Archive for March, 2007

Tricky Mind

Lately I’ve been getting a lot of questions about how this all got started, the vivid dreams, etc. I used to have the occasional flight dream and I always loved the experience. Then I got really into the idea of someday being able to fly while awake, sure it seems crazy, but why not reach for the stars. I focused a lot more on my dreams, recording them and analyzing them, and trying to get clues about what it means to fly in dreams and how I could eventually fly while awake. The more I focus on my dreams the more I remember them and the more insight and delight they bring me. Sometimes a dream’s meaning will click immediately and sometimes years later the images will finally make sense.
Since I have been doing this project many people have told me about their flight dreams. I love hearing dream stories, it is so special when someone shares this private and sensitive part of their lives with me. The Fly Awake project, like my art in general, has to do with experiences coming from my spiritual practices, and sharing these experiences with others. After seeing the show, people shared with me their own spiritual experiences and ideas about flight from places I hadn’t looked into. This was a truly awesome, totally unexpected happening. People have frequently reacted very positively to my work, and found it contemplative and calming, which is what I want, but never have they responded so candidly. This makes me very happy.
Recently I have been reading more about shamanism, to get insight about the dream world, and for all you dream fliers out there, this is considered a sign of flexibility and awareness on the part of your soul, which is the part of you that flies while dreaming, and is a “prerequisite,” (if you can deal with that idea,) for further shamanic explorations.
I read of a shaman who was taught that when she realized she was dreaming to go to sleep, and when she again realized she was dreaming to go to sleep again. At the second level of dream lucidity she would see crazier stuff and at the third level she was able to interact more and to ask for and receive information. (This is from Woman in the Shaman’s Body). I thought I would work on this, and had the following
I start to lift of the ground, flying is a sort of sloppy, swimmy way. I realize I am dreaming and lay down to go to sleep. I focus on my third eye, with my eyes closed. There is a really shiny, shimmering white light in front of me. Things get clearer and clearer, I feel like I am waking up for real, and worry that I messed up the dream and am actually awake. My mom’s there, she is bugging me about something or other as I wake up. I want her to leave me alone. Later there is a girl (me, but I’ve dissociated), she’s teaching a classroom of kids, then I worry that she has killed herself, but I see that actually she killed her mother (appearing still as my mother), I am happy about this outcome.

Well I didn’t exactly make it to the second level of lucidity, the mind is a super tricky thing! Hopefully I will remember to experiment with that in future dreams.
Lucid dreaming can vary from just being aware of yourself dreaming to being able to fully effect the outcome of your dream. We are all manifesting our waking reality whether we realize it or not. Playing with lucidity in the dream world helps bring awareness to this process while awake. Are you awake, or are you asleep?


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Owls, owls, owls. That has been what has been going on this week for me. As I try to learn owl’s lessons, I have also been looking into what’s going on in Portland as far as shamanism goes. I found this quote from Paul Levy (from here, see also here):
“In the deeper sense, when the shaman recognizes the true nature of their situation, which is that they are simply struggling with their own energy, they have become lucid in the dream.”
I’ve also been making my way through The Woman in the Shaman’s Body, by Barbara Tedlock, and finally got to the part discussing dream work. Reading the stories of all the shamans in action I have come to the conclusion that the shaman is someone who is able to be as mutable in the waking dream as in a fully lucid dream. While this may appear as craziness to some, (dreams often seem pretty wild,) the ability to be free enough from the personality to change as needed to heal is pretty awesome.
For now working on remembering not to worry about the future, but instead fly softly and silently through the darkness and manifest desires not fears! Thank you owl.

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Finished reading “Master of Lucid Dreams”, turned out to be quite an interesting read, food for thought, etc. Still processing the info. Had a couple dreams featuring owls.

Dream (first night my brother left to hike the top of the Grand Canyon): Running slowly (brother’s style) along the top of the Grand Canyon. It is fairly pinkish, rust colored. I am going along a narrow spot and there is a fence set up to keep the animals in. I look over the edge and see all sorts of animals in plain site placed evenly throughout the landscape. I see a Northern Saw-whet owl sitting on a tree branch. There are many animals, one of each of many species, most just sitting. Off on the other side I see a bit of a deer. Coco goes over the edge down to the bottom. He is still on leash, I pull him up by his leash so he doesn’t get eaten by the shark, who is also hanging somehow. Surprisingly Coco doesn’t seem to be hurt by this method of extraction.

