Understanding dreams and dream research has been the primary driving force for me to attend the Consciousness and Transformative Studies (CTS) program at John F. Kennedy University. I’ve been gifted with fascinating dreams for as long as I can remember. As a child, I experienced lucid dreams, becoming aware that I was dreaming, and I started to influence and control the direction of the dream. At 26, I had sleep paralysis for the first time, followed by an Out of Body Experience that changed my perspective on consciousness and reality as a whole. Sleep paralysis and the following experiences I had after, opened my mind to the possibility to explore deeper levels of consciousness through dreaming. After that moment, I became engrossed in studying psychology, dreams, and consciousness. Recently, I was medically retired from the military after 14 years of service, and decided that I wanted to learn about consciousness in an academic setting to build a foundation for my personal understanding of reality.

My previous formal education in dreams and consciousness dates back to my first years at college and my bachelor’s degree in psychology. Most of what I know about sleep, dreams, and consciousness, however, has been self-taught. While getting my bachelors, I actively reached out to find professors with knowledge of the psychology of dreams, but I found out pretty quickly that they could not offer me the answers that I was seeking. The lack of knowledge at my college inspired me to reach out to educators online and book authors. Additionally, I also experienced many forms of challenging altered states of consciousness, which offered me a vastly different mode of education than occurs merely reading or talking about the subjects.

My experiences and education presented me with the drive to reach out to others like myself who have aspired to learn more about dreams and altered states of consciousness. This inspired me to build a community around these topics. My most recent project is a community called Taileaters, exploring consciousness in a mature and respectful way. Taileaters.com provides free information on some best practices used to dive deeper into lucid dreaming and other altered states. Myself along with other members run a podcast called Cosmic Echo, featuring interviews with experts who have spent their lives studying consciousness.

The CTS program has provided the framework and state of mind needed to make my project come into reality. The classes offered overall have allowed me the focus I needed and the groundedness to explore my views on consciousness and see a broader perspective of the research and content surrounding these topics.

Working with other professionals helped me to build a relationship with a broader audience and has given me some ideas for my community’s development. Currently, I am working with a few large book publishers to interview interesting and inspiring individuals on the podcast. I look forward to expanding my community as I meet new people and learn new things. I also look forward to expanding my knowledge while at John F. Kennedy to improve my current education as I become aware of a more holistic view of consciousness.

If only there were a college for these types of things.