When the Container Breaks

Recently I found this dream recorded April 13, 1997,in a letter I had written the day after the dream to my friend, F.  The letter that I do not recall writing lay in a file and it was quite by surprise I happened upon it last week.

 

Bound to a Red Destiny

 

Dream: I was in my workshop, my woodworking shop at the time in real life.  I had a can of acid or lacquer thinner in my hands. It broke in two and the acid spilled over my hands and down the front of me and onto my dog Jack who was with me onto his head and back.  I did not act quickly but sort of in a sleep walk state—I went to the sink and filled a bucket with water and soap.  It was the kind of automatic calm that can overtake you in an emergency.  There was a rag with a lot of soap powder on it.  I was holding Jack in a tight embrace, washing his head and back with the soapy rag. This part of the dream was so visual—there were already big scabs formed on his head and I remember thinking how I must have waited a long time to wash him and the acid must have really burned his head and back to already have formed scabs. It must have laid on him full strength a long time. The water bucket fell over a couple of times while I was washing him and I had to stop to right it. The water went everywhere and under things and I kept wondering if anything had gotten ruined from it, but I felt out of control to attend to everything and I felt myself unable to do anything about so many things, like the situation was bigger than me and the only tangible thing was this dog and myself. Perhaps I had been cleaning myself off during this time but I don’t remember. At this point in the dream my friend, F’s voice came in as an overlay like a radio broadcast.  She was telling me a story she had heard on NPR about a man who had been whipped by his commanding officer for some failure on his part, and then ordered to whip the men under his command. And that while the whipped officer was whipping his own men, as he perspired, the wounds from his own flogging stung and glistened with sweat and heat. I woke up with my arms tightly wound over my chest still holding Jack to soothe him.  Jack allowed this tight enclosure around himself so sweetly as if he had abandoned himself to me completely.

The soul is a strange doctor. It reads you your cure in reading you your turmoil and anguish.  It slows the meter down and drip-by-drip you see the eventuality of your spirit.  Your body and mind and feelings in a pile-up on the expressway, but the beauty of its telling is its fondness for you, the tightest embrace, utterly human in dimension.

It is nineteen years since the dream occurred. A big cycle of completion. And nineteen years later I see more clearly that Life is largely holding paradoxes in our hands.  Things break.  Containers of love break.  Love contains darkness and light. It contains pain and joy, despair and hope, it contains vulnerability, it contains sweetness and surrender. Love contains everything. And when its container breaks in our hands, for no apparent reason or perhaps we are holding it too tightly, perhaps we are not paying attention— who knows but it breaks, the paradoxes of love and life spill over us, we get burned AND we are held tightly in that wounding AND we heal.  In the dream I feel surprise that the burns Jack has experienced have already begun to scab over. Jack surrenders completely to being washed and held. He is my model and guide.  I feel overwhelmed and only able to attend to the burns and the washing.  I feel that no matter what else has happened this is my task.  The soap powder is mysteriously already on the rag.  The water spills over and over in the dream soaking everything running everywhere.  Life’s essence the souls essence is uncontainable; it is what cleans us washes us heals us.

The man who is whipped because of a personal failure is ordered to whip his own men and while he is carrying out his orders he feels his own wounds smarting, glistening in the heat and sweat. He does not protest, but he feels this pain in his own awareness and the pain has made him conscious; through his pain he is learning about his own humanity, his failings and his anguish. A thoroughly human being and a true warrior.

 

 

 

The Woman Who Is a Complete Human Being

Reflected Love One of the most heartbreaking realities in our culture is the fact that all of us have grown up with and been taught to see our worth and our essence through the reflections back from family, lovers, institutions, job performance, career success or failure, how we look, to name a few.

And from these erroneous assessments we go on to believe that we are something inferior; not the beautiful Beings of light that we are, but somehow always on the outside of a perfection that we perceive to be in others or in the future but not now, not in ourselves. We go on to attack ourselves in this way, continually trying to fix ourselves, to fit in with others, social situations, public institutions, in order to feel that we are okay.

As women growing up in this culture the reflection often is fused with how one looks, or acts or if we are acceptable in the roles we have taken on. And so even our sexuality becomes a torment of trying to be something for others and in doing so we subjugate ourselves to something we perceive as a measuring tool for our goodness.

I went to hear Robert Waterman speak, an original founder of Southwestern College in Santa Fe, NM last year. The title and prologue of his talk, drew me in a powerful way:

The Good That is Seeking You from Within

"The fear began when, in our curiosity, we stepped away from ourselves. The sensation of separation, while initially exciting, settled in as fear. From then on, we interpreted love through its reflections. Reflected love is a contrary and perverse partner. Love itself continued below the surface, growing in stature, yet undetected by fear. Our addiction and defense of fear masquerade as a dark lover. All this time, and we are ancient, while we fought the dragon, love continued to mature within us. On the surface we have come to believe we are experts, which effectively hides from our awareness the true mastery by which we guide our lives. When we discover how we actually make our lives, living from love is easy and powerful."ROBERT WATERMAN

I was personally and deeply touched by Waterman’s workshop that day. He is a calm very humble man whose presence is an abiding loving one.

Linley Solari of Taos, also attended this workshop and wrote a clear summary of the day’s offering by Waterman, which I include here in part:

“…And then he[Waterman] began, in earnest, by saying that our discomfort, our pain, our fear, our anger, our confusion is NEVER about what is actually happening but lies solely with our relationship to what is happening. “The difficulty is never the issue; it’s our relationship to the issue.”

“EVERYTHING is a reflection back to us, “he said. “It is not something to be judged or fixed or defended or protected. You are not something trying to find God…that is the reflection. You are already God trying to find itself in this world.”

What Waterman was addressing is the basic and fundamental split in our psyche between what we hold ourselves to be and what we actually are. We have all been hypnotized through thousands of years of imprinting into believing we are something separate from the foundational intelligence of the universe. We have all come to believe in the innate limitation and inadequacy of the individuatedself. And so we seek…we seek to find “something” in the “outside” world that will make us feel adequate: love, sex, money, family, knowledge, status, religion, accomplishment, power. We are seeking to somehow complete what we feel is incomplete: our very selves. “We interpret Love through its reflections.”—End of Solari’s summary.

the nature of illness

the nature of illness

Here is the dream I wish to end this year with…it is a celebration of human existence as learned from the woman in this dream. I pass it along to you.

2013   The Woman Who Is A Complete Human Being

I dream I am at a sitting with M and 3 other people, another woman and two men. M is sitting facing us and we are sitting 4 square facing him. The room is without light, it seems to be twilight. There is a knocking sound against the building. The woman behind me thinks there may be someone at the door. I know it is a tree branch but I cannot control my body from responding. My body crawls down to the floor and out of the room. When I cross the threshold I am facing an open door and it is broad daylight. I am in a beach town and the air and light have that quality and color to it. I walk out the door turning right without any idea where I am going. I wonder how or if I will remember how to get back here. I meet a child and she takes me to a house of an older woman. I met these woman years ago-she remembers what I wore, a silk shirt that she admired. The woman is lying on her back. A man friend is there who is my age, and she is showing him her chest, that is bleeding below where her left breast has been removed. Both her breasts are completely gone. The scars are there and her chest looks like a battleground-it is purpled with bruises and blood is seeping from below her breast scar. I am reminded of the portraits of Jesus on the cross. I don’t know if she has an infection or the wound is still healing. She shows this to him without any self-pity. To simply reveal herself. Then she is standing up and she has with her in her hands two of her favorite objects, which she seems to be gifting to him. One is a silver pen that she holds in her left hand. The pen looks like nothing I have seen before. It is about an inch and half wide, it is tapered at each end, it bulges a bit in the center. The ends that are tapered look a bit like the feather but it is symmetrical and very unusual. In her other hand she is holding a piece of silk, a small square of it about a foot square or a little smaller. The silk is gold but luminous gold, luminous from within the weave of the material. I love the realness of this person, and she strikes me as a complete and total human being, not simply a woman although she is certainly that.   I find I love her relationship to the man, the child and to life. It imprints me. I go to leave and as I walk out I think I am going back the way I came but I gradually see that the numbers are getting larger in the addresses and I see that I will not be going back the way I came. I feel at peace to be somewhere so foreign.

This dream in a way speaks for itself. I still see and feel the woman’s chest, my chest. I feel as if she lives inside of me and as if this potential is the most human and most awakened part of me. All that it means to be a real human being. The wounds, the pen, and the silk. Our human journey including our injuries, our creative ability to express ourselves and the essential fabric of our existence—the golden and luminous truth of who and what we are.

We can relearn our understanding of ourselves, our real selves, and begin to see that in others, honoring the truth of our realities to one another and to our children.

star gazers

star gazers

I wish you a very peaceful holiday full of joy and promise and renewal.

Patti

 

Ripping the Veil

And I have felt A presence that disturbs me with the joy

Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime

Of something far more deeply interfused,

Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,

And the round ocean and the living air,

And the blue sky, and in the mind of man:

A motion and a spirit,

That impels

All thinking things, all objects of all thought,

And rolls through all things.

WILLIAM WORDSWORTH, Lines Composed A Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey (excerpt)

I would like to write about two topics over the next couple of weeks – one on the subject of persona and the other on the subject of reflected love.

We live our lives as if totally convinced of our stories of others and ourselves until we have an experience of another reality, a hidden reality.  Then the basis for all our beliefs wobbles and we see we have not been scraping the surface of bedrock, but the pillowed existence we have built on top of it.

Through this discussion my intent is not to bash the personality.  It is with us as long as we are in human skin.  It is shaped by all our life experiences and is part of the way we relate and make our lives work, pursue careers and have families.  It is a necessary aspect of our lives.

My intent here is to give it its place. And to raise the question about who and what we actually are, and what is keeping us in hiding.

