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Deep Dreaming: Finding Interconnection through Shared Dreaming
Facilitated by Richard Russo, M.A. and Meredith Sabini, Ph.D.
Saturdays, 12noon–2pm, $20 per session
March 8, April 12, May 10, June 14
Just as we can’t see the roots of a circle of redwood trees, we also don’t see the ways our individual dreams weave together in the mycelial root system of our species. But we can try to open ourselves to this level in the process we call “deep dreaming.” It begins with a period of quiet meditation that allows us to sink below the level of the quotidian. Called by our intention, dreams slowly emerge from their rhizome, not ones we’ve chosen ahead of time but ones that surprise us, dreams we may not remember, or ones from long ago. Using the “culture dreaming” method, we tell the dreams that emerge spontaneously, one at a time, for perhaps twenty minutes. Then we take a brief break, and return to hear all the dreams read again as one narrative. Their interconnectedness, and ours with all life, may reveal its mysterious presence.
The Perennial Wisdom of Dreaming: A Reading Course
Meredith Sabini, Ph.D.
4 Thursday evenings; 5–7pm; Feb 20, March 6, 20, April 3; $85 for the series
Please register at least one week in advance so reading materials can be sent out prior to the first meeting.
This program will take a broad-ranging look at the ways in which dreaming is a laboratory for life—for the individual, the culture, and our species. Enough is now known about dreams and dreaming to constitute what we might call a “perennial wisdom” of dreaming.
For this exploration, we will draw on selections from the Seth material, one of the most comprehensive tracts of contemporary wisdom literature. It is archived at Yale University library and contains many ideas that have been validated by recent research on sleep and dreams; other selections correspond to the tenets of Tibetan dream yoga and lucid dreaming. The description of the “dream universe” as a separate nonordinary reality where potentials for our individual and societal life are considered is astonishing in its breadth and depth. Each meeting will cover one topic of general interest, with readings from the Seth material provided.
No prior familiarity with the Seth material, received by Jane Roberts during the 1970s, is necessary to benefit from or participate in this program. Please plan to attend all sessions so that a meaningful group discussion can take place.
Session 1. Basic dynamics of personal dreamwork
We will cover Seth’s statements about how to recall dreams, how emotions and beliefs are formed into symbolic images, how illness may be signaled prior to manifesting, how to do dream re-entry, and the optimum balance of the waking-sleeping-dreaming cycle.
Session 2. The dream universe
Seth contended that the dream state is not an imaginary realm; it is an inner universe rather than an inner world. Dream exploration of this other universe is “a science and an art” and fulfillment of this vocation “takes years of training and dedication.” This perspective is similar to Tibetan dream yoga, in which the dream state becomes portal to the afterlife, and one can practice this transition during sleep and in meditation.
Session 3. Dreams of potential futures
Seth described the dream universe as the place where our species tries out possible scenarios before they are manifested, such as the development of nuclear power, “which was first a dream on the part of many.” He recommended that we conduct our wars in the dream state rather than enact them physically. This perspective has profound implications for our present global ecological crisis. Seth also noted that phenomena we label precognitive or synchronistic may be more accurately viewed as the manifestation of an event previously considered in the mass dream state.
Session 4. Our species’ dream memory
Similar to Jung’s concept of the collective unconscious and Sheldrake’s morphogenetic field, our species has a dream memory which Seth claimed was what children, for example, draw upon as they rehearse for coming states of development. “Without dreaming, there would be no learning or memory.” Recent research in human and animal neurophysiology has confirmed that there is a vast, inherent capacity that each species draws upon for its survival behaviors.
Dream Training For Psychotherapists
Meredith Sabini, Ph.D.
Section I: 2 Saturdays, 10am–1pm: Mar 15, 22, 6 CEs, $150
Section II: 4 Fridays 3–6pm: April 4, 11, 18, 25, 12 CEs, $250
Dreams seem to have dropped off our profession’s map. But dreaming hasn’t ceased, and clients still bring in dreams that trouble, terrify, puzzle, or intrigue them. Where does a therapist begin unpacking a dream in order to help the client and the therapeutic work benefit from it?
