Many centuries ago, 7 young men, prosecuted by Decius, a Roman emperor, due to their Christian faith, entered a cave to pray and tired ... they all fell asleep. The emperor ordered that the mouth of the cave be sealed with the men still inside, but they didn't even notice as they were happy dreaming all together . Many years passed by, transformed into decades and then centuries.
One day, the story goes, the landowner decided to open the mouth of the cave… As light streamed to the inside of the cave, the seven sleepers awoke, got out of the cave and went into the town to get some food. Discovering a new world, 200 years older, they discovered that they had been sleeping … and dreaming together for 200 years… even if they thought it had been just 1 day. Just like the seven sleepers, in the workshops I run, working with creativity and dreams, the group is an important feature of the process.
Over the years, I have developed my own practice of working with dreams, which is slightly inspired by Tibetan dream yoga, and yet quite different as I also draw on Sufi dream work, Carl Jung work with dreams, and the use of creative tools such as drawing, storytelling and feeling the dreams, as instruments to work and heal dreams. In these, participants are informed about various techniques to become more aware of their dreams, both their content and the emotions locked in the imagery and ways to access these in the present moment to unveil, release and create with their deeper meaning. When working with dreams, we become more aware of the main drives of the personality and how its struggles, aspirations and blockages paint the rich imagery that fills our nights with stories. Step by step, one also touches a deeper part in all of us, the soul, and its silent gentle guidance is made more accessible. The soul begins to serve the personality, and not the other way around. Night after night new soul guidance is given in imaginative symbolical ways to the participant. Suddenly, dreams become our friends, silent companions, softly guiding our awakened lives in a magical, and yet grounded and practical way. One steps into soul consciousness.
Doing dream work with a group is also a very profound method in itself. Some ancient cultures payed more attention to dreams than to awakened life, and at times, the whole tribe would be called to enact special dreams shared with the Shaman. In our group workshops the group serves as a container, a sacred space where participants can access safely their inner world, and see it recognised … and transformed. At a certain point we all draw the dreams of each other and create a new dream... The group also accelerates the process of moving into soul consciousness, as a deeper part in us relaxes and rests in that silence of togetherness held by the group soul. As Llewellyn vaughan-lee says: “Group meets together for the purpose of transformation beyond the ego. If a group meets for this purpose the group is both energised and protected by the Self, the source and the goal of our inner drive for transformation. “