The Dream Journal
The Dream Journal
Virtual Dream Art and Hatsuyume with Sheila Asato

We speak with artist Sheila Asato starting with the Japanese tradition of hatsuyume, which describes the first dream of the new year which is thought to foretell the luck of the dreamer in the coming year. We use the metaphor of dancing for making our way through life. We also speak about how dreams give us information about our bodies. Then we dive into Sheila’s quest for art that viewers could interact with starting with adapting a Japanese tradition of book art and has lately evolved into creating virtual dream art that can be viewed using immersive 3d viewers. We talk about descriptive writing and how the senses are the gateways to the world which help us access our dreams which are themselves highly visually and poetic.

Sheila reads the poem Dreams, by Mary Oliver.

We then hear from two callers who each share their own hatsuyume. First we hear from Alejandra of Minnesota about her dream of being on stage when a dancer is called for. She invites a man standing nearby to be the dancer. Sheila invites the listeners to consider the ways their own lives might be inviting them to “step out”. And then we hear from local dreamer Ray who mentions the book The Chalice and Blade by Riane Eisler. Then he shares his dream about going into a store where everyone is happy and no one is wearing a mask. Sheila mentions the book Pandemic Dreams by Dierdre Barrett. We ended speaking of a device which can read brain states as a start of reading dreams in sleeping people.

Bio. Sheila Asato is a dream artist and certified Embodied Imagination practitioner who is passionate about the arts, dreaming and community development. As a dream artist Sheila consciously incorporates dreaming into her artistic practice. Her favorite media are watercolor, photography, digital painting and Tilt Brush in virtual reality. In 1999, she discovered the book arts and was delighted to find an entire community of artists devoted to exploring the artistic possibilities for the book in the digital age. Since then, she has cut, bent, folded and sewn her paintings together to create unique books that stand alone as works of art.

You can contact Sheila Asato at her web page here:

Some of Sheila’s arts can be found at the following links:

Shelter in Place, At first there will be a camera moving around the VR piece, but you can use your fingers on your screen or touch pad to move as you like through the work as well. This was created after the first stay at home order at the beginning of the pandemic.

“Dream from the night our governor issues a stay at home order. In the dream I am the size of a mouse and resting under the Kotatsu heater (on the underside of the table). Spring has come. I’m alone but I can see the twinkling lights of other people’s homes. Everyone is staying safe in their own home. Seeing the lights of others sheltering at home gives me comfort.”

Sheltering in the Garden, Go down into the center of the piece (the sparkling blue area) and you will find yourself in another shelter. It’s based on the Palm House at Kew Botanical Gardens in England.

Emmett’s World, Based on a dream from my grandson

Hall of Flowers – VR Piece (Video) Digital paintings created in memory of my Dad. Here is a YouTube link where you can view the piece.


Live ambient music by Rick Kleffel.

Show aired on January 2, 2020.


The Dream Journal is produced at and airs on KSQD Santa Cruz, 90.7 FM, streaming live at 10-11am Saturday mornings Pacific time.  Catch it live and call in with your dreams or questions at 831-900-5773.

The complete KSQD Dream Journal podcast page is found here.

You can also check out The Dream Journal on the following podcast platforms:  Rate it, review it, subscribe and tell your friends.

Apple Podcasts

Google Play



If you want to contact Katherine Bell with feedback, suggestions for future shows or to inquire about exploring your own dreams with her, contact, or find out more about her at