This seminar provides hands-on practice engaging with the process and content of dreams, using samples brought in by participants and provided by the instructor. It is on the case conference model, with the dream itself being our “case,” in the sense that we will follow the dream as it unfolds, letting it lead us to the psychodynamic material embedded in it. Like naturalists on a foray, we will slowly explore the details given in the dream narrative, wondering at each carefully chosen image. We will extract the metaphors in the dream so they can become a language for therapist and client to share. We will look for dynamic tensions in the dream and link these with a client’s intrapsychic and interpersonal conflicts. The “Anatomy of a Dream” protocol (available on our website under “Articles”) will guide us in identifying the fundamental components of any dream.
By taking this program, therapists will discover that they do not have to guess beforehand what a dream might mean, but can engage clients in a dream dialogue using their ordinary clinical skills of asking good questions, and offering sensitive observations. Participants will learn that meaning is an emergent phenomenon arising through the exploration and discussion done mutually by therapist and client.
You may register for either or both sections.
Fee includes CE certificate. Limited to 8 participants. Open to licensed therapists of any theoretical/clinical orientation.
Meredith Sabini, Ph.D. (Psy 7397)
A licensed psychologist in the field since 1972, Continuing Education provider since 1997, and Founder/Director of The Dream Institute. Dr. Sabini specializes in dream training for mental health professionals and consultation groups centering around client and therapist dreams.
Registration: You may register by phone or email; then send in a check to hold your space. You will receive confirmation.
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Dreams and Astrology at a Time of a Grand Cross
Greg Bogart, Ph.D., MFT
Friday, March 28, 3–6pm, $45
Greg Bogart will continue his fascinating exploration of how planetary archetypes manifest in waking life and in dreams. Please bring a recent dream and your natal chart. Greg will offer insightful comments on the current stressors and challenges in your chart, and how to work with them. He will also discuss the unusual astrological phenomenon, a grand cross of Pluto, Jupiter, Uranus, and Mars, which takes place between April and July of this year, and its possible effects on us individually and collectively.
Greg Bogart, Ph.D., MFT. is a psychotherapist in the East Bay who has taught and practiced astrology professionally for more than 30 years. Author of Planets in Therapy: Predictive Technique and the Art of Counseling (Ibis Press, 2012) and Dreamwork and Self-Healing.
The Mystic In the Modern World
Moderated by Meredith Sabini, Ph.D.
Saturday, April 19, 1–4pm, $45
People are often drawn to The Dream Institute because they have an active interior life. For some, this includes unusual experiences, big dreams, and visions of a profoundly spiritual nature. In another era, they would be called mystics. Where, in our extraverted, activity-oriented society does someone like this fit? What are they to do with the sacred material they receive? Some do find their way to a knowledgeable teacher or spiritually-oriented group of one kind or another—Sufi, Catholic, Chassidic, Shamanic. Many settle for having an ordinary job and keeping their interior life private; but this may leave them isolated and unfulfilled. The visionary material itself, which may be highly relevant to the world of today, languishes.
Mystic sight has been recognized as a blessing and a curse, since it entails the destabilizing influx of transpersonal contents that require special handling. Visions and big dreams might as well arrive in a parcel labeled “Open at your own risk,” “Contains volatile material,” “Handle with care.”
In this forum, three invited guests will speak informally about their struggles with an active interior life that came largely unsought: when and how it began, what it’s like to be awakened in the night by psychic thunderstorms, and the challenge of giving form to what they’ve received. If there is interest among those attending, future meetings on this topic will be scheduled, in the hopes of providing a place where this sacred vocation is recognized and respected.
Finding Psychological Types In Your Dreams
John Beebe, MD
Saturday, April 26, 1–5pm, $75
Thanks to the popular application of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator in work environments by corporate consultants and vocational coaches, the Swiss psychiatrist C. G. Jung’s pioneering theory of psychological types is now very widely known throughout the world. Thinking, feeling, sensation, and intuition, when used in both extraverted and introverted ways, yield eight types of consciousness that can become part of the repertoire we draw upon.
