It’s January 2007. I’m hanging out with active dreamer Robert Moss at Esalen when I notice how his sleeping dreams, shamanic journeys, and waking life experiences all work together as one big dream. He’s in constant, creative flow and deeply connected to his soul, Spirit, and life around him.
I’m envious. I want that sort of flow.
At some point, after absorbing his mystical stories, I realize something about myself: various aspects of my spiritual life are disconnected. I wonder what might happen if I could bring them all together?
My sleeping dreams are powerful.
Shamanic journeying usually yields interesting information.
And my waking life experiences include meaningful coincidences and clues I can follow to walk my soul path.
But meeting Robert helps me see that I don’t integrate these techniques into one big living dream.
The prospects intrigue me, so I decide to figure out how to do it.
The results of my experiment are exciting and life changing.
Meeting Blue Elk in the Woods
It’s a warm, sunny day and I’m hiking through the woods when a man startles me by jumping out from behind a row of trees. I take an involuntary step backward as I observe him. He has dark, long hair and wears a few blue feathers and beads. He’s clearly American Indian.
My entire observation takes less than two seconds, and as I watch him, he slowly starts to fade away. I can no longer see him and that’s when I realize he’s not physical. He’s a disembodied spirit.
Now I see him with my inner vision. His demeanor is serious and I feel a bit nervous about what’s happening. Even so, he beckons me into the woods, and I follow him. I step into a clearing and find a field full of deer. This is a relevant message for me. Deer medicine plays a significant role on my spiritual path.
A few weeks later, this spirit comes to me in a vivid shamanic journey. He tells me his name is Blue Elk. During the journey, he teaches me a powerful healing technique I later use to remove stagnant energy from a client. The process is so potent, my client feels a dramatic and immediate shift in her energy.
I continued to meet Blue Elk in shamanic journeys and on the hill where I first met him, although I always see him with my inner vision, not externally. I ask him why and he tells me it’s because showing up as a physical form requires a lot of energy, and since I can see him with my inner vision, he can reserve his energy by connecting with me that way. I tell him I understand and thank him for being in my life.
But he’s not done with me yet and something even more magical happens. Blue Elk visits in a sleeping dream. In the dream, Blue Elk takes me on a vision quest, sits me down in the fog, and gives me instructions: shoot to kill the first being you see. Then he leaves. A 10-point buck rounds the corner and I’m supposed to “shoot to kill” but I can’t kill my spirit animal. I’m in awe of it. (This is akin, I might add, to the parable, “if you see the Buddha on the side of the road, kill him,” which means, “you don’t need to rely on a teacher for enlightenment.)
After this dream, I realized I have successfully integrated my waking, shamanic and sleeping dreams into one big dream experience and it feels revolutionary!
3 Powerful Ways to Access Your Dream Medicine
When you want to access your own Dream Medicine, the most important thing to remember is that you can use this process to gather insight into any situation: health, wealth, life, and love. You can discover solutions to engineering problems, creative dilemmas, heath challenges, etc. Here’s what you do:
Step 1: Open your inner and outer senses
This is the most important step, and for many Westerners, it is completely foreign. As a result, it’s easy to invalidate or dismiss priceless information you are receiving on a regular basis, information that comes directly from spiritual guidance and your own soul.
Part of the challenge is that this step involves invisible, subjective information and we Westerners like tangible facts.
But Dream Medicine is way beyond facts. It’s not a linear approach to life. It’s holistic, symbolic and multi-dimensional. And in order to access this way of gathering information, you need to be aware of more than your physical senses. You need to access your inner senses.
In other words, your outer or physical senses are, of course, seeing, hearing, tasting, feeling, smelling.
Your inner senses are similar, but they are part of your psychic, intuitive system, not your physical system. They are intricately connected to the dream realm. They are:
- clairvoyance (clear seeing)
- clairaudience (clear hearing)
- clairsentience (clear feeling and empathy)
- claircognizance (clear knowing)
- clairalience (clear smelling)
- clairgustance (clear tasting)
Seeing Blue Elk outside AND inside of myself is Clairvoyance. When I do soul healing with my clients, I can feel (empath/clairsentience) and see (clairvoyance) their energy blocks and the ancestral wound that is contributing to the block.
You likely also have these senses and developing them can help you navigate your life. You may only have one, or you may have all. It doesn’t matter. Trust what you have an move forward with confidence. That’s what I did. I “faked it until I made it” and now I’m a skilled intuitive empath with clear seeing, hearing, feeling, knowing, smelling, and fortunately NOT tasting!
These senses go way beyond your five physical senses, and when you know how to work with them, life changes in a big way.
Some people’s inner senses are so acute, the information they perceive – images, smells, sounds, feeling type sensations – seem to come from an external source.
When I saw Blue Elk, for instance, I thought he was a physical human. He appeared solid to me.
Once I realized he wasn’t solid, though, he started to fade. From that moment on I could only see him when I looked with my third eye or inner sight. This type of seeing is sort of like dreaming with your eyes wide open. And here’s rub: because most of us experience intuitive/psychic information in our inner world (in our mind, like a dream), we dismiss it. Don’t dismiss it. It’s real and it’s important information.
How to Develop Your Inner Senses
Find a friend and go for a walk.
