Lucid Dream of the Three Black Dogs


I audiorecorded my journal entries for May 27 and 28. Those were very “different-from-the-usual” and productive sits. I resorted to audio-recording because I’m trying to be better about going to bed earlier than 3 a.m. since I have to get up for work by 8:30 a.m. I’ll try to transcribe highlights from those recordings later; meantime, I’m at my favorite coffee shop, working on MCTB2, working my way to the end of Part II, Mastery, which includes the jhana framework, concentration practices, and the insight stages and practices. This is the practice heart of a book that puts practice first; therefore, much painstaking care has been put into this part.


I can go ahead and dispense with May 29 and 30 withal. Those sits were shit, I’m sorry to say. Both were late at night, and I was plagued by so much physical irritation, mainly itching, and emotional hopelessness and, yes, Pawel, boredom, that I cut each short after 25 or 30 minutes. I was getting nowhere, even as I tried hard to stay with all the horrible sensations and tried to notice that 95% of my sensate world was “just fine,” as Daniel says in MCTB2. I couldn’t or wouldn’t do it.

Ennui of Cycles

I climbed into bed to escape into sleep, but I couldn’t sleep, either. Early last evening, I had some acute surges of Fear; then the rest was all Misery, which until lately hasn’t given me much of anything to notice for the past year. Overall, I seem to be in Misery, which is odd for following a pretty wonderful Equanimity run. I’m sick of the cycles. The more they repeat, the moods and modes, the more meaningless they seem. And maybe that is precisely the point. But to have one baby I had numerous menstrual cycles, all unpleasant to miserable, so now to have one awakening I have to live with these stupid cycles the rest of my life? Not that I ever had a choice about either type of cycle.

Lucid Dream of the Three Black Dogs

After I finally got to sleep, sometime past 5 a.m. this morning, I had another dream with Dan in it. In this one, I was back in the home of my childhood, lying in my bed, trying, without success, to sleep. Suddenly I heard the scratching on the window screen of my bedroom. My various boyfriends and male Platonic friends would come break me out of that window at night back during my teen years. I would sneak out with them and drive till we were lost in the maze of North Florida dirt back roads.

I arose and went to the window, but instead of finding any of my boyfriends, I found three viscous black dogs tearing the screen to shreds with their sharp nails and teeth, and evidently coming to finish me off in a gruesome bloodbath.

Suddenly, time froze and I was Skype text chatting with Daniel. I was telling him these three black dogs were currently outside my bedroom, were tearing my screen open, and were about to leap at me and tear my throat out, silencing me forever. I asked him for advice. He told me, through this very different screenal portal, that I could try recognizing that these worries currently “dogging” me were aspects of myself and therefore but a dream. I told him, “I am in Misery, Daniel. I once read this memoir by William Styron on his bout with severe depression—he configured depression as a black dog. Those black dogs are going to kill me, Daniel.”

Today I’m also thinking how there were three of them. That trifold dog is Cerebus, the three-headed sentinel of Hades from Greek myth. Cerebus is a monster born of a woman who herself was a monster: half woman, half snake—a configuration of tempted/tempter with its own nondual resonances from the Bible. Cerebus allows people to enter hell, but will not allow them to ever again leave.

“So, Daniel, it is fine to say those dogs are just a dream, but they will kill me nonetheless.” Daniel said, “Realize that Everything is a dream, then, including your dying.” I said, “How do I do that, how do I realize that?” He said, “By realizing that this very conversation we are having right here and right now is a dream, lying without all confines of time and space, but here for the realization as such nonetheless.”

And with these words of his, I did realize that I was in fact dreaming. I instantly was flashed back into the dark bedroom of my childhood and saw the three black dogs still at their vicious work. But I was no longer afraid. I knew and remembered Daniel’s words and that I was dreaming. With one wave of my hand and a sharp boy whistle, I made the dogs freeze and then evaporate. And there were no boyfriends there to break me out of my confines, either. There was, however, a clear view.

And then I awoke.

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