Dreams as Gateways of Sacred Activism

We all dream, and dreams have the potential to bring us together.  Active Dreaming was pioneered by Robert Moss as a synthesis of modern dream work and ancient shamanic methods of conscious dreaming. A key process is the Lightning Dream Sharing method, a quick way of sharing dreams and focusing the energy of dreams in an intentional way to reveal helpful information and potential actions. This approach to dream sharing is done in a way that respects the dreamer and the dream, where the only expert on the dream is the dreamer themselves, and helpful feedback is offered from the perspective of “if this were my dream”.

“Sacred Activism” was a term coined by Andrew Harvey as a way to cultivate compassionate action inspired by leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. who engaged non-violent direct action and dialogue in confronting the violence of racism with a vision of building a loving community through “Agape”.  Mahatma Gandhi promulgated the homespun movement as a source of non-violent resistance to break the stronghold of Colonial Britain in India.  Both of these peaceful movements of social change were rooted in reclaiming who we are, with a collective vision of what we could become together. Today many of us are activated and busy fighting against the tide of injustice that is intent to turn back the clocks on social change efforts won through the struggles of many who came before us.  If ever there was a need to bring forth a vision for change it is now and it is up to us to put our attentions there together to help grow this vision and take peaceful actions for the future.

Perhaps part of the trouble we see in modern Western society today, is that we have lost touch with our dreams as a culture. This is where the practice of Active Dreaming can come into play, when we learn how to remember our dreams and share them with others, we are helping to grow a dreaming community. Modern dream work approaches such as Dream Incubation and Dream Re-Entry are key practices of Active Dreaming. These two approaches offer ways to consciously direct your intentions for dreaming and re-entering a dream to gain information directly from the dream itself. There are many things you can learn to do inside your dreams and Active Dreaming is a practice to help you delve more deeply into your dream life and recover your dreaming potentials.

Learning to live and act consciously in our life takes practice, and Active Dreaming is a way to recover authentic connections to who we are, and discover what we truly desire in life. Dreams have the potential to connect us to something more, beyond the everyday waking mind and limited vision of the individual. We may find ourselves awakening to the sacred dream, collective vision, and eternal energy which connects us all. In dreams, we may explore profound realms of experience to discover the beauty and magic that exists inside each of us.

Active Dreaming allows us to not only awaken this sacred collective vision, but can show us how to dream together consciously. Shamanic conscious group dream journeys, guided by the sound of the drum, provide an ancient technology which is highly effective at allowing one to enter into a conscious dream state. This core practice of Active Dreaming, allows dreamers to come together in a mutual dreaming experience to bring back a collective vision in as full detail as possible. We can then take individual Action to grow this collective dream and help bring it into the waking world. This is how dreams become gateways of Sacred Activism, when we can journey consciously into these deeper realms of soul and spirit, and act upon it in some significant way on behalf of the wholeness of self, family, community and planet.

Valley Reed © 2017

Valley Reed is an Active Dream Teacher, and Peace Activist Leader in Dallas, Texas.

Visit www.chrysalishealingarts.org for more information and calendar of events.

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Looking inside our collective mirror

I woke from this dream the morning of the recent attack which left 5 Dallas police officers dead and 11 other wounded, including a peaceful protester in Dallas, Texas last week.

The Universal Collective Mirror 7-7-16

I am contacted by an activist friend, who wants me to help her plan a community meeting and find a venue to hold a large crowd. I see a community center which has a large pond outside the venue. I mention to her there is one in Oak Cliff, and she asks me whether it is safe to have it there. I say there are plenty of police and it is safe. I walk into the lobby of the community center and see there is a large circular mirror hanging from the ceiling and it is held by antique silver fittings with a lotus design cradled by spirals.

I hear a voice inside the mirror tell me, “Here you will gaze into the Universal Collective and see what is yours to do.”  I look into the mirror and see a shiny clear surface and realize this is a space I can revisit to see what reflection is there for me.

