Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Sizzle in Lightning Dreamplay

On April 8th, I again had the pleasure of talking with Robert Moss on his inter- national radio show.  He spoke with several Active Dreaming (AD) enthusiasts, some professionals using AD as a teaching modality, all using it as a personal practice.

He asked us each how we introduce AD to people who haven't heard of it and for stories from our teachings.  Since our talk was brief, I didn't share this one on air, but here with you.

Very recently I had the honor of introducing AD to a wonderful group of about 50 adults, some helping professionals in integrative medicine, all soul explorers.  I always try to teach the Lightning Dreamwork game quickly, then do several rounds of it, commenting in between on things the dreams we share bring up.  On this night there was a lovely woman, probably in her late 70s, and her daughter and a friend in the circle.  She was the last to share her dream; it was deceptively simple.  "Fear" was the title.  She described how she, as a young nurse, one obviously fiercely committed to her profession's ideals, would have a recurring dream about somehow messing up a patient's medical records.   She described how in "real" (waking) life she would frequently double back to the hospital after a shift to re-check her day's recordings for accuracy.  She lived in fear of making a mistake.

One might think that this is an old stale dream that she hadn't visited for decades, since she'd retired, but it came to her there in that circle and she shared it. Dreams have energy, regardless of time stamp; they don't expire. I was delighted to hear a male psychiatrist in our group voice his dismay that, in his dream of her dream, she worked in a patriarchal, hierarchical system that often undermined female self-esteem. Several others offered her lovely "if it were my dream" images and analogies; I offered her what came to me.

I told her that one of the things I've been delighting in lately in my dream practice is time travel within this lifetime, visiting my younger selves and giving them love, support and good counsel, as well as listening to what they have to say to me, now.  I told her that if this were my repetitive dream in any particular period of my life, I'd choose that younger self, perhaps a wonderfully smart, pretty, funny, full of life and a sense of can-do younger self, and tell her what a great job she's doing and how much her patients love her for her consideration and understanding, not just her professional skills, which are also strong in her.  I'd tell her that another generation down the road, women wouldn't be feeling quite so constrained and repressed in their fields, that being a doctor herself is a distinct possibility in a parallel life.  I would assure her that she has nothing to fear, because I have her back, and I would ask her to be with me, in a renewed bond of confidence, curiosity and courage, in my present life.

I could tell as I was talking to her that she was really digging what I was saying.  It's as if she lit up from the inside and, filled with relaxed breath, became light as spirit; (a signal of dream gates opening in a person that Robert often talks about in stories of his own workshops).  When asked how she would honor this dream, she eagerly said she'd write that letter.  I saw her exiting with daughter and friend, all three vibrant with excitement about dreaming.

The sizzle in Lighting Dreamplay is that it's as easy to teach as your average five step board game, but because it harnesses the electric power of dream worlds and dream energy, it produces results as deep as any achieved in those "aha" moments of life, on a more regular and reliable basis.

I hope dreamers and wanna-be dreamers in the New England/CT area will join me and Lynette Turner in our celebration of The World Day of Active Dreaming on May 10th at the ARC Sacred Center in Monroe, CT, from 1-4PM.  Let me know if you're joining us.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Monkey Love

by Mally DeSomma

One of the cool things about an Active Dreaming practice is that it encourages a maximum creativity lifestyle.

The last step of the AD Lightning Dreamwork process encourages the dreamer to do something in waking life to honor a dream experience. Doing something creative, like drawing, painting, singing, dancing or writing a poem or short story about your dream are all excellent ways to honor your dream and wake up your imagination.

Synchronicity often follows on the heels of honoring a dream.   This little monkey is the exact replica of the dream monkey I met in a wonderful dream from 2005. I wrote about walking into my talented artist friend's studio just days after my dream and seeing the pastel portrait she'd done without any knowledge of my dream.

Here's the poem I'd written to honor my dream; it's titled "Monkey Love."

One night, in my dreams,
we came face to face.

I reached out my arms to you
and you poured yourself into them
with all your monkey love.

I was in a long boat,
drifting under your tree,
where you hung out
on a branch low to the water.

We came face to face.

