Dreams figure large in living and dying. Dreams reveal more than physical senses perceive. In dreams and in death, you meet yourself—all the longings, fears and beliefs.
Some years ago I gave a series of workshops that explored the attributes of the waking dream state called Dreamwalking. Dreamwalking is similar to day dreaming. You’re not asleep. You aren’t astral traveling. You are here and you are there—at the same time.
The 'there' is what Dreamwalking is all about. There are the imagined worlds as real as this one. There could be a past life. There could be the beginning of a bed time story you read to a child. Once upon a time a long time ago… you suggest where there could be to the child so the child can dream.
Here is what took happened. I took them through a relaxation exercise. I suggested a scene, they filled in the details in individual and appropriate ways. I was the waiter in a cosmic restaurant. I set the scene and showed them to a table. They ordered (imagined) the rest. Some dined well. Others went hungry. They didn’t imagine anything. They were, in a sense, stuck.
‘Stuck’ describes where a lot of folks are at these days—especially the ones who are dying. Depression is an example of being stuck. Depression is a failure of the mythic imagination.
The act of dreaming is inherently meaning making. If you didn’t dream, you wouldn’t be here. Before we could walk, we dreamed of walking. In the sleep of death what dreams may come. They always do.
Dying folks can sense who the dreamers are at the deathbed. Ever wonder why they die when family members step out of the room? It’s easier to die in the presence of a dreamer. Dreamers don't get bogged down in the mind games of consensus reality.
Dreamwalking is a skill, like riding a bike is. No one can teach you. You learn by doing. I can hold the bike steady, but you have to get on and find the pedals. As a Dreamwalker, I can hold dying steady. You can too. This is Companioning.
Healing is a similar process. I once used Reconnective Healing in a hospice self-care clinic. Some visitors were grieving. A few had cancer. Most were in states of high anxiety. All were open to what medication seldom delivers on—a break from the mind chatter and the sense that their experience had purpose and meaning.
Healing is mediated through dream states or what are known as non-ordinary states of consciousness. You aren’t whole without your dreams. The task of a Companion is to create a space where the client can, if they choose, experiencewholeness through a dream state.
Healing is not appropriate for the dying. Companioning is.
Companioning is a model of death care that calls the Mythic imagination into conscious awareness. You dreamt your way into the Earth experience. You can dream your way out.