I then find myself in another part of the community center, where there are art classes being taught and I decide to take a painting class and also am interested in perhaps taking a printmaking class. EOD

In the aftermath of the tragedy which struck Dallas, I have seen how much collective community reflection has been going on for all of us. I see how this is happening not only in our community but on a national scale and global scale. We are all facing troubling times and it can feel overwhelming to try and know what to do as an individual and as a consequence,  feel unable to act. I feel it is vitally important for us to each know what is ours to do. This is the power of the collective and how we are all connected and that small acts really can make a difference. It can also focus our energies in productive and sustainable ways that benefits us and the collective at the same time, instead of getting caught in some kind of competition where envy and jealousy can get in the way. When we know what is ours to do, we no longer compare ourselves to others or need to marginalize them to make us appear better. Dreams can help us get a glimpse of what is ours to do and what actions we may take. This is an important part of what I teach as an Active Dream Teacher.

Synchronicity has also been at play for me this past week, as reflections of the collective seem to be revealing themselves in the fashion of the mirror. I recently read about an workshop being done locally on healing the sisterhood, which asks each participant to bring a hand held mirror. Today, I read of a huge action being planned at the Republican National Convention where 100 women will pose nude for world famous photographer Spencer Tunick. He will have them all holding mirrors during the photo shoot, titled “Everything She Says Means Everything,” 100 naked women will hold up large mirror discs that, according to the artist’s website, represent “reflecting the knowledge and wisdom of progressive women and the concept of ‘Mother Nature’”  The intention of this action is to reflect this embodied divine feminine wisdom onto the RNC convention floor.

SpencerTunick

The dream also has a deeper more personal connection for me. The silver antique motif of the Universal dream mirror reflects the connection I share with a dear sister. When we first became friends over 12 years ago, we decided we wanted to pair up to offer a workshop for women. We talked about offering body centered, experiential work for women to help reveal the shadow and repair the rifts between women.

We met over coffee to begin planning the workshop and an energy came between us we could both sense. It was a very spiritual energy and inside this energy, we could both see a mirror hanging in mid air between us. We both talked about what we were experiencing and confirmed what we both saw. It was the presence of divine feminine energy joining in our planning meeting.

The next time we met to discuss our plans, we again felt the presence of the mirror, only this time for me, I could see in my minds eye it was an actual physical mirror located at an antique shop near us. I told my friend and we decided to go check it out. Upon entering,  I walked directly over to a place in the shop, where there was a beautiful hand mirror hiding behind a plate. I turned the mirror over and found that on the other side, it held a design of three dancing goddesses. My friend also found her mirror, which matched what she was seeing in her vision. The antique silver frame motif from her mirror, now shows up on my Universal Collective Dream mirror.

Another interesting part of the Universal Mirror is how it showed up for me in my dream as a large circular mirror hanging from the ceiling in the lobby of a community center. My friend shared with me when she returned from Peru recently, that she had visited a room inside a cathedral where they had all these large antique mirrors that were tilted and hanging from the ceiling. It was said that it is a place where the energies of the universe are also looking through at us, just as we are also seeing them. This resembles exactly how the mirror in my dream was placed, it was tilted and hanging from the ceiling, and perhaps also, where the voice was coming from inside the mirror.

Valley Reed © 2016

 

The Well of Humankind – Part 1

Today I attended a lecture with Dr. Rick Halperin, director of the SMU Embrey Human Rights Program, who recently returned from his trip from Israel and Palestine. He gave us a report on the human rights abuses that exist on both sides of the divide and gave voice to the most marginalized populations in Israel. Refugees from Eritrea and Sudan, the Gay and Lesbian community, the nomadic Bedouin people of Israel and Muslim Israeli citizens are some of the most marginalized communities in Israel and everywhere he went in speaking with people, the question was put to him, “Who thinks about us?”  He also visited the West Bank of Palestine, in the city of Hebron where the ratio of Jews to Palestinians is 600 to 60,000, but the Israelis have swimming pools and the Palestinians have rationed water. This is the most gentile of depictions of the imbalance of power in the occupied territories, which one could distinctly draw clear comparisons to the Apartheid in South Africa. The most serious of human rights abuses exists in Gaza, which has become an open air prison for close to 1 million people, where no one can leave and no one, not even human rights advocates, have access to see the condition of the people in Gaza.  Dr. Halperin made clear that human rights abuses exist on both sides of the fence. My impression from his report is, the only side he is on, is the side of human rights. He has scheduled  a return trip there in August, and invites those interested in going to contact him at the Embrey Human Rights Program.

