Everyone dreams every night. Most of us read and write. These experiences are gateways to a deeper, more fulfilling life. Yet, most of us are too busy to “wake up” to the opportunity they present.
This 4-part webinar series will show you how to use dreams and poetry as spiritual practices – and how spiritual companions can incorporate dreamwork and writing as tools of awakening and transcendence.
Here are two reasons to consider joining us:
- Dreaming, reading and writing can open a connection with God – or however you term the ground of all being.
- Paying attention to dreams and to your own voice in writing can change the quality of your daily life – helping you become more aware of others and yourself, helping you understand where you have room to grow.
Jinks Hoffmann will host this journey in experiential learning. An experienced spiritual director steeped in Jewish mysticism and Jungian dream analysis, she’s also the Poetry Editor of Presence – An International Journal of Spiritual Direction. (Watch her video below.) Jinks will be joined by a trio of talented experts on poetry, dreams and spiritual direction. (See their bios below.)
If you offer spiritual care of any kind – or if you are in training to offer such care – this webinar series is for you. It will offer you practical ideas on how you can weave dreams and poetry into your companioning.
If you are a seeker from any tradition or a spiritually independent person, this webinar is for you, too. You will receive practical suggestions on how to approach dreamwork from a spiritual perspective and learn how to turn dream images into poems.
All sessions are 75-85 minutes in length.
Session 1 – Using Dreams and Poetry to Wake Up Spiritually – Led by Jinks Hoffmann, this introductory session will explore spiritual practices we can use to “wake up” to God, or however we might term the ground of all being. Using example poems and dreams, we will look at ways to approach our own dreams and poems so that we can become more aware of others and ourselves. Anne Lamott once said, “God loves us just the way we are, and God loves us too much to want us to stay that way.” This sums up the the healthy evolution that awakening through dreams and poetry can offer. We will also examine the role dreams and poetry can play in spiritual direction.
Session 2 – Dreams & Scripture – Carl Jung described dreams as a little hidden door in the most secret recesses of the soul. In this session, we will reflect on how our dreams offer us signposts and warnings along life’s journey. We will also explore some accessible contemporary dreamwork techniques transposed from traditional, scripturally based dream practices. Derived from various traditions, these can embue our sacred texts with profound, personal meaning while framing our dreams, and those of our directees, as the scripture of our lives. As we seek redemption on the superficial Flatland where both the secular and the devout among us sometimes live, Hezekiah’s call to God can take on special poignancy: “You heal me through dreams and thereby cause me to live.” (Isaiah 38:16) Rabbi Howard Avruhm Addison and Jinks Hoffmann will co-lead this session.
Session 3 – How to Craft a Poem from a Dream Image – Poets for centuries have used their dreams as inspiration. Think of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, George Gordon Lord Byron, John Keats, Allen Ginsburg and Mary Oliver, to name a few. Jung suggests we spend time with a dream that has power and energy for us, that we examine it from every angle and let our imaginations engage with it. What better way to let our imaginations engage with a dream than by crafting it into a poem? Presenters Cathy Bowers and Jinks Hoffmann will guide you in this process.
Session 4 – Listening to Wonder – Buddhism & Dreams – Dreams are a gift, given to all, and are able to play an amazing role in our lives as they put us into contact within a deeper wisdom, one that is personalized and yet in contact with the world in which we live. If we are to honor the gift of our dreams, we must develop the role of listening, of wondering. Within this perspective, some examples will be given of the role of dreams in specific lives of Buddhist teachers, how they listened and were influenced by their dreams. This session will be led by James Schmeiser and Jinks Hoffmann.
Jennifer (Jinks) Hoffmann was born in 1943 and was raised in South Africa. She and her husband Alan immigrated to Canada in 1966, where they have lived since. Jinks is a Spiritual Director. She trained in the Lev Shomea program, which means “listening heart” in Hebrew. She is the poetry editor of Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Direction. She has three adult sons, and is blessed with nineteen grandchildren, nine great-grands, and counting. Jinks’ poetry and daily work with her dreams are two of her most loved ways of listening for Mystery. Jinks has had numerous poetry and prose publications both in print and on-line journals. Her book of poetry Its All God, Anyway, was published in 2016. She is working on a second book of poetry in response to five master teachers of Jewish Mysticism.
Rabbi Howard Avruhm Addison is an Associate Professor for Instruction at Temple University, where he teaches a credit course entitled “Dreams, Visions and the Good Life.” Ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary, he earned his PhD at the Graduate Theological Foundation and directs its D Min. program in Jewish Spirituality. A founding teacher of North America’s first Jewish Spiritual Direction training institute, Lev Shomea, Rabbi Addison completed his Dream studies at the Haden Institute, on whose faculty he serves. He has lectured and presented workshops across North America, Israel and Australia and serves as a spiritual director and dream guide to seekers in the US, Canada and South Africa. Avruhm’s books include: The Enneagram and Kabbalah, Cast in God’s Image, Show Me Your Way, Jewish Spiritual Direction, which he co-edited, and the recently published anthology, Seeking Redemption in an Unredeemed World.
Cathy Smith Bowers, North Carolina Poet Laureate 2010-2012, was born and grew up in Lancaster, S.C. She was educated at USC-L, Winthrop University, Oxford, and the Haden Institute. Her poems have appeared in publications such as The Atlantic Monthly, The Georgia Review, Poetry, The Southern Review, The Kenyon Review, and Ploughshares. She now teaches in the Queens University low-residency MFA program and in the Haden Institute Spiritual Direction and Dream Leadership programs. Her first book The Love That Ended Yesterday in Texas was the inaugural winner of The Texas Tech University Press First Book Competition.. Her fifth book, The Collected Poems of Cathy Smith Bowers, Press 53, won the 2014 SIBA Award for Poetry. She lives in the North Carolina foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
James Schmeiser is a Professor Emeritus of Western University (UWO), London, Ontario, where he taught a course on dreams entitled “Visions, Dreams and Religion” for approximately 25 years. He has presented many lectures on the history and the significance of the place of dreams to academic groups such as the North American Academy of Liturgy, The Canadian Liturgical Society and the The Canadian Theological Society. He currently offers spiritual direction which includes a focus on dreams.
The main goal of this series of webinars is to invite all participants to wake up to their lives through their own dreams, reading and writing (especially poetry). We seek to offer ancient insights and 21st century experiential practices that will help anyone open up to this deeper consciousness as they, in the words of Thomas Merton, “seek what they already have.” We will also look at dreams and poetry through the modality of spiritual direction. Our purpose is to support both those who companion others offering spiritual care and all of us who might engage with such care to find wholeness and become more fully alive. We hope you will end this course more consciously engaged with your dreams and the words you use to build your daily lives. Blessings to you all.
Who may join the webinar?
Everyone is invited to participate in SDI Webinars.
Are CEUs available?
SDI will provide a certificate of completion for self-reporting to agencies. More information can be found here: continuing education units (CEUs).