HOW TO INTERPRET DREAMS: 7 keys to gain guidance from your inner self

Aneta Baranek

Aneta Baranek, Director of the School of Metaphysics in Palatine, IL, was recently featured in The Mindful Word, an online journal of engaged living with a vision of integrating mindfulness into everyday life.  In her article, HOW TO INTERPRET DREAMS, Aneta dissolves common misunderstandings about dreams and shares some key points to learning how to interpret your dreams.  

Getting a Grip! How Dreams Can Help You Handle Stress

Imagine this…your day is starting out great.

You have a list of goals you want to accomplish. You’ve created a schedule of what you want to do and when you want to do it. But somewhere, something goes wrong…perhaps your computer crashes. Somebody unexpected drops by. The lawn mower won’t start…and all of a sudden your day has turned into a catastrophe. Your major project is due at the end of the day, your mother is coming over and the house is a mess, the dog is barking, you hit your thumb with the hammer…what would you do? Panic? Leave town? Wish you could go back to bed and start all over?

What would you dream about?

The following dream illustrates how the dreamer handles life situations and how he can experience peace and harmony, rather than feeling overwhelmed or thinking that his life is out of control. Would you like to know how to deal with stress? Would you like to think healthier, be kinder to yourself, experience greater peace? Every dream offers the dreamer insight. The dream message relates some kind of practical approach. It offers truth to the dreamer.

I am with some classmates on a large steel bridge. I am up on the side of the bridge hanging a sign to warn of an oncoming flood. Also, we are preparing the bridge for the flood. I look down at the bright red Ford Explorer we are using and I see the water rising quickly below us. I say to them, “Let’s go!” as the water is coming up over the road. I drive us up out of the water that is now covering the bridge surface. I have this incredible feeling of relief as I drive up the hill at the end of the bridge and out of the water.

I’m driving up the hill away from the bridge and I see a brown Plymouth Acclaim on the side of the road with Missouri license plates. I ask everyone in the car with me “Isn’t that John’s car?” Matthew in the back seat nods yes, but nobody cares about it. I don’t understand why no one cares, but I know that I have to drive us out of here so I say “Too late now” and drive up the hill.

Now we are in John’s car. I am driving and the song “White Bird” is on the radio. I am enjoying the song. My sister is in the passenger seat. She is enjoying the song too.

I am in the back seat alone. The car I am in is unrealistically long. I am far from the front seat. I cannot hear the radio. I ask someone to turn it up in back. I am enjoying the song and I awaken. 

WD, male, St. Louis, MO

Each dream is a message from the subconscious mind relating a message about the dreamer’s current state of awareness. The dream message has immediacy, applying to the thoughts and attitudes of the previous 24 to 48 hours. Everything in the dream, each person, place or thing represents some aspect, quality or way of thinking of the dreamer. In this picture language of dreams, what has been studied and taught for the past quarter century at the School of Metaphysics as the Universal Language of the Mind, lies truth that will open the dreamer’s eyes to the reality of his own thinking, to the consciousness of the Self and to the ideals of the soul.

The first part of WD’s dream shows how he handles challenges, taking a physical approach to dealing with life situations (a transition in his life represented by the bridge). WD’s thoughts are of being out of control or overwhelmed (represented by the threatening flood), but WD will approach this, as he does many things, thinking of himself as a physical being and therefore directing his physical body (represented by the car) to free him from the situation. Have you ever completed a tough homework assignment or a complex project at work feeling angry, resentful or taken advantage of, but you force yourself through to the end? This is what WD is doing — the hill represents his assignment or project and the bridge an opportunity for WD to change the way he thinks and responds.

The brown Plymouth, like the Explorer, represents WD’s physical body. It is another view or another perspective of himself as a physical being. WD’s thought is that it’s “too late”. This represents WD forcing his physical body towards a particular outcome — he already has a particular frame of mind and his own approach that he is set on. At this particular juncture of his life and whatever the experience, WD thinks of himself as a physical being, represented also by his friend Matthew, another conscious aspect of the dreamer.

The next part of the dream illustrates the freedom and peace WD can experience when he begins thinking of himself as more than a physical being. In this part of the dream, WD’s sister is riding in the passenger seat. She represents an aspect of his subconscious mind, or his inner self. When WD thinks of himself as a soul and uses life experiences for his spiritual growth, he will experience harmony (song) in the midst of his activity. This will produce both inner and outer peace rather than frustration. This will also aid WD to live a longer and healthier, more productive and fulfilling life.

The final portion of the dream illustrates how WD swings from forcing his way through life to being passive. This passivity is indicated by the fact that he is in the back seat of the car, rather than driving. This is probably a way that WD avoids responsibility, thereby making somebody or something the Creator of his life until the next crisis comes along. When WD is passive, peace and harmony elude him (someone else must turn up the radio so WD can hear the song).

This dream, like all dreams, is a stimulus for the dreamer to cause change. This dream is a stimulus for WD to change his idea of who he is and to bring his identity as soul into his everyday experiences. WD believes he is a soul. He has had some experiences as a soul but he, as yet, does not know he is a soul. As he incorporates purpose into everything he does, as he uses each life experience to cause spiritual development, WD will achieve enlightenment.•


When Technology Invades our Dreams


by Dr. Christine Madar

Technology. Almost anything is possible in this realm anymore.  

