I arrived at Lucidity’s Spiritworks by a work of mysterious synchronicity- and I’m so glad I did.
I had planned to go to Lucidity since I went for the first time a year ago and I knew the Lucid University courseweek would be an amazing experience. Unfortunately, though, when i bought my festival ticket, I was short on cash. Thus I had no plans to attend courseweek, but the Universe, it turns out, had other plans entirely
It was a combination of three synchronicities that led me to Spiritworks dream council. One after another they came, unbidden. Together they led me to an experience I had never intended.
I had just arrived back to the states after a five-week exploration of Israel and Palestine. It was a tremendous month of exploration and discovery, but that combined with my three months at Standing Rock prior left me scraping up the last of my money from my dwindling bank account. This was no concern for me- I’ve learned that I don’t really need money to live. In fact, I’ve spent several periods of life living without spending a dime. While not afraid, being nearly broke did present certain limitations. Not the least of which was the understanding that any classes, workshops, and celebratory festivals were not in my near future.
Sitting on my friend’s couch in New York, I casually mentioned, “It would be so great if I would just miraculously happen upon a windfall of cash.”
Later that evening, that’s exactly what happened.
I was speaking to my dad on the phone about my current position and plans in life as I often do. I casually mentioned my cash shortage to him and he perked up.
“That reminds me!” he says, “I received a surprise phone call from the bank the other day. They told me there was an untouched bank account that they were going to close if I don’t take the money out soon. I didn’t know what the money was for so I did some digging through my records and, turns out, it’s yours.”
He explained to me that when I was born my parents opened up a bank account for me. In this account they deposited any and all cash gifts I received from friends and family members until I was old enough to receive them myself. Once I was old enough to receive the money, the account was promptly forgotten. If not for the bank calling my dad and his diligent record-keeping, it would have been lost forever. Quite fortuitously, though, here it was presenting itself at exactly the moment I had asked for it. Over $1000 was headed my way. I rejoiced at the miracle. This would certainly make things easier for me.
Still, I had already had it set in my mind not to go to courseweek. While I had just received this surprising windfall of cash, I didn’t know when or how I’d be making money again so I continued living frugally: hitchhiking, couchsurfing, and generally not spending money I didn’t have to. I never even considered going to courseweek. That is, until I went on Facebook one day and saw that my friend wouldn’t be able to go to Lucidity.
Just days before courseweek was to begin, he had fallen ill. Unable to go, he was selling his ticket at a discount. Recognizing the synchronistic opportunity before me, I snatched up his ticket for the Communityworks course. I believe strongly in the idea of ecovillages. In fact, helping build an ecovillage is a personal goal of mine so it felt perfect. So two days later, I was happily on my way to the Communityworks course at Lucid University.
This isn’t a story about the Communityworks course, though. If I had ended up going to that course, I wouldn’t be writing this now. That’s where the third synchronicity comes in.
I had been at Lucidity for maybe two hours, and I was walking around greeting people: old friends and new. One person I had never seen before approached me and struck up conversation. He was a bit strange- I couldn’t get a read on him. He told me his name was Fareed and he asked me a rather vague question:
“So, what are you into?”
At this question I paused. What are you into? What kind of question is that? It’s so broad as to be almost meaningless. But I had to give him some sort of answer. I searched my psyche for it. I reviewed myself totally: my interests, passions, what I do in my free-time. I’m into a lot of things but what unifies it all? After a few seconds of frantically scouring through my soul looking for the answer that would appease this odd character I settle on something.
“I guess I’m really into mysticism.”
Fareed lights up at this, “Oh really? What kind?”
What kind? I think to myself, How are there different kinds of mysticism?
“Oh I’ve studied all kinds of mysticism: Hindu, Buddhist, Indigenous. What kind of mysticism are you into?”
“Oh where I come from,” he responds, “we just call it being aware.”
The rest of our conversation was mostly uneventful but a seed had been planted. Later on that evening we gathered for an orientation to prepare everyone for the courses we were going to take. As I looked at the courses being offered I was drawn to the Spiritworks course, but I talked myself out of it.
They probably won’t let me switch classes. And anyways, I got the Communityworks ticket for a reason. But then it hit me:
What am I into? I’m into mysticism. That’s what I said. So what the hell am I doing avoiding Spiritworks when this opportunity is right before me.
Bam! Just like that it was clear. Later that evening I talked to the necessary people and easily transferred to the Spiritworks Dream Council with Emakhet- one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
The Course Begins
I entered Spiritworks expecting the whole workshop to be about lucid dreaming. I had been practicing lucid dreaming to a greater or lesser degree for a couple years now, only recently renewing my dedication to the practice. In my understanding, lucid dreaming was the primary, if not the only, way of relating with the dreamscape. My hope was that Spiritworks would help me to deepen my lucid dreaming practice and connect with other lucid dreamers. What I ended up finding, though, was completely different.
