During most of the 80s and 90s, Daniel Stone travelled the world in search of answers.
He visited Aboriginal communities in the Australian outback and spent months learning about Bon Shamanism in Tibetan temples. He explored the truths hidden within the walls of the Egyptian pyramids and spoke to Toltec wisemen in Central America. He even searched for answers in art and psychotherapeutic theories.
The information he was looking for would answer a question that had been following him for years: Why were his dreams more real than his daily life?
It was in the Mexican desert, after reflecting on his journeys with a Toltec shaman, that Daniel found an answer to his question, finding himself in the process.
The answer came in the form of a language that would forever bridge the gap between day and night: Life as dream.
Upon his discovery, Daniel began devoting his life to sharing its wisdom with others. In 2000, he founded the Centre of the Conscious Dream, a centre located in the middle of Mexico’s San Luis Potosí desert. Since then, hundreds of dreamers from around the world have travelled to the Centre, going on retreats that have been described by many as life changing.
We sat down with Daniel to discuss his journey through the conscious dream and to learn about the teaching that pilgrims from around the world experience when they visit his centre.
Read on to find out more about his life’s work, and to learn what you can find yourself in a Mexican desert.
(NOTE: The interview has been edited for clarity and length)
SEJ: We wanted to start out by asking you about the Centre of the Conscious Dream, which you have mentioned is located in an extraordinary multi-dimensional field of energy that drew you in. Can you talk a little about that process? How did you know this place was “the one”?
Daniel: I had spent a decade visiting the power points on the planet. Some well-known, such as the pyramids in Egypt, Uluru, Mount Shasta, Lake Titicaca, Glastonbury, and some not so well known in South America, Asia, Australia and Europe. I was travelling the globe trying to listen to the planetary body, and learning how it moved, and how each power point related to the others. The context of its discovery was the journey of listening to power points. This particular power point is the most powerful I have come across, with the exception of Uluru in Australia. However, Uluru is unworkable, for me, for various reasons, and the land allowed me to visit but not to stay.
In Mexico, the land gave me a huge yes, and this affirmation has given me the strength to overcome the many obstacles that come your way when trying to build a centre with very little money. I would say that this land invited me to work with it. We have a relation, and by living here, I build this relation.
SEJ: Besides this affirmation, you say you got from the land, what drove you to actually build a centre in the middle of the desert in San Luis Potosí?
Daniel: I began living in Mexico in 1997, and started building the centre in 2000. During those first three years I worked with all the major indigenous groups in the country, and my experience taught me that there was a need for someone to come in and make a coherent bridge between the indigenous experience and the lifestyle and values of the other people who may be interested in those teachings.
At that point it became clear to me that my goal was to act as a signpost and give tools to enable the participants to communicate with the really big and important teachers of the land, such as the mountain, the planet earth, the sun, the moon, the stars, etc.
SEJ: What can this place teach other people?
Daniel: For me, the mountain is the greatest teacher here. Every time I wake up and feel it, every time it teaches me in my dreams at night, every time I climb it, even to the foot hills, I am astounded by the depth of its wisdom. I actually believe that everything I do here, all of the seminars, ceremonies, walks of power, visits to sacred sites, exercises with the dreaming body, they are all so that each human being who visits here has at least a chance of listening and understanding the wisdom of the mountain.
SEJ: If the mountain is the biggest teacher at the Centre, what is your role as a guide?
Daniel: I see myself as someone who makes spaces – the physical space of the centre for example, and spaces with sound, spaces with colour, ceremonial spaces. In those spaces, I attempt to create the context in which it is possible for the participant to contact their deepest authentic teacher inside of them. Once they have that contact, they can develop their profound intuitive wisdom. It is all there already – everyone is a master teacher whose book is waiting to be read.
SEJ: What do you think participants take away when they come to the Centre?
Daniel: Coming to the centre is a chance for people to let go of their everyday life for two or three weeks and open up to a wider sense of who they are and why they are here. It is our intent that people return to their daily lives with essential tools that will help them in their own road to consciousness, self-healing and creativity, as well as essential tools in the healing or helping of their families, friends, or in a professional capacity.
SEJ: What does a typical day look like when based in the desert in Mexico?
Daniel: There isn’t a typical day as all days are different. However, in general, we try and find a balance between the participant working on their own with specific tools to enable them to develop relation with the big teachers – the elements, trees, rocks, animals, the desert in general, the mountain, the planet earth and the sky, and then the ceremonies and seminars in group settings.
SEJ: Who is this journey most likely to appeal to and do participants need any former experience or knowledge in the field?
Daniel: The retreat is relevant and very useful for anyone who needs to clarify their vision for their work, their relations, their living situation, and their sense of purpose on this planet. It would be very powerful for anyone involved in creative artistic processes, and anyone who is involved in a self-healing or professional healing path. These retreats typically attract people from different countries from all walks of life, from healers and artists, to business people and professionals. The retreat is in English and Spanish.
SEJ: How can we all benefit from being more conscious/aware of our dreaming selves?
Daniel: Let’s say you are looking at a life size human adult sculpture from the front. You get a certain perspective. You go to the back of the sculpture, and get another perspective. Then the two sides, two more perspectives. In an ordinary gallery room, it may be difficult for you to get the perspective from above, and even more difficult to get the perspective from below. What would it be like if you had access to all of the possible perspectives AT THE SAME TIME. This is possible through the dreaming body. Unless you know all the possible perspectives of your times and spaces, how can you make informed decisions? Most of the important decisions we make in our lives are based on a small percentage of the information available.
Find yourself at the Centre of Conscious Dream
Join Daniel Stone and Toltec teachers at the Centre of the Conscious Dream for a practical shamanic initiation and profound healing retreat that will rekindle your creative fires.
The retreat explores the indigenous traditions of Mexico and Central America, and integrates shamanic teachings learned by Daniel from Inca, Australian Aboriginals and Bon Shamanism (Tibetan Buddhism) wisepeople.
Daniel and his team have been receiving groups at the Centre for nearly 20 years, and will provide you with the teachings and initiations needed for your own internal transformation. There’s probably no one out there more capable to give you the tools to make this trip, and the rest of your life, truly special.
Learn more about this journey, which runs from March 24 and April 14, 2018.