As a result people are exposed to images that they themselves would not have generated.  This definitely affects the mass consciousness.  Think about how many times you’ve seen a television show or movie that shows a woman walking in the dark with someone stalking her – the music, the lighting, the timing all of it creates a scene of impending danger that often plays itself out on the show in the form of violence like rape and murder.  This generates fear, albeit in the name of entertainment, but the imagination does not separate fact from fiction when you are walking alone in the dark.  What in fact is a simple act of walking down the street without the benefit of light becomes a battle with the imagination.   This is true for men, women and children.  We received an e-mail this year from a mother who was worried about her four year who was dreaming of being kidnapped.  She went on to tell us that her daughter had been watching news coverage of a child kidnapped and murdered in Florida which had stimulated many questions.  In the name of safety and good will the mother had described in great detail the whole idea of being kidnapped.  This is a lot for a four year old to digest and the fears that were received first from the mother and then magnified in the child’s own imagination were showing up in her dreams.

Another way the influence of media shows up in dreams is looking at the content of the dreams.  We receive more and more dreams all the time that are long and drawn out, with scenes that jump from one subject to the next.  In general these kinds of dreams mean that the dreamer’s imagination is very active in waking life without much direction.  Long dreams also indicate the dreamer is thinking a lot of thoughts during the day.

Again, media stimulates the imagination with a billion different ideas and thoughts each day.  As a result we have to respond to this stimulus.  This is the essence of what the School of Metaphysics teaches, the development of consciousness.  Content of consciousness is the thoughts, attitudes and images in the dreamer’s brain and conscious mind.  State of consciousness is determined by the dreamer’s ability to concentrate, listen, reason, intuit and more.

One of the most obvious changes in dreams in the last thirty years is the increase of bombs, nuclear war and mass devastation in dreams.  In the Universal Language of Mind this is what a bomb means:

“A bomb indicates uncontrolled change.  Bombs in a dream are usually used in war indicating the forced change arising from internal conflict.  The nature of the physical is change.  When the mind is directed with intelligence, the thinker is free to cause and adapt to change readily.  When the mind is not being utilized productively, it often seems that change happens to the thinker or is forced upon him.  A nuclear bomb will symbolize unknown change whereas a smoke bomb will indicate unforeseen change.

[Questions for the dreamer to ask are:]  What changes are occurring in my life?  Are they welcomed and anticipated changes or unpleasant and unexpected?  Increase your adaptability to change by creating ideals and purposes to guide your activities.  This will enhance your ability to make transformations in your Self and your life.  You will cease fearing change and  begin to embrace it as an indication of progress.”

— The Dreamer’s Dictionary by Dr. Barbara Condron

The consciousness of humanity is changing.  People are talking about it in many different ways.  Things just seem different now.  More people than ever in this country are interested in the mind/body/soul connection.  Reading an article in the newspaper about dream interpretation, meditation, yoga,  vitamins and herbs is common place now.  This was not true thirty years ago.  This is a reflection of more and more people waking up to the truth that there is more to life than what meets the eye and they want the more.  Believing there is more is no longer satisfying, people want experience that will fulfill their soul desire for learning and understanding.  People want to know.

Another change we have seen in dreams reflects humanity’s evolution.  More and more people are experiencing psychic phenomena in their dreams.  There is clairvoyance – perceiving a line of probability of future events that plays out.  People see ghosts in their dreams now more than ever.  A ghost indicates subconscious awareness of the self without conscious understanding.  People are becoming more lucid in their dreams which means they know they are dreaming while the dream is occurring.

Aya’s Story: Freeing Yourself from Nightmares

A young woman in Israel contacted us yearning for answers to her dreams.

Through dream interpretation she has reconciled seven years of debilitating nightmares…


I can remember my first nightmare as a child:

I was a ghost trapped in a locket on a chain banging in a doorway and not being able to leave either the locket or the doorway.

There were other random nightmares growing up, but they became more frequent about 7 years ago when I began University. During each testing period I would be under a lot of tension and I learned to live with a month of nightmares twice a year. This still sounded quite logical and semi-under control.

About a year and a half ago, I began having nightmares on a steadier basis. This coincided with beginning my second degree in clinical psychology and my practicum at a busy and intense public mental health clinic in Jerusalem. Eventually, it reached a point where I couldn’t remember what it felt like to wake up refreshed in the morning. There was no such thing. I used to have nightmares about bombs exploding, running from danger, being raped, Holocaust dreams, even murdering someone else or others being killed because of me. I used to get flashbacks during the day, all day long, with pictures from the night. I couldn’t even begin to explain it. My closest friends knew but still I felt no one really understood how I longed for what I called “a dreamless dream”. I would remember how I twisted someone’s arm when I killed him or how humiliated I was being raped in public with only rags on my body. I would smile and go through my intense University and practicum days as if living outside of my skin. It was so exhausting all I could do was hold my breath until I could come home to my one room apartment and cry my heart out. All day I would wait for that moment of blessed alone-ness, ignoring the thin walls in my apartment building. I never knew how I would make it through the next night and day, but I kept plowing through each one, one at a time. I felt disconnected from the world of the sleeping, that is, those that know what it feels like to go to sleep and wake up the next day and feel there is a division between yesterday and today. I felt like I was living an eternal nightmare and I didn’t know where to replenish my strength.

