Public Discussion 4-29-16 with NiteShad
I should start by explaining to those who may not be familiar with the maker tradition how dreaming is viewed by it. Dreaming, in the maker tradition, is active dreaming, it's about using your dreaming energy in the process of integrating ultimately all your energy as a practitioner. I realize that some traditions vary on their dreaming methods, preferring a more passive, or interpretive approach. Makers however, tend to be about creating, even if that's trouble at times.
The easiest way to ask questions tonight and I do encourage questions simply because watching me type is going to put you to sleep pretty quickly and is hardly an active learning experience, is to type a ? in the channel. Our channel moderator will then note it and tell me who has the next question in order
Initially we'll talk about dreaming, but later on in the discussion if you have other general questions we can entertain those if time allows.
Now for the truly fascinating stuff about me; I'm old, or at least not really young, I'm 62 and have been at this for over fifty years, give or take a day or two. I started learning as a child of about five or so and the rest is history, or my history anyway. It was an oral tradition and I have taken it upon myself to translate that into the written and put it out into the world. Shamanscave has been around now for twenty years, we're an internet dinosaur. Yes, we remember when there was no world wide web :)
Thank you for that!
You're quite welcome.
So dreaming in this tradition requires three steps, the first is control, the second is movement and the third is integration. Sounds very academic, but as most of those who have worked with it can tell you, it's anything but academic. We speak less about our dreams and more about dreaming energy, which to the makers was the point of it all.
How does your shamanic tradition, the makers, view dreaming as part of a shamanic path, and what is 'active dreaming' from that point of view?
Okay, dreaming is a part of our energy, a huge part, often ignored, but it represent half of our power as human beings and the makers realized that in order to reach completeness it was necessary to bring the two halves together without the normal boundaries people expect in the world. Active dreaming is defined as working directly with dreaming energy to create a result in the world, either in our dreaming energy itself, a minor point, or in the everyday world in general which is the major point of active dreaming.
Every one has had a precognitive dream, or a lucid one, or one that just had some really weird unicorns and elves in it, none of that is the point in the maker dreaming tradition. The point is about creating through dreaming energy, whether it is a great poem, or a seat being available on the bus the next morning. I realize that a lot of this may seem unreasonable, but then progress is only really made by unreasonable people.
This ability to create through dreaming energy, is that available to everyone or only certain people with the gift?
There is no doubt some people are more capable with dreaming energy starting out, but I have always believed all people to some degree can learn to control their dreaming energy. I have never viewed either shamanism in general or the makers in particular as an exclusive club which requires some odd combination of energy to join. We're all human beings and in using dreaming energy in the world we learn how extensive that definition really can be. Dreaming sets us free to explore our own sense of ourselves apart from the definitions the world has foisted upon us and often forced on us. So we are active, from breaking down dreaming energy and learning to move with it and direct it, to awake dreaming and finally to the integration of it as a part of our totality.
What are the most difficult challenges that shamanic path students typically face in learning to use dreaming and dreaming energy from the awake position?
From the awake position, well, to be honest it's the weirdness of it. At that point dreaming energy has emerged on the conscious stage and it's a fairly loud player.
How do you mean weirdness, like, do you start wearing a lot of flannel?
Well that of course, but also the fact that things appear in the world which your reason tells you can't be there, or shouldn't be there and of course there is the issue of starting to 'know' things you shouldn't, sometimes at great distances, or across time, over all it makes for an entertaining day. Awake dreamers become very good at stalking a middle ground, one that allows the world to grow larger by leaps and bounds, yet at the same time keeps them from walking out into traffic.
You said that the first step to using dreaming energy is to learn how to control it: what would you recommend a new student do, as a first step?
I think the first step is to recall your dreams, not necessarily all of them, but at least some, this forces the 'reasonable' mind to confront the aspect of your energy which it usually only views like movie screen. Then learning to control the movie, writing your own script, then starting to create that movie in the real world. Probably a bad metaphor, but I've been known to use a few.
Works for me.
Those are only the first steps of course, to truly take command and use your dreaming energy actively will take some time. I think this is what frustrates people, that things don't happen instantly, they won't usually, but then sometimes they do. In the end there really are no shortcuts, well, at least not ones that are very pleasant.
Often if you read about dreaming on the internet, you're often going to find things about lucid dreaming. What's different about your dreaming practices than lucid dreaming, and what role (if any) does lucid dreaming have in shamanic practices if you're able to do it?
I've read some of that as well and what I have found is that it is presented in a passive way; you learn to direct a dream, but the problem from my point of view is that you're still in the dream and there it stays.
So lucid dreaming could be used as a first step I suppose, but one would have to be careful not to become trapped in the process and be unable to move outward to other things in dreaming.
Why did you pick this subject for tonight?
It seemed like a subject most people would be interested in and because I think it's a good place to start to understand the tradition.
A lot of times, new shamanic practitioners seem to either be having a really hard time even getting going with dreaming practices, or are in dream worlds where they are immersive, yet impossible to work with shamanically. Is there an awake dreaming practice or two that a beginner could do which would help them move into dreaming energy in an active way?
I would suggest a couple: one is interference with vision. A lot of traditions have used it to produce a dreaming or trance state.
Could you give an example of that?
Eye fringe, the slanted sideways look, the out of focus observation of a scene. There's three :)
But I wanted only one. j/k
Well, we don't do refunds.
