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New World Library Unshelved

New World Library Unshelved

Positive news and inspiring views from the New World Library community

Thursday, February 09, 2017
Active Dreaming is a way of being fully of this world while maintaining constant contact with another world, the world-behind-the-world, where the deeper logic and purpose of our lives are to be found. 

Active dreamers are choosers. They learn to recognize that whatever situation they are in, they always have choice. They choose not to buy into self-limiting beliefs or the limited models of reality suggested by others. Active dreamers learn to grow a dream of possibility, a dream strong enough to take them beyond fear and despair to a place of freedom and delight.

We hope you’ll enjoy this guest post by bestselling author Robert Moss, who created the Active Dreaming method of dreamwork.

# # #

Yes, these are scary times and this is a scary world. So what do you do, as an active dreamer?

1. Practice, practice, practice: That means catching your dreams whenever you can and recording them in your journal. The world may seem to be going crazy, but you don’t have to go crazy with it. Through dreams, your deeper self and sources of wisdom and healing beyond ordinary reality are seeking you. Be available.

This applies to how you enter the day as well as how you open to the night. As the Aborigines say, you live in the Speaking Land, and if you will only pay attention, you will receive guidance through special moments when you receive a nod, or a secret handshake, or a push-back from what is going on around you.

2. Be a dream ambassador: Learn our simple and powerful way of sharing dreams and life stories — the Lightning Dreamwork game — and practice it with anyone who has a dream or story to share. They will be amazed, and grateful, to discover that it is so easy to create a safe space to share these essential things, offer feedback and helpful suggestions on how to take action to embody guidance from a deeper reality, and have FUN — all in a few minutes.

We can help each other in this way to hear the voice of soul, which is always speaking in dreams, and to hear the voice of conscience, which the hollow men, driven by power and greed, try to shut out. We may not be able to put soul and conscience back in the hollow men overnight, but we can sustain one another and grow light between us that will become a hearth fire and a guiding beacon on the darkest days and will cast an ever-widening glow.

3. Set appropriate filters: If you find yourself afflicted by dreams that show you terrible things that may be happening, or may be going to happen, in the country or the world, choose what you are willing to handle. I do this, quite often, by setting the following intention for the night: 

Show me what I need to see.

Let me say right away that in terms of your personal life, it may take some pluck to receive what may come as a result. Your dream producers may show you aspects of yourself or where you are headed that you would rather not contemplate.

The larger issue here is: how much of developing dramas in the nation or the world do you really need to see? The answer will depend on how willing and able you are — or not — to use the dream-sourced information.

We are connected to all that is human and indeed to all animate life, so in the normal course of things we will intuit, especially in dreams (when the skeptic in the left brain lies dormant), coming events that affect all, whether we want to see them or not. For sanity and survival, it is important not to be open to taking on everything. We need to focus on receiving what we need to know and can apply in helpful ways. The content and the spectrum of information will depend on who we are and what we can do with it. A journalist or a social activist may want to know — and be primed to act upon — kinds of information that would simply depress and burden a dreamer in a different life situation.

4. Practice activist dreaming: So you don’t want to remain passive in the face of developments that are threatening many things you hold dear and even the fabric of democracy and decent community? Then set careful intentions for the night, maybe along general lines, like this:

Show me how I can best contribute to peace and healing.

Or along very specific lines, like:

How can I help sustain funding for the arts?

If you are an activist, you are part of a community, and you may also want to learn how to practice community dreaming (if you don’t know this already).

5. Practice community dreaming: We can dream as communities, and we can dream consciously, and no good intention is ever wasted. A circle of thirty active dreamers, meeting with me in a special gathering after the U.S. presidential election, wanted to journey — with the help of shamanic drumming — five years into the possible future to see how things looked then, in our personal and family lives, in our dreaming community, and in the world. We were surprised and relieved to find that, at least for the United States, things had come out okay. The next president was a woman (not Hillary Clinton). There had been many scares and upheavals along the way, but we did not dwell on the details.

Any future we can foresee is of course only a possible or probable future, and I draw only limited solace from that glimpse of a possible outcome.

In my book Active Dreaming I give simple directions for community dreaming. This can be done by bringing a group together to journey on an agreed intention with the aid of shamanic drumming. It can also be done through dream incubation, which means that everyone in the group agrees to set a common intention for the night and then comes ready to share reports in the morning.

# # #

Robert Moss is the author of Sidewalk Oracles, Active Dreaming, and numerous other books about dreaming, shamanism, and imagination. 

A novelist, poet, and independent scholar, he is the creator of Active Dreaming, an original synthesis of dreamwork and shamanism. Visit him online at







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