Perhaps a path of healing this conflict, is about remembering our humanity by honoring our history and our stories. Along those lines, I would like to share a dream I had a couple of years ago. I share this in hopes of helping to remember a time when the people who both claim Abraham as their ancestor, lived in peace for over 1400 years. That time will come again, that time is now.

The Well of Humankind

I find myself at a barren landscape in the dessert at a large well.

It is an ancient place. I hear a voice tell me, “you have come to the Well of Humankind, place your gaze upon it and see what you will.”

I see a scene of an Muslim man and Jewish man, who use the well together
peacefully, sharing its resources.

I then see angelic beings of light, connecting with many places on the
surface of the water.

I connect with one of the drops of golden light upon the water with my intention, and I am
taken into a previous dream.

This is the dream where I found myself back inside of while looking on the surface of the *Well of Humankind.*

Golden Beeings
I am in a space where there are bees and honey and bears, and I am wanting
honey. Honey is good for me. I am about to get some honey to eat some, when I am
suddenly being taken up to fly into the sky by these light beings. They are
made of glowing light and they shine like the sun. I am trying to hold on to
my friend’s hand who is also flying with me.  My friend takes off first and then
then I am picked up and fly off second. I can’t hold on to his hand. When we
land we are in a space of many other people, and there I am told that I was
adopted when I was 13 years old, by a woman named Anne Light. I see her and
meet her and say hello, I am surprised by this information and cannot
imagine how I could have been adopted by someone I have never met.
EOD

These dreams speak to me of the need for angelic intervention and healing. In my dream of  The Well of Humankind, I am asked to look upon the surface of the healing waters and see what I may. What I saw was peace, and the angelic light which can trouble the waters to bring about healing, to a place where cousins have forgotten their connections to one another.  I determined to research, if in fact an actual place may exist with a history of healing waters shared by different cultures. I discovered the healing waters of Bethesda, located in the Muslim section of Jerusalem was just such a place.

I will post my continued findings in my next post, The Well of Humankind – Part 2 – A place of remembering and healing.

the-pool-of-bethesda-robert-bateman
The Pool of Bethesda by Robert Bateman

Dreamways to Peace

When we have a love for something which we strive towards in our everyday life, we may find in dreaming we can connect with a greater experience and presence of those who have passed on, but their legacy remains.  I have worked as an activist toward peace and justice in Texas for more than 10 years. It is often difficult and thankless work, but clearly needed in order to create change from a culture of violence toward one of  peace with justice.

Over the years, I have been gifted with two significant dreams which have helped to spur me on in my endeavors as a peace activist.

Doorways to Peace

I see Martin Luther King Jr. standing before me, he holds out his hand and offers me what he has inside his palm.  It is a golden bee pollen and he tells me to eat it.  I take what he has offered and eat some.  I am conscious in the dream, and having trouble staying that way due to being very aware and excited that I am actually standing with the great Martin Luther King Jr.  I can hardly contain myself.  He is trying to speak with me in the dream, but I seem too overwhelmed to be able to hear his words. He then shows me a large golden tree made of gold light and we walk toward it. The tree is so large we are only looking at the huge trunk of it and cannot see the top of the tree nor the bottom. There is a door inside the tree  made of golden light which opens.  I walk through it and find there are many more doorways unfolding before me, all I must do to get to the next one is walk through each door as it appears. EOD.

This dream was profound for me to meet Martin Luther King Jr. – one of my heroes, whom I consider to exemplify true leadership. It showed me the potential for peace and that it only takes the willingness to step through each doorway as it is presented. This is something I continue to strive to do as an activist.

In the next dream, I went consciously to meet up with a dream partner to an agreed upon destination where we would converge together in our dreams for a shared dream adventure. We decided to meet up at a market in Fez, Morocco

The Magic Pot

I find myself in a busy market place in Morocco with narrow dirt streets and vendors set up all around. It is a busy place and the sights, sounds and smells are almost overwhelming.  I am looking for my dream partner.  I walk further through the market and find a large clay pot.  I circle around the pot as I touch its rim with my hand and as I do I see Gandhi walking toward me from out of the market place. He approaches standing across from me and tells me to look into the pot. I look inside and see it is full of water, he tells me to look again, and once again I look and see it is full of grain.

