Once upon a time there were three neighbors. Each had a dream tree in the
The first neighbor had rich soil. His tree produced a bounty of fruit.
The second neighbor had poorer soil. Her tree produced branches and leaves.
The third neighbor had very poor soil. Her tree grew short and gnarled.
One day the third neighbor chanced to drop some fertilizer at the base of
her tree. The rains came and went. The tree grew leaves, blossomed and bore
sweet fruit. Next year, the neighbor fertilized her tree on purpose. She
also turned up some of the soil, cleared a space for the tree to grow and
watered the tree. Lo, the tree bore leaves, flowers and even larger sweet
fruit. So the third neighbor went to tell her neighbors of her good fortune.
The first neighbor could not understand why the third neighbor had to do so
much hard work. He pointed to his tree in the backyard. "See?" he said. "I
do not labor, yet my tree bears fruit." He did not realize how fortunate he
was. His house had been built in a naturally fertile part of the valley
The second neighbor could not understand why the third neighbor would want
to do so much hard work. She pointed to her leafy tree in the backyard. "My
tree is just fine as it is," she said. She could not comprehend the joy of
eating sweet, juicy fruit. She had never had a taste.
The third neighbor went home to contemplate. She wondered what might happen
if her neighbors bothered to clear the ground and feed their own dream trees
on a regular basis. What if, like her, each became a dream environmentalist?
Now, dreams reflect our feelings and emotions. They display our mental and
physical attributes and attitudes. The sorts of dreams we produce are clues
to our overall health. Towards the base of the dream tree, dreams highlight
trauma, conflict and other evidence of stress or psychopathology. Further up
the trunk are the so-called "normal" dreams. Growing in the treetops are
some rare fruits: the delightful, wonder-filled dreams.
Basic level dreams are the raw material of psychotherapy. A serious approach
to dreamwork can help diagnose the problem and fix the flaw. And there are
practical ideas for waking life that can be plucked from the lower branches
of the dream tree. But if you are going to bother to do gardening work at
all, why not enjoy all the fruits of your labors? Why not climb to the top
and reap the sweet rewards of a growth level dream?
Growth level dreams are creative, humorous and playful. They are flights of
fantasy, imaginative creations, and story-like epics. They are archetypal,
spiritual, visionary. They are also sociable and psychic, in a positive way.
Most of all, they are enjoyable and fun. A growth level dream is the product
of a healthy and nurtured psyche.
In the field of dreams, growth level fruits and flowers can sometimes find
it hard to coexist along with the ragged leaves, twigs and broken branches.
A stunted dream tree is fed with thin soil and beset by storms. But there is
nothing to stop you from becoming a dream environmentalist.
As a dream environmentalist, you combine old ideas and new explorations to
bring forth a robust crop of dreams. You root out the weeds, clean up the
toxins, feed the soil and plant new flowers in the garden. Should you bother
to nurture your entire dream plot, it can gift you with growth level dreams
as a reward for your extra attention. But you can't wait until harvest time
at break of day. You must start prior to sleep.
Healthy dreams are not healing dreams. They are the product of the latest
medical wisdom: a fit and dynamic life means you do your best to avoid
dis-ease in the first place. Your nightly repertoire benefits from a large
dose of preventative medicine. Once a week or so, you take a bit of time to
process the day residue scattered all over your backyard and turn it into a
compost heap. You prepare the ground with supplemental images and ideas just
before sleep. And then you drift into slumber with the expectation that all
your good work will grow sweet, juicy fruit.
What dream content describes the optimal or detrimental conditions of your
psyche, the needy or growth level dreams? That, you can only determine by
watching your dream tree through all its seasons of dreaming. Set up your
dream journal as a farmer's almanac. By tracking themes through a series of
dreams, you will find what indicates problems and what highlights your
potentials. Whatever criteria you use, the process is the same: discover
what hinders, what helps and act to encourage or discourage. Before you go
As a gardener of dreams, you can cultivate a rich crop to fruit and flower
throughout your entire tree. When you bring intention to the realm of
dreams, your dream environment opens up to the extraordinary. Energy, action
and emotion stir up your hidden possibilities and allow them to burst into