Dreaming is one of my favorite aspects of life as a human being on planet earth, so I felt like exploring this while we’re on the topic of sleep.
So what are dreams, anyway? I used to think dreams were merely a reflection of what I’d experienced in my waking reality, and while partially true—this is such a limited point of view.
We have a tendency to focus on the content of our dreams. There are numerous dream interpretation books out there, yet the very nature of dreaming still remains a mystery.
In Jungian ideology, dreams are stories that emanate from our subconscious mind and clue us into personal themes of which we are unaware of in our waking reality. Dreams may also subtly point to ways in which we can heal or solve problems. When we dream, the thick veil over our subconscious mind (that exists in our waking reality) gets temporarily lifted – giving us access to hidden insights and information.
There are disciplined Buddhist practices that help to cultivate awareness during sleep. In these practices, dreams are a means of purifying accumulated karma, and lucid dreaming is an enlightenment practice. When we become lucid in a dream, we are aware that we are dreaming, and when we become advanced dreamers, we may be able to choose how we engage in the plot — which has the potential to make lasting changes in our everyday life.
It was such a mind-bender when I first learned the concept that our dreams are as real as our waking reality. While this is not a widely accepted belief today, ancient spiritual traditions knew otherwise – they greatly valued information gleaned in dreams, and even used dreams to make important decisions that affected the collective.
The Toltecs knew that for something to exist in the material world, we first have to dream it into being. We live in a world where the prevailing view of consensus reality is ‘agreed upon,’ and I believe this is in part what keeps us repeating destructive cycles.
In the dreamtime, there is an opportunity for us to be liberated from the confines of ordinary reality. When we sleep, we are detached from the matrix of the material world and our consciousness is able to access higher dimensions of awareness. We are no longer trapped by limiting concepts or societal programs, if you will.
We frequently use dream language to refer to the person, career, vacation, or even the home of our dreams. We also talk about dreaming and visioning something to make it a reality. What if we were to explore the art of dreaming as a means of supporting human growth and advancement? After all, we do spend 1/3 of our lives sleeping, so it might be wise to make good use of this time. 🙂
Imagine if many of us became adept dreamers, we could co-create a very different existence. After all, the world reflects our beliefs to us (matter follows energy), it does not create them. The collective change will happen when we change ourselves – following the guidance of our dreams.