In this first dream, a decision is made to face myself completely, not realizing what that might mean.

October 12, 2011

Papji, a 20th century Indian sage, once commented that the presence of a lion in a dream was a sign of the Higher Self in pursuit of you.

I am both in the dream and witness to the dream.

There is a lion, so small and harmless. I have it in a bowl of peanut butter. I am looking at it thinking if I let this cat out I will prove I am ready to face myself completely, knowing it will be life size if I do. With that thought the lion is out of the bowl, life size, in the room, my bedroom. It is very frisky and is nipping at me like a dog but it is a bit stronger. I look up and now there are TWO wild cats in the room. I watch my character get up on the bed with my back to the headboard, as far back as I can get. One of the lions jumps up onto the bed and with one stroke tears off my face. I hear myself saying, “Well there goes my face.” I am thinking, “I wonder what it will be like to live without a face.” Scene shift. I am with the lions again; we are in my living room. They are very lively and moving around. “It is Sunday,” I say, “and I can finally get to really look at the details.” End of dream.

Initially in the dream I am looking at a tiny lion in a bowl of peanut butter. The lion is like a childhood toy in a bowl of childhood food. When I see it there I am aware I am living behind the façade of being a helpless child, playing at consciousness, and that if I really wanted to know what and who I am I would only have to say it and the lion would be life size. And with this thought—poof! The lion is full-grown, there in my bedroom – the place of intimacy. The lion is frisky, not calm or serene, nipping me – making full contact with its mouth and teeth. And then there are TWO lions…and I feel their intent and pursuit of me. (When TWO shows up in this context I am reminded of the two headed snake, the two headed elephant, the Adam and Eve myth, the Shiva/Shakti story—the duality speaks to the masculine and feminine aspects but also to the sense that the Infinite embodies wholeness and is not in short supply. They come perhaps to represent the creative force of the universe-the ever-generative power of creation from which we are born.) I climb up onto the bed and press myself back into the headboard. I know the inevitable is coming and in the dream I want to feel the solidness of something behind me, bracing me for when it comes. With one stroke the lion tears off my face; there is no pain. Only a true wondering: “What it will be like to live without a face, what it will be like to be seen by others without a face?” And then there is a scene shift – and I am in my ‘living’ room (I have brought this shift into my real life).  The lions are there, very lively moving around. And almost in answer to my query of What will it be like,  I say aloud, “It is Sunday—(Sunday- the day dedicated to the sacred-the sun, the source of light), and I can finally get to really look at the details—(I can finally look without a mask at all there is to see.)

My intent is not to bash the personality.  It is with us as long as we are in human skin.  It is shaped by all our life experiences and is part of the way we relate and make our lives work, pursue careers and have families.

My intent is to raise the question about whether we actually have any idea who we are. And if we don't, what is keeping us in hiding.

shadow introductions

shadow introductions

“The ancient Greeks, in their renowned comedies and tragedies, had their actors portray their characters by holding up masks in front of their faces. The masks were known as “personas”. And so it is. We have come to identify with our “personas” rather than realizing that we are each but mere characters in a divine play. We get to explore life as our character and engage in the game of hide and seek wherein we seek and find the divine in each other and in all things. [But] More often we hide our divinity and hide the divinity of others and all things.”

LINLEY SOLARI

So to ask the question is to begin to lower the mask, to admit that we don’t actually know what and who we are.  And perhaps opens the way for the God within us to reveal a glimpse of our true wealth.

Friend, this is the only way to learn the secret way:

Ignore the paths of others,

Even the saints' steep trails.

Don't follow.

Don't journey at all.

Rip the veil from your face.

SACHAL SARMAST, Translation by Ivan. M. Granger

 

Dust of the Earth, Dust of a Star

If you accept the nature of dreams as being from one's Higher Self then it changes the way you view your life and the lives of others.  In a sense we lead a double life – Earth and Star – and there is no getting around it. But how we treat ourselves, how we address our missteps – this we have control over. The following dream illuminated how I was seeing myself by giving me the contrast from the 'other side'.

I dream I am a soul named Lawrence.  I am looking back at my life, which I am still living but from which I am taking a time-out to look at certain events. In my living I have been somewhat hard on myself and impatient with the parts of my life that are filled with unawareness.  When I am on my time-out, however, my view of myself is softer, because I am in a place of Light, and I simply look at the events from my life, saying aloud, "Oh I am in unawareness here, and oh there, and there too." But there is no harshness or despair, simply seeing things for what they are –  more or less conscious. Then the scene shifts to me as Patti on Earth and I still remember Lawrence. I understand I have been feeling rough around the edges as I tackle some core issues especially when I look at myself through the bright searchlights of self-criticism as opposed to through the non-judgmental love of my inner light. I get to see—"ah just unawareness here in these areas."  I get to see what Lawrence sees. The weight of measurement and self condemnation lifts off my shoulders and heart. It is a relief.

I share the dreams on this blog to illustrate the instructive potential of the realm in dreams.  I invite anyone who would like to work with their dreams to submit a dream and I am happy to look at it and see what I can see, of course anonymously.

I wish you a Blessed and belated Thanksgiving holiday.

 

 

Taking One's Place

Taking one’s place, the place that belongs to you. Our dreams tell us exactly where we are in our lives — where we are shy or hesitating or playing small. And they give us exemplars that are not. In the following two dreams which came within 10 days of one another the subject of taking one’s seat or place in life, in the world, came into play.

January 15, 2013 looking for my place

I dream I was teaching in a school-it was a large institute or college. Something has occurred in the school or in the world that was being evaluated at a forum. I was entering the school through a large underground passageway or viaduct. Several students are straggling; other teachers and myself are ushering them along because of the event outside and in. I was going up into stadium-like seating. I see the rows for faculty. I am going to be speaking and I am telling myself that I don’t necessarily need to sit down. I see there are one or two ‘aliens’ in the faculty row. Two large elephant-headed men. They are giving one of the faculty, a man, a hard time for some way he has handled something. They are sitting to either side of the man. There are a number of empty seats around them. I walk toward the aisle not sure if I should sit down, or stay standing. I can see and sense that the conversation with the elephant heads and the other faculty member is very intense and I am not feeling at ease standing near them. I wake up.

In this first dream I am in a teaching position at a secondary institute and there is a forum to address something that has happened in the world or in the school. There is a sense of urgency in the dream to pay attention to something, something that has happened, is happening, of importance. I am in a teaching role with students, ushering students to 'take their seats' for this discussion. So the dream is saying something about taking a seat and addressing something of importance  through all these cues right at the beginning of the dream. I am also going to be one of the staff that is speaking. Inside I am feeling very indecisive about what and where and if to sit down. As I am combing the seats for a space I see two elephant-headed men I believe are ‘aliens’ sitting among the faculty. They are sitting to either side of another faculty member, a man, and are in the process of grilling him about the way he has handled something. Elephant-headed, for me, is symbolic for wise beings. The intensity with which they are pressing him is very uncomfortable to watch, mostly because I experience it as if it were happening to me and for this reason would like to keep my distance. So I am stalling sitting down as one of them and stand in the aisle waiting to know what I should do.

Waiting to know what one should do can be a place of power and it can also be a place of non-acknowledgement of what you are already doing.  I am already a part of the faculty of this institution and yet I feel uncertain about actually sitting among the faculty.  And then on top of it I see that one of my colleagues is being pressed by two very large wise beings to be more masterful in his way of handling things. So I see that it is not enough for me to acknowledge what I am already in the role of doing but I must find my mastery in it and apply it to each and every thing that comes my way. So taking my place is not only partly about assuming my position but involves what kind of commitment I will bring to that position.   We are all perpetual learners — students — no matter what else we are doing. And if it happens that you answer your calling with your whole heart you will in effect teach others something of value...taking it to heart what you are learning is the what that you are already teaching. Then one's own teacher becomes internalized and we hear what we need to learn through the wisdom of our own hearts; a wisdom that can be relentless and inescapable, a wisdom that presses in on you from all directions. It is a choice to step into this and embrace it this way and it is also a game changer. To accept that you are in charge and responsible for your own mastery and by your example are teaching others. The man in between the two elephant-headed men is my exemplar. He was not a super savvy bright slick star. He is a hard working ordinary-from-the-outside human being who was being called out for something he had handled unmasterfully. The most important thing about him is that he accepted it. He did not run away or change his seat. He took it. Sometimes this is the most we can do when we are facing a difficult learning.

i stood to face her

i stood to face her

January 25, 2013

An image of a lion, male, walking out onto a playing field in the bright light of day. The playing field is lush green; you step down onto it from steps off the sidewalk. The playing field is in its own plane. I have never seen it like this in this country, perhaps in Europe. Behind the lion came a dog and perhaps another animals or 2 dogs. Could be a dog and a lamb. It was a level playing field but somehow elevated so you could see the whole area from here where I am standing.

Scene shifts and I am on a train in Europe. There is a banquet taking place in another city that I am going to attend. I am near the passenger seats. There is an elegant woman with an enigmatic smile (reminds me of L) sitting next to the window facing the direction of the movement of the train. There is a ‘gentleman outlaw’ sitting next to L. They are not acquainted. The outlaw says to me about L, “I knew she must be an American because she sat down exactly where she wanted. I always sit in that exact seat. She didn’t even wait to see where I was going to sit, she simply sat where she wanted.” L continued her smile.

Later I am in the banquet room and I have become L’s character. I am a little late to dinner but not really, as it seems to be an ‘eternal buffet’. I am putting a white piece of cake into a glass — I don’t see the plates, and I am taking it to the place I am sitting. I am sure others will want what I am eating. I’ll take the first bites and give the rest to them.

