Summerlife

The leaping is easy: suddenly

she inhabits

no worlds, but vaults

their gaps; she sails

a life’s span, teasing

fear with homeless feet. Concealed

time-spans and space-spans await

her, promising to hold

her the way she dreams:

bound and unbound

all at once.

 

Fundamental Motion

 

Everything is

a shark, moving for a living.

The day you froze, place lost

its room and time lost

its patience, only to snatch

you out of space. You translated

into perpetual light, unseen

like the gaps found

between film’s still frames, dead

but chasing the unborn.

Here in this nowhere, you linger

never and always, spread

into everything and nothing,

as only spirit stops.

Lucid Dreaming, Magical Living

We dream the world into being. I believe this is a deep truth, and I believe there is something magical to be found in lucid dreaming.

Knowledge and imagination swirl and caress each other teasingly. In the waking world, one can know for certain that one is imagining some wondrous fantasy, but one cannot, we are told, manifest one’s imagination into life. In the dream world, one can imagine that they know something is “really happening”, but one cannot quite control one’s imagination to manifest what one wants.

Yet in lucid dreaming one knows they are imagining, and one can imagine anything they wish, manifesting it before their eyes in all the true-to-life reality-mimicking quality that dreams provide. I think, perhaps, this suggests that there is a kind of waking state of fantastical knowing which is the opposite of lucid dreaming and which holds all the manifesting power of the latter.

Lucid dreaming could, then, be a powerful to tool in learning the most powerful skill of them all: manifesting reality.

Learning lucid dreaming is more than merely recognizing that one is dreaming, but the ability to recognize a dream from reality is the first step. I myself have a few clues that tell me if I am dreaming (yours may be different). The first clue is the obvious fantasy of a dream. In a dream where I encountered a tornado, I knew it was a dream when I then saw five more all around me. It’s the improbable things that tell me I’m probably dreaming.

The second clue is my lack of co-ordination or ability to make things happen in a dream. In a dream I find it impossible to hit the right buttons on a phone, for instance, or carry out other simple functions. I fumble about, unable to act on the world.

The third clue is a bit more subtle. If I find myself trying to decide, in a dream, if I am indeed dreaming — I probably am! Yet still there have been times when I knew for sure I was awake, only to wake up. The point is that if I’m questioning it at all, or making a decision about my state of wakefulness, I am likely in fact dreaming.

Knowing these facts may help me to take things a step further: to know I am dreaming and stay within the dream, imagining a world before my sleeping eyes that bends to my will.

Rabbit Will Run

 

We have baby bunnies in our living room.

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Life is overflowing everywhere. Is it the same for you? We cut back the houseplants and carved out a new space to fill with stories, memories, meaning.

We are poor folk. We gather things from the wild and make do. Somehow we always feel the richest. Strange how imagination can satisfy and fulfill you. That’s how kids live, remember that? They have nothing but stories, they invent worlds out of the air. Children know we live in imagination. There’s the dream world where you can see and feel your imagination but you can’t quite control it. And there’s the harsh world where you can control your imagination but you can’t see or feel your creations. It’s an Uncertainty Principle of Massive Proportions.  We can only know our imagination in one form at a time: you can either know you’re imagining, or imagine you’re knowing.

Do you see how everything and nothing is the tension between Potential and Actuality, Imagination and Reality? These two states create each other. Stop asking the physicists to tell the story of the beginning of the Universe, and find it here. Or simply meditate upon it, like a koan.

My world becomes curiously made for me, or I for it, as I am it, and it is me. I stroke that relationship from nose-tip to tail. When my eyes open like the baby bunnies’, I will reclaim my right to dream everything into place.  Thus “Shamanism” takes new meanings lately. When Owl stares at me and says only, “Love,” I hear enough to ponder for days. Suddenly everything accuses me of not dreaming a myth and theory for why it exists, what it is, and what it’s doing. I want to be small again and play, running off benches believing I might be able to fly.

Energy Exchange in Spiritual Work

Some people say that they charge money for spiritual work because of the necessity for an energy exchange, and I understand where they are coming from. It is important that one doesn’t end up feeling used and drained. But money isn’t the only answer if we’re really talking about energy. I think people should be up front about their needs and expectations and not refer to energy exchange as an explanation (or dare I say excuse) unless they are willing to accept all forms of good energy in return for their work.

It’s perfectly okay to say you’re charging money because you feel you deserve it, or you need it, or you want it. I’m not debating whether or not people should charge money for spiritual work. I’m just saying that the explanation about an exchange of energy isn’t striking me as authentic most of the time.

Why? Well, I think that energy is exchanged in lots of ways. If you do a spiritual healing for someone and they write you a letter of thanks and gratitude that really brightens your day and makes you feel awesome, then you’ve just received some great energy in exchange for your work. It might not put food on your table, but you didn’t put food on their table either. I find that the energy I get from sincere gratitude is so uplifting that it completely and utterly makes my work worth it. In fact, one letter of sincere gratitude is enough energy to sustain me through a few days of spiritual work (albeit part-time work – I have a full-time office job and lots of hobbies demanding my time).

And when I say sincere gratitude, I don’t mean ego-stroking. I’m talking about a quality of genuine loveliness that comes through in someone’s words. This is real spiritual energy beaming back at me in a beautiful exchange. If someone took the time to write me a haiku about falling leaves I would be completely fulfilled.

Gratitude can be expressed beyond words, of course. A few times I’ve been offered Reiki healings in exchange for readings. I accept these with great thanks and appreciation and have faith that the universe will aid in maintaining an energy balance.

I do have great faith in the universe. My wife and I have stopped actively selling our soaps and moisturizers and have been basically giving them away (admittedly we don’t completely refuse donations towards the cost of ingredients, but we expect nothing). My wife sees this as good karma. We don’t feel drained or used; we trust that the energy will come around. So far we’ve always managed to get through the month and our love is stronger than ever, so I think we’re doing pretty good.

Of course I’m not off in lala land either. I know what it’s like to be broke and I know what it’s like to be energetically drained. In fact, I’ve been struggling the last couple of days after briefly dealing with an energy vampire of sorts. (I’m not talking about you! That person has been told.) But I wouldn’t be feeling any better right now if I’d been paid. In fact, I’d probably feel worse – it’s harder to break off contact with someone who is paying you. Whereas I know my energy will bounce back the next time someone shows off their loveliness with a note or a smile.

Maybe I’ve been blessed with an excess of good energy to share; this is only my experience. But I maintain that money isn’t the only form of energy to exchange for spiritual work. It’s not even the best form of energy. If you want some help paying your bills, be honest and don’t teach a doctrine that equates spiritual energy with monetary gain. I daresay that if you are meant to be a full-time spiritual worker, the universe will oversee your survival.

Simple Spirit Worship

Spirit and energy are, in my view, the same concept: the verb to be. They are pure existence, which is an action and not an object, and thus neither can be observed directly. However, they can be observed and known by their effects.

To be is what all things do, even if they do little else. Thus all things are spirit-infused.

When we ourselves do nothing but notice that we are being, we are spending time with spirit. It is as easy as that. When we add gratitude and awe, we are giving spirit our worship and devotion. To simply be is itself a prayer when we know the true wonder of being.