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Active Dreaming: Journeying Beyond Self-Limitation to a Life of Wild Freedom Paperback – April 1, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


“Writing about dreams, Moss is eloquent and authoritative, a wise teacher.”
Publishers Weekly

“This book sits at the intersection of poetry and practicality. Robert Moss speaks to a world we each inhabit and only dimly understand. Read this book.”
Peter Block, coauthor of The Abundant Community

Active Dreaming is a jewel of a book! It not only helps us to personally transform our lives but also provides a path to transform the world we live in.”
Sandra Ingerman, MA, author of Soul Retrieval and How to Thrive in Changing Times

“A life cut off from dreams is a life half-lived. Robert Moss is one of our wisest guides to dreams and dreaming. Highly recommended.”
Larry Dossey, MD, author of The Power of Premonitions and Reinventing Medicine

About the Author

Robert Moss, the creator of Active Dreaming, leads popular seminars all over the world. His previous books include Conscious Dreaming, Dreamways of the Iroquois, The Three “Only” Things, The Secret History of Dreaming, and Dreamgates. He lives in upstate New York.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: New World Library (April 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1577319648
  • ISBN-13: 978-1577319641
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #121,360 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robert Moss is the pioneer of Active Dreaming, an original synthesis of shamanism and modern dreamwork. Born in Australia, he survived three near-death experiences in childhood. He leads popular seminars all over the world, including a three-year training for teachers of Active Dreaming and lively online courses for The Shift Network. A former lecturer in ancient history at the Australian National University, he is a best-selling novelist, journalist and independent scholar.

His many books on dreaming, shamanism and imagination include Conscious Dreaming, Dreamways of the Iroquois, The Three "Only" Things: Tapping the Power of Dreams, Coincidence and Imagination, The Secret History of Dreaming, Dreamgates, Active Dreaming, Dreaming the Soul Back Home, and "The Boy Who Died and Came Back: Adventures of a Dream Archaeologist in the Multiverse." His latest book is "Sidewalk Oracles: Playing with Signs, Symbols and Synchronicity in Everyday Life."

Moss is also the author of Here, Everything Is Dreaming: Poems and Stories (Excelsion Editions, 2013).

Moss describes himself as "a dream teacher, on a path for which there has been no career track in our culture." He identifies the great watershed in his adult life as a sequence of visionary events that unfolded in 1987-1988, after he decided to leave the world of big cities and the fast-track life of a popular novelist (already the author of four New York Times bestsellers, including Moscow Rules) and put down roots on a farm in the upper Hudson Valley of New York. Moss started dreaming in a language he did not know that proved to be an archaic form of the Mohawk language. Helped by native speakers to interpret his dreams, Moss came to believe that they had put him in touch with an ancient healer - a woman of power - and that they were calling him to a different life.

Out of these experiences he wrote a series of historical novels (The Firekeeper, Fire Along the Sky, The Interpreter) and developed the practice he calls Active Dreaming, an original synthesis of contemporary dreamwork and shamanic methods of journeying and healing. A central premise of Moss's approach is that dreaming isn't just what happens during sleep; dreaming is waking up to sources of guidance, healing and creativity beyond the reach of the everyday mind.He introduced his method to an international audience as an invited presenter at the conference of the Association for the Study of Dreams at the University of Leiden in 1994.

Core techniques of Active Dreaming include

The "lightning dreamwork" process, designed to facilitate quick dream-sharing that results in helpful action; the use of the "if it were my dream" protocol encourages the understanding that the dreamer is always the final authority on his or her dream
Dream reentry: the practice of making a conscious journey back inside a dream in order to clarify information, dialogue with a dream character, or move beyond nightmare terrors into healing and resolution
Tracking and group dreaming: conscious dream travel on an agreed itinerary by two or more partners, often supported by shamanic drumming
Navigating by synchronicity: reading coincidence and "symbolic pop-ups" in ordinary life as "everyday oracles".
Dream archaeology: melding the arts of shamanic dreaming with scholarship and detective work to access other times and cultures and bring back fresh and authentic knowledge that can be tested and verified.
Exploring the multiverse and the multidimensional self.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Justin Patrick Moore on April 12, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book could have just as easily been called "Community Dreaming", and therein lies its strength. I see it as a sequel to one of his previous books "The Three Only Things: Tapping the Power of Dreams, Coincidence, and Imagination". Where that book gave the individual a useful toolkit for opening themselves up to the deeper workings of the multidimensional universe, "Active Dreaming" sets the stage for taking those personal journeys out into the community. This is of great importance. In doing so, Robert is gently helping people reach out to and create something he calls, "The Place of the Lion". What is the Place of the Lion? Through one of the stories Robert tells he shows that it is a place of "wild freedom" where a person can see past the limiting consensual hallucinations which have placed cages around and bars around what humanity thinks is possible.