This dream is rich in positive images. A lion steps out onto a level playing field and it is completely in view. The lion is often a symbol for the higher self and is considered auspicious in a dream. A level playing field signals that there is complete equality and equanimity in the situation, nothing is biased against anyone. Everything is possible.

Then the scene shifts and I am on a train going to a destination in another city in Europe where I will be attending a banquet. Another rich image-the banquet- the feast. On the train there is an older woman who reminds me of a friend, L, who has an enigmatic smile. A smile of mystery. The Mona Lisa smile. She says nothing. She doesn’t have to speak; she acts with complete authority without pushing, without self-righteousness. She boldly sits down decidedly in the seat she wants. A “Gentleman Outlaw”, a man who also lives by his own rules but without offensiveness is in the perfect position in a way to comment on L because he is like her. But he is mystified nonetheless. He sees that she is Free. His words are a book in themselves as he comments that she ‘did not wait to see where anyone else wanted to sit’, she simply sat down in the seat she wanted, by the window, the place with the most access to a view and facing in the direction of the movement of the train. What an invitation for a way in which to live one’s life.

The scene shifts again as I arrive in the city where the banquet is being held. Now I have shifted into being the woman character, L. This dream, which is one big summons from start to finish, has imprinted me and I have embraced a new potential embodied by the enigmatic L. I arrive a little late but see it is no problem because this is an ‘eternal buffet’, a dinner, not only where you can serve yourself as much as you want of anything, but a dinner that never ends. As I embrace my new dream character I am also embracing eternity and my own eternal and lawless nature. Again the sense that one could not do anything wrong here in this place as this potential. I help myself to a piece of cake and take it back to where I am sitting so I can offer it to others after taking a few bites. Because I am sure they will all want what I am having.

This is a dream that tells it all.  It says, "If you want to know how to live, experience the inner reality of these folks." And I was so imprinted inside the dream itself that I did just that.  So that when I woke up I still had the sensation of living in that kind of freedom.  This is the magic of a dream.

 

Metaphors in Dreams — Getting New Glasses

Dreams often come to us using a metaphorical set of images to get across to us a message or potential trying to manifest in our lives. One such metaphor that has repeated itself in several of my own dreams is ‘getting fitted for new glasses’. There are many ways of ‘looking’ at this metaphor. One way is just acknowledgement that we are seeing on a new level and we need the glasses that go with the depth with which we are seeing. Another way to look at it is there is a growth edge manifesting and we are being asked to ‘step up’ as it were to stay on line with our new potential.

Here are two dreams that came this past spring and summer having to do with getting new glasses. With each one of them there is a sense of self-consciousness, indecision, even irritability and fear showing me that I was not completely comfortable with the new requirements for growth.

April 20, 2015

I dream I am being fitted for a new kind of glasses. Each eye has its own lens and frame—each is very big and independent from the other— they look like camera lenses. Each one fits into the eye. If it fits well it stays in place. A man and a woman are helping me and fitting the new glasses. At times it feels like the experience of trying on shoes. At last we find the right fit and I pay for the glasses. They are somewhat expensive. As I am leaving the store I see myself in the mirror— it is the first time since I got the glasses fitted that I see myself and I am surprised that I have bought these glasses. They are huge and no one else has glasses like these. I look to another woman sitting there-she is very pretty and has these demure looking petit glasses on. I say to the man maybe I would do better with those kinds of glasses. He said you already had those and they weren’t right for you before and that is why you came for these. I say I don’t suppose you return money for glasses you have made just for me. He says no and waves his hand. So I leave with my new glasses. No one seems to notice them but I feel as if people will know that I can really ‘see’ them and they will hate me for it.

This is one of those dreams where you can feel yourself swallow hard when you go to work with it. While it is all fine and good to think you can see things that are going on in life and you can really see people in their innocence and appreciate them. It is quite another to have on a set of glasses that announces to others that you see everything, you see what others don’t want you to see, and that is a game changer. Because it takes a lot of courage to keep these glasses on and to know what and how and if to relay what it is you are seeing. It is a new potential that has a built in responsibility that you know right off the bat that you are not always going to understand how to use. The kind of responsibility that requires a lot of love to go along with it. There are always immediate tests for these kinds of potentials, and in real life they came almost within 24 hours. I was able to feel the strength along with the vulnerability. It is a difficult edge to get past-whether you care more about if people like you OR whether you care about being true to your self and to want to respond to that trueness in integrity and kindness.

seeing
seeing

In the next dream I am being taken to the ensuing stage of owning these new ways of seeing.

July 15, 2015

I dream I am being fitted for new glasses. My grown children are with me. When the fitting is finished I take the glasses off and they get all out of whack. And the glasses have to be adjusted again. Every time I take the glasses off they get wonky and must be realigned. I am complaining loudly to the man who runs the shop. He is a very elegant man, older, perhaps French. He tsks tsks me and says no, this is the way the glasses are. I begin to cry and say I want to return the glasses and the man says his store never takes glasses back. I am in an overly sensitive state –I have just heard that my former partner is remarrying his first wife. Though I think this makes total sense I still feel very ‘sensitive’ about it. My kids are being themselves with out any reactions. There is a woman, a by-stander, who is saying a word that seems to mean 'transient' or 'impermanent' or 'fugitive'. I wake up.

So in this dream I can see that I am feeling very sorry for myself, and I am resisting a growth edge and complaining loudly and dramatically about it. It is being exacerbated in my mind by another growth edge that I understand and which makes sense to me but which my little self ‘doesn’t like ’— that my former partner is remarrying his first wife. There are many things being modeled to me in this dream. The backdrop, which I say has made me feel emotional and sensitive, is the remarriage of my former partner to his first wife, which hints at a realignment with original Love, in a public and committed way. And then there are the conditions of having these ‘sensitive’ new glasses — that if you take them off they will need to be adjusted before you can wear them again. I am rejecting this idea because it means that I will need to keep the glasses on. I will need to continually see in a new way and that will take a level of maturity I am not accustomed to and have not been stepping up to. My grown children and the shop owner assume I can take this in stride and have no reaction at all to the conditions of the glasses or their sensitivity to being handled. The shop owner admonishes me not for taking the glasses off but for crying about the conditions I have to take into account and he tsks-tsks me like a little child, which is what I am acting like. I am the only one in the dream who seems to be having a problem and because of this when I wake up I see –oh I am being asked to grow up here. The way that I understood the insertion of the word being spoken by the by-standing woman meaning transient and fugitive is that I am in a state of transition from one way of being to another and that this too shall pass.

Although sometimes dreams have a shameless way of presenting things to us we are embarrassed to admit, the truly miraculous aspect is that once we do admit to our own foibles and where we are getting in our own way, there is a shift in us that leads to another level from which to live. Because growth is not accidental, it is part of who we are and why we are here.

 

Hearing One's Name Called

In a dream as in real life it is known that we must pay attention when we hear our name called, see our name written, or have the option to sign our name. Something important is taking place that requires our signature.   In indigenous and ancient cultures, to know the name of a thing or a person gives you power over it.  In other rites of passage, for example, in the sacrament of Confirmation in the Catholic tradition, we choose a new name to represent the most Real part of us.  In native traditions the elders or tribe members come to name a person for the attributes that mark them in the most real way.

Thus names have significance.

alignment with the sun

alignment with the sun

May 26, 2008 Awakened at 3:33am

I dream I am invited to go on this canoe trip on the Florida coast or some similar coast by these two guys, whom I did a shorter trip with once before. They have emailed me and sent maps. One of the guys is Llewellyn Vaughn-Lee, a Sufi sheik whose writing and presence have a deep affect on me in real life. I stop by to say I am interested. They are talking it up and asking me if I am truly interested. The more they talk about it the more interested I become. I ask them how much it will cost and they tell me about 3800 dollars. I groan and realize I am doing something right before this that will cost about 1000 dollars and realize this is all of my money and I then realize I will probably be moving my home around the same time. But I still want to do it and I wonder what life will do to help with the money and then realize “I have all the money I need for the trip.” That somewhat amuses me in the dream because I hear the words "I have everything I need." They are like a soothing balm. In the emails from the men there are maps and I think I get 4 urgent emails one right after another, the last one is asking me the spelling of my name. I laugh because he, LVL, has already written my name our on the first email which I scroll up to look at and it is spelled perfectly. PATTI TRONOLONE— it is written in capital letters and centered at the top of the page. When I am there with LVL and the other man and we are talking in person, I am envisioning the trip so vividly I even see myself getting my hair cut at one of the coastal stops. Then I realize this is going to be longer than 2 weeks. I am so interested and I realize I have never given myself to anything like this before. It is a mystery and the maps are full color outlining the beautiful fractal edges of the coastline up and down and on all sides of this place. I feel ready to say yes to them and then I wake up.

Seeing one’s name written in a dream has a very interesting and powerful effect. In a way, unlike other dream experiences, you know that something in this dream is coming so particularly for you, it is an indescribable closeness and the feeling of attention rises without having to do anything consciously about it. The dream is focused on my interest and commitment to pay everything that I currently have in order to take this trip. It is a dream asking me for a commitment, not out of extra resources which could be seen as an amusement, but from my only resources. It doesn’t hide the fact that I will be giving everything over in order to take this trip. And then I “see” the trip as if it has already taken place, as if it is a completion of a prior knowledge. I see my hair being cut, often symbolic of the personality getting shorn, and I see the beauty and intricacy of the shoreline, as I canoe around every inch of its fractal edge. I am being shown that I will consent to be on a voyage that takes into account every nuance of the life journey and be made conscious of it.

