What is a Good Life? #19
Is It All A Dream? with Dan Lawrence
On the 19th episode of the What is a Good Life? podcast I am joined by Dan Lawrence, who is Head of Consultancy at Dallington Associates, a Jungian Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist, and a Social Dreaming Consultant.
In this episode Dan takes us on a journey from questioning where thoughts come from as a child, to his investigations and work around dreams and social dreaming. While he also shares what he has learnt from his Zen practice, silent meditation retreats, mat surfing, and his recent intensive care unit experience in Malaysia (clip below).
Dan’s life path to date includes being a Derivatives Trader for a decade, studying Theology, briefly considering priesthood, becoming a Jungian psychotherapist, offering Psychedelic integration therapy, all while practicing Zen for 25 years.
His unique life experiences and perspectives make him one of the most insightful people I know. Through listening to this episode I am sure you’ll widen the scope of your investigation, and awareness, in contemplating what contributes to your own good life.
The weekly clip from the podcast (4 mins), my weekly reflection (2 mins), the full podcast (70 mins), and the weekly questions all follow below.
1. Weekly Clip from the Podcast
2. My weekly reflection
In my conversations with Dan to date, he doesn’t confine the concept of dreaming to time spent either waking or sleeping. It is more so the quality of an experience, a plane of consciousness, existence, or communication, that is before thought and words.
In the interview, he mentions an experience of being on a silent Zen retreat for a week and staring at a wall in front of him for 12 hours a day. There was a person next to him, whom after the 7 days he was convinced he knew this person intimately and that words would actually do this knowing a disservice.
At my local coffee shop, I’ve had the experience of regularly sitting near a woman who for a time, often seemed to sit completely still, no distractions, and was simply observing the world go by around her. When we eventually talked for the first time, we both said how nice the silence was and to share that space of silence with someone else. We rarely talk beyond a friendly hello, but I enjoy her company immensely.
While this week, I talked to a man that I had similarly felt numerous times before talking with him, that we were both vibrating at a similar frequency. When we talked at the weekend, we had a mesmeric conversation, and I told him I simply knew whenever we talked that it would be as such. So much felt like it had already been communicated before eye-contact or a formal acknowledgement of the other was made.
What I love about the spaces that Dan explores either through his Jungian psychotherapy work, his social dreaming, or his Zen practices, etc., is this sense that there is a lot more to appreciate before words and thoughts attempt to crytalise the experience. In my own investigations, I feel there is so much going on in our communication beyond words, actions, and body language, if only we pay subtle enough attention.
3. Full Episode - Is It All A Dream? with Dan Lawrence - What is a Good Life? Ep. #19
Click here for Apple and Google.
4. This week’s Questions
In the video clip above Dan asks himself, “what is the question I am responding to in my life?” - what question comes up for you?
Note whatever your most recent thought has been, now ask yourself, where did that thought come from? What do you experience when asking this question?
I am a Coach based in Berlin, via Dublin, Ireland. I left behind a 15-year career in Capital Markets after I became extremely curious around answering some of the bigger questions in life. After interviewing 150+ people around the question of, “what is a good life?”, my work now has 3 pillars:
I offer working professionals one-on-one coaching programs to help them find their own answer to this question.
I deliver corporate workshops to bring greater connection, collaboration, and trust, to high-performing teams (for a reference)
I create internal podcasts for leaders of fast-growing scale-ups around this question to role-model culture and to build trust, connection, and retention of their people.
If you would like to work with me, or you simply want to get in touch, here’s my email and LinkedIn.