Dreamtime: How to Awaken Perception and Insight

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Dreamtime is an alternate state of perception where you can access insight and increase your visual acuity. Dreaming is not a fleeting image, but an experience where an event or series of images speaks to you with a message. Here are a few suggestions that will begin to open you to dreamtime.

1. Change your routine, change your mind.

Doing something the same way over and over again with repetition programs the mind, and you’ll begin to only see through a narrow lens. Conversely, if you change the way you do something, you can reprogram the mind, which is like installing new software into your hard drive. Walk in a new neighborhood. When you brush your teeth, start on the left side instead of the right. Take a different route to work.

2. Change your vantage point, change your viewpoint.

Do you always sit facing west at your desk? Well, move your desk so you are facing south for a while. When you sit at a meeting, do you always sit at the end of the conference table? Try sitting in the middle. Do you live in a valley? Go to a crested hill or knoll, and just sit and take in the view, and the new viewpoint.

3. Change your gaze from straight on to off to the side.

(I wouldn’t recommend trying this while you are driving.) Dreamtime isn’t linear. It’s like wearing a visor hat with an attaching fog light that cuts through the haze, and lights up a circular area around you, front and back. Next time you are sitting in front of someone, adjust your gaze so it’s off to the right or left a little. What do you notice? When you are watching a speaker, what do you see when you shift your gaze to either side of him or her?

4. Switch roles, change your identity.

The roles we play of housewife, stockbroker, schoolteacher, husband or wife can define us. Change your role even if it’s for a day. Give yourself room for different identities, and outlooks on life. If you’re the quiet one, go sing at a karaoke bar once a week. If you’re the husband and breadwinner, take care of the kids and do the laundry for a day per week. Let your wife take you out to dinner. If you are a lawyer, go teach a ballroom dance class some basic steps one evening. Take a few classes first, but go do it.

5. Don’t be afraid of life’s bloopers or of being foolish.

The fool is a great archetype for taking risks and remembering that life is a game of improvisation. Try new things often: a game of pool, a balloon ride, horseback riding, and snowshoeing. That moment when you try something the very first time is when you are vulnerable, and yet open and receptive. Dreamtime is captured in that moment where the surprise and the humble meet. Seeing with new eyes means not taking ourselves too seriously.

6. Engage your imagination, engage your creativity.

Your creativity is a problem dissolver. With imagination, you can see through the problem. Creativity connects you with creation and creation is the point of origin. At the point of origin, you can move all the game pieces around — nothing is fixed. Our neighbor — an energetic, ten-year-old girl named Destiny (got to love that name!) — knocked on our door the other day. As she danced about on our porch, she said she had just returned from her gymnastics class and that was she was “all wiggly.” Creativity and imagination give you wiggle room.

7. Let nature be your teacher.

The birds, the trees, the animals communicate with us. The birds communicate through song and flight. The trees whisper through the wind. All of nature is in concert with who we are. Nature sings and dreamtime is allowing the song of nature to rustle in our ears. She communicates beyond words using vibration and tonality; she touches with sound. Even the sound of silence in nature is singing. Can you hear her beckoning?

8. Learn through experience.

Life is an in-turn-ship. The journey is not found in a book or registered in the intellect. The journey requires turning inward to listen to those internal signals. To experience is to have all of your senses engaged. Is this the first time you’ve seen the ocean? Don’t just read about the ocean, walk in the sand feeling it crunch between your toes, let the water drape over you, and taste its saltiness. Taste life! Dreamtime is walking through life, tasting life, as if it was your first time. Dreamtime is the beginner’s mind and inquisitive heart in action.

9. Question everything.

Dreamtime is living by your instincts. To question is to live authentically moment-to-moment respecting your own inner authority.

“I beg you…to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”

~Rainer Maria Rilke

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