The book is filled with inspiring stories and practical exercises. Personally, my favorite section is the appendix, "Dreamland: Documents of a Possible Future." This dreamland has nothing to do with Area 51 (thank goodness), but shows a neutral society, or "Switzerland of the Mind" which has come into existence after a technological Singularity wreaks soul loss and ecocide across the planet. The Priestess-Scientists who guide this community are using the power of dreams to help repair the planet. This book will certainly benefit those who take the time to not only read it, but work with the material laid out in its pages. It is accessible to the beginner in dreamwork, while also giving some new games to the frequent fliers who have already been playing at this stuff for awhile. Coming from one of my favorite publishers, the dream elucidated between these covers really does give a road map to a new world.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Wanda Burch on June 29, 2011
Format: Paperback
If you are new to Robert Moss' books, this book, along with CONSCIOUS DREAMING, is a must-have for beginning your Robert Moss bookshelf and a perfect companion for all the rest of Robert's insightful books on dreaming.

ACTIVE DREAMING: JOURNEYING BEYOND SELF-LIMITATION TO A LIFE OF WILD FREEDOM is a coming-out party for the Active Dreaming technique pioneered by Robert Moss and familiar to anyone who has ever read one of his books, attended one of his workshops, shared dreams on-line or trained in one of his fabulous Dream Teacher Training courses. It is a guide for living your dreams, dreaming your stories awake, and consciously living the lessons learned in the night with your whole self aware of the waking-in-dreaming and dreaming-awake world around you. Active dreaming is living your story as part of the Universe and learning how to confront challenges instead of running away from them.

Robert Moss approaches the over-used and misunderstood phrase, Lucid Dreaming, in the way it was intended, as a method "for shifting consciousness in order to enter non-ordinary reality for purposes that include the care and recovery of the soul." This approach allows each of us to wake up to our dreams and to discover the shaman's power within each of our individual lives. This is the power that allows us to play, to gain access to the limitless capability for healing within our dreaming imagination, to solve problems, to see our future, to change what we do not like and to enhance that which makes us strong and capable. Ultimately, practicing the techniques of Active Dreaming grants us a Passport for responsible action on our planet Earth. Robert would remind each of us, in taking responsibility in our waking and sleeping, to "wake up and dream." And who can resist journeying beyond self-limitation to a life of wild freedom? I can't.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Alice Finnamore on April 18, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This latest book is Robert Moss at his best, offering an adventure book on dreaming that is accessible to the newest dreamer, yet valuable to the seasoned practitioner of dreamwork. Full of stories and examples of how dreams have changed people's lives, the book includes new games as well as detailed instructions to many of Moss' dream workshop exercises. All that is missing is a dream group to practise them with, so Moss outlines how to start a dream group of one's own.

Something new in this volume is a chapter on working with children and their dreams. Moss offers nine keys to helping children access the power of their dreams, concluding with instruction on what NOT to do with a child's dream. Never say it is "just" a dream, and never try to interpret a child's dream.

Many people ask how to become a lucid dreamer, that is, how can we wake up inside our dreams and do whatever we want. Like Robert Moss, I do not seek so-called lucid dreaming. As he puts it, "The easiest way to become a lucid, or conscious, dreamer is to start out lucid and stay that way: in other words, to enter conscious dreaming from a waking or semi-conscious state" (p. 49). This is the essence of Moss' work, to teach us how to dream while awake.

As I read this book, I knew I would be back into it many times, to find inspiration and instruction for my own dream adventures. Meanwhile, I was jotting down thoughts and quotes for further research and contemplation inside my journal.

Thank you, Robert, for another excellent read.
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