Origins

“Dreamshadow” reflects the words of the ancient Greek poet Pindar, who wrote, “What is anyone, what isn’t anyone, a human is but the shadow of a dream.”

Pindar was an initiate of the Eleusinian Mysteries, the most important cult of the ancient Western world.  Initiation, which involved a powerful potion, gave participants the experience of “dying before dying.” The cult developed from prehistoric shamanic rituals that celebrated Orpheus’s descent into and return from the Underworld, and it honored the death/rebirth myth of Persephone, the daughter of Demeter, the goddess of growing things.

The most important lineage in Western philosophy traces to the Orphic practice of Pythagoras, the mathematical wizard who discovered the musical octave and profoundly influenced Plato, whose practice-linked philosophy established the fundamental ideas of Western thought and grounded them in a transcendent, mystical experience of self-understanding.  Plato, an Eleusinian initiate, brought the influence of Pythagoras to the inspiration of his teacher, Socrates, who spent his life in service of the injunction of the Oracle at Delphi, “Know Thyself.”

Dreamshadow Transpersonal Breathwork is an applied, practice-linked philosophy that uses the method of Stanislav Grof’s Holotropic Breathwork as a modern shamanic practice for self-discovery through cathartic re-experience of events from a person’s biographic history and the process of birth, as well as the potential apprehension of archetypes and events in the cosmos.

The experiential aspect of Dreamshadow Transpersonal Breathwork uses a combination of group process, intense breathing, evocative music, bodywork, and expressive drawing.

The term “transpersonal” refers to experiences where our sense of self enlarges beyond ordinary feelings of individuality to feelings of profound connection with  humanity and nature, ultimately perceiving that the present holds within itself the complete sum of existence, backwards and forwards, that whole amplitude of time, which is eternity. These experiences facilitate deeper understanding of ourselves and of life’s meaning. They give us increased comfort in daily life and a spiritual intelligence that fosters calm and optimism amidst the difficulties of the world.

Dreamshadow Transpersonal Breathwork draws on the work of William James,  Alfred North Whitehead, Carl Jung, Abraham Maslow, Stanislav Grof and others. Grof is a pioneering psychedelic researcher, investigator of exceptional human experiences and cofounder of the transpersonal psychology movement. Together with his wife Christina Grof, he developed Holotropic Breathwork, an inspiration of Dreamshadow Transpersonal Breathwork, Integrative Breathwork and other methods. Holotropic Breathwork is a deceptively simple process that can reveal the intricate ecology of ourselves, living amidst the wonderous complexity of the cosmos.

We offer Dreamshadow Transpersonal Breathwork as a means for people to enhance their way of living, by sharing our experience with philosophy, psychology, and our life together as a family for almost fifty years.

Our workshops provide a safe setting for significant personal experiences. They do not substitute for psychotherapy, but the experiences they foster can significantly deepen and enhance psychotherapy and personal growth efforts included in the spectrum of healing endeavors.

Stanislav Grof, M.D., and his wife Christina created Holotropic Breathwork at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. They drew from his ground-breaking psychedelic research in Prague, Czechoslovakia, and at Johns Hopkins University, as Chief of Reaserch at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center. They also used material gleaned from Eastern disciplines, including Yoga, from practices of indigenous peoples, from depth psychology, and from intense experiential psychotherapies. The Grofs have refined Holotropic Breathwork over the course of more than forty thousand participant sessions.