What is DreamTending?
DreamTending is a method of working with dreams that centers on a psychodynamic process of “tending the living image.” Developed over the last 35 years by Dr. Stephen Aizenstat—founding President of Pacifica Graduate Institute, core faculty member of the Institute, and clinical psychologist—the practice of DreamTending makes the particularity and presence of dream images available to the dreamer. To find out more about Dr. Stephen Aizenstat and DreamTending, please visit: www.dreamtending.com
Rather than bringing the dream images up into the light of waking world experience in order to make “sense” of them, the practice of DreamTending invites dreamers to enter the dreamtime through the images in the dream itself. In other words, we enter the dream on its terms and on its turf, so that the “intelligence” of the dream is listened to from inside the dream.
When we tend a dream, images come “awake” and we too are awakened to the dream of life. Imagination is animated, and we begin to participate in the world in ways that are deeply informed by the dreamtime. To “tend” a dream, therefore, is not to interpret or analyze it. The whole point of working this way is to discover, in ongoing ways, that everything is dreaming all the time. The task therefore involves getting curious “with” the dream, alongside it in a companioning sort of way.
In a very practical and accessible way, the craft of DreamTending offers the possibility of listening deeply to the voices of the dream images themselves as they step forward from the otherwise discreet shadows to offer their insights, their wisdom, and their perspectives. Dreams are trying to teach us presence. By inviting us to develop soul capacities for “seeing,” and cultivating a genuine love of images, dreamers begin to feel their way into the heart as an organ of perception, to develop an imaginally thinking heart.
If you would like to explore what’s possible with DreamTending, please click the images below . . .
Dreamers wishing to work privately discover that DreamTending emulates the dreamtime itself and is therefore safe, contained, loving, generously-spirited, creative, and wholly generative.
Interested dreamers may consider joining an ongoing DreamTending group. Groups meet for three hours once a month, and there is a variety of lively and spirited groups from which to choose.
DreamTending offers itself to couples–romantic and otherwise–who want to deepen into the between of soul-making and the creative, generative depths of a shared imagination.