The Art of Dream Healing
by Beverly (Kedzierski Heart) D’Urso, Ph.D. ©2005
Presentation for the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD) PsiberDreaming Conference, September 2005
What do we mean by “healing?” Who should do healing and how? What can we heal? Do you think it always seems best to heal a problem? Who do we heal? When, where, and why do we do it? What about special considerations for dream healing? Do healings have more effect when done in a very lucid dream? Would you like some examples of dream healing? We will address these questions in this workshop, as well as probe for more.
After considering many issues, I will ask you to format and perform a healing yourself. You could plan to do the healing in a dream and/or in waking physical reality (WPR), as a visualization or an acting-out process. By acting-out, I mean doing while awake what some people might plan to do in a dream. So, get ready to overcome some condition for yourself or someone you care for. The results may amaze you!
The dictionary has many definitions for “to heal.” These tell why we’d want to do a healing. A few of these include: to make sound or whole; to restore to health; and to cause an undesirable condition, which I will call a “problem,” to be overcome. Some words similar to the term “heal” include: cure, rehabilitate, treat, rejuvenate, alleviate, fix, relieve, or repair.
In deciding to do a healing, it helps to consider what the subject of the healing could now do as a result of a successful healing. For example, a person who has trouble even walking, due to a sprained ankle, could perhaps play a favorite sport again, if the ankle gets restored to health. Of course, a dream healing, as any kind of treatment, may only play a part of the healing process, or none at all. How we measure the effect of a healing becomes another area of investigation. The results may vary depending upon: the receptiveness of the subject; the ability, intent, and focus of the healer; the condition to heal; the appropriateness of the techniques; or other variables. Of course, healing can apply to problems other than physical ones.
What can we heal? Usually, we think of healing our “problems,” or those of others. In certain cases, it might not best serve the subject of the healing to eliminate a problem. As an example, a doctor may not want to resuscitate a patient who asked ahead of time not to do so in certain situations. Also, some problems exist as symptoms of other problems, which should get fixed first. For example, one may first want to learn to eat and exercise better before getting a “tummy tuck.”
Therefore, when healing, perhaps we need to always ask for the “best possible outcome.” Many problems seem complex, and involve many aspects of our collective mind, bodies, and spirit. For purposes of examination, I will try to classify some problems that might need healing.
We can begin with problems of the physical body. We may want to heal an external problem, such as a cut, a burn, or other wound. We could also try to heal an internal problem involving our organs, bones, muscles, nerves, or other functions. Next, we need to consider emotional, mental, or spiritual problems, such as the pain of grief, depression, or of not seeming able to complete our goals or not feeling whole.
Who should do the healing and who should get healed? Perhaps only people who feel some connection to a higher-self should attempt to heal. We also need to consider the ethics and rights that come into play during the healing of those other than ourselves. Do we need another’s request or permission in order to try to heal them in WPR or in our dreams? If in a dream, do we ask the dream character, or do we need to wait and ask the WPR person represented? What if we’d like to heal our pet, a person who has died, or a more general situation, such as our country?
Who can we trust to assist in the healing? In dreams, for example, we may want to ask an expert to appear to help out, or even the subject’s alternate self or future self. What about asking a random character in a lucid dream to perform a healing? Perhaps anyone can heal in a dream.
How do we heal? Most people feel familiar with Western medicine, as well as other healing techniques, such as the use of herbs, acupuncture, chiropractics, or massage. In this workshop, I want to discuss healing techniques which get initiated from the mind or spirit, in particular “dream healing.” I have expanded this to include visualization and acting-out in WPR. These non-dreaming techniques prove useful to dream healers as well, because it helps to practice in WPR what one would like to do in a dream. Of course, many people believe that dream reality provides us with additional power or “connection to our essence.”
In “mind/spirit” healing, we can use all kinds of activities or props, including hands-on work, energy forms, such as sparks shooting from our fingertips at the subject of the healing, chants, affirmations, potions, experts, or alternative selves. Basically, we can use whatever we can imagine! Other techniques include seeing the subject in perfect form or just willing the problem away. Many times, merely facing the scary situation or going into the pain in a dream can result in a fabulous healing.
