This visual exercise can be done either as a self-guided meditation or as a shamanic journey:
I invite you to step into a dream: Allow your imagination to follow the prompting of the words. Take a deep breath. Let go of your awareness of your room and any present concerns that weigh upon you. See yourself setting down the worries or fears that burden you this day. Lay them on the earth at your feet. You might see yourself dropping your troubles like a tight uniform or a skin that no longer fits and no longer serves you. Peel it all away and give it to the waiting earth to be transformed and transmuted. Walk away.
See yourself leaving the world of the ordinary. The walls of your house fall away as does the road with its traffic and noise. As you walk, the wildness of nature begins to spring over the cement at your feet, over the shops and houses that line the road. You are stepping further and further into a world that looks more and more like a primeval forest.
All around you stand the majestic trees. You look up at their tall trunks and graceful branches, how they reach with equal measure into both the earth and sky. You notice how well they know their place. You see that the trees are your brothers, that they breathe for you and you for them.
Below your feet, the forest floor forms a soft path that leads you forward. The sky overhead seems to nudge you onward and the wind to pull you along. Something in the distance calls to you and urges you on. Within your own heart, you feel excitement and anticipation for what lies ahead.
The wind begins to grow more still now and the air to thicken into a mist that envelopes you. The mist surrounds the trees and the trees disappear into it. Now it is only mist that you see, so thick you can’t see your own feet or your hand in front of your face. But you keep walking forward, seeming to know where to go.
As you walk, you observe without any sense of alarm that your limbs are dissolving into mist, your body and head as well. Observe how you have become not a body or person, but a consciousness, a consciousness that moves like molecules of mist through the air. Like the mist that is neither water nor air, you are neither who you once were nor who you will become.
Feel yourself sifting through the air, embracing the trees, hovering over the streams and ponds, gliding through the sky with the birds. Gradually you become more weighted and feel yourself coming back down to the forest path. You feel your feet and legs come back into being, your hands and arms take form. You feel your head and trunk appear. The mist around you clears. You are back in the town where you live.
You realize you are on the other side of a great change. What have you become? How have you changed? In what ways do you feel different? See differently? How has the world around you changed?
What is your life like in this new world? How has it shifted? Think for a moment about the things you dream about. How have they taken or not taken form? Do those dreams still matter or are there other things that excite and interest you now?
Spend some time exploring this new life, your new self. Breathe in this new life. When you feel ready, come back to the presence of your room.
We all have a place in the dreaming of our new world. As children of the Earth, we all have that responsibility. Changing the world for the better starts with our own healing—our own becoming the change we want to see in the world, as Ghandi put it.
The Hopi elders say: if you are not connected to the earth, in alignment with its generous grace and spirit, you will not make it to the other side of the coming changes. To feel connected to the earth, they say, learn to plant something. Learn to tend something. Give the earth your offerings and your gratitude and your gifts.
Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hahn says: Kiss the earth with your feet. Give the earth your love and happiness. The earth will be safe when we feel safe in ourselves.
The message is this: If we begin to assume an active role in the creation of a new world, if we dare to believe we can, our dreams will spawn a better creation to leave our children. To leave our trees, and oceans, our mountains, and our animal friends. And in return, the quiet generosity and responsiveness of nature will give birth to our own peace, wisdom and abundance—if we only just let it.