My therapist at the time was working with me on my past life in the Holocaust as a teenage girl in Auschwitz. I was held for about 3-4 months as a prostitute until I too was thrown into the gas chambers with the rest of my family who apparently died before me. Her only explanation was that I am going through a similar kind of hell in releasing this cellular memory, that I am being tortured night and day as I was then, not getting any rest. I wasn’t happy with this answer.

I went to a channeller. She said I am releasing past lives in my dreams and am going through a series of pictures of my lives. She suggested lighting candles and sending my future nightmares into the flames before I go to bed. This didn’t work either.

I went to another healer. She said my extreme sensitivity makes me vulnerable to all of the stories and vibrations I pick up from my surroundings, that I then translate into dreams at night. She tried to convince me to give up being a therapist and find a less emotionally demanding occupation. Great, I thought. There goes the one thing I thought I was finally doing right.

Nothing worked. I was getting more and more exhausted and despairing. All my books on dreams were irrelevant. I felt so closed off from the world, as if no one could ever understand me. It was such a lonely feeling.

For my birthday, I asked my father for an intuitive reading from the School of Metaphysics. As I browsed their site I noticed the Dream of the Month Club idea. I thought this is just ridiculous internet stuff, but I remembered how the SOM readings were helpful for my father and my sister, so I knew this site was reliable. I signed up for three months and within a few weeks my DOMC package awaited me at my doorstep. I hungrily opened the package and devoured all the reading material at once, like a snake swallowing its prey at once and only then stopping to digest. The thoroughly researched information provided in these books was completely revolutionary and different from anything I had read or heard about dreams anywhere. The principles were so simple I found them insulting. I thought I was working out past lives and reliving all kinds of dramas, when really, my subconscious was just screaming for me to wake up. My soul wants me to listen and is not relenting. I am here for something, as each one of us is. And our soul knows when we are just strong enough to bear the task at hand. So my higher self was communicating to me to wake up, take responsibility and change. For two days I was in a state of mind I could not communicate to anybody.

I was going through an internal revolution. I sent my first dreams for analysis and all my emotional dramas came back in neat explanations. They made me angry at first, as if something was being taken away from me. ?Could it really be this simple?? I kept asking myself. I realized I had a choice: to take it or leave it. I decided to take it, to try, I had nothing left to lose. I wrote down my dreams and started to look up the symbols. My dreams started to change, immediately. It was immediate.

I was scared to come out into the world and declare my nightmares were over, for fear they would return. I realized all of these emotions were necessary just to make me pay attention to the real message behind the emotions. The soul in fact is not nearly as emotional as we or I believe. It merely uses our dreams to reflect our state of mind so we can see where we can work to expand our awareness and where perhaps we have already done so. I am still amazed at this immediate change. It may require a revolution in the way you think about your problems. Sometimes we even get attached to our painful view of life, that things must be complicated and difficult, when really, if the answer is clear the solution can be immediate.

This letter is my way of saying I am not afraid of my nightmares anymore. Strange and intense dreams still occur, but I approach them now with curiosity and not with fear. Yes, there are mornings I am still exhausted and lazy to write down my dreams, but I know that I have the choice, and more importantly, I have the power and tools to understand. I think this has been the biggest lesson for me – understanding that I am my own best interpreter and healer, as we all are for ourselves.

With many thanks,

Why Record Your Dreams?

This is an interesting progression of dreams sent to .  

A woman has been writing to us asking about dreams with her recently deceased husband.  We’ve compiled her dreams and the interpretations (at right). This is education for many reasons.  One you can see how dreams with a common theme change over time.  Two, it is really interesting to witness how this woman’s consciousness changes as she is grieving for her husband.  The reality that our dreams are records of our consciousness during waking life is very clear in these dreams.  

It is our hope that you are inspired to record all of your dreams and be dedicated in learning the meaning of each one.


My husband passed away nine months ago. Last night I dreamt that I found out that he was in a nursing home in Pennsylvania. I felt confused and comforted at the same time. I saw my mother sitting on a couch (she passed away in 1989) and through tears said to her, “I have to go to him.” She said, “I know. You go to him.”

That’s all there was to it. Then I woke up.

Thanks for your help.



Dreams are communication from your inner self, your subconscious mind. Your subconscious mind knows no limitations of time and space. It will use images of people from your past, present and future in order to communicate to you about your present state of mind. Each person in your dream represents an aspect of you, the dreamer. Your husband represents your subconscious mind or inner self. Your mother represents your inner authority, or highest part of yourself. This dream is communicating to you that you have a strong desire to be connected to your inner self, to learn about it, to work with it, for there is a wholeness that you desire for yourself. Your inner authority, represented by your mother, is communicating to you to go forward with this movement to connect with the inner you. Look at what your thoughts were 24 hours before this dream. You may have had thoughts that you wanted to learn about the vast universe that exists within you. When you turn within, that is where you will find peace. That is where you will find answers to your deepest questions. That is where you will find your purpose in life.

