The Gnosis Café began with a dream I had when I was first practicing group dreamwork. This dream showed me the vast potential of our collective dreaming, and also the spirit in which I approach dreamwork. One night, as I was drifting off to sleep, I had the following dream:
I am walking down Mission St. in San Francisco, toward Café Commons. Only it isn't Café Commons, it's called the Gnosis Café, and there's a wooden hand-carved sign out front with a teacup on it. I turn to go inside, and as I open the door I realize I am dreaming. In that split-second, I also realize that this is where I go to dream--this place is my personal image of the dream world.
The next morning, I looked up the word gnosis: "Gnosis comes from a Greek word meaning 'to know' in the sense of 'tobe acquainted'. It involves direct 'knowledge' and experience of the sacred, rather than relying exclusively on faith, belief or study of sacred texts." (Excerpted from an online FAQ.)
This dream was an invitation from the dream world to explore it more fully. The camaraderie and nourishment that I associate with cafés, combined with the suggestion that this was a "commons" linked to our direct experience of Spirit, colored my early experiences of group dreamwork and has grown and deepened with time. I hold to these principles in all my professional work as teacher, writer, dreamworker, and group leader.