Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Dream play


When I haven't recalled a dream, I like to ask myself that question. Then, I observe what happens as I go about my day. You'd be surprised at the frequency of "dream-like" happenings that break through into "waking life". This reminds me that the veil between the worlds is very thin.

I witnessed a dream-like day being lived by Hannah, a woman attending a workshop at the OMEGA CENTRE a few weeks back. Most people come to the centre to further their learning on a specific topic or for R&R. Many, like myself, have been reading about, studying or applying the techniques that is the  topic of their chosen workshop, but not Hannah.

I first met her when I went for lunch with 2 other participants from Robert Moss' SHAMANIC LUCID DREAMING dream group. The workshop had finished that morning and we were lingering, wanting to squeeze out the last bit of inspiration from the gathering and share more of our life and dream experiences. We descended upon a table occupied by one person (this would be Hannah), who graciously allowed us to share the space with her.

She listened intently and even joined in on the conversation by asking questions. When I asked her what she was here for she said she wasn't sure. She wasn't on R&R exactly as she'd half-heartedly signed up for a workshop of which she had little, if any, prior knowledge. I found this both bewildering AND fascinating.

After some time we all reluctantly dispersed with hugs and words of appreciation and bid each other fare well.

As I sat at a dinner table in the dining hall that same night (I stayed the extra night to give myself some down time before making the 9 hr drive back home) in walked Hannah with a "friend" who she'd just met. The woman was a Shamanic practitioner here to attend a SHAMANIC workshop with John Perkins. Again Hannah listened in on a lively discussion between myself and the Shamanic practitioner. We went our separate ways: I to the library to research Perkins' writing and later to the bookstore to purchase one of his books; the "friend" to her workshop and, because Hannah wasn't sure if her workshop was starting that night, she headed out on a mission to find out what was happening.

The next morning, as I sat talking with another of Robert's students who'd also taken an extra day for R&R, Hannah appeared again. And once more she took a seat and proceeded to listen in on our conversation. Her workshop hadn't started the previous night but was to begin after brekkie. She seemed ambivalent, not at all excited about it and said that she was told that she could switch workshops if she wanted.

"If this was my experience", I said, using a dreamwork technique, "It would seem that I was meant to take the Shamanic workshop. After all, of all of the people that you could come across in the dining room at OMEGA 3 times in a row you ended up at tables where all we talked about was Shamanism. Every one of us has studied and participated in a Shamanic workshop. There were 3 at your table yesterday afternoon, 2 last night and now the 2 of us. This adds up to the number of karmic return so, if it were me I'd go to that one for sure!"

I don't know if Hannah changed over to the Shamanic workshop or even showed up for the one she'd initially signed up for. For all I know she decided to hang out, visit with other guests (most likely she'd end up at a "shamanic" table anyway) and get a little R&R. Whatever she did was right for her. But man it seemed as if the universe was doing its darndest to get her attention.

How was this experience like a dream for me, you might ask. In my dream of this experience (Hannah) I was a little like a sleep-walker unconsciously drifting through life while opportunity for awakening is knocking at my door, not once but 3 times. Do I follow its lead? Only time will tell. Where will it take me? Only time will tell that too :)

TOMORROW play in the field of dreams by asking HOW IS WHAT'S HAPPENING IN MY LIFE LIKE A DREAM.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sometimes you feel like a nut

click on cartoon to enlarge
© Nance Thacker '83

I don't know just why this cartoon wants to be seen, but it does.

Though it's not a particularly good drawing; nor very original (I'm sure it's been done thousands of times in various ways). It was one of a few attempts to do a style that might appeal to the New Yorker magazine... and one of the many rejects.

I loved drawing her and could feel the old velvety, crumpled hat that sits upon her head and the heart that beats under her worn camel coat. Having lived a full life into her late '60's, she's a little weary of life but still she waits patiently at the counter. She's not distressed or upset, just mildly annoyed at her goofy dog who's not, as the bottle claims, "removed". He's just not visible.

As she waits she's replaying the scenario over in her mind as to what not to do after this situation gets cleared up. She will secure the lid on the bottle more tightly and wait until she hears the cupboard door close before she walks out of the kitchen. And, never again will she place the "Spot Remover" bottle beside the garbage can, especially after discarding fresh left overs from a T-bone steak dinner as she had done last night.

Yah, well maybe it was as much my fault as Spot's, she's thinking. So, both guilty parties wait calmly to be served. Spot's invisible tail is wagging all the while and he looks up adoringly at her through his soulful, invisible doggy eyes.

