Every day G and I walk the dogs around the neighbourhood. I love looking at homes. There are beautiful homes in many of the cities around and within the Montreal area. Actually, no matter where you go on the planet – it’s interesting to explore people, their stories, and the places they live in.
Often when I speak about dreaming I mention the importance of “impressions.” In our modern society we often depend on sight to dictate what we observe and understand of our environment and ourselves. Too many people actually believe they can’t dream if they can’t perceive pictures in their minds as they sleep. My students are always somewhat surprised when we spend the better half of a year working on developing our senses including the 6th sense. The notion of “impressions” is crucially important in the journey of an indigenous dreamer.
Before we even begin to explore “night dreams” and what they may mean, we have to practice the skill of observation and identify how our personal bodies (emotional, physical, mental, spiritual and energetic) relate to internal and external realities.
I’ve often spoken of Shamanism as an intimate experience of nature and the stars; but what does that mean exactly?
Many years ago I had a discussion on “phenomenon” with two of my physicians at the Hospital. They said that even though most doctors depend on a scientific perspective the notion of “phenomenon” is not unfamiliar territory. For example an Oncologist once explained to me how rare spontaneous healing actually is; but in his career he was blessed enough to have seen it twice. Gynaecologists will agree that a great percentage of babies are born on a Full Moon. I’ve spoken to physicians who tend the emergency ward and they’ve admitted that there are often clusters of people with the same ailments who appear as if some days or evenings are more prone to heart patients or cancer patients or broken bones. As far as the scientific experts can attest: Who or what decides these miracles is still a mystery. Yet, from a Shamanic point of view it shows how inter-related we are to natural and cosmological realities.
When I was growing up my mother would often say it was normal to get tired during the Fall season. The same way that it was normal to be sad on rainy days. “Normal” implied that it was a given. When my children were growing up they too would frequently ask questions about “impressions” they picked up off of seasons or the weather. At the time since I was learning how to be more disciplined as a dreamer, I decided to emphasize these impressions by connecting them to stories.
Basically if you sit long enough with an impression it will grow into a story. Kids are fabulous at doing this. They aren’t programmed with feelings, thoughts and opinions like adults are. Even before they have enough vocabulary to adequately share their stories they can convey incredible scenes accompanied by sounds and body movements. At age 2 – CT could already correctly predict storms just by the sound the wind made through the leaves. In the house, CT would often throw the empty plastic diaper pail over his head and march around; bumping against walls; and rolling on the ground.
He would giggle and tell us: “It’s just like a thunder storm.”
It was with the help of my children that I was able to understand the concept of “impressions and their stories;” and how they connect to the art of dreaming. It took me a few decades of exploring my own impressions and their stories to finally become conscious of my own inner world. We all react and understand life from different perspectives. Self-discovery in my experience is much more then about psychology.
If you want to truly connect to your basic nature you need to be open to it without judgment and expectation.
Everyone wants to be accepted and loved. For most people this means approaching others with a smile; being willing to be generous, polite, and respectful; and having a friendly attitude. Yet, as we all know it takes more then a recipe of kindness to belong. If you’re not genuine, confident, and capable of listening and sharing intimate parts of yourself most relationships will end almost as soon as they started. What’s sad is that too many of today’s relationships are focused on filling holes or fears rather then building a strong future with others.
When we start learning about “totems” we often gravitate around animals we either love or hate. I remember dreaming about wolves when I was a toddler. I knew really nothing about the animal and yet, felt a strong kinship to it. The strongest impression that I had about the Wolf was that of a growl. For over 40 years I’ve explored this totem from different empirical perspectives; but I can fairly say that its connection to me is no doubt through its growl.
I need to growl to find balance and to feel whole; at the same time, I’ve come to understand that the people in my life respect and even seek out my growl as if it brings in their life some kind of balance and wholeness. Every impression reveals a story that is crucial to explore, experience and understand. Not only does it reveal parts of us; part of our Wheel / our personal story; but it also speaks of how we relate to the World and where we fit in it.
Dreaming is a journey of impressions rather then a world of pictures. This isn’t to say that “we shouldn’t look forward to what we see in our dreams;” but it does imply that there’s more to dreaming then the shapes and forms on the canvas.
Pay attention to the vibes!