Sometimes, a healer may want to first ask questions, before going to sleep or in a lucid dream, about how the subject can best deal with the problem. The dreamer may hear the answer spoken directly or see it written on something, such as a book or a wall. Answers can also come indirectly through symbols, scenes, or activities. These can include, for example, discovering foods to eat or avoid, or finding one’s dream body sitting in a pool of warm water.
With dream healing, or other mind/spirit healing, come additional questions. Can what we imagine or dream actually affect our physical bodies or the bodies of others? If we heal another character from our dream, have we in some sense healed an aspect of our self? If we can heal in our dreams, does this mean we can also cause harm? Should healing come from our own dream body, other “expert” dream characters, or only the highest source, such as “God?” Should we make up techniques, such as chants, or use only historically proven techniques?
I speak from my own experience in saying that I believe that what we dream or imagine does affect WPR. At the Stanford Sleep Laboratory, when I dreamed of moving my dream body’s eyes in a particular manner, electrodes picked up same movement from my physical eyes. Also, when I went directly into my pain in my dreams, I got relief in WPR from various emotional issues, such as grief. My healing dreams also seemed to help remove WPR problems, such as neck pain, infertility, and uterine masses, to name a few. See the text, appendices, and references below for more details.
Most of the dream healing I have initiated occurred in lucid dream reality (LDR), or when I knew I was dreaming while I was dreaming and remembered my healing goal. Many times I did not a need a goal, but merely went along with the dream, without fear because of my lucidity, and I got a healing result. However, I feel that even without lucidity, we can do the same with dream induction, visualization, or acting-out while in WPR. Without ever getting lucid, one can ask for help with a problem in a dream before going to sleep and then accept what the dream offers. We can also consider a goal for a lucid dream as a type of dream induction. In my lucid dreaming/lucid living groups and workshops, I always ended each session with a guided visualization. After getting everyone still and relaxed, with their eyes closed, I would share an imagined scene and activity that usually included a healing. This helps non-lucid dreamers get a feeling for what can happen in a lucid dream.
I have used dream healing to help my own life, as well as others, in many ways. As a child, I helped end the suffering that came from nightmares by facing up to “the witches” in my first lucid dream. The witches remained terrifying while I said, “Let’s get this over with!” I said this without fear because I knew I was dreaming.
See: Reference 9
As an adolescent, I felt less inhibited by trying out frightening or embarrassing situations in my dreams. When my best friend died, I dealt with my grief by talking to her in my dreams, even though I still felt uncomfortable talking to a “dead” person.
See: Reference 11
I started doing formal lucid dream healings almost twenty-five years ago. Stephen LaBerge, from the Stanford Sleep Laboratory, suggested that I try rubbing my hands together and shooting out healing energy from my fingers to my neck when I complained of a stiff neck one night in the lab. We had been doing an experiment for Smithsonian Magazine, I think. I remember that sparks shot out from my fingers, and my hair caught on fire. I spent the dream trying to put out the fire, and the reporters got a good example of losing lucidity in a dream! I later asked others in my dreams to work on my neck. One time, the first person I saw in an elevator, a janitor, rubbed my neck and it seemed to help me very much.
See: Reference 13
I have often used my hands and fingers to initiate dream healings on myself and others. Some time ago, I shot healing sparks at my dog in a dream to avoid any old-age problems. I feel pleased to say she turned fifteen this summer, a very old age for her breed. I did the same for my Mom while she lived and after she died, when she appeared to me in a dream as needing some healing. Lately, I have added more techniques to my healing repertoire, such as chants and questions.
When I felt needy and depressed, I used dreams to help me understand my problem and eventually solve it. Sometimes the problem got solved immediately in the dream. In my twenties, I solved a writer’s block in a dream by letting myself get sucked into the “pit from hell.” Afterwards, I felt able to complete my Ph.D. in WPR. To help me with the frustration of finding a mate in my thirties, I found my alternative selves in a dream and listened to their advice. In my forties, when I felt sad about not getting pregnant in WPR, I worked on the issue in my dreams by pulling my creative force, the witches of my childhood dreams, into my body. Soon afterwards, I had my son, now a healthy ten-year-old
See: Reference 4
In the year 2000, my mother had a sudden, massive stroke, and I became faced with taking her off life support. My life, as well as my dreams, became quite a struggle. I wrote a paper about how I dealt with my grief in my dreams, including surrendering to my now familiar “witches.”