I had never been in a place like this before. In the world I came from, dreams were only a side-effect of random neural firing in the brain. Dreams were not real and held no deep insight or symbolism relevant to our waking lives. While I personally believed deeply in the power of my dreams, I felt alone in this. I was the eccentric guy constantly writing his dreams down and doing reality checks on a regular basis- pouring through his notebook for signs or guidance. I rarely discussed any of this with others because when I did they would either tell me I’m crazy or they’d otherwise just be bored. But this was different.
All of the sudden things were flipped upside-down. In this course we discussed our dreams. We practiced dreaming while awake. We interpreted for one another. We even practiced dreaming together. No longer was I the eccentric dreamer surrounded by a bunch of mundanes. Suddenly I was the mundane- surrounded by people sharing dreams of other dimensions, travels in space, and encounters with gods, goddesses, angels, and spirits. Next to all these mystical sounding dreams- mine just seemed lame. While others were receiving dream healings from dream shamans in the rainforest- I was going to the gym with my dad. Not very exciting.
The Magic Emerges
While I was jealous of the dreams of others, being with the Dream Council changed how I saw my dreams too. We spent a long while one day discussing a particular dream I had had the night before that I called Kidnap Kangaroo. This was a long, detailed, and interesting dream of mine but I hadn’t thought much of it except that it was a cool story. But when I shared it with the group, I was stunned at what other people saw.
Some saw deep symbolism with the kangaroo and its pouch, some saw important lessons about patience and nonaggression, some saw prophesies about potential futures, and some saw strong messages that I have an important role on this Earth. Suddenly this mundane-seeming dream took on otherworldly power and significance. The more my classmates shared, the more powerful this dream became. Their words resonated deep within my soul and I knew the truth of what they were saying. I left that day not only grateful for my dream and the insights of my classmates, but dazzled by the power of Dream Counseling.
By the end of the course, I felt different. I had reconnected with the magic and mystery of life in a visceral way. I realized that it’s not only my lucid dreams that are significant, but every single dream I have. Every night when I sleep I receive countless messages in the form of image, feeling, and symbol. I realized that I am the beneficiary of a deep connection with the spiritual world that we all share. I realized that there are deep wisdom traditions and strong communities that can support us in honoring our dreams. I realized, too, how deeply I needed this healing, and how much the world does too.
By the end of the course, I was feeling grateful, empowered, and inspired. At the end of our last class together we sat beneath a great oak tree with dream catchers hanging from it. We were being told a story by a man named Diamond of how he made the shift from a 9-5 worker at a jeweler to independent artist, visionary, and owner of 2000 acres of land. As he shared his story I allowed my mind to drift gently into the meditative state that had become so familiar to me through our course. In this state I posed a question to the spirits. I knew I was to receive much at my time at Lucidity, but here I asked for the first time: what am I to create?
Like a lightening bolt, the answer was instantly downloaded into my brain. Dream Council, it said. Instantly I knew what it meant. Emakhet was leaving the following morning- she wouldn’t be around for the festival itself. Spirit, then, was telling me: it’s my job to hold the Dream Council for the festival.
Fuck. I wish I hadn’t asked.
All my fears, doubts, and cynicism rose up to meet this new challenge that was just bestowed upon me.
I’m not qualified for that, I thought, I just learned this stuff. And anyways, the festival starts soon. Would anybody even show up? I’m just fooling myself.
Strangely, though, all these thoughts and judgments meant little to me. Deeper and stronger than these protests from my thinking mind was the understanding that I was being guided to take on a responsibility. It is beyond me to question the workings of Spirit. If this is what I’m being asked to do, then I better damn well do it.
The following day I met with Emakhet before she left and was generously offered the blueprint for holding Dream Council. I was deeply honored and humbled by her offering.
“This is a powerful blueprint,” she warned me, “but I feel like you’re ready for it.”
Emboldened by her blessings and encouragement, I continued on. I talked to Diamond about holding Dream Council beneath his dream catcher tree which he lovingly supported. I made signs telling people when and where to report for Dream Council. I told most everyone I spoke too what we would be offering. While I didn’t express it, I did so with a sense of deep desperation.
Please let people show up, I prayed, don’t let me be the embarrassed fool holding a Dream Council all by myself.
The following morning we held our first Dream Council. To my relief, much of our Spiritworks class showed up. Even more exciting, there were three newcomers. I diligently followed the guidance of the blueprint as shared by Emakhet and found, much to my surprise, that people were eager to share their dreams. That morning we shared and discussed two different dreams and the sharers were very grateful for the insight that they found.
The following day was even more amazing. Apparently word had gotten around about the Dream Council. I don’t know if it was word of mouth or if it was the signs I posted but we had a full 23 people at the Council. And the effect was profound.
