A dream is a wish your heart makes, when you’re fast asleep… — Walt Disney
Besides his signature advice, be yourself, author and educator Henry Reed will one day be remembered for inspiring countless students of intuition and creativity to follow their dreams.
They might well dub him the pied piper of Fox Creek, the mountain man from southwestern Virginia who raises goats. To them he’s that wildly curious professor who plants dreams in the hearts of those who encounter his wisdom; they seek that same authenticity and gusto for life in all its mystery and mystique.
One of their first encounters is the field of dream work. The touch of Disney magic, they discover, is for real. Dreams are not only a wish your heart makes when you’re asleep, the magical realm of our nightly sojourns becomes a tool we can use in navigating the rhythms of our daily life.
As Reed puts it, “It is the story of the dream that changes us while we sleep.”
Throughout his career as director of the Edgar Cayce Institute for Intuitive Studies, Henry Reed has maintained a focus on the world of dreams. He’s taught dream quests: teaching people to delve into their dreams—not only as a tool for self development and creativity, but as a benefit for the larger community.
Because of a dream he paid attention to while a young student of psychology in the 1960s, Reed inadvertently found himself on the leading edge of dream research. His signature dream (a beautiful story about a flying goat) inspired his healing from alcoholism, as well as a community of dream researchers — ordinary people sharing their dream experiences.
This resulted in the publication of the groundbreaking Sundance Community Dream Journal, giving dreamers a public voice and establishing dreams as a personal resource, one that is always with you.
Sigmund Freud brought dreams into the realm of the medical or psychiatric laboratory. But it was Reed who, because of a serendipitous and powerful dream remembered, helped transform the dream work movement into one that we can all enjoy. He brought dreams back to the dreamer.
Reed brands the dream movement, which began sparking among his contemporaries in the 1970s – and gradually gaining momentum these last three decades – as revolutionary.
Today, he’s often called the father of the modern dream work movement. Because of his trailblazing work in intuitive dream guidance with students of transpersonal studies at Atlantic University, Reed’s work becomes a prominent voice in this renaissance of dream study.
The world is awakening to the power of dreams as a tool for spiritual growth and creativity. The Land of Nod invites us to become inner explorers, adventuring into far-flung territory to bring back treasures of insights and awareness: to help solve a problem, heal a relationship, focus on career goals — whatever our personal issues.
After my own Dream Quest, under Reed’s mentorship, I began to realize how cutting edge his early work was. I’d always known that dreams are important, but to think that I might personally solve their puzzles to create a better life seemed beyond possibility. There is power in our dreams, to inspire the creative spirit and to heal.
A compelling thought is that humanity’s healing may well spring from the power inherent in our dreams. The ancients knew that our dreams are powerful medicine. Dreams can have implications beyond our personal lives; and they often intertwine with the dreams of others. It’s fascinating stuff.
Reed’s work highlights the transpersonal dimension of dreams via the amazing Dream Helper Ceremony (in which dreamers dream for each other) and in the phenomenon of dream incubation. That alone, is revolutionary in our times, even though the process (sleeping in a special or sacred place in anticipation of a visionary dream) goes back to the healing dream temples of ancient Greece and the vision quests of Native American Indians.
The study of dreams and the idea of dream circles is mainstream trendy now. You can bring up the subject of dreams – and even share your dreams; and no one will think you mad. “Back in 1967,” says Reed (at the time of his first remembered dream about the flying goat), “there was no public information about how you understand your dreams.”
In contrast, it’s fun now to consider where this heightened dream awareness will take us — as individuals and as a culture. And, what about a community of dreamers; where might our contemporary dreams in 2014, and beyond, lead us?
The magic of the Sundance Experiment and dream journal revealed that dreams can benefit us as individuals; and, as demonstrated by the Dream Helper Ceremony, they can reach out into the community. Our dreams can involve and affect others. We don’t necessarily dream alone.
What could happen if a modern community could dream purposely together, in sort of a vision quest for the common good, much as the Native American Sun Dance?
One can imagine communities of dreamers, tuned in to the Sundance motif of the many and the one (being individual, while experiencing awareness of being inter-connected with others).
The mythology of Sundance is timely today, for the exploration it offers through contemporary dreaming in matters of global cooperation. The Sundance principle provides a bridge to creating a new mythology – a new dimension of healing and transformation for today’s world.
What if we were engaging with each other in collaborative dream effort, perhaps with an intention for dreaming global peace, for example? Humanity is incubating a new dream, Reed suggests. What new dreams will we enact?
Walt Disney said another amazing thing: We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.
Curiosity about dreams led Henry Reed down a new path as a young college professor. Thankfully, he followed his dreams. Like Johnny Appleseed, over the decades he planted seeds of inspiration, creativity and curiosity about dreams.
The world is catching up. Dream circles are blossoming like orchards of apple trees. A dreamer nowadays can access myriad resources for information and support: books, movies, magazine articles, radio and TV talk shows, university classes, dream quests, dream organizations, workshops and retreats.
Meanwhile, our pied piper of dreams continues sundancing down the mountain roads, tracing new paths…exploring and discovering the heart of this inner dimension that we all share.
Sweet dreams, everyone.
About Henry Reed: Reed received his PhD from UCLA and was assistant professor of Psychology at Princeton University and professor of transpersonal studies at Atlantic University (AU). As director of the Edgar Cayce Institute of Intuitive Studies, and as a retired Licensed Professional Counselor, Reed “specializes in intensive, transformational work centered in dreams, energetic healing, and creativity.” He is the author, with Brenda English, of The Intuitive Heart: How to Trust Your Intuition for Guidance and Healing
Links about Dr Henry Reed and dream work:
Video from Gaiam TV – Henry Reed on Dreaming for Humanity, with Instructor/Host: Regina Meredith
Henry Reed, called the father of the modern dream work movement, shares his journey of bringing the dream state to a new, more useful level for humanity. His specialty is cultivating the creative spirit in others, working from both humanistic and transpersonal viewpoints.
Henry Reed rescued dreams from psychotherapy by creating a journal that showed how many people in the world were using their dreams for constructive purposes. Reed makes a strong case for remembering our dreams, not just for personal application, but for the sake of humanity.
Conscious Life News Radio — Constructive Dreaming with Henry Reed , interview with Alexis Brooks
Henry Reed website – www.henryreed.com
Henry Reed programs – Discover the World of Intuitive Heart