Damn, stupid dog! It took me forever to figure what the hell was going on this morning what with cushions  dancing on the sofa and rugs scattering around the hall as if they were possessed. I thought I was bloody well having a stroke. 

Dumb dog!

When I could finally believe my eyes the sounds of his claws clicking on the floor and his excited panting became clear to me. Thank God for the pee (the only thing about him that wasn't invisible - nor odourless) that streamed down the leg of the chair. If it wasn't for that I'd never have caught him. Oh well, at least it wasn't as bad as the last time... or the time before that!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

shamanic lucid dreaming

This past (Canadian) Thanksgiving weekend I was one of 24 people at the OMEGA CENTRE in Rhinebeck New York participating in the art of Shamanic Lucid Dreaming with Robert Moss. He calls his workshops "playshops" and this one sure lived up to that classification. I've never had so much fun with dreamwork!

When I was about 11 years old I experienced a frightening dream which seemed to foretell my early demise - it was then that dreams called me. After that experience I took notice of dreams in the hopes that I'd dream a revised version of the prophecy; I looked for signs in daily waking life that would tell me that my path had changed direction. I tried bargaining with fate and destiny. Though I don't consciously recall any revisions or signs, something must have worked as I'm writing to you from the other side of 55.

I was fortunate to further explore dream study with Swami Radha and Richard Reeves of Yasodhara Ashram and a dream group in Victoria B.C. in the mid '70's. Though Richard seemed to be on the verge of breaking through to new territory before he died, the foundation of the work at the time, from all my teachers, was built upon a western analytical approach.

We believed that it was important to capture the whole dream(s) in as much detail as possible so we were encouraged to take copious notes to record them. We'd read our dreams to the group. Significant nouns, actions, puns and each slip of the tongue was highlighted. Then we'd dissect what we'd highlighted, for example the meaning of nouns, asking the question "If you were talking to an alien from another planet how would you describe what this word means?" and, "Is there anything/anyone in your waking life that has these qualities?"

We looked for archetypes, most especially peering into the shadow aspect of our being. Every character and object represented not only that particular person or thing but also aspects of ourselves. Gestault techniques enabled us to become the character or object and give them a voice thus giving us a new and fresh perspective on the action in the dream.

From recording the dream to working on it, you can imagine how long this whole process took.

I've worked with Robert's techniques for about 10 years now on my own. I've brought them into my classes, workshops and individual consultations with clients. How refreshing and freeing it has been to get out of the left side of my brain and play with dreams in what I call the "dream fields" where they live in a broader spiritual dimension. During the workshop it was especially inspiring to watch how Robert held the space and moved the work forward into lively engagement. His exposure to the understanding aboriginal cultures have about dreaming and the dreamtime has transformed how many people in our culture now work with dreams.

So, how has this changed how I approach dreams? I still write down my dreams and when only fragments present themselves, I've discovered that often they contain the most direct and uncomplicated wisdom and fun. On those days when no dream comes to the surface or I'm too busy to record a dream I might just capture a feeling, a title or come up with a dream "bumper sticker" as a summary. I look at daily life as another dream space which allows magical synchronicity to inform my reality. And when I'm working with my dreams in my journal, the whole process can take as little as 10 to 15 minutes. The most important questions to ask upon waking is "How did I feel in the dream and upon waking?" and "How will I honour the dream in waking life?" The stage can be set to welcome a dream by asking of one that was dreamt, "What more would I like to know about the dream?"

I know that dance, song and dream theatre enable us to embody the power of dreams in order to move the energy of the dream into waking reality (which also furthers the evolution of dreams in the dreamtime too) but I gained a whole new appreciation for the power of this work by participating in the group.

Here are some other observations from the dream space that was created that weekend:
  • Messages can be brought forth quickly with a sense of lightness and ease.
  • Through engaging the body, movement, literally moves the energy generated by potentially intense work throughout the body and keeps it light. This is a tremendous discovery for us kinesthetic types who often absorb the intensity to our detriment. I intend to explore this aspect further in my own dream workshops.
  • Dreamworking in this way keeps not only the dreams alive but also the dream group participants energized, enthusiastic and fresh.
  • Whether you are experienced or a novice, we are all dream teachers. Everyone in the group is able to dip into and bring forth great wisdom from the dream space that is created when we all come together with the intention to explore this territory. 
  • This work really does empower and heal the participants who become aware of the tremendous resources they have within themselves.
  • For the facilitator of the dream group, non-attachment to outcome is essential. As Kahuna Harry Uhane Jim says, “I will my will to compassionate disengagement for the breath of God is in our presence”. Go in with an intention for the work AND let the group energy inspire and direct the process. New discoveries will come forth.

