I attended “Dreamgates” at the Esalen Institute, a five-day advanced workshop with Robert Moss focusing on shamanic dreaming and facing our own deaths. My father had died only three months before this seminar and I was eager to come to terms with my grief. Midway through the intensive week of dreaming, Robert gave us our next flight plan. The assignment was to follow the drumbeat to a place where we could meet up with the souls of our departed loved ones.
My dream, entitled “Family Picnic”, went like this….
Before long, my dad showed up riding his 1939 Indian motorcycle and told me to hop into the sidecar. I did and we sped off, enjoying all the sights my dad pointed out to me along the way. We arrived at a mansion with a great lawn that had many picnic tables laden with food. Countless people there, all of whom I recognized as being family and friends who had died, but here they were in the sunshine enjoying this picnic and I was the guest of honor. Several meaningful encounters took place.
Then my friend David offered to give me a tour of the mansion. We walked into some beautifully appointed rooms with fireplaces and walls of bookshelves. As we walked throughout the house, I admired the paintings I saw on the walls. David had been a painter so I asked who painted those…he took my arm, spun me around to look right into my eyes and said, “These are YOUR paintings.” This surprised me, but there was more: David took down a couple of books and pointed to the author’s name on their spines: it was mine! He laughed and hugged me and showed me a photo on the mantel of me in a wedding gown—he said, “Relax! You will get your wedding, too!”. We went back out onto the lawn where I had a heartfelt conversation with my ex’s mother.
I heard the drum calling me back to Esalen and I knew I had to leave, but first, I took another peek at the art on the walls.
When I was back at my own home, I remembered an antique wooden box David had left me when he died. I hadn’t looked inside in years. There were several tubes of now dried up paint, and, a well worn palette knife that had belonged to David. I went out and bought some canvases and art supplies and just began working on one of the paintings I had seen in my dream at Esalen. Hours sped by as I became lost in my first painting, wielding brushes and palette knife as though I knew what I was doing!
I have been painting since Robertâ€™s Esalen program with no expectation of doing more than enjoying myself and honoring my dreams. To my surprise and delight, several of my professional artist friends have expressed astonishment at the quality and proliferation of my work. I have already completed twenty paintings, been asked to paint three commissioned pieces, and have been presented with many painting- related opportunities since the original dream. In that dream, I did fulfill the dream assignment of meeting up with loved ones on the other side. But I also came back with a passion for a gift I didn’t know that I had in me, and it has helped me to move beyond my grief at the recent loss of my father.
Amazingly, Robert’s dream techniques have shown me how to contact dream art teachers, too. I have had heated discussions with artists from Picasso to Pollack, while Vincent Van Gogh has sought me out to come play with him inside the paint. I would like to share that dream:
Vincent Van Gogh Shows Me Something Big
I see dense swirling purple color that gradually takes the shape of Van Gogh’s painted irises and I realize I have become a part of the painted landscape. I see a figure up ahead: Vincent. He takes my right hand and we keep walking until we come to another field, this time it is swirling gold colored sunflowers! We are like claymation animated figures feeling, breathing, being his paintings! We reach the edge of the fields where he pulls me through a giant vagina-like passageway. On the other side is the starry cosmos and we are floating in space. It is so very quiet until Vincent says to me, “It’s all you.” Then, “It’s all me.” Then, “It’s all God.” A feeling of euphoria comes over me as we continue to float and I hear a voice say “It’s bigger than you or me.” It’s soooooo big…
I believe now that tapping into my dreams taps into my own creativity which springs from a much bigger source than myself. It’s there for all of us, waiting, taking on whatever form our soul wants to express it: music, dance, writing, acting, singing, sewing, building, inventing, painting, solving problems—and as Vincent showed me, even the sky is *not* the limit!
Thank you, Robert, for everything you have taught me, for waking up the artist inside me, and for letting me share this dream with you.
Katy Allgeyer has some dream-inspired paintings available for purchase. You can email her at email@example.com