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For a couple of years now I’ve been seeing a spiritual counselor. She has aided me in many situations I’ve faced in my life, with the concept that our soul and mind has complete power over everything.
I’ve learned that we all have the ability to change our lives at any given moment. How do I know? My dreams.
Over the course of the past few years I’ve found myself having many vivid dreams. In addition to my counselor’s analysis, she offered me an idea – that sometimes we don’t need to fully comprehend our dreams to reap the benefits our soul receives from them.
Dreams seem to come from our subconscious working things out, and so we may not always understand that certain depiction. It may not be literal, or even comprehensible. This confused me, as someone who has always looked so analytically at my dream state.
After learning that my soul and subconscious took the time during my dream state to help me navigate my life, my spiritual counselor recommended that I write my bedtime intentions of what I wanted to work on in my dream state, followed by a brief meditation to commune with my soul and with God.
It worked for me!
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From the very first time to the most recent time I have carried out this practice, it has worked. Even if I didn’t remember my dreams, I would find myself feeling more calm in situations that had stressed me out the day before.
Recently I engaged in a conversation about dreams and the dream state with some family members, when my dad shared two passages from Abdu’l-Baha’s tablets that spoke of a very similar practice:
Arise and wash thy body, wear a pure gown and, directing thyself to the Kingdom of God, supplicate and pray to Him. Sleep in a clean, well prepared and ventilated place, and ask for appearance in the world of vision. Thou wilt have visions which will cause the door of doubts to be closed, which will give thee new joy, wonderful dilation, brilliant glory. Thou wilt comprehend realities and meanings.
When thou desirest and yearnest for meeting in the world of vision; at the time when thou art in perfect fragrance and spirituality, wash thy hands and face, clothe thyself in clean robes, turn toward the court of the Peerless One, offer prayer to Him and lay thy head upon the pillow. When sleep cometh, the doors of revelation shall be opened and all thy desires shall become revealed.
Our dreams are not simply as random as many might think – and as I used to think. They have meaning, and they can give us insight. We can harness the power of the dream state to help address and solve internal and external difficulties we’ve had in our lives.
I’ll share two examples, one spiritual and the other more lighthearted and not as serious. One evening as I got ready for bed, I set an intention to become detached from a few different situations that I was dealing with, some in regards to my career and others in my personal relationships. The dream I had following this bedtime intention involved me being late to an event – I hate being late! – and as I got into the car with my friend, she was wearing my brand new jacket that I had just gotten on vacation and was so excited to wear for the first time. In the dream I asked my friend, “Is that my jacket?” to which she replied, “Yes! I assumed you would be ok with me wearing it so I just put it on.”
While I can grasp the basic idea of detachment from material things in this dream, there were many more small details in it that left me stumped. Ultimately, though, I think the importance behind the dream was for me to know that even if I’m not attached to a goal or expectation immediately, that I am connected to it. This may not be the case, but even though I never fully comprehended this dream, I have felt myself feeling calmer and more detached in situations where I previously felt attachment.
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While the next example is more lighthearted than the first, it shows us how much power a person’s mind has over the material world. My mother had misplaced something very important to her and we had torn apart the house looking for it, finding nothing. So my father set an intention to find the location of the lost item in his dream – and sure enough, it came to him. The following morning, he located the item in the exact spot he saw in his dream.
We hold so much power over our lives and the dream state is just one of many fascinating and powerful processes we can use to exercise and understand that power. In his mystical book The Seven Valleys, Baha’u’llah revealed:
One of the created phenomena is the dream. Behold how many secrets are deposited therein, how many wisdoms treasured up, how many worlds concealed. Observe, how thou art asleep in a dwelling, and its doors are barred; on a sudden thou findest thyself in a far-off city, which thou enterest without moving thy feet or wearying thy body; without using thine eyes, thou seest; without taxing thine ears, thou hearest; without a tongue, thou speakest. And perchance when ten years are gone, thou wilt witness in the outer world the very things thou hast dreamed tonight.
In our dream state; we are being spoken to by our own soul, by our subconscious, by spiritual forces beyond our comprehension, and by the world.