If there’s one class where it’s okay to daydream, it’s Father Justin Cannon’s new dream class at Saint Mary’s College. The young Priest-in-charge of St. Giles’ Episcopal Church (a community that worships at the Saint Mary’s Chapel) is starting a dream group in January, for anyone interested in exploring their innermost thoughts.
The class will meet monthly or bi-monthly for up to two hours, discussing and analyzing dreams. “Our unconscious mind has much to teach us and tell us,” says Father Justin. “We’ll have a sacred space and an intimate group with a level of trust and confidence where we can explore the story of our minds.”
Father Justin’s own dreams are vivid and colorful. No black and white images for him. He even remembers an early dream that helped him tackle a daunting task – learning how to ride a bike. “I had a dream that I took off training wheels,” he says, adding he was so encouraged by the dream that the next day he took off the training wheels and learned to ride.
Father Justin says there are a lot of tools that can be used for dream analysis. One is a free app called idream, which gives users a journal and a dream dictionary. Even more creative is a tool built into the iphone – the voice recorder. The minute he wakes up, Father Justin turns on the recorder to document his dream. “It’s so funny because I’m half awake and I give all the details and then I fall back asleep.”
The group will have a celebrity guest attending one of its early meetings. Dream guru Jeremy Taylor will be sharing tips from his books, DVDs and podcasts. Taylor used to run a dream group at SMC and is considered the foremost authority on the topic, with the website jeremytaylor.com.
Father Justin is relatively new to the Saint Mary’s campus, having beenassigned to St. Giles’ in June 2012. He says his relationship with the College has been really special and he’s formed a close bond with Father Sal and the Christian Brothers, who invite him to meals and to worship.
The dream group, he says, is a way to give back. “I feel like my priestly role is supporting people and walking with people on their journey. Dreams are a part of the journey.”
For more information on Father Justin’s dream classes, contact him at [email protected].