Dear Dream Tending Community,
I get asked questions often that include the phrase, “how do you know?” As in, “How do you know what to say to a dreamer?” Or, “How do you know what to do with a nightmare image?” Or, most recently as we navigate through these world-wide tumultuous times, “How do you know how best to help?” While my answers to each of these questions could be a Tending Tuesday within themselves, the topic for today is how I answer rather than what I answer. Simply, I answer from a place of resonance.
Resonance is a cornerstone of the Dream Tending process and of engaging with our dream images. Resonance can mean “a vibration.” It can also be taken as re-sonance, with “sonance” being defined as a sound. When we hear sounds repeating with our ears, we can call it an echo. When we hear sounds repeating within our souls, our subtle bodies, or our psyche, we can call it resonance.
When we listen with resonance, the ego has stepped aside and opened a space for us to listen and communicate on an unseen level from a deeper place within the body and soul. I can listen to you with resonance without you needing to say a word. This special kind of listening allows us to engage with beings–human and other–that use more than just a mouth to communicate. We can have resonance with the landscape, with the ethereal, with image, and with archetype.
Our ability to connect through resonance improves with practice, as we invite our ego to take a well-deserved rest and open our subtle body into a place of community with other forms of communication, vibration, and connection. When we re-sonate, create sound again, on a soul level, we invite dream images forward in a poetic motion they both understand and love.
How do you re-sonate? Notice today how you engage with this skill. Here is an exercise to ignite a sense of resonance within.
Step 1: Find a quiet place free of distraction. This may be a meditative space, but it can be anywhere; no special tools or equipment are needed for resonance.
Step 2: Be comfortable and still. Close your eyes if this is safe for you. Begin to breathe deeply, and notice your breath sounds without judgment. As thoughts arise, let them float away as clouds move across the sky on a beautiful, summer day.
Step 3: Tune into your body. Notice–are there areas of tightness or discomfort? Is a part of your body “talking” to you? If your body is comfortable, or if you cannot feel your body as you sit, place a hand on your heart. Tune into its gentle, rhythmic beat.
Step 4: Focus even more deeply on your body part or on your heart. If resistance arises, pause and take a breath. There is no rush here. You are already in a place of resonance.
Step 5: If you have drawn your attention to a particular body part, say, either out loud or in your mind, “Hello, ______. I am here with you. I feel that you are in discomfort. I’m here to breathe with you, listen to you, and support you.” Notice if tears come. Tears are resonance.
If you have placed your hand on your heart, say, either out loud or in your mind, “Hello, Heart. I am here with you. I feel you, consistent and strong, your pumping comforting and predictable. I know that I need you. What is it that you might need from me? I am here to breathe with you, listen to you, and support you.”
Step 6: Listen to what your body shares with you. Don’t hurry, but there’s also no need to stay longer than is comfortable. When your conversation has concluded, thank your body for being open and honest with you, for sharing in a resonant space. Close out your practice with an intention.
Optional Step 7: Journal, draw, paint, or dance the experience of resonance with your body. Notice what you have taken with you.
Myka K. Hanson, Ph.D.
Mentor of the Academy of Imaginal Arts and Sciences
In our upcoming workshop, The Healing Power of Dreams: The Craft of Dream Tending, we will dive into the healing powers within dreams. This one-day workshop, Saturday, August 13th, is intended for dreamers, seekers, and healers at all levels wishing to gain more knowledge and personal insight into the healing power of their dreams. Register today with the discount code HEALING to save your spot.
Inside The Curious Mind
This is a quote that resonated with me this week…
“We are born with whirlwinds, forest fires and comets inside of us. We are all born able to sing to birds and read the clouds, and see our destiny in grains of sand.”
~Robert MacCammon (From Boy’s Life)
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.