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Kirsten Borum.

 

    "DREAMS AND MEDITATION"

 

Given at the International Dream Conference at Lincoln, England, September, 2007


DREAMS AND MEDITATION
 
I have worked with and taught dream work as well as energy work and meditation for more than 20 years.
 
During that time I have developed a number ways of working with dreams in combination with energy work and meditation.
 
Meditation and energy work and dreams can be pathways to higher consciousness, the essence, the Self, creative sources, wisdom, insights or however we would name this deep contact with ourselves that can be obtained and that many people seek.
 
Combining dreams and meditation will ease access to this depth.
 
What I am going to present here is a few examples and experiences from my on-going groups that I call Development Groups "Dreams and Meditation".
 
They meet with me 4 week-ends each year, and an evening every two weeks. Between the weekend meetings the members are supposed to do energy work at home in the form of the new meditative exercises and meditations they get from me each time. In addition they all do dreamwork on their own in different dream groups that I started.
 
I currently get inspiration for new ways of combining dreams and meditation, composed in such a way as to allow free space for individual exploration and experiences to unfold. Much of this material has grown out of the processes that have taken place in these groups.
 
The goal of the development groups is personal and spiritual development. And it is my firm belief that the concept or rather reality of group energy is an extremely important factor in reaching towards this goal.
 
The on-going nature of the development groups is an essential prerequisite of the build-up of group energy, of which I make a very conscious and intensive use. Group energy will be generated and intensified each time we meet, thus adding to the energy level of each person. It will be available to be tapped into between the meetings e.g. by remembering or visualising the group setting. At the next meeting, there is still group energy available to build on.
 
Being myself energy wise part of the groups I usually join in the meditations and group meditations.
 
A particular group meditation that is close to my heart is the "Dream Gift Meditation". I presented this in a workshop at the iasd dream conference in Sonoma, U.S.A. this Summer. (2007)
 
For the Dream Gift group meditation everybody is asked beforehand to choose from a dream a symbol that they would consider spiritual or otherwise outstanding.
 
The meditation goes like this:
Sitting in a (perfect) circle we first listen to some music to help us get into a meditative state.  Then everyone meditates on their chosen dream symbol. Getting a feeling contact with it. Next step is to share the energy that the symbol represents with the group so that it will merge with and increase the group energy that is already in existence. Each person in turn will describe their symbol and what spiritual or otherwise valuable content they find in it, how it can be of use to the group and its members, sharing this with all of us as a "gift". Then having the symbol "move" to the centre of the group for everyone to freely pick one or maybe a couple of the "gifts" to meditate on at a later point as this group meditation proceeds.
They are to find a "natural" way to have the symbol moved to the centre. An animal can "walk" in there. A bird can "fly", and there are "objects" that can be "carried" there. (Not really walking in there, of course!) Or if there is no obvious such way, to be a little playful, to use the imagination or sheer magic!
 
Here is an example:
"My gift to the group is a small long-haired elephant calf with long ears. It exudes genuine, open joy. It is guileless and innocent. And then it possesses the courage to move great, unknown forces.
I give this elephant calf to the group in the hope that its joy and innocence with show us the way to meet challenges that come about in our development work. Innocence and joy give you an incredible strength to help you go on. The elephant now walks into the centre in a playful way swinging its trunk from side to side."
 
The symbols that the group members are requested to choose are images that stand out in the dream. They are energy-laden, beautiful and impersonal. Most often coloured. Their vibration is high. They lend themselves to be meditated on in order to have the energy contained in them absorbed. Such symbols could e.g. be a diamond, a red rose, a golden horse, a silver cup, salient shapes, like a six-pointed star, or in a dream I once had, a red cloud in the shape of a mandorla.
 
The reason why it can be beneficial to meditate on symbols from dreams of others in the group is that the symbols that we each choose fundamentally originate from a very deep layer in ourselves. They do not seem to have any connection to our personal "history". Many of them, I guess, could be called archetypal. They originate from our common ground. Where we all are connected. The collective unconscious, or maybe rather our collective higher consciousness. And thus possess the power to create a deep feeling contact between people.
 