There are two main avenues that you can use to experience and learn about your inner self. The first is to learn how to interpret your dreams. Your dreams will give you important messages about yourself and will open up a whole realm of understanding who you are. You can learn how to interpret your dreams through beginning dream study at Another way to connect with and learn about your inner self is through meditation. Spiritual Focus Sessions on campus and Still Mind Present Moment Open Heart teachings around the U.S. give you a great start on learning how to meditate and the value that can be gained through regular practice of deepening your meditations.


My husband passed away in September, 2004, consequently, this has been a difficult time for me, particularly the first six to eight months since his death. In April or May of 2005 I really came to accept his death and started to move forward. Over the course of the summer, my friends have rallied and, at times, circled the wagons around me, helping me through all that I faced

My dream was of me jogging and feeling very free and exhilarated, not as if I were running away from something, but more of a celebration of myself. I was running at a steady pace, not out of breath, not in pain. Mostly it was a Zen experience. At this point, I need to mention that I have had for years, bad knees and ankles, and have never been able to jog, so this type of dream was a nice, calming surprise to me.

Thanks for your help.



Your dream does indeed indicate the forward motion you are experiencing in your waking life. You have a sense of direction and you are making choices that are taking you where you want to go. Dreams are wonderful feedback to the dreamer about his or her conscious state of awareness. This dream is a pat on the back — what you are doing is fulfilling deep in your soul.

Dreams are symbolic. This is why you are able to run in the dream even though physically it would be a difficult task. Something else to note is that attitudes affect our bodies. Your change in attitude could very well lead to relief from pain and discomfort in your legs and knees. Please make time to read an excerpt from the book Permanent Healing by Dr. Daniel Condron at the Bookstore. We’re glad you wrote in and encourage you to keep up the good work!

Why Do We Dream?

green-question-mark-2WHY DO WE DREAM?


Did you know that by age 60 you will sleep 175,200 hours, dream 87,000 hours with 197,100 dreams? There are a significant number of people who remember their dreams but a very small percentage who are aware of what their dreams mean. Our vision here at the School of Metaphysics is to educate people about their dreams through columns such as this one, books, the annual National Dream Hotline®, and through our classes.

There are several questions that people tend to ask about dreams. For instance, why do we dream and where do dreams come from? Your dreams tell you about your present state of awareness, this is why we dream. Dreams come from an inner place we call the subconscious mind and are presented to you in images which, when interpreted in the Universal Language of Mind, become personally relevant to you and your life.

The meaning of these nighttime messages can literally change your life. When studying dreams and learning to interpret them, you need to know the two universal principles which apply to everyone, everywhere, at all times. The first of these principles is that every dream is about the dreamer. The second principle is that every person, place and thing in the dream is the dreamer. We as human beings are very multi-faceted. A great majority of us are only aware of a small part of who we are. You can learn to expand your awareness of yourself by learning to interpret your dreams.

People in your dreams represent aspects of yourself. An aspect can be defined as a certain way in which you think and express. When you are dreaming of someone of the same sex [for example a woman is dreaming of another woman] this person symbolizes an aspect of your conscious mind. These are the ways in which you express yourself while awake. A person of the opposite sex symbolizes an aspect of your inner Self. The way to identify these aspects is to imagine yourself describing them to someone else. Here is an example: You are dreaming about a co-worker of the same sex. In your daily life you perceive this acquaintance as being compassionate, generous, and strong. These are the qualities of self (your Self) which are being addressed in the dream. You might not use these qualities to describe yourself, yet they are being brought out in your dream because your subconscious mind wants you to see that they are a part of your character. This is one way dreams expand our awareness — we learn that we possess qualities we may not have known we had.

A question often asked is, “Why do we dream?” Some theories state that dreams are a way in which we release stress. If this were true, then more people (especially those who are stressed-out) would remember their dreams. Remember that dreams come from the inner you, more specifically they are communications from your subconscious mind. All day long we are busy moving through our waking lives, taking in sensations from all around ourselves. During our nighttime slumber our conscious mind is stilled, providing us with the opportunity to receive communication from our subconscious mind.

You might ask, “Why is it so important that we receive information from our subconscious mind?” Our subconscious mind holds all of our understandings which we have gained either through this lifetime or other lifetimes. It has messages to share with the outer self that are rich with knowledge and wisdom. Our inner mind is our best friend, revealing to us the truth of our present state of thinking and expression. Others have asked, “Do we dream every night, because I rarely remember my dreams?” Yes, we do dream every night. Actually we dream several times in one night, as you might have figured out from the statistics given at the beginning of this column. We dream in ninety minute cycles. Most people do not know how to release their attention from their day’s activities when they go to sleep. They find themselves restless, tossing and turning throughout the night. If continued this restlessness forces the person to remain in a shallow level of sleep. Dreams occur in the deeper stages of sleep which means that one needs to learn how to relax and remove attention from the worries and concerns of the day in order to receive from the subconscious mind.