This workshop, by a Jungian analyst who is a leading expert in uses to which Jung’s theory can be put, will demonstrate that the psychological types regularly appear in our dreams, where intrapsychic rather than interpersonal conflicts between the various consciousnesses are brought to our attention.
Each of us is born preferring only one or two of the eight types of consciousness that Jung identified. Especially in youth, the others types of awareness remain more or less unconscious. However, the types of awareness that we are less conscious of appear personified in our dreams. Being able to identify the exact psychological type of each dream figure can help us become familiar with the status of that type of awareness in ourselves. We can also find in our dreams a very clear picture of our resistances to dealing with some of the types of consciousness that are pressing for recognition and integration. As the psyche and life events push us to differentiate, our dreams can therefore become a guide to our type development.
In this workshop, Dr. Beebe will work with dreams supplied by the participants as well as bringing examples of his own.
John Beebe, M.D. (U.S.A.) is a Jungian Analyst in practice in San Francisco, a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, past president of the C. G. Jung Institute of San Francisco, and author of Integrity in Depth.
By taking this course, participants will be able to:
- Recognize in patients’ dreams symbolism for each of the eight different types of consciousness Jung’s describes in Psychological Types.
- Assess the degree of development of a type of consciousness based on the way it appears in a dream.
- Discriminate types of consciousness that are “in shadow” for the patient and thus unfamiliar, threatening, and negatively valued from types of consciousness that are more “ego syntonic” and thus easier to recognize as parts of the self.
- Identify the different archetypal dream figures carrying the patient’s different consciousnesses, so that the patient can begin to appreciate how these consciousnesses are typically deployed in his or her waking life.
The Dream As a Koan
Meredith Sabini, Ph.D.
Saturday, May 17, 10am–12noon, $25
A presentation and experiential workshop
A koan is a term from Zen Buddhist tradition that refers to a question or statement a teacher gives a student as the focus of meditation. There is no exact equivalent in English, but the words puzzle, paradox, conundrum, and enigma come close. A koan cannot be understood or discussed rationally or solved logically; its paradoxical nature is meant to frustrate and exhaust the conscious will so that other functions of mind and spirit come forth.
Dreams, at times, seem like puzzles, paradoxes, enigmas—koans. Though we often can translate dream themes, actions, and images into metaphors that relate to our lives, past or present, there are other dreams that do not lend themselves to the usual kind of psychological dreamwork; they remain puzzles we must contemplate. This is especially true of big dreams that contain little in the way of personal material. This workshop is an opportunity to learn a new template by which dreams can be explored.
Participants are welcome to bring in dreams that have not lent themselves to psychological unpacking; there will be a brief meditation period as we begin the process of contemplating the dream’s contents and narrative sequence. Examples of dreams that invite such meditative treatment will also be offered.
from The Iron Flute
"Our schoolmaster used to take a nap every afternoon," related a disciple of Soyen Shaku. "We children asked him why he did it and he told us: 'I go to dreamland to meet the old sages just as Confucious did.' When Confucius slept, he would dream of ancient stages and later tell his followers about them.
"It was extremely hot one day so some of us took a nap. Our schoolmaster scolded us. 'We went to dreamland to meet the ancient sages the same as Confucius did,' we explained. 'What was the message from those sages?' our schoolmaster demanded. One of us replied: 'We went to dreamland and met the sages and asked them if our schoolmaster came there every afternoon, but they said they had never seen any such fellow.'"
Visions of the Future
Hosted by Meredith Sabini, Ph.D.
Saturday, June 21, 1–4pm, $45
We are living during the Sixth Extinction, a time when the basic elements of life on this planet—soil, water, air—are compromised, and large numbers of flora and fauna are passing out of existence. Our own species may be endangered. It is a time when the evolutionary function of dreaming is activated and dreams pertaining to survival occur. Our program today will be an invited panel of people who have received visionary dreams related to this situation. Their dreams will be presented with ample time for discussion. Those attending are welcome to send in ahead of time any visionary dreams they may have had, and as many of these will be read as possible.