January 16, 2009

I dream I am in a prison with many people, men and women. It is known that some of us are going to be freed soon. Perhaps in the next day. There is a woman who had a child secretly while she was there and she is trying to conceal the baby during her release. And there is a sort of distancing from her like we are stepping back from our attachment to her, except for this guy. He doesn’t seem to know or he is acting as if he doesn’t, meaning he has not withheld any loving attention from her. Everyone else seems to know that she will be found out and that she and the baby will have to disappear, as we recall another woman in the past had done. The guy seems to be very fond of her-they are both from Brazil and are planning to meet up afterward. The woman is very loving and singing to her baby. The man is passing around a paper to those of us that are leaving to put our contact info on it. I think to myself that he will be sad if the woman and child disappear, as he is clearly so fond of them. On the sheet where I am to sign there is just a P with a check sign next to it. I sign my name and when I get to the last 3 letters I write the wrong letters and I have to correct it with quotation marks like this:

Patti Tronoldhe“one”. On seeing the word “One” as part of my name, I wake up.

they each saw something different

they each saw something different

It is our mind in our lives, which imprisons most of us— how we see ourselves, how we see others and the world. This dream involves seeing that one’s time in prison is coming to an end.  In this particular prison a woman has had a baby. So we see that even in prison or perhaps especially in prison the generative and life giving forces are still at work! And she is a very loving and generous mother. The group-thinking in the prison, according to my dream character, is that this makes her dangerous, even though she has kept the object of her love a secret. And everyone, except for the man who truly loves her, creates a little distance from her. "We" have seen at least one other like her and she has disappeared. In dream language this is the preview of awakening being painted for you. A woman, who has given birth to love within and despite the confines of a prison existence becomes free. And she is loved beyond any binding of fear or attempts to distance from her.

And then my dream character is required within the dream to sign her own name, before she, too, is freed, because it is desired for continual contact. Initially, my dream character signs her name incorrectly, she does not see the correct ending to her name, in a sense from not paying attention, but in reality she does not know who and what she is.  So in fact she she gets to see that she has misnamed herself and the dream allows her cross out the misspelling and sign again. And then she sees the word “one” that is the true ending of her own name and upon seeing it she wakes up.

When we find out who and what we really are and that we are truly part of something that binds all of us together as one fabric, and that one fabric is made from the energy and cosmic force of Love, we wake up from our prison of isolation and we are freed.

light

light

Eating Elephant and Facing the Impossible

I would like to present two dreams. Both dreams employ a kind of foretelling quality. These dreams stop the mind from its usual ability to make sense of things and grounds one in the immediacy of another reality. Because in order to get a sense of the dreams you must inhabit a greater presence. The point is not always to understand some literal explanation of a dream but to embody the reality that is offered in the dream, to value it enough to try it on. The first dream came shortly after I moved back to Taos New Mexico in 2007. The dream arrived in the night of Christmas Eve, an auspicious time for such a startling dream.

Moses

Moses

December 24, 2007 Facing the impossible

I dream I am with an older woman and man who are a couple and a young child. We are out in nature having a good time together. Then we come back to the home of this family. The young girl and I are playing in her room. She lays down on top of me naked face to face. I can feel all my sexual energy arise thru my body. It is incredibly delicate, sensual and sweet. And very subtle. She and I  kiss and stay in that position. Then I prepare to leave and the mother and the father bring me home in their car.

At home I am in my house. This house was new from the one I previously lived in . And with me in the house lives a young boy – an adolescent. He is using the dryer and that annoys me and I think it is because I have a lot of laundry to do as well, but in reality I carry a burden. In the dream I know that I am going to have to deal with an enormous task—one I have done before, and I am facing this task with much dread. There is a sense that because I did it once before, I know all the aspects of it and the fact of these aspects is weighing heavily on me.

My horse, which is in the house, downstairs, is going to die and I have to skin the horse and remove the head by myself and carry it upstairs. The older couple has told me it will be all okay but I am feeling overwhelmed by the task and feel strongly that I need help to do it. The young man in the house –they have told me to get his help and I say, “He is useless.” I am left alone to my task. I wake up.

This dream filled me with a sense of foreboding because there is no getting around the fact of the enormous task. A task that filled me with a kind of horror that such a thing would be my responsibility.  So all sorts of bells went off upon waking--outrage, disbelief and fear.  That a reality like this was on my plate.  What did it mean and why had it shown up now? There is no explanation in the dream to make the task understandable and that adds to its sense of magnitude.

Interestingly the dream starts out with an encounter, a transmission so to speak, with Innocence, Eros and Guidance. We often assign innocence to childhood and forget about it as we grow older.  But I have come to see innocence as a quality of the soul--the original and indelible condition of being a human being. The qualities of the soul are interwoven, one cannot take away one without ripping in half another. Eros is the generative life force in a human being’s existence. John O'Donohue has written beautifully and profoundly in his book, "Anam Cara", about the sacred nature of Eros. He says, "that the body is the Angel of the soul, that the body is our only true home on earth."  He goes on to say,  "that the senses are the thresholds of the soul—to be sensual or sensuous is to be in the presence of your own soul."  He quotes Wordsworth who wrote in his respect for the senses, "Pleasure is the tribute we owe to our dignity as human beings."

These are the gifts silently acknowledged by my dream character as the unusual and touching experiences they were. These gifts from the child became conscious through my experience of her and thus became part of the tool kit with which I was to face the task I was going home to do. And the fact is that I had somehow done it all before. And in that way my dream character is free of illusion. But she is focused on the difficulty she knows is ahead of her. In the greater Reality, the home of the unconscious, there is no time. Everything we have done and will do in our lives already exists there. It is the occupying of time that makes things arduous. So in a way when we pierce time and draw from the realm of complete Possibility we gather ourselves anew.  This dream was in a way a heralding and a summoning of strength for a task that was about to begin—an undertaking both sobering and daunting but ultimately liberating.

The hidden character is the horse. He is dying. It seems that he must. When I think of a horse I think of power. So for the sake of the dream I can say that the vehicle of my power that I have known up until now is dying…and in the ritual of its dying I have to cut off its head, the egoic center, and skin it, making it completely vulnerable to life and carry it up from downstairs. There is a sense of the “descent” necessary to do this task and a bringing it up into the light of day to complete it.

The character of the young boy, the adolescent, in whom I place not a shred of appreciation, is in fact the unknown gem the older couple advises me to obtain help from. When you consider an adolescent and what they are capable of it is surprising that our culture does not find more ways to include their contributions to our society. They have no ambition outside of being alive; they are honest, completely self-involved and available to the new. They are strong, and somewhat fearless, and are willing in most regards to try most anything. In working with this dream I saw that I needed to locate these characteristics within myself, to rally in myself Innocence, Eros and adolescent fearlessness and strength. To find my inner resourcefulness and hutzpah to undertake this next chapter in my life. The dream alerted me to be ready for the impossible.

In reality this chapter of my life has been an 8-year passage into my unconscious.  Once again I quote John O'Donohue:  "The unconscious is a powerful and continuous presence.  Every life lives out of and struggles with this inner night, which casts its challenging and fecund shadow over everything we do and think and feel...This work of freedom is slow ad unpredictable; yet it is precisely at this threshold that each individual is the custodian and subject of their own transfiguration."

It was and has been indeed a formidable but very worthwhile undertaking. It has changed me; it has changed my life from the inside out.

This next dream seems to occupy the complete other end of the spectrum.

July 31, 2010 Eating Elephant

In my dream I am in a beautiful city park somewhere. Apparently, at this time, it is known by everyone that the world has run out of food and water and we are being asked to eat elephant. I feel no surprise in the dream at this and in fact I am laughing and joking with someone and saying, "I cannot possibly eat another plate of elephant”. There were all these tubs of elephant meat lying around the park. I didn’t feel hungry. The groundskeeper was a very matter-of-fact guy –he just did his work and didn’t seem affected by anything outside himself. I enjoyed his way of being and I trusted him. I am traveling via an electric pushcart that is attached to the back of me. It can go in all directions including up and down stairs. End of dream.

Here in this dream we are presented with what should have been the worst of all possible scenarios... something has happened to make it possible we no longer eat food and drink water as we have in our known histories. It has the feel of the future in the dream. A potential is making itself known. We are being nourished by elephant. Once again we have an animal coming that’s uniquely symbolic. When I think about the elephant I am first struck by its size, its power and its intelligence. The elephant is the most powerful animal in the world, it communicates over long distances, it is aware of its family and tribe and uses its memory to lead its own and other animal species along pathways to hidden water supplies. In Hindu astrology he is Ganesh, a Divine being capable of removing any obstacle, a Being of great wisdom.

In this dream the elephant has become the sole source of nourishment for the world. As I step into these qualities the elephant has brought up in me I have to ask myself the question– how would it be to live my life this way, and for this to be the sole way in which I draw nourishment and what would it look like for the world to do this, what things would change?

The park groundskeeper is my model of how to work with such an extreme change. He does not make a big deal out of anything. He goes about his work, he is pleasant and uncomplaining and not affected by outside circumstances. In the dream I travel easily in all directions aided by an electric cart attached to my back, my hands are free.  It is a dream of great mystery, it leaves a scent in the air of jewels to mine.

Like the first dream, this dream holds these mysterious elements – the tools I need to embody, to nourish myself in these times of great change. Power, wisdom, strength, remembering, compassion for all the species of Earth, making clear the path, flexibility, and the ability to move creatively in any direction.

This dream encouraged me to read a book called "Elephantoms" by distinguished biologist and naturalist, Lyall Watson.  His autobiographical book followed his life long passion for elephants, his first original unexplainable encounter with one, their own fate in his native land of South Africa,  and what he came to learn from them.  There is an amazing scene at the end of this book where he witnesses one of the last known elephants of his region in a cordoned off reserve park in South Africa communicating with a whale.

“Do everything from love, especially the things you are afraid of.”