Also, immersing oneself in symbols from the other members of the group will tend to ease the path into the depth from which such symbols originate, and facilitate each person's contact with their higher Self or essence, with innate qualities, wisdom, creativity. Eventually leading to feelings of joy.
 
 
I use other ways of combining dreams and meditation/energy work. One is to include symbols from dreams into various structured meditations that originate from Bob Moore, Irish healer and spiritual teacher who taught in Denmark, and was my teacher and supervisor for 20 years.
 
These meditations or practices are very diverse. But I can give you a general idea of how a large part of them are composed. They will typically comprise an awareness or feeling contact with different energy nodal points and streams in the subtle energy system: the 7 primary chakras, a number of secondary chakras and many other strong energy points situated in the etheric and other parts of the aura structure.
 
In the meditations these points are connected through movements of awareness between them often along lines that form geometrical structures like triangles, squares, circles and spirals.
 
A large number of these meditations and practices are completed by placing a symbol on a chakra or an energy point inviting a relaxing into it. In my groups we use dream symbols instead of picking any symbol. Using symbols this way will often open up to information or insights. Some people will also experience an expanded state of consciousness.
 
There are other elements in a number of these meditations like e.g. visualising light or specific colours, meditating on a word.
 
Music will often be used either before doing the meditations or practices or after.
 
 
Another way is to look out for and collect dream symbols in the chakra colours, one symbol of each colour.
 
The technique is to place one after another these coloured symbols from dreams in the relevant chakra positions, imagining breathing in and out of each chakra. The attention resting meditatively on the coloured symbol in the chakra point for a couple of minutes – no analyzing, no interpreting, no thinking. When new coloured symbols occur in dreams, they replace the former.
 
This will stimulate the colour vibratory aspect of dreams, producing an increased number of coloured symbols, which contain more information than the same symbol or shape without a colour.
 
This form of meditation has different goals. One is a balancing function in regard to the subtle energy system, of which the chakras are part, of course. Also one or more missing colours in dreams suggest weaknesses in the personality's contact to itself in regard to the specific "psychology" of each chakra. This is an information that could be utilized to proceed in personal development.
 
A third possibility is to just meditate on the dream symbol. By this I mean finding a relaxed meditative posture, close the eyes, and imagine or visualise the symbol at some distance in front of the eyes. This is a way to have the energy contained in the symbol assimilated into the subtle energy field. Sometimes the symbol will change into another symbol or a sequence of symbols that will contain information.
 
And also, giving this focused attention to the symbols will often bring forward some dreams that could supply information or insights.
 
Reverting to group energy: I have composed some joint meditations to build up and enhance group energy.
 
One way is by connecting through different energy/awareness patterns that we create between us. Sitting in a circle 12 people can form a 12-pointed star with the points at the heart chakras like this: 3 people connecting in triangles by circulating white light between their heart chakras forming a triangular shape, which overlaps the neighbouring triangle made by 3 other people. These 4 overlapping triangles then making a perfect 12-pointed star.
 
Creating between us such a beautiful and perfect pattern gives me the feeling of making a small contribution to help sustain order and beauty in an increasingly chaotic world. If only for a short while, but maybe with just tiny effect.
 
I would like to mention, too, that another aspect which is very important to me is to create as best I can a physical setting that is characterized by beauty and order, creating a calm and supportive atmosphere, which will also facilitate build-up of group energy.
 
I believe that the more we generally create and experience beauty and order, the more this will somehow absorb the otherwise stagnant or blocked energy of fear and chaos, which can thus be put to use as available energy.
 
The reality of group energy or group consciousness building up and strengthening also shows itself in the dreams of the group members and myself. I dream about the group and different group members. I get inspiration in my dreams for the work in the groups, and I get exercises and meditations that are explicitly aimed at the group. They dream of the group, of each other and of me. Like e.g. this short dream by a man in the group with only a voice telling him: "You should stay with Kirsten!" I liked that one!
 
Another effect of the group energy and interconnectedness is the appearance in dreams or meditations of symbols that are identical or very similar. It could be a geometrical form or a specific colour. If I discover such common symbols, I sometimes use them as a focus point for all of us in a meditation.
 
