An often quoted Middle Eastern proverb reads: “A dream left untended is like a letter unopened.” How often do we awake from a dream that combines so many people in our lives that do not mix, places that may no longer exist, and a plot that seems as random as a password generator? Invariably, time and attention to these dreams reveal a pattern of unmistakable mastery underlying the most seemingly unrelated elements. This becomes the great “Aha!” moment – Eureka to the ancient Greeks and the California 49ers searching for gold. Dream elements slip into connection, and with patience, we listen as closely to our dreams and the dreams of others as a safecracker might listen to cosmic tumblers clicking into place.
As a Mentor of the Dream Tending Academy, I have participated in the Certificate Programs of Dream Tending (Certificate I, II, and III.) Each certificate program consists of four 3-day modules in which Sr. Aizenstat and other mentors model and teach the skills of Dream Tending. Participants have a chance o er the course of several months to practice these skills with a partner and to share their own dreams with someone learning the craft. The programs essentially lay out a map that describes the actual territory or Dreamwork – along with a recommended individual praxis for working with Dream.
Certificate I is a thorough introduction to the foundational principles and practices of Dream Tending.  Principles include tips and checklists about how to relate a dream, how to listen to the dream, the role of bodily gesture, and the relevance or immediacy of dreams. An example of a Dream Tending Principle is that “Dreams are alive,” meaning that dreams have their own life and vitality and are not simply like a DVD on the shelf. Dream Tending Practices include steps on remembering dreams, working with nightmares, enlisting or identifying helpful figures of “allies” from dreams, and establishing a daily method of noticing and working with one’s own dreams. Each one of these areas is highlighted in teaching and in modeling the method.
Certificate II is a deeper journey into the use of these skills. With Jung’s Red Book as a model for the use of active imagination, participants develop their own imaginal portfolio as they follow in the footsteps of Jung, Dante, Jules Verne, and countless cultures and philosophers who have plumbed the depths of the underworld journey. We tap into our innate creativity – even people like me who draw only in “stick figures” These personal projects become priceless treasures, markers of one’s own journey into a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world in which we live.
Certificate III explores the role of dreaming and cutting-edge technology, often engaging subject matter experts as guest lecturers. While Certificate II stands on the shoulders of philosophers, ancient and indigenous mythology, and elders in depth psychology, Certificate IiI bends to the call of the future while leaving nothing behind from the skills and practices of the previous programs. Working with dreams as portals to the deep imagination, participants experience the deeply numinous or transformative aspects of dreams in relation to oneself, to others, to the world, and to the cosmos. It sounds expansive, and it is!
Throughout all programs, Dream itself is the North Star. Not just with each Dream, but by connecting all of the experiences of fellow travelers in a Certificate cohort, we begin to make sense of where we are in the universe and our relationship to it. > I would encourage anyone with an interest in dreams or self-discovery to take a dive into joining the Dream Tending community.
Randal Lea, MA, LADAC, QCS
Chief Community Services Officer
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.

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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 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.