The face of god is love –
Funny, monkey love.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Dreaming With My 28 Year Old Self

My last post got me thinking about my past work in the campaign to ordain women as Catholic priests. The RC, was a religious hold out on the feminization of clergy world wide that had already taken place by the late 70s in most branches of Christianity and Judaism.  Though in the end the misogynist factions won out in the RC, there were many wonderfully committed women and men at all levels of the Church who wanted the psychic balance adding the Mother to God would bring about, so for  me at least, the struggle was worth it.

A recent invitation to address a lovely spiritual community on Mother's day this year led me to remember an article I wrote for a local RC newspaper as a 28 year old teacher of adult religious education and graduate student at Colgate/Rochester Divinity School.  I was passionately involved in the Women's Ordination movement and  I'd been asked to write an article for Mother's day.

I enjoyed typing my own words off the yellowed newsprint copy I've kept all these years.  It was like talking with a younger version of myself who liked formal biblical exegesis and was fiercely committed to the spiritual Feminine, who for me, since I was 21 and dreamed of Her before I knew Her, is called Howling Mary.  I am very thankful to that lovely young woman part of me for caring so passionately about changing the Male only paradigm of recent but bloody history.  It was fun remembering how steeped in Scriptural studies I was and letting those passages echo for me again.

This is what I wrote:

Wednesday, May 4, 1977
Article in Courier Journal
Adelita Menges, (Chirino again now, Menges was my first husband's surname)

(Ms. Menges is coordinator for Adult Religious Education at Blessed Sacrement Parish and a member of the Rochester Regional Task Force on Women in the Church.)

God as Mother?  A Biblical Reflection

How appropriate it is to talk about God on Mother’s Day is not immediately  clear.  Yet should we not examine in the light of Biblical faith our worship of God?  Have we made for ourselves a graven image God, all masculine, all male?

The Scriptures teach that God is not a glorified human being, male or female. “I am God and not man, the Holy One in your midst” (Hos 11:9) “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord.” (Is 55:8)  It is this understanding that governs the use of either masculine or feminine metaphor in Scripture.

In Israel’s patriarchal culture, the masculine pronoun was used regularly to denote God.  In Scripture, however, there are many qualities of God that are reflected with decidedly feminine imagery.  Feminine imagery illustrates the nature of God’s relationship to Israel in the Exodus and Wanderings.  God is like a mother to Israel who provides food and drink for pilgrim Israel in the desert. 

Moses poses this rhetorical question of the Lord; “Did I conceive all these people?  Did I bring them forth, that you should say to me, “Carry them in your bosom as a nurse carries the suckling child to the land which thou didst swear to give their fathers?” (Num 11:12) No, it was God that conceived Israel.

Second Isaiah also depicts God liberating Israel from Babylon as a woman giving birth to a child.  “How I will cry out like a woman in travail.  I will gasp and pant…” (42:14).  Third Isaiah further employs the maternal metaphor for God: “Shall I who causes to bring forth shut the womb? Says your God.” (66:9).

“As one whom his mother comforts so I will comfort you.” also is in Third Isaiah (66:13)  It is within this tradition of God as the mother of Israel that Jesus in the Gospel of Luke depicts himself calling to his unheeding people; “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how often have I longed to gather your children as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you refused.” (13:34).

The biblical witness with its rich mixture of masculine and feminine symbol, exhorts us to obey the commandment to make no graven images. (Ex. 20:4).  We witness in Scripture god acting as Mother and Father, creating and redeeming, giving birth to and protecting Israel.  Yet God is not male or female.  These are all symbols, metaphors that we can use to describe the way God acts towards us.

On Mother’s Day, then, it is fitting that we should pause to reflect on the Scriptural revelation of God as Mother.  God taught Israel to walk, lavished love on this people and fed them . (Hos 11: 1-4).  In our human experience, it is often our mothers who perform such caring acts for us.  Why should we exclude this maternal quality from our own understanding of God?

Surely there are those of us who long to know a loving and tender God who delights in our joys and comforts us in our sufferings.


I no longer choose to address the Goddess; the Feminine Divine, within the Christian religious paradigm, but I am so very grateful to  my 28 year old self for laying the foundation in me that she has.  It is really nice to feel her around again.