There is a helpful inner practice that I’ve shared in my newly released dream primer (on Amazon), “Who Are Those Guys?” about the many characters who come to us in our dreams. I’m explaining how I began to learn the difference between what was an essential feeling and a non-essential feeling. Here is an excerpt:
I had an amazing first experience with this years ago and didn’t know at the time how important it was. Into day two of a meditation retreat, long hours of sitting, I received a beautiful inner teaching. I suddenly saw in my mind’s eye a beautiful low black lacquered table sitting in front of my meditation cushion. An inner guidance showed me what to do, so on the table I ‘laid’ a strong negative opinion I had about someone and asked myself, “Am I still me without this opinion?” Of course, the answer was yes, so in a mental sweeping of my arm, I swept the opinion off the table. Huh…still me.
So began a lengthy laying on the table of judgements, opinions, ideas I had about others, about myself, who I thought I was and needed to be. None were standing up to the question, “Am I still me without this…?” The time between the question and the answer slowly lengthened, became more difficult, closer to the bone. Then came the questions…“Am I still me without kindness?”…“without love?”…“without the ability to feel sadness?” Each time the answer was ‘No.’ I would not be me without these essential feelings. Not only would I not be me, I wouldn’t want to exist without those qualities. I realized later that I had arrived at those feelings of my essential self.
What would later become core to my work with dreams was previewed for me in that meditation. Essential feelings are part of who we are in our essence, our soul and to which the dream wants to return us. That would seem to mean that when I refuse to feel my vulnerability, my pain, my loss…I’m not my real me…and I want to be real me.
Mary Jo Heyen
Archetypal Dreamwork Practitioner
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