Dreaming is something human beings do around the world, but how we think about our dreams—how we talk about them, trust them, and find meaning in them—is nested within culture. Culture is as close as our hearts and as wide as an entire civilization. Dreaming Hearts, Dreaming Cultures explores dreams and dreaming through three distinct cultural lenses: Egyptian/Islamic, Western/Judeo-Christian, and Tibetan/Buddhist, alongside a time to connect with our individual dreaming heritage and traditions.
Featured speakers and workshops:
Field of Dreams
Attitudes towards dreams in Western culture were actually seeded in the ancient Near East, long before Freud and Jung! In this presentation, weaving story and history and one crazy dream quiz, Patti will trace the path that brought us to our Western dream philosophies today.
Dreams in Islam
The Islamic tradition carries three kinds of dreams: 1) dreams that reflect the dreamer’s wishes and worries (hadith nafsi); 2) dreams or nightmares that are sent by the Devil or evil spirits (hulm); and 3) divinely inspired dream-visions (ru’ya). We will focus on the dream-vision, tracing the importance of dreams in Sufi traditions and exploring the link between dream-visions and prophecy. Learn how the role of dreams has changed in modern Egypt, and what it’s like to research religious dreams.
Conflict and Resolution: Dream in Tibetan Culture
The role of dreams is still contested in Tibetan Buddhist culture. On the one hand, dreams are dismissed as unreal, deceptive, and ultra-illusion. On the other hand, dreams are sought after as a sign of high spiritual attainment. Do dreams bring messages from transcendent beings, or are they merely illusion? Dr. Sumegi will use dream narratives, Buddhist texts, and Tibetan folklore to explore this tension between Buddhism and Tibetan shamanic beliefs. She will show how the conflict is resolved in Tibet’s unique religious synthesis, where dream and reality are dissolved in a distinctively Tibetan visionary experience.
We, the Dreamers… Naming and Honouring our Indigenous Dream Knowledge
Njeri Damali Campbell
Many of us learned truths about dreaming before we ever opened a book, attended a lecture, or heard about the IASD! This workshop is an opportunity to put the theory aside and take a deep dive into our own dream knowledge. In this workshop, we will centre our own standpoints and explore the similarities and differences between the cultural dreaming traditions that we have inherited. Through the use of popular theatre techniques and life-writing exercises, this workshop will create a living collage of the cultural knowing that we hold inside of us, everyday.