You don’t have to sit cross-legged on a cushion in the middle of a room with a candle burning in front of you to meditate. Meditation doesn’t have to be this complicated/inconvenient.
If you do all that, you’re wasting time.
Dream Focus provides a way to get the benefits of meditation without the inconvenience.
What is Dream Focus?
There are a lot of ways to meditate, but if you’re going to do it in the way most people think of it, you’re going to have to make a lot of sacrifices. You’re going to find yourself getting up early to go sit in a lotus position on a thin cushion. That 30 minutes to one hour spent clearing your mind of all thoughts, of focusing on your inner eye, of visualizing will compete with everything else you have to do in the day. You’ve got a lot going on every day. Meetings. Classes and study. Meal preparation. Shopping. Work. Exercise. Time simply spent getting to know your children, family, and neighbors.
If you don’t, well, have at it with the candle and cushion!
When compared to many people’s schedules, the pressures put on them from the outside don’t allow for a regular meditation practice to stand a chance.
There are all kinds of apps, all kinds of teachers, all kinds of best intentions to get into meditation and really go at it. The intentions fail more than they succeed. Simple math and the limit to the number of hours and minutes in a day ensure that an effort to meditate as much as you want doesn’t succeed.
Yet meditation needs and should be for everyone. There isn’t a person who can’t benefit from a greater understanding of their life, their environment, and the people they interact with.
Another way to meditate
The good news is that there’s another way. You can use images from your dreams as a springboard into greater understanding of your environment.
The idea is simple to understand and easy to implement.
It starts when you go to sleep for the night (or whenever you actually do go to sleep) and then continues throughout the day.
You start by praying at night before you go to sleep. It doesn’t have to be a long prayer. You don’t have to say the rosary, though that’s a way to get into a spiritual mindset.
You’ll put a memory device on your non-dominant hand. You’ll tell yourself that you’re going to remember your dreams. You’ll ask for dreams that will help you, and enlighten you when it comes to any issues you’re dealing with.
Now, there are a lot of different ways to pray. There are whole books on this topic.
Basically, it comes down to this: you can use formalized words written by someone else, or speak to God from your heart. For our purposes, both are fine. The important thing is to listen, too. Nobody likes one-way conversations. I suspect God doesn’t either.
When you wake up in the morning, you’ll think of the dreams you were having throughout the night. You’ll do the three-step dream interpretation process to understand what was inspiring them.
Dream Focus comes into play during the day when you contemplate images from the dreams and the understanding you’ve reached with the dream. It’s well worth doing this because there’s some reason why your subconscious chose to present the images it did to you.
Dream Focus is simply contemplating the words, images, sounds, and feelings from the dreams you had from the night before throughout the day in the little odd moments. You’ll review the interpretation you made, consider the ramifications of the interpretation, and consider what changes and adjustments you can make in your life.
Dream Focus takes the images and understanding from your dreams and asks a few simple questions along the lines of, “Now what am I going to do about that?”
If you take the dream from the bedroom and carry it with you throughout the day, you’re more likely to do something with it; to carry yourself to additional understanding.
Why Dream Focus is an effective form of meditation
Everyone’s life is complicated.
Everyone; whether or not they realize it.
For life, you rely on clean air and sunshine.
You rely on the farmer and rancher to grow your food, the trucker to deliver it, the grocery store worker to stock it.
You rely on the police to keep peace in your community, the firefighter to prevent your community from burning up (and often to respond to medical emergencies).
You rely on different water services to provide water for you to drink, to cook, to wash your vegetables, to swim in, whatever.
Everyone provides a service to everyone else and that provides the experience of living life in our modern age.
All kinds of forces affect these different things that end up affecting us. Some of them we realize, some of them we don’t.
We have our individual human nature, partly a function of our personal choice, partly our inheritance an expressed part of our DNA, partly a reflection of us and our interaction with our environment past, present, and what we anticipate in the future.
Our subconscious is the part of us that thinks and reaches conclusions. Dream Focus provides mind focus. It allows us to pull these two disparate parts of our mind together. It incorporates us more effectively into the mileu that we find ourselves living in.
Remembering and understanding your dreams can provide a shortcut
Remembering your dreams and then understanding them is a better way of going about getting all of the benefits of meditation.
When you meditate, you go into these deeper levels of the mind. You find the issues and experiences that are most pertinent to you that day.
Yet it doesn’t mean, necessarily, that contemplating a dream from a couple of weeks ago or even longer ago has no value. Some issues have a way of hanging around for years (see Old Dream Journals May Have the Answer To Your “Why?”). The issue forms more than a “season”; it’s an environment.
When you sleep intentionally, with the intent to remember your dreams, you do the same thing.
Again, when you decode the dreams and understand their inspiration, you do the same thing.
Images from your dreams will be available for your mind to contemplate for the remainder of the day, and even for days afterward. By doing so, you’re making yourself aware of a change that you need to make.
It’s like reviewing the notes you’ve made before a test, though the test is life itself.
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James Cobb, RN, MSN, is an emergency department nurse and the founder of the Dream Recovery System. His goal is to provide his readers with simple, actionable ways to improve their health and maximize their quality of life.
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