Have you had dreams in which the energy from the
dream seems to stay with you all day? A new method of working with your dreams
specifically invites that energy. It encourages you to allow the dream images to
participate in an active manner within your thoughts. The method is called
"hosting," as Dr. Stephen Aizenstat, currently president of Pacifica
Graduate Institute, developed it as part of his teaching on what he calls dream
crafting. The purpose is to help the dreamer to more fully understand and
integrate the messages the dream presents. In his own words:
"Dream crafting is simply using your ability to hear deeply the stories
of the dreamtime; to see and wonder about the figures of the dreamscape; and to
let whatever is inside the dream come out and live... To 'craft' a dream
imaginally is to experience the figures of your dreams as guests. If you extend
your hospitality to them --become their host-- they will reveal their mysteries
and their messages with you."
There are eight basic steps to "hosting" a dream:
. . 1) Remembering --pay attention not only to the essence or plot of the
dream, but also to any particulars which include all of the senses. What is the
dream like visually, auditorially, kinesthetically?
. . 2) Recording --express the dream in the present tense, both in writing
and in speaking the dream, and use whatever methods of presentation feel
important in sharing and being with the dream. These methods may include
writing, painting, dancing, singing, working with clay, acting it out, etc.
Become immediately involved in the dreamscape.
. . 3) Listening poetically --become aware of the uses of symbolic language,
metaphors, puns, and rhymes.
. . 4) Becoming curious --notice patterns and allow interaction with the
energy of the images. What is new or surprising?
. . 5) Recollecting --recall events and waking-life circumstances, making
personal associations and connections. However, use caution not to speak about
the images, but allow the personal information to speak through the images.
. . 6) Exploring themes --investigate related myths, fairy tales, or legends
for any similarities, and allow these to expand your encounter with the dream
. . 7) Listening --let there be some silence so that the dream messenger may
speak on its own behalf.
. . 8) Listening again and again --allow the dream images to continue to
communicate even after the "work" seems to be complete. The important
aspect of hosting is not to interpret the dream, but rather to be with the
dream. Honor impressions, personal associations, and intuitive knowing about the
dream images as part of the whole dream. Allow the dream images to have their
own energy and notice the impact that this energy has, not just on the dreamer
but to others who might hear the dream as well.
Hosting a dream image, especially dream animals, allows the dream figure its
own identity. This process takes those images from being merely symbols of
something in our lives to energies unto themselves. An extremely valuable result
from this type of dreamwork is that we can learn about troubled species or other
elements within our world. We can more fully realize that indeed we are all
interconnected. Once the initial hosting process is initiated, an added benefit
to this type of work is that the dream figure's energy is invited to continue to
influence and affect the dreamer on an ongoing basis. Hosting prolongs the life
of the dream and continues its effects into our waking life. For further
information about dream crafting, contact Dr. Stephen Aizenstat at 249 Lambert
Road, Carpinteria, CA 93013. [Report filed by Rosemary Watts-Dreyer, Atlantic
Creative Spirit Studios
Flying Goat Ranch
3777 Fox Creek Road
Mouth of Wilson, VA 24363
1-800-398-1370 voice and fax