We all dream, but how many of us take real notice of them? When we take note of them at all, they generally bewilder us, trouble us, and amuse us. But rarely do they instruct us. Most of us who remember a dream here and there dismiss them as irrelevant. Some of us do remember them, but when we do, we tend to misinterpret them. They rarely mean what seems obvious to us.

Dreams are rich material for self understanding, guides for the spiritual journey.  But they are a very different mode of communication than we're used. to.

Every religious tradition honors them, but few of us know what to do with them. In the Bible, dreams are taken very seriously. That's been true throughout history. But today, the modern mind discounts them as phantoms of the imagination--unreliable, and often impenetrable by conventional reason.

Learning from your dreams is an art. They require attention, objectivity, humility, and patience. They are as important as the sense-data that comes to us when we're conscious, but they come from a very different place within the mind. You know, don't you, how a frightening or bizarre dream can lead you into a frump as surely as a critical word for your boss can, or a bad result on a test?

Frankly, dreams often need another to interpret them. And that's a problem for us, for who among us is in a relationship with someone who doesn't have an agenda for us, who will listen without bias, who will remain curious, open, and playful with our dreams, holding the interpretation loosely, as we wait together for something to click?

Because we don't have such persons, we tend to miss out on all God would teach us through our dreams.

You can change that. The first step is to become aware of your dreaming--to welcome them, as bizarre as they might be. Start to write down as much of them as you can, without concern for making sense of them. Observe them over time. Notice how they make you feel. Look for themes and connections--between dreams, and to what's happening in your life. And while you're doing that, wait for someone to come who will sit with you as you together listen for the dream's wisdom.

That someone will come as surely as your dreams will--if you attend to them patiently.

Intention: Today, I'll open myself to my dreams as gifts from the Spirit to my spirit. I'll simply become curious, and take note of them in a more disciplined way than I have in the past.  That's a good enough beginning.

AuthorChris Neufeld-Erdman