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Discover Your Sacred Dream

Woman with birds on water

Her Big Day by Elisabeth Ladwig

A shaman’s journey from the nightmare to the daydream to the sacred dream.

After decades of working as an anthropologist and a shaman, I learned that enlightened seekers—what I call “Luminous Warriors”—know three kinds of waking dreams: the nightmare, the daydream, and the sacred dream. Of these, only the sacred dream can help you fulfill your mission here on Earth. To live within a sacred dream requires that you understand that daydreams can feel pleasant but will turn into nightmares as the circumstances of your life change. As for the nightmares we all wish to avoid, they always begin as daydreams, but they are daydreams that have reached their expiration date and gone bad, like cheese left in the refrigerator for too long. The daydream that turns into a nightmare can be the relationship or job that was so enticing and seductive but that now has become a dark hole you cannot climb out of. A friend once told me, “My job is like a bad dream. I would like to wake up from it, but I need the sleep.” The nightmare does not offer you much hope for things to be different. When you are trapped in it, you begin to believe that the poor health that you are experiencing i …

This piece is adapted from Alberto Villildo's latest book, The Heart of the Shaman: Stories and Practices of the Luminous Warrior.

Alberto Villoldo PhD is a medical anthropologist and psychologist who has studied the shamanic healing practices of the Amazon and the Andes for more than 30 years. In his teachings and writings, he shares the experience of infinity and its ability to heal and transform us, to free us from the temporal chains that keep us fettered to illness, old age and disease.  

He is the founder of the world-renowned Four Winds Society, which teaches the philosophy and practice of energy medicine, and of the Light Body School, and is the director of the Center for Energy Medicine in Los Lobos, Chile.

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