Many years ago, I was hanging out with active dreamer Robert Moss at Esalen when I noticed that his sleeping dreams, shamanic journeys, and waking life experiences all seemed to work together as one big dream.
I also noticed that he was in a constant, creative flow and deeply connected to life around him.
Witnessing his day-to-day “dream” state helped me realize something about myself: I had a disjointed dream life.
Sure, I had powerful sleeping dreams …
I did shamanic journeys …
And I had unusual waking life experiences …
But until I met Robert, I’d never consciously integrated these three ways of “dreaming” into one big living dream.
The prospects intrigued me, though, and I knew I had to try it out.
I also knew I couldn’t force it to happen. Instead, I was going to follow what I call the “Dream Medicine” path.
Dream Medicine integrates various dreaming states to evoke guidance for life direction and healing.
The results of my experiment were exciting and life changing. I met a man named Blue Elk in three different realms, experiencing the dream realm like I’d never experienced it before.
Meeting Blue Elk in the Woods
One afternoon, while on a hike through the woods, a man jumped out from behind the trees and startled me. I took an involuntary step backward before I realized he wasn’t physical; he was a spirit.
As I adjusted to this experience, I noticed he had dark, long hair and wore a few blue feathers and beads. He was clearly American Indian.
His demeanor was serious and I felt a bit nervous around him. Even so, he beckoned me into the woods and I followed.
A second later, I stepped into a clearing and found a field full of deer. This was a relevant and significant experience for me, especially during that period in my life.
A few weeks later, this spirit came to me in a vivid shamanic journey. He told me his name was Blue Elk. During the journey he taught me a powerful healing technique I later used to remove stagnant energy from a client. The process was so potent, my client felt a dramatic shift in her energy after the clearing.
I continued to meet Blue Elk in shamanic journeys and on the hill where I first met him, but several years later, something even more magical happened. Blue Elk visited me yet again, but this time in a sleeping dream. In the dream, Blue Elk took me on a vision quest, sat me down in the fog, and gave me instructions. The results were a powerful vision.
After this dream, I realized I had successfully integrated my waking, shamanic and sleeping dreams into one big dream experience.
I used several distinct steps to help me connect more deeply with the dream realm.
3 Powerful Ways to Access Your Dream Medicine
When you want to access your own Dream Medicine, the most important thing to remember that you can use this process to gather insight into any situation in life: health, wealth, relationships, and life in general. 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 the significance.
Part of the challenge is that this step involves invisible, subjective information and we Westerners like our 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.
So to be clear, 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)
By the way, I’m not suggesting you need to learn how to predict the future.
I am suggesting that you already have these senses and that developing them can help you navigate your life. 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 that 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.
If you haven’t already developed your inner senses, here’s an exercise to help you get started:
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? Are there any colors? Sounds? Textures? Can you feel the electricity?
Do not try to see things with your physical eyes. Use your imagination.
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 “day dreaming” 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.
Of course, the more you practice, 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.
Instead, 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 and thoughts 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 find 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.
Now here’s what I want you to do.
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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:
1. Keep your intention simple, but clear. Focus on the positive outcome you want to receive.
2. 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.
3. 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.