Within every soul lives an innate yearning to thrive. It’s what moves us to pursue our dreams, to improve ourselves and share our gifts with the world. This innate calling also inspires every element of nature to grow and evolve together. A flourishing ecosystem emerges by virtue of each plant and animal following its unique calling and sharing its gifts, and in doing so becomes a vital contribution to the whole. In the same way, each person uniquely enables others to thrive by pursuing an enlightened self-interest – an interest that positively contributes to something greater than the self, which in turn directly benefits the self.
A year ago, over 800 people from 40 countries explored their enlightened self-interests together in our Vibrant Planet Dream-In. During the event, dreamers went to sleep with the following question in their minds:
What is the earth’s vibrant dream for me?
The following morning, our dreamers awoke with a wide spectrum of invaluable dream experiences, which they shared as text and images into our Facebook event page. We were overwhelmed by the number of the responses and the epic scope of the dreams. Several common themes ran throughout the dreams, the most prevalent being an experience of connecting with the universe, the earth, each other and our inner-selves. Many of the experiences were numinous – spiritual or supernatural.
Some of our participants were hesitant to disclose or explore dreams that they did not perceive as “positive” or worthy of sharing, so we encouraged these individuals to come forward.
Even unwanted and unpleasant dreams are essential in revealing your enlightened path to creating greater vibrancy.
Since the initial Dream-In, one thing has become crystal clear: we can no longer dream alone, as individuals or even as separate groups. These challenging times need our collective consciousness and unconsciousness working together. Finding our mutually beneficial way forward begins in each of us, and each of our enlightened paths are rooted in a thriving planet that naturally unfolds magnificent evolutions, like advanced life forms with the capacity to dream and imagine.
We can harness nature’s evolutionary brilliance by intentionally dreaming together with each other and the planet. You can join by incubating an intention to realize your enlightened self-interests, which naturally leads to a future where we all truly flourish.
A dream incubation is a question or an intention that you pose to yourself before going to sleep. For example, in our first dream-in the incubation was What is the earth’s vibrant dream for me? By using a common incubation, we form a shared dream-space so that individual dreams multiply together as one – like a planetary array of antennas – each illuminating a unique and integral aspect of the whole
For any incubation to work, each dreamer must be deeply interested or intrigued by the dream incubation. This sense of personal caring, along with a willingness to mentally focus on the incubation prior to sleep, enables the incubation to potently seed the subconscious and yield highly-relevant dream responses. For more, see our Steps for Incubating & Recalling Dreams.
Trust the Brilliance of Your Dreaming Mind
Dreamers must trust the creative brilliance and transformational capacity of their dreaming mind. Just consider how phenomenal it is that your dreaming mind creates a multidimensional imaginal reality that adapts and changes as your awareness interacts with it. Furthermore, a 2014 study published in Current Biology, found that the brain processes complex stimuli during sleep, and uses this information to make decisions while awake.
Although dreaming unfolds in a kind of virtual reality, there often is no difference between the active parts of the brain when you are dreaming or when you are awake. In fact, researchers at Brown University are able to predict what you are dreaming about based on fMRI scans of brain activity, and their research shows that the same brain regions are activated when people are awake as when they are actually having the associated dream.
There is a direct connection between your virtual (dream) reality and your waking reality. Importantly, research has shown that dreaming is constantly re-wiring the brain and consolidating daytime gains. We see the beginnings of what is possible in a Harvard Medical School study, where researchers found that patients, who dreamed about specific mental and physical tasks, were able to increase actual performance of the task in the waking state by up to 10 times. If by bringing clear intention to your dream state you are able to enhance your waking performance by 10x, then just imagine what might be possible when we dream together with shared intention!
Creatively Exploring Our Dreams
We offer a different approach than traditional dream interpretation, one that explores each dream as an integral part of a continuously evolving creative exploration, instead of a stand-alone experience to be deconstructed.
Answering the Incubation
Remember we began with an incubation that asked a question. Now, imagine the ways in which the dream answers the incubation.
When exploring how the dream answers its incubation, there are no right or wrong answers, just new creative possibilities to explore. In some cases, the dream might seem irrelevant to the incubation, or it might seem the opposite of what we desire. Sometimes dreaming the opposite of our desire helps to draw in what we want. All dreams present creative opportunities to explore the corresponding wanted transformations called forth by the incubation.
Let’s explore how the following woman’s dream answers its incubation: “What is the earth’s vibrant dream for me?”
“I am walking in fog, it is a long road, I suddenly realize that I am in a forest and the fog disappears, it is day. The forest is beautiful, it has a fairytale aspect, and there are animals, trees, and rivers. I stop in front of one of these rivers connected to a waterfall. With my hand I touch the waterfall, the water did not get it wet, and it seems that I can go through it. I step through the waterfall. In a moment, during which I seem to have flown through the universe, I’m in another world, and I hear a voice that says: ‘Now they don’t understand, but soon they will understand.’ “
The earth’s vibrant dream for her involves discovering extraordinary realms of nature by passing through a series of perceived thresholds – the fog, a waterfall and even the space-time limitations of the universe itself. A voice foretells of the evolution that soon awaits, a new collective understanding, but of what? Of how nature unfolds new wondrous realms and mysteries as we pass through perceived thresholds?
