Compass: By dictionary definition [The American Heritage Dictionary, 2nd College Edition], compass means not only “a device for determining geographical direction,” and a “device for drawing circles,” but also “circumference,” and “range or scope; extent.” As a verb, its meanings include: “to surround; encircle” and “to understand; comprehend.”
Dream: A dream is generally an experience that occurs during sleep, an experience in which the physical body has very limited participation. Dreams usually include visual imagery, and sensations of sound and movement, and can also include touch, smell, and taste. In fact, in dreams, we can have virtually any emotional, cognitive, or sensory experience that we can have while awake. Additionally, dreams can present experiences beyond our capacities in waking life, sometimes beyond description. A dream can be experienced as meaningful while it is occurring, just like a waking experience. Remembering and reflecting upon a dream can also be meaningful, just like remembering and reflecting upon a waking experience. Dream experiences that are not remembered, just like waking experiences that have faded out of memory, can still affect our lives and have meaning as well.
Dreamer: The dreamer is the person who is physically sleeping, experiencing the dream, or the person who is physically awake and remembering the dream. In a dreamwork group, the focus dreamer recalls and retells a specific dream experience; others in the group then have their own “imagined versions of the dream” (Jeremy Taylor’s phrasing), and may be considered “dreamers” of that dream, in a sense, as well.
Dream-Maker: The dream-maker is a comprehensive identity or entity (a larger Self) who creates dreams, incorporating not only the dreamer’s personal associations and unconscious ideas, but also drawing upon a collective realm of metaphor, imagery, knowledge, and points of reference. According to C.G. Jung, the dream-maker is often symbolized within the dream as an image of God. In other words, in the world of the dream, the dream-maker is the creator, and manifests as images of creativity and profundity, such as the sun, a great tree, a wise old woman or man, etc. Theologically speaking, the dream-maker must be greater than the dream, since the creator must be greater than that which is created. Additionally, the dream-maker must be greater than the dreamer, since the dream can extend beyond what the dreamer knows.
Dream-Self: The dream-self is the character or presence within the dream experienced as “I” or “me,” which may or may not resemble the dreamer, and which may change in the course of a given dream. Sometimes, the dream-self is not embodied in the dream, but is experienced as a witnessing point-of-view. Sometimes, the dream-self is experienced in several different dream characters simultaneously or serially. Sometimes, there is no sense of “I” in the dream at all, in which case perhaps the entire dream may be considered to be the dream-self.
Dreamwork: Dreamwork generally refers to the practice of reflecting upon a remembered dream: in a group, with a friend or professional dreamworker, or on one’s own. Dreamwork can also go beyond this definition, and so may be more broadly understood as any process of bringing awareness to the experience of dreaming. Sometimes, as in lucid dreams (where the dreamer/ dream-self is aware that he or she is dreaming), some dreamwork can occur during the dream itself. Rather than “interpreting’ the dream, dreamwork unfolds the experience of the dream, so that the dreamer and others can respond to and relate to the dream in a variety of ways. Dreamwork usually involves writing or telling the dream, but can include other approaches such as creating artwork, acting out the dream, imagining other versions of the dream, taking actions based on the dream, and more. [Note: the term dreamwork has also been used, by Freud and others, to describe the dream’s functional activity within the psyche, although this is not a common current usage.]
Focus Dreamer: In a dream-sharing group, the participant who is currently sharing his or her dream with the group is often referred to as the focus dreamer.
Group Dreamwork: refers to gatherings of dreamers to share their dreams, with or without the facilitation of a professional dreamworker. Compass Dreamwork provides professional facilitation for dream-sharing groups, to add depth, structure, and experience to such groups as they are forming, or on an ongoing basis as needed.
Individual Dreamwork: (in the context of Compass Dreamwork) refers to sessions with a professional dreamworker to explore your dreams. Sessions may be scheduled regularly (perhaps monthly), or on an occasional basis as significant dreams arise.
Meaning: The meaning of a dream is not a singular, allegorical explanation, but more a sense of overall meaningfulness, which encompasses multiple “meanings” and is more than the sum of its parts. The word “meaning” is inevitably defined in terms of other words, like “significance” or “purpose,” which are equally subjective in their definitions. In a very real sense, we make things meaningful by considering them to be so.
Spiritual Practice: Spiritual practice is a developmental process through which we seek meaning and connection, and cultivate a sense of being part of something beyond ourselves. That “something” may be God, the natural world, our community of loved ones, humanity as a whole, an ineffable experience of oneness, or something else… but is is always larger than the “me” I think I am. Spiritual practice is whatever approach or action we take to place ourselves in closer alignment with that “something.”
Spirituality: Spirituality is a term commonly used in contrast to religion to refer to an essential quality that transcends any particular tradition or doctrine and is inherent in all human beings (and perhaps non-human beings as well). It describes the aspects of our existence that give us a sense of meaning, connection, and openness. The word “spirituality” is derived from a root that means “breath” or “wind,” and is thus associated with the subtle, changeable, tangible-yet-immaterial breathing of life itself: within, among, and beyond us.