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RIP Bob Van de Castle 2014.

Robert Van de Castle

When I started 350 Dreamers in the spring of 2008, I recalled something I’d read in Robert Van de Castle’s book, Our Dreaming Mind. It was a reference to the Dream Helper Ceremony in which a group of dreamers focus their dream intention on helping an individual to heal. I wanted to apply this concept to dreaming for the environment, so I emailed Dr. Van de Castle to request permission to share this information on my brand new 350 Dreamers blog.

At the time, I only knew of Bob as a famous dream expert, and I had no connection at all to any community of dreamers. In fact, 350 Dreamers had only a handful of members at the time: My sister, my friend Molly, and myself.

Nonetheless, within 24 hours of trying to contact Dr. Van de Castle (as I thought of him at the time) I received a return email inviting me to give him a call. When I reached him by phone, he encouraged me to keep going with 350 Dreamers, and he suggested I attend the upcoming IASD conference, which would be taking place in Chicago that June—which was less than a month away.

I tried to turn him down; explaining that I had vacation plans that week. (And besides, I’d never even heard of this group). “Vacation plans?” he bellowed. “Cancel them!”

Long story short: I did. I cancelled my vacation plans, and bought a plane ticket to Chicago.

En route from Massachusetts to the Windy City, the airline lost my luggage. I arrived at the conference alone, after midnight, knowing no one, in an unfamiliar city, with only the clothes on my back. In the morning, feeling disoriented and anxious, I found Dr. Van De Castle and introduced myself. He greeted me as if I were a member of his family, and introduced me to his partner Bobbie Ann Pimm. In an instant I was transformed from a lost soul to a member of the community, all thanks to Bob and Bobbie’s warmth and enthusiasm.

In the four years since I made that phone call I have become an active member of IASD, I have become a certified dream therapist, and I now host two dream blogs, lead dream workshops, and provide individual dream consultations. The IASD community, of which Bob was a powerful leader, truly has become like family to me. Bob actively promoted 350 Dreamers, helping us to quickly reach our goal of having 350 dreamers signed up to dream for global healing.

I’ve had many wonderful dream helpers and dream teachers along the way, but Bob Van de Castle was one of my first; through his book, his encouraging emails and phone calls, and then his friendship, he helped set me on this beautiful dreamy path.

Today I learned of Bob’s death. That’s the sad news. But the best part of this story is that there are hundreds if not thousands more just like it. All of us who value dreams owe a debt of gratitude to Bob Van de Castle. I am honored to be able to add my voice to the chorus of those whose life was touched by Bob’s.

We will all miss Bob, and it’s almost impossible to imagine this year’s dream conference without him. But I know he’ll be present in countless ways, in all of our hearts and memories.

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On the night of 12/13/12, Join 350+ Dreamers (we’re now more than 630 dreamers from around the globe!) and dream with us for global healing. Here’s how:

DREAM with us on Thursday night, 12/13, in our quest to use the power of dreams to help heal the planet Earth in the face …of global climate change.

Dream, journey and/or vision to bring healing energy to the Earth on the night of the new moon, 12/13/12.

Before bed on that night, set your intention to have a healing dream for our planet. Write this intention down and be prepared with a pen, notebook and flashlight next to your bed to record any dreams or fragments you recall.
Then post your dreams (or dream fragment, reflection, whatever you have) here on our blog as a comment.
We have the power to create positive, healing change.

We have dreamers signed up from Puerto Rico, Panama, Belgium, Canada, Japan, Argentina, Belgium, The Netherlands, The United States and more … we hope you’ll add your state or nation to the list!

Wishing healing dreams to one and all!
–Tzivia

PS Find us on Facebook!
Buddha sitting in bhumisparsha-mudra posture (...

Buddha sitting in bhumisparsha-mudra posture (calling the earth to be his witness). Birmany. White marble with traces of polychromy. Gallo-Roman museum of Lyon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

During a recent yoga class the teacher demonstrated a mudra, which she said was used to connect oneself to the earth.

A mudra, or a symbolic hand gesture, can be used to help strengthen the power of your intention. Mudras are traditionally used in yoga practices, and in Hindu and Buddhist ceremonies.

I’ve adapted that mudra as a part of my practice of setting a dream intention when I’m preparing to incubate a healing dream for the planet.

Here’s how:

  • Place your left hand on your heart center to connect to your individual heart, your personal and unique passions and desires.
  • Place your right hand palm facing down on your cushion, chair, or thigh,  facing toward the earth. Feel your connection with the shared source of all life…the Earth’s heart.
  • Take a few breaths here, connecting with your individual unique heart, and our common shared source, the earth.
  • When you feel connected and complete, bring your hands together in front of your heart and feel the two spheres, your personal heart and our shared earth, together.

This, in effect, is the essence of collective dreaming, and of the group I lead: 350 Dreamers.

You can use this mudra before or after a meditation, or to help set your intention for a dream incubation for the planet.

