A question that might be asked at the beginning of working with a new dreamer is “What is your greatest issue?” When I reflect on this, a dream I had ten years ago comes to mind and demonstrates how dreams often highlight our challenges and simultaneously offer opportunity for healing. As my Natural Dreamwork mentor would call this, the dream medicine.

In waking life, I was in Dallas for a yoga workshop when I heard that Amma, the hugging saint was in town. She is a saint from India who offers hugs to “awaken the motherhood within.” I had a friend who was an Amma-ite and I thought I’d find out what all the hype was about. I went with skepticism to the well attended gathering, noticing an undulating long line to get the anticipated hug. I basked in the palpable energy in the room, listened to a translated talk by the short Indian hugger, but opted to pass on waiting in the very long line as it would have been 3 a.m. before I would get to the front of the line for the momentary hug. I left unmoved.

Returning home from Dallas I had this dream:

Amma is standing in front of me. She is inserting a bone in my heart. She says “Let’s call this the Mother Bone. The way we set it is to hug.”

I woke up sobbing. I can’t articulate the feelings I felt, perhaps release?… grief?… love?… Hours later I was aware of the cleverness of our dreams. I realized my mother’s maiden name was Bohn (pronounced bone). As I step into this dream moment, I feel the pulsating energy of my heart. These feelings are the healing medicine of the dream.

I grew up in a family, like many of us, that learned to suppress our feelings. My mother was depressed, my maternal grandmother came by boat from Ireland after her mother died during her childbirth. The ancestral wound was set. My dream of Amma, this sacred encounter with a healing presence, offered me the beginning of a deeper learning to open my heart, open more deeply to the feeling world, open to the maternal support within.

Collage by Jan Dean

Jan Dean Ph.D. offers dream sessions from a Natural Dreamwork approach. You can reach her at 501-240-8869 or email her at drjandean64@gmail.com.