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Life as a Waking Dream



SAMPLE VIVID LIFE EXPERIENCE: The following is a real life experience looked at as a waking dream. The format for the exploration corresponds to the sections of the book Life As A Waking Dream. It is offered to give you an idea about how we examine waking dreams and find deeper meaning within our life experiences in the process. A similar format and process is used by most teachers of Life As A Waking Dream.

STEP ONE: THE EVENT: My expression of Self on the physical level peters out.

STEP TWO: DESCRIPTION OF EVENT: My partner and I are in New York City. We have been to the theater four times, have been to an art exhibition, have visited with P, our actor friend, and have had a meeting with our book agent. It is Sunday morning and friend P has picked us up in her automobile to take us to the airport. Because we have plenty of time, she drives us down to the lower east side to see a development along the water. We stop at the pier to get out and walk. As I start out, I suddenly feel light-headed.

I walk to a nearby park bench and sit down. My friends say, joking, "Too far to walk, huh?" (We have gone only a few steps from the car.) I reply, "Iím just going to sit for a while." My partner immediately asks, "Are you O.K.?" I say, "Yes, but I need to sit a while." She agrees and the two of them go on.

I close my eyes and immediately begin breathing up through my feet into the sacral and generative chakras and then down into the ground. I breathe and focus on the earth energies, centering and connecting. I remain in that focus until O and P return.

The light-headedness passes, but I am aware of feeling depleted. For the next several days I continue to feel spent of all energy on the physical level.


SENSE OF SELF: I was the conscious observer and director of my energies, an "impersonal" sense of self.

STRONGEST FEELINGS: I was surprised to find that I had once again exhausted my resources on the physical level. I was disappointed that I had not been able to see the exhaustion coming. I was concerned about my well-being on the physical level, fearing I was not a very good steward and not very loving of myself.

YIN-YANG: I was in my yang polarity, in the sense of being identified with my consciousness and not with my body (yin). I was yin to the communication of light-headedness, taking immediate action in response to that imprint. I was both yin and yang in reflecting on the incident, inviting insights and taking action, such as reaching out to my acupuncturist for help.


  • New York City - concentrated energy in a small space; busy, exciting, stimulating, and tiring. This could be a symbol for my mind, or my head, or my head centers.
  • the theater - the site for playing out scripts in dramatic form on a stage with an audience. Perhaps this represents the life stage on which I play out my character life: the dramas I play out. If so, they are well-written, executed professionally and artistically, well-directed and staged, according to their reflection in the plays we saw in New York. I found them exciting and evocative, and they sparked much discussion between O & me.
  • art exhibition - a showing of a whole body of related works: portraits by Picasso, most of them of his various lovers. The focus was on the development of his techniques. Perhaps this was a symbol for my self-study, paying attention to my unfolding process and the development of it, holding it in "images" in my psyche. Portraits of my spiritual unfoldment, my primary love.
  • book agent - the intermediary between my writing and the world of publishing. This may also be a symbol for my mind. S was under a lot of stress, not "making it" financially as an agent, and needing to take a waitressing job to have extra income. This may indicate the stress I feel about wanting to have what I write reach out to others, and finding that I canít give enough time to that because it pays so little. (Even after signing a contract, I still donít have any money; the first check hasnít come.)
  • Sunday morning - traditionally a day of rest and renewal; a time for focus on the spiritual life, for gathering with others to worship, and for family. The time/space in my consciousness in which I find spiritual renewal. I was not doing that on this occasion.
  • P - a friend who is a professional actor and who is also on a spiritual pathway. She is full of good and lively energy, and was rejoicing in the time we had together. This may be a symbol for my persona: the part of me that is "out there" interacting with people.
  • Pís automobile - going with the above, this may be an outer expression of my energy. When I "step out of it" I notice my exhaustion.
  • O - my partner and companion; my support. She represents the part of me that listens when my body speaks and honors the need for rest.
  • development along the water: places for people to live and also to enjoy outdoor recreation; the water is symbolic of emotional energies, so these may be forms of experience and/or expression that have been taking shape in me recently.
  • lower east side - lower suggests unconscious, or yin; east is often symbolic of the spiritual; so this may indicate that the "development" has been unconscious and in my spiritual nature, bordering on the solar plexus.
  • light-headed - too much yin energy in the head centers, creating a sensation of expansion. It occurs to me as I write this that for years I have done a form of meditation that takes all the yin energy and lifts it to the crown center and holds it at the highest possible frequency all the time. It occurs to me that this meditation may not be serving me well at this stage of my unfolding. I have lifted all my earth energy up into air and fire, leaving me with little to ground me.
  • airport - the place to take off from and fly; perhaps head centers again, from which I "lift off the earth" into higher frequencies, no longer in touch with earth and water energies in my field.
  • Symbolic retelling of the event: I have been in my head centers, watching as I play out my dramas on lifeís stage, reviewing the progress of my spiritual unfolding and noticing how my approaches (techniques) are changing. I have spent time with my energetic persona, noticing that she is lively and expressive, but I find that my mind is stressed over the puzzle of how to get my writing out to the public. There is not enough energy flowing back from that endeavor to sustain me and I must take in energy from another source. When it is time for me to turn inward for spiritual renewal, I allow my persona to carry me out into further exploration of the world around me. When I leave the persona to survey what has been developing along the edges of my solar plexus energies by way of spiritual insights, I realize that I am ungrounded and need to reconnect to the earth energies. I use the breath to reconnect with those earth energies, but the feeling that the earth energies are depleted continues for several days.