If you are one of those individuals who suffers from insomnia, or if you wake up feeling more tired than you did before you went to bed, there is a solution. Practice each day in every moment releasing your attention from your past situations and people in your life. Practice saying to yourself, “I am here right now and will give my full attention to what I am doing.” It will also help to practice relaxation exercises such as deep breathing exercises. To do this you take in a deep breath, filling your lungs full with air, hold the breath for a count of six, then release the breath slowly through your mouth. Attempt to remain breathless for a count of six.  Repeat these steps for ten minutes each night before going to bed.

When you wake up in the morning record your dreams. If you don’t remember a dream, record the first thoughts you had as you were waking up. This will stimulate you to capture those precious messages from your best friend, your soul.

Sweet Dreams.•

What is Lucid Dreaming?

What is Lucid Dreaming?

“I can only say that I made my observations during normal deep and healthy sleep, and that in 352 cases, I had full recollection of my day-life and could act voluntarily, though I was so fast asleep that no bodily sensations penetrated my perception.

If anybody refuses to call that state of mind a dream, he may suggest some other name. For my part it was just this form of dream, which I call “lucid dreams” which aroused my keenest interest and which I noted most carefully.”

Dutch author and psychiatrist Frederik van Eeden was the first to coin the term lucid dreaming. The year: 1913. Since that time, giant steps have been taken to understand consciousness and increase humankind’s awareness of Self.

Dreaming remains a part of every culture. There are always those present in the tribe, race, or organization who revere their dreams in uncommon ways. There are those who possess second sight, a proclivity for interpretation, and even display extraordinary healing abilities.

Evidence of becoming aware in the dreamstate has been recorded for years. Tibetan Buddhists have practiced a form of yoga to maintain conscious alertness in the dreamstate for centuries. In more modern times, we learn of increasing numbers of people who are experiencing conscious awareness in the dreamstate. This is the result of two primary factors:


Mass communication enables a dreamer in France to learn of similar dreams in the life of someone from Brazil, the Philippines or Canada. What a hundred years ago may have appeared to be a unique and isolated ability is now proving to be an advanced use of consciousness exhibited by people all over the world. Research conducted since 1973 at the School of Metaphysics, indicates that the incidences of lucid dreaming are on the rise. Based upon yearly research conducted during the National Dream Hotline in April, the percentage of people who report experiencing lucid dreams is between 15% and 20% of the population. Lucid dreaming is defined here as the conscious perception of one’s state while dreaming.


There appears to be a corresponding acceleration in humanity’s development as a species. As we have moved from industrial revolution to the age of computers, we have multiplied the stimuli in our world a “google”-fold. The need to pull away from the physical environment has grown stronger as the desire to understand the inner self has improved. These two factors cause the attention to be drawn inward where lucid dreaming can take place. In the present day, people are more inclined to talk about their dreams than they were fifty or even twenty years ago. The advances in the area of psychology and sleep research have affected our beliefs about what happens when we sleep. Although some deny the meaning and even the existence of dreams, advances in scientific sleep research conducted at colleges and universities around the world have verified both. Yet, the reasons why we dream remain largely unanswered. Pioneering research into the Universal Language of Mind being conducted at the College of Metaphysics seeks to change this. Lucid dreaming contributes to this effort.

(by Dr. Barbara Condron, author of The Dreamer’s Dictionary and contributor LUCID DREAMING edited by Dr. Teresa Martin.)

Dreams: Our Night Counselors

Dreams: Our Night Counselors

by Laurel Clark, D.M., D.D.


Every night we all visit an invisible, intangible, mysterious world.  It is a world of relationships, reconnecting with old friends, meeting strangers who seem familiar, sometimes falling in love.  In this place, we can experience things we’ve never seen or touched in our physical life.  It can seem supernatural, mystical,and  magical.  It’s a place where blind people can see, the paralyzed can walk, and we can fly through the air like birds.  This is the world of dreams.

Have you ever awakened from a dream with the feeling that something profound had happened?  Even if you don’t remember the dream, you can wake up with the sense that something deep and meaningful had just occurred.  It is true—dreams are important.  They all have significance.

Our nighttime dreams can serve as counselors, giving us insight into our own feelings and attitudes.  Every dream is about the dreamer, and dreams can be interpreted symbolically to give us insights about ourselves.  Everything in the dream symbolizes some part of the dreamer, and every person symbolizes an aspect or quality of the dreamer.  Dreams come from the inner self, or subconscious mind. They are messages to the conscious mind, telling us about our waking state of awareness.

In these times of economic uncertainty, people are seeking lasting security.  Dreams can aid us in this endeavor, pointing the way to self-understanding.  I think that most people would agree that even difficult experiences can be rewarding when we grow through them — becoming a better person or developing our character in some way.  Our nighttime dreams can give us feedback regarding how we have learned such lessons in our waking state.

The first step in this process is to remember a dream.  Everyone dreams every night.  If you want to remember dreams, communicate that desire to your subconscious mind!  Say an affirmation before you go to bed.  Get a dream journal and put it by your bed with a pen or pencil, dating it for the following morning.

Waking up gently, without an alarm clock or using a clock radio set to classical music, is a big help in remembering dreams.  As soon as you awaken, immediately record the dream to capture as much of the action and detail as you can.  You’ll find that with practice you will remember more and more of the details in your dreams.

