Compass Dreamwork

Dreamwork as Spiritual Practice

Category: Difficulty Remembering Dreams

The Dreams We Don’t Need To Remember

tree rootsWhat if I rarely, or never, remember my dreams? In “Inviting Dreams” you’ll find some good ways to look at the dreaming process, and some practical methods for making dream recall more likely. But right now, I’m looking at this question from another angle: What is happening in those dreams I don’t remember? Are they still “working” at another level of awareness, even though I can’t access them consciously?

Even those who are practiced in the techniques of dream recall, and those with a vividly-remembered dream life most of the time, will have phases when only fragments, or nothing at all, remains of their dreams in the morning. I’m going through this myself lately. Last night, for example, there were a lot of dreams, but I can’t get any of them to take shape in my mind now that I am awake. Something about sweeping up shreds and shards of something… I struggled with it for a while, then let it go. Many nights have been like that in recent weeks, and although I have had several meaningful dream memories, for the most part there’s not a lot to get hold of.

This is okay. In fact, this is good. (Or maybe I’m just trying to reassure myself?) Actually, in my experience with my own dreams and the dreams of others, I’ve seen clear evidence that going through times when few, if any, dreams can be recalled is natural, and even healthy. I also think that if you’re one of the people who really can’t remember any dreams at all, that can be okay, too. Dreams are part of a process that is larger than our thinking and remembering minds. That process goes on and does its work—and we live parts of our lives in the dream world—whether we remember dreams or not. Continue reading

Tuning In To Dreams

My work revolves around dreams, so—wouldn’t you know it?—I’ve been having insomnia. Sleep deprivation is not good for dreaming. The sleep I’m getting is fragmented and shallow, tinged with fatigue, and really, really frustrating because just when I’m slipping into a snooze, one of the cats lets out a friendly little noise, or a neighbor’s car door slams, or I sneeze… and I’m wide awake for another couple of hours.

Squirrely bits of dreams keep squabbling for space on the telephones lines of this tenuous sleep pattern. Okay, I’m overdoing it a bit here, but have you seen what happens when two squirrels meet on a tightrope like that? Crazy acrobatics—and somebody usually ends up dangling. Anyway, with this thin, disrupted sleep, the dream stories never get going, and I can’t catch many of the images, even though they leave me with emotional fall-out and a speeding heart. Continue reading

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