Look at everything around you but use your inner senses. Remember, this can be like dreaming with your eyes open. Look beyond the obvious.
Notice the power lines and trees. What is surrounding them energetically? Are there any colors? Sounds? Textures? Can you feel the electricity?
Do not try to see things with your physical eyes, like you see these letters before you. Use the imaginal realm. It’s like daydreaming, but you are tuning in to another aspect of reality that surrounds you.
Give yourself time to observe, then share your inner images with your friend.
Do you see the same thing? Different things?
Seeing the same thing can be a great confirmation that you’re using your inner senses. But seeing different things doesn’t necessarily mean you aren’t using your inner senses. Since your inner senses are part of your psychic senses you may receive symbolic imagery instead of literal information. You may perceive different symbols (e.g. colors, textures) than your friend. If this happens, compare notes and explore the possible meaning of the information you receive.
Using your inner senses is “daydreaming” at its best. It can provide useful information in and of itself. When you walk into a room full of people, for instance, you can observe with your inner senses and determine what’s going on behind the obvious. As you do, you might start to experience a whole different world.
For instance, as an empath, I feel other people’s energies. One day, I was about to teach dreamwork to 10 students. I arrived early and everything seemed copasetic. But as the students filed in, suddenly the air was beyond tense. I realized something had happened earlier in the day when I wasn’t there. Wow, that was intense energy. I could have cut it like a knife. I tuned in, asking my guides if I should address it and they said no, that it would make things worse, so I didn’t say anything. Instead, I moved the energy in the room to clear the air and it helped.
Of course, the more you practice using these gifts, the easier it becomes. Before you know it, Spirit beings might be jumping out at you from behind trees. (However, if you have too much fear, you will not perceive them, so don’t worry!)
Step 2: Set intentions, let go of expectations and pay attention
In order to reap the benefits of Dream Medicine, it’s necessary to set clear intentions. You also need to let go of expectations.
If you wait anxiously for information to come, it won’t. The more anxious you feel, the more you become closed off from your inner senses. Imagine you’re a teenager and somebody you know really likes you. This person likes you so much that their clingy and needy around you. You’re completely turned off. This person wants to attract you, but their energy recoils you instead. The same thing happens when you set your intention. If you have a needy feeling behind it, you will repel the very thing you desire. Neutral energy complete faith in Spirit works best for fast manifesting that which is in your highest good.
To begin, set a clear intention, open your senses and wait patiently for your waking and sleeping dreams to reveal information and give you guidance.
To set an intention, first determine the exact outcome you want, then create an intention that is a positive reflection of that outcome. Do not say, “My intention is to not get lost on my way home.” If you do that, you’re still focusing on getting lost! Instead, say, “My intention is to easily find my way home.”
Here’s another examples:
If your intention is to connect with spirit guides, you might say, “My intention is to meet a spirit guide who has my highest interest at heart.”
Once you have your intention, you’re set for the next step.
Step 3: Work consistently with all forms of dreaming
Set an intention during the day and tune in with your inner and outer senses. Then reflect on waking life as though it is a dream.
It’s easier to notice your outer senses, so start there. Pay attention to song lyrics, unexpected encounters with people, and books that cross your path. See if you can find insight and information related to your intention.
Use your inner senses. Pay attention to the images, thoughts, and feelings that spontaneously appear in your mind. You receive these messages all the time, but you may be used to ignoring them. If that’s the case, they can be slippery and difficult to grasp, just like a dream fragment that slips away in the morning.
To grasp these flashes of insight, you have to pay attention and notice. When you get a sudden image or knowing, tune in to it. Tell the image to amplify itself. (Just say, “Amplify yourself.”)
Then practice, practice, practice.
Before you go to sleep, use your intention to incubate a dream. Simply say, “In my dream tonight, I will ____ (state your intention.)
Example: In my dream tonight, I will meet a new spirit guide.
When you wake up, record your dreams. You may not actually remember meeting a spirit guide, but that doesn’t mean you didn’t. (And a spirit guide can show up as an animal, person, mineral, or plant.)
Sometimes it takes weeks for these dreams to unfold. Set your intention and keep the same intention for several nights. Track your dreams and look for patterns.
Hint: If you use your intention to incubate dreams, still pay attention to your waking life experiences. Your spirit guide may appear in your inner vision instead of your sleeping dreams.
Shamanic Dream Journeys
You can also do a shamanic dream journey to gather information about your intention. Since this process is complex, I will not go into details in this post. If you’d like to try it out, I recommend Sandra Ingerman’s book, “Shamanic Journeying.”
But basically, you state your intention, close your eyes and go on a journey — in your imagination — to find information.
Remember to record what you discover.
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Now onto the details of how to put this work together for you:
First, you’ll need to decide what you most want to learn or experience right now and turn that into an intention.
Here are some things to consider:
- Keep your intention simple, but clear. Focus on the positive outcome you want to receive.
- Start small, with one step. If your ultimate intention is to create a spiritual community that teaches a variety of programs, break this larger intention into small intentions.
- Ask some friends to do this process with you. You can help each other develop your inner senses, explore your dreams and look for patterns.
Then start with step one above and go through all three steps. Before you know it, you’ll be integrating your Dream Medicine into your life and dreaming like a seasoned dreamer.