Every year the International Association for the Study of Dreams holds a conference, perfectly organize for dreamers, artists, and dreaming researchers. Loaded with workshops, seminars, and hands-on-techniques, all attendees are guaranteed to leave the 5 day conference packed with insights, renewed enthusiasm, and new contacts within the broad field of dream working.
A new video from the Armchair Dreamer. Click the image below to go to YouTube or use this direct link.
Brain scans – Scientists have unpicked the regions of the brain involved in dreaming, in a study with significant implications for our understanding of the purpose of dreams and of consciousness itself. What’s more, changes in brain activity have been found to offer clues as to what the dream is about.
I don’t recommend that many books and the one’s that I do must be either a comprehensive treatment of a subject or one that has specific techniques fully outlined. Eric Maisel’s book is both.
Maisel turns his psychologist/writer skills to the study of our unconscious and when it is doing it’s freest work, while we are sleeping. Among its many duties and capabilities is to do what Maisel calls, sleep thinking.
We are already familiar with sleep thinking. “Give me some time to sleep on it,” is a common approach to decision making. We know that some how, during our sleeping, a part of our brain will work away and make our options clearer by morning.
This behind the scenes work is different than studying our dreams. Sleep thinking is more to the point and sticks with what we are most concerned about. It isn’t overly poetic in what it shows us and sleep thinking results are more practical.
Eric Maisel is a precise man. His book is not filled fluff. He jumps in provides the step-by-step approach to sleep thinking and then offers specific directions for common areas of interest such as building creativity, removing inner obstacles, and finding solutions to large challenges.
The only special note I have about this book is this suggestion: start off easy and simple. Read the first chapters and then get down to work. Ask for insight or answers to something important to you and work that for a few days/a week. Repeat for another week or so. Don’t get bogged down when starting a sleep thinking practice by taking on too much. Get the principal down and do some preliminary work. Then, if called, jump back into Maisel’s detailed work program.
This book is out-of-print but is still available ($1.00 to $4.00) so get it while you can. Here is the Amazon link.
The Kindle edition of this book is: The Power of Sleep Thinking – Link
These terms are used interchangeably but they are very different in one very important way: the amount of conscious control we have over the experience. Visualization – is the ability to bring a specific image or goal to our “mind’s eye” for exploration and creativity. An example would be: I need to develop a movie script and need to visualize the camera shots including which angles I will use, the anticipated lighting found on location, and other factors important to producing a good production. A second example: I’m having trouble following through on projects. I know the story of the tortoise and the hare is an important allegory for me about persistence. I will visualize the story each day before getting down to work.
Imagination – is broader than visualization because it allows more unguided elements from our unconscious to mingle with what we bring into an imagination session. For instance: Turning to the videomaking project, I know a lot about what I want to film but there are some aspects that I don’t know how to convey. In an imagination session, I visualize what I know but then I let things “go” and watch what my mind brings up. I let my imagination run free and I observe and learn.
Dreaming – is that state where we are very far from our usual way of being in the world. This is rapid-eye-movement dreaming as we sleep. Dreams can be recalled with practice and dream symbols and stories and can be explored for a deeper understanding of what is happening in our unconscious.