The 6-day workshop from Nov 23-28 on dreamwork and creativity was conducted by Lopa Mukherjee, a psychologist, and a psycho-spiritual counsellor. She had previously set the stage for both these topics in individual talks. She spoke on the healing power of imagination in August, and on night-time dreams in September. In this workshop, she guided the participants in several dreamwork techniques of interpreting their dreams. She also spoke of how to seed and incubate dreams, how to increase dream-recall, how to honour dreams, how to invoke one’s dream guide. She spoke about the functions of sleep from the perspective of brain chemistry and medical science. She spoke about different kinds of dreams and the transcendental function of dreams, which helps us in our sadhana. There were guided visualisation meditations and videos to explore creativity. Mother’s dream experiences were used as examples to discuss the power of dream-making.
Concepts of dream analysis were discussed from the perspective of psychotherapy. The history of dream studies was traced from the beginning of human dreaming. Who were the dream keepers of society in pre-modern societies? What changed when modernity became the prevalent mode of existence? How did the rational way of looking at life and knowledge systems eclipse some traditional ways of apprehending nature? How did the Western conquest of the global East and South change the landscape for dream-keepers? Who are the dreamers now? How do different streams of the knowledge academy treat dream studies now? The Sleep and Dream database (SDDB) was introduced.
Lopa spoke of the various realms of the macrocosm that correspond to various parts of our being. In particular the mid-region, or the antariksha was elaborated on. This is the field of dreams, where ranges the lord of the luminous mind, Taijasa. The Mandukya and Brihadaranyaka Upanishads speak about the dream personality and the field of Taijasa. Lopa played a recording from her novel on the antariksha for a visualisation meditation practice. She used the Mother and Sri Aurobindo’s examples as occultists to introduce the supernatural world. She discussed how this realm could be intuited and manifested in our awaked state, using several techniques, such as synchronicity, tratak and many more.
As for dreamwork, one practice was explored every day. One day there was a group dreamwork where all participants worked together to unravel a single dream. On other days participants were guided to work with different aspects of dream analysis. In all dream interpretations, safety guidelines were emphasised and participants were asked to share their learnings and feelings during the process.
Parallel to dreamwork, there was a creativity presentation with ample exercises for mental gymnastics. During the sessions creativity exercises were done with a lot of enthusiasm. There were prompts for creative work to be done outside the sessions, to which participants responded brilliantly.
There was a WhatsApp group of participants where all posted their take-home explorations related to creativity. They also posted questions for Lopa, which she addressed in the following session. Some shared their dream experiences boldly and others received them with a lot of warmth. It was heartening to read people’s poetry and how this work has deepened their sadhana. Some participants reported how dreams have given them solutions to life problems they were sitting with for many months and years. Some participants found ways to work on stuck-ness they have decided to work on going forward. The hope is that dreamwork practice will continue individually and perhaps in a group, and that dreams will continue to be the allies in our pilgrim’s journeys. Lopa shared many creativity exercises with the participants and ideas for thinking outside the box. The importance of creativity and mental exercises was explained from the medical, psychological and spiritual perspectives. Participants are encouraged to keep their minds healthy and functioning at great capacity. Participants were invited into the supernatural realm by discovering their own potentials through guided practices. Many expressed how curious they are to continue on this path of discovery of their own Super-Selves.
- “Thank you for the wonderful workshop, Lopa and James. It has opened new doors and experiences. It was definitely worth it waking up at 04.15 every morning. Great group also Thank you all.” (From a UK participant).
- “Thank you James... amazing sessions.
- Lopa always is.
- Thank you Lopa!
- Thank you, and it would be helpful to repeat follow-up for a longer period – like 3 month, once a week, with homework material... sharing daily progress on the WhatsApp Group.”