I look one more time and now the pot has transformed to a small Moroccan clay pot with a lid which looks like a strange hat.  I take off the lid to see it contains a delicious meal enough for two people to eat.   I realize this pot is a magic pot. I want to share this meal with my dream partner who I have not yet found in my dream.  I go and look for him and find myself at the airport where he is just arriving to meet me. We go once again go to the market where I meet up with another friend who is the founder of many West African Drum Circles in Texas.  My friend looks at me and says, “What are we waiting for? We are in Africa – Let’s Drum!” We all begin to drum together. EOD

This dream shows the importance of nurturing and having a container that can feed many people. Peace is that container and shows itself in the form of the magic pot which offers unlimited resources as well as the ability to build community both through feeding and nurturing and drumming and celebration while also nurturing my personal relationships along the way.

Shapeshifting with the White Animals

On May 12th in Greenville, Texas a white buffalo was born named Lightning Medicine Cloud after being born during a Thunderstorm. It is said to be part of the Native American prophecy of the Lakota Sioux Tribe and the 3rd white buffalo recognized as born to fulfill the Native American prophecy of earth changes.  Lightning Medicine Cloud was born to a Lakota Sioux couple on their ranch in North Texas and it is only the second white buffalo ever born on Native American lands.  Around the same time this auspicious buffalo calf was born, I found myself having contact with the White animals in dreaming.  My dream encounters with the White Animals has been profound for me and I continue to carry their presence.

Lightning Medicine Cloud

Lightning Medicine Cloud
Royal White Elephant by Sundara Fawn

Shapeshifting with the White Elephant  April 24th, 2011

In my dream I see myself as I look now, I then see that I have shapeshifted into a White Elephant. I look closely at my skin and see the white wrinkled elephant skin covering my body. I hear a voice tell me, “This is something you do all the time, shapeshift.”

Several weeks later after that dream, I had an encounter with a council of White Animals during my shavassana meditation during a Kundalini yoga class.

Council of the White Animals – May10, 2011

In my mind’s eye,  I  hover above my body laying on the floor in shavassana pose, I look to my right and see a doorway of light open up and a magnificent white elephant approaches me. I then see in front of my feet the White Buffalo has joined me, then near my left shoulder a white tiger snuggles up next to me licking my cheek, while on my right, a white lion with beautiful blue eyes looks deeply into my eyes. I then notice a white giraffe has joined the white elephant and I look up above and see a white eagle circling over my body above me and there are many more white birds flying higher  in the air. I then see a white snake slither up toward me and enter into my body where it curls up in my second chakra. I notice a white bear is now standing near my feet next to the White Buffalo and then a white gorilla appears next and begins to jump up and down.  I now feel a white owl is sitting on my left shoulder and finally a white horse appears standing over my head.  I am overwhelmed by the white animals which are gathering around my body as others continue to join in. I had this experience just two days before the White Buffalo was born less than an hours drive from where I live.  I have never had a dream about a white buffalo before  nor seen one appear in my meditations either.

Not long after this experience,  I facilitated a dream group during the Wesak Full Moon celebrating the birth of the Buddha who was foretold to be born to his mother by a dream of her being pregnant with a white elephant. We journeyed together as a group assisted by shamanic drumming to consciously  connect with the presence of the white animals and the spiritual energies present during Wesak which celebrates his physical birth, spiritual rebirth and death of the Buddha.

What I take away from these waking and sleeping dream experiences is that it is time to shift awareness to connect with higher spiritual energies and shape shift my reality to embody the changes. I accept the message of my dream that “this is something I do all the time”.

I shall embrace the energy of  transfiguration in my own life and celebrate the birth of that energy actually embodied in the white buffalo calf  as part of the earth changes and spiritual energies now shape shifting our reality.

The Gifts of the White Animals

May the White Elephant bring the strength and wisdom of the Buddha and augur in an new age of spiritual enlightenment and compassion.

May the White Buffalo bring the presence of the great spirit and the wisdom of prophecy.

May the White Eagle fly to new heights of perception and clarity.

May the White Tiger bring her nurturing, playful and fierce spirit of love and protection.

May the White Lion bring depth of beauty and strength of heart and courage.

