Sunday, April 1, 2012

I know nothing

nance thacker © 2012
On Sunday March 25th I facilitated a dream circle at De La Sol Yoga Studios in Hamilton. Curiosity brought nine participants with varying levels of experience in dream work/play to the circle.

I am always excited to share the technique of shamanic lucid dreaming, a wonderful way of dipping into the wisdom of soul, heart and our subconscious. Where will the journey will lead us?

In dreams anything is possible! We can sprout wings and fly like eagles or grow gills and swim like fish. Or sometimes seeking home can take us on a wild taxi ride, zipping through unmarked streets that seem more like sheet metal chutes than roads. This was how one woman's dream began. After describing her dream to us she permitted us to present lines of inquiry beginning with, "If it were my dream I would want to know..." following the lightning dreamwork process originated by Robert Moss.

We went around the circle expressing what, in her dream, aroused our curiosity. What we would want to explore in more depth.

One woman began, "If it were my dream... I'm not going to do it this way. Instead I'm going to tell you what I usually do. When I think about roads, it usually means..." Sensing a premature analysis of symbology coming down the road I stop her there.

A symbol can have totally different meanings for different people; context refines meaning. It's not that we don't employ the analytical mind; we just ask it to take a back seat until the subconscious has had time to play, reveal its wisdom and communicate using its own language. The meaning of symbols can be ascertained through observing how the "symbol" expresses itself and impacts on our dream and waking life experiences.

The best approach to take is the Zen-like attitude of the "I don't know" mind or empty mind. We don't want to replay what we already know. We want to discover what we don't consciously know.

"Let's not make the dream fit established confines about what symbols mean. That will only take us down a well worn path and bog us down as we try to make the parts fit our pre-conceived notion of how things work. It will suck the life out of the dream. Rather than telling the dream what it is trying to say wouldn't it be much more fun and interesting to let the dream speak for itself? All of our answers are contained and much more easily found within the dream world not out here."

She paused as she took in the new possibilities.

"The best way to do this is to gather intentions for dream re-entry. What would you like to know about the dream itself? What questions do you have for the road, the taxi driver, the policeman, even the rocks and the trees? You can ask them directly, embody them or receive information telepathically. In dreams you can have a discussion with anything that occurs even events themselves. You can walk around the dream and take a different vantage point. You can, through your intention, dream the dream forward or backward. Why did you choose one way of acting instead of another? What would have happened had you taken a different action?"

Like the other members of the group, she was quick to catch on and revised her question. This took her into a totally delightful and surprising course of events when we, fuelled by our curiosity, carried on the beat of the drum, re-entered the dream.

My intention for re-entry was to find out what would happen if I took the path instead of lay on the grass as the dreamer had done in the original version. She was content on the grass though she did wonder herself what would have happened had she journeyed on.

The "dreamer's" original dream (to the best of my recollection) is in regular text. My questions, the answers I received and further dream details are in coloured italics. Here it is...

I'm seeking home. I'm on a wild taxi ride, zipping through unmarked streets that seem more like sheet metal chutes than roads. My amiable, competent, reassuring, though seemingly misguided Middle Eastern cab driver takes me instead to a restaurant at the end of his line. He joins up with family here and I'm offered a meal and an invitation to the party that is in progress.
Q - Why were there no road signs? Why did you bring me here without asking for directions to where I wanted to go?
A - This is the route I always take. I shuttle people here on this direct line so there is no need for signs. You wanted to go home; this is the way. You can stay if you like. My day is done and I'll do the route again tomorrow as I always do and bring more people here. Now it's time for me to enjoy my home and celebrate the end of a day with my family and friends.
Realization - Due to work that I've done, I've been expedited to this place. And though the party looks fun and inviting...
I decline his offer as I'm curious about where I am and I want to see if anyone knows how I can get home.  I wander off into the street where a number of people are clustered around an imposing, authoritative police man in the garb of a motorcycle traffic cop. (Whereas in the "dreamer's" dream she saw a phone booth and tried to call someone without success, the phone booth doesn't appear in my version.) The officer is in control, answering their questions and giving each of them directions (by drawing routes and making notes on the road maps they hold before him) to help them along their way. I look beyond the group and see an overgrown path winding its way to the top of a hill.
Q - Where does this lead? I wonder to myself. 
A - The policeman glances up at just that moment. Noticing that I have seen the path, he waves me on giving me passage. I recognize that he is not only a traffic cop but a gatekeeper. Had others noticed the path they too would have been given permission to move on but instead they are being directed back to where they came. They won't be shuttled back but instead must find their own transportation — the way back is difficult and different for each of them.

Somewhere along the way in the original dream, the dreamer lay down in the beautiful lush grass.
My dream however, continues on...
I walk past the group wending my way through the dense overgrowth of lush greenery and long grasses following the barely detectible worn-thin, dirt path under my feet and emerge in a country setting atop the hill. The landscape is verdant and bursting with colour. An ocean-fresh, crisp, clean breeze caresses my cheeks. There is a classic, pristine farmhouse and barn at the end of a long driveway. I inhale long and deep; exhale with a sigh of relief. I know that all the potential I feel in this place will extend into my waking life. I feel free. I am HOME.

I turn to look to the vista beyond the cliffs towards the ocean. A translucent, luminous yin/yang symbol floats in the sky - one half overflows with green leaves, vines and flowers; the other is made of ice-cold brushed steel, nuts and bolts. Each half contains a dot of the other within. 
Q - What does this mean? 
A - The next part of my life (the green) is informed by all that has come before (the nuts and bolts). There is no conflict no need to reject any part of myself. In fact each informs the other and always has (the dot of the opposite in each). I need the balance of both.

I return refreshed and inspired and we begin to share our dreams. The "dreamer" is the last to tell the story of her re-entry. Experiences and images not contained in the original dream are echoed in many of our dream stories. Different courses of inquiry led to different actions and new realizations. Each dream has specific relevance to its "tracker" because the initial dream has become their own. Yet their versions may also prove to contain useful insight for the "dreamer"; only she will know if this is so.

Thanks to the "dreamer" for this rich and magical dream!

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