Greetings to everyone for the New Year!
What is our Executive team planning for 2016? 4 Open Meetings and a mini-Conference in Auckland on the following dates:
Friday 11th March, 7.30 pm: Kevin Dobbyn: Visions of the Sacred (see below);
Friday 17th June, 7.30 pm: Annual General Meeting and a speaker, to be decided;
Saturday18th June, 9.30-4.30, Mini-Conference Day on Psi Dreaming, including sessions on Precognition, Clairvoyance, Out-of-Body Experience, Past Lives, etc.
Friday 9th September, 7.30 pm: Margaret Bowater on Healing from Nightmares.
Friday 11th November, 7.30 pm: Still to be finalised.
Put these dates in your diary now. Visitors from out-of-town are welcome to these events.
We also aim to send out the Dream Bulletin in February, May, August, October. Next year we will hold a full Dream Conference on 6-8th October 2017, on Dreams andCreativity.
In this issue of the Bulletin we bring you an eye-opening report on our recent discussion with Peter Maich from Westport on his experience of Lucid Dreaming, along with a vivid dream example; a research report on the relationship between Aggression and Nightmares; and a Book Review on “Dream to Freedom” about a new method of dreamwork.
Fri 11th March, 7.30 pm,
At St Luke’s Centre, 130 Remuera Rd,
VISIONS OF THE SACRED,
richly illustrated with paintings from various artists. Kevin is a Marist Brother, currently writing a Ph.D thesis on dreams as a threshold to inner mystical experience. “This presentation traces dreams and dream-like experiences from recorded human history, the sacred scriptures of Judaism, Islam and Christianity….. It is clear that such “Big dreams” (Jung), “intensified dreams” (Harry Hunt), or “transforming dreams” (Kelly Bulkeley) are a common human experience… I then draw on Bulkeley’s key to determining what such dreams are, and Robert Hoss’s schema for working with them… Such dreams point us towards authentic true self.” (Kevin will provide notes for a small koha.)
Fee: $25; or $20 for Members of DNANZ; or $15 for students.
Supper is available at 7.15 pm. Bring your friends!
“Our subconscious imagery system is actively present in our mind all the time,” said Peter Maich, “and continually influences our behaviour, so we need to be aware of what we are putting into it, and learn how to control it. We are not powerless.”
Peter, 56, who lives in Westport, NZ, is a leading explorer in the field of lucid dreaming. He acts as a moderator on an international website, and corresponds with other leading lucid dreamers in the USA.
Recently our Advanced Dream Group invited him to speak with us about his amazing experiences. He has ordinary dreams, and uses lucid control when needed, but actively seeks full lucidity about 3 nights a week. Ever since childhood he has had “weird dreams” but only recently has begun to discuss them with others.
He said he has always been a loner, having spent much of his life in coastal and deep-sea fishing. He is self-educated, exploring inner worlds on his own, and subscribing to no formal systems of belief, which he finds too limiting. Consequently his thinking is very original and often startling.
He has learned how to relax his mind into a state of passive observation as he falls asleep, and wait for images to appear. Sometimes it begins with a strong sense of vibration or humming. He likes to fly or run or go on space adventures. He has trained himself to face challenges and confront unpleasant situations. “Nothing in a dream can hurt you,” he says – meaning physically – even though you may dream of pain or even death - so act with courage. In this, he holds similar attitudes to shamanic teachers; and possibly some of the Tibetan yogi.
He gave us an example of a very powerful lucid dream in which he had set out to experience becoming a tree, and felt what it was like to let go of human consciousness and feel the sensations of a tree’s existence. It was intensely real, and not an easy experience.
Peter is interested in researching lucid dreaming with other explorers. He can be contacted by email on firstname.lastname@example.org. Margaret Bowater
Here is an example of a dream contributed by Peter, from the night after his talk with us:
Over the Edge
No loss of waking consciousness as I very quickly drop into this lucid dream. Just there, in my ute and on a steep winding descent on a mountain road. I can vaguely see out the front and it’s tight and steep with a bottomless drop on the left side. I smile and relax, enjoy the out-of-control sensations, and carry on with the mad ride, not giving in to the game of scare and fear my subconscious is playing on me. A few more turns and an increase in speed, and a dis-appointed voice says, “Are you going to play? It’s time to jump.” So funny to hear my subconscious ask me to join in and play the game.
