I have been invited to present a one hour special event called Dreaming of Nature at the 35th Annual International Dream Conference (June 16-20) in Scottsdale, Az. This presentation will interweave concepts of biological science, depth psychology, spirituality and indigenous wisdom with nature soundscapes, song, poetry, and projected nature imagery. The following is an overview of the presentation.
For over 2 million years, human physicality, psychology, and spirituality have been shaped by the body’s sensate experience of the rhythms, textures, tastes, sounds, and shapes of the Natural World. Connecting with Nature is thus a deeply rooted human need. Yet the majority of us now live in urban environments…within a culture that esteems the intellect over sensate experience. As a result, many of us embrace perspectives, lifestyles and belief systems that are in discord with Nature’s rhythms and cycles.
The appearance of animals in our dreams is often an invitation to reestablish an accord with Nature. We can accept this invitation by developing an experiential rapport with outer physical manifestations of our dreamtime animals. Engaging the physical animal in its natural habitat ignites a dynamic interplay of all of our senses: we have the opportunity to see, to hear, to smell…and perhaps even to touch and taste not only the animal itself—but also the other creations that share its habitat.
In circumstances where direct interaction with the animal is not possible, the exploration of readily available evocative photographs, documentaries, and sound recordings can also often effectively awaken an imaginal sensory rapport with the dreamtime animal.
As we surrender to this sensual experience, we will find ourselves entering a ‘waking dreamtime’ where veils begin to dissolve: where our dreamtime animal merges with its outer manifestation…where we merge with our animal through a psycho-spiritual shape shifting…where there is no ‘other’—only an ‘us’. Where the worldscape becomes an extension of the dreamscape.
The intimate rapport that we achieve through this merging may gift us with the ability to mimic the vocalizations and/or behaviors of our animal. Or our animal may gift us with a song…a poem…or a dance. If we incorporate these gifts into our psycho-spiritual practices, they awaken states of awareness where we are able to sensitively and sensually live in greater harmony with the Natural World.