Dream Work & Contemplative Practice – Healing Afflictive Emotion & Freeing The Fettered Heart

Healing Afflictive Emotion & Freeing The Fettered Heart

The teachings here at Vidya Institute International are dedicated to the two Gurus who have shared so generously with us over the years Sri Krishan Mantriji and B.K.S Iyengar. Without them, it wouldn’t have been possible for us to share these teachings with you.

June 19-23, 2023 | Orvieto, Umbria, Italy


One thing that’s made our past retreats so special was that we took an individualized approach to our curriculum and teaching. In practical terms, this means we’ve set a plan for what we’d like to cover during this retreat, but are always open to be spontaneous in how the individual days are laid out – the retreats follow this “creative itinerary” rather than something rigid that takes away from the enjoyment of the entire experience.

Every retreat group we work with is unique; we realized a long time ago that attuning the teachings as much as possible to those who come, tailoring the Sadhanas and theoretical teachings based on the individual, keeps things nourishing and more understandable.

A special part of these retreats is the atmosphere of immersion in the teachings and social environment together. We always look to find the right balance, allowing room for meals together, time to explore nearby Rome & the Italian countryside, while still allowing for longer than normal days of teaching and practice when it makes the most sense to do so.

A Brief Overview Of What To Expect

In mid-20th century China, Mao-Ze-Dong banned the use of the word “dream” in all published writing. Not long before this, Adolf Hitler deemed the writing and dream work of the Surrealists in occupied Europe as “sinister and deranged”; soon after, he had them arrested and thrown into concentration camps.

The war against the life of our hearts is not an invention of recent centuries. If you look closely, you’ll find them sprinkled throughout Europe’s deep history, where they reveal the underlying fear that the West has of the Unconscious and the Mystical Heart.

“You have to make the choice between the discomfort of being aware of your mental afflictions versus the discomfort of being ruled by them.”

–Tibetan Monk, Minge Rinpoche, on accessing the inner life

Scottish psychologist R.D. Laing spoke of the inner life of the heart as one of the three greatest universal human fears. Unresolved physic pain strives to express itself through our dreams. All our afflictive emotions (kleshas) are born of that hidden unresolved pain.

The bearers of the world’s mystical traditions have always turned to contemplative awareness as the path to – not just God – but to freedom from fears, anxieties, and distress.

During this five-day retreat we will examine a variety of approaches to dream work and meditative practice, including:

  • Methods which help us interpret Warning Dreams
  • Identifying & Understanding “The Big Dreams of Destiny”
  • How to uncover our inner & outer sources of insight and guidance
  • Understanding the unique purposes of each contemplative method
  • Exploring healing dreams & their transformative power for our lives
  • Practical steps to use meditative practice alongside Dream Work

Favoured aspects of meditation within the Yoga tradition are closely entwined with the more subtle parts of our being: the breath, the sacred sound, and the pure light of the heart. Yogic texts liken the heart’s center to Brahma’s castle – it is the place where the Seer (the self) finds itself most at home.

Contrary to our intellect, which holds only our experiences of the known, the heart’s center carries intuitive wisdom regarding the unknown and mysterious.

Eastern traditions have always emphasized that it’s when you start at the heart that you’re able to discover the hidden dynamics of your own mind – helping you to more calmly observe the events and challenges of your life.

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