Some people remember dreams but don’t have any idea what they mean.  Dreams communicate in a universal language of pictures. These pictures are symbols that have universal meaning.  Learning what the symbols mean is like learning a new language, or re-awakening a forgotten language.

Once you learn the “vocabulary” or interpretation of the symbols, you put the pictures together so you can glean the meaning of the dream — the attitude or way of thinking that the dream is describing.  The next step is to understand how the dream-message applies to your waking life and then put that into practice.

For example, I knew a young woman who was making some big changes in her life.  She had just moved halfway across the country for a new job in a managerial position with much more responsibility than she had ever had before.  She was also a volunteer coordinator for a not-for-profit organization.  During the transition period, she had a recurring dream that troubled her. She kept dreaming that she was driving her car on a busy highway with lots of cars going in all directions, and her car was spinning out of control until it crashed.

The symbols in this dream are:  the car, which symbolizes the physical body, and the road or highway, a goal or path in life. The dream was telling her that she was going in too many different directions, and she needed to slow down, set some goals and determine a direction for her life or her physical body was going to crash

The young woman never learned to interpret the dream to find out what it meant.  She often thought, “I’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off.  I need some time to visualize my goals and set priorities,” but she didn’t heed her own advice!  She kept doing the same thing — and her dream kept recurring.

After a couple of weeks, she found herself coming home from work exhausted.  She went to the doctor who ran tests to see if she had mononucleosis.  The tests were negative, but she continued to feel run down. Finally, she got so sick that she had to take time off from work to stay in bed and rest.

While in bed, she had some time to think about her life and make some plans for her future.  She set goals, put them into perspective, and decided what needed the most attention.  The planning, visualizing and goal-setting rejuvenated her.  In a short time, she felt healthier and more energetic.  As a result, she ceased having the car-crashing dream.

Had this young woman known how to interpret the dream, she might have made the changes that she needed without getting sick.  This is a great benefit of learning to interpret dreams:  they can help us to live healthier, more productive lives!

Some of the basic symbols that appear in dreams are the following:

People: aspects of the self.  When you dream of someone you know, identify the outstanding quality you see in that person.  That will tell you what aspect of yourself you are dreaming about.  (If John is in your dream and you see him as being kind, he symbolizes the aspect of kindness in yourself.  If Sally is in your dream and you see her as stubborn, she symbolizes the stubborn quality in you.)

Houses or buildings:  your mind

Clothing:  your outer expression

Face:  identity

Animals:  habits

You can learn the language of your dreams to become your own interpreter.  When you know how to interpret your dreams, you can become your own counselor, teacher, and guide by listening to the guidance of these nightly messages.

Laurel Clark, D.M., is a teacher and Regional Director with the School of Metaphysics, a not-for-profit organization with 16 branches,  She is a psi, counselor, dream coach, interfaith minister and author of several books, including Intuitive Dreaming.  Dr. Clark is a member of the International Association of the Study of Dreams and frequent presenter at their annual conferences. She was instrumental in making the pilot for the PBS television series Dreamtime.

Intuitive Dreaming: Visitations from “Beyond”

INTUITIVE DREAMING:  Visitations from “Beyond”

By Laurel Clark

“I have absolutely no fear of death. From my near-death research and my personal experiences, death is, in my judgment, simply a transition into another kind of reality.” – Dr. Raymond Moody

Most people fear death. Although we know that death is inevitable, there is often a difference between what we believe intellectually and what we experience emotionally. Why is this so? It would seem that such a universal experience could be met with acceptance. Instead, at least in American culture, we often think of death as a failure. Some people don’t even want to talk about it.

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, author of On Death and Dying identified five stages people go through in the process of dying: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. The first stage, denial, is prevalent in Western culture. People with terminal illness are often counseled to “fight” the disease. Family members who learn that their loved one has a terminal illness may even be advised not to tell the person that death is imminent.

Being attentive to our dreams can be a tremendous help in understanding and even eliminating the fear of death. Dreams can awaken us to the reality that there is experience beyond the physical body. They can give us a taste of life on the “other side,” thus, stimulating curiosity rather than dread.

Dreams can give us comfort, helping those who remain alive to know that they are not really separated from their loved ones who die. They can also help to prepare us for their death. They can be a valuable source of guidance and encouragement.

Precognitive dreams, visitation dreams, andtelepathic dreams awaken us to the reality of existence beyond the physical body. It is one thing to believe that there is an afterlife; it is another to taste the experience. People who have had near death experiences report a sense of peace, comfort and bliss, absence of pain, and a feeling of compassionate love on the “other side.” People who experience dream visitations from deceased loved ones report similar feelings.

Through dreamstates, we can aid one another and communicate with one another in ways beyond the reach of our (sometimes limited) conscious mind and brain. People who are aware of these “psi” dreams experience the profound realization that there is much more to us than we can see, touch, taste, feel, and hear with our physical senses.


The Peace of Death

I was married to a man who had juvenile diabetes. When he died at the young age of 42, I felt as if our time together had been cut short. We had only been married for six years and there was much of life we had never had a chance to share. John and I met through the School of Metaphysics, an educational institution where we were learning to develop our spirituality, to understand dreams, and to cultivate intuitive connections.