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This post is excerpted from my recent talk about 350 Dreamers given at the International Association for the Study of Dreams annual conference in Berkeley California.

MEDIA ADVISORY – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

5/ May/ 2012

Contact: Tzivia Gover

Dream with us on the night of May 5!

 

Inspired by 350.org, 350 Dreamers is a global community of people who dedicate their dreams to Global Healing in the face of the climate change crisis. We choose a night and agree to invite and incubate dreams for global healing. On Saturday, May 5, 2012 350 Dreamers will have a group dream in tandem with 350.org’s worldwide day of demonstrations, “Connect The Dots” event.

WHO: Over 500 dreamers from all over the world, including: Argentina, Puerto Rico, Belgium, Canada, The Netherlands, Iran, Japan, the United States, England … and many more!

WHAT: DREAM with 350Dreamers on Saturday night, May 5, in our quest to use the power of dreams to help heal the planet Earth in the face of global climate change.

WHERE: Wherever you are! Simply set your intention to dream with us when you got to bed on the night of May 5! Then join us on http://www.350dreamers.wordpress.com and post your dreams, dream fragments, comments, or questions in the morning.

WHY: Because we believe in the power of dreams to heal, to create community, to inspire, and to lead to creative solutions!

WHEN: The night of May 5, 2012, in conjunction with 350.org’s day of action, “Connect the Dots.”

HOW: Dream, journey and/or vision to bring healing energy to the Earth on the night of 350.org’s day of action, “Connect the Dots,” to raise awareness and take action in the face of Global Climate Change. * Before bed on that night, set your intention to have a healing dream for our planet. Write this intention down and be prepared with a pen, notebook and flashlight next to your bed to record any dreams or fragments you recall. * Then post your dreams (or dream fragment, reflection, whatever you have) on our blog as a comment! (Click the “Dream With Us” and “How To” links above to learn how to join in! It’s easy, it’s free, and it’s powerful!)

This event sponored by 350 Dreamers (www.350dreamers.wordpress.com) is part of a worldwide day of action in hundreds of communities across the globe connecting the dots between climate impacts like extreme weather, global warming, and the causes of the crisis. The events will dramatize that climate change is no longer a problem for the future, but an immediate crisis that is already effecting millions of people around the world. Climate Impacts Day is hosted by350.org, an international grassroots climate campaign. Visitwww.climatedots.org for more information.

Questions? Contact Tzivia at http://www.350dreamers.wordpress.org or visit us at 350 Dreamers on Facebook.

 

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350.org is an international grassroots climate campaign active in over 180 countries around the world. “350” stands for 350 parts per million, the safe upper limit of carbon in the atmosphere. We are currently at 392ppm and rising.

 

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In my first days at college, a new friend invited me up to her dorm room. Hanging above her bed was a poster that pictured the earth as seen from space, under which were printed the words, “Love Your Mother.”

Eager to make conversation, I said, “So, you’re close to your mom, huh?”

My new friend, as gracefully as she could, pointed out that the poster was a statement about environmentalism, not family ties.

Oops. The good news is that the friendship flourished, despite my inane remark.

But, like a dream that we revisit over the years, I now look back on that moment and see something else, besides just a cringe-worthy freshman-year faux pas.

My initial blindness to the collective message in that poster’s symbolism mirrors, to some degree, a problem that most of us in western culture have when it comes to understanding dreams.

Sigmund Freud made dream analysis popular, but he also made us look to the dream for purely personal understanding and gain. Every dream, in the popularized Freudian paradigm, was about our inner, personal conflicts. Many, of which, by the way, were interpreted as being about the mother complex.

Carl G. Jung added the idea of the collective unconscious to dream studies, expanding the art of dream work beyond personal symbolism and connotations into broader, more universal themes.

But still, by and large, dreams these days are looked at primarily as private messages coming from our individual store of memories, fears and desires, to serve our own personal growth and development.

And while yes, dreams are great for personal evolution; they speak to us on a more global level as well. Many ancient and aboriginal cultures see dreams first and foremost as collective messages, meant for the healing and benefit of the community as a whole.

So, back to that poster: Love Your Mother. When it comes to dream work, we have to look at this slogan, and the other symbols and messages that come to us, not only on a personal level, the way I mistakenly did that autumn afternoon during my first week at college. It’s important to see the bigger picture, both in our dreams, and in our waking lives; not only for our own sake, but for our Mother, as well.

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Seek and Ye Shall Find:

They say that Freudians have Freudian dreams and Jungians have Jungian dreams. In other words, what we believe about dreams and dreaming might influence the structure and content of our dreams. As we prepare for our upcoming group dream for Global Healing on Monday night, March 19, 2012, let’s begin to think about the global resonances our dreams offer.

  • Contemplate the idea that your dreams might have messages for the healing of our communities and our planet, in addition to healing messages they have for your personal life.
  • Each morning as you review your dreams, notice if there are symbols, scenarios and messages that might help you be a healing agent for the planet.
  • Awake, too, reflect not only on your personal needs & health, but on the needs of the plants and animals, seen and unseen, in the environment around you.

