5 Ways to… Make the Most of Your Dream Experiences

Our experiences do not end when we go to sleep at the close of our day. At times we remember where we've been as we dreamed. In the awake state of mind, these dream experiences seem strangely unreal. This is because we were taught to think dreams are not real. It is a falsehood that we were told as children and often tell ourselves now. The truth is that dreams are real and they are a significant part of our lives. The dream experiences are real on a different plane of existence or inner level of mind.

Dreams can be very valuable when we use the information we receive to make changes in our lives. To make use of our dream experiences we need to:

  1. Pay attention to the dream
  2. Remember the dream when we awaken
  3. Learn what the imagery in the dream represents
  4. Interpret these images or symbols to reveal the dreams message
  5. Apply the Self discoveries in our lives

The changes can be very dramatic when a dream is understood.

A person I know was afraid to drive her car for over 20 years because she dreamed she drove off the road and died in a crash. Her dream is a real experience but it is not literal. The dream state is a symbolic representation of the experience of the mind. It is our duty to understand and use the information given by the subconscious mind to make productive changes in our lives. What this woman can learn from her dream is that she needs to give attention to her physical body and be in control of its health because the car symbolizes her physical body. You can imagine the relief she felt when she discovered the meaning of her experience.

Another woman had a dream that greatly disturbed her.

She dreamed:

My son was running away from me and I was trying to catch up with him. He is two years old and he was running faster than I've ever seen him run. He ran along the back of a truck and fell off as I tried to catch up to him. I approached him and he had a vacant stare in his eyes. I knew he was dead.

This dream is an experience that is unreal to the conscious, waking mind but is very real to the subconscious dreaming Self. The people and events in the dream are about the dreamer. They indicate how the dreamer is using his/her mind and responding to experiences for learning. In a dream death symbolizes change. This dream is communicating to the dreamer that change is taking place in her life. This change revolves around a new idea she has created, symbolized by the child. The woman was relieved to know that dreams are symbolic and that she need not fear for her son's safety. With the perspective of learning from the dream, all dreams are good dreams and can be productively used to improve the life. As it turns out, this dreamer had decided to go back to nursing school instead of taking a new job. The new way of life symbolized by her son in the dream was the new job that she was letting go.

Freedom in the dream state

Here is a dream that shows some of the freedom that can be experienced in the dream state. We can use dreams like this to strengthen the belief in our power to live without limitations in our waking life.

I was walking down the sidewalk and some guy starts to follow me. I start running and he keeps following. I start to run on air and then realize that I'm flying. I fly across the street to a park. I know I'm dreaming now so I fly around the park looking at the people who are there. There are some kids playing hopscotch and tag. I land by a tree and wake up.

This dream is communicating to the dreamer that she has the ability to be objective with the Self when she realizes that she is free to choose how she uses a situation. Again, the people and events symbolize the dreamer's state of awareness. The interaction in the dream shows how free she feels in the inner levels of her mind. This dream does indicate that she is avoiding a part of herself she is unfamiliar with symbolized by the guy following her. She tends to escape facing this part of herself by retreating to the inner Self (flying). The kids playing in the park symbolize developing parts of herself that are cooperating. This woman needs to use these newer aspects of Self to face her fear of the unknown. By cooperating with her Self, she can outwardly experience the same freedom enjoyed in the inner levels.

It is up to each of us to understand the meaning of our dreams. Each dream has a message of importance that we can act upon for productive results in the life. Dreams can also be experiences of freedom and discovery of new worlds. The inner experiences are endless, having more variety than that available in our conscious waking life.

The greatest learning from understanding the dreams and living more productively is that we are the same Self through all our experiences. This perspective expands our awareness of how every activity is a way to explore ourselves. We learn to recognize that we are the shapers of our experiences. The inner levels of mind are connected to our waking consciousness and we have direct access to them through the dream state. Through awareness of dreams one comes to understand the universal truth, "You are where your attention is."•

©1995 Vol. 13 No. 1
Sandman is a regular feature of Thresholds Quarterly. Write to Sandman, c/o Thresholds, School of Metaphysics National Headquarters, Windyville, MO 65783. When relating a dream indicate your gender and age.

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