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Dreams speak to the challenges of our daily lives, and help to illuminate our blind spots, those places we can not see in our personality, or problematic attitudes and beliefs. Dream Tending as developed by Steve Aizenstat is a way of working with the images and figures who show up in our dreams. These images carry a very particular and specific meaning for the dreamer. Tapping in to this point of view allows them to carry a much more dynamic meaning than any dream symbol book can convey.
DreamTending is a way to unlock the power of your dreams to transform one’s nightmare figures into profound and helpful mentors for one’s life. When a professional is tasked to “tend” a dream, they’re not merely interpreting or analyzing it. With DreamTending, one can listen deeply to the voices of the dream images themselves as they present themselves in their situations to offer their insights and perspectives. Dreams carry an inner knowing, an innate sensibility, and an element of potency that affords each of us the capacity to open to the depths of our own experience.
Dream images are tended in relation to the experiences and circumstances of daily life.
For generations, psychologists have experimented with the idea that psyche exists in three basic dimensions: 1) Awake Circumstances, or the Awake Consciousness; 2) Personal Development, or the Personal Unconscious; and 3) a trans-cultural sensibility, or the Collective Unconscious. If we go back even further, we could add a fourth dimension called ecological consciousness, or World Unconscious. For example, in the Personal Unconscious, dream images represent stored memories that present themselves when something current re-stimulates a historical association. They are tended in relation to our personal past. Dream images are tended in relation to their wider cultural implications. Rather than memories, these archetypal images have core meanings relevant to all of humankind regardless of culture, or ethnic identity. Angelina Rodriguez can explore your dreams in these dimensions for a greater understanding.
To fully imerse yourself in DreamTending, you must believe in one principle: dreams are alive. When you record or write down your dreams, they become static. Of course, dreams themselves are not real or static at all. But the images and figures of the dreams come with breath, body and a pulse. The dream is no more aware of you than you are aware that you’re dreaming … and thus the dream participates in the unfolding with you.
The world is dreaming. The rocks are dreaming. The mountains are dreaming. Everthing dreams. Therefore, we have to think of ourselves inside of the dream instead of the dreams existing just inside of ourselves. DreamTending challenges the notion of “I” in a dream. In many dreams, the figure that represents you may not behave in the same manner that you do in reality. DreamTending is very perplexed by the question of “who” exactly is dreaming.
Our dreams aren’t handed down to us, they’re not premonitions from years ago — your dreams exist in the immediacy of the present. When DreamTending, we move into the dream in “real-time” … like a play or poem you’re experiencing. You bare witness to your dreams as they happen, in the moment. This fourth caveat of DreamTending is perhaps the most deeply felt and gives a sense of mindfullness and awareness.