See: Reference 5
This year, when my doctor discovered a uterine mass, I looked to my dreams to find out why it existed and what I could do to solve the problem. In one dream, colored, geometric figures came down from the sky shooting healing energy at me. That same day, my doctor found, through ultrasound, that the mass no longer existed.
See Appendix-5 (HEALING OF MY UTERINE MASS)
With minor injuries, I try to get optimum healing through actions in my dreams. My dreams told me that a second degree burn I received this summer needed to heal slowly. To assist, I chanted a “Harry Potter” spell and spontaneously shot yellow liquid at it in a dream. The burn appeared to get much better after the dream.
See Appendix-6 (HEALING OF LEG BURN)
Last month, a friend asked me to try to help her son, who has Perthes disease. I had a healing dream for him and he remembered getting a healing in his dream of the same night. He currently seems better than before the healing. I will use this dream for the pre-healing template and post-healing template examples in Appendices 2 and 4.
See Appendix-7 (HEALING FOR EN’S HIP)
To conclude this workshop, I’d like anyone interested to participate in a healing experiment as follows. Sometime during the next two days, decide upon a healing you would like to do. Consider all the issues that I have presented, as well as others that come up on this thread. I will include a pre-healing template for your goals to assist you.
If you’d like to share your goal, often an excellent way to help you succeed, you can post your completed pre-healing template on this thread. Although the conference attendees have agreed to confidentiality, do not share any information that you do not feel comfortable telling others. I have included an example of a completed pre-healing template, which shows that not all slots need to get filled in.
Appendix-1 (PRE-HEALING TEMPLATE and
Appendix-2 (PRE-HEALING TEMPLATE EXAMPLE)
Then, after you carry out the experiment, share how you felt doing it and any results you may have discovered. You can use the post-healing template to help you decide what to report. I have also included an example of a completed post-healing template.
Appendix-3 (POST-HEALING TEMPLATE) and
Appendix-4 (POST-HEALING TEMPLATE EXAMPLE)
Continue the art of dream healing as often as you see fit and in whatever manner works best for you. Remember that sharing the process benefits us all!
Appendix-1 PRE-HEALING TEMPLATE
Your Name (or initials) _______
Alternative Self _______
Random Character _______
Subject of Healing (Name or Initials) __________
Part or System or Symptom
Unfulfilled Desire __
Place (e.g. home in bed; city): _________
Reality of Healing
Induced Dream ___
Lucid Dream ___
Tell one positive action you hope the subject will feel able to take as result of the healing: ______________________
or Word(s) _________________
Energy Form(s) _________________
Appendix-2 PRE-HEALING TEMPLATE EXAMPLE
Title: Healing for EN’s Hip
Healer: Beverly D’Urso or
Hip problem (Perthes’)
July 20, 2005
11 pm – 4am
Cabin bed; Arnold, CA
Lucid dream and
So, he can play his favorite sports
Ask: “What can he, or his family, do to help his situation?”
Try: Energy shooting up and down his body from my fingertips
Appendix 3 (POST-HEALING TEMPLATE)
Your Name (or initials) __________
Who else appeared __________
Subject of Healing __________
Did the subject have any related dreams? ____
Summarize the dream or other process
or include your dream report
Did the subject appear as usual? ___________
Scene: (inside, daytime, city, etc.) ________________
Any symbols, energy forms, information, or unexpected actions or objects? ____________________________
Did the timing occur as planned? _________
Place (e.g., home in bed; city): _________
Reality of Healing
If lucid dream, rate lucidity (Scale: 1- 5=highest) ____
Any reported change in the problem or the subject? ______________________
What ended up happening as the healing?
Appendix 4 (POST-HEALING TEMPLATE EXAMPLE)
Title: Healing for EN’s Hip
Healer: Beverly D’Urso
No one else appeared to assist
Other children played nearby
The subject dreamed he got healed in a video game with a character called Luigi. I dreamed of him saying “Ouija.”