Facing Yourself Amidst Conflict and Deceit

The Uncorrupted Lens of the Dream

There are so many times in life that we are faced with a situation whose resolution is inscrutable, where we cannot see how the circumstances are ever going to change or resolve. When we feel locked into our experience and our personal forecast and have begun to believe in a non-resolution. These are the times I have found dreams to be not only a lucky visitor, but also a creative, life charged voice in the wilderness.

Some years ago I was in a professional relationship and friendship to an admired mentor. I was in service to his work at the time and we were facing an obstacle that didn’t seem to be able to go anywhere. We were working closely together and we had hit a complete impasse in communication. Blame was beginning to lift its ugly head. Independently, before we were to meet to discuss this, I asked for a dream about it and its resolution. This is the dream I received:

2009Two Noblemen

I aman observer.There are two noblemen, from a time long ago, dressed beautifully in cloaks and royal clothing from their time. One man is fair with reddish hair and the other one less fair with dark hair. They are walking together, side-by-side and shoulder-to-shoulder. They are stopped on their path before a bridge. The fair-haired nobleman says, “There’s been a breach!”

The dark haired nobleman says, while walking over the bridge,

“ Breach? Breach? There is no breach…there is only this way we have of being together, over and over, again and again, forever and ever.”    

End of dream.

Two men stopped on their path with a bridge in front of them. First an issue of the accusation. Then one of the noblemen crosses the bridge while saying that this thing that is made in accusation does not actually exist. What a radical idea to absorb in the midst of a shut down. This dream and the eternal words over and over, again and again, forever and ever, spoke the essential core of what we are always doing in each other’s lives, and invoked a sense of the prayerful potential in all of our relationships. That it is our being together and what it grows in us, challenges in us, what we move in opposition to and eventually evolve through. Hearing the words of the dream, denying that there was this thing called a rift, opened the impasse, healed the discord between us, within us and in real time we were able to go on, on level ground, taken under wing and tutored by Wisdom.

Wisdom, if it is real does not shrink with time or the number of times spoken. I have shared this dream many times since, and it always calls me to my Self and to the fact that I am solely responsible for my experiences.

upnext
upnext

There are other inner conflicts that keep us living in delusion. We are there because our small self feels it can live invisibly, and that in the end things don’t really matter. This is called living a lie, and to face it is one of the hardest things we can do. And also the most liberating.

What we usually don’t see is what the lie is keeping us from. This dream came unbidden.

2012   Completing the Buddha Weaving

I dream I am in a painting class. The Master is looking at a collage/painting that I have made, which I am in the process of over-working but I say it is not finished to hide the fact it is not coming from my heart. He asks me the title. Someone whispers a possible answer”2 something standing”. I let someone else title it for me and when I say it out loud it lands with a thud. I feel like a fake. I don’t really like what I’ve made, and don’t know how to talk about it. To cover up my confusion I say finally ‘’”I don’t think it’s done”. At that the Master sort of brushes it as if to say ‘never mind that’ and brings out from behind him a very, very large black tapestry-like scroll made from a wool fabric with the beginnings of a needlework on it. It is exquisite, the beginnings of a Buddha’s head with flowers around it. The Master says,“This is what is unfinished”.

I am completely astounded and confounded simultaneously because I don’t remember ever beginning the weaving of this tapestry — it looks too beautiful and too perfectly done to be something I made. But the Master looks fiercely into my eyes and tells me this is in fact mine and it CAN be completed. I take the weaving from him and begin to draw the needle that is left there through to make a stitch  and I see immediately how much attention it will take to complete this and how I feel so governed by time, how I don’t ever feel as if I have enough time and this belief is ruling me deep in my bones. the dream continues...

Later that evening I am still with the Master who has asked me a few questions. We are sitting in a living room by a wood stove and another student, older than I am is sitting with us hearing my responses to the questions. I have not responded honestly to him, I have not seen it to be of importance to do that, and I want to protect an image of myself. He in fact asked me if I had smoked pot the day before and I replied “no”. The other student is carrying an iron pot into the room and he bangs it down in front of me and says, “How can you lie in your own living room?” I am a bit dumbfounded and say weakly, “am I supposed to tell the truth all the time?” The mentor says, “YES”. In the dream, I begin thinking of the last couple of days (in the dream) and all the hiding out that went on because of fear of exposing myself to An unknown force, living my life constantly in self-defense. Not seeing that the truth is what I am given, what I actually possess and have within me to give, no matter what the circumstances. Even in the most uncomfortable situations when the only apparent truth might be the revealing of my own discomfort.

I wake up but am lying in the dark thinking of all the ways I am lying to the “Master", not taking His Reality to heart, playing it safe, self-protecting. It is a hard look at myself and I feel flattened by the truth of it. And I feel awed and mystified that I was honorable enough to have begun this beautiful weaving but somehow I had laid it aside over time and through survival strategies had begun to lie to myself. And more importantly realizing I had not embodied the significance for those lies to matter. And that the importance of time, the fear of it, goose stepping life, had overshadowed the importance of what I was becoming. I laid there for a few hours and without effort different aspects of my life came to my mind.   Lies don’t have to be about stealing or crimes, as we would normally think of them. Lies can be about who I take myself to be, what is my code, and what kind of life is in integrity with who I am? In the midst of this review, without any impulse of my own, I felt my being fall backward and begin to fall into Eternity, a nothingness I am at a loss to describe. In it I lose my sense of individuality and smallness and begin to merge with this enormous luminous field. And then just as suddenly, I am ‘brought back’. I feel so grateful and completely surprised to have been given such a gift at the moment of facing the least flattering aspects of myself. It is then I realize in a new way that the truth does indeed set you free. That my hiding out in life,  was a lie in the face of this immersion in Reality. And the life I was meant to live was on the other side of seeing these lies in myself and stepping up to meet them.

bless this cup
bless this cup

This is the cup I want to drink from for the rest of my life.

This is the potion continually won through the excruciatingly honest inward glance.

This is the beggar freed by his own begging cup.

This is the crucible of being a real human being.

Blessed Be!

 

Your Favorite Dream Character–YOU!

Let's face it – your favorite dream character is always YOU. It is easy to think that our dreams are proof that everyone who bugs us in real life really is to blame. But nothing could be further from the truth. It is mainly that we are so used to our own attitudes and beliefs we often take for granted that we are right in our dreams or righteous in our opinion or on the winning side.

And although there are exceptions to every rule, the telling sign is always “how free from attitude is our dream character, how generous and expansive?” 

Because if we are smug or self-congratulatory or pointing a finger, you can be sure there is some shadow playing out that is yelling for our attention.  These kinds of polarizations are indications that there is something below the surface about to be revealed. So it is not just the content of dreams to pay close attention to but the feeling states they offer – they are suggestions often of how we are in the world or another way to Be in the world.

When I went to Italy for the first time, a dear friend and fellow traveler there told me that the rule of thumb to follow when in Italy was to find a way whenever possible to get up as high as I could so I could see everything.  That is the rule of thumb I propose in looking at a dream, taking the bird's eye view, and in doing so enabling the possibility to see that our biases might not be true.

the visit
the visit

Allowing ourselves to see our hidden aspects in the other characters will break the dream wide open.  As in real life, the folks who bug us the most are expressing themselves in a way that we don't approve of, we often adopt even a moral stamp to our judgment of them but meanwhile a creative part of our self-expression is getting suppressed. So it Bothers us. Our dreams often reveal the why. They set us up to see the typical way we respond to conflict, intimacy and relationship in the world. They show us how our judgments of others are revealing an aspect of us we are afraid to expose.

It takes a careful climbing back into the dream to feel into each aspect.

Recently I had a dream that illustrates the way it can feel inside of the dream character, of being the one who feels so strongly s/he is RIGHT, even though lurking in the rightness is a distorted sense of survival.

I dream I am a man in a house at night with my business partner who was a woman, and her husband. She is a photographer and that is our business together.  There is something I wish to do and my partner and her husband do not want me to do it and will not go along with my plan. I feel so compelled to do it, there is a sense of survival in it, that I decide to sneak out of the house into the pitch black of night and get in my truck and drive off to do “it”. As I am planning this out in my head and am about to leave I call someone on the phone to let 'him' know what I am doing and I stay on the phone with him while I am leaving the house. I am outside in the black of night, hurrying to my truck, it is in a rural setting – grass, trees, nature all around. I am completely blind as I am moving quickly, when suddenly Nature turns on all the lights!  It is like the bright light of day is suddenly shining down on me and I look around... and there right next to me, pursuing me, are my partner and her husband.  My partner's husband says to me, "Have you thought about what you will do when 'she' (my business partner, the photographer) is no longer there?" I realize they have come to ask me this question, not to restrain me. I turn and look toward my car; I am still on the phone, and then I wake up from the dream.

My business partner — she is the photographer – her gift is to capture images. She is the inner feminine, the artist. She is with her husband – a sacred partnership. He IS wherever she IS. I ask myself what is the difference between a business relationship and a marriage. A marriage is a sacred contract and a public celebration of a bond. In a business partnership I see there is a way you can have a built in right to gain something without necessarily having a sacred bond. Their marriage partnership represents something important that they are showing to me that I have left out – about how to honor my own relationship with my inner feminine, the artist. There is potential not just to use her for her gifts but also to be always in sacred alignment with her and to have her agreement for everything I am doing. To always Be where she is.

In the dream I am feeling insistent on the need to do something I feel both obligated and driven to do. But in order for me to go through with it I must run away, isolate myself from my partner, which is a clue that it is out of balance with who I am. And I am so uncomfortable with the consequence of this I am on the phone, in close connection to a God-Self voice, telling Him my every move. Another clue that the plan I am about to carry out is questioning the natural order. I leave in the pitch black of night and flee to my truck. I can’t see a thing – I am totally blind. Then Nature in complete service to my Highest self, turns on the house lights! Pay close attention-this is like the loudspeaker saying listen to this! And my partner’s husband, the true masculine asks me the question, “Have you thought about what you will do when SHE is not there?” and that question ‘wakes me up from the dream’.

