All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream. Edgar Allan Poe
Dreams are today’s answers to tomorrow’s questions. Edgar Cayce
There is no such thing as a dream with only one meaning.
All dreams and dream images are “overdetermined,” and have multiple meanings and layers of significance. Jeremy Taylor
The interpretation of dreams is the royal road to a knowledge of the unconscious activities of the mind. Sigmund Freud
I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming I am a man. Zhuangzi
Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake. Henry David Thoreau
Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes. Carl Jung
Nearly two years ago ( right before my birthday ) I drove up towards the lovely old Quaker Meetinghouse in Abington, PA. It was a sumptuous Autumn day. The dazzling November sun stood high above and smiled upon the fall foliage in all its multicolored splendor. Leaves of burgundy, gold, mahogany, and rust wore their costumes proudly under the brilliant sapphire sky. As my car made its way up the hill I felt as if I was being reborn again. My soul was being restored to its default setting – miraculous pure glory!!
Backstory: Around 2010 or 2011 the idea came to me to return to dream work. It was the right time to reopen that particular door. Perhaps I was looking for experiences I could rely on that were abundant and easily accessible. Yeah I am one of those people – I remember some of my dreams almost daily. Even today when I felt relieved that I had no recall, an hour or so later the storyline from last evening’s drama appeared in my waking mind. As a child and adolescent I had thought everyone dreamed regularly and remembered the details, not just the nightmares! In college I took a dream course with one of my friends. We had a blast. We studied and processed dream material from Freudian, Jungian and Gestalt perspectives. I still prefer Jung to this day. I think that he has a more evolved perspective than Freud and a more transpersonal approach than Perls’ Gestalt philosophy. My boyfriend at the time ( yeah him !) and I would process our dreams together every morning, He has the moon in Cancer and mine is in the 4th house so dream sharing came naturally to us. I have been fortunate to find some very sensitive and intuitive men throughout my adulthood who are active dreamers like me. When I was in high school though, I felt isolated about my active dreaming and terrified of the pre-cognitive dreams that I was experiencing. Fortunately I came to terms with the dream process through support from others and studying Psychology.
So around 2011 I decided to follow my intuition and seek out a dream class. I found an evening dream workshop in my community. I remember entering the dimly lit church and walking through the dark corridors. There was magic in the air. The class itself was not that informative but many of my fellow students were truly major dreamers. They spoke about lucid dreams, recurring dreams, psychic dreams, astral travel, returning to dreams after awakening, and more. They were my people! One woman mentioned Pendle Hill ( one of my sacred places) and Quaker meeting early on in the evening. I knew that was a sign. Later when we exchanged contact information she told me about an ongoing group held at Abington Meeting.
History of Abington Meeting and Short Stable: According to http://abington.quaker.org/ The original meetinghouse was erected between 1698 and 1699. By the middle of the 18th century Abington’s meetinghouse was the only building large enough to hold Quarterly Meeting. This is the event held 4 times a year when all the monthly meetings in the area come together to conduct business. In 1760 a blacksmith shop was built adjacent to the meetinghouse. Many Quakers came to meeting in horse-drawn vehicles or on horseback; by having a blacksmith shop and engaging a smith for the day they could have their horses shod while they worshiped or attended to business. This structure still stands and is currently known as “the Short Stable”.
Abington Dream Group: So I arrived at the Short Stable and entered this historic building. I immediately had a deja vu experience. I felt at home and I was beaming with joy. I was welcomed by the leader and other dreamers as if they were expecting me. In fact it felt like I was at my own birthday party. To call the situation surreal would be an understatement. The room was filled with love and sparkled with electricity. The energy from the roaring fireplace seemed to ignite and sustain the group’s ability to share and process the dream material put forth. It may sound like a cliché, but my initial visit felt like an actual dream.
We use Jeremy Taylor’s dream theory and format to operate the group. Jeremy Taylor has been writing and practicing his own version of Jungian dream work for over forty years. He emphasizes that the dreamer’s perspective is the most important and that all dreams occur to teach us something. Like Jung, he stresses the symbolic and multi – layered nature of dreams . He also insists that the dreamer will feel it in their heart when they hear the correct interpretation.
The intersection of this sacred space and the people who are attracted to it is what makes this group extraordinary. The people are new friends I have known forever and the insights made manifest are amazing. I included this Dream group in the Returning Home Series because the Divine dwells here for me. Dreamwork is a lifelong route for me to access the divine but this particular group is Divine in action. Some doors are better kept locked and shuttered. This door however led me back home.
Tell me about your take on dreams –
Do you have regular recall?
What do dreams mean to you in the overall scheme of your spiritual life?
Do you have a favorite dream theory?
What types of dreams do you have?
How do your dreams influence your definition of reality?
Dream work Resources –
Films that feature dreams –
Music: I included these 3 videos for 3 different reasons ~
The first is a Grateful Dead song that constitutes ” prep work” for initiation into altered states of being. Its inclusion here is more intuitive than logic bound! The title The Golden Road to Unlimited Devotion is evocative to a place one visits during a deep meditative state. I loooooved this song as a teen and saw myself as the girl in the song. Keep your mind open ……
The second song is Hold On Tight to your Dreams , an upbeat classic by ELO that has cutting edge visuals and an uplifting message. Just like the dream world, it takes you on a mind bending ride.
My final choice is Dream Weaver, a simply beautiful song by Gary Wright accompanied by breathtaking imagery. It is an aural and visual banquet. Partake with abandon!
blue door header and fall foliage images courtesy of http://www.imagebase.net/
all other photos by litebeing chronicles © 2013