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Dreaming with Polar Bears

Spirit Journeys with Animal Guides

Published by Bear & Company
Distributed by Simon & Schuster



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About The Book

A guide to co-dreaming with animals for personal and planetary evolution

• Presents lucid dream encounters with living polar bears and teachings from polar bear spirits

• Explores ways to consciously engage with dreams, co-dream with animals through shared awareness, and form human-animal dream relationships

• Reveals the role of human-polar bear dreaming in the Earth’s planetary evolution

Dreams speak to us on deep levels. Through dreaming we open a gateway to our inner world. Through lucid dreaming we open to conscious interaction with the surroundings, happenings, and living beings within the dreamscape.

Over many years, animal communicator Dawn Baumann Brunke dreamed of polar bears. One night, a lucid dream triggered the realization that not only was she dreaming of a living polar bear but also that the polar bear was dreaming of her. Through shared dream encounters, Brunke became adept at connecting with the bear both while asleep and awake. Together, they explored nonphysical locales where lucid dreamers meet to join in consciousness and co-dream together.

Recounting the dreams she had with polar bears as well as with a council of spirit bears, Brunke presents techniques she learned to enter shared dreamscapes and form meaningful dream relationships with other species. Brunke also examines how our assumptions about polar bears, or any animal, can teach us about ourselves. As we awaken to the wisdom of our dreams, we begin to heal ourselves and our Earth.

Sharing ways to recall dreams and engage lucid dream awareness, Brunke shows how dreamwork can help us forge deeper connections with the natural world and move more consciously in planetary evolution with all beings. Guided by the polar bears in her dreams, the sacred guardians of North Pole evolutionary energy, Brunke reveals how we can each dream ourselves awake and, with animal companions and guides, help dream a new world into being.


Chapter 3
Face to Face

After the childhood dreams of flying with the white bear were forgotten, stored away in the closet of my psyche, I no longer dreamed of bears. Then, on the eve of my fortieth birthday, I asked for a dream that would show me the direction of this new decade in my life. That night, an answer from the dreamworld:

I leave my house and turn left to walk down the street. It is late at night and everyone is asleep, all the houses dark and quiet. I feel a little thrill at being out alone. The moon shines bright, and I can easily see where I am going. Passing the last house on the corner, I stand at the end of the street, at the far edge of the neighborhood.

Sensing a presence, I turn left. A black bear stands upright at the edge of the forest, watching me. We remain still, frozen in the moment, looking at each other. I am alarmed, yet fascinated too. If he approaches, will I run? If I stand my ground, will he leave? What does he want?

I felt disappointment on waking. None of my questions were answered. Not knowing what would happen with the bear was like leaving a good mystery just as the secret is about to be revealed. Beyond the disappointment, however, I felt something unsettling.

I had asked for a dream but wasn’t truly happy with what came. Let’s be honest. I wanted a big, fancy, red-ribboned, ego-aggrandizing present of a dream for my birthday. Instead, I got a black bear who stared at me. It is a good reminder: if you’re going to ask questions of your dreams, be sure you are willing to accept the answers.

So, what do we do with a dream that makes us uncomfortable? If we expect to develop a relationship with our dreaming world, the answer is clear: we engage it, pursue it, keep digging.

Although I knew this intellectually, I felt uneasy. On the surface, the dream seemed small and uneventful. I could summarize it in one sentence: I walk down the street in the middle of the night, see a bear at the edge of the forest, and we stare at each other. My impatience with the dream--and ongoing desire to diminish it--suggested it probably held much more than I wanted to know.

What Does it Mean?

If you’re unsure what a dream may be telling you, consider drawing it. This is an easy way to gain a different perspective. Following this advice, I sketched our driveway and street and the path I followed to the end of the block. At that time there was a forest at the end of the neighborhood. I marked the bear’s presence at the edge of the forest with an X and put another X where my dream-self stood, at the edge of the houses. Then I laughed. It was all so clear: our meeting occurred at the border of our respective neighborhoods. The bear came out of the forest, the dreamer came out of her house, and there they met in the liminal no-bear-nor-woman’s land in between. The dream revealed a meeting of two worlds!

The only direction mentioned in the dream is left. A turn to the left makes me think about the right and left sides of the body, which are controlled by the opposite sides of the brain. To be left-brained is to be rational, logical, analytical; for most people this corresponds to the right side of the body. To be right-brained is to use intuition, instinct, and holistic views; this corresponds to the left side of the body. A left turn of the body may indicate a turn to one’s instincts, to intuition, to the unconscious, or perhaps to the creative associations of the dream world. When the dreamer turns to her left, she faces the bear. And there he stands: Animal teacher? Guardian of the forest? Dark-furred representative of the wild nature of the psyche?

