Montague Ullman’s influence lingers at publication parties

11 Mar

On what’s probably the last day of vaguely winter weather of 2011–2012’s vaguely winter season, I’m getting back to work here by writing about a holiday party I attended at the other end of the season, in December.  More to the point, about the books I received from the party host, Cosimo.

Appreciating Dreams, by Montague Ullman

Cosimo, a specialty publisher in New York City (whose owner is a Dutch expat),  does “publishing on demand” in several categories. In 2006, Cosimo republished Appreciating Dreams,

in connection with a seminal 2005 talk by psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Montague Ullman (1916–2008). The Ullman Method of group dreamwork has widely influenced how people work together to understand their dreams. Appreciating Dreams is the “manual” for the Ullman Method.

Montague Ullman, on his site maintained by Markku Siivola

Montague Ullman, on his site maintained by Markku Siivola's

Understanding Dreams, by Markku SiivolaCosimo gave out gift bags at the party, and some of the bags included a just-published book by Finnish psychologist Markku Siivola, a friend and student of Monte Ullman’s. That book is a restatement and introduction of the Ullman Method, titled Understanding Dreams: The Gateway to Dreams Without Dream Interpretation. Markku and I met at one of the weekend-long dream group dream leadership trainings that Monte used to conduct in his home in Ardsley, New York. That weekend afforded a convincing demonstration of the Ullman Method’s ability to be just as insight-inducing and satisfying for group members as for the person whose dream they’re working on: at some point in using the Ullman Method on a dream I’d brought, both Markku and I were deeply affected, each for our own reasons. So I’m particularly looking forward to reading his take on the method.

A Dream Come True, by David L. Kahn(Another dream book Cosimo published, a few years ago, is by International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD) member David L. Kahn. I haven’t read this one yet, either, but a presentation David did about Holocaust dreams at IASD’s 2009 conference was stunning. His Cosimo book is A Dream Come True:  Simple Techniques for Dream Interpretation and Precognitive Dream Recognition.)

Monte’s Citroën

Spiritual Places In and Around New York, by Emily Squires and Len BelzerEmily Squires, another Cosimo author, was at the Cosimo party, and her book in my gift bag. Spiritual Places In and Around New York City (coauthored with Len Belzer and published under Cosimo’s Paraview imprint) is also on my to-read list. Many spiritual practices are represented by the places covered, and I know many of them have wisdom to offer about dreams.

My own Emily Squires story goes back to Monte Ullman’s talk in November 2005, for which I was the point person in making arrangements. It was cosponsored by IASD and the Friends of the Institute of Noetic Sciences (FIONS). Because of a very last-minute change in transportation plans, I called on Emily to drive up to Westchester to pick up Monte and deliver him to the venue in the east 30s.

Citroën 2cv Export 1967. Rouge Corsaire AC403.

Citroën 2cv Export 1967. Rouge Corsaire AC403. From Wikipedia Commons.

By the time we hit the West Side Highway southbound, it was rush hour, and Emily used all the skills of a New York City driver [the safe and appropriate ones, anyway] to keep us moving. Monte—then in his late 70s and holding tightly to the dashboard grab bar—kept teasing her, and Emily kept apologizing, but Monte would have none of it. He was actually having a great time, he said—and it reminded him of his commute to Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, where he was chief of psychology in the 1960s and established a sleep laboratory where he did pioneering research into telepathic dreams. For some reason, although it seemed like an inconsequential question, I asked him what kind of car he’d had then. He said it was a Citroën—either green or red, he couldn’t remember which—and he’d loved that car.

That jolted me. “Monte!” I said. “I had a dream about a Citroën not too long ago!” I’d thought it very odd at the time. When was the last time I’d seen or thought about a Citroën—a few decades earlier? Later, I looked it up. The dream had been in August—three months before Monte’s Manhattan talk. The Citroën part was the third of three scenes, or themes, in the dream (emphasis added after the conversation with Monte Ullman):

Out on the street. It’s no longer a high-rise area; now the buildings are attractive, expensive, single-story offices, rough dark wood. I get in the driver’s seat (?) of a (?) small minivan. A bunch of young, dark-skinned (?) men pile in, noisily, excited and joking.  (Feelings)  [No notes] Frazzled? Curious about and kind of enjoying the joking around. But maybe I also feel put-upon

The younger woman who led the seminar and the man rush past in a bright-colored (green? red?) Citröen, squeezing dangerously between us and the curb, having fun. (Feelings)  I enjoy the excitement. [Illegible] of danger outweighed by being impressed by the woman’s style. [End of dream]

Citroen from dream

Citroen from dream, 8/2/05

[Comment when I wrote the dream] Citröen, red or green – (8/2/05, immediate)  I have no idea where this came from. I did a bit of Googling and couldn’t find any meaning other than just the car (although it certainly has fans).

Judy Gardiner’s cosmic dreams

Lavender, by Judy B. GardinerGoing even farther back than the holidays, Judy Gardiner introduced her magnum opus Lavendar at a book party in early fall. For years, Judy had recorded a flood of dreams that gave her, first, personal information about family situations, and then streams of scientific education she hadn’t been familiar with in waking life. In her search for understanding of how dreams work, she eventually contacted Montague Ullman. He’d been working on a new theory of how dreams and their range of psychological, social, and psi phenomena work, building on the theory of implicate and explicate orders advanced by his friend the physicist David Bohm. Judy’s work dovetailed well with Monte’s, and a new partnership formed that lasted the last several years of Monte’s life.

Judy presented some of her work at IASD’s annual conference at Sonoma, California, in 2007. I, unfortunately, got lost on campus trying to get to the session, so I missed it. But it made Judy a rock star of dreaming—the conference was abuzz with excitement after her presentation. So I hope to clear some time in my schedule after IASD’s conference in Berkeley this year to read it. And I’m delighted to say that Judy has promised to do a presentation locally for IASD’s New York City area members. Stay tuned to this blog’s Events page.


2 Responses to “Montague Ullman’s influence lingers at publication parties”


  1. Newish dream books by New Yorkers | - July 10, 2014

    […] RealityShifters Blog. Read a bit more about the book (and Montague Ullman’s influence) on a previous post here, and much more on Judy’s site Cosmic […]

  2. Lever House and Laos, linked by a dream symbol « - June 14, 2012

    […] me I had made an appearance in a dream she’d had the night before. (Judy is a New Yorker and the author of Lavender, a novel based on her life-changing, epic experience of what she calls cosmic […]

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