very often would call for "More, more!" when the drumming stopped.

There is another sense on which Jaslyn is a dream child. Roger and Gabby met in their dreams long before they first met in the physical world, at one of my dream workshops in Manhattan. Gabby dreamed of a tall, handsome and humorous man who resembled Bob Saget, the host of "America's Funniest Home Videos", and shared his flair for performance. To her surprise, in the dream her very traditional Korean family were happy to welcome this man - who seemed to be her fiance - into their midst. When she first met Roger, she recognized the man from her dream. Like Bob Saget, Roger is 6'4''. He is also an actor and playwright - and a most gifted dreamer.

This story is a fine example of how we can dream our way, to Mr. Right, Ms. Right - and Baby Right. The presence of the Little Drummer Girl in our circle of thirty "frequent flyers" over the weekend was especially meaningful because one of the themes that emerged was the need to help families everywhere better understand how to listen to the dreams of children and nourish the imagination of the child.

When I returned from the mountain, I opened an email from an anthropologist (previously unknown to me) who is seeking to revive the understanding of shamanic practice in ancient Europe by leading retreats involving ecstatic trance postures from prehistoric Minoan art. She reported that she had just read my book Conscious Dreaming on the island of Crete. When I visited her website, I found this provocative quote from a teacher I greatly respect, Rachel Naomi Remen MD:

"You heal a dominant culture by forming a subculture of credible people, in the middle of it, who value something new, who reinforce and reward something that the dominant culture represses."

We understand this in the Dream School, and we have been working in this way for close on 15 years. In the presence of the Little Drummer Girl, it also seemed clearer to us than ever before that if we are going to rebirth a dreaming society in our time, we must begin by supporting our children as dreamers, and listening to them. When it comes to dreaming, kids are the real teachers because they are at home in the world of the imagination and they know that dreams, whether fun or scary, are real experiences. Look for a new series of playshops on "Dreaming for Kids and Families", coming soon.


Gretchen said...

What a synchronicity with the island of Crete which came up twice for me over the weekend.
I am really looking forward to the Playshops. I have a few ideas for dreaming with kids percolating that I'll share with you once they're brewed!

Anonymous said...

My son is autistic, which starts to show up at about the age of the young drummer. His dreams have always been amazing things, and when he shares them you know that you are touching a different level of spiritual awareness.The older he gets, the more you have to encourage him to share. It seems that even though we listen eagerly at home, others don't and he has picked up on that. Too bad the world is not a safe place for someone like my son to share his dreams.

Skipper Kim said...

I love this! So true about the importance of listening to the children.... including the one that still lives w/in each of us no matter how many years old we are.

Wanda Burch said...

My son always received encouragement in his dreaming and has proved to be a perceptive dreamer who dreamed his wife, dreamed his children, and dreamed his career - and works with problems within his work space in dreamtime. I cannot imagine - in looking back - how either of us could have come through some of life's challenges without both of us dreaming and working through his dreams and my dreams in the best kind of partnering. It is so important for Robert - and his dreamers - to move forward with the Playshops and to energize all the suggestions for working with children's dreaming. It is a priority gift that should be the navigating force in our lives from the moment we take our first breath [and before].

Roger Z. said...

I love the picture of the little drummer girl. such a natural. so smart, so inspired, so beautiful.

Roger, her father.

Donna K said...

A friend wrote a psych paper on Dreaming, and mentioned the fact that we Dream in the Womb. What a perfectly Natural thing to hang onto, and how important for us to remind the rest of the Grownups about this!

Ann G. said...

What a delightful Little Drummer Girl! I can attest to her charming nature, as I was also there on the Magic Mountain. She won everyone's heart as she enthusiastically joined in the singing, playing and drumming. She'll be more verbal soon and sharing dreams, we hope.
The next weekend I was on a sunny Florida beach attending Surfers for Autism fundraiser. The artwork painted on the surfboards to be auctioned off was beautifully done. For some of our youth who are challenged by disabilities, it is a joy to see them participating . The liberating value of a splash in the ocean or ride in a sailboat cannot be underestimated.
So, Little Girl Drummer, drum on! Others will want to play with you.

Robert Moss said...

Thanks to everyone for your wonderful responses! Ebellej, we CAN and must make a world where it is safe for kids to share their dreams - and where grown-ups will hear them and learn from them, since when it comes to dreaming kids know more than most adults. Roger, congratulations on your beautiful Little Drummer Girl, and thank you for raising one of the new genertation of dreamers who will help to rebirth a dreaming society. It's time!