Many people commonly dream of tornadoes. Whether observed from a distance or right in the midst of things, people remember tornado dreams for their chaotic and destructive presence. What do tornadoes mean in a dream?
Dreams reflect the dreamer’s state of conscious awareness. Therefore, each person, place and thing in a dream will represent the dreamer’s mind in some way. To answer what tornadoes mean in a dream, we must describe a tornado’s characteristics in waking life and discern its function within the mind.
Tornadoes are an unpredictable force of nature, made up of high-speed wind patterns. Of the elements – air, fire, water and earth — air is the most versatile, flexible and formless. Using the mind as a reference point, air represents thoughts in dreams, for thoughts have the same characteristics. Because wind is the direction of air, wind is likened to the application of the mind’s attention on thoughts. Therefore, tornadoes in their chaotic nature represent scattered attention.
Whenever a tornado appears in a dream, the dreamer should look to the previous day for times when the mind jumps from subject to subject, from one thought to another. This can be an experience of the mind “running at 100 mph,” or incessantly being fixated on a problem that isn’t being solved by continuing to think about it. The average person thinks an estimated 50,000 thoughts per day, often times not being aware of how much thinking actually occurs. In this case, tornado dreams can be a blessing in disguise as a stimulus to learn how to slow the mind down. This produces less confusion, greater clarity, and much more focus within the mind.
Because tornadoes represent scattered attention in dreams, a great way to apply the dream’s message is through practicing concentration. Concentration is the ability to hold the attention at will on anything for as long as desired. Here is a simple way of practicing this daily:
1. Choose an object to focus on. This can be a dot on the wall, a fingertip, a candle flame, or anything that is stationary.
2. Set a timer for 10 minutes. Put the timer aside, so it doesn’t become a distraction.
3. For the duration of 10 minutes, focus all the attention on the chosen object. If the attention moves to anything else, whether an itch, a sound in the room, a memory, or plans for later in the day, take note of when the attention moves away and redirect it back to the chosen object.
This exercise strengthens the ability to identify the attention, slow the thoughts down to a point of recognition, directing the attention at will, and holding the attention for longer periods of time. Daily practice will produce innumerable benefits and calm the raging tornadoes of the mind down to gentle breezes.