Dreams, my very own inner guru – by Helena Daly
Dreams, my very own inner guru
By Dr Helena Daly
Dreams are gifts, freely given, open invitations to be with the language of heart and soul, to be with mystery, to tend to it, to let it unfold. I am so passionate about what dreams have to say and offer that I could quite easily make a full-time career out of sleeping. And then where would I be? Lost in slumber-land and slave to the powers of the almighty oceanic unconscious realms, swimming with all sorts of gurus, above and beyond my own personal ones. So no, I rise from sleep but ever so slowly, after having dwelled in that mystical space between sleeping and waking. It is here, in the twilight zone, the soft whispers and dream nuances embody themselves; it is here the spirit and essence of what has come to visit is captured and experienced.
Having come to intimately know the sacredness and preciousness of the in-between waking state of being, how I move out of sleep into waking consciousness is crucial. Think about this for a moment: we spend one-third of our lives sleeping—a significant amount of time. Aside from the obvious restful, healing function that sleep serves us busy bodies, I, for one, believe and dare I say know sleep holds massive actual and potential creative reality. That fleeting but infinitely deep twilight space upon awakening, that glorious open window, invites us to embrace dream manifestations, no matter how small. It is in these deep waking moments that conscious work begins.
This partly-dreaming, partly-waking state of being is a bridging state between the worlds, one that serves the continuity between the greater, invisible realm of subtle consciousness and the conscious waking realm. While dwelling here beneath the illusory veil that seemingly separates the worlds, my soul experiences with increasing lucidity, my inner life as spiritual reality and my outer life as a waking dream. For it is through these transient open subtle doors, that I have been taken back to my early indigenous ancestral roots, to a place of spiritual power, wisdom, compassion and guidance.
I am as Irish as Irish can be, a Celtic woman from the West of the Ireland’s wild rugged beauty—a bit of a gypsy really, always on the move. On a visit home a few years ago, I sat in the kitchen one morning having a cup of infamous Irish tea and watched with amusement out of the corner of my eye my dad, who seemingly lost in his own world, shook his head every few minutes. So I said, “Dad, did you sleep okay?” “No” came the energetic response. “Why not?” I asked, to which he responds, “they came again”. “Who came again” I asked, and he replies emphatically “the dead, that’s who!” Well, I burst out laughing more from the effect of his bewildered charged revelation than from the content of his dream. And on he went to tell me of his dream encounter with his good friend who had died many years ago. Surprised to see his friend in subtle dimensional space, my perplexed father asked, “aren’t you dead,” only to realize on seeing the startled reaction of his friend when he asked this question, that he did not seem to know that he was dead. To this day, I don’t know who was more surprised, my dad or his friend.
My mother, also a gifted dreamer, has on occasion delivered messages to neighbors from their deceased family members that came to her in dreams and in that liminal space between sleeping and waking. Need I have ever wondered where I get it from—this beautiful, blessed gift that lives and breathes through my ancestral lineage! For deep within the sleeping realm, through transpersonal dreaming experiences and waking encounters, I have been taken back, way, way back to the Celts, Druids and beyond, to Fir Bolg and Tautha-De-Danann, to the Eire of warriors, gods and goddesses. Yes. Now this is what I call getting in touch with my roots.
The point here is that these people, my people, took very seriously the subtle world of sleep and dream. Celtic practices were renowned for entering the dark dead of the night through the ancient art and practice of dream incubation. This focused, intentional practice was rooted in darkness and depth, and specific rituals and methods engaged in that helped to prepare the body-mind-spirit, such as cleansing, fasting and prayer. All of these elements combined opened the way for making contact with divine powers, ancestors and spiritual guides, in the hope of receiving insight, wisdom and direction.
In ancient Ireland, there are stories of warriors and seekers sleeping on the graves of ancestors so that insightful contact with the underworld could be made for the benefit and leadership of their community. As this ritual was undertaken, members of the tribe took turns keeping watch through the night, protecting the dreamer at all costs. Imagine if I were to do this in today’s society. Chances are I would be locked up. Perhaps I’ll try it and see what happens. I can be quite the rebel, you know.
I share these brief stories to help illustrate only one aspect of the multidimensional world of dreams in the hope that the reader can come to understand the significance and transformational qualities of consciously working with these luminosities of the night. Dreams are the souls’ code, reflecting like mirrors our inner character. The subtle language of dreams brings forth inner life—true life that does not lie, unable to hide or deceive itself. In dreams, psychic constellations containing psychological and emotional truths are laid bare, manifestations laden with the most wonderful uniquely tailored symbolic communication bursting with all sorts of nuances and energetic transmissions.
Dreams are like the moon and stars that shine brightly in the night sky, shining light on our shadows. These shadowy elements—those unconscious parts of ourselves seek the light of day, in the hope of being made more conscious and integrated more fully into the whole of our being. Dreams are always serving us, coming to us in the name of health, healing and wholeness.
Following the way of the dream is not easy but it is a tremendously transformative, liberating, healing journey. Working consciously with dreams has enabled me to work with my shadow, with wounded parts of my soul, psyche and lineage—a spiritual path that continues to guide my evolving growth and expansion. I am forever being brought into intimate encounters with my inner, higher self and in doing so, recover, reclaim and integrate long lost parts of my soul. During the more difficult parts of my journey home, I have been graced with dreams of such numinosity and spiritual presence that to try and speak of it would take away from the sacredness of these deep experiences.
But this much I can tell you. I trust my dreams infinitely. They guide my path in life and, in choosing to follow their lead, I am moving ever more deeply into intimate contact with my authentic self, with the Divine, with my fellow human beings, and the world around me. How fortunate that we are endowed with these wondrous gifts—a self-regulating psyche that is intrinsically part of a greater universal cosmic consciousness wherein the interconnectedness of all of life can be experienced.
You too can learn how to work with the language of dreams, with the soul’s code, if you really want to. Begin with the discipline and practice of keeping a dream journal. And with patience and perseverance, allow the mystery to unfold. Dreams are a priceless gift, and it is my deepest desire that you, the reader, accept these open invitations when they come, and say, “thank you”.
If you would love to learn more about Dr Helena Daly, then make sure to check our her page. Additionally, make sure to read her previous articles on dreams, death and dying, Synchronicity, the benefits of dreamwork and the art of dream recall.
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