This simple little exercise offers us a fascinating way to understand our dreams more deeply. And we also get to create some poetry–effortlessly!–in the process. All you need is a dream and a folded piece of paper.
You may be as surprised as I was when I tried it: my dream poem led to some connections I had never thought of before. Linking the objects and feelings in our dreams is a splendid way to explore them, and it’s also a lot of fun!
1. Choose a dream. Find a dream in your dream journal that you can recall. It need not be an “important” dream, but it should be one that has some substance, one with which you resonate.
2. Write down all the objects that you can remember in the dream. “Ordinary” objects are fine: people, horses, houses, trees, pencils–any like these may be included if they appeared in your dream.
3. Fold a blank 8 1/2” x 11” piece of paper in half. Lined is best. Fold on the long side and keep it folded.
4. On one side of the folded paper, list all the objects in your dream. Give each its own line and number.
5. Turn the paper over, keeping it still folded. You now have on one side of the sheet the list of objects, facing down.
6. On the blank half of the paper, using the same dream, write down all the feelings you can recall from it. There may be obvious feelings, like sorrow, joy, fear, and there may be those that are a bit more abstract, like wonder and confusion. Both sets of feelings can be included–as long as they’re true to the dream. Once again, write one feeling to a line and number each of them.
7. Open the piece of paper. The objects should now be on one half of the paper and the feelings on the other. If, for some reason, that has not occurred, just use the numbers. Object number one will relate to feeling number one.
8. Starting with an object, read it aloud, insert the word of after it, then read the feeling whose number corresponds to the object. For example, if the first object is a chair and the first feeling is misery, you would read chair of misery. Do this with all the objects and feelings.
9. Anything new? See if your view of the dream has changed. You may want to rewrite the dream with these now object/feelings.
Adapted from The World Dream Book, by Sarvananda Bluestone (Inner Traditions, 2002). Copyright (c) 2002 by Sarvananda Bluestone. Reprinted by permission of Inner Traditions.
Adapted from The World Dream Book, by Sarvananda Bluestone (Inner Traditions, 2002).