by Rochelle Bourgault: Cultivating a practice of not just recalling but recording and understanding dreams is at the heart of dream incubation.
With Machiel Klerk’s cheerful Dream Guidance, readers learn how committing to dream incubation will lead to greater self-awareness and clarity about what dogs us in our diurnal life.
Incubated dreams are coaxed and invited in, while spontaneous dreams arrive unbidden, careening into our unconscious. Dream incubation is found in just about every spiritual or religious tradition, even though it is all but “forgotten in our modern world.”
You won’t find an ambiguous, dusty dream dictionary in this concise, friendly book. Klerk writes, “You cannot make a general theory of dreams” or “assign fixed meanings to dream images.” In your dream, a snake could be a slinky predator or a nimble survivor. What is a snake to you, right now? The author encourages making friends with our dreams, establishing a relationship of trust, and using intuition to decode our own symbolic vocabulary.
Klerk’s dream incubation techniques are built upon asking questions of the dream, and openly receiving and listening to the dream’s responses. And he welcomes us all to seek our own “personal revelation: inquiry can be implemented by anyone, tonight.” Dream Guidance makes a strong case for plumbing dreams as a path to deeper engagement with life, with open-minded listening and little mysticism.
Everyone dreams-both literally and metaphorically-but most people don’t know that their dreams can be used for personal development. Therapist, dream expert, and founder of the Jung Society of Utah and the Jung Platform Machiel Klerk shares how, through dream incubation, you can manifest the life of your dreams just by cultivating an intimate relationship with your own dreams and taking the guidance you receive from your subconscious. If you ask the right question and keep an open mind, your dream will give you an answer. Klerk offers an easy, actionable five-step process to help you have an incubation dream, a dream that reveals the answer to your question.
1. Identify the problem and decide that you’d like to ask your dream for help.
2. Develop a question that relates directly to the issue for which you are seeking answers.
3. Engage in a ritual aimed to enhance the dream response, like meditation.
4. Sleep, and upon waking, immediately record your dream or dreams.
5. Reflect on the dream and determine the “lesson” it offered.
“In this very accessible book, Machiel Klerk explains the brass tacks of dream incubation. The how-to and the why, the history and the ancestry. Dream incubation gives us access to healing and creativity. It was just waiting for a simple—though not simplistic—guide. Here it is.”
— Robert Bosnak, author of A Little Course in Dreams
“Dream Guidance offers an easy, open, and effective approach to engaging our inner wisdom and its advice! If you are looking for a way to connect with dreaming and your deeper self, try these incubation practices and discover your own dream guidance.”
— Robert Waggoner, author of Lucid Dreaming
“Dreams respond as oracles, offering guidance to one of life’s most precious treasures—the Soul. Few know the ways of connecting to these oracular powers. Machiel Klerk offers
a step-by-step process of asking the focused questions that unleash the guiding wisdom of dreams. This book breaks new ground, opens new possibilities, speaks to the heart and soul. It is a must-read for those following the way of the dream.”
— Dr. Stephen Aizenstat, Ph.D., founder of Pacifica Graduate Institute and Dream Tending
“Dream Guidance offers a rich resource of ideas and practices for incubating, working with, and learning from dreams. Machiel Klerk serves as a knowing guide as he draws knowledge from ancient practices and Indigenous healers to psychology and his own compelling insights into the wondrous realm of dreams.”
— Michael Meade, author of Awakening the Soul
“Machiel Klerk has written a remarkable book on dreams. You will learn much from him how to make dreams a part of life. The book is clear and lively and doesn’t get stuck in minor arguments and subtle theories. It’s an adventure. You need to make dreams a part of your daily life, and this book is a helpful guide and inspiration.”
— Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul
“How do you live your Soul’s call? This beautiful, engaging book offers guidance for tapping into the deep wisdom dreams offer each night. Put it by your bedside, and it will change your life.”
— Tina Stromsted, Ph.D., LMFT, director of the Soul’s Body Center
“Machiel Klerk has been exploring the dream world for over 25 years. His deep and sustained interest in the dreamscape has come together in this book, which will help you to connect and explore your own dreams and their meanings. With Machiel’s experienced guidance, you will learn to allow your dreams to inform, reveal, and enhance your life.”
— Diane Musho Hamilton, author of Compassionate Conversations
“Learning the language of dreams and their wise and holy power to guide us into our most authentic life is a great source of joy and wisdom. In this beautifully written, wise, and original book, Machiel Klerk draws on the wide variety of world traditions and his own deep experience to offer a new way of working with our dreams—and a way to light up our waking lives.”
— Andrew Harvey, author of The Hope and Engoldenment
“Dreams are wise friends, and they wish to help us. With illuminating examples and a lively mix of cultural traditions and history, Dream Guidance leads readers step-by-step into the ancient and highly practical art of dream incubation. By emphasizing the power of ritual and the art of asking the right question, Machiel Klerk guides readers to their inner wisdom.”
— Dr. Clare Johnson, author of The Art of Lucid Dreaming
“In the introduction to Dream Guidance, Machiel Klerk describes how when he was lost, dreams helped him find his way home. That homecoming has been an ongoing journey that is now presented in this fascinating, wise, and practical guide through the five steps of dream incubation. It is especially relevant in today’s perilous times, when collectively we need the wisdom of dreams to chart a way home.”
— Robert D. Romanyshyn, Ph.D., author of Victor Frankenstein, the Monster and the Shadows of Technology
“In Machiel Klerk’s dream work, questioning is like open-heart surgery, where the human heart is eager to open if the instrument of the right question is implemented. With dream incubation: ask the right question and prepare for unforeseen surprises!”
— Dennis Patrick Slattery, author of The Way of Myth
“Dream Guidance is a small but powerful gem. Machiel Klerk has devoted much of his life to gleaning the wisdom found within this book from many traditions. This book is a most helpful guide to those seeking to engage the dreaming psyche in search of soul.”
— Joseph Cambray, Ph.D., author of Synchronicity
“Machiel Klerk understands that dreams are not only apertures into the mystery within each of us but also summonses generated by the soul to engage consciousness. He has assembled a rich collection of ideas, tools, and examples showing how to open a dialogue within and be guided by that source which knows us better than we know ourselves.”
— James Hollis, Ph.D., author of The Broken Mirror