I seem to be unlearning the belief that it is only with plant medicines that I can access the spiritual and metaphysical parts of my life. I've been continuing to heal spiritually through simple prayer and dreams.

In my journey after my father’s death, I’ve sought plant medicines as a path to healing and growing. You might even say that I’d learned to feel that I need these medicines to open up the way for me to learn, grow and heal.

This idea likely came about because my whole life, I’d always viewed myself as like “a block of wood” when it comes to the spiritual side of life. While I’d always believed that there are such things as ghosts and the spirit realm, and mysteries like that held a special fascination to me as child — I accepted that I just wasn’t the type who could have those experiences personally because I was so practical and “earthly bound” in my personality and identity. I never thought of that aspect of myself in a negative way, I just saw it as part of my nature, in the same way that I knew I was a cautious person and that I have black hair.

And my life experiences have mirrored this belief. I’d never had a vision or seen spirits in my waking hours. No ghostly encounters or even meaningful dreams at night. In fact, I hardly dreamt at all for most of my life before my father passed on. And now I dream every night (!).

I am still learning in my own slow way, and more recently I seem to be unlearning the belief that I am like a “block of wood” spiritually, and that it is only with plant medicines that I can access the spiritual and metaphysical parts of my life.

Many base camps, one summit

I’ve been dreaming every night for months now, without taking any plant medicines or supplements.

The only thing I’ve been doing differently is praying and asking for help before I sleep. A typical prayer for me is for God and angels to please guide me on how to be better and more loving. And if I’m feeling anxious about the next day, I also pray for God to enter my mind and heart, and guide my words, actions and thoughts so that I can be loving in all my encounters the next day and serve God in the ways that I can.

And I believe I’m being heard because my dreams have been so incredibly vivid, emotional, healing, and transformative.

Don’t get me wrong, I still appreciate plant medicines greatly and I may dabble in some again here and there, but it is also freeing to feel that I don’t necessarily need to have them in order to grow and learn, and that help is always there and that I only have to ask for it. It also makes me feel closer to God and the wider universe as each dream is a reminder that “yes, you have an open channel to the divine”.

Remembering this more often is good for me because fears and worries about the future do a great job in making me sometimes feel that I am alone and that life is terrifying because in the end I will lose everything and everyone I love. So yes, being reminded that God is always there, and help is just a thought and a prayer away has been really beneficial for me personally.

Happily, this discovery of the power of prayer and intention has shown me the meaning behind the saying “many base camps, one summit“.

Note: I use the words “God” and “prayer” even though in my life I am not a religious person and I practice no rituals, other than mental prayer and sometimes meditation. Edgar Cayce said that prayer is when we talk to God, and meditation is when we listen to God. I like this explanation.

Dreamwork and deciphering dreams

I don’t often write down my dreams, but I noted down two dreams below that I would like to share. You may not find the dreams themselves interesting since your dreams would be different and unique to you, but perhaps the way I attempted to decipher them could be useful.

Out of 20 dreams, I’m maybe able to decipher or derive some lesson or teaching in one. So my success rates are low. It’s frustrating to have a particularly vivid and emotional dream, and not know what it means. Searching online for answers is also rarely helpful.

But whether or not we can decipher them, I believe all dreams are healing and we don’t have to consciously know their meaning every time. i.e the healing work is being done on our subconscious, and we may feel the real results through more peace in our hearts over time, finding it easier to let go of the more “sticky” things that we need to release, or some other benefit that we most need. That has been my experience anyway.

Dream 1 ‒ becoming invisible

One night, I dreamt that I was in the backseat of a taxi, being driven by someone who knew me. We were having a conversation, the contents of which elude me, but it was friendly and comfortable. The taxi was then parked in an area that has people moving about quite busily, like it was close to the entrance of a large university.

As I was talking to the man in front, I took out a pair of large aviator sunglasses and I put them on. As I did so, my face became invisible, and so did the rest of me. I was elated by this discovery, and this strange new ability. I was talking excitedly to the man about my new discovery when the door to the back was opened (it was a big taxi with multiple rows of seats) and two people enter the cab.

At first, I was perplexed by this, but I soon realised that they couldn’t see me as I was invisible to them. So I tell them that I’m here and that this taxi is taken. The dream ends there.

When I woke up, I puzzled about what it could mean. I googled it on my phone, but the answers were depressing and didn’t feel right for me. Most said that to dream about being invisible meant that in your waking life, you feel ignored or unseen by the people around you. That seems like a very literal and broad interpretation to me.

The night before I had prayed for God to send me the message or teaching that I most need. I left it open as I had no strong opinion for once. Usually my prayer for dreams have been a little more specific, but not this time.

Because of this, I knew that God had given me that dream for a reason. And telling me that I’m being ignored didn’t seem like a spiritual lesson. I also believe it’s best to try and interpret our dreams ourselves as context is everything (feelings in the dream) and symbols have unique meanings to each person.

For instance, two people could each have separately dreamt that they were in the middle of the desert. But while one could have felt terrified, hopelessly lost, and only wanted to escape the desolation, the other could have felt that she was in a magical realm, and felt utter peace and one with the universe walking on the desert sand under a night sky full of stars. Same dream symbol of a desert, but vastly different dream experiences.

Trying to interpret what seems like the same dream on the surface using a single “rule” (e.g. desert symbol in dream = barrenness and the absence of life) makes no sense. Ultimately, our own experience in the dream is everything. I think what matters is how did we feel? And what were the thoughts that ran through our heads?

In my dream, I felt excited and happy at the discovery that I could turn invisible and remain present as I am. I could still think and talk, and I was the same me even though I couldn’t be seen by myself or others. So perhaps one way to decipher this dream is that I didn’t need to be seen or noticed by others to be wholly and completely me. I didn’t need that to be okay.

Dream 2 ‒ being in nature versus the city

This was a really special dream for me and I woke up feeling happy. It was also much easier to decipher.

I was in a forest, with bare feet. I felt really good and comfortable with myself and life just standing and walking on the grass. It was as if the grass and the earth beneath were filling me up with everything I needed, but didn’t know I had been missing.

In the forest where I was, there was a scraggly sort of bush with a few citrus fruits growing on it. Every time I took one, more would grow. After some plucking, it was bursting with new growth and fruits, which kept multiplying instantaneously. I planted some seeds from the fruit I plucked, and those grew into fruiting plants too.

Then the dream shifted and I was in a city. I don’t remember what happened there, but I remember that I just felt bad. There was no nature, just concrete buildings, concrete sidewalks and lots of people walking around being so busy and focused on whatever.

Then I was transported back to the forest and everything felt wonderful again. It went that way for a while. I kept being switched back and forth from being in the forest and the city.

In real life, I actually do live in a city, but there is good access to green spaces. I took this dream as a reminder that I am happiest being in nature and that it revitalises me. With regard to the multiplying fruits, I took that to mean that nature is an expression of God, is abundant and endlessly giving, and that scarcity is an illusion.