Student notes from the 8 week Spiritual Development Course conducted by Benita French
Week Six: Dreams
HOW I GOT INTO DREAMS
My Mother encouraged me to record my dreams from primary school. I still have the first book and all the books I’ve written in over the years.
I have studied my own dreams and those of my family and friends long before I started giving professional dream interpretation consultations.
I didn’t study dreams by reading books on what other people had said about them and ‘their’ interpretation of the symbols, I learnt about dreams and what they mean, like you would learn a foreign language without a book, living in a culture who don’t speak any English.
I generally write down most of my dreams in a book, in a folder or on a file on the computer. I enjoy the process of spending time with myself through spending time reflecting on my dreams, it’s meditative for me and is among my favorite ways of nurturing myself and gaining inner peace.
HOW TO REMEMBER DREAMS
- You have to want to remember your dreams, then you will. Desire to remember your dreams is a highly effective strategy for remembering your dreams.
- You can remember your dreams by keeping them in your consciousness for as long as possible, by not moving around too much when you wake up.
- Be of a mindset that you want to keep a record of your dreams so that you can encourage yourself to write them down. The more you write them down, the more you are likely to learn what they’re about and connect to your intuition.
- With your dream diary, and make it a special book that you =want= to write in, write the date of the dream; note down as many details as possible about the dream; write down all dreams not just the ones that stand out for particularly positive or negative reasons; and also write down what you did the day before you had the dream, so you can more easily link the dream to your waking life.
DREAM RECALL IS DEPENDENT ON VARIABLES
There are certain factors about a person that will cause them to recall their dreams more or less easily, these can include:
Diet and lifestyle; hours of sleep; the reception of the dream by you or others; whether you’re right or left hemisphere dominant; whether you indulge in substance abuse such as alcohol and drugs- recreational, hard or soft drugs or pharmaceutical drugs.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER DREAMS:
INTUITION & AWARENESS
Remembering your dreams is important because it promotes the development of your intuition and awareness.
Dream recall uses the same path along which information travels when you receive intuitive messages or when you arrive at realisations about yourself and your life.
Intuition is your gut feeling or a feeling of knowing something before it will happen or a general knowing and certainty that a person or situation is a particular way. There’s no logical reasoning involved in intuition. Intuition has nothing to do with your brain’s thinking processes and everything to do with feeling.
Having and developing your intuition is important because it can speed up everything for you. Intuition: protects you against dangerous situations; intuition will save you time because you will get a feeling whether something is worth continuing or not; it can help you know whether people are being truthful with you; it can help you know if somebody is safe if they’re ill or far away.
Dreams can help you develop a higher awareness of yourself, an awareness of how you think and feel. Self awareness is necessary for any personal development breakthroughs and any changes you want to make in your life.
- Dreams are regurgitations from your day:
- Your psyche, your higher self, your soul which is trying to communicate to you through your dreams, would not waste time communicating to you aspects of your day, for no reason. One of the reasons why you would be dreaming about your mundane day, would be because there is too much weight focused on your day to day duties, and not enough energy going into self nurturing.
- Evil spirits come to you in dreams:
- The likelihood of there being evil spirits in your dreams, is lower than not in general terms. If there are so-called ‘evil’ spirits in your dreams it could be because you may be having nightmares and it can seem like the characters in those nightmares are evil because they’re causing you unrest.
- Nightmares are generally about a message that your higher self has wanted you to comprehend for some time, but you weren’t paying attention until it comes across in an unpleasant form, much like a child with a parent. A child generally won’t stop doing something wrong when the parent is talking softly to them, but the child will stop doing something when the parent yells at them. Likewise, nightmares can happen to help you pay attention to what you’re not paying attention to.
- Dreams happen because of over active imaginations:
- If you do happen to be blessed with an active imagination, which means you are more likely to be right brain dominant, you are more likely to be in touch with your dreams and will recall them more easily. Good for you!
- There are more people than not, who are judgemental about dreams occuring because of strong imagination, as a way of dismissing their relevance. People who tend to dismiss dreams, are not the kind of people you would go to if you wanted to understand the enormous significance dreams have for your life.
BACKGROUND SETTINGS IN DREAMS
When you recall your dreams, it’s important to note the background settings, like: is the dream inside a building or outside in the open? Is the dream in a house or in a hall or in a room or on a floor or…? Is the dream happening inside a car or some other kind of transport? Are you by yourself or in a crowd? Is the dream happening in the present or in the past?
The background setting can include the weather: what kind of weather is in the dream? What time of day is it in the dream? All of these aspects of the dream will help you to understand its meaning more accurately.
NIGHTMARES: SOME REASONS WHY THEY HAPPEN
- When you don’t pay attention to the messages from previous dreams or you don’t pay attention to what your intuition is telling you about your life. It can also be that you’re not paying attention to what your friends and family are telling you about changing your life for the better, so nightmares can occur because you’re closing yourself off to change and improvement.
- When you are very distracted in yourself and you can’t stay in the moment or pay attention to what is happening to you in the present or when you refuse to or by default, not focus on something important, you can invite nightmares.
