Monday, March 2, 2015

Engaging the Living Dream: March 2015 visual journaling workshop series

Turtle Dreams

 March 2015 classes

Engaging the Living Dream: an Art Journaling workshop series

“We do not have dreams, we are visited by them
so they may infuse us with their intelligence.”
Robert Bosnak,
“Embodiment: Creative Imagination
in Medicine, Art and Travel”

Fridays March 6th, 13th, and 20th  1:30pm-5:30 pm          

            We will approach dreams using Jungian analyst’s Robert Bosnak’s embodied imagination work and will play with some journaling techniques from Stephen Aizenstat’s (President and founder of Pacifica Graduate Institute)Dream Tending work; inviting the dreams as if guests to dinner, honoring them as if shy deer grazing at the forest edge. Dream images are living energies with inherent sentience and their own perspectives.
            Bring a visual journal or sketchbook for art journaling, and a fresh dream, if you have one remembered… if you do not easily remember your dreams, not to worry, we will be working on methods to increase dream recall. In addition these approaches can be used with memories.
            The sessions are designed as a series and will build one on another. It is possible to attend individual sessions but more will be gained from coming to all three; also there will be a discount for all three when paid in advance (see below).
Session 1, March 6th: Welcoming the Dream
            It is crucial to sidestep the ego’s desire to understand, make meaning, and dominate. A dream needs to be met in the way of the dream.” –Stephen Aizenstat, “Dream Tending”
            We will begin by learning to open awareness to the body and to examine and shift our attitudes from interpretation towards welcoming the dream as if a guest, loosening the rational mind’s desire for meaning. We will also work on techniques for dream recall such as writing techniques and sensory memory.

Session Two, March 13th: Embodying Image:
An embodied image is the interface between self and other.”
Robert Bosnak

We will begin learning how to “transit” into the “alien intelligence” of the imaginal dream beings. Rather than thinking of the dream image as part of us or “in” us, we are pulled into the world of the dream beings. We begin to feel the embodied effect of the dream images upon our physical and emotional selves.

Session Three, March 20th: Dream as a Network of Perspectives

“The task of imaginal work is to let the variety of substantive selves be aware of one another by networking them through the craft of imagination.” Robert Bosnak, “Embodiment”

            In the third workshop we will practice holding multiple perspectives in the dream, and feel into the importance of the environment, the whole fabric of the dream. This work shifts us out of habitual consciousness: this shift is part of the healing medicine.
            We will also practice moving into the perspectives of what has been considered to be inanimate, as well as landscape and architectural spaces.

The Visual journaling dream series workshops are $400 pesos each or $900 pesos for the series of three if paid in advance (at the end of the first session) and include art materials and snacks/tea/students bring their own journals or sketchbooks.

Handouts for reading will be sent as pdf files the week of each class.

Suggested reading:
Robert Bosnak. (2007).  Embodiment: Creative Imagination in Medicine, Art and Travel
NY: Routledge.

Stephen Aizenstat. (2011). Dream Tending: Awakening to the Healing Power of Dreams. New Orleans: Spring Journal.

Robert Bosnak. (1986/1988). A Little Course in Dreams. Boston: Shambala Publications.


“Often the hands will solve a mystery that the intellect has struggled with in vain” (CG Jung)

Visual Journaling musings:
Friday February 20th

The experience of synchronicity gives us the sense of being
 on the receiving end or downstream side of a much greater process…
Combs & Holland,
“Synchroncity:Through the Eyes of Science, Myth, and the Trickster” p. 39
   Synchronicity can be thought of as a moment of correspondence between an outer event and inner meaning, accompanied by a feeling of numinosity (a felt experience of the cosmic or divine, often accompanied by a sense of awe or even fear, with a sense of purpose and wonder). Most importantly Jung understood this phenomena to be acausal, that is, standing outside time and space.

   Jungian analyst Joseph Cambray has written about Jung’s Red Book that “elaborating the scientific understanding of synchronicity is so directly and intimately tied to the end of his work on The Red Book.” (p. 50, “Entrances and Exits”). What is he saying here? 
                (Here we will prepare our heads for some mind bending. Stand and shake and rattle)

“The end of prophecy, as a personal calling or event in this narrative, is concomitant with the awareness that the conscious mind is not the true author of our visions/dreams/imaginings but that the personal sense of self rests upon the archetypal. [note the small “s”]. Such awareness is probably most readily grasped in contemporary idiom by embracing a view of the self as an emergent phenomenon…” (Cambray, p. 51)

Emergence  is the study of the formation of new life, in a nutshell. Complexity theory shows that new systems emerge when there is just the right amount of imbalance; an asymmetry or a weak link (the material we worked with in The Rupture of the Mandala). It is in this break, or weakness that new patterns, behaviors, molecules, emerge.

The importance of weak links in stabilizing complex systems is that flexibility is provided. The synchronistic event is a kind of disruption of our usual habitual consciousness that provides the fertile ground for a new way of being, new way of thinking, a new perspective.

Synchronicity can be seen as the intersect of the material and psychic worlds. The event affects both the matter and psyche. 

What have been synchronistic events in your life? What was the ego's response?  

Dr. Joseph Cambray essay “Entrances and Exits” in the 2014 publication The Red Book: Reflections on CG Jung’s Liber Novus (Kirsch & Hogenson, eds.)