As I wrote the headline I realized it was perhaps a little ambiguous however I am not going to reflect on the perfect relationship rather I am going to share with you a process of working on a dream with someone else.
I was introduced to the idea of dream partnering over thirteen years ago in the program The Art of Spiritual Guidance which had a session on dreams. Up until then my study of dreams had been individual, mostly associated with reading and practical experience.
The essence of the teaching was not new except in one regard which in fact became a life changing experience. Atum our teacher introduced the idea of working with a partner to explore the meaning of dreams. Choosing a partner becomes a sacred contract between two people where one assumes the role of the dream keeper or holder of the dream for the other. In this way a container is created for the dream’s unfolding.
The role of the dream partner is as follows:
- To listen to the dream without commenting or interjecting rather from the place of the listening heart.
- To repeat the dream back to the dreamer.
- To explore the feelings that were felt during the dream. (not after as the waking moments are the most unreliable witness because this is the moment the ego enters the dialogue).
- Ask the dreamer to describe the energy of the dream (e.g. flowing/stuck, vital/lethargic, harmonious/discordant etc.) and which aspect of the dream had the greatest amount of energy.
- To identify the symbols of the dream and ask the dreamer what these (people and things) may mean if they represented part of them.
- Finally to enquire if this experience seems to relate to anything that was transpiring in their lives.
It is important to observe which observations appears spontaneous and reactive as opposed to reflective. Dreams are generally not solved in the mind but at the level at which they occur – the unconscious. Frequently I observe that at this point someone will clearly see meaning or they won’t. There is what I refer to as the “ah-ha” moment. If not then simply let it go and “wait on the will of heaven”.
I was dream partnering with someone who shared the following dream. “She was pregnant; there was a lot of trauma and she needed a caesarian to deliver the baby. We explored energy, feelings and symbols. She told me the baby represented “a creation” and that a caesarian meant “forced delivery.” When I asked if this related to anything in her current life, she reacted in astonished amazement. She had just launched a new business venture that had been very slow to get off the ground. The dream helped her see she had pushed ahead too quickly.
During the workshop Atum asked us to find dream partners for the next year. I knew immediately who I wanted to work with and fortunately she had thought of me so we teamed up. She is still my dream partner and has become an invaluable support in the development of this process as well as my own dream teaching.
No-one else in our group of twenty-two lasted the year. The problem was that the others could not resist telling their partner what their dream means and this feels invalidating. Unless you have vast amounts of experience, only the dreamer really knows the meaning of the dream. What most people do is project themselves onto the dream with devastating consequences for the dream partnering process.