See Appendix-7 (HEALING FOR EN’S HIP)
EN did not look exactly as he does in WPR, but he responded to his name
Outside, daytime, camp-like setting
Purple liquid looking like blood flowed out of tiny holes that appeared all over him
Thick yellow tasteless liquid comes out of my fingertips on a practice attempt
Six days after planned, just in time before a trip
Cabin bed; Arnold, CA
Acted-out during the week in WPR
Visualized every night
Lucid dream level 4
EN did very well after the healing and did not ask for pain medicine during this past month, as he did before the healing
EN’s Mom says his problem could relate to blood problems at his birth, similar to something to he said in the dream
I point my fingers toward his leg and say “scourgify.” I have the clear intention for the best possible outcome. To make sure I have reached his hip, I repeat the process up and down his whole body. I forgot to ask the planned question or anyone for help.
Appendix 5 (HEALING OF MY UTERINE MASS)
My Lucid Dream Geometric Healing Experience
by Beverly D’Urso
On Monday, March 7, 2005, I went in for a routine, annual gynecological exam. During the exam, my doctor found that I had an “expanded uterus.” He immediately did an ultrasound test and determined that I had: “both a large cyst and a mass that looked like it might be a tumor.” He told me to return when I got my period to do another ultrasound test to see if my condition changed.
I decided that I would try to have a lucid dream about my condition. Often, I attempt “direct healing” in my lucid dreams. In this case, I might chant that I want the cyst and mass to disappear and zap my uterus with healing energy which usually comes from my fingertips. However, this time, I wanted to understand more about why the situation occurred after so many years of normal exams. I have had other uterine problems, but not for the last decade.
As a goal for my next lucid dream, I chose to ask some questions. I wanted to know precisely: “What message does this condition want me to know?” and “What can I do about it?” I also felt open to any healing that would occur naturally in my dreams. I practiced repeating these questions to myself during the day, when I first went to bed, and when I awoke in the middle of the night. However, I did not feel very well that week and did not even record my dreams for several nights. After recording dreams all my dreams on Sunday morning March 13th, I finally had some lucid dreams on Monday morning March 14th.
In an early dream, I ask dream characters, “What does my condition mean and what should I do about it?” They do not give me clear answers, so I decide to ask the “Source” to show me answers on the wall structure in front of us. I ask the two people to look at the wall as well. I immediately see these projected images.
The first image shows skeletons similar to the ones we had hanging on Halloween. I think they might represent death. Next, I see a traffic scene. An ambulance and fire truck appear. Finally, an airplane comes smashing down from the sky onto a freeway. I ask the person next to me what she saw and she responds, “I saw the airplane crash in Chicago.” I tell her that I grew up near Chicago and ask her what she thinks it means. She says she feels too tired and that I need to ask her later. I respond that I need to wake up and write all this down.
The images seem to represent: (1) my fear of a serious condition, (2) a sudden attempt at healing, and (3) a destruction of the unwanted condition. I continue to interpret these images in many ways.
In my dream of 6:45 am, my nine-year-old son, Adrian, and I find ourselves at a camp-like place. We have dinner and he spills some food or drink on me. I have on a levi skirt and a burnt orange sweater, both of which I would not wear these days in waking physical reality. We look for a bathroom and can only find an odd one.
Standing outside, we notice these huge geometric figures in five different colors hovering and circling over us in the sky. They seem as large as ocean liners. A turquoise colored one comes closest to me. It has the shape of two candy dishes pressed together. They all seemed to shoot a kind of energy on me which I experience as a healing. I become very relaxed and open to taking in this invisible energy. I would describe it best as a type of heat.
Adrian seems scared, but I tell him not to worry. I explain, “They came to heal me!” Afterwards, we go back to the strange bathroom, which apparently now works.
I obviously experienced a very direct healing. Notice that the bathroom, which often represents the area of my bladder and uterus, seemed “odd” at the start of this dream. By the end of the dream, the “bathroom worked.”
At 2:45 pm that same day, I went back to see my doctor. He did another ultrasound test searching for the cyst and the mass, but they did not exist any more. He found my uterus “no longer expanded, but completely normal and healthy.”
I later discovered an interesting connection between my “colored, geometric healing figures” and similar ones described in a book called: Through the Curtain by Viola Petitt Neal, Ph,D. and Shafica Karaguella, M.D. To summarize the book: Dr. Neal has lucid dreams where she attends classes that teach her about topics such as the “healing effects of geometric figures and different colors.”
See: Reference 12
Since this day, I have felt more relaxed and find that I can clear my mind more easily than before, especially when I visualize the turquoise figure or see images in my life that represent it. I have begun making a model of this figure. The day after the dream, I received two dinner containers that seem almost perfect for my model.