Her specific inquiry into the earth’s vibrant dream emerged uniquely from her dreaming, from the gift of her unique creative nature. Evolving this creative gift is in her enlightened self-interest, and as such, a valuable contribution to our collective awakening. In her dream, a voice inspires deeper exploration, which could be guided by a new incubation, something like: “What will they soon understand?” The new incubation is designed to continue and deepen the inquiry through an ongoing dialog with her dreaming mind.
Engaging the Dreaming Mind While Awake
To fully honor the creative potential of our dreams, it is essential that we use the same kind of mind that creates dreams in the first place. When dreaming, the mind unfolds an imaginal reality by bringing together a myriad of inputs, from past memories and the intention of the incubation, to the dreamer’s emotional response and much more. The dreaming mind combines it all through an emergent process, free from many of the conceptual limitations and rationalities of the waking mind.
While awake, we can engage the emergent creativity of dreaming simply by relaxing our minds. After closing your eyes and taking some slow and deep breaths, you’ll immediately begin generating slower brain waves know as alpha waves. Increased alpha waves are commonly associated with the detached awareness of daydreaming, meditation and visionary experiences.
There are many techniques for self-inducing creative alpha states, and just like with nighttime dreaming, these states can be incubated with an intention. One technique, known as dream reentry, involves closing your eyes for 15 minutes or so with the intention of reentering a dream and intentionally evolving it further. To help induce slower brain waves, breathe deep and slow.
Gently hold the intention while witnessing whatever emerges from within you. Allow for any feelings, thoughts, sounds or images to emerge without the need to immediately understand or interpret them. After opening your eyes and coming out of your creative alpha state, consider writing down your experience or expressing it through a form of media or artistic expression.
Whether your eyes are open or closed, engaging the dreaming mind requires entering into a dynamic state of exploration, where the journey becomes more important than the destination. Along the way, use the glorious gift of creativity that nature gave you by trying on as many novel connections as possible. Even seemingly random experiences and input can provide excellent raw material for enriching the dream. By allowing thoughts and feelings to flow together, without stopping to analyze or judge them, the door opens for entirely new creations to emerge.
Gaining Mastery of the Dialectic
The dialectic is a process of change through which an experience or concept is fulfilled by its opposite. Some examples of dialectics include: doubt-confidence, injury-healing, and loss-love. Each opposite is an integral half of one dialectic – an ongoing dialog or interplay between two inseparable opposites that are actually one and the same dynamic.
Often half of the dialectic will feel unwanted, while its opposite half is wanted. For example, fear can feel unwanted while courage is wanted. Because not wanting an experience, such as fear, may cause us to automatically reject it, extra care should be taken to appreciate the inherent value in these experiences. Not only does fear protect us from danger, its very presence provides us the opportunity to be courageous and gain further mastery of our fear.
When presented with experiences that feel unwanted, remember that the dreaming often goes first to the dialectic that needs the most immediate attention in order for a key personal transformation to proceed. If you habitually resist this transformation, its dialectic may show up in a recurring dream or build into a nightmare that really grabs your attention. The dreaming is encouraging you to gain mastery of the dialectic in the safety of your imagination, so that you can more fully unleash your creativity and bring your unique gifts to life.
The first step in exploring the dialectics in a dream is to clearly identify the underlying feelings or mental states. Even if it doesn’t seem to matter or make sense in the moment, it is still important to identify and record for future reference.
Upon identifying an underlying quality of the experience, begin considering an opposite quality or antonym. For instance, a fitting antonym of confusion is clarity. Keep in mind that identifying dialectics is not always simple or cut and dry and often times multiple dialectics occur together. Stay open to exploring.
Use each identified dialectic as an underlying inspiration for advancing a corresponding personal or collective transformation. This involves meditating upon how the dialectical process, of resolving conflicting feelings, mental states or situations, creates positive changes within yourself. Also, imagine how the resolution of the dialectic advances a theme or story that leads to our vibrant future.
The brilliance of your dreaming mind creates the necessary experiences and growth opportunities for advancing you on your enlightened path to our vibrant future. In this way, there exists a larger evolutionary force than your dreaming mind, dreaming through you. This evolutionary force is leading all of us to co-create something profoundly mutually beneficial.
Vibrant Planet is a global community dream-space for engaging us in dreaming together as conscious co-creators with the earth. When enough of us dream with the earth, our dreams can interconnect into a greater planetary consciousness which will naturally inspire and guide us to our vibrant future.