I felt deeply the overriding question “Have you considered all the ways your life will be different without your feminine side in alignment with your every move?” I saw immediately its relevance to a current situation of some life choices I was about to make in a particular from of mind, and also an old habit—the imposition of either/or when I was feeling trapped in survival mode. Again not the actual content is in question first--but the feeling state which will definitely effect the content of any manifestation, for sure. 

So I get to see the rightful place of the masculine – asking the one question that will put me back in alignment with my inner Goddess, my inner Feminine, the one who captures the images, the virtual Queen of the Arts within me. And from there as both of the forces integrate inside me I could ask what was rightful action in response to the issue I was experiencing in my life.

Although there are times our dreams are giving us literal advice, avenues to follow, we must use our common sense...a dream would not tell us for instance to go jump off a high building.  But they could tell us to come down out of our minds and make contact with a more ground place, or experience a freedom like flight in some arena in our lives. So make a lot of room around you when you turn on the movie projector and take note of who is in the audience.  Most likely they are going to be your new best friends.

 

The Healing Power of Images

Painting the Inner World: Part Two“Our images are our keepers as we are theirs.”

JAMES HILLMAN, A Blue Fire

There are three paintings I will share to illustrate my own engagement of painting in relationship to dreams: the feelings they bring up, their images— all that can arise from the non-ordinary state of being.

The first is a dream I had of a visit from my father.

I dream I am at a resort or a place like that with my parents and family. (Both of my parents are deceased.) I am outside in nature. I see my father coming toward me but on a semi-circular pathway, on higher ground on the other side of a partial iron fence that curves between usand the feeling is that he has the intention of imparting something to me... He is dressed in a green silk jacket with gold pants and he is carrying a large green feather that is an unusual shape, somewhat like a branch. When he gets close to me I say to him, “You look so beautiful! I want to paint you with your green feather.” He says in response, “I would love it if you painted a painting of me.” The feather is unusual– in size and color and form. My father has dropped it by my feet and kept walking. I pick it up and am conscious of wanting to hold onto the image of the feather in my mind. End of dream.

vidi in sogno
vidi in sogno

When we receive a visit from our parents in our dreams their behavior and our relationship to them can seem other worldly, or unusually restorative or be unlike how we remember them. Sometimes this reflects our own evolution of the childhood relationship and sometimes it reflects a new potential that is being presented to us. A potential  by itself can be therapuetic because we have an actual experience of it in the dream state that imprints us, as it were, with "new information". Rarely is the imprint complete but it provides a new template with which to work in some arena of our childhood. At the time of this dream I had been in the process of some intense inner work for 15 years. In the dream, my father is walking toward me—he is on the 'other side of the fence' (which is often included in a dream of someone who is departed from us—so we can see them in their unique new state set slightly apart from us). Even the words "on higher ground" denote a distinctive way in which these characters are traveling and may call us onto that higher ground with them. The setting of the dream is that we are out in nature which is more emotionally neutral and a higher vibrational atmosphere, and so it would seem that this dream was not associated with the past. We were in fact on holiday, relaxing at some kind of resort,  a restorative place. Alluding to the remedial potency of the dream.

In real life I am a lover of birds and I find myself collecting their feathers. So the fact that my father was carrying a large green feather to drop at my feet was felt as a very supportive gesture that bypassed the need for words–in the dream I felt the utter magic, love and paternal guidance in it. My associations with the color green are with Healing and with Nature. And in exploring my association with the feather, I find a deep connection to an ancient, wilder part of my self — I see the feather as a symbol of freedom and elevated seeing. The fact that I expressed my desire to paint my father within the dream and the fact that he heartily agreed with this desire spoke to me afterwards. I was to paint my father "anew", to allow my father this new image in my eyes.  It was like a direction that was being given straight from my dream character to follow. I saw that the painting of it would continue the healing in a more profound way than simply processing the dream through my writing of it. If it is true that we keep evolving after we leave the life of the body, then in that way all that we do in our lives affects the lives of others even if they have passed on.

While painting this dream I was very surprised how clearly I remembered my father’s face that I had not seen since 1993. This too alerted me to the timeliness of the dream and the significance in painting it.

“Draw near to the dream with respect and attention, enter its culture like a foreigner open to new ways. Befriend it, participate in it, enter into its imagery, and mood, want to know more about it, understand, play with, live with, carry, and become familiar with it – as one would do with a friend…Stay with the dream, let it take you to places rarely glimpsed. “— JAMES HILLMAN, A Blue Fire

In the next dream that came a few years later it was revealed that a part of myself had been muted in childhood. I retained very few visual details of the actual dream but the feeling sensations were vivid and clear when I awoke. The feelings were of having been silenced by my parental figures.  And the silencing carried the sense of a threat to my safety if I did not capitulate.  I felt quite young.

So for this dream painting, I painted the feeling of the dream rather than the literal scene of the dream. I was drawn to paint the entire painting in green and I understood from that the recognition that this aspect of myself had begun to heal. When we look at these images we have painted, especially if they depict some aspect of our selves or our history that we did not know or remember, the images flood us with compassion for ourselves, they imbue us with the same innocence we inhabited at birth.  We are new again in them.

I display paintings like this, whose images are suffused with the medicine of the dream in my visual arena for a period of time. And sometimes, I can put away the painting, even for a number of years and then suddenly bring it out again when the memory of it arouses some need I have to be re-impacted by the curative energy of the dream-infused icon.

The depth of even the simplest image is truly fathomless. This unending, embracing depth is one way that dreams show their love.

JAMES HILLMAN, Dream and the Underworld

A third painting arose from an experience in which I was in a deep state of awareness and suddenly I was being rushed to a “Center” by a force outside myself and as I was being ‘taken’ there I passed by an image of myself – a head with his mouth open — talking. I identified it as myself even though it was a man’s head. It was like I was passing some scenery in a car that was being driven by someone else and I said, “Oh, there’s Patti.” The experience eventually stopped on its own and I was left with a very real sense of having been dipped momentarily into the ineffable.

When I painted this painting, I felt my potential as a Human Being in a way I had not acknowledged as deeply before, that I was someone other than the familiar Patti, talking— that “s/he” was in fact off to the side of the screen and the true “I” was in the hands of a larger force taking me to the “Center”. After I had painted the head off to the side, this huge egg shape appeared and then the image of the hand appeared, like a shimmering apparition within the egg coming to the surface—When it appeared it felt almost like the cave paintings of hands I have seen. To paint and experience it I actually laid my hand in dark pigment and swiped it across the belly of the egg — the egg that for me was the symbol of an unknown potential I was experiencing in real time in this state of awareness.

man with egg
man with egg

In the end the only events in my life worth telling are those when the imperishable world irrupted into this transitory one. That is why I speak of inner experiences, amongst which I include my dreams and visions.

CARL JUNG, Memories, Dreams, Reflections

 

Painting the Inner World

Painting the Inner World: A Creative Response to DreamsThe most powerful way to inhabit a dream is to bring it into this world by painting it... singing it... building it... sculpting it... writing it.   Dream images are often so richly otherworldly, so ultimately creative, it is no wonder we are driven to reenact them in some way. In dreams we find "machines that we make to do unusual things—an espresso maker that one carries like a back pack that only needs water", "architectural plans for the construction of water"…they sound so weird and yet in our dreams we are intent and unquestioning on being their creators.

For the next few posts I will feature the art and ideas of several artists who use their dreams as the subject of their inner experiences from which to create art and to learn and how they have used the painting of their inner world of dreams as a window into their own process and soul.

Hank Brussselback is a painter and sculptor and accomplished builder living in Taos, New Mexico. His website where you can see his work and learn more about him is: www.bufflecake.com.

russian lesson_
russian lesson_

"The Russian Lesson", —HANK BRUSSELBACK

I interviewed Hank in his studio on September 14th on the subject of his work from dreams.

P: Hank, how did you come to start painting your dreams?

H: When I was in grad school I was painting paintings of my son and myself and the conflicts we were having at the time as a way to process them. At this time in my life I was heavily involved in being a political activist. A friend noticed that my paintings did not reflect my corresponding passion for political activism and questioned why I was painting my personal world when my true passion was social activism. At the time I strongly disagreed with him but shortly afterwards I began to paint political paintings.

And then a few years ago my spiritual mentor put a big question mark on my political activism and what was actually driving it…I started thinking about the self-righteousness of my thinking, all the positions I found myself taking and as I uncovered what was underneath it, it began to fall away. At the same time I was doing a lot of dream journaling and I began to notice that there is kind of subtlety there that could really only be found in dreams. So for the past few years I have been developing this work of painting my dreams.

P: Hank, when you begin to paint your dream, do you paint it as you saw it or is it a feeling representation of how you experienced it?

H: I begin the painting by painting it as I saw it in the dream but the process of painting has its own will. The dream I want to talk to you about— is called "The Balloon Dream"

balloon dream
balloon dream

What was exciting about this was when I initially dreamt it I had this interesting perspective that dreams can give, and the perspective was floating up in a balloon and watching the behavior of someone I perceived to be a particularly recklessly cocky person who was riding a motorcycle down an alley and crashing into a building and jumping up and getting back on the bike and going another 50 feet and running into a tree… so my immediate reaction which is typical for me was some kind of hostility toward this person for risking other peoples lives …for being flagrant, a scofflaw. When I painted it I painted in many of his crash positions and I saw that this person, rather than being some kind of braggart or show off that he could do these things and jump up and keep doing them and enjoying the process, was rather actually really struggling and I hadn’t seen the struggle and the determination and the courage that he was showing. It was very powerful to face an awareness like this because of how many strongly held beliefs it contradicted.

