Calling a Community of Dreamers
Anyone reading this likely knows that the way we humans are currently living on and with the Earth is unsustainable. If you need a wake-up call, read Wen Stephenson’s recent article about global warming in the Boston Phoenix. The natural tendency is to look away, to not see what is happening, because it’s too overwhelming. What can we do?
We can envision ways to live in harmony and right relationship with each other, other creatures and beings, and the Earth. Then of course we need to act to bring the vision into reality, to experience it physically. Both are difficult enough that in our despair they may seem impossible. What’s impossible is to continue indefinitely our current ways of thinking and acting. The choice available to us is not whether or not we change, but how much influence we have over how the changes take place.
In indigenous traditions, everything that exists in the physical world is first created through dreaming and visioning. We tend to think that the world we live in is out of balance because of what we and others are doing or not doing. Yes – and also, perhaps we have not fully opened ourselves to the dreams and visions that want to come through to help us.
Late last fall, while taking an evening walk after teaching a dreaming workshop, I had a vision of convening a community of dreamers who are drawn to help shift our current trajectory. Many offerings and events could help build such a community. I will continue to offer basic and advanced shamanic dreaming classes, workshops, and circles for those who want to develop their skills in that dreaming tradition. (If you are interested in participating in the class and workshop I am offering this spring, click here.) I am also imagining gatherings in which participants share compelling dreams that have come through, perhaps in response to a question we all ask of our dreams in advance. These dreams can alert, nurture, inform and inspire us, individually and collectively.
Here is a dream that I had in December, 2006, in response to a question I had about taking a trip to Ireland the following year. The dream shows me the impact of air travel on the Earth, and it also carries wisdom far beyond my question.
“I am in a workshop with other women. We are learning to call what we want to us, including love. We are moving as a group from one place to another on foot, traveling in the street, going down a gentle hill. The street is lined with trees. One woman says, ‘We’re trying to cut them down.’ She’s referring to the ways we travel in cars. The way we usually move is really harmful to trees, and we proceed as if our movement is more important than their lives. She also means how we are moving now. There’s a pride and heedlessness in us that we need to be conscious of.
“We move forward. I have a tin cup in my left hand, like a camping cup. It has oil or gas in it. I am waving it as we go, representing the harm we have been doing. When we reach a certain place, I spill it on the ground, on pavement, representing letting go of these ways.
“We spread out in an open, paved space outside a building. The building is a school we are attending. One of the women begins loudly calling her own name. This is one of the ways we’ve been taught to call love to us. We need to let go of our inhibitions, our fear of calling attention to ourselves. I am impressed by her courage and a little bit daunted. I begin calling my own name, at first like a mother calling a child, then more strongly. It feels good.
“A flock of beautiful white birds, so thick it looks like a cloud, forms over us. The light is filtered through them as through a cloud. We can see the light and shadow on their bodies. I begin to move my arms back and forth over my head, singing a song. The birds flap their wings, waving. I shout, ‘They’re waving back to us!’ I am overwhelmed with joy. I keep waving and shouting. Everyone looks up. I feel convinced that they are responding to us. I am almost crying, I am so happy that this is possible, that they care about us and are connected to us.”
I look forward to exploring with others how we can “let go of these ways” and have the kind of beautiful connection with Nature that I had in the dream. If you want to be on my e-mail list to receive notice of future offerings, please contact me here.