This time we got through more dreams, and profound healing took place. One man shared a nightmare he had had the night before- opening the circle with a beautiful display of honesty and vulnerability. He let tears flow as he shared of a severed relationship and a broken heart. He didn’t have any questions regarding his dream, but all of us could tell the weight that was lifted from him just from sharing it. Another guy shared a recurring nightmare he’s had for years and something seemed to click in him as he recognized- with the help of the group- what the dream may mean. He ended with the confidence that the next time he had this dream, it would not end as a nightmare. Another guy shared a dream he’s had since childhood and he’s always wondered what it meant. After the group helped him interpret it, he bowed with gratitude and smiled as he made a plan of action with the new insights he had received.
At the end of this session I closed the circle and was asked, “Are you doing this tomorrow?”
I hadn’t planned to do a third council but the group seemed distressed by this.
“Please do this again!” they pleaded.
Well shit. People really want me to do this. So day three was planned.
Again, I was honored and humbled by the deep way in which people showed up to the circle. People shared from the depths of their souls. Their fear, pain, anger, doubt: all was put boldly on display to be healed. Just as amazing was the way in which people responded to one another with such authentic love, kindness, and support. I’m no stranger to the healing power of tears and, evidently, neither was the council as we held one another unconditionally as people shed their burdens and fears to be purified in the safe space of the circle. Rarely have I ever been so proud of my friends and comrades. Never had I realized how simple and effective it is to create a container like this for people to come together and heal. But here I was, after just three days of training, facilitating a Dream Council where such deep healing took place. I was moved to tears by the beauty I witnessed.
After each session people were thanking me. My Spiritworks classmates thanked me for stepping up and spearheading the continued Dream Council. The newcomers thanked me for facilitating the space for sharing. Diamond thanked me for blessing his space. Those who received the deepest healing thanked me for allowing them to share so deeply.
In exchange, I thanked each and every person who showed up for making the Dream Council such an amazing success. I thanked my Spiritworks classmates for supporting and helping to hold the space for the council. I thanked Diamond for letting us gather beneath his tree. I thanked Emakhet for both teaching me of the magic of the Dream Council and inspiring me to take a leadership role. I thanked Spirit for sending me the clear message that this was what I was to create at the festival. I thanked myself for having the courage to heed the call.
The gratitude I felt was indescribable, and still is. I cannot express how grateful I am to Emakhet, Kevin, the Lucidity staff, my classmates, and everyone who helped make the Spiritworks such a beautiful and transformative experience. I could spend my entire life expressing my gratitude- indeed I believe I will.
Bringing it home
Spiritworks brought it together for me. I’ve been exploring spirituality for many years now, but I never really knew what to do with it. I felt scattered, confused, and alone. I knew it was important to connect with my spirit, but I still didn’t know what for. Spiritworks, though, changed that.
Suddenly I realized what it meant when I would always make my online usernames “Relentless Dreamer”, why I read so much about Shamanism, why I named my website “Daniel’s Dreaming”, why I had spent so much of my life defending the power of dreaming. For the first time in my life, all my personal exploration seemed to be more than just for me. Finally, I found the tools and language to understand and explore the dreams which have so guided my life. I met a community of allies and comrades on this quest to awaken mankind. At last, I was given the opportunity and encouragement I needed to step up. And step up I did.
At Spiritworks I found my tribe. At Spiritworks I remembered my purpose. At Spiritworks I stepped into my power. At Spiritworks I embraced my role as leader, facilitator, and dreamworker. At Spiritworks I met my Self.
All this and more I found at Spiritworks. I walk forth in life now honoring the dream world much more than before. I recognize that I am a child in this world and have a lifetime of learning ahead of me. I know, though, that I have profound resources at my disposal: new and ancient teachings, wise and experienced mentors, and a strong tribe of friends and allies.
I now walk with a renewed sense of purpose, power, and connection. This is just the beginning of my life as a dreamworker, and I embrace the long path before me- knowing that it will bring many challenges, gifts, and friendships.
Spiritworks has affirmed a life path for me that I had always felt but rarely identified. But now I know what path I am to walk.
And what a glorious path it is.
*** Fareed, if you’re reading this, know that you are not a dick. That’s just what my ego said in the moment. I have nothing but love for you.
Alchemist, Dreamweaver, Writer, and Mentor
Dan has studied and learned from a wide array of esoteric traditions such as Buddhism, Shamanism, Hermetics, and more. His passion is transforming the Great Dream on Earth from one of conflict, suffering, and separation to one of love, joy, and unity. To that end he works with individuals, helping them to heal trauma, connect with their vision, and empower themselves so they may create the life of their dreams. He currently lives in Encinitas California where you may find him hiking, dancing, surfing, meditating, or practicing yoga.