Tuesday, May 3, 2016

What causes dream drought

You hear it everywhere. "I don't remember my dreams", or even "I don't dream" (which only means "I don't remember" or, "I don't want to remember" since everyone dreams in three or four cycles, at a minimum, every night). You hear it from people who have no inner practice. You also hear it from people who may spend many hours a week in meditation, yoga or shamanic journeying but have no current relationship with the spontaneous gifts of the night, which can be deep and rich and a corrective to the control freak in the ego.
    A dream drought is recognized by dreaming peoples as a serious condition, for an individual or a community. The Iroquois say that if you have lost your dreams, it is because you have lost a vital part of your soul, the dreamer in you. A society that has lost its dreams risks falling into the Dark Times, because it has lost its primary connection with the spirit world, and is in danger of forgetting the origins and purpose of human life.
    There are four main reasons for the dream drought in many modern lives:

1. Bad habits.
The rhythms and routines of a typical urban life simply don’t support dream recall. Too often, we are jolted awake by alarm clocks – or bed mates, or kids who need to get to school – and stumble out into the world, fueled with caffeine, to try to get through our rounds of deadlines and obligations.

2. Fear and regret. 
We run away from our dreams because we think they might be telling us something we don’t want to hear – about the dark side of ourselves, or trouble or illness ahead – missing advisories that could help us do better,
Alternatively, we dream of something wonderful .But when we wake up we tell ourselves we can’t manifest what we enjoyed in our dreams. So we kiss off the dreams, forgetting that if we dream it we may be able to do it.

3. Artificial sleep cycles. 
Very often our concept of a good night’s sleep is at odds with our dreams. We are told we need to spend seven or eight hours each night in uninterrupted sleep. This idea would have amazed our ancestors. Before the advent of artificial lighting most humans experienced “segmented sleep” divided into at least two distinct cycles “Consolidated sleep”, as we experience it today, isn’t natural and does not support dreaming.

4. Lack of social rewards and encouragement.
Until recently, we have lacked a method of dream sharing that encourages people to remember and tell their dreams. The Lightning Dreamwork process, a signature technique of Active Dreaming that I first made public in 2000, gives us what has been lacking: a way to share dreams that is fast and fun, generates helpful and non-authoritarian feedback, and encourages the dreamer to take action to embody creative and healing energy and navigational guidance from the dream. Wherever this is practiced, people have positive incentives to bring a dream to the breakfast table, the coffee shop, or a quiet corner of the workplace. They feel rewarded and celebrated, and they don't want to miss out on the fun!

How to break a dream drought: Start here.

Image: Photo by Thomas Castelazo via Wikipedia Commons

1 comment:

Matilda said...

Ahh 1. and 3. are very hard to break away from but 4. has at least avenues like you describe to explore. Thanks for an illuminating article.