I will the ute over the edge and gasp at the drop, it’s truly bottomless, and get a small shiver at the view, as I have now left the ute and am free falling into the abyss. I now see a figure way below me so increase my speed, descending, falling faster and faster. I feel the cool air on my skin as I plummet, and now I am beside a laughing character that is a projection of the cheeky subconscious. We are playing the game, twist, turn, faster and race to the bottom. The ground now comes up very fast, but no fear. I expect to land soft as it’s all about intent and expectation; a few more joined in along the way, and all of us land gently and roll around laughing.
A recent article published in Vol 25:3, 2015 of DREAMING, the academic Journal of the IASD, presented a rigorous analysis of the levels of aggression portrayed in a large quantitative study of nightmares. The study was carried out by a team of 6 psychologists and neurologists based mainly in Boston, under the leadership of Dr Patrick McNamara, a well-known authority on nightmares. The title is “Aggression in Nightmares and Unpleasant Dreams and in People Reporting Recurrent Nightmares” (pp. 190-205).
They selected three sets of nightmares from the public “Dreamboard” website: 135 from recurrent nightmare sufferers (Gp 1); 475 non-recurrent nightmares (Gp 2); and 433 unpleasant dreams (not named as nightmares) (Gp 3).
The age-range was 14-67. Females contributed 75% of the total. 86% were Caucasian, and 62% college-educated (so not an average population sample.) Females of all ages report more nightmares than males.
The themes were: physical aggression, health-related concerns, being chased, environmental abnormalities (eg tornados), evil presence, disaster, and insects/vermin.
In recurrent nightmares, the source of aggression was mainly supernatural beings, often with a sense of evil presence. In one-off nightmares it was unfamiliar males; and in unpleasant dreams, familiar males in inter-personal conflicts.
The authors offer a comment from an evolutionary perspective: “Given that unfamiliar males were a prime source of danger and mortality for our ancestors, it is not surprising that they signal aggression in dreams.”
My own comments here, based on the nightmares I have collected over many years, and the articles in Deirdre Barrett’s Trauma and Dreams (1996), would be
that frequent nightmare-sufferers are highly likely to have been exposed to on-going domestic violence or other dangerous circumstances, without personal support;
and that the sense of “evil presence” is often associated with sexual abuse in childhood. Therefore, I suggest that counsellors responding to clients who report frequent nightmares should be on the alert for past or present serious abuse.
Hoss, Robert J., and Lynn Hoss. Dream to Freedom: Handbook for Integrative Dream and Energy Work. First Edition. Santa Rosa, CA:
Elite Books, 2013.
Reviewed by K.Dobbyn.
Robert and Lynn Hoss have worked with David Feinstein in his shift from the focus on dreams to working with Energy Psychology through EFT (Emotional freedom techniques). Their determination to integrate dreamwork with Energy Psychology resulted in what they have called Dream to Freedom Protocol (DTF).
Chapter One explains why they have put dreamwork together with Energy Psychology and when DTF applies. DTF works well, they suggest in situations in which ‘unresolved emotional conflicts are created by fear and stress reactions that get programmed into the brain, resulting in dysfunctional behaviour’ (p.5). For readers new to it, Energy Psychology combines Eastern and Western techniques and includes CBT, acupressure and energy medicine.
The authors suggest that the dreamwork in parts 1 and 3 can be done on its own, or it may be combined with the tapping of pressure points outlined in Part 2, all of which is explained, complete with diagrams of the pressure points in Chapter 2 of the book.
Chapters 3 and 4 are like a manual for using the technique and if you are familiar with Robert Hoss’ Dream Language, he incorporates here his work on colour in dreams.
In chapter 5 they present a broad range of case studies; chapter 6, a brief chapter, adjusts the protocol for groups and chapter 7 gives an overview of the science and neurology of Energy Psychology (EP).
Check on our Website, www.dreamnetwork.org.nz, for Dream Workshops run by Margaret Bowater. We also have a number of Dreamwork Practitioners who can offer small dream groups, or one-to-one sessions for working through complex or disturbing dreams.