A Joyful Path, Year Three – Week 14: Everyone Dreams — Story: I Dream Of A Better World

For Classroom or Home School



Week 14: Winter
Lesson 12: Everyone Dreams

My dreams are a way for me to connect with Spirit.

Getting to the Heart of the Lesson

Dreams are spiritual teachers, messages from our deepest knowing, our highest self, and the greater collective (the collective unconscious). Each of the Abrahamic texts (Qur’an, Hebrew and Christian Scriptures) remind us — with many visions and stories — that dreams are one very real way God can penetrate our very busy, rational minds!

Whether we remember our dreams or not, dreams are a way for our psyches to process lingering experiences and emotions. In this way, our dreams are medicine, helping our souls find the completion and closure we are unable to find while we are awake. Sometimes we meet someone who is no longer alive. Other times we have a “nightmare,” “in which our inner warrior is called to action. Nearly always, dreams speak in signs and symbols, using irrational or funny imagery to “set apart” the message and meaning. In the words of the late dream-worker, the Rev. Dr. Jeremy Taylor, “All dreams come in the service of health and wholeness.”

While dreams provide opportunities for us to confront unconscious wishes or mend past traumas, dreams can also be signifiers of the future, inviting us to prepare for new ways of living. In this lesson, we will explore the importance and the power of dreams.We will encourage the kids to create the best possible conditions for dreams to occur at night, so that they might receive and be informed by messages from Beyond.

Over his long career of working with dreams, Dr. Taylor developed a Dreamwork Toolkit that outlines six helpful suggestions for understanding dreams in dream work groups with others. The full list can be found here (http://www.jeremytaylor. com/dream_work/dream_work_toolkit/index.

html), but this short list highlights ways to explore your dreams this week and going forward:

  1. All dreams speak a universal language and come in the service of health and wholeness. There is no such thing as a “bad dream” — only dreams that sometimes take a dramatically negative form (also known as a “nightmare”) in order to grab our attention.
  2. All dreams and dream images are multilayered and have multiple meanings. There is no such thing as a dream with only one meaning.

All dreams break new ground and invite new understandings and insights. No dreams come just to tell you what you already know.

(NOTE: If you wish to make this week’s lesson more intentionally focused on Advent, either Activity/Exploration below can be adapted to include dreams and divine messages that play a role in the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ birth.)

Teacher Reflection/Activity

Some reading and a 10-20 min exercise (more if you have time and want to take it) so you are able to experience the teachings offered through this lesson)

For your nourishment and inspiration this week, please consider one of the following:

Option 1 — If you have a difficult time remembering your dreams, consider the following tips this week:

  • Refrain from screen time for one hour before sleeping. Instead, read a book, meditate, go for a walk, etc. to bring your body and mind into greater alignment with one another.
  • Put a notepad or voice recorder on your nightstand. When you wake up, jot down or speak a few key words about the dream in order to remember the dream more fully when you wake up.

    • Before falling asleep, pray for a dream and ask that it be memorable.

    Option 2 — If you dream vividly and/or easily remember your dreams, recall a dream that has been an important teacher for you. Consider working with a new dream to better understand its holy invitation. If you are baffled or confused by its meaning, consider sharing the dream with a trusted friend or spiritual director. For more layers of meaning, consider that YOU are every character/object in the dream. How does this offer additional challenges or insight about what the dream is wanting to tell you.

    Read through the lesson before your time with the children. Decide which Activity Exploration will work best for your class. (There are usually two options; choose one) Just below the heading, “Children’s Lesson and Story” you will find the preparations checklist for this lesson so you can collect any needed materials or make arrangements to support your selected activity.

    Sacred Text Quotes

    Hebrew Scriptures. Genesis 41:14-16 (NRSV)

    Then Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and he was hurriedly brought out of the dungeon. When he had shaved himself and changed his clothes, he came in before Pharaoh. And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.” Joseph answered Pharaoh, “It is not I; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.”

    Christian Scriptures. Acts 16:9 (NRSV)

    During the night Paul had a vision: there stood a man of Macedonia pleading with him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”

    Christian Scriptures. Matthew 1:20 (NRSV)

    But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take

    Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.”

    Wisdom Quotes

    Sometimes dreams are wiser than waking. ― John G Neihardt, Black Elk Speaks: The Complete Edition

    I think we dream so we don’t have to be apart for so long. If we’re in each other’s dreams, we can be together all the time. ― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

    I dream my painting and I paint my dream. ― Vincent Willem van Gogh

    Humankind is being led along an evolving course, through this migration of intelligences, and though we seem to be sleeping, there is an inner wakefulness that directs the dream, and that will eventually startle us back to the truth. ― Rumi

    I began to pick through the red rivers of confusion; I began to take apart the deep stitches of nightmares. ― Mary Oliver, Dream Work

    Be sure to click here to download the Teaching Introduction and Instructions.

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