Donna Mazzola is going to be giving a workshop she’s named, Unlocking the Wisdom of Our Dreams on Saturday morning at the Conference. Intrigued at the title, and wanting to discover more, I wrote and asked whether she had time to spare for an interview. Happily it worked out that she was able to stop by my house the other afternoon. I was struck by the gentle, open way she responded to my questions. We began by talking about how her dream work got started:
“My background is varied. I taught elementary school for thirty years. I just left that career last June. But for the last five years I have been doing my own personal work, and one of the ways that I’ve supported myself to do that has been to become a student at Wisdom University, which was formerly known as the Institute for Creation-Centered Spirituality, which came out of the work of Matthew Fox. It has a collective of wonderful teachers, people who are pursuing wisdom. So, it was there, during my studies, that I came upon a course with Jeremy Taylor. He’s been doing projective dream work for over forty years and founded the Marin Institute of Projective Dreamwork. At the time, I was simply wanting to get a certificate in Wisdom Spirituality but then, when I took his class, everything clicked into place. And I thought, “This is why I’m here”.
It isn’t that I only began to think about dreams with his course. I’ve been doing my own dream work intensely for six years. And off an on through my life – since my twenties, I suppose – I’ve kept dream journals. In the 80’s, I was influenced by people like Morton Kelsey and his writings. The main thing for me was that I had this sense that dreams were not just some arbitrary way of us processing our day, that there was more to it than that. Could it actually be that it was a personal way that Spirit could communicate with us, about our ‘stuff’, about our issues?
Because everybody dreams.
“Right, we all dream. And my dreams are different from yours. Yet, there’s also this pool that’s beyond us which has this collective imagery. We all can say, “Yes, I had a dream about a horse running” or, “I dreamt about my pipes leaking”..So there’s this level of universal archetypal unconscious that we all kind of dive into, and then there are our own personal symbols. I’ve been very influenced by Jungian thought. I probably was attracted to Jeremy’s work because he also leans toward the Jungian perspective. In fact the course I took from him was called, Jung as Mystic.
So, that’s kind of how it all started. And I then found out that Jeremy offered a certification in projective dream work, so, in addition to the work I was doing at Wisdom University, I chose to do an apprenticeship with Jeremy and become certified as a professional dream worker. It’s the work that I want to do with the second half of my life.
So, that’s what the workshop is going to center on?
“Yes. What I will offer is an answer to what Projective Dreamwork is. There are a lot of ways to work dreams, and this is one of them. It’s a way that I feel is rich. It draws upon the wisdom of the group, and actually uses something that we’re all saddled with – which is our projections.
“Right. So, if I’m coming at everything from the way that I see it (or project it), why can’t I use that to make a contribution to someone that might shed a light on a piece of their dream that they maybe hadn’t considered before?