Daily Spread: Integrating Shadow Sides
I drew, in reverse, this Page of Wands featuring Joan of Arc the other day here: http://jhanajenny.com/post/140320710502/alone-journey-individuation. This must be where the rose-fabric imagery came from in my recent dream: http://jhanajenny.com/post/140614078562/sex-death-fabric-dream
“Suddenly, he and I were in an old-fashioned piece goods shop. There were some bolts of fabric on a shelf. I pulled one down that had a white background covered with a pattern of red roses. I told Wayne, “I’m going to buy this and make myself a new party dress.” Wayne always loved me in my dresses, so he approved of this plan. However, I was lying: I didn’t plan to make any dress, for I can’t sew and I knew this in the dream. I was deceiving him, telling him what he wanted to hear.”
I read up on Joan of Arc. She was only 19 when she was burned at the stake. The flowers suggest her father’s garden, where she experienced the visions that led her to be a warrior against England’s aggression. She didn’t actually kill anyone but instead carried her banner into campaigns. The sword is her warrior aspect; the wand represents her prescience and powers. Crossed, they hold her banner.
Current Practice Goals and Means
John has urged me to write down my dreams and to notice how the “I,” or ego-self, is moving through the dream. He pointed out that in one of my recent dreams the “I” was gullible and being led along by others I should have not followed, or at least should have questioned.
The lucidity of awakened awareness must be established and stabilized throughout dreams and even deep sleep. One of the many books I’ve had open is B. Alan Wallace’s Dreaming Yourself Awake: Lucid Dreaming and Tibetan Dream Yoga for Insight and Transformation.
I have too many books open, but I feel particularly called to do dreamwork next. I need to go back to working on dream recall, for it is foundational for lucid dreaming, as well as providing ways to see how my ego is still asleep. What makes it nonlucid in dreams will clue me in during the day about when and how and why awareness is obscured.
I will likely put chöd practice back on the shelf for a while to focus on this. I have the third chakra work going really well, so I will keep that up. I’m sitting a weekend retreat at the end of March with John to learn more somatic, grounding, embodiment practices.
I’m annoyed that my jhana practice has sort of fallen off since July. I think I should really work on mastering concentration. It is important for so much that I want to do, on the cushion and off, including lucid dreaming.
My current marching orders are to untangle the victim/perpetrator polarity on the emotional reactivity level by the following means:
- Physio-energetic meditations, especially opening third chakra
- Tantric chöd practice
I’ll write more about the victim/perpetrator duality another time. One of the most fascinating conversations I have had with John is about this topic and how I’m identified with being a victim.
Dream of Time
This morning I had a simple, clear dream. As in most of my dreams for months now, I was traveling. This time I was driving my red Honda Accord coupe, frantically trying to get from my old workplace in Durham (why my old workplace?) to UNC Hospitals, or some hospital near Chapel Hill.
I was late for surgery. I had impulsively decided to have a breast reduction, which in real life I’m thinking of doing. I took out some paperwork at a red light, but I could not read the time I was supposed to be there, nor the address. I also couldn’t read the car clock for the current time. This inability to read is common in dreams and should have alerted me that I was dreaming. Instead, I kept rubbing my eyes, frustrated that I failed to see clearly and had to rely instead on memory.
Finally, I arrived at the hospital and figured out after some false starts that I was supposed to be on the second floor. I went up there and saw Kurt, with his shirt open, sitting in a lounge chair in the corner of the waiting room. He was trying to suckle a tiny baby girl dressed in pink. I said, “What are you doing?–You don’t got the goods for her.” He had some chicken from KFC or some such place, with gravy. He kept dabbing gravy on his nipple and then letting the baby suck it off. He said it was just to comfort her. I said that he was feeding her delusion, which would not sustain her. He said, “Nonsense–look how much gravy I have!” I just winced and shook my head.
I realized that I was somewhat surprised to learn that I had a baby daughter. That is the second thing that should have alerted me that I was dreaming. I only wondered what I was forgetting.
I had to wait a long, long time, even though I had been running late. Finally some male doctor with white hair came in and talked to me briefly about the operation. I wanted to discuss what cup size I should be, how my pain would be controlled, and how long recovery would be, but he said he knew best and rushed me into surgery without really answering my questions. He was behind schedule, he said. The next thing I knew, I was being put under general anesthesia.
I have no profound reading of this dream, but Kurt and I had a rocking belly laugh tonight when I told him about the gravy-suckling attempts he made! I had been talking to my neuro Friday about addressing the body as part of the path, and possibly having this surgery.
How did I move through the dream? Well, not lucidly. It was my idea to have the surgery, and I was the one driving, but I had to hurry up and wait, so I was sort of a victim of time, others’ schedules. The baby was the second child, little girl I often regret not having had after my son. The doctor didn’t answer my questions, was patriarchal, but I felt I had to go ahead with the surgery immediately or I would chicken out forever.
I had a dream this morning. Parts of it were clear, but the transition from scene to scene was missing, the effect being one of simply appearing elsewhere by magic. There were three basic scenes.
Third Party to Myself
In the first one, I was young and slim. I was at a party or gathering of some kind, outside a wooded home with terraced landscaping. I think it was near the ocean, for the air was thick as with warm salt billows of air. There were Japanese lanterns lit.
As the dream began, I was descending down the terraces as though they were giant stairs to the street level where I could leave. I am an introvert, and I had the feeling in the dream that I wanted to get away from the crowd, from the demands placed on me to interact with gusto. In this scene, I was not just in my body but alternately watching me descend. So the “I” was hard to locate, slippery, shifting.
As I was almost at the bottom of the yard, at street level, a man caught my eye in the periphery, and I certainly caught his eye. I’m not positive who the man was. I didn’t have a clear view of him, but something suggested that it was Wayne, my old alcoholic boyfriend.
Piece Goods Shop and Rose-Covered Fabric
Suddenly, he and I were in an old fashioned piece goods shop. There were some bolts of fabric on a shelf. I pulled one down that had a white background covered with a pattern of red roses. I told Wayne, “I’m going to buy this and make myself a new party dress.” Wayne always loved me in my dresses, so he approved of this plan. However, I was lying: I didn’t plan to make any dress, for I can’t sew and I knew this in the dream. I was deceiving him, telling him what he wanted to hear.
Funeral Procession, First Person, and Fake Weeping
Then the scene changed again. I was standing in a church with others. We were all facing the back of the sanctuary. It was a funeral. Men dressed in black were proceeding into the sanctuary, toward the altar. I never turned and looked at the altar. I looked at the men. They were in double-file. There was no casket, for I kept looking for it. The men all had their heads hung and were crying. I was in my own body now, and I hung my head and pretended to be sad and weep. I could see that I was wearing the rose-covered sundress that I didn’t and couldn’t make. In actuality, I was not sad at all and perhaps even secretly glad that I was getting away with some kind of deception in only seemingly blending in and doing what I was supposed to.
What the… .?
Above it, and at the root of the navel, is the shining Lotus of ten petals. Meditate there on the region of Fire, triangular in form and shining like the rising sun.