When the complications of diabetes finally took their toll, John withdrew from the physical (died) on September 10, 2000. A year later, on September 11, 2001, I decided that I was going to take a day off of work and spend it quietly by myself to complete a year of mourning.

I was driving to the closest town when I heard the news on the radio. “The second tower has been hit!” The announcer in an alarmed voice was reporting the second attack on the World Trade Center in New York City. That was the first I knew of the tragedy. I spent the rest of that day in a kind of stupor. Every place I went, people looked stricken, their faces ashen, their eyes glazed over. No one could believe what had happened.

I grew up just outside of New York City and have friends who live there. John’s oldest sister and her son live in Manhattan. I tried to call them to see if they were okay, but none of the phone lines were connecting. Everything seemed very surreal and it was impossible to make any physical connection with anyone I knew in New York.

That night, I had the following dream:

I dream that John is in New York, helping the people who died in the World Trade Center. I am so happy to see him. I ask him, “Are they okay?” He smiles this beautiful smile, full of light, and radiates love. “Yes!” he says. “They’re fine! Once they are out, they’re fine!” I know he means that once they are out of the body they are fine, with no pain because they are released from the bodily prison. I can feel the peace and exhilaration.

I woke up feeling relieved, peaceful, and happy. I knew that when John was alive he was always helping other people, so it made sense that he was still helping people on the other side. I also knew that this was a visitation, an actual communication from him. It helped me to be at peace and to be a calming presence for other people I knew who were extremely grief-stricken and outraged at what had occurred. It also helped me to ease my grief at John’s passing, because in the dream he could see, he was vibrant, and he was at his best, helping other people.



This dream is called a visitation. It is fairly common for people who have died to come to their loved ones in a dream, to “visit” in the inner levels of the subconscious mind. Most people experience visitation dreams as comforting and reassuring.

Before my husband died, his health was up and down. None of the doctors ever said how long John had to live; they were expecting that he would have a kidney transplant so no one spoke of him as being terminally ill. So his death came as a surprise. I wasn’t home when John died and I never had a chance to say goodbye to him.

We were both students of metaphysics and spiritual disciplines such as meditation, dream interpretation, lucid dreaming, and intuitive training. I had practiced telepathy with John and we had experienced a strong intuitive connection when he was alive.

So I believed that after John died he would come to me in my dreams. I was very disappointed when that didn’t happen right away. John was my best friend and I really missed him. I just wanted to talk to him, to say goodbye, to let him know that I loved him and hear him tell me that he loved me one last time.

For the first couple of weeks after his death I had difficulty sleeping and wanted to sleep so that John could visit me in my dreams! About a month after his death, when I still had not had a visitation dream, I decided that I would clearly ask John to come to me. Before going to bed, I wrote a long letter to him in my journal. I meditated. Then I wrote in my dream journal, “John, please come to me in my dreams.”

That night I had the following dream:

I am in a large auditorium. There is a ceremony on stage, like a graduation ceremony. I see John on the stage, wearing a baseball cap. I wave to him but I am not sure if he sees me. Later, someone brings me my Bible which has been left on the stage. I open it and there is a heart, drawn in John’s handwriting. I cry, because I know it is him saying, “I love you.”

This dream was bittersweet. When I awoke, I knew that it was a visitation. I also knew that the reason John had not come to me in my dreams before this was that he was still getting used to his body in the inner levels. He was just “graduating” to his new stage of life after death. He couldn’t talk yet and couldn’t write. He could gesture and communicate in pictures.

I cherished this dream, because the feeling was very loving and peaceful. It helped me to respect where John was in his process of assimilation, and to be patient, to wait for him to be “born again” in the inner levels and develop greater facility using his new body.


How Intuitive Dreaming Can Help Us

Precognitive dreams and visitation dreams can help alleviate fear because the subconscious mind is omniscient and objective. The subconscious mind or soul views life from the perspective of learning. It does not judge experience as good or bad, pleasurable or painful, happy or sad. It accepts. It sees what is.

Learning to receive from the subconscious mind can help us to create a similar kind of objective, compassionate state of mind. Remembering and experiencing these dreams gives us a taste of our Real Self, the self that exists beyond the limitations of physical time, physical senses, and the accompanying pain or judgment.

Bio:  Laurel Clark, D.D., D.M., is President Emeritus of the School of Metaphysics headquartered in Windyville, Missouri. She is a teacher, ordained minister in the Interfaith Church of Metaphysics, a Psi Counselor, and intuitive reporter of Past Life Profiles and Intuitive Health Analyses conducted through the School of Metaphysics.  An author of numerous books, her most recent is entitled Intuitive Dreaming. 

The Metaphysical Approaches to Dream Incubation

Metaphysical Approaches to Dream Incubation

Laurel Clark, D.M., D.D.

Some years ago I wrote a book on visualization, including practical knowledge of how to understand and harmonize with Universal Law. When the book was complete, there was a final and crucial missing element: a title. I did not have a title I was satisfied with. I had lots of ideas jotted down in notebooks, on the backs of envelopes and scraps of paper, but nothing really struck me as being the right title.

One evening, after giving a lecture on visualization, I asked the audience if anyone had ideas for a good book idea. People brainstormed lots of suggestions, but I had yet to find the right one. So, that night, before going to sleep, I asked my subconscious mind to give me a dream with the book title that would work, drawing attention to the book so that it would reach the people it was intended to serve.

