…or maybe we’re kayaking…?
I had a dream last week about a river. This is how I would describe it to my dream group.
River winds through a lush green valley. He is wide, and green and beautiful. Lush foliage licks his sides. The sun can hardly compete with the canopy of green. But where it shines through, I see bright, powder blue fading into Indigo shades. River sparkles. I watch it flow. There is no doing in this moment. Only watching, being, feeling the connection of all of it.
I italicized that for a reason. Even though I’m a Westerner, and know I’m surrounded by so many who don’t value the dream’s place in the world as I do, every ounce of me knows dreams hold vast information that can upgrade our experience individually and communally. I love being around those who know this because the work becomes deeper and does not rest in the cold water of the surface. There’s no getting used to the conversation or funny looks that go along with it. I can immediately drop down into making connections about what matters, what can be helpful.
This is not to say the dream needs to be defined any more than a dip in the ocean needs to be defined. But just as when I swim in the ocean I feel the connection to all that is, rocked to and fro by Gaia herself, I feel this with dreams.
Still, over the years, I’ve developed a dictionary of symbols in my head. They are my own and can’t be found in the back of a dream book. Rivers, for me, are life. Green rivers are paths to grow by. We travel down the river and we can choose to flow or to swim upstream. People join us and they fall off. Sometimes it’s messy and sometimes it’s beautiful. But most of all, it just is.
I think that’s why I like dreams so much. They aren’t filled with bullet points and lists. Hell, I don’t even know if I have clothes on in my dreams. I’m always looking out, not examining my physical being. In waking life, there is so much focus on that, but in dream life, it’s all just taken care of. No laundry. No picking outfits. No meal planning. It just is.
As the Dalai Lama says, “Sleep is the best meditation.”
And dreaming, then, the purest form of visualization. The beauty is in the noticing of details, of listening to the sounds, of integrating all these into the day time. How peaceful life would be if we could just sit and watch the river.
Why does the eye see a thing more clearly in dreams than the imagination when awake? Leonardo da Vinci