Why your dreams matter

I recently wrote a post titled “A dream school for changemakers”, which retold and interpreted a dream I had. This dream gave me some interesting and important insights into the work that I do. I have been working consciously with my dreams for the past twelve years. On most mornings when I wake up, I record my dreams in a dream journal. After twelve years I have filled literally dozens of exercise books and journals, and have found a way to work with my dreams that has really helped me in my life and work.

There are a number of different theories about dreams and what they signify. Some people see dreams as simply projections of their innermost thoughts or desires. Others see dreams as a way of processing what happened for them in their day. These can both be accurate ways of looking at dreams; yet dreams can be something much more than this as well.

For me the dreamworlds are as real as the world out here. I see myself as Soul who exists in this body. I don’t see myself as a body that has a Soul, but rather as Soul who has a body. At night when I sleep I am able to leave my body to have experiences in other worlds. Just as this earthly or physical world is full of experiences that teach me lessons, so to are the dreamworlds. What I find extra important about the dreamworlds is that I don’t have the same filters of the mind which block me from seeing and Read more

The power of contemplation

In my post “to solve or not to solve” I referred to a process of contemplation that I have used. In his wonderful book “Anitya”, Paul Twitchell describes contemplation in the following way:

“Contemplation is to view, to consider with attention a line from a poem, scriptural verse or saying and keep going over it, wondering what the author meant…what it means to you…how it applies to philosophy or looking at it in a hundred different ways, but never trying to hold it, force it or keep it, simply being interested in it, as it holds the attention”.

Some may think of contemplation like meditation. For me, contemplation is a more active, creative and imaginative process. It is the purposeful creation of an inner experience. I do this most regularly with my eyes closed, but also I have found journaling to help me. As Paul Twitchell describes, finding a passage or quote from some inspired writings can also be powerful.

So what relevance has that to ethics or doing good?

So much attention is placed on ‘outer processes’ like thinking, analysing, discussing, and utilising tools like policies and frameworks in order to make sense of the world and better decisions. In my experience (although sometimes I forget this), dedicating time and energy to inner contemplation can be a useful and powerful tool in any aspect of one’s life. In my work, it has helped me arrive at better and more rounded decisions, and often with more grace than I would have otherwise.