As a symbolic animal guide, Bear’s teaching is vast. It can include introspection, discernment, healing, transformation, solitude, wisdom, visionary dreams, the ability to mediate between living and dead, and awakening the unconscious. How do we know which aspect of Bear is appearing to us? How do we find the particular brand of medicine our dream animal is offering?

In this dream, the bear is alert and observant, watching the dreamer as she approaches. (A subtle reminder, perhaps, that the Unconscious is already many steps ahead of us.) The connection between bear and human is old and deep. In some cultures bears were so revered they were considered gods. Bears stand upright to gain a better view of the surrounding terrain and what lies ahead. In the dream, the bear’s posture may indicate a look to the future, especially as it reflects the dreamer’s invoked question: “What lies ahead for me?”

Although these are very basic overviews, even this initial dip into the pool of symbolism can shift the gist of a one-sentence dream from: I walk down the street, see a bear at the edge of the forest, and we stare at each other, to: At the entrance to my Unconscious, Bear the Guardian stands and watches me. Or: Standing at the edge of what is known, I face the unknown forest of the psyche and glimpse the ancient power of Bear.

Sometimes just a peek below the surface of a dream can change everything. It’s good to meet a black bear at the entrance to your future, I decided. And yet something about the dream still niggled at me. When I closed my eyes, I could see the bear standing upright, looking my way. I was waiting to see what Bear would do, but deeper contemplation offered another idea: perhaps Bear was watching to see what I would do. And this caused me to consider: What does Bear want with me?

About The Author

Dawn Baumann Brunke is a writer and editor who specializes in the areas of healing, dreaming, spirituality, animal communication, and deepening our connection with all life. The author of Animal Voices: Telepathic Communication in the Web of Life, Shapeshifting with Our Animal Companions, and Animal Voices, Animal Guides, she lives with her husband, daughter, and animal friends in Alaska.

Visit her web site at

Product Details

  • Publisher: Bear & Company (October 11, 2014)
  • Length: 192 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781591431831

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Raves and Reviews

Dreaming with Polar Bears is beautiful, powerful, and enchanting and invites us to grow our experience of the dreaming universe. We learn that as we become conscious dreamers we are never confined to one form or one world. What better mentor than a polar bear who is dreaming with you?”

– ROBERT MOSS, author of Conscious Dreaming

“In this remarkable book, Dawn Brunke reminds us that we exist within an interconnected oneness of depth, beauty, and awareness--if only we wake up, look around, and listen. Lucid dreaming helps us experience deeper connections in a life-altering way and recognize the living awareness of other species, our shared planet, and the vast universe. Dreaming with Polar Bears encourages us all to wake up, remember, and understand this ancient knowledge.”

– Robert Waggoner, author of Lucid Dreaming: Gateway to the Inner Self

“Right from the introduction you will be drawn in, fascinated by Dawn Brunke’s exploration of conscious dreaming and her ability to deeply communicate with animals. Her enthralling exploration will explode your awareness into new possibilities. Read and dream on.”

– Penelope Smith, animal communication specialist and author of Animal Talk

“More than once I’ve fallen into the arms of Dawn Brunke’s books with joyful delight, and Dreaming with Polar Bears has had me falling all over again. The author is a wise guide of oft-hidden transhistorical traditions. She gives us all a much needed reminder of how to restore our connections to the vital realities of the dreaming world and the world of dreaming.”

– Simon Buxton, author of The Shamanic Way of the Bee

“Dawn Brunke’s extraordinary gift of openness to the ancient ways of communication with the animal world opens new horizons to explore the interconnectedness of all life. Her polar bear dreams invite us to stop: to open our eyes, feel, listen, and remember; to allow ourselves to be vulnerable and open our hearts to share with all that is. May this book remind us that we are part of nature and how living that reality can bring a meaningful and balanced life.”

– HRH Princess Irene of the Netherlands, author of Dialogue with Nature

“This book is a must for anyone interested in lucid dreaming and developing relationships with teachers in the spirit world through dreams. It asks deep questions and offers unique answers gleaned from a lifetime of dream experiences.”

– Nicki Scully, author of Power Animal Meditations and Planetary Healing

“Dawn Brunke has taken time to listen deeply to what has called her. She helps us to awaken, to open our being, to recover the sacred covenant of our vocation as custodians of the planet to become co-creators and co-dreamers with the many beings on, below, and above our Earth of a new dream sourced from the heart. I cannot think of a more important message for our time.”

– Veronica Goodchild, Ph.D., faculty at Pacifica Graduate Institute and author of Eros and Chaos

“Many of our customers may already practice lucid dreaming. For those who don’t, this book will be a great starting point. This book is filled with helpful hints to make accessing and interpreting dreams easier… Dreaming with Polar Bears is sure to become a favorite.”

– Retailing Insight, Anna Jedrziewski, December 2014

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