Dreams (Last night):
1.Flying in a sitting position, come to the top of some stairs. I think that I should be able to naturally go down, but I keep wanting to fly straight. I realize that I have to direct the flight quite literally. I say to go down and immediately head downstairs. –In Master of Lucid Dreams, and other shamanic texts, they talk about going to the land of the dead (internally or otherwise) and I was wondering how this is done, i.e. going from meditative state to this other part of the mind–perhaps as easy as just directly directing the energy.

2. Going down a hill, on the sidewalk. I see an owl (couple feet tall), a chicken, and a bald eagle on the roof of a house.
Earlier I saw three chicken owls. These chicken owls are orangish, which circles of radiating orange feathers around their eyes. Otherwise fairly scruffy. They were all standing around doing something–reminded me of inefficient office workers.
So, this chicken (also a chicken-owl) and the owl are being pursued by the bald eagles (there are two now). The c-o and owl come off the roof, I am laying on the sidewalk all curled up (probably how I was sleeping) and the owl lands within a foot or two of me–so large and close and so amazing!!! The chicken is a little away from me (not as smart).
I see the eagles on the roof. Their white heads are so very white, glowing, and the color of their beaks is also very vivid. One has his beak wide open, screeching and ready to kill. He swoops down and catches the chicken owl, taking him up to the roof to eat him with the other baldy.
I start floating a bit and then flying. I instantly become so excited that I can finally fly while I am awake, a moment or two later I begrudgingly admit to myself that I could be sleeping. The eagles are really doing a number on the chicken owl, more like the c-o is going through a shredder, I have to fly through a haze of chicken briefly. Then I keep flying along on my journey.

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I’ve been thinking more about the Seth ideas along with the Master of Lucid Dreams ideas. I asked my dreamer a while ago to analyze the waking dream and got a dream that was a sum of the overall quality of my waking life at that time. Starting to think of the dreamer and my waking self as people on either side of a glass, each thinking they are seeing their reflection, (and perhaps they are). Seems like lucidity, both awake and asleep, is the key to making a bridge between the two aspects of the psyche.
I’m about 2/3 of the way through Master of Lucid Dreams–it talks about different traumas humans experience (for example: a non-lucid death, or more obvious like abuse) and how if we suppress any traumas they come alive and dominate our lives and we enact the traumas upon others (in other words, spreading the trauma). If we observe our traumas/fears, while focusing on the third eye, then we gradually become free of them, and eventually they can assist us. While the ideas may be familiar to varying degrees, the way it is described is quite different, and I am always a fan of that.

So last night I had the following dream:
I go to visit Ma, but they are gone for the three day weekend. Instead there are some Tibetans there. They are cleaning and doing other acts of service. They are also very knowledgeable in the matters of death and dreaming. I am sad that I missed Ma, but feel like working with them will better prepare me for when I see Her again. I plan on staying for the weekend and using tomorrow to make lots of very yummy food as a service–including very luscious blueberry crisp.

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Last night hummingbird was flying super slow. I could see her colors, medium to dark blue to iridescent green on the edge, they were a little different than I expected, but I have never seen hummingbird in slow mo. I raised my forearm hoping she would land. I was a little shy about it, embarrassed that someone would see my hope. (There was a man standing near by.) Little hummingbird just flew right over my arm. Then later I was running slow–dream style–but was convinced I was awake. I thought to myself, “hey, this is why we run slow in dreams, because that is how it really is when we’re awake.”

I first met hummingbird when I was setting up my Red Sky at Night installation, at the Harwood Art Center, in Albuquerque. I was worried that the show was going to turn out crappy. Hummingbird flew into the building as I was thinking about this. It was late at night and I was working on the rice paper panel that the patch of “sunshine” would move across. I was so happy to see hummingbird, who represents joy and artistic beauty. She flew around for a while, through the wide hallway with super high ceilings near my gallery. I tried to steer her out of the building. I ended up climbing up onto a very high radiator to get the stairway window open. As I was doing this, the hummingbird was flying in place near the wall above me. While I was still on the radiator the hummingbird dropped down to the ground along the wall, going between the radiator and the wall. On the way, she brushed my big toe–softer than the softest rabbit fur (softer than their neck fur).
I decided hummingbird needed some time by herself to figure her way out. I checked back later and she was gone.
I felt very positive about putting the rest of the installation together after seeing hummingbird, and it ended up being quite serene.

