Natural Dreamwork is a powerful process of working with dreams for personal and spiritual growth. It has roots in Jung's basic approach towards dreams as a very natural experience. Instead of seeing dreams as riddles to be solved, the emphasis is always on what the dreamer feels in the dream. The feelings in dreams are compressed into the images and presences we encounter.
Dreams were at the beginning of my work in poetry, and prose. But I first became interested in the power of images for spiritual practice after my encounter with Tibetan Buddhism as described in The Jew in the Lotus. In The History of Last Night's Dream I investigated the history of dreams and dream interpretation in the West, from the book of Genesis, to the rabbinic sages, the Church Fathers and on to Freud and Jung. I learned from a series of teachers, including Colette Aboulker-Muscat in Jerusalem, who taught me her unique methods of visualization based on Jewish mysticism, Tarab Tulku, a Tibetan master of dream yoga, and Marc Bregman, a dream teacher living in rural Vermont who first introduced me to dreamwork. I studied closely with him for 12 years and he has succeeded in passing this work on to me so that I can now bring it out in my own way. My emphasis is on the actual phenomena of dreams, the dimensions of time-space-and feeling dreams show us, and the intense experience of restorative images in themselves, as well as the special relationship you can develop with certain archetypal figures in your dreams. Since 2002 I have been seeing clients one on one and have spent thousands of hours working with people's dreams. I have also given lectures and taught dreamwork workshops in a variety of settings including synagogues, ashrams, zendos and universities. Dreams are a tremendous resource for insight and spiritual growth and I number among my clients many extraordinary spiritual teachers, artists, authors, musicians and therapists.
My clients live around the world and we meet via phone, Skype or face to face. Although I taught at the university and college level for over thirty years, this is the most powerful and moving teaching I've ever been involved in. It is so direct and personal, and so moving to my clients, that I've decided to devote the rest of my life to doing this work.
In my books since The Jew in the Lotus I've documented my own search for meaning and what I've learned from my spiritual teachers which have included Buddhist monks and mystical rabbis. But of all the work I've done, and all the teachings I've encountered, this Natural Dreamwork seems the most direct, the most powerful, and the most available.
Because it is rooted in the actual felt experience of the dream, the dream phenomenology, Natural Dreamwork is open to all, regardless of belief or lack of belief. My clients include rabbis, deacons and Buddhist practitioners but also people with no religious practice whatsoever. Dream work does not require it. Yet I’ve seen how dreams can open us to the journey of the soul. The work is not moralistic or judgmental. It is not about lofty ideas or sentiments. Instead dream by dream, the work gives us a direct experience of a greater depth of feeling, of sensuality, of emotional relationship and soulfulness. And in time dreams reorient us to a life centered in the heart.
Dream work is not easy, and not for everyone. The level of honesty that dreams provide forces us to face the most profound and difficult feelings. This path requires and develops courage and I deeply admire my clients who have stayed with it over the years. There are times after a session where I just feel a sense of awe at what we have discovered together. That is the joy that sustains me in doing this work.
Lately I only have room for a limited number of new clients, but even if I can’t work with you at this time, I can direct you to students whom I have trained and supervised in this work. So I am always happy to consult with you. If you feel you might be ready for this journey in dreams, please write me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
I'll explain in detail what the work is about and answer your questions. And together we'll see if you are ready to begin.
I wanted to share these beautiful statements from two of my clients.
Marian Gay writes,
It's no exaggeration to say that Rodger's book changed my life, and that his dreamwork is saving it.
My pride tends to seize on foolish things that don't amount to much. But if there is a good kind of pride, I think I feel that about this work, a real sense of accomplishment that's unfamiliar to me. I feel proud of the work I've done and feel I'll stick with it in a way I haven't with other pursuits. Usually I have trouble knowing desire, let alone following it, so I'm grateful for this strong desire that doesn't seem to falter.
When I was only a few years old I often dreamt of a fox floating beside me down a long tunnel from the dreamworld, who carried dream objects and people with us back to waking life. I had that dream so many times it's burned into my brain, and in a way feel I'm circling back to it now, some 50 years later.
Before the Saints finally won the Super Bowl this year, the local newspaper held a contest to choose a headline that could possibly express the joy of that moment. The winning choice greeted us in gargantuan letters the day after - a single word: Amen, showing us in the end the experience was beyond words.
That's how I feel now: By some miracle, it's not too late for me after all. I get to live before I die. Amen.
To read more please go here.
Kathy Samworth writes,
Rodger, the dreams, and I work together to open the door to my inner life. The dreams are part of that inner life but they also hold the key to it as well. They are so smart, so honest. They know more about me than I do --if that makes any sense. That is where Rodger's expertise comes in. Often, I think I have got the dreams figured out. Then I talk to Rodger and see that I have missed so much. All of us have blind spots that make it difficult to see ourselves. There is often much about ourselves that we don't really want to face, but that is exactly what we need to do in order to grow and become unstuck. Rodger has an ability to see further into the dream than I can. He hits on aspects of my life that I hadn't realized I needed to pay attention to. It is uncanny how "right on" he can be. He patiently works to tease out my feelings (or lack of feelings) associated with each dream. With every session, connection to my inner life, my inner world grows. With this connection, I continue to move toward a more fulfilled life with incredible depth and feeling.
This book by Rodger Kamenetz I loved from the cover. Because it's The History of Last Night's Dream:The Hidden Path to the Soul, and if there's a hidden path to the soul I want to know what that is. What's so exciting about this book is that it talks about how there's a whole other life that we are living when we sleep and that our dreams are there as offerings and gifts to us if we only recognize what the dreams are there to teach us, what they're there to tell us about our waking lives.--Oprah Winfrey
THE REAL WORLD OF DREAMING (CBC)