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Could Sleeping Near Art Make Your Dreams More Artful?
Mike Albo (one half of the duo behind the book that we oh-so-loved, The Underminer) recently spent the night in a museum. On purpose. With no Ben Stiller in sight. Instead, this grown-up sleepover, at New York City’s Rubin Museum of Art, asked participants to consider the influence of art on their dreams.
Albo writes in Well+Good, “The museum is dedicated to the art of the Himalayas and surrounding regions, and every floor (there are 6) presents gorgeous shrine-worthy work that throbs with meaning and wisdom...Still I was concerned.” He worried “that my dreams would not be worthy. They are often crazily vivid, and involve B-list celebrities from ’90s sitcoms. Basically my brain is like an old copy of People you may find in a dentist office.”
After talk on Tibetan dream interpretation and some bedtime tea, participants cuddled up on their yoga mats beneath large works of art. In the morning, “dream gatherers” wrote down each person's dreams. Albo notes that he was “sort of proud that for once there were no celebrities in my head for a night. Maybe, the Dream Over did its work, and some of the nattering cultural residue that dirties my mind was scrubbed away.” (Read the whole essay for Albo’s wild dream and to see his dream-inspiring artwork.)
There’s something very appealing about the idea that sleeping near art could clear your mind and intensify – or even improve – your dreams. But in the end it seemed like the most valuable part of this experiment (other than, maybe, the “Tibetan cream of wheat” they were served for breakfast) was the simple act of being mindful. Of going to bed thinking of dreams, of waking up ready to receive and assimilate the night’s mental activity. After all, life coach Cheryl Richardson says, “Your dreams can contain important messages about your body and your health.” So whether you’re sleeping beneath a 19th-century tapestry depicting the wheel of life, or a print of your favorite painting wedged in a cheap IKEA frame, it can’t hurt to be open to the idea that maybe your dreams may be magnificent, to try to be your own dream-gatherer each morning.More on listening to your dreams:
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