DreamTending groups form when enough dreamers express interest. Currently, there are four on-going dream groups meeting in my studio here in Santa Clarita, once a month for three hours. Groups are limited to between 4-‐9 dreamers, allowing individual dreamers ample opportunity to have their dreams tended.
As dreaming is not merely a human activity, but rather an ongoing activity in which humans participate, we want to begin to imagine dreams as community events—as a kind of town meeting of images, where each image has a life of its own, while still relating to the other images (including the dreamer).
When we tend dreams in small dedicated groups, the work itself is a communal event—a kind of town meeting of people and images—where it’s easy to experience the myriad ways that “image loves image” and “like cures like.” Orienting ourselves to the dreamtime this way, we learn to enter dreams less concerned for what they are trying to tell us about ourselves. And we learn open ourselves to what dream images might want from us, in an imaginally contained, radically receptive, and fully supported and supportive way. So just by gathering together once a month to practice tending dreams, we are enriched not only by our efforts—both personal and collective—but by the dreams themselves. And the dream images are in turn enriched by the kind of attention we give them.
There are several requirements for DreamTending in an ongoing group setting:
Honesty. Dream images are often “twisted, unnatural, distorted, and in pain” because they are trying to get our attention. Dreams endeavor to wake us up to the larger stories that are written inside each one of us. Therefore this approach often brings dreamers into relationships and patterns of being that, while not always easy to bear, are invariably trying to love us forward into who we are becoming.
Courage. From the Latin word coeur, meaning, “heart,” and age, which means “to act with.” So the word courage means “to act with heart.” Working this way, we develop the “heart” to not turn away from our depths—however repulsive the dream images may originally appear to us.
Faith. A certain dream-‐faith is required so that we learn to take it on faith that psyche is not out to get us, even if it sometimes feels that way.
Curiosity. Nothing helps more than a keen curiosity for working with dreams. For whenever fear and curiosity are present, curiosity wins; it’s a straight-‐up stronger emotion.
Radical receptivity and radical containment. This we learn by doing, by “practicing” as we go along. By strengthening our capacities of soul and the imaginative responses of the dreamers, we learn to tend and be tended by dreams and by each other. And we learn how to carry this receptivity and a “witnessing presence” out into the waking world of things.
Commitment. Because of the communal nature of this sort of in-‐depth approach to working with dreams, dreamers are asked to make a commitment of no less than 6 months.
Confidentiality. The Vegas Rule: What happens in the dream group stays in the dream group—an absolute must if we are to provide a safe and contained place to do and say the unsafe things that need to be said and done.
The Art and Practice of Dream-Centered Living endeavors to make itself available to everyone. Therefore, the cost for joining a dream group is $210 for 6 months, payable at a monthly rate of $35/month. If you decide to pay in advance, however, you will receive a 10% discount, making the total cost for 6 months, $189.
If you are interested in learning more about DreamTending groups, or you’re interested in joining a group, please . . .