I am excited to share the news that my article entitled "How to Travel Without Luggage (In Your Dreams)" has just been published in DreamTime magazine, the official magazine of the International Association for the Study of Dreams. The article is an adaptation of one of my prior blog posts. I discuss what I learned from a trilogy of luggage-themed dreams that I experienced in 2012. You can view or download a .pdf of the article by clicking on the image below.
Do you believe in meaningful coincidences? I was excited to be invited by Unity of Charleston to deliver a talk in October about Synchronicity and the Law of Attraction. This slideshow video combines the audio from my talk, originally delivered on October 22, 2017, with the Powerpoint slides that I showed during my live presentation. Please enjoy the video and feel free to pass it along to a friend.
Special thanks to the Charleston Jung Society for inviting me to deliver the opening talk of their 2017-2018 lecture series. Below is a video (along with Powerpoint slides) of my presentation: "Lucid and Jungian: Doing the Opposite". I've also included a few still images from the event.
People often tell me that they have trouble remembering their dreams. In response, I frequently offer them a quote from Jungian analyst Marion Woodman: "A dream is like a deer at the edge of the forest: If it’s welcomed, it will come out. If you feed it, it will develop a relationship with you. But if you don’t care about it, it will disappear." In fact, I probably repeat that quote in random conversations a few times every month.
So, I took notice when I recently saw a real-life "deer at the edge of the forest" (see image below). I was playing golf at Kiawah Island over Memorial Day weekend. I did not notice the deer until I was right upon him or her. Amazingly, the deer did not flinch and continued grazing as my golf cart whizzed by along the cart path. As a practitioner of "dream yoga" (life is a dream), I take animal reflections quite seriously as messages, especially when there is synchronicity involved (in this case, the synchronicity of representing a phrase that I commonly use). This deer's message for me? I think it is something like this: "I do represent dreams. I'm not running from you because you have cultivated a relationship with me. Not only am I a deer at the edge of a forest, but I'm also a deer at the edge of a fairway. I'm easily accessible to you. Just keep your eyes open as you drive along your path."
A few months ago, I was invited to give a talk about dreams at an attorney wellness luncheon. Special thanks to Mike Ethridge for the invitation and for recording an audio of the presentation. In the talk, I explore six (6) wellness applications of dream journaling. I've created a slideshow that combines the audio of my talk with some of my Powerpoint slides:
DreamTime magazine, the official magazine of the International Assoc. for the Study of Dreams, has published an article that I wrote about pets and dreaming in its Winter 2017 edition. This 3-page article is an adaptation of one of my previous blog posts. Here is a like to the .PDF of the relevant pages of the magazine: goo.gl/xPduVe
In addition to recording dreams in my journal, I occasionally record "Meditation Notes". These are insights that just come to me spontaneously during a meditation, a yoga class, or upon waking in the middle of the night. I recently found fresh inspiration from re-reading the following journal entry from 2014:
February 11, 2014 (Tuesday)
Meditation Note (4:40 AM). An insight of sorts came to me after waking in the middle of the night. It is difficult to describe in intellectual terms and the concept is really not “new” for me. It just seemed like a deeper understanding of the concepts I’ve been entertaining for years. The general idea is that I’m simply vibrating in a never-ending “now”. The linear patterns that I encounter on a day to day basis (e.g. the sun rising and setting; the apparent slow aging of my body; the patterns of people and animals moving about in a very linear way) are illusions that create a particular kind of experience. If I can disentangle myself from these recurring patterns, I’m left with the idea that I’m just shifting my focus / vibration and experiencing manifestations consistent with my recent focus / vibration. All the things that could appear as manifestations already exist. I make them visible through my focus / vibration. One analogy might be Google Earth. All the data is already there (with Google constantly adding to it) and I just zoom around the field of data. When a manifestation appears, it generally has to appear in accordance with a logical sequence because that is how Earth life patterning is set up – manifestations generally arrive in a linear way that you can explain to your friends. But their true nature is dream-like and they could appear, disappear, and shift instantaneously (as they do in dreams). They only appear in logical or linear sequence because that is what all of us participating in Earth agreed upon before we came in. I don’t need to exercise any “effort” to change the manifestations that appear before me. This can be accelerated by releasing resistance, judgment, ideas of limitation etc. I can simply focus / vibrate and enjoy what flows in next as a manifestation. Like a radio dial, I’m basically adjusting my tuner. Instead of a limited number of radio stations, my tuner can select from an immense field of manifestation options.