Painting it helped me to see all those things and in painting it helped me to put it into a different context… then it seemed like this was also about the painting process itself. The most challenging thing about painting this painting for me was painting it in perspective, painting down on buildings and straight over to the balloon people and straight down to the motorcyclist crashing and so the painting and the dream helped me to have a different perspective on this person who was willing to risk even perhaps failing. And like in my experience of painting, not really knowing where he’s going because the motorcycle is telling him where he’s going… I saw all of that in the painting of the dream.

balloon dream detail
balloon dream detail

This is what it feels like to paint a narrative that is going somewhere without being sure where. And finally I realized this character who was taking all these chances and getting knocked around quite affectively was appreciating the motorcycle and what it was offering to him—again like so many times the dream showed me my first thought, my instant judgment put me in a righteous place and put this person in some sort of undeveloped childish foolish place. And as I worked with the painting I was able to see I could be this childlike foolish person and that there is a very exciting thing about that which makes me so grateful for having [the vehicle-] the motorcycle …that without it there would be a lot of passion lost.

P: How do you feel about sharing these dreams with people that you either know or don’t know?

H: It feels like it’s a lot like making art in general which for me is that I am trying to get it as close to my own personal truth as I can and the better I can do that the more it will have a universal impact… its really about everybody. It [painting my dreams] would be embarrassing if it weren’t just human and I would want to hide it if I didn’t see that it is what everybody does.

P: What is the response of other people to your work on dreams?

H: There’s a full range— I think that the work demands a lot from the viewer— that they have to climb in to see it. They might not care for the painting style, or the colors and they may just glance over it. And a fair number of people come in with a curiosity and wonder — they see that I’m in this lair that’s full of paintings …Or say,  “wow there’s sure a lot of colors here” and for those folks that is often as far as they want to go. Some people are used to a gentler art… But then there are a handful of people who are really excited about a kind of art that they haven’t seen … which is narrative and figurative and let’s say for some people it seems really gutsy, juicy and full of human emotion. And for me, I think that’s what expressionism is really about.

P: In the world of writers there’s a group that uses their memories as their subject matter to write from because they are familiar and seemingly inexhaustible. I wondered if that aspect appealed to you in any way or if it’s just a by-product?

H: Well that’s sort of wrapped into dreams …AND for me it seems like that’s the only legitimate source I have to work from. [Otherwise]…It would flip over into a different kind of art— an intellectual conceptual thing (if I worked without the dreams). I went to a high school that was pushing me very hard toward left-brained intellectual expertise, but pretty much ever since I stopped teaching school I pushed my self in the opposite direction.

P: How has the painting of your dreams changed your work and changed your life?

H: It’s added compassion and some kind of gusto for life that doesn’t need to be protected, an open-heartedness …

And it’s been a way to get past that giant stumbling block in making art —all those little voices that say, “ why do I bother…the masters have all done everything better than I could do and its all been done…—if I listened to those voices they would rob me of “my motorcycle” which would be a real pity. Because it opens me up, deepens my connection to the world.

It’s a little bridge into the magic world of paint and pushing colors around. I don’t know what paintings are going to give me or anybody else at all. [But}It exposes my humanness.

My hope is that people would look at it and realize that they have dreams or similar feelings inside themselves.

P: Do you think it is a level of intimacy that a lot of people are looking for that your work touches in them?

H: I think so…. I think that if I have enough nerve to express these things then that’s enough mileage to get me thru any negative judgments I might experience in my life. Laughter.

P: Thank you, Hank, for contributing to this series.  I have really enjoyed our conversation and I wish you the best wish for any creative "Carry on!"

The featured image at top of page is "Falling House", —HANK BRUSSELBACK

Crack the Code of Your Dreams

Crack the Code of Your Dreams – Taking Notes That Will Reveal the Heart of Your Dream“The basic function of dreams is to express the unconscious.”

—ROBERT A. JOHNSON

So you receive your dream, you have written it down as you experienced it without interpreting it. You have noted your feelings in your dream—

  • About the place you are in
  • Your feeling response to other dream characters,
  • To a situation,
  • To yourself.

Feelings like agitation, pride, peace, annoyance, anger, judgmentalism, hesitation, surprise, distrust, delight, innocence, court room mentality, wrong/right thinking, blame, sadness, grief, humility, despair, Love, righteousness, worthlessness, calm, controlling, humorous, playful, confused, trusting, arrogance…As much as possible be able to say exactly what you felt as you go along.

Part of us lives in our conscious mind, and our complementary quality lives hidden in the unconscious…They may appear to be enemies– yet they are in reality in the process of making a synthesis." —ROBERT A. JOHNSON

things of value
things of value

The dream is made up of male characters and female characters and some characters that seem to go back and forth in their sex.

If you look at your dream characters as each being an aspect of yourself, you will see these relative characteristics playing out in the shadows or openly, in your life.

We all carry these characteristics. It is important to mention here that shadow does not mean anything negative. A shadow character is simply a part of us that has been pushed underground and in doing so can make mischief in our everyday life, not because it is bad but because it is not acknowledged. Most of these shadow lives contain a huge amount of potential that our lives need to fully manifest their purpose. It is often wounds or childhood circumstances that drive aspects of ourselves underground. An early misconception formed that we have taken on.

Our dreams are comprised of many aspects:

  • Males tend to portray the thinking analytical rational deciding mind
  • Females tend to portray emotions and understanding, a feeling logic, a sensing of the whole.
  • There are often certain figures in our dreams who stand out and feel very whole and full of guidance-these are our soul guides coming forward to offer guidance and counsel. Jung referred to these as the anima and
  • Symbols will appear like a circle or a mandala or a square, an animal
  • Numbers will appear in dreams and these also have significance. As well as the ages or the number of years ago you were in the place in the dream. These are the clues left in the landscape to uncover that will begin to put together the picture of the dream.

ASSOCIATIONS provide the foundation for understanding a dream. Associations spring out of our unconscious in response to dream images.

Take each scene and notice the place they have occurred and any associations you might have with that place. For example: a town you grew up in, an old house, something from the past, or a new place, someplace you have never been before. If it is in an old house that you formerly occupied the dream maybe coming for you to recover something or show you something that is still operating from that time or a new appreciation for something difficult from the past. Writing down your associations with the houses and cities you are in can further embellish your knowledge of your feeling state and let you see what you might be still carrying from the past. Perhaps it is a mythical kind of place or barely descriptive at all. But you still will have feelings about where you are and these will fill out your associations. Take nothing for granted.

Archetypal dreams often take you to ancient or extraordinary places—bigger or smaller than life…talking animals, royalty, heroic figures…You can research the source of these figures and symbols that come—the Internet is a great research tool for this, rather than a dream dictionary that will give you one set meaning.

In the same way notice the people, are they familiar to you, are they couples, what are they like? Do not censor how you feel about them, write down what their characters evoke. EVEN IF IT IS EMBARRASSING.

Don’t daisy chain your associations by turning your associations into a story and don’t allow your associations to take you away from the dream itself because not all associations will be true in their importance to the dream. Keep them as distinct entities in themselves. Just write them down in a list. You are looking for one that comes that will ‘click’ the dream more into place. One that carries energy in it.

Allow the images that may have presented themselves in the dream to fully drop in. Is it an animal or a symbol? What does it bring up in you, is it a part of your waking life in any way or have you seen it before, do you have any history with the image… Begin to make associative meanings to the images. Again the Internet can be a great resource for this. For example you could receive the image of a circle or a rock or a bee or a shape.

I once had a dream image that came that was simply a large boulder that was sitting on the trunk of my car. When I looked at it what came immediately to me was that I was carrying something large and heavy from the past that I couldn’t see directly in front of me. This dream image led to a big revelation in my life.

In this way write down any associations you might have to the image, or anything it reminds you of and again how it makes you feel. Do not go to the dream dictionary that says that such and such means this or that. This will dilute the power of the image that often carries much of the meaning of the dream like an acorn carrying the totality of the tree within it.

In the end when you read your list of associations you will find the one that brings a little surge of energy with it-that is often the one that ‘clicks’. When I am working with people they often say, I don’t know why I am thinking of this now, but I remember such and such event…”

After you have looked at the initial scenes and their locations, you are ready to look at the DYNAMICS.

In working with the dynamics of a dream you make a connection between what is happening inside of you in real time– your inner dynamics – with what is happening and playing out in the dream story. Ask yourself the question—if I translated the actions of the dream into my inner world, does any aspect of this feel familiar? For example – if two people in your dream are having an argument, is there an argument going on inside of you, by way of a conflict you have within your self, something you have not been able to resolve? These are examples of the inner workings or process of becoming a whole person. The dreams present the stages along the way, adventures or obstacles, beliefs, surprises, key people or qualities that you value or dislike. Dreams describe our inner world, which internally deliver our outer experiences, via relationships, jobs, careers, etc.

And it is on the inner level that you can change things. Often the most life- altering thing that can happen in your life is for you to recognize and name a dynamic you have been living. This naming is the turn-around event.

Robert Johnson writes that the single most important thing to realize is that all of our dream characters represent an aspect or something going on within us. And that dreams about ‘others’ are not excuses for blaming other persons or making proof as a case against them.

In noting the dynamics of your dream, ask yourself the question what you have in common with the other dream characters or how you are different. Ask your self what the dream characters have in common with one another that are unlike you. Try to use neutral language in describing these characteristics. Even if you have to initially pretend, find the virtues these folks employ. For example, if the character in your dream seems very boastful to you, find a positive value in him—for instance that that he is not afraid of saying who he is or what he is good at. In this way you can begin to see what may be underground in your own life. We often make people into the bad guy because they are bringing out a way we feel secretly ashamed of in ourselves. So we develop a little moral arrogance to hide it and create distance from it.

