Dreamwork as Spiritual Practice

Interview by Metka Cuk on the “Dream Owls” website

Metka Cuk, a creative and inspiring dreamworker and artist, has been interviewing other dreamworkers and dreamers, introducing us to the depth and breadth of the dreaming community. These interviews are posted on her delightful website, “Dream Owls: A Place to Talk About Your Dreams.”

Some months ago, she did a wide-ranging interview with me about my background in dreamwork and my spiritual journey with dreams, including connections in my life between dreaming and healing, hospice work, Buddhism and Christianity, the Camino de Santiago, haiku, and more.

Please click on the picture to read the interview, and while you’re there, you’ll want to check out “Dream Owls” and the many other wonderful interviews, as well as Metka’s excellent cartoons and artwork!

I hope you can imagine your own version of how dreams have affected your life… Think of how you might share your own dreaming story with others. Dreams take us to our depths, and reflect the vital heart of our lives—and sharing these stories can be meaningful for all of us.


  1. Karen Deora

    I am sitting here this Easter morning which is also April Fool’s Day and reading your interview. It has flooded me with feelings, about you and what you mean to me, and about my life and life in general. I am so thankful for your presence in my life; you have become the latest shining light and guide for me. My latest dream was actually a waking nightmare: I am shopping for healthy food at the store I trusted. A young woman, dressed in black, but with no face that could be seen, swoops past me and steals my purse. I am not aware of this until I go up to the lines to check out. There I am now, with a cart full of food, and no money, no cell phone, no car keys, and no ID or credit cards. Who am I without all these things? Now I have to depend on the person who has been abusive to me for 20 years to rescue me. (the story goes on but that’s enough for now.) So Easter and Fool’s Day…a coincidence rich with meaning too. Thank you for sharing this interview!

    • kirstenbackstrom

      Dear Asha, if that were my nightmare, I’d take the question you asked to heart: “Who am I without these things?” You are such a wise, kind, creative soul and I would certainly trust you to know, at a deep level, your response to that question. If I were answering for myself (and I’ve had similar dreams, so it’s not just theoretical) I’d feel the frightening freedom of letting go of all of the many identities I’ve carried throughout my life.

      Sometimes it does seem like my independence and strength and some other qualities have been “stolen” from me, but I find no relief in chasing after the “thief,” and no help from falling back on old patterns (“abusive” or just habitual) that no longer serve me… So, I’m on my own, and can experience the spaciousness of not knowing who I am—terrifying, yet the possibilities are wide open.

      As you know, I found myself without money or resources in the middle of rural Spain (when my cash card failed to work) while walking the Camino. It was awful. But I had the chance to experience both my own inner resources and the support of strangers (and Holly, from a distance) who came forward to offer encouragement and options. Who I am without my “stuff” has a lot to do with the people around me. You’re one of those people. When I feel groundless, it is so good to know that you (and other friends and trustworthy strangers) are there, helping me remember what’s most important to me. Thank you!

      • Karen Deora

        This actually happened to me last Tuesday at New Seasons…but as you have suggested, it has been useful to think of it as a dream.

        • kirstenbackstrom

          Argh. As a waking life experience, that is definitely a nightmare! Although the dream concepts probably still apply, I’m sorry you had to go through such a miserable, scary situation.

  2. silverdell

    Thank you for your kind comments about me and my website, Kirsten. Many blessings!

    • kirstenbackstrom

      You’re welcome, Metka. Blessings on all your good work!

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