I’m a dreamer, and I respect (and sometimes remember) my dreams, in all their vivid and jumbled details. I made it a hobby more than thirty years ago to study them, at one time logging three or four dreams a night for several months. This has offered a window into the subtle realms of healing. From time to time, I delve deeply into the symbols and the details. This is great entertainment, but often there’s way much TMI to decode or recall. Over time I’ve found reason to trust the process, which is beneath and beyond what my conscious mind can grasp.
But the dream images that have truly informed my life are very simple. Once, many years ago, when I was recovering from depression, this: An armoire. Some sunlight. Two hands moving a plant from the dark and into the light. Nothing more.
This simple image has transformed my relationship with the Mystery of Life. After that dream, I stopped believing that I needed to work harder to find the meaning of life or to force that meaning on myself or others.
There was such a profound gentleness in that dream invitation to nurture the growth of my tender inner world. I discovered the kindness that grows from self-love and awareness. Forever after that dream, when I’m lost or in the dark, I imagine those hands moving me gently to a new way of being or seeing.
No bells and whistles. One simple image, remembered in a twilight state, a gift of Life. A gift for life itself.
Last week I woke up from dreaming with another powerful lingering image. I am with other people who come and go and then return to the altars they tend. There’s some visual recollection of a variety of altars, draped and decorated, each different than the next.
These images have been stalking me since then. On first thought, the dream seemed to represent the people I mentor from day to day. We talk. They return to their lives. I see that there’s a growing awareness of what brings them light. The flower of the dream has developed buds. With light and attention, the buds grow.
Then, as I have learned to do, I turn the dream around to my life. Where are the altars of my life? The blossom gradually opens: My home has many little altars everywhere.
I often see nature’s offerings as little altars when I walk in the woods, communing in silence.
My body. How do I treat my body as a sacred vessel, placed on the altar of Life Itself? This is a fertile ground for inquiry.
And then the last big question: What if my life itself is an altar? Now there’s an image that can bloom and slowly unfold. An altar for a Lifetime.