The Imaginal Realm Project

A collaborative project exploring how humans can access the imaginal realm on a global scale

The People

The project connects a wide range of practitioners who are propagating a new paradigm that includes the imaginal realm as a fundamental aspect of reality.

We are creating systems, practices, tools and knowledge that allow people to engage with the full spectrum of experience.

The Potential

Engaging with the imaginal realm has the potential to transform experience in any setting. Being in touch with the imaginal opens doors to new ways of being and relating that can radically shift how people relate to themselves, other people and the world.

The benefits of being connected to the imaginal realm are far-reaching, from an increased depth of connection that is possible; to a wider range of authentic expression; to a more whole-hearted and courageous approach to showing up for difficulties; to generating more creative thinking. 

It can fundamentally change how people work, play, relate, understand and feel; creating richness, flow, aliveness, honesty and depth.

Spirituality

Opening new doors to whole-heartedness, individuation and interconnection

Business

Unlocking new ways of working together and the key to a brand new style of creative problem-solving

Mental Health

Healing at a depth that is difficult to reach in any other way

Academia

Researching the cutting edge of experience on an individual and collective level

Imaginal Practice

The imaginal realm is loosely defined as the part of experience that is fuelled by imagination, intuition, meaning and soulfulness.

When people are first introduced to imaginal practice, the subconscious realm of experience can open up, as if before people were always looking at the surface of experience and suddenly they are given the capacity to be able to dive underwater and explore.

People have described Imaginal Practice as akin to taking psychedelics or dreaming while they are awake

Imaginal practice can open a door into a direct and intimate connection with the depths and richness of the full range of human and collective experience. This unleashes creativity, deepens emotional resonance, heals trauma, uncovers true purpose and unlocks new paradigms for people.

It is simultaneously an incredibly radical way of relating to the world and experience, and once you have experienced it, the most obvious thing in the world.

About Imaginal Journeying

Some of the key imaginal practices and cultures that we are building upon include, but aren’t limited to: Jung’s Active Imagination, Rob Burbea’s Soul-Making Dharma, Tantric Buddhism, Shamanic Journeying, Cliff Barry’s Shadow Work Therapy and George Lakoff’s Metaphors We Live By.

We are passionate about including the relational aspect of experience; if humans are going to find better ways of living this needs to come from a place of relating to each other and the world differently.

Imaginal practice has the capacity to bring people into a place of alignment with the deepest nature of their beings, so that they can move from this place even when they are faced with challenges.

Meditation
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Embodiment
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Relationality
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Transformation
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Creative Thinking
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Discover the Imaginal

If you’re interested in exploring imaginal practice, here are some places to start:

One-to-one guidance is one of the best ways to unlock access to the imaginal realm.  Here is a list of practitioners who are able to guide you into a direct experience of the imaginal: Rosa Lewis, River KennaJane Miller, Kristen Stake, Maija Haavisto, Kaloyan Stefanov, Marcel Scharth, Theo at Untangling Self, David Lassiter

There are also some adjacent modalities that incorporate some elements of working with the imaginal. Some things you could look for are Internal Family Systems Therapy, Shadow Work Therapy, Somatic Experiencing and Soulmaking Dharma.

Support

We want to create a world where everyone has the capacity, skills and wisdom that being in touch with the imaginal realm opens up.

If you’re interested in supporting the project financially or otherwise, please get in touch.

hello@imaginaljourneying.com

Case Study

Joost Vervoort
Associate Professor of Transformative Imagination
Utrecht University

Written September 2021

“I’ve been working closely with Rosa for a little over a year and her guidance has pretty much transformed the way I live, and, importantly, the way I work and lead. Her influence on my practice, experience and worldview is pervasive and highly multidimensional, so this will be oversimplifying the impact of my work with her.

Perhaps the biggest impact on my practice and life has been through imaginal practice. Working with the interaction between body, heart, mind and ‘soul’ (or the sense of interconnected meaning and storylines for anyone less inclined to this language) – to engage with the imagination in a complete and embodied manner.

I have been an imaginative person all my life, and my imagination is now a large part of my profession as a researcher and lecturer focused on more sustainable futures. I have also been a meditation practitioner for my entire adult life. But the integration of these parts of my experience and skills has been an enormous catalyst. It has made my imagination and thinking more embodied and integrated – and it has made the ways in which my embodied experience is naturally supported by my imagination much clearer.

As a result, I am better able to work with various faculties – imagination, empathy, reflection, and the facilitation of these processes for other people.

I’ve become better at recognizing and allowing space for my best traits and talents. For instance, the notion of ‘dark joy’ – being playful and joyful in a way that is allowed to have a shadow side, to have wildness, to break societal expectations.

The importance of safety has been another theme; realizing how important a sense of safety is for people to be able to take risks and do complex things has made me better as a teacher and mentor in my various roles.

I’d like to give one interesting concrete example. Inspired by a court case against my pension fund that is currently being set up to get the fund to divest from fossil fuels, I am building a courthouse game inspired by a popular Japanese game series called Phoenix Wright. The game will inform people how to go about high stakes climate cases – as well as to raise money for actual court cases. The idea is attracting lots of interest across the board.

This example demonstrates how I am mobilizing what I have learned through this approach to practice.

I could very easily bring up many examples of how my life has been impacted – in my work, my relationships, in my own guidance of others in meditation practice, in my artwork, and my music. I think the possibility space for this type of inclusive, multidimensional practice, with a strong focus on imaginal skills, is enormous.

Descriptions

One of the most important aspects of experience that we want to share with people is that the experience of the imaginal realm is not something that you just make up.

Imaginal practice is a way of tapping into the depths of the ineffable and unseen aspects of reality. Of being in touch with the energies and invisible parts, that are as real as the physical world, even though they are often hidden and formless.

Imaginal practice gives people the language and senses for feeling these parts of themselves, others and the world.

Here are some descriptions of people’s experience of  imaginal practice. And here are some vignettes of the imaginal realm.

“It felt like a guided meditation that was opening my senses and through that opening up of the senses, I entered into an imaginal space.”

“The practice is like opening an artistic relationship with your interiority, it allows you to relate to your experience as a self-contained art piece.”

“It invites a playfulness that creates an intimacy with the inside, you are not trying to fix anything.”

“The simple, spatial reorganising that the practice opens up as a possibility is a game-changer. I didn’t know that it was an option and it meant I was able to release a stuckness.”

“The practice opens you to synaesthesia and senses beyond what people assume is possible.”