Michael Mollura portrait for Dream Music

Michael Mollura Dream Music composer photo courtesy of Adina Doria

Listening to the Sounds of the Unconscious

Michael Mollura, PhD, is one of those multi-hyphenate professionals as well as a sincere practitioner of the devotional arts and a longtime personality in the Bhakti yoga spiritual community. He is a person whose degrees and experience reveal a depth of attention to the nuances of how the practice, philosophy, and psychology of yoga are integral parts of our daily lives—while we are awake as well as while we are asleep.

Dr Mollura’s doctorate in Jungian depth psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute adds a layer to a life’s work. It’s a life work that includes two masters degrees in the study of the healing components of music, performance, and images.

In his commitment to the healing that comes from music, he has composed the music to many beloved conscious and transformational films, including: Heal; Hare Krishna! The Mantra, the Movement, and the Swami Who Started It All; Awake: The Life of Yogananda; and The Highest Pass. He has turned this attention to the healing intersection between the conscious and unconscious revelations of our dreams, the messages transmitted in music, and the spiritual journey of our yoga. This manifests in the Dream Music practices that he has been exploring with private clients.

Dream Music will be launching in a retreat and workshop setting at the Esalen Inspirational Film Festival. In the documentary short The Healer, Dr Mollura says of this work, “I compose music to people’s dreams. Each image that shows up in a dream has its own melody, its own sound. By assigning the vibration, we can go deeper into the experience of the dream so we can get to the healing experience of the dream on a deeper phenomenological level.”

Dream Work and The Healer

Guided by Intuition to Shine Light in the Shadows

He is guided by his intuition of what the dream is going to sound like combined with his extensive knowledge of music composition and experience in performance as well as his participation in devotional music. This work offers a powerful and innovative adjunct to the psychotherapeutic process. It allows us to make shifts in perspective because when we’re focused on words alone, our conscious mind and our thoughts can simply be repeating our critical voice. We may be caught up in a negative narrative that may not be actually conducive to our healing. The Dream Music work can bring light to what may be hiding in the shadows and interfering with our ability to access our inner healer.

Dream Music in Community

When Dream Music is explored in a community setting, it can generate a group consciousness around the material that shows up in dreams and can facilitate new understandings—as well as inspire healing experiences. Dr Mollura says, “We are here to heal our shadows, not to suffer and be oppressed by them.”

While there are many methods dedicated to this inquiry across disciplines, Dream Work is a purposeful technique that gives us a literal soundtrack for the dream state. “Dreams generally put a visual to our shadows,” says Dr Mollura. The revelations uncovered in our dreams reveal our unconscious yearnings, our energetic patterns, and even the anxiety of the fight or flight response embedded within our organism. Speaking alone may not draw out these shadows.

Healing the Shadows with Empathy

Instead, as Dr Mollura posits, “Just think about how powerful it is to go into the dream world and try to heal the shadow with empathy.” The source of the empathy is found within the music itself and how our nervous system responds to the multi-faceted emotional nature of music and vibration. This is what helps us access the creative rather than the critical voice. He asks, “What could be more healing and beautiful than being heard with a creative voice?”

Esalen Inspirational Film Festival

As part of the Esalen Inspirational Film Festival, psychologist and film music composer Dr Michael Mollura will present screenings of  Heal, Antarctica, Road to Dharma, and Dent along with facilitating a dream music presentation with percussionist Christo Pellani.   The Esalen Inspirational Film Festival curated and organized by Corinne Bourdeau and Christine Leuthold will be held April 28—May 3. Learn more at: esalen.org

Dr Michael Mollura Private Practice

Dr Michael Mollura (Licensed Clinical Psychologist PSY30873) maintains a private psychotherapy practice in Beverly Hills. In addition to Dream Music Psychotherapy and Dream Music workshops, he applies his expertise to individual, couples, and family psychodynamic therapy. He integrates his understanding of meditation and yoga psychology in his sessions both in person and globally via online telehealth coaching. Learn more at: drmichaelmollura.com.

Felicia M. Tomasko
Felicia Tomasko has spent more of her life practicing Yoga and Ayurveda than not. She first became introduced to the teachings through the writings of the Transcendentalists, through meditation, and using asana to cross-train for her practice of cross-country running. Between beginning her commitment to Yoga and Ayurveda and today, she earned degrees in environmental biology and anthropology and nursing, and certifications in the practice and teaching of yoga, yoga therapy, and Ayurveda while working in fields including cognitive neuroscience and plant biochemistry. Her commitment to writing is at least as long as her commitment to yoga. Working on everything related to the written word from newspapers to magazines to websites to books, Felicia has been writing and editing professionally since college. In order to feel like a teenager again, Felicia has pulled out her running shoes for regular interval sessions throughout Southern California. Since the very first issue of LA YOGA, Felicia has been part of the team and the growth and development of the Bliss Network.