The Institute

Creativity, transformation,
social impact, art, and

The International Institute for Dreaming and Imagery works with dreaming, imagery, and the spontaneous imagination as tools for transformation, creativity, personal development, connection to Self and Source, and for finding solutions to social and global challenges.


Our work is rooted in ancient wisdom teachings with the added vocabulary and insights of cognitive psychology, neurobiology, studies in movement and somatic practices, creativity, cognitive linguistics, phenomenology, and perceptual geography, among other scientific disciplines.


We work with individuals, coaches/therapists/somatic practitioners, artists and performing arts foundations, leaders, universities, and organizations.


Our work is applied in such diverse fields as coaching, performance and the creative arts, leadership, community building and social change initiatives, body and somatic work, resilience, and science and technology. The DYW Kids program brings this work to children and their adult mentors.

Dreaming, imagery, and the spontaneous imagination are three facets of the same jewel. They are the pre-cognitive language of our embodied experience. Accessing this place of direct, embodied experience by-passes ingrained patterns, belief systems, and habitual thoughts to work directly with the body’s natural ability to transform, heal, and return to balance. It is from this place that we are able to envision, create, and make tangible the solutions, directions, movements, relationships, and all other aspects of life and work that we wish to bring into being.


Dreaming has long been the means by which people came together and formed community. It is a cornerstone of Western civilization, and has given rise to the world we live in today. Historically it is has been the means of healing, the trace of which continues in the symbol of the Caduceus found on every Western doctors’ coat and prescription pads. 


Dreaming is both ancient and eternal, a universal means for reaching both our deepest inner self, and beyond, to the Source which connects us all. Being able to imagine and envision is the sole means by which we develop, individually and communally. Today science is turning its lens to this ancient and enduring language, lending new insights on its role in healing and neurological functions, giving us new vocabulary to express what is our shared human gift.

dreaming is the universal
language of problem-solving,
community-building, and

The Kabbalah of Light and
Colette Aboulker-Muscat

The Institute is grounded in the teachings of the late Madame Colette Aboulker-Muscat (1909 – 2003). Called the Kabbalah of Light, these teachings were passed through a long family lineage from the 13th century Mediterranean, with roots which extend beyond the 1st century. Colette adapted these teachings for a contemporary audience. Her family includes her father, Dr. Henri Samuel Aboulker, a renowned professor of neuroscience, and mother, Berthe Bénichou-Aboulker, a successful novelist and first published female author in Algiers. Colette studied philosophy at the Sorbonne University in Paris, where she studied and worked with French psychologist Dr. Robert Desoille (known for his method “Reve Eveille Dirige”, directed waking dream). She was decorated and honored for her work in healing others from physical, emotional, and mental difficulties, as well as for her work organizing the successful underground resistance against the Nazis in North Africa in World War II for which she was decorated as one of the “five mothers who helped save the world”.

The founder of the Institute, Dr. Bonnie Buckner, learned this lineage from over fifteen years study with Dr. Catherine Shainberg, who was a direct student of, and long collaborator with, Colette. Throughout her life, Catherine has continued to significantly advance the work through her School of Images, published written and audio works, and developing the work around the journey of childbirth.

As Colette’s life attests, dreaming, imagery, and the spontaneous imagination are practical tools for change – individually, and within the world. It is a dynamic work of powerful transformation. The Institute continues this tradition, bringing to it new findings in research and application, as we work to help individuals and organizations to reconnect to their common human heritage of dreaming, the place of healing and envisioning, to truly dream our world into being.