Tag Archives: Meditation

Long Time Gone (& back again)

It’s been a long time since I’ve had a chance to post here. Those of you who know me know there’s been a lot going on in my waking life (almost as much as in my prolific dream life!).

But before I tell you how glad I am to be back, I’d like to put in a word for silence – or the space between words; the lacuna between one thought and the next; the dreamless sleep that hammocks us between bursts of dream.

The beautiful spring flowers that we’ve been enjoying in these past weeks remind me that the snow covered winter landscape was in fact incubating vibrant dreams of color and beauty all through those gray, icy months. In the deep darkness of silent sleep, untold wonders are sending forth shoots that we will soon see blossom.

And so, this time between blog posts has been an opportunity for me to regroup and reflect on what it is I most want to share with you about dreams.

And here it is: I want to help you see the benefits that being fluent in your own dream language can afford to you.

I’d also like to help you begin to see dreams as not just something that happens to you when you close your eyes and go to sleep—but instead, I want to help you recognize that dreaming is a state of consciousness that you can enter into and engage in mindfully, and as such, that it can help to support and sustain your intentions for integrating body, mind, and spirit in a healthy and holistic way.

In the coming days and weeks I will share some posts with you about how to make dreamwork a part of your life, in the same way that a yoga or meditation can be woven into the fabric of your daily routine.

In the meantime, it’s good to be back.

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Welcome back, dreamer: Have you been a long time gone from your dreams? Let your dreams know that you want to rekindle your relationship with them: Place a notebook beside your bed, and write down your intention to remember your dreams tonight.

 

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Enjoy a musical interlude with the Dixie Chicks as you peruse these posts: Long Time Gone.

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Learn to develop A Mindful Way to Sleep, Dream, and Live Better at one of these upcoming workshops:

Weds. May 27 Dreamasana at VegaYoga in Holyoke, Mass.

November 12-15, The Yoga of Dreams at Sivananda Ashram and Yoga Retreat in the Bahamas.

 

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(Dream) Practice Makes Perfect

Dreamwork Podcast CoverWhat would it mean to have a dream practice, the same way some people have a yoga or meditation practice? (Hint: You don’t need a sticky mat, but prepare to fluff up your pillow!)  Listen in to learn more:

IMG_4811This episode of my podcast, DreamWork, was recorded at Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat in Nassau, Bahamas, during my stay there in November, 2014.

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Want to learn more about your dreams? Contact me to find out about upcoming dream groups in western Massachusetts, or individual dream sessions by phone, Skype, or in person.

Have a Dream Question? Send it along! I’d love to hear from you.


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Good Evening—Good Dreams (CV)

A good night of dreaming starts with a good night’s sleep. And a good night’s sleep starts with a good evening routine.

"The Bedroom" Van Gogh

Here are some of my favorite tips and tricks to wind down toward dreamtime that help promote a sound sleep:

Z After dinner, have a cup of calming tea. Some of my favorites are Celestial Seasoning’s “Sleepy Time Vanilla,” Chamomile, and my all time favorite: Tulsi Tea–I prefer the Rose flavor, which is billed as being relaxing and magical … what better for dreamtime! But you can also go the more traditional route and get Tulsi for Sleep.

Z I love a late evening snack. Sleep-friendly after-dinner snacks include bananas, low-sugar cereals, milk or kefir (I prefer kefir!), or a turkey sandwich (yup, it’s true, turkey makes you sleepy).

Z We all know we’re supposed to stick to a regular sleep and wake schedule to promote good sleep hygeiene. I don’t know about you, but I find this difficult to accomplish. But here’s a tip that helps me on the nights that I resist getting to bed on time: Don’t hit the snooze button the next morning. That’s just making a bad situation worse. Rather than sleep in, take a 20-30 minute nap in  the afternoon to make up for the sleep you missed. This will help you get caught up without compromising your sleep schedule too much.

Z You suspect it and studies prove it: Being on the computer, the smart phone, iPad, etc. in the evening hours are all compromising your sleep. Even watching TV is bad for sleep. But face it, even though we know the light from our e-readers and other screens is interfering with our sleep, we can’t give them up altogether. So, consider these modifications: If you use an e-reader, don’t use back light feature. For other screens, look into getting a blue light filter, as it’s the blue light that’s been linked to sleep interference. Here is a link to a site that offers other tips and apps to help make your screens more sleep friendly.

Z Meditate in the evening. You can even meditate in bed if you wake in the middle of the night. Not only does meditation relax you, it increases your chances of having lucid dreams.

Z Wind down with a few yoga stretches. Legs up the wall pose, plow pose, and easy forward bend are a few good choices. Here’s a link that gives more information on helpful yoga poses for enhancing sleep.