    THE THEME IS: Taking care of the physical body.

    REMINDERS OF PAST EXPERIENCES: This reminded me of my recent experience of being nearly "out" of white blood cells, which translates as too weak to protect myself against anything that would threaten my well-being on the physical level. It also reminds me of a sleeping dream I had in the middle of May, about two weeks before this VLE:

    "We are in a meeting room. The group is seated in a large circle. I am responsible for the meeting. A woman comes in who is dying. She is whisked away to another part of the building. Later, her head is brought back and placed in the center of the circle. The blood has all been drained out so there is no mess, but it is very uncomfortable having her there in our midst. For a long time it lies there. Occasionally the head moves, the eyes roll around, etc. I try to remind myself this does not mean it is still alive, remembering how chickens continue to flop around after their heads are cut off, so that I will not respond in horror and will be able to continue to facilitate the group.

    "Later a couple of men bring in the body and lay it down next to the head. The body is also bloodless, so no "mess" is made. I do not let myself think about why this has happened so that I can go on with the meeting."

    When I shared this dream the next morning, someone said, "You body was saying, ĎYou can have your head; I am out of here.í" I thought that was a fine interpretation of the bodyís message. The dream also seemed to say that I cut myself off at the neck and drain myself of life force so that I wonít "mess things up," or disturb the predetermined pattern of things, or stop the flow of activity in my life.


    I have been present to the entire series of messages from my body since I fell asleep at the wheel of my car. I realize that nearly all of the messages could be simply read as "stop." Only a few days ago it occurred to me that I had never thought to ask, "Stop what?" I do not yet know the answer to that question, though I am working with several good possibilities.

    I do not know what is being asked of me in the big sense. I do not know, therefore, what my purpose for this time period needs to be. I know that I need to find a powerful purpose that will keep me grounded and embodied.

    I do not know what would happen if I "lifted off" and let the higher energies carry me "away." Would this mean physical death? I donít know.

    I do not know if I have uncovered all the patterns that have caused me to withdraw or cut off energies from my body. (I have uncovered three large ones.)

    I do not know if I have gotten the message yet.


    Well, here are some of the messages:

    Ground the spiritual energies in the body.

    Go more yin as you go more yang.

    Feed the body lots of earth energy.

    Stay in touch with feelings through the solar plexus, so you can come to knowing.

    Find a new purpose that grounds you in the body.

    Recommit to living in the body on the earth plane.

    Take new joy in living in the body.

    However, Iím not sure I have seen the big picture or the deeper meaning, or gotten the essential message. I have not yet had an "aha!!" or a clear knowing.



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