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Wednesday, March 21, 2012
By Karen Gadiel
For some people, sleep is a respite from a wearying day. For others, it’s filled with dreams that seem to take the sleeper to other places, sometimes disturbing ones. Whether the dreamer experiences a nightmare, an encounter with a loved one who has died or seems to be receiving a warning – or even a piece of good advice - some dreams that enter our lives feel less than restful. After encountering many people whose waking lives were haunted by their dreams, Laurie Conrad wrote We Meet In Dreams, her fourth book, expected to be released within the next few weeks.
A composer and artist as well as a writer, Conrad is also a clairvoyant who works with the Distant Healing Network, an internet-based group of Reiki practitioners, spiritual and psychic healers from around the world who respond to healing requests for people and pets. “I had several friends and healees from the Distant Healing Network who were writing in with nightmares that were upsetting and confusing them,” Conrad says. “One woman was waking up crying every day.”
Conrad explains she’s learned from study and her own experience as a clairvoyant many dreams are not best addressed by psychological interpretation because these are visits to other realms. “In this volume I could mention only some of the many realms, on all levels of evolution and virtue, that I have visited while in dream state,” she wrote in her introduction. “I have been to lower realms with endless chaotic activity and buildings and streets as those here on Earth; I have traveled among the stars, visited grand cathedrals and other places on Earth while asleep (…) And I have been to untold others, realms as diverse and varied as we could ever imagine.”
It’s important to note We Meet In Dreams is not intended as a comprehensive guide to dream analysis. Rather, there are specific sorts of dream, often experienced as troubling, Conrad has identified and wanted to discuss.
Nightmares, she says, are often “night-time visits to lower realms, as opposed to just having a psychological dream.” In other words, she distinguishes carefully between a dream arising from an emotional state and those that seem to take the dreamer to another place and time. “When you have a psychological nightmare, then you should analyze what fears do I have, why did I have this nightmare? But if you have one of those actual visit dreams, you analyze it differently,” Conrad said, providing a checklist of multiple criteria to help the dreamer, once awake, understand what sort of dream has occurred.
“I’m not doing dream analysis in usual sense at all,” said Conrad. “This is just seeing the dream for what it is. If you’re going to another realm, you’ve got to stop going there. Then you can analyze why you’re going there.” She offers techniques for stopping the sort of “other-realm dreams” usually thought of as nightmares, including prayers of intention said at bedtime. Having such dreams may be useful in acquainting the dreamer with the existence of those other realms, she suggests. But in the instance of the lower realms, “Stay away from them!” she warns. “You can learn a lot about yourself, why did you go there in the first place? And you realize life is far more mysterious than you can ever imagine,” she said.
Not all of the perplexing dreams she discusses are lower-realm nightmares. Conrad is intrigued by dreams coming from higher realms, bringing comfort, encouragement, and an opportunity to visit with a loved one who has passed on. Some messages received in dreams are prophetic, whose truth is known only later when the experience becomes real. Some, like the dream of a pregnant mother who miscarried, both presage future possibility and assist in dealing with trauma.
Others, like those in which a loved one who is no longer alive, or as Conrad would say, no longer in this realm – come to offer advice or wisdom, and can be important. “Ordinarily, if someone dies, they feel a million miles away and feel that separation and loss,” she explained. “If they feel the dream is an actual meeting, they feel the separation isn’t that terrible.” And if the loved one who has passed offers advice, she added, it should be followed. “The message is generally very short, very clear, very pointed and always true.”
One of her favorite categories of dreams is that of shared dreams, those in which several dreamers may have intersecting experiences. Like prophetic dreams, these too may be validated later. “It’s wonderful to compare notes afterwards,” she said. “It’s not as though we’re sharing a mind or thoughts, but just like on Earth, my friend will be in the kitchen and I’ll be in the living room.”
We Meet in Dreams was originally scheduled for release in mid-March, but a printing problem delayed it for a week or so. Coming soon, it will be available ($19.95) through Amazon, and from Conrad’s website http://www.figarobooks.com.