What is Dreamwork?

Shamanic dreamwork, also known as Dream Healing, is a continuous journey of self-discovery and exploration. This spiritual and emotional healing approach has different methods, but the best way to begin to understand it is by learning about what dreams are, why we dream, what we can learn from our dreams, and the way that we dream.

What is a Dream?

Nobody knows for certain what dreams actually are, aside from being described as a mental experience that humans have during sleep. It has been noted that dreaming is universal, and that it is healthy for the body and the mind.

Why do we dream?

The reasons for dreaming have been discussed, investigated, and debated for ages. It’s a topic that carries a deep mystical energy and this could be mostly attributed to the fact that, although humans can share types of dreams, in the end everyone dreams differently.

What happens to my body while I’m sleeping?

Depending on who you ask, sleep occurs in cycles of 4 – 5 stages, that culminate in the REM (rapid eye movement) stage. During this stage, the body becomes temporarily paralyzed and it is when our deepest dreams occur. It has been theorized that muscle atonia evolved in order to protect humans from injuring themselves during sleep.

I don’t think that I dream…

Yes, everyone dreams, but many people don’t remember their dreams. There could be many reasons for not remembering your dreams, for example: high anxiety or stress, poor diet, sleeping in an unstable environment, or taking certain medications. However, lack of awareness or an unconscious desire to ignore dreams might be the biggest factor in dream forgetfulness.

How can I start remembering my dreams?

The best and simplest way to begin is by keeping a dream journal by the bedside table. Writing down your dreams as soon as you wake up helps you “purge” the experience. Sometimes, only one symbol or scenario will be at the top of your mind, which is perfectly natural. Other times, your dreams will feel like long, epic stories. Re-reading these experiences will help you pay more attention to what you’ve been dreaming, and will help you become aware of your dreaming patterns.

What is the benefit of Dreamwork?

You might be asleep but your brain is still awake, and the Soul sees this as the perfect moment to bring important messages to your attention, using your unconscious mind to conjure up images and emotions that have unique meaning to you. Be aware that your Soul knows your triggers and it will use them to grab your attention!

Dreams are revered as messages from the Soul in shamanic dreamwork. The dream world is also considered as being “just as real” as the waking world. They exist as parallel realities of consciousness. Changes made in the dream world may affect our experience in the waking world, and vice versa. The challenge is learning how to understand our own dream language.

Although everyone’s dream language is unique, the subjectivity of the dream experience has a tendency to confuse the dreamer into believing that the dream is an external message: telepathic (dreaming about other people), psychic (knowing future events), or divine (messages from God). Although telepathic dreams are possible, dreams are usually messages from the dreamer, by the dreamer, and for the dreamer.

A popular way of practicing dream healing is through dream interpretation. During a dream interpretation session, the dreamer shares their dreams with an experienced individual in order to expose and discuss the perspectives and possibilities of what the dream might mean. When the dreamer opens up to these possibilities, deep insight and wisdom is recaptured from the dream – and so, the dream healing journey begins.

How can I “do” Dreamwork?

The best way to begin learning is by paying attention to your dreams. Journaling offers a wealth of insight, and the practice helps you flex your dream memory muscle. Over time you will feel like you are “dreaming more”, when the only thing that has changed is your awareness of your own dreams. The practice also helps develop more in-dream awareness, so be prepared for lucid dreaming!

Every once in a while, I offer a weekend Dreamwork course to teach interpretation techniques that are very valuable for anyone who is into dreaming and spiritual development. If you can’t attend, you can still purchase the workbook right here!

  • Dreamscapes Dream Journal

    Designed to be used as a reference workbook for Lisa’s dream interpretation workshops, DREAMSCAPES includes a summarized introduction to spiritual dream healing & a unique system for dream interpretation that you won’t find anywhere else! Includes: • Dream Interpretation Basics • Dream Elements • Archetypes • The Dream Wheel • 25 Journal Pages Softcover, full color, self-published.  

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