Thursday, October 1, 2009

Dream Gardens and Loci

I have decided to share something today. It will be too strange for most, but just right for a few.

You might have heard of a ‘dream garden,’ which is a stable place you create in your mind and reinforce through visualization. Stable here means it is essentially the same whenever you ‘visit’ through meditation, visualization, or lucid dreaming.

Now you might ask, what’s the use of a ‘place’ that isn’t physical. One use is that you can combine the technique with the method of loci, which was used by the Greeks to remember speeches and such while walking down the same path many times and touching the same objects while they talked. You’re capitalizing on the mind’s visual associative capacity to recall words, emotions, emphases, or anything else.

Take that one step further. Walk through a ‘garden’ and talk to an imaginary person. Hold onto your sanity here ;) Tell the person about a set of insights you’ve had that you don’t want to forget. Perhaps you realized for the 3rd time that you made a relationship mistake that you said you would never make again, and this time you want the principals you learned to stick. Or whatever. Tell your imaginary person about it while walking the same path, and let them respond (you made ‘them’ up, but you might find they have surprising insights because they’re not inhibited by being ‘you’).

Now, the next time, walk a little further. Turn over a new leaf, really, in your garden. Ask your imaginary person to explain the insight instead of the other way around. Discuss how it might apply to seemingly unrelated situations – a business relationship rather than a love relationship, perhaps. In this way you can build threads of insight that are persistent, and are (at least for some people) less taxing than just churning the problem over in your mind. You might find that you arrive at more advanced insights in shorter time, and are able to continue their development in a structured way. If it helps you find ‘the meaning of life,’ or achieve enlightenment, or remember the recipe for spicy Thai noodles, more’s the better.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Faith and Action

There are lots of things to have faith in aren't there?

There is spirituality and religion of course. Even science has shown that having faith in a supernatural power is beneficial. For most people, believing that some part of the self is immortal eases their fears. People want to create meaning, and permanent death makes that more difficult -- what would it mean if everything we accomplished in our own minds, our personal growth, our feelings, our loves and hates, just ended? It is not a comfortable thought.

To some degree we put our faith in politicians, or in a system of government, though sometimes we withhold reverence. We assume that things will work out because the system is well designed, or because the people have a conscience, or because some combination of factors resolves to give us a measure of security. That feeling of security is the genesis of faith.

If you think about it, you have probably observed two types of faith. There is the faith that supports action, and the faith of helplessness.

It is interesting that one word can be turned this way. It really means two different things.

If you have heard someone say, "we just have to have faith," meaning, "there is nothing to be done," that is the faith of helplessness. This type of faith makes people less dangerous, less effective, and allows others to prey on them.

Then there is the faith that "moves mountains." I'll call it "true faith."

True faith requires more from us. First, it requires faith in ourselves equal in power to the desired outcome. As an equation, that's:

Power of faith in self = Power of desired outcome

So what about faith in God, I hear someone say. It is one thing to believe in a higher power, another thing to be its hands. Merely believing is a mental exercise, but acting on our convictions is faith.

Now I hear that little voice that says, that's nice, but how does that work for me? I'll tell you.

If you believe that the world is meant to be good, make it good. If you believe that children should have shelter, find a family with no shelter and help them build it. If you don't know how to build, find someone who does and bring them with you. Allow your own convictions to lead others. When you discover you are wrong about something, or you make a mistake, use that to learn, to strengthen your convictions.

That's asking a lot isn't it? After all, we can't always neglect ourselves and our families to go looking for homeless children.

No, but you can work for the things you believe in while working for yourself at the same time. Providing for yourself and your family is your first responsibility, always. If not, others would have to provide for you.

Cultivating the faith of action is powerful. It places the scepter in your hands, so to speak. You feel secure in the world around you because you are changing it - doesn't that prove that you have some measure of control over your world? When you act on your true convictions, you engage a different, more powerful part of yourself. Use that semi-conscious self to build your own life, to energize the things you believe in, and to add your own lasting, meaningful contributions to the world.

And when you do, I hope you'll take a moment to tell me about it. I will be here, offering what I can as always.

Your friend,

The Seeker in Dreams

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Good morning Blogger friends

I breathe its yeasty steam,
feel the cold cream cheese
on my teeth.
Now I look at the bagel,
blink away cobwebs.

Then I stand on its hot,
craggy surface, and the steam
fogs my eyeballs.
I look up to see teeth
and a beard moving in for a bite.

Down the gullet, with coffee
from the hot black lake
on the desk.
Acid greets us: me, the coffee
and the bit of bagel.

It's not so bad. We're together
and the stomach lining
provides a soft surface.
A blink, I nod, and I'm at my desk,
wondering what I swallowed.

Friday, June 12, 2009

A strange dream...

You showed me the worm
that eats the flesh of your hand.
You still keep it.
"Isn't it beautiful?"
You asked me.

You said you were showing
your faith when I looked
inside your skin.
A blind white larva curled
around your organs, consuming.

Later you asked, "why
am I so pale, why
am I weak?"
I could not think
of an answer.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

An interesting discovery...

Did you know that no two cats can lay down at the same angle within sight of each other? If you have 361 cats in a room, the last one in will explode in a cloud of fur.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I have added my two awards below the text of these humble pages - The Lemonade Award and the Best Blog Thinker award. I will give some thought to where to display them, but wanted to place them here because I am deeply honored that Linda and Steph think so highly of me. Please if you do not know Psyche Connections and Incurable Insomniac, do click on the award pictures to visit them. It is well worth your time, I promise you.

And now - I also need to think about who to pass these on to. I will do so, but I first need to carefully consider.

Thank you again for the great honor.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The week

Alas, I will be unable to post much until after Wednesday. That is the deadline I set for one of my current projects, and I never miss my own deadlines. But I will tell you about an interesting little thing.

Last week my father brushed against a spider that was sitting on the edge of his chair. I happened to be sitting with him in his outdoor workshop. Inspecting the little lady, I saw that she was a Southern Black Widow, Latrodectus mactans. Oh ye little black haunters of privies and sheds, will you leave a few areas safe for old men and their visiting sons? Well I am glad she didn't bite anyone.

So I put this little lady in a jar thinking I would take a photo, but forgot about her, and now she is all shriveled. I can still make out (barely) the signature "hourglass" on her abdomen. But otherwise she is turning to ick. Goo ejected from her head as she dessicated, and that has her glued to the bottom of the jar.

I'm afraid if I take a picture now, it will be too unsightly. What do you think? Gooey raisiny spider pictures?

I am thinking there are better things I could post pictures of.