I wrote my intention for a book title in my dream notebook, dating the notebook for the next morning with the question, “Please give me the title for my book on visualization.”

The next morning before I had even fully awakened I “heard” in my mind, “The Law of Attraction and Other Secrets of Visualization.” I immediately wrote it down in my dream notebook. When I was fully awake, I read that and thought (consciously), “that’s a boring title!” I almost discounted it. But … I knew it had come from my subconscious mind, because I heard it before I was completely back to waking consciousness. I also knew that if I was serious about wanting my subconscious mind to give me a message, I had better heed it!

I chose to use that title, and the book was the most popular one I’ve written. It sold out in the first year of publication. Asking my subconscious mind to give me a dream for a particular purpose and heeding the response gave me what I needed: guidance beyond the scope of my brain and conscious mind. This is called dream incubation.

Dream incubation is the process of consciously invoking a specific dream or asking a dream to provide an answer to a specific problem or question. Dream incubation is an ancient practice that became prominent in the classical period when dreams were incubated for healing.

In physical science incubation refers to providing the proper conditions for growth and development; for example, incubating a virus in the body or incubating a chick in a special device that keeps the egg warm. As applied to the creative process, incubation may be considered as a time of subconscious reflection. An idea can incubate in the subconscious mind after putting aside the conscious mind research, letting go of preconceived ideas, and letting the brain and conscious mind rest so that the subconscious mind can crystallize or bring together in new ways the insight needed.

Incubating a dream involves a conscious decision to ask for a specific kind of dream (such as a flying dream, or a lucid dream) or asking for a solution to problem (solving a brain teaser or more serious questions like career choices or scientific formulas).

Scholars note that written records of incubating dreams can be traced back to the 3rd millennium B.C. Dream incubation became well known in the temples of the Greek god Asclepius. In ancient Greece, dreams were considered to be divine transmissions; thus, dreams were incubated to receive healing from the god Asclepius. In some cases, the dreamer received healing in the dream and awakened cured. In other cases, Asclepius diagnosed and prescribed treatments in the dream that were administered to the dreamer upon awakening.

Dream incubation is reported as a custom in many societies and cultures, including ancient Egypt, Assyria and Mesopotamia, China, American Indian tribes including the Ojibwa, and the Islamic tradition. In modern times, incubation is used for guidance and problem solving. Modern dream researchers and psychologists report the effectiveness of dream incubation.

Both ancient and modern-day incubators report specific steps that are necessary for the incubation process. Metaphysical research on visualization describes how the conscious mind communicates with the subconscious mind to incubate a dream. The conscious mind produces a “seed idea” or intention, then shines mind light upon it by writing, drawing, and preparing with sacred ritual. Relaxing the mind and body enables the dreamer to release the seed idea from the conscious mind so that it can develop, or incubate, in the subconscious mind.

The School of Metaphysics, a not-for-profit educational organization headquartered in Missouri, USA, teaches a practical science of mind/body/spirit integration. Students of metaphysics practice daily exercises to develop skills in concentration, meditation, and visualization. These practices are effective for dreamers who want to consciously “incept” an idea in their own subconscious mind.

Metaphysics defines “mind” as a whole system that includes the spirit and what some people describe as soul, or inner self. This is understood as separate from the brain and physical neuro-pathways. Incubation begins with the dreamer’s conscious imaging. The dreamer formulates a clear idea or question that he or she wants answered from a dream, or an experience that he or wants to have in the dream state. This idea or question must be pictured, or imaged. The School of Metaphysics describes the “language of the mind” as one of images or pictures.

Asking the right question is part of learning the art of incubating dreams. The subconscious mind does not reason or make decisions; it responds to the conscious mind’s direction. So, for example, asking a question like, “Should I marry this person?” will probably elicit an uncertain response, because it is not the subconscious mind’s duty to make choices for you. A better question is something like, “Please give me a dream to aid me to understand the learning opportunities available to me in this relationship.” Or, “What do I need to learn to be prepared for marriage?”

Questions that are open-ended, that relate to learning or understanding, are conducive to dream incubation. The subconscious mind stores permanent understanding of Self and creation. Its realm is universal knowledge.

To effectively plant this idea in the subconscious mind, the dreamer concentrates on the image through practices like drawing and writing. Keeping a dream journal by the bed, and writing the next morning’s date, demonstrates an expectation that the dreamer will receive the desired answer or dream experience. The proper mental conditions and the ideal physical conditions, along with a clear expectation of receiving the desired dream answer, are all requirements for successful dream incubation.

The final step in dream incubation is to learn how to interpret the dream to discern its message. When the dreamer acts on the message, it communicates to the subconscious mind that he or she is serious about wanting that inner communication.

I encourage all dreamers to experiment with incubating dreams and learning to interpret them. There is vast knowledge available to us in the inner realms of the mind!


Laurel Clark is a regional director with the School of Metaphysics, a 501(c)(3) educational organization headquartered in Missouri with 16 branches in nine states. She is a certified psi counselor, interfaith minister, and has been teaching metaphysics since 1979.