One such symbol was given as a dream "gift" at one of the meetings of an on-going group.
It was an elongated lozenge form:  in a luminous violet colour with a rim of gold. The woman who gave us the gift meditated on her own symbol, and had the experience at the end of the meditation period that it placed itself in front of her to form a tunnel giving access to another dimension.
 
It later appeared that others from the group, including myself had had the same shape in dreams or meditations, and due to that, combined with the very basic nature of this shape, I chose to have the whole group meditate on that particular symbol next time.
 
During this meditation another woman had the experience that originating from the essence point (a "point"* about 40 cm above the head) a stream of energy began to flow down and surround her. She felt this as a protection against being overwhelmed by unsolicited influences, which she sometimes encounters and wants to keep away. I find these two experiences to have some similarity.
 
 
I have this other example of the interconnectedness that has developed.
 
This was given to the same group as a dream gift some years ago:
 
"My gift is a ring decorated with a pyramid of 4 pearls. The three pearls are placed in a triangle touching each other, and the fourth is placed on the other three, so that an equilateral pyramid is created. They are natural pearls and as such not completely round. The triangular shape is perfect though. This pyramid ring just came to me as an image in a dream.
With the ring came a distinct knowledge that it has been given as a sign of a pact in the group of a giving and mutually binding brotherhood or community. I give it to the group as a token of giving and receiving in the group, each one doing their best for their own and our joint development."
 
Then I recently had a dream in which I am together with the group, and experience some lack of responsibility towards the group on the part of a couple of the members. I have in the dream some remembrance of the above dream and the interpretation of the symbol in relation to mutual responsibility. Still in the dream, just at the point of the dream state changing into awakening, I decide that now is time to "renew the pact". In waking I make the decision to have the symbol modelled and have it put in the centre of the group next time we meet, to remind them of the original gift and the pact that was actually made at that time.
I will honour my dream and do this next time we meet.
 
 
My final example is centred around feelings.
 
Seen from one perspective dreams are feelings, like in so many ways our lives are feelings.
 
I have developed a meditative approach with the intent of having negative feelings overruled by positive feelings through the power of energy.
 
The starting point is a dream in which the dreamer is experiencing a negative feeling. Or there are images in the dream that are not "right" or "perfect", like e.g. a mahogany cupboard with a deep crack in it. A flat tyre. An dog with a wound in the leg. A broken ski. A withered flower. Things like that. They are asked to bring such a dream without my telling them why.
 
If they have brought a dream in which they experience a negative feeling they are asked to re-enter the dream and immerse themselves in that feeling. If they have chosen an "imperfect" dream image, they are asked to meditate on it to get to the feeling contained in it. In whichever way, they are to go deep into the feeling. And – importantly - put a name to it.
 
The next stage is for them to share their dreams in pairs of two, naming their feeling and what has been brought forward when meditating on it, be it thoughts or memories or insights. This will further enhance the feeling, and saying the word aloud to somebody else and hearing it oneself will strengthen one's commitment to oneself as far as the issue in question is concerned.
 
Then they are instructed to meditatively find the exact opposite, positive word. It could be like hatred/love, hopelessness/hope, rage/calmness. But the point is not to intellectually choose the positive counterpart. It is their own finding of which other feeling could somehow "overrule" or "dissolve" the negative feeling.
 
The positive word is then incorporated into a specific structured meditation in such a way as to establish it in the mental aura structure. If this meditation with that particular word, found this way, is done several times over a period, it will have an effect. The word (and feeling contained in it) will form part of the mental structure, the mind or thought pattern and thus function as a sort of protection.
 
Another effect of this approach is a deeper insight into the background of this negative feeling being activated in situations in waking life, which will help change things for the better.


                                 
 
   
In this presentation I have submitted just a few examples of the multitude of ways of combining dreams with meditation and energy work that I have composed. And I have stressed the importance of group energy.
 
I have witnessed people in the development groups grow,feeling more contained in themselves, finding greater freedom and joy, making necessary changes to enrich their lives. Reaching increased awareness and higher consciousness.
 
 
     *By a "point" in the aura structure is meant a specific area of the subtle energy around the body. Such a point can be contacted by directing one's awareness to where it is said to be "situated" and lettingoneself be attracted to and absorbed in it. This will open up to other aspects of one's consciousness.