by Dr. Sheila Benjamin

(presented at the 2014 IASD Conference)

We are all spirit, a supernatural force that science has attempted to access. Within each of us is a plan, a blueprint of whom we are and what we are to accomplish, contribute, and learn in our lifetime. Some may call this plan our calling, our purpose, what gives meaning to our existence. When we deviate from that plan, our lives often appear to be hard, unfulfilling, and sometimes filled with negativity.

Our dreams reflect our state of consciousness in our waking life. When we turn away or ignore what is most important for us to pay attention to, or that will produce understandings and accelerate our learning, our dreams call back to us. If we ignore this calling from our subconscious mind and the message is important for us to hear, we receive a message so loud that it is hard for us to forget. We call this a nightmare. However, even within that seeming nightmare there can be a deep spiritual awakening.

I ask you to call to mind the famous dream of Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens. It was through his reflections upon his life and the visitation of the three spirits that he was able to review where he had come from, where he was, and if he continued the life that he was living, where he would end up.

This is a classic example of a Spiritual Awakening Dream. Some spiritual dreams leave us feeling like we have a second chance, like the one of Scrooge. Some are pure inspiration, filled with light, letting us know we are on the right path. Some spiritual dreams impart the message that we are living a life that is sacred, divine, and committed. All dreams of this nature are motivating, rooted in hope, peace and love. These special dreams have the ability to give our life new meaning and view it from a higher perspective.

It is my desire to explore a variety of dreams that reflect those that have lived a life of purpose, those that have been given a second chance, and those that are given the vision of their calling. The research for this paper will explore individuals from a variety of cultures, religious backgrounds, and age groups. There will be dream catcher groups that will be conducted each month as well as interviewing Native American leaders, religious leaders, educators, counselors, and others.