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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.

Robert L. Van de Castle, author of Our Dreaming Mind writes of how he and a colleague, Henry Reed, developed a dream helper ceremony. I’m copying excerpts below, along with suggestions for adapting this practice for 350 Dreamers’ project to heal the earth through dreams and visions.

 “The telepathic dreamers are called dream helpers. Before retiring for the night, these dream helpers gather around the designated target person and engage in some activity to create a feeling of bonding. They might meditate, pray, sing together, or sit silently holding hands.”*

350 Dreamers can spend time outdoors, close to nature, pray, meditate, sing and listen to the Earth.

“It’s useful if the target person can loan some personal object – jewelry, a photograph an article of clothing – to each dream helper. Wearing that object or having it by the bedside will enable each dream helper to feel a special connection with the target person when they go to sleep that evening.”*

350 Dreamers can find an object from nature … a stone, feather, shell, leaf, etc., and keep it by their bed before dreaming.

“The dream helpers renounce the right to experience any personal dreams that night and dedicate all their dreaming activity to being of service to the target person. They ask to be used as a psychic vehicle to achieve understanding and healing for the target person.” *

 350 Dreamers: Just keep substituting the phrase “Planet Earth” for “target person.”

“They work diligently to maximize t heir dream recall during the night.”*

350 Dreamers can keep notebook and pen or pencil by the bedside, along with a flashlight. If you wake in the night, jot down any dream or dream fragments , no matter how random or unrelated to the task at hand they seem to be.

“The next morning, the dream helpers gather again with the target person and each one describes in detail the dreams remembered from the preceding night.” *

350 Dreamers will gather via the internet, sharing our dreams for Planet Earth on this blog, or our Facebook Page.

“A fascinating pattern emerges as the warp of one dreamer’s images is laid against the woof of another’s and dream strand after dream strand is woven into the rich collective tapestry.” … “Seldom does any one dream helper grasp the full significance of the target person’s problem. Like the proverbial bland men and the elephant, one descrbies the tail, one the leg, one the trunk, one the tusks, one the ears: but only when these discrete bits of information are assembled is it possible to grasp the nature of the elephant.”*

350 Dreamers will report all of our dreams and dream fragments, no matter how random or unrelated they might seem … together they will create a complete vision.

“If the time ever comes when we all agree to use the formidable power of our dreaming mind as dream helpers for each other, we will witness a positive change in planetary consciousness greater than the negative change in planetary consciousness following the dropping of the first atomic bomb.”*

 350 Dreamers say cheers to that! Let the dreaming begin!


*From: Our Dreaming Mind by Robert L. Van de Castle, Ph.D.

pp 436-438

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