When there are exaggerated positions or arguments in the dreams look at the beliefs and attitudes and values you hold that are being contradicted or threatened in the dream.

When a surprise shows up in a dream it is usually an indication of a limited belief we are holding. For example one of the most common surprises is when someone shows generosity or love in a dream situation that our own character might not expect – the whole matrix of always expecting the worst… that is a world many people live in to shield themselves from disappointment that they have experienced somewhere along the way that was crushing.

In some of our dreams we are simply a witnessing presence watching the dream play out in front of us like watching a drama. In these dreams you will see all sides of your character and how it is alive in your life.

In some of our dreams we discover things that disturb us down to our core. For this reason I think it is valuable to be able to work with someone whom you trust to explore these kinds of dreams. Often dreams bring up subjects that we cannot easily share with our family and friends. It is for these dreams I strongly recommend working with someone skilled in this arena. Not because they are dangerous but because they can uncover strong emotions or things we did not know, or things we may not be able to find a perspective on that will be healing That is when the steadying light and presence of someone devoted to your healing will make the difference. And healing is the point of our dreams.

INTERPRETATION

At this point we are looking for the central most important message of the dream—why it came to you.

  • What is the dream advising you to do or to embody?
  • How would my life change if I embraced it?
  • Write it down.
  • Feel the energy of it.

Evaluate your interpretations by:

  • Choosing the dream that shows you something you did not know
  • Avoid the interpretations that inflate your ego or are self-congratulatory
  • Avoid interpretations that shift responsibility away from you
  • Learn to live with your dreams—over a long time—let them evolve with you—you can only know what you know right now. But along the road you may find things about your dream you were unable to know when you had it, thus they evolve with you.

RITUALS OR HOMEWORK

For most people it is important to physically take an action that will anchor the message of the dream into everyday waking life by creating an act to consciously honor their dream.

This is an arena that indigenous cultures have employed carefully and consistently and we of the super-mind culture have often pooh-poohed as unnecessary. But it is done because it works. It acknowledges the message you have received with a sense of reverence. It says by your action that you have received the guidance and wish to act on it. In some primitive cultures they will take the message or medicine of the dream with the help of their shaman and they will ‘drive’ it into a rock or a physical object from nature. Then this object will become a piece on their altar or a place in the garden where they can look upon it, and remember it. An object becomes a thing of power by the energy we empower it with to help us make the change we wish to bring into being.

Perhaps it is as aspect of our selves we would like to let go of. We can use an object we find to hold that aspect and then cast it into the sea where we ask nature to take it where it needs to go. This can be a very powerful experience. Because it empowers us to change and not feel like we are permanent victims of life experiences. And because it takes us out of our heads where we mostly live in our modern culture and where we have become so unfortunately lost.

I heard of a man who worked with his dream by writing a letter to a part of him that was revealed in a dream. He posted it and mailed it and upon receiving it was able to take full responsibility for a part in his life and an issue that his dream had unfolded.

It can be as simple as a very intention-filled walk in nature, a phone call you have been meaning to make, a connection you have been putting off.

As with all things use your common sense. Let it be a creative act and allow yourself to be available to what will come as a result of it.

Stay tuned...more on dreams is coming!

Dream inquiry: Developing Your Dream Question

I have heard it said that more important than knowing what the answer is to an issue is knowing what the question is.This is the place from which to begin any dream inquiry.

Dreams can be engaged in and played with to invite an on-going dialogue with the inner self to address significant themes in your life and come to a deeper understanding of specific issues.

There are 3 pieces to formulating a good dream inquiry question:

  • Develop a question that will shine a light on what your issue is.
  • And in the same request ask what is the medicine for resolving this obstacle in your life?
  • Be resolute in wanting to know the answer.

For example you could ask,  "What is the primary stumbling block to establishing financial flow in my life AND what is the medicine to resolving that issue?” (Without asking for the medicine you might dream all night of the ways in which you are stumbling but without any resolution offered!)

Or by way of another example

“What core belief or beliefs do I hold that keep me from experiencing joy in my life and what is the medicine for releasing them?”

Now it is not always necessary to know all the things we need to ask. I know someone who simply says each night to her higher self, “You know what I need to know, so please send it”.

i stood to face her

i stood to face her

But sometimes there are specific questions regarding life events. In all situations it is best to stay away from how questions. Our highest self does not like to tell us what to do.

However we can ask something like-

“What do I need to know about such and such issue…?”

Or, “What am I blind to in this situation and what is the medicine for seeing it clearly? “

In this way we can receive all the nuances of information we might need to come to an understanding of its turn-around. We can ask for resolution to the same issue over the course of a week or a month or a year.

If, for example you are trying to find healing for an illness to complement the guidance you are receiving from your doctor, you will need to adopt an unwavering and diligent approach— do not give up if your inquiry takes you longer than you would like. Keep at it.

Or perhaps you are applying for a new job and you are unsure if this is a good fit for you. Or perhaps you are going into a new situation- a public talk or a new city and you want to know if there is anything you need to be aware of before you go.

A few years ago I was asked to come to Minneapolis by a client to give a public talk on the nature of healing, where afterwards I would be doing hands-on healing work with folks. This was my first public talk in a brand new city with folks I did not know. So I asked in a dream question, to show me anything that I was blind to in this situation and the medicine to navigate through it. I received a dreams, it came a few weeks before the trip.

In the dream I am meeting a group of people on a bridge. I was coming from one direction and they were coming from another. I was riding a very big bike, bigger than what I was used to. It was difficult to pedal because the bridge curved upward in the center. When I got to the crest of the hill of the bridge and I met the people I turned around and they followed me down in the direction they were heading. As soon as I turned, the pedaling eased and the ride smoothed out. I noticed leaving the bridge there were folks in boats in the water underneath the bridge following the current of the river. They were laughing and really enjoying themselves. Because they were in the flow of the river current they were not having to effort at all so they could relax and enjoy the ride, directing the boat in a luxurious fashion. End of dream.

 The dream showed that I was in a new role – riding a bigger bike than I was used to and I was preparing myself by working hard on the talk and getting hung up in the details of making the talk happen in my head ahead of time – the uphill pedaling experience. But when I got to the middle of the bridge and met the people where they were coming from,  and I turned my bike around on the crest of the hill – the place of the most efforting – they followed me and it was downhill from there. Seeing the people under the bridge in the water was a reminder that being in one's essence and delight would provide the momentum for movement and everything could flow from that. When we are in alignment with our higher self, life is easier and more relaxing. Then steering happens out of the relaxed state instead of the tight controlled state.

In fact the public talk went like that. The night before I gave the talk I woke up in the middle of the night laughing. I was laughing because there was some epiphany forming in my heart and I saw that everything in life was about healing…there was virtually nothing that was not designed from the beginning to bring you into wholeness. And that it was from that point of view I could inspire folks to relate. The next evening at the talk this epiphany and its laughter was still bubbling. Once I met the people where they were, I put my notes aside and the talk flowed out from the ethers. There was a lot of joy in the room, folks felt comfortable and when it was over I had prepared the week for the work I would do, by weaving into it the freedom of this innocence.

I have found that the most effective way to enhance the effectiveness of our dream inquiry is by the sincere resolve to work with the dream material that comes to us. And if what comes is not clear to give thanks and ask for clarification.

There are other reasons to engage in dream inquiry or make a request to the dream realm—

fire rock_
fire rock_

Sometimes we are stuck. Stuck in a dark place, or stuck in feeling badly about ourselves or stuck in our habits that keep us cycling through the same material over and over so we begin to feel as if our inner work is not progressing and our lives are standing still. We are looking for the light of day and our own minds are too bogged down to allow it to come through. Basically we need to bring about a change of heart, be lifted into a higher vibration, feel again a sense of promise and joy. I have always found the dream realm’s response to this state is profound and beyond any expectation, when we ask, because too often it is then we are in a real state of humility. In response sometimes you receive a dream that is pure medicine that contradicts every possible harshness you might experience in your life.

Here is one dream that came in response to such a time in my own life:

I dream I am standing outside of my window on the ground in my nightclothes watching a group of Beings coming toward me on horseback. As they get closer I see that they are Angels, royal in their bearing and they are full of light. They are dressed in the finest raiment of pure gold, sitting very tall on their horses, carrying banners. And there are clusters of stars hovering above them as they ride. I know they have come for me and I am ecstatic. Every worry or small way I have ever seen my life goes completely out the window. I am in the trance of anticipation of their company, and what they are bringing. When I wake up I am in wonder and complete awe.

Awe is a very transformative state to live in. Its very vibration makes everything ordinary in life shine with a different light. Just being in the experience of awe has a completely healing effect on the system. This dream had an archetypal quality to it because it brought beings of another realm, a celestial realm to visit me. When I woke the feeling from what I had witnessed and been visited by had changed me.

(I included the experience of this transformation in a poem I wrote later called: I Was a Soldier. It is recorded on my website in the Poetry section.)

Another dream came when I felt inundated by my own conditioned responses to everything, and weary.

In the dream I was a witness, not a participant in the dream, to groups of people interacting. Everyone in the dream was acting from their own truth and creativity as a human being. No one was acting out of guilt or pretense or image making or obligation. There were feelings and emotions in the dream but no discordant drama. In effect it was watching people live their lives in a state of freedom and true kindness toward one another and the harmony that would grow out of that amazing possibility.

The dream needed no interpretation – I received the understanding of what I was working towards and that all of my effort, no matter how long it took, was worth it.

Coming next will be a section on How to take notes from a dream, the key questions to ask yourself in working with the dream material and ways to anchor the message in your life.

Please feel free during this series on dreams to write in with your questions and send in a dream if you are struggling with something and if you think a dream you have had is pointing to something you can’t get a handle on. If the dream is  resonant with what is being offered I am happy to anonymously work with it in this series.