Friday, October 14, 2011

You can get there from here - journey explained

"We are going to take a journey into parallel lives," Ruth announces as we get ready to take the first journey of our dream workshop on Sept 17th.

"They can be lives other than an earthly life. There are no limits as to where you can go, who or what you can be. And, since time is always happening now, these lives can be in what we in our present experience of reality consider to be the past, present or the future."

Excited by these possibilities, I am more than ready to begin the adventure. I can not resist closing my eyes and settling in as I get primed for "take off".

"There is a gateway or portal that we can use to gain entrance into these lives. Some people imagine it to be a pyramid with parallel threads running downwards from it. You can explore any of these threads which represent any one of numerous possible parallel lives."

Her words and voice begins to lull me into the receptive state of lucid dreaming where all is possible. And, though this image floats in front of me, it doesn't engage me as I know there is more to come and I want to keep my options open. What is the other portal like?

"Other people use the image of a spider's web. As you move along the web, each time you come across a connecting line, where these lines intersect is an opportunity to enter into a life."

© Nance Thacker 2011
click on image to enlarge

I feel myself walking cat-like on all fours along the tightrope of a gigantic web which bounces slightly with every step I take. I am rising and falling, rising and falling as the drum begins to beat. How did I get here? I look up and see the pyramid above me and, yes, lines do run down from it but this enormous glistening, silver web is suspended from these lines and where the lines intersect a body is suspended in space. The connections and bodies are too numerous to count as the web spreads out before me like a galaxy of stars.  I should say that these are identical "body-shaped" forms, each representing a distinct life experience. There is a glow at the centre of the web. I gaze upwards and see the flow of a celestial water fall of light that passes through the centre of the pyramid. Its path flows through the centre of the web and beyond to a distance into a milky way-like galaxy swirling far below and beyond this area which already feels like infinity.
I lay down into the form of one of the suspended bodies and in the flicker of an instant I'm standing behind Jacob. My parallel life journey has begun.

I am a dreamer and I am Jacob - continued on previous post Journey into Parallel Lives.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Journey into parallel lives

He stands with his back to me. At six feet tall, wearing a crisp white lab coat, he is an impressive figure. He says I can call him Jacob, it's as good a name as any. He knows it is a name that appeals to me as it seems to belong to one who possesses a mysterious presence.

He smiles at how easily impressed I am with this task he performs so effortlessly. For what does it take really to hold space when one has been doing it all their life? He cannot remember a time when it wasn't always so.

I walk around to his right to get a better view of what he has devoted his life to. Test tubes like vials float in the air in front of him. From a distance they give the appearance of a massive church organ, staggered as they are at varying heights and distances. The mass seems alive.

At a closer view I see that he is monitoring the progress of liquid dripping into each vial from invisible spigots. Vials appear and once filled disappear seemingly at random. They are unmarked with no distinguishing features and the liquid is clear, silvery and crystalline-pure.

I understand that, suspended in other places and other times, dreaming bodies have embarked on journeys. And, though Jacob stands before me he is also a physical presence, monitoring each of them as well. These people are, from the point of reference of my time, advanced beings who have chosen to journey to bathe in "healing waters" in order to gather healing wisdom-energy for their less advanced self/selves.

Jacob makes them visible to me now and I observe their physical bodies resting for a half an hour at the most. Yet the bathers experience is of hours or days; sometimes months or years floating and drifting.

Suddenly Jacob transports me to the next level; the place of "gathering". Jacob is there too as a constant presence, overseeing the progress of each of the dream bodies. A more subtle, shimmering image of each dreaming body walks into the waters, then submerges, becoming one with the healing waters as their molecules mingle. In this way they absorb that which is healing for the particular needs of their lineage. There is an infinite number of bathers forming, dispersing and re-forming creating a sparkling dance of light before my very eyes.

How the essence they process from the healing waters is transported into the vials is an unexplained mystery; the drops of essence magically appear and drip into the appropriate vial.

Once their task is complete Jacob guides the "shimmerings" back into their suspended dream body which then journeys to rejoin its corporeal form in the material realm. The person later awakens, feeling glowingly refreshed.

Jacob explains that when a more dense, lesser advanced, earthbound soul needs a healing and cries out for help, it is he who hears their pleas. And it is he who matches the resonance of the essence with the intended receiver; administering the appropriate dosage in the form of a "wisdom moment". The knowing that has been delivered is absorbed, in some cases immediately, in others, over time. The process of healing is complete when the absorbed essence manifests as "right" action.

Jacob is pleased to be a part of this moment in time in which science is married to spirit as he knows it hasn't always been this way.