Dear Dream Tending and Deep Imagination Community,
When I first began learning about dreams and Dream Tending, all of my dream work was focused on the people and objects they interacted with, almost as if all of my dreams took place on the set of Our Town. For those unfamiliar with the play, Our Town is a “bare stage” play, meaning the entire play is done with only actors and props; there is no scenery or landscape. The audience can imagine as much–or as little–landscape as they like.
When I began to view the landscape of my dreams, I entered an entirely different world of the dreamscape. Not only did I explore smells, colors, textures, and sounds differently; the landscape of my dreams began to notice me as well. I moved into relationship with landscape in a different, more complete way. As a result of paying more attention to landscape in my dream life, my relationship with landscape in my waking life changed as well. Colors became more vivid. I hear sounds differently than before. Rather than feeling like I was a human on the Earth, I began to feel–not just think, but truly feel–that I was a human of the Earth. A part of a whole. An aspect of the landscape.
I invite you to consider if your dreams are happening on a “bare stage.” What role does setting, does scenery, does landscape, play in your dream world?
I offer you this exercise
1. Think of a recent dream and imagine not just the who and what of the dream but also the where.
2. Draw, collage, paint, sketch, or mold the landscape with as much detail as feels comfortable.
3. Place this image where you can see it each day.
4. When you see the image each day, intentionally notice a detail of the landscape. Use that detail as a meditation or focusing thought throughout the day.
5. After 5-7 days have passed, reflect and journal about the experience of this daily noticing. You’re welcome to repeat the process with another dream to always have a dream landscape present with you in waking time.
Myka Hanson, Ph.D.
Mentor of the Academy of Imaginal Arts and Sciences and Program Coordinator for the Certificate I program
Inside The Curious Mind
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 and institutions, and as a depth psychological content advisor to Hollywood film makers. He 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.