A.C.T. on your Dreams to Realize Your Dream


Where do you want to be five years from now or further down the road of life?  What is your Life Dream? Or do you prefer to land where you arrive at, trusting life to carry you along?  Living in the Now and being grateful for everything in the Present is of course tremendous and very important! Yet it is also okay to keep in mind what this bubble of the Present may unfold to. To me I believe true Nowness is an Awareness that unifies Past-Present-Future; that is, it is a Mindfulness that transcends Time altogether. From this perspective, living in the Now is like having a 360 degree viewpoint; you can see how you have arrived in this Moment and also what Its array of potentials are in many directions.

So, where do dreams (including nightly dreams, “waking dreams”, and daydreams) fit with this idea that you can brew the Now to unfold into your most desirable Future potentials?  Dreams can reveal not only the conditions we are currently ensconced within but also the possibilities and even probabilities available to us from Here. How? Often dreaming seems to take its own course so that you need only to be attentive to receive the messages of your unconscious promptings.  But it is always a good practice to ASK what it is you wish to perceive or understand through your dreaming.


I have shared before about how I used active contemplation and nightly dreams to show me the future potentials associated with my “big move” from Buffalo to Phoenix 35 years ago. I was relocating to enter a graduate program in Anthropology at Arizona State University. This was a major transformation of my life since I had grown up in eastern states and most of my immediate family was in New York at the time. To help allay my uncertainties about moving to such a foreign environment as the Southwest desert of Arizona, every night for a year before retiring to bed I sat for a half hour active contemplation in which I posed a specific question of my inner guidance and then went to bed, expectantly anticipating that in my dreams the answer to that day’s question would be given. And, it was! In that year’s dreaming I met people I would meet in Arizona in clearly prophetic dreams. I was shown situations that would unfold once I arrived there. In all, my dreams confirmed for me that this relocation was a necessary spiritual move in my life; that it would not always be easy yet it was definitely the path I was being called to fulfill. Those dreams served me well; for years in Arizona events would unfold that I had been prepared for in “the Dreaming”.

Dream 2

A major move in a new direction is worthy of taking your time to ask inwardly about its potentials and then to Dream…whether in nightly dreams or in ‘daydreams’, which are after all a kind of active imagination.  I believe that when you meet your inner awareness or Inner Guidance actively, It will bring you the inner Knowing you desire or need. My general formula for working with Inner Guidance through dreaming I call A.C.T.:

ASK and then Access your dream (e.g. write it down in a dream journal or tell it to a                           loved one on waking);

Contemplate the message of the dream;

TAKE ACTION that is portended by the dream in an appropriate context.

All three of these phases are important for what we might call Active Dreaming, especially the middle step: contemplating the meaning of the dream that you receive.  Sometimes it takes several dreams over a period of time before the message or meaning becomes clear to your inner awareness. If you act too impulsively based on your first thoughts about what sort of action is appropriate, you might miss important qualifications.  Let’s say you dream (or in a waking dream see a license plate, e.g.) that says simply ARIZONA.  That does not necessarily mean that you should pick up and relocate there (presuming you are not there already). It might be a symbolic image for you to consider rather than a place to move.  What do YOU associate with Arizona, you might then ask yourself? Maybe you traveled there once as a child and it reminds you of your Grandfather who took you there and now he lives in a nursing home in New Jersey! Maybe it is time to visit him. See? You are the best interpreter of your own dreams, but you must cultivate your inner awareness to arrive at an interpretation that “fits” or that “rings true” with your Higher Wisdom.

Viking Ship

The Road to Sedona– A Transformational Travel Tale

Stars Background

“A Going and a Return”… such is the ‘heroic adventure journey’ potential in all travel.

I have certainly experienced many times feeling that I am a different person before and after a significant travel adventure has occurred.

Some years ago I took a road trip with a friend, from Buffalo, New York to Arizona. I was scouting out whether I might wish to move to Arizona to continue graduate studies; which, largely from this experience, I did! I travelled with an older lady friend from my spiritual group, Grace. In addition to aiming to visit Arizona State University—where later I attended grad school for 14 years—we wanted to visit Sedona, rather as a metaphorical pilgrimage at the time (1978).


In Effingham, Illinois, the Greyhound bus we were on broke down. Half the passengers shifted to another bus that would bypass Sedona, but we waited for one that would let us actually switch to a Trailways bus that would go right through the heart of Sedona. I met at this point a woman, Toni, who was on the same bus with her grandmother. We became immediate though temporary friends as kindred souls, our group of four forming a friendly set.

