NZ's first Dream Conference
DREAMS AND SPIRITUALITY was the theme of our first Dream Conference, held at the Franciscan Retreat Centre in Hillsborough, Auckland. We were blessed with fine weather, maximising the beauty of the grounds, and also with the "fabulous food" provided by the kitchen staff for all our meals. Half the participants lived in, enjoying the sense of community, including dream-sharing at the breakfast tables.
40 participants came, mostly from the greater Auckland area, but also from around NZ; and two from Australia, one of them being Dr Susannah Benson, recently elected President of the International Association for the Study of Dreams. She gave the first keynote address, on the Transformative Nature of Spiritual Dreams, citing a wide range of authors and researchers in the field of Transpersonal Psychology.
Saturday's keynote address was presented by Margaret Needham, telling the story of her 7-year soul-journey into the "Inland," an inner-world shamanic experience of great intensity. (It is available as a Kindle Book on Amazon.) And Sunday's keynote address was given by Dr Lea Holford, focusing on the Shadow-side of spiritual experience, as a source of personal growth - another gripping presentation.
Other presentations and workshops covered topics such as Dreams of the Dying, the Sacred, the Environment, or Psychic Experience ; and workshops on Art, Music, Dialogue, Dance. A major contribution was the presentation by Auckland Playback Theatre, replaying dreams contributed by the audience, ranging from gently moving to rock-the-room hilarious.
All-round, it was a memorable weekend of sharing the multi-faceted potential of dreamwork to deepen and enliven our lives.