The Lost Art of Dreaming
The title of this post has several literal meanings to me. It started with looking for Castaneda’s book, “The Art of Dreaming.” I read this strange book many years ago and it crossed my mind recently that it was absent from the book shelf – perhaps lost in the collateral damage of divorce.
If you have not read The Art of Dreaming by Carlos Castaneda, it is essentially a tale (or true story) about Castaneda trying to achieve Total Awareness through practice of structured dream states. Supposedly it is process taught to him by an Yaqui Indian Sorcerer. I tried to wrap my head around it when I read it but I am convinced that in order to really understand it, one would need to be under the influence of peyote.
The other meaning of the title of this article is that I started to realize how with age, there is a decay in the act of dreaming. When I was a kid, I would spend countless hours dreaming. Staring at clouds or stars or peoples shoes as they walked by (that one was a bit weird I must admit). My report cards of elementary school regularly described a “quiet, shy boy who was constantly day dreaming.” I am pretty sure those words on the report card were not meant as a compliment but I take them that way.
I never really have outgrown daydreaming except for the fact that I have to schedule it into my life now. With running a business, teaching, writing, and raising a family, dreaming is literally something my wife and I schedule. Last night was one of the few nights we had to ourselves in recent memory and what did we do…we dreamed. We talked about the progress we are making towards our dreams and we talked about adding clarity and detail to our dreams. I am fortunate to be in a relationship with a dreamer. You see, only a dreamer really understands the power of dreaming. When we dream, we don’t dream about unattainable, fluffy things but rather we dream about the things we can make happen.
By continuing to shape and add detail to the dream, you start to take it from the realms of inanimate to animate. Dreaming is taking something from imagination and transforming it into matter that can be touched, tasted, smelled, heard, and seen. You literally make something out of nothing! This is, after all, how the universe formed – from nothing, came a big bang and then suddenly, everything was real, or in the process of becoming real.
There is nothing more exhilarating than achieving a dream. Some might call them goals but I like to call them dreams. Most people think of dreams as fluffy, nebulous, hopes that really are not intended to come true. I, on the other hand, see dreams as a real process with real results. Once my dream is set, I continue to spend time clarifying and enriching the visualization of the dream but never straying off course. I have almost always made my dreams come true and if I didn’t, the final version was often better than I imagined. It isn’t that I have a special skill or gift but rather I know that dreaming actually makes things happen and I completely trust the process.
When was the last time you made time for dreaming? Dreaming when you are asleep is not the same as day dreaming. Dreaming can be a conscious act with effects as profound as meditation. All you have to do ask yourself what you want, figure out the first steps to take to transform it into reality and continue to regularly focus the dream until one day, it appears right before you. You can look back and say, “I made that happen all by dreaming.”