On the road to Sedona,

Where all is Sadhana

(chorus from a song that expanded throughout the cross-country bus trip)

In Albuquerque a major drama began.  After a break stop, we were to be leaving on the last Greyhound out of Albuquerque that night, around midnight. Grace met a woman who introduced herself as a police woman and said she was trying to apprehend a murderer trying to get out of New Mexico! She showed Grace her badge and me too, when Grace introduced me to her. As we went to get back on the bus, two men who had not purchased tickets at the normal ticketing window gave cash to the bus driver and got onto the bus. One of them, with a recently shaved head, sat in the front seat right in front of me and Grace. He draped a serape with a metallic bulge in its pocket over his seat, resting his head on the bulge. Then he slowly pulled out a cigarette (illegal in the 1st several rows of seats then), stared toward the bus driver, and muttered, “Goodbye New Mexico, forever!” The other man sat kitty-corner behind us on the other side of the bus, holding tightly to a paper bag.

This man met the description the police woman had shared with Grace, so she got off the bus to tell the lady about him. She came back saying the police woman was afraid to act because of all the other passengers. I got off and also tried to convince the police woman that this man fit her description. She said,” You’d better just get back on the bus.” As I did so, the bus driver gave me a look of warning, like “Don’t make waves.”


So the bus got rolling again and I turned around and whispered my suspicions about this man to Toni, who had been our major organizer when the bus had broken down in Illinois. Toni sent the message by relay whispers throughout the entire bus, until it reached the other man across and behind from us. Suddenly he started rustling that brown bag loudly, and coughing, to get the man we suspected’s attention. I was afraid then that I had jeopardized everyone on the bus, so I became very hyper-alert.

At a Winslow, AZ wayside café stop, the man with the bag stayed close to my and Toni’s group, sitting near enough to listen in on our conversation. Meanwhile Lurch (my name by then for the murder-suspect from the frontseat) never came into the café at all. He paced outside and at one point he turned to put his face—nose pressed!—up against the glass window to stare us down. Back onto the bus, and again a–this time–rather scared look of caution from the bus driver.

The next three hours I will never forget. It was around 2-5:30 AM on the bus. For fear that I had possibly endangered the passengers, I entered into one of the deepest contemplation/meditative experiences of my life. I sang a spiritual word and focused inwardly on connecting with inner guidance and illuminating the situation. Then something weird occurred. Around 5 or so, other passengers apparently started perceiving the possible threat as a joke. There was audible talk around the bus about “who was going to be the 1st person taken to the back lavatory on the bus and shot!” This was surreal conversation to me, as I continued to contemplate deeply. Something then changed in me; my state of consciousness shifted. I opened my eyes around 5:30 and looked out at the desert as we were approaching Flagstaff, with the sacred San Franscisco Peaks just ahead to our West. I said to Toni, “You know, people think that the Desert is dead and barren, but it isn’t. Look! It is teeming with Life!”


Lurch then audibly groaned. He turned his head slowly around and locked his sallow eyes onto mine; then he uttered slowly, “So, … how do you feel … about YOUR Life?”

Because my deep contemplation had brought me to a heightened level of consciousness, I simply beamed back at Lurch, held his gaze and answered brightly, “Hi! How Are You!” Lurch groaned again and turned to place his head back onto that metallic bulge in his serape pocket.

When we reached the Flagstaff bus station, Lurch and his friend got off, Lurch saying once again, “Goodbye, New Mexico, Forever!” I was ready to propel myself out ahead of him to get security if he would have tried anything on his way out. But we never saw him again.


We switched to a Trailways bus that took us for a touring route through Sedona. Once we rounded the bend opening onto the Red Rock majesty of Sedona in Oak Creek Canyon, Language left me. I couldn’t speak, as if to utter a word to categorize a ‘mountain’ or ‘red sand’ would be to sever it from the WHOLE that this space and everything within it and around it, IS. Later I would understand this was a cosmic consciousness experience.  Toni said, “It’s like Love; It cannot be contained.” She got it; I was speechless.

Here’s the poem from that day when I discovered a special Eagles’ Nest spot (as I call it) overlooking the canyon:

The Canyon

It is drawing me into Its depths

and will contain me,

Yet in that instant It shall free me

until me-ness dissolves beyond


Where Just IS-ness


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Have you had a transformational travel experience? I invite you to share your insights and stories!