Last night I watched a silly movie, but it reminded me to re-focus on my art. The move to Portland has really disrupted my art making. I started mining my past dreams for imagery. Feeling a lot more free to experiment here, with more varied landscape and more pleasant weather. (Last time I shot some footage I ended up with a cold after being out in 20 degree weather in my dream dress.) Once again I thought about how I needed to find a little trampoline. I thought “maybe I can manifest one, perhaps one will just appear.” (I prefer the “maybe” approach to opening windows of possibilities–that way I don’t get too attached to the idea, and yet it becomes more likely, check “What the bleep…“). I felt the dream gave positive encouragement to the art making.

On the other hand, to work on my lucid dreaming I have been reminding myself during the day that I am living a dream (Tibetan Yogas of Sleep and Dream). But, (with the running dream and others,) it looks like I am still loving the dream so much that I convince myself it is the real deal. Ha! The “real deal” is a dream too.

Then, today we were walking Coco and my brother’s dog Chichi (we didn’t name them) and I saw a mini trampoline on the side of the street. The man in the driveway gave me his blessings, and I was off with my new tramp. “Yeah!” for lucid dreaming!

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Three Bears

I added hematite to my mirror bubble, with my mind and on my wrist, and that seems to be helping with the nightmare issue, just can’t seem to part with the super cozy winter blankets yet.

The first nightmare free night, I spent the whole night on only a couple dreams, that I went in and out of. The dreams dealt with some of the issues in the nightmares, clearing that stuff up. Felt way more invigorated in the a.m.. Been reading “Master of Lucid Dreaming”, quite intriguing, more news later on that. Then last night…

Dream: Driving down Lower Muscatine Road in Iowa City. I see 2 bears eating trash out of cans at the intersection near the 50’s McDonald’s. They look at me and I look at them. I am driving a van, and slow down to be able to look longer, (“There’s my bears”, I think). They seem like they are going to come after me, so I speed up. This scene repeats twice. The third time, there are three bears. They each have very different faces, which kind of surprises me.

Still trying to figure out this bear energy. But the last time I was this confused it was with the deer and that came out great.

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Been really hot at night since arriving in Portland, consequently having nightmares. Still on Iowa winter blankets, I guess. Here is another round of torture.

Dream: Outside my old high school (Iowa City), supposed to meet people to go on a hot air balloon ride. Kind of like a school project, we have to figure everything out for ourselves. The judges are there, and others who are going in different balloons, too, but not my people. I have been experimentally/impatiently going up and down in the balloon. Okay, two freaking hours later, the group strolls out of the high school. Apparently they were meeting inside at the time we set? So, this balloon is really only built for two, max, but four want to come. One extra large man particularly wants to come. Trying to be polite about his size, never mind that he wasn’t originally supposed to be in the basket. All this is making it rather hard to get off the ground. I was going to wing it, but due to the extra weight I go talk to the teacher. There’s some formula apparently, pounds times something gives number of liters of oxygen needed. It’s just not going to work. Screw this. Wait for hours and then can’t even go up.
Something happens, scene changes and I am in the school. Someone has a bunch of people (girls) in the gym lined up all around the perimeter. He doesn’t start with the first person, but close to the beginning he starts slitting throats. The first girl gets up and runs off (sensing a problematic situation), I am not in the gym, but we meet up and run off together. It’s slow running/struggled flight for me. We end up parting ways further down college street. The guy never came after us and stopped slitting throats after a dozen, or maybe 20 girls. He was only looking to kill the innocent, or something along those lines, perhaps seeing the killing made the others less innocent.
Once we part ways, a wolf starts chasing me. I am flying, but not fast enough, or high enough. He snaps at my heels. I keep trying to create a mirror bubble energy shield to deflect him (something I just read about yesterday (Walks With Thunder article)), but it doesn’t seem to work, probably because I am too afraid. He wants my yellow spleen energy (something I have been trying to cultivate recently, which is bright in the dream, but seems deficient in waking time). As I am floating and kind of trying to kick him off/avoid bites, Kevin walks up, as though he and I were planning on meeting at the top of this hill anyway.
Everything deescalates, the wolf, I assume is still there, but I come down to earth, looking at Kevin who’s excited and showing me the new cassette tapes he got.

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