My apologies to my readers for not posting for 2 months. This has been one the busiest international traveling/teaching summers for me on record. And, although I am grateful for the sponsorships, the new people I’ve met, and the wonderful folks in other countries that I’ve gotten to visit or revisit…..some things, like my dream blog, needed to be put aside to get through my schedule.
This is not unlike the hiatus many of us take from writing down, or remembering our dreams. We know we dream nightly; we know sometimes we remember them and sometimes we do not; and we sometimes think those little fragments of a dream don’t mean much. The dream symbols and their seemingly unconscious meanderings though always are trying to impart something to our waking self.
To that end I will explore two dreams this month, to make up a bit for being a “Dream AWOL” bogger. The first is to show you how powerful even a dream fragment can be. The second will be more in-depth simply because I will have more to work with. Both however are important pieces of information for the two dreamers who volunteered their nightly dreamscapes.
P.S. I really, really need more dreams, and I am hoping for more diversification of dreamers presenting them. Thank you to all who have or will.
The first dream:
I don’t know what you will get out of my dream, it is very short and I don’t remember most of it. I dreamt I was handed a new born baby. I brought it to a doctor to be examined, and he told me the baby needed dental implants. It was only then I realized that the baby was so young, it didn’t even have any teeth yet. I couldn’t let that happen.
A new born baby being handed to you could mean you are being given a new opportunity to explore, birth, or renew something about yourself, that you have wanted to experience or develop. Now is the time. When you accept to hold the baby, it suggests that you are embracing this new aspect and agreeing to be responsible for how it grows. It can also mean that you are finally at peace with accepting something burgeoning within yourself. The baby wasn’t crying, so you are not overwhelmed or resisting.
You take the baby (this represents an innocent part of yourself) to someone of authority, the doctor. This could mean you are looking for assistance or direction from outside yourself, but it could also suggest, there is an inner, knowledgeable part of yourself that you need to consult, in order to expand on this new opportunity. You must decide what resonates for you most with this symbol. Are you used to giving away your power to someone else? Are you being mentored in a wholesome way? Do you spend the time to self reflect to know what the best options are for you?
The doctor suggests the baby needs dental implants. Teeth often center around our self image. And you need to be careful whose opinion and direction you accept, as to how you wish to be seen in this new, developing part of yourself. Implants could suggest you have some fear around your image, your own self expression and/or how you will be met or seen by others as this new ‘something’ or part of yourself blossoms. Implants are not necessarily of our nature. Medically or dentally they may help us with our self image, but they are external to us; they do not represent the inner us. Legitimately often our new ideas or opportunities need time to develop at their own pace.
When the dreamer says, “The baby doesn’t even have teeth yet,” so she can’t let that happen, I would suggest that she take the time to nurture this new idea, thought, opportunity or self image ‘re-make’, slowly and gently, like one would nurture a new born baby. Only then will she be able to “sink her teeth” into whatever it is she is trying to bring forth.
The second dream:
I’m lost, trying to find my way. I find myself in a large apartment, with dogs running around. Suddenly my spiritual teacher appears, it’s her apartment. Meryl Streep is with her. I apologize for being there. They are kind. They walk out, hands held in prayer and go to the left. I follow them out and go to the right. I’m on a well-worn path, it is very dark out but I can see the path. I’m walking up a mountain, the side of it rises steeply on my left. It is forested (like the way up Machu Picchu only narrower). I’m suddenly aware of a large dark man following beside me, off the path on my right. I can’t really see him, just know his presence is there. I’m frightened, it feels dangerous, like I’m being stalked. I lean in toward the cliff as I continue to walk. Suddenly I’m in a large busy terminal. I’m on a college campus, there is a shuttle train running through. I wonder if I should get on that train to reach my destination faster. But I don’t know where the train is going, don’t know how to use the train, and don’t know my destination. I look around to ask someone for help. A kind woman on the train, who is wearing a uniform so seems to be an official, appears in the open doorway and seems willing to offer help, but the doors close and the train moves off. I’m still being pursued, still in danger, and now I’m really afraid. I see an escalator and take it up, then run up a set of stairs. Part way up I see a door and push it open. I see a wide hallway and sense there are classrooms behind closed doors. It’s empty, all is quiet. I know that’s not the way. I feel dread, hopeless. There’s nowhere else to run. I will soon die, he’ll catch me. I turn back toward the stairs. I wake up.
I had the opportunity to ask this dreamer two questions: Who was her spiritual teacher? And what would be one word she would use for her teacher, and for Meryl Streep? She apologizes for using more than one word, which in itself is important for this dream dissection. I will take the first word she offered for each person-bolded below in her answer.
Lama Willa Miller, Tibetan Buddhist teacher. Sorry, 2 words: Embodied wisdom. Meryl Streep: integrity, beauty and brilliance.
I’m lost, trying to find my way. I find myself in a large apartment, with dogs running around. Suddenly my spiritual teacher appears, it’s her apartment. Meryl Streep is with her. I apologize for being there.
The dreamer is lost trying to find her way through something in her waking life, and her subconscious is trying to bring some answers through her dreamtime. She is in a large apartment, which means it may feel overwhelming to her in her waking state. There are dogs running around, (although she doesn’t say what color or type the dogs are which would give deeper information), in the tradition of Gram Twylah, dogs stand for loyalty to the self, and faithfulness to the fact that our answers come through self-reflection.
