At this point in my life, I am not a “sit for 20 minutes and OMMMMM” kind of mediator. I’ve said it before, but I’m also not a yogi. I can forsee, however, both “traditional” meditation and yoga being very valuable and enjoyable to me when I’m older– like kids are out of the house and I may or may not be a widow– older.
That said, there are many ways I seek to obtain the benefits of yoga-and-meditation . . . without doing yoga and meditation.
Dreaming is one of them.
Realizing dreaming is a form of meditation went right along with everything else about dreaming: I didn’t appreciate it until I lost it when I became a mother. I got very, very, little sleep the first 8 months of my eldest son’s life. When he turned a year old, I was just beginning to turn a corner within myself. I was sleeping more, feeling better and had lost 50 of the 60 pounds of pregnancy weight. And then I accidentally became pregnant again.
When Arlo was born 20 months after my first son, Cuen, I was thrown back into sleepless nights, a unrecognizable (but oh-so-powerful) body, an barely anytime to complete a thought, let alone a book or an article. Dreaming was a thing of the past. You’ve probably heard this story before. It’s how I came to create the DIVINA journal.
But it wasn’t until recently, now that Arlo is a month shy of turning three, that I began using dreaming as meditation again. My boys have begun to wake up early and head straight downstairs to play or to spend time with their dad, who is always up with the sunrise, if not a few minutes before. They no longer rush into my room to snuggle or demand my attention– at least not on a daily basis. On these days when they are content in one another’s attentions, I find myself slipping in and out of the liminal space between waking and dreaming. That space where your outside surroundings begin to blend with your dreamscape. This is the space where powerful dream messages or revelations can occur. It feels good. It feels . . . dreamy. Safe. warm. It can be addictive and hard to actually wake up!
Here’s how I do it:
I usually am awoken momentarily by someone or something. As I decide I can afford to go back to sleep for a bit, I start scanning my memory for any dreams from the night before. I want to remember them. If I can find a dream, I latch onto it and begin to replay it in my mind, analyzing it as I go, and then I slip back into the dream– with a little more conscious awareness than I did the first time I had the dream. This allows me to learn more, to experience more, or just rest more in the world of the dream. It is, for me, meditation.
If I can’t find a dream to slip back into, I just keep scanning my memory and soon I’m in the same space but I may be inside an actual memory or inside a new dream that is being created on the spot. Sometimes it’s both. Or all three.
But it’s less about what is going on in my mental movie theater and more about the mental and emotional state I’m in: calm, peaceful, intrigued.
This is also a great tip for how to get into a lucid dream if you’re into that sort of thing!
One of my favorite things about dreaming as spiritual practice is that YOU ARE DOING IT ANYWAY. With just a few small efforts and a little bit of attention, you can easily turn your dreams into a spiritual practice and as a way to commune with the Divine.
Give it a go and tell me about on Instagram! @darlaantoine
In love and sacred darkness,