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Dreams Over Breakfast



A Native American approach to intimacy with yourself, your family, and the world around you.

This article appeared in the Winter 2002 issue of Spirituality & Health. Every morning as I was growing up, my parents, brothers, and I shared a simple ritual. We would sit around the breakfast table and recount our dreams from the night before, exploring them for meaning or message, and sharing laughs over the cleverness of pun and symbolism so often present in dreams. I’ll never forget the burst of hilarity that greeted my own recounting of a dream in which I had a ring with a “black stone heart” set in it, my family well-aware that I’d just broken up with a boyfriend who’d wanted to get more serious. Dreams that felt more powerful or even disturbing, however, waited until later in the day for sharing. I’d speak to one of my parents privately, and often my mother would say, “That sounds more like a kind of dream I know your father has. You should ask him about it. Maybe he’ll understand what it means.” He often did, or if not then he would share a similar dream, sometimes one he’d had thirty or more years ago, and we’d compare the two and talk about them, trying to understand. It wasn’t until …

Suggested Readings

Native Science: Natural Laws of Interdependence by Gregory Cajete (Clear Light Publishers, 2000)

Indian Education in America by Vine Deloria, Jr. (American Indian Science and Engineering Society, 1991)

Walking in the Sacred Manner by Mark St. Pierre and Tilda Longsoldier (Simon & Schuster, 1995)

American Indian Medicine by Virgil J. Vogel (University of Oklahoma Press, 1970)

Dawn Adrian Adams, Ph.D. (Choctaw), is the president and founder of Tapestry: The Institute for Philosophy, Religion, and the Life Sciences, Inc. ( She has been awarded 5 National Science Foundation grants for science education research and Indigenous science.ᅠ She is an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, and of Choctaw, Chickasaw, and mixed European descent.

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