Gaining Insight Into Dreams

~Cheryl Perry

I was asked to share the titles of the books I mentioned in
Sunday’s reflection.

They are Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs, and Communications of the Dying by Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kelley (1997, Bantam Books) and
Convictions: How I Learned What Matters Most, a memoir by Marcus J. Borg (2014, Harper Collins).

And I also thought I would share the following list of questions. One of the most effective ways of getting insight into dreams, particularly if the dream is difficult to interpret, is to work with a friend, or friends, who support us as we explore our own dreams.

We can often gain tremendous resources by taking the time to explore all facets of the dream. Those supporting the dreamer listen carefully while the dream is described and ask questions so they understand for themselves the imagery and feelings experienced. A good way to increase your ability to remember dreams is to value them.

One way to do that is to keep a dream journal. If you are interested in interpreting your dreams, or want to help another person explore theirs, these questions might help you as your think or journal about them.

  • How do you feel in the dream? What is the predominant feeling?
  • What is the main action/theme/activity of the dream? (It may help to give it a title, as if it were a painting or story or movie. Ask yourself: What single issue or insight brings the dream together? Where is the main energy?)
  • Who are you in this dream?
  • Who are the others in this dream? (Describe them and their relationship to you, qualities, contexts—as they may be ‘stand ins’ for others or for aspects of the dreamer’s own self.)
  • What are you doing and not doing in your dream? Are you active or passive in this dream, and why? Are you resisting or in tune with what the dream is doing?
  • What issues need resolving in this dream?
  • What new ways of understanding/new actions are presented in your dream?
  • Does the situation or issue in the dream feel familiar or relate to anything going on in your life right now?
  • What is similar in this dream to other dreams? Have you ever had a dream like this before?
  • Why do you need this dream now?