May the White Snake bring its energy of creativity and healing.

May the White Giraffe bring it’s ability to take risks and stick it’s neck out to reach the most delectable heights of success.

May the White Bear stand it’s ground and give support.

May the White Gorilla bring unbounded energy and the ability to speak out.

May the White Owl bring Wise council.

May the White Horse carry me with it’s noble spirit into dreaming.

by Valley Reed  © 2011

The Heart Chakra

During the ongoing journey of the Kundalini Yoga series, we move through the each of the chakras rising the energy up through the lower chakras into the higher chakras. The Heart begins the first of the upper chakras. Breathing with the energy to enter the heart chakra , I could see the energy in each of the lower chakras was strong. I moved from the root chakra into the creative chakra and up into the power chakra where it became a bright ball of energy with red and yellow and orange. I could hear a sound like a deep base drum beat pulsating and as the sound moved upward towards the heart I could see a thin plate of clear glass break apart as I moved into the heart chakra. A breakthrough!

brokenglass.jpg

I entered and could see the energy there was neutral, I could then feel the energy in my crown chakra move down to fill my heart with white light. During one of the asanas, I could feel my right hand begin to cramp. I was aware the energy was stuck there in my body, I was trying to hold onto to it and needed to let it go. I concentrated on letting the energy release through my palm and the cramp in my hand began to ease. I became aware of a long held body stance of trying to protect myself by clenching my fist. I remembered waking up at night sometimes to find I had clenched fists. It was time to let go of the fear and anger and the need to protect myself, and trust in energy of the heart once more.

3whitedoves.jpg

In the ending class meditation, I entered the temple of the heart chakra, in my vision I could see a flock of white doves take flight as I entered the space. I approached the temple and became aware that it looked like the white house. At first look, I thought the politics of the presidential candidates race had taken over my life! Then upon contemplation I realized the qualities of the heart chakra is a space of sacred law, truth and justice.

whitehouse.jpg

I entered the temple of the White House in my heart, and found a long hall where at the far end sat a man with a safron robe and bald head, and had the appearance of a buddhist monk. As I walked closer, the man turned to greet me, I was surprised to find it was my father.

My father was talking to me telling me things, that as usual, I did not want to hear. I did not trust him and I found it difficult to see him in this role as a Buddhist monk. Many times he and I had argued about religion and our differences in religious belief. He from a perspective of an Evangelist Christian and I from a perspective of Nicherin Diashonin Buddhism. My father at 83, is now at the end of his life struggling with lung cancer and having undergone chemotherapy, now has a bald head and the appearance of a shaven headed monk.

buddhistmonk.jpg

My father took me over to show me a long white marble table that had many pictures laid out, the pictures were of my ancestors. Among the pictures was a photo of my great grandmother on my grandmothers side. My father was telling me that this great grandmother carried Native American blood. Then lying next to the pictures was a large ancient book that was old and worn, and inside it carried the sacred names of all the medicine peoples of all the tribes who have walked this earth. I looked down and also found lying next to the book on the table was a medicine pipe. The pipe was being given to me and the knowledge contained inside the book was the legacy my father was handing down to me. It was here that my father and I could always meet without disagreement, it was here in the Native way of being that we always understood one another, Aho!

sacredpipe2.jpg

I know from this meeting of one another in the heart chakra, when his time comes to pass, that we will each be more at peace with one another, and I am grateful to my father for pointing to my ancestors and the legacy they have left me.

Mariposa Movement

By Valley Reed December 2007

Mariposa Movement

With the flap of the wings of a butterfly,

a hurricane was started halfway across the earth.

Sometimes the effects of one action can set something in motion so powerful it can pull the powers of the wind and the sea together creating an awe inspiring force.  Once in awhile, in the midst of the long struggle for peace and justice, an activist may see the effects of their heartfelt message break through the barriers of greed and ignorance. If we are blessed we will see the fruits of our actions turn from song and vigil for the oppressed and voiceless to freedom and justice.