I've noticed that a lot of people want to know what this or that dream *means*. can you talk about how this kind of dream interpretation compares to the Makers' view of dreaming, and if it has any relevance to what the Makers do?
Someone who has mastered dreaming can easily 'plug' into the dream the person had and literally tell them how it went as they're going along. What that person will do is not look at the imagery, it's not usually very relevant, what is relevant in those sorts of first level dreams are the emotions tied to the imagery. For the makers it's not about 'what' you saw, but how what you saw affected your energy, not just in dreaming but through the various layers of the energy body itself.
So the Big Book of Dream Meanings is not very practical then?
Well, it would make a decent paperweight I think.
What would be some of the movements you would recommend in order to facilitate our dreaming intent ? Could you explain more on those movements?
If you have a dreaming intent for instance to recall, or to move in dreaming the best thing to do is eliminate the fluff around it. For instance, create a 'place' in dreaming where only the dreaming intent exists, you can create the imagery of a real place, but keep it very, very simple. Then the energy focus is narrowed down and it should move a great deal more fluidly.
I have a friend who goes astral traveling often. He is at once matter-of-fact and mysterious about it. I have no experience with “astral” anything. For my friend it is important, perhaps essential. I think he’s using dreaming energy. But it seems to be only for getting guidance--LOL here’s another riddle from god sort of thing. Or sometimes direct specific instruction from the spirit world. I have no interest in that. Enough riddles and instructions already. Comment on astral travel and dreaming?
If it helps your friend feel better it's okay, but astral travel can be fraught with all sorts of symbolism that bubbles up from the mind and that causes a pretty muddy picture.So we prefer to move through awake dreaming, which I guess in astral travel terms is going by coach, we are very basic in the movement and not interested in guides, gods or beavers wearing tuxedos. We have an intent, something we're trying to create or do and the rest just gets in the way.
I read here about a dreaming stone, could you tell me how this can be used to help work with dreaming energy?
Actually, we'll soon be posting a video on our YouTube channel about creating one, but a dreaming stone connects your dreaming energy outside yourself, either to the world, or to time, or to movements for a purpose of some intent you're trying to accomplish. I've seen dreaming stones completely change after being used a while, by that I mean physically, so there is at least some proof that dreaming energy has real effects in the world.
Thanks, and Ill look forward to the video.
A common problem for many when first trying dreaming practices is simply not having dreams, or at least, not remembering them. Are there people who truly don't dream? What are some practical things that can help with creating more dreams and remembering them?
Actually, I don't think there is anyone who doesn't dream, although I have heard it in the dreaming classes a number of times.
The dreaming dog ate the dreaming homework?
We have dreaming energy but at times people's dreams are hidden deeply by their minds, which generally means there is a fear of recalling dreams on some level. Once you get them past that the dreams are there for recall.
What is the difference between the Dreaming Body in the Maker tradition and the term Astral Body? It’s so easy to get hung up on definitions.
People define the astral body, as I understand, as made up of dreaming energy and awareness, which can travel outside the body. The makers define the dreaming body as purely dreaming energy which can move to act on the world directly and only informs the mind as a courtesy.
Would you have a Shamanscave channel on YouTube? It would be a great aid.
It's there now R, we're just in the process of starting to produce videos for it.
Some dreamers are very talented with passive dreaming, and it's very natural for them. What's a practice that they can use to make their dreaming more active?
Ah, kicking the butt of the dreaming body, yes, don't let it circle the drain of dreaming energy which it will tend to want to do because the mind is guarding the gates, so the key is to move constantly towards some goal anchored in the real world until finally the guard goes for lunch and the dreaming body escapes.
Could you explain that in a little bit more detail?
Well, the dreaming energy has been trained through a lifetime that it has limits and while it's rather 'wild' within those limits it remains trapped through habit more than anything. Moving towards a goal outside of those limits is as simple as dreaming yourself back into the world while awake, or to create some result that you will recognize as coming from the dreaming body and your intent for it.No fart noises though, it puts people in the office completely off.
What is an example of intent you've used that dreams you back into the world?
Oddly, it doesn't have to be complicated, removing a plastic cup from the dispenser in the bathroom was one I did as a kid, things like that, simple but direct and only you know about it through your active intent, then you just say to yourself, that was odd, then go about your day. Sounds funny, but it trains your reason to accept the odd or even impossible without throwing a hissy fit.
Can you talk about sleep paralysis and what it means for a Maker, if anything? Not directly sleep related, but sort of dream related, I mean.
It is a direct collision between dreaming energy and conscious awareness, the meeting rarely goes well.
As makers we work to try and move around that and not set up a direct conflict, at least not immediately, sleep paralysis can become so frightening it can stop progress in working with dreaming energy. Your mind then has ammunition to prove to you this is a 'bad' thing.
But its possible to move through it?
Yes it is, but it will take some will and some patience and learning to rotate your emotions in a real way.
Could the dreaming energy / body end up being reckless in its dealings with the world?
Potentially yes, but that would depend almost entirely on the person, our energy is our energy and this is the reason we seriously encourage self healing before doing some of these other things, one to recover all your energy, but two in order to control that energy without it becoming destructive.
Our intent is to help, to create and to move forward with knowledge and compassion, although I suppose sometimes people need a reminder to behave, but really that's not our job long term.
Okay guys, we've done about an hour and there have been some good questions, I think. We'll do more open discussions in the future.
Dream well all.