- When there is pain from the past that has not been addressed and or released, it can be addressed and released in the form of nightmares. Obviously, better to address and release emotional pain during the day through exercises like yoga, Tai Chi or in therapy and healing sessions rather than to suppress them to the point where the show up as nightmares.
SOME WAYS TO STOP NIGHTMARES
- As you understand your dreams more and more, you won’t ‘need’ to have nightmares, because nightmares largely happen because there is a lack of understanding about dreams in general.
- As you pay attention to issues in your life, you won’t ‘need’ to have nightmares to ‘make’ you pay attention to pertinent issues because you would have addressed them somewhat during your waking hours.
- When you acknowledge how stubborn a person you may be or how closed minded a person you may be, you will do your Self a favour by breaking down the patterns that keep nightmares active in your sleep life. Repetitive nightmares can happen to some people because their general nature is more stubborn than not, which is not conducive to learning and awareness.
- Talk about pain from the past. When you talk about the pain from the past, with a friend or therapist, even writing down painful moments in your life, you can help yourself to process better, so unpleasant dreams and nightmares don’t have to happen. Nightmares generally happen because we’re not dealing with our issues, so therefore as we deal with them more, nightmares occur less.
- Practise being with yourself. As you practise meditation or breathing during exercise or yoga, you can help your self be in the moment. When you can be in the moment, you are more at peace in yourself. When you’re in your head, thinking of all the things in the future, you can’t feel at peace because your mind has taken over control of your life. When the mind is out of control, nightmares can happen to show you that you’re lacking inner peace. So practise being in the moment to promote inner peace and therefore, reduce or stop nightmares.
PHYSICAL THINGS TO DO TO STOP NIGHTMARES
Burning candles, incense and having crystals around the bedroom and in the house can stop nightmares because they neutralise negative energy and bring a healing, peaceful energy.
Some houses have had negative people or events occur within them which can leave a negative energy in the house, which also encourages negative beings to be attracted to the house. Candles, incense, etc, can restore a balanced and nurturing energy to a room and or house, especially when prayers and affirmations are done as well. All these things can help reduce and or eliminate nightmares.
DREAM INTERPRETATION THROUGH DREAM SYMBOLS
Dream symbols are a part of dream interpretation, but they are not the only thing to take into account when interpreting dreams. Like mentioned earlier, background settings and the events that happened the day/s before the dream will be included in the interpretation of the dream, not just what the dream symbols may mean.
Dream symbols do and don’t reflect real life, in that if there is an item in real life that has a specific purpose and meaning, it won’t necessarily have the same meaning when it comes to the dream interpretation. For example, if a person dreams about a stove and something being cooked on it, in real life it means the person is preparing food to eat, but the dream interpretation won’t be about how the person is physically looking after themselves.
Dream symbols have their own meaning and then also the meaning that you would personally attribute to them, out of your own experience. For example, a dream about a box can be about structure or about a rigid way of thinking. However, if your experience of boxes were unpleasant, maybe you were put in one as a child and were made to suffer, your interpretation of a box would be negative.
Dream symbols and their meanings will differ according to the country, culture and religion you may belong to or not. Again, dream symbols will have their own intuitive message that would generally apply across all types of people. However, a cultures meaning for the number 13 for example, may be negative and would therefore affect the interpretation of that dream symbol to be negative.
TYPES OF DREAMS
There are different types of dreams and or elements of a dream that would mean different things. There are dreams to do with processing aspects of your day and or your life; there are dreams that will directly answers questions that you were wondering about; there are dreams that are predictive in nature; there are dreams that will hold personal development messages; there are dreams about flying, nightmares and sex; there are astral dreams and lucid dreams.
A person is likely to have most of these types of dreams across their life. A specific kind of dream or having stronger aspects of part of a dream than other parts of a dream, can depend on how much conscious direction is taken for the dreaming process.
DREAMS AND SPIRITS
You can communicate with people that are no longer alive, through your dreams.
Sometimes the spirit of the person can appear as though by accident in your dreams, but you can also call on the being you want to visit you as well. When you call on the spirit of the person you once knew if real life, repetitively and with purpose, the being will come into your dreams, perhaps just when you thought contact has been lost. You may be lucky enough to have the person you were very close to, visit your dreams regularly. It depends on the person and how open they are to dreams and the person in question.
DRUGS, UNHEALTHY HABITS AND DREAMS
When you take recreational, soft or hard drugs, pharmaceutical drugs, smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol or even drink coffee and coke, these habits can warp the dream experience and can also stop you from having dreams or as regularly.
Poor diet and unhealthy lifestyle habits can cause negative energy to be attracted to you and can also bring negative spirits into your house and into your dream.
- Decide to remember your dreams one night or have that conscious desire to do so, over the nights in a week and watch what happens.
- When you have the dream/s, write them down in a special book, taking note of all details of the dream, the date and what happened the day before.
- Reflect on your dream, talk about it with appropriate people or have them interpreted.
- Keep up this habit of desiring to recall your dreams, writing them down and reflecting on them. Note how they guide your life.