Dear Dream Tending Community,
I’m excited to share with you that I am starting a weekly offering called Tending Tuesdays. Tending Tuesdays was inspired by a pull to sustain the value of what happens when we come together as a community. Each Tuesday, an email will come to you with a new video on a Dream Tending and/or depth psychological topic in the form of current writing and research, interviews, discussions with colleagues, and clips of tending dreams.
As I write this, I am sitting in my upstairs office looking out at the overcast sky. The promise of a light drizzle tempts the imagination. Yet, what is also true is that we are in for more months of no rain. As with so many places worldwide, the climate change here is acute and inflicting distress. Still, the songs of the birds I am hearing and the gentle breeze I am feeling bring both comfort and optimism.
Last night here in Santa Barbara, in a mountain park, I attended an outdoor community reggae concert. There was ample room for children, adults, even dogs, to spread out and enjoy a picnic-like atmosphere. My heart opened as I watched the kids running around in child’s play. Rolling down the gentle banks, light streamers in hand, playing in the open fields, their celebration sounded a new opening bell for all. It’s been a long time since a gathering like this has been possible. With safety protocols in place, we settled in as the full blue moon rose from behind the hills, illuminating the stage with light from the sky. It was like being in a dream. I was inside it, looking out.
Participating in a dream is so different from observing it. Observing dreams or dreamlike settings creates distance from the actual dream experience because it utilizes interpretation and the rational mind. No longer does one feel the living actuality of the dream. Only when you are inside do you feel the embodied experiences of the many participants in the dream. Inside, you see, hear, even touch the aliveness of what is emerging. Like the children’s smiles or the elder couple’s soft embrace at the concert in the park, dreams are alive. They open portals through which the future reveals itself, where the hints of the new illuminate.
Tending Tuesdays is about supporting one another in listening to dreams in a different way. Together, let’s discover what is being asked of us now. Let’s listen to the stories embedded in the living images of dreams. Like the children playing on the lawn at the concert last night, let’s offer back to the world the generative sparks embedded in the living images of dreams. See you on Tuesday!
In the dreamtime,
Steve

 


Tending Tools

1) Become a “naturalist” of your dreams.
2) Witness the dream first with “soft eyes” (peripheral vision), then with “focused eyes” (detailed perception).
3) Notice which figure or what aspect of the dream landscape captivates your curiosity.
4) Follow the figure or walk about the dreamscape; don’t lead—let the dream
character/landscape reveal itself from the inside out.
5) Listen with “open ears”—what stories present themselves?
Meet the dream in the way of the dream—sketch or draw, write a poem or a response that you “gift” back to the dream and to all we share the planet with.

Inside The Curious Mind

A quote that resonated with me this week…

“At this deep level of personal myth and innate constitution, spirituality and psychology overlap and conjoin. For that reason, paying close attention to dreams aids any spiritual activity, keeping it grounded and in contact with the elements that have shaped you. Dreamwork becomes as important as meditation, quiet reading, and prayer, and fits tightly into a developed spiritual way of life.”
— Thomas Moore

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Dr. Stephen Aizenstat

Stephen Aizenstat, Ph.D., is the Founder of Dream Tending, Pacifica Graduate Institute, and The Academy of Imaginal Arts and Sciences. He is a world-renowned Professor of Depth Psychology, an imagination specialist, and an innovator.
He has served as an organizational consultant to major companies, institutions, Hollywood films, and has lectured extensively in the U.S., Asia, and Europe. He is affiliated with the Earth Charter International project through the United Nations where he has spoken. Professor Aizenstat is the Chancellor Emeritus and Founding President of Pacifica Graduate Institute. He has collaborated with many notable masters in the field including Joseph Campbell, James Hillman, Marion Woodman, and Robert Johnson.