I have also taken much better care of myself physically after these dreams. I find it easier to exercise more and eat better. The message, which I requested in my dreams, seems to have told me to “do what I can to remain as healthy as possible.”
Although these dreams had a powerful effect on me emotionally and physically, I can not say for certain what part they played objectively in the remarkable disappearance of the cyst and mass that the second ultrasound revealed. Even so, I believe that they played a large part in my healing experience, and I feel very grateful that I had them.
See the original paper for more details, including the last dream of this night. In this dream, I find my childhood home getting rebuilt and later discover, unbeknown to me, it did get rebuilt in WPR at the time of the dream.
See: Reference 3
Appendix-6 (HEALING OF LEG BURN)
Lucid Healing Dream of my Leg Burn
by Beverly D’Urso
July 15, 2005 6:25 am PST
Task: To try to heal a second-degree burn on my right thigh that I got on June 27, 2005.
Plan: To use a “Harry Potter” chant that Ed Kellogg suggested: “Scourgify,” while pointing with the index and middle fingers of my right hand towards my burn.
I find myself at my childhood home at night. I go outside to explore, first at the side of the garage where I buried pets. Next, I go to the alley. When I decide to fly back inside, I realize I am dreaming.
Still in the back and side of the house, I quickly chant “scourgify” and point my index and middle finger of my right hand to my right knee. About a 3 inch diameter area raises up like a volcano about 2-3 inches high. The very tiny apex of the “bell-shaped” area appears red. An invisible force from my fingers seems to pull the “volcano” up and out. Lemon-yellow, liquid-like substance surrounds the volcano, like a puddle of lava. (Later, I say it seemed the consistency of mustard or liquid soap.) I do not feel certain that the liquid came from my fingers, but it probably did. I call out “scourgify” several more times.
Soon, I realize that I have targeted my knee, somewhat below the burn on my thigh. I repeat the process pointing to my burn this time. The same volcano-like bump forms, with even more yellow “lava”. I add that I want “optimal” healing results.
I notice that I still feel very lucid and will remain in the dream. I fly into the backyard asking, “What should I be doing in my life?” I see a large screen with moving pictures of organisms, amoeba or bacteria. I don’t understand what this means, so I go inside the house to ask people.
I see many people milling about. I single out a old, short, Chinese man wearing a costume. He has a patch over his eye and acts like a philosopher. At this time, I am running my hand over my burn trying to and heal it again. The man begins to write out a list on a tablet, or large pad, of what I should do in my life. I look over to read it and say something like, “Oh, basically you want me to “wing it.”
Later, I read online that “wing it” means to do something with little preparation. It comes “from the theater, where impromptu performances were given by actors who received prompts from the wings.”
In WPR, my friend told me that she felt concerned that my burn looked awful and did not seem to get any better between July 2nd and July 8th. When she saw it again, four days after the Scourgify experiment on July 19th, she couldn’t believe how well it looked, like a “small pink heart.”
Appendix-7 (HEALING FOR EN’S HIP)
Lucid Healing Dream for EN
by Beverly D’Urso
July 26, 2005
Task: To try to heal EN, the seven-year-old son of a friend, who has Perthes’ disease. It affects his hip by not allowing blood to flow to his hip properly.
Plan: To chant “Scourgify” (a Harry Potter spell) while pointing my index and middle fingers at his body. I previously talked to him and his Mom about performing a lucid dream healing and they agreed to it.
In this dream, I find myself in a camp-like setting during the daytime. I am standing in an open structure, such as a barn. I remember that I am dreaming. Because EN does not appear near me in the dream, I decide to try the healing actions as if he stands invisible in front of me, making this a practice session. I point my index and middle fingers straight out in front of me and say “scourgify.” Not having an object, forces me to look at my fingers. I see that a sticky, thick yellow liquid emanates from the pads of my fingers. I decide to put my fingers to my mouth and discover the taste of the yellow stuff. As I do this, the stuff turns green. Its consistency stays the same, and I do not notice any flavor.
Next, I see a group of children outside and decide to find EN. I look around and call out his name. I find him in the middle of a group of other children, who soon separate. I say to him, “It’s Beverly. I am here to do the dream healing we talked about.” He recognizes me, so I point my fingers toward his leg and say “scourgify.” I have the clear intention for the best possible outcome. To make sure I have reached his hip, I repeat the process up and down his whole body.