Do you typically remember your dreams? Should you bother? Beliefs about the meaning and importance of dreams vary widely. Nowadays, if you visit a psychiatrist, you are more likely to be offered a regimen of prescription drugs than to be asked to share your dreams. Some leading neuroscientists see dreams as nothing more than the brain’s attempt to make sense of the random firing of neurons. This scientific trend toward devaluing dreams contrasts notably with the perspectives of the founders of psychoanalysis. Sigmund Freud saw dreams as important manifestations of repressed or unsatisfied desires, calling them “the royal road to the unconscious”. Carl Jung’s seminal work blended psychology and spirituality. He regarded dreams as important communications from the dreamer’s soul or larger self.
During waking hours, most of us rely heavily upon the logical thinking of the left hemisphere of our brain to get us through the day. In contrast to this, the dreaming brain seems inclined to completely bypass the filter of logical thinking. While this can cause dreams to be bizarre, the absence of logical constraints yields dreams that are highly creative and original in nature. Whatever their source, the creative power of dreams is indisputable and worthy of our attention.
In a recent dream, I was seated in a small circle of people along with Bono from U2. Bono was strumming an acoustic guitar and singing a beautiful song that I had never heard before. I’m not trained as a musician. So, when I awoke from this dream, I had no ability to record Bono’s harmonious guitar chords. But many talented musicians can do this quite easily. For example, Paul McCartney heard the melody of “Yesterday” in a dream, and then rushed to the piano to play it out before the tune escaped his memory. Sting claims that he awoke in the middle of the night with the lyrics to “Every Breath You Take” playing in his head, and then completed in the entire composition in about 30 minutes. Billy Joel once speculated to an interviewer: “My feeling is that all of this stuff exists in a different plane and we tap into it somehow and I think I do it in a dream state.”
Thank you, Unity of Charleston, for inviting me to speak yesterday about lucid dreaming and dream yoga.
“Dream Yoga” is a phrase that I borrow from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. The simplest Western phrase to describe dream yoga is the idea that “life is a dream”. When we awaken from a sleep-state dream, we understand that the dream took place in a mental environment and that symbolic meaning can be attributed to many of the people, animals, places, and events that were encountered in the dream. A “dream yoga” worldview looks upon our so-called waking reality or physical reality the same way. There is the understanding that, upon our death (or sooner, in some cases), we will “awaken” from the dream of physical life. Given this, we can interpret the animals, people, places and events that we encounter in physical life as having symbolic meaning, just like a sleep-state dream.
The Tibetan dream yoga tradition is richer and more complex than the foregoing snapshot description. You can check out some of the books quoted below if you want to explore the idea further. I also want to emphasize, however, that there are many other historical, cultural, literary and philosophical sources for the proposition that life is a dream. I’ve outlined some of these in the quotations and descriptions set forth below.
• Tibetan Buddhist “Dream Yoga” Tradition. Oral tradition goes back approximately 1,000 years.
• Greek Philosophy - The Allegory of The Cave. Plato, The Republic (380 B.C.E.)
• Taoist Tradition – The Zhuangzi (3rd Century, B.C.E.)
• Rumi, 13th Century Sufi Poet
• William Wordsworth (1770-1850)
• Edgar Alan Poe
• Nursery Rhymes
• Children’s Literature
• Carl Jung (1875 – 1961)
• Paramahansa Yogananda (1893 – 1952)
• Channeled Wisdom Teachings.
• Shamanic Traditions.
• Near Death Experience Literature.
• Some Other Contemporary Sources