Recommended Reading:
The Secret History of Dreams by Robert Moss: In this book you will learn about various cultures and traditions where dreaming was a communal, not just personal affair.

 

Visit 350Dreamers on Facebook!

Announcing our upcoming group dream for Global Healing

The Spring Equinox (Monday 3/19/12 this year) marks the long-awaited transition from winter to spring. Let’s celebrate by dreaming together for Global Healing.

On the night of 3/19/12, Join 350+ Dreamers (we’re now more than 500 dreamers from around the globe!) and dream with us for global healing. Here’s how:

  • DREAM with us on Monday night, 3/19, in our quest to use the power of dreams to help heal the planet Earth in the face …of global climate change.
  • Dream, journey and/or vision to bring healing energy to the Earth on the night of the Equinox, 3/19/12.
  • Before bed on that night, set your intention to have a healing dream for our planet. Write this intention down and be prepared with a pen, notebook and flashlight next to your bed to record any dreams or fragments you recall.
  • Then post your dreams (or dream fragment, reflection, whatever you have) here on our blog as a comment!

We have the power to create positive, healing change.

We have dreamers signed up from Puerto Rico, Panama, Belgium, Canada, Japan, Argentina, Belgium, The Netherlands, The United States and more … we hope you’ll add your state or nation to the list!

Wishing healing dreams to one and all!
–Tzivia

 

Please Join Us On Facebook: 350Dreamers

English: Violet and Primrose In Mayalls Coppic...

Image via Wikipedia

Winter solstice

Image via Wikipedia

Announcing our upcoming group dream for Global Healing

The Solstice (12/22/11 this year) marks the longest night of the year. That’s the perfect night for dreaming.

On the night of 12/22, Join 350+ Dreamers (we’re now more than 500 dreamers from around the globe!) and dream with us for global healing. Here’s how:

  • DREAM with us on Thursday night, 12/22, in our quest to use the power of dreams to help heal the planet Earth in the face …of global climate change.
  • Dream, journey and/or vision to bring healing energy to the Earth on the night of the Solstice, 12/22/11.
  • Before bed on that night, set your intention to have a healing dream for our planet. Write this intention down and be prepared with a pen, notebook and flashlight next to your bed to record any dreams or fragments you recall.
  • Then post your dreams (or dream fragment, reflection, whatever you have) here on our blog as a comment!

We have the power to create positive, healing change.

We have dreamers signed up from Puerto Rico, Panama, Belgium, Canada, Japan, Argentina, Belgium, The Netherlands, The United States and more … we hope you’ll add your state or nation to the list!

Wishing healing dreams to one and all!
–Tzivia

On my final night of a summer writing workshop last week, the host asked who would be continuing with the program in the fall. Almost in unison the six of us who were gathered on comfy couches in the studio whined: “I can’t, I’m too busy!”

We each went on to list our multiple obligations, jobs, hobbies, relationships … until we sank into a morass of negativity about the scarcity of time as compared to the abundance of our needs to do … STUFF!

I, too, was singing out my to-do list, and finishing it off with my familiar refrain: “But I just love doing all of it, I don’t know what to give up!”

Can my overflowing datebook really be a problem if it’s filled with things I deem as valuable and enjoyable?

Umm. In a word: Yes!

Those of us who are part of 350 Dreamers, care about the earth and mindfully using its resources. But what about our own inner resources?

As for me, I realize that while I’m meticulous about consciously using the Earth’s resources, I spend my own energy recklessly.

Is my compulsive doing in the name of “good” any different from the way others gobble up trees, water and fuel to build a “better and better” future?

We senselessly deplete our physical environment in the name of having more of the things we say we love: Electronic toys, lush green lawns, speedy trips to our favorite places in our cars …

… and we senselessly deplete our inner resources when we just can’t seem to pick and choose where to focus our energy.

When it comes to the Earth’s resources I know how to use less and care more for what I have: I rinse and re-use plastic bags, park the car and use my bicycle more, I compost food waste and shop less and greener.)

To start conserving my own resources, I’m now turning off the phone and modem for portions of each day. I’m practicing saying no and looking inside instead of looking outside for fulfillment.

The dream? To do fewer things more slowly and with more focus.

Please feel free and welcome to share your thoughts on how you seek to create energy balance in your inner world.

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Bringing the message home:

Announcing 350 Dreamers upcoming group dreams for Global Healing:

MARK YOUR CALENDARS:

In the name of doing less with more focus … for the near future 350 Dreamers will dream together quarterly—or as the need arises.
Our next Group Dream will take place the new moon night of September 27.
Following that we will dream on the night of the Winter Solstice, December 22.*
(*While we usually dream on the new moon, that date in December is 12/24, which might be a bit hectic for dreamers who celebrate the Christmas holidays.)

Please post your dreams from our Jan. 4 group dream for global healing here! Add your dream, dream fragment or reflection on the process, etc. as a comment on this post.

Don’t be shy! Intend. Dream. Post