At this point, I see he has about a half a dozen small holes all over his body. A dark-purple, watery, liquid squirts out of them. Thinking that this shows his blood flowing, I ask, “Why are you bleeding?” He says he’ll have to consult the Ouija board. I feel surprised that he knows of Ouija boards. He says he used it when he was born. I return to WPR and have a series of false awakenings of both trying to record the dream and of calling EN’s Mom.
When I do call his Mom in the morning, I find that they plan to leave town the next day for a month. I had been trying to attempt this goal for about a week. I tell EN’s Mom the dream and she tells me that she has wondered if his disease might relate to blood problems he had at birth.
She then asks EN if he had any dreams. He reports that he dreamed he was in a video game, got hurt, and was instantly healed. One of the characters in the video game he played has the name “Luigi”, which sounds almost exactly like “Ouija!” EN did very well after the healing and did not ask for pain medicine this past month, as he did before the healing
1. “Publications,” D’Urso, Beverly (Kedzierski Heart).
2. “Lucid Dream Healings,” A collection of reports, Kellogg III, E.W.
3. “My Lucid Dream Geometric Healing Experience,” D’Urso, Beverly (Kedzierski Heart), The Lucid Dream Exchange, Number 35, 2005. [Also in E.l.e.c.t.r.i.c D.r.e.a.m.s, Volume #12, Issue #8, August 2005.]
4. ”Dream Speak: An Interview with Beverly (Kedzierski Heart) D’Urso: A Lucid Dreamer – Part One, Two and Three”, The Lucid Dream Exchange, Numbers 29, 30, and 31, 2003 – 2004.
[Also in E.l.e.c.t.r.i.c D.r.e.a.m.s, Volume #11, Issue #7,8,9, 2004.]
5. “Witches, the House, and Grief: Developing and Avoiding Lucid Dreaming”, D’Urso, Beverly (Kedzierski Heart,) Paper at the Association for the Study of Dreams (ASD) Conference 2003, Berkeley, CA, June, 2003 (Available as an audio tape from ASD.)
6. ”A Look at Lucid Dreams and Healing,” Waggoner, Robert, The Lucid Dream Exchange, Selected Articles on Lucid Dreaming, 2003.
7. Healing Dreams: Exploring the Dreams that can Transform your Life, Barasch, Marc, Riverhead Books (Penguin Putnam Inc.), New York, 2000.
8. ”I learned to use my dreams to improve my life”, about D’Urso, Beverly (Kedzierski Heart), First for Women Magazine, Volume 8, Issue 26, June 24, 1996.
9. ”Facing the Witches”, Heart, Beverly (Kedzierski D’Urso), Autobiography Paper, February, 1992.
10. Dreams & Healing: Expanding the Inner Eye, Winsor, Joan, Dodd, Mead & Company, New York, 1987.
11. ”The Representation of Death in my Dreams”, Kedzierski, Beverly (Heart D’Urso), Lucidity Letter, Dream Lucidity and Death, Volume 4 Number 2, December, 1985.
12. Through the Curtain, Neal, Viola Petitt and Karaguella, Shafica, Devorss Publications, Marina del Rey, CA, 1983.
13. ”You’re dreaming, but do you know it?”, (including Kedzierski, Beverly (Heart D’Urso)), Smithsonian, August, 1982.
14. Dreams and Healing, Sanford, John A., Paulist Press, New York, 1978.
Dr. Beverly (Kedzierski Heart) D’Urso, an “extraordinary” lucid dreamer all her life, originally worked with Dr. Stephen LaBerge at Stanford. Numerous major magazines, such as LIFE, Smithsonian, and OMNI, television specials, books, and radio talk shows have featured her life and her dreams. Using her practical philosophy called lucid living, she has taught her own workshops and presented at conferences for decades. Working with Stanford University Professors, she completed her Masters degree in 1980, involving Cognitive Psychology, and her Ph.D. in 1983, focussing on Artificial Intelligence. Prior to working as a researcher, consultant, and a college professor, she created several startup companies. Dr. D’Urso has over fifty publications and has won several awards, including first place in this year’s IASD Dream Telepathy contest.