I had the privilege this week of being invited to breakfast at the home of a well known and respected spiritual teacher who lives in Boulder. We shared how it is each of us works with images as both spiritual practice and to help heal what has been wounded in us…what it is that has frayed our connection to true self…to soul…she with guided imagery…me with dream imagery. We discussed how both our ways of working with images can support the other. It was the beginning of a wonderful exploration and we will continue to be in conversation…
We shared our backgrounds and trainings that brought us each to this place in our lives where we work with others. Her outer world training was considerable…professional degrees, certificates…while mine was more humble…less formal…the years of being trained of how to be in another’s dreams…a lifetime spent in deeply personal spiritual practice and relationship.
She then asked me an interesting question…what is the one thing I felt that makes me feel qualified to work with dreams. I knew I could cite the above, the outer world credentials, the three intense years of dream training, the decision to work with multiple teachers to learn as much as I could. As invaluable, critical and necessary is my training to being a dreamwork practitioner (to being any kind of practitioner)…and I knew that would be a satisfying answer…I wanted to tell her the real reason…the hardest and most challenging part of my training…and the truest. I took a breath and said, “I do my own inner work.” She closed her eyes, smiled and slowly nodded. I continued…”and because of that what I get to do is shamanic with a small s.” She laughed.
Meldy, my own beloved rinpoche (precious teacher) once said to me, “Dear, if people want to sit on the curb for an eternity they are free to do so…but at some point we will know we need to stand up and begin our work…”
We each are called in this way…through the many paths that call to us…to work with the most resistant, heels dug in, difficult client of them all…ourselves. It is the work of our lifetime.
Mary Jo Heyen is a Natural Dreamwork Practitioner working with clients throughout the country and abroad in person, phone or Skype. Learn more about her work with dreams at www.maryjoheyen.com or www.thenaturaldream.com