One morning, I awoke from a dream with the phrase “Mariposa Movement” on my mind. I recalled the dream from the previous night where people gave up their places of comfort and status within the American Empire to stand in solidarity with Mexican immigrants, Indigenous peoples and Muslim Immigrants who are currently being demonized by the United States. These honest hard working people are being described as criminals, terrorists, child molesters, and drug dealers. I remember how inspired I felt upon waking from the dream with the idea it was presenting of a Solidarity movement to tear down the walls of class, racism and separation that are currently being built along our borders. It was shortly after this dream I was presented with the opportunity to accompany several fellow activists down to visit Taylor, Texas where a demonstration was planned with activists from all around the state of Texas. The focus of the action was the Don T. Hutto residential detention center where families are locked up along with their children while waiting for their case to process and seeking safe assylum in the U.S. These families seeking safe haven are being treated like criminals, along with their children, and imprisonment of children is in violation of International Law and Sacred Law.

On this day as we sit outside of these prison walls in Taylor Texas at the Don T. Hutto Residential Detention Center we are drumming to free the children inside. I tried to imagine what it would take to open the doors and allow those inside to have their freedom. I remembered the story of the Shoshone Medicine Man, Rolling Thunder, the story was of one of freedom.

Rolling Thunder had stood up for justice in his day, to demand freedom for his Shosone brothers who were locked up for refusing to fight an imperial U.S. war against Vietnam. Rolling Thunder was a Medicine Man and an activist for indigenous rights and the environment. He was known to have abilities such as effecting the weather by calling in the rain, the wind and the lightning. He demanded the release of his brothers and when the guards did not heed his call, he summoned the powers of the sky, and called a tornado directly toward the prison.

The guards became so frightened they let the two Shoshone men go they held prisoner. I looked to the story of Rolling Thunder for inspiration as I drummed an African Beat called Kaki Lambe on my Jimbe Drum, it is an African drumbeat used to call to spirits for assistance in times of dire need. My partner, Hadi Jawad, had taught me the rythmn and it was his strong desire that we bring the drums so that the children inside could hear us drumming through the thick prison walls. Together we drummed the rhythmn and I focused my attention on every beat. I connected my intention toward spirit for an answer, I closed my eyes as I drummed and released myself to the sound. It was then a clear vision appeared, and I saw the spirit of an immense White Eagle that flew to the front doors of the prison, opening them and letting me know that every child inside would feel the presence of the eagle and know that we were there. Later that afternoon, an indigenous looking man with long dark hair approached me and expressed his thanks. He had been listening to the drumming throughout the day while we played and he let me know how important drumming is to the Native People. He said, “We believe the drums are sacred,  and they call in the power of the Great Spirit.” I said “Yes!” and I immediately shared with him my vision of seeing the spirit of the White Eagle flying through the front doors of the building. The spirits had heard our call and come to our aid.

After the last song was sung of the candle light vigil, we moved in the direction of leaving after a full day of drumming, protesting, singing and vigiling. The sun was going down and it was starting to get cold. Suddenly, something began to happen, instead of the crowd dispersing, people began to spontaneously move toward the doors of the prison demanding to speak to the warden! We joined in the movement of protestors toward the front door where official vehicles tried to block our path. We boldly walked around them as water flows around stones, we also crossed over the line we were “officially” told to stay behind. The crowd moved right up to the doors of the prison and people began to open the doors and fill into the building singing Feliz Navidad and chanting solidarity forever! Many people still holding candles aflame from the candlelight vigil we had finished just shortly before. People then began shouting, “Bring in the Toys!” A flood of Christmas toys began to appear with people carrying boxes and bags of toys overflowing. The gifts and were brought inside from the 200 or so protesters who had come from all around Texas to make their voices heard against the immorality of imprisoning families. This experience of breaking through the prison doors was elating to all those who came to participate in the vigil. Spirit was among us, and flying high this day just as the eagle had foretold.

This movement that took us right through the front doors of the prison may have begun from the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Mexico. Mariposa means butterfly and it also means soul. It is said that the butterflies who migrate South to Mexico are the returning souls of lost children. To the Native People sacred law states that children shall always be protected and that no harm shall come to the children.

Free The Children!

Let me share with you this beautiful song that was sang as one of the closing songs during the candlelight vigil.

Circle round for freedom,

Circle round for peace,

for all of those imprisoned,

Circle for release.

Circle round the Planet,

Circle for each soul.

For the children of our children,

Keep the Circle Whole.