Her spiritual teacher appears. As I have said many times, everything in the dream is what it represents but also is associated with parts of our self. Buddhism is based on the teachings of the Buddha, as someone who attained becoming a realized being. Though there are varying schools and practices, the main goal of Buddhism, as I understand it, is to overcome suffering as we move through the cycles of death/rebirth, and through self reflection as we let go of our illusions and delusions. Meryl Streep, as we all know, is a brilliant actress, who has successfully portrayed many ‘faces’ through the many roles she has impeccably played and been acknowledged for.
What the dreamer is looking to access is how to embody a new understanding of her needs, no longer playing a role, but living in the authenticity of her integrity, which is her impeccable realized self. But what does she do? She apologies for seeking that. Counterintuitively, in some ways the two characters in her dream work together, they also signify polar opposites. One goes within to find her true self; the other is the actress on the outer stage that has to maintain a role. Both are needed to come together and find a balance. They are able to show the dreamer that this is possible by the symbol of bringing their hands together in that prayerful mudra.
They are kind. They walk out, hands held in prayer and go to the left. I follow them out and go to the right. I’m on a well-worn path, it is very dark out but I can see the path. I’m walking up a mountain, the side of it rises steeply on my left. It is forested (like the way up Machu Picchu only narrower).
Those aspects of herself (wisdom/beauty/inner and embodied/integrity/outer) are trying to kindly guide her in a new direction, and with hands held in prayer, symbolize self reflection of both her inner and outer persona. They try to lead her by going to the left, the place of “heart centeredness and the being ness that allows”, which would help her on this inner journey. But, she goes to the right, the place of the “head and doing,” which for her is a well-worn path. This suggests that she keeps trying the same old thing to get to where she wants to be, but it keeps leading her up a steep (hard), narrow (limited), path that is forested (hard to get perspective on). Question: If this were simpler, not a hard climb, and you needed to have the perspective of you as the ‘tree’ instead of you as the ‘forest’ what might you do differently?
I’m suddenly aware of a large dark man following beside me, off the path on my right. I can’t really see him, just know his presence is there. I’m frightened, it feels dangerous, like I’m being stalked. I lean in toward the cliff as I continue to walk. Suddenly I’m in a large busy terminal. I’m on a college campus, there is a shuttle train running through. I wonder if I should get on that train to reach my destination faster. But I don’t know where the train is going, don’t know how to use the train, and don’t know my destination.
She has a very distinct fear of this change (the man-possibly a part of herself; an outer man she would like to be in relationship with but is afraid to explore; a man from the past that presented a danger to her). Even though she might want an personal exchange given her search, she is frightened of the danger of the change she seeks. She needs to lean on something to continue pressing forward. The cliff although it represents the ‘rock’ she leans into for support, is also a cliff, which by its very nature, we can fall off of at any point.
Then she is in a large terminal, which like the large apartment in the beginning, makes her feel like there aren’t safe boundaries, even her own perceived boundaries, if she takes this risk. This can set us up for failure because we will keep attracting the same thing to our self and concretize that same fear, that in trying again, nothing is different. Then she finds herself quickly at a large college campus. She wants to learn a new approach to overcome her fears.
There is a train, this is a huge symbol in dreaming. It represents movement forward. It suggests there are specific tracks you need to stay on so that you do not derail. It could represent that she is “in training” to learn more about herself. The psychoanalyst and dream therapist Carl Jung, suggested it was analogous to a male penis. I would ask the dreamer, “Do any of these analogies have anything to do with what you are trying to explore or overcome?”
Take the last sentence as to the truth of where her total confusion, and possible illusions may lay. “But I don’t know where the train is going, don’t know how to use the train, and don’t know my destination.” This is the most important sentence in the dream.
I look around to ask someone for help. A kind woman on the train, who is wearing a uniform so seems to be an official, appears in the open doorway and seems willing to offer help, but the doors close and the train moves off. I’m still being pursued, still in danger, and now I’m really afraid. I see an escalator and take it up, then run up a set of stairs. Part way up I see a door and push it open. I see a wide hallway and sense there are classrooms behind closed doors. It’s empty, all is quiet. I know that’s not the way. I feel dread, hopeless. There’s nowhere else to run. I will soon die, he’ll catch me. I turn back toward the stairs. I wake up.
She seeks out help, this is good, we all need helps sometime and another’s perspective can often assist us to see things from a different vantage point. The woman on the train wearing a uniform implies that there is influential help that can ‘open a door’ for her. It also suggests that there is an ‘official’ way she feels this should unfold. At the same time she is afraid that ‘doors will close for her,’ if she takes advantage of the assistance and that she will miss her opportunity. This danger that still pursues her is from her past, it hasn’t been resolved. I would suggest she looks at how inhibiting the old story is to her forward movement. Emotionally we may know ‘the story’ and we may have unpacked it in many ways, but there is still something there that affects her moving forward toward her goal.
To dream that you push through a door is about taking the chance for a new opportunity. She goes up an escalator (she wants this to happen quickly but realizations don’t always happen quickly just because we want them to); and then a set a stairs, which like the narrow mountain path, is an old constricted path or at least a somewhat limited way to approach a conscious understanding of the problem or fear. The classrooms, like the college campus, represents new ‘learning’ and to look into this challenge from a different perspective.
It is all empty and quiet-this is a great place to start–to be able to empty ones self and quiet ones thoughts. This suggests ‘going within’ like her Buddhist teacher suggests, to embody her inner wisdom, to change her fear. She knows to stay in her fear or unresolved confusion is not the way she wishes to proceed. She states, “there is no where else to run (away from herself), and she turns back to go down the stairs, (symbolizing going within to look at herself in a new light). Which for all of us, is the only way that we learn to embody our ‘impeccable realized self.’
Thank you dreamers