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Do you have a favorite relaxing tea, ritual, or routine? Share, please! After all, we could all use a better night’s sleep!

Boston Moonlight

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If you’d like to learn more about your dreams, schedule an appointment for dreamwork, purchase a dream journal, or buy a dreamwork gift certificate, visit me at Third House Moon.

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Corner View is a weekly appointment each Wednesday, where bloggers from all corners of the world share their view on a pre-arranged theme. This week’s theme is evening. Start here to visit more Corner View blogs.

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At the Edge of the Ordinary: A Labyrinth Awaits

I’ve driven past it countless times.

The sign says "Blue Note Guitar." But tucked behind the music studio lies something more.

But never knew what lurked behind

I parked my car and followed the cement path ...

The ordinary facade

... and crossed a metal-door bridge over a skinny creek ...

A winding path

That leads inside

To the heart of mystery.

…& took my first steps on a new path …

... alas! A labyrinth!

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A local labyrinth…

Yes, as part of my virtual retreat with Awake-N-Dream & Dreaming Global Illumination I went in search of a local labyrinth. I used the labyrinth locator and was surprised to find that about a mile from my house, just behind an ordinary looking shopping plaza, which is home to Blue Guitar music and dance studio … well, there it was! A lovely labyrinth.

After I walked the labyrinth, I went home & found a rainbow stretching over the trees just beyond my house.

If this were a dream …

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Lonely – Together (CV)

Solitude

Image by Lady-bug via Flickr

What is the antidote to loneliness?

No, the answer to loneliness doesn’t involve going to a party, hopping onto Facebook or taking a trip to the mall. The antidote to loneliness is solitude.

Solitude is more than simply being alone. True solitude involves getting still and quiet with yourself. This is a difficult skill to learn, especially in a society that increasingly values noise, constant movement, and quick connections through social media.

To learn true solitude takes practice. In my personal and professional work I teach people the art of listening to the self through dreamwork, writing and mindfulness.

When you learn to be still and quiet you discover something extraordinary. You are truly and deeply connected … to everyone and everything.

To build solitude into your life:

  1. Begin and end each day with a few moments of internal reflection. Start slowing down an hour before bedtime. When you close your eyes to enter sleep practice meditative breathing by inhaling slowly to the count of four, retaining your breath for a count of four, exhaling slowly for a count of four, retaining the breath for a count of four, etc. In the morning when you wake, lie in bed quietly for a few moments and reflect on your dreams and sleep before beginning your day.
  2. Take 20 minutes a day to spend time alone. Unplug the phone, turn off the computer, and avoid any distractions. Be in nature if you can, or sit quietly in mindful meditation.
  3. Learn Proprioceptive Writing. This is a ritualized form of writing that offers a simple and profound system for learning solitude and deeply knowing the self.

“It is good to be solitary, for solitude is difficult; that something is difficult must be a reason the more for us to do it” –Rainer Maria Rilke

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To visit more Corner View blogs from around the globe. Start here.

To learn more about how dreamwork, mindfulness and writing can help you discover the deep pleasures of solitude, contact me.

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Insommnia – gift to the dreamer

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Image by AlicePopkorn via Flickr

It used to be that when I couldn’t sleep, I’d lie in bed and feel the anxiety building in my chest. I’d worry about not sleeping, I’d worry about how tired I’d be in the morning, I’d count backwards or try to remember the names of everyone in my first grade classroom, all in a desperate – and usually unsuccessful — attempt to fall asleep again.

Now, when I wake at 3 or 4 a.m. and can’t fall back asleep, I think, oh good, the perfect time to meditate.

Most people can’t find time to meditate during their busy days. Even 20 minutes seems elusive when you have work, family obligations, a home to care for, and so on. But at 4 a.m., there’s nothing on the calendar, no phones ringing, the laptop is sleeping even if you can’t. So why not meditate?

Monks and mystics intentionally wake up at these early morning hours because this pre-dawn period, when the rest of the world is slumbering, is ideal for achieving inner quiet and stillness.

You can sit up in bed and meditate or meditate lying down on your back (think savasana if you’ve ever taken a yoga class). There are lots of techniques to use. But since to day is day 1 of Deepak Chopra’s meditation challenge (which, by the way, I plan to participate in), I’ll start by directing you to a Dream Meditation that the Chopra Center recommends. This is a meditation in which you replay your day, condensing all of your activities from waking to going to bed into a 5-minute ‘film’ that you project onto your mind’s eye and watch as an objective observer. Listen to the podcast for details.

I find meditating in the middle of the night, during bouts of sleeplessness, will often lead into clear, and sometimes even lucid or luminous dreams. And surprisingly, I wake refreshed despite the small number of hours I’ve logged in sleep.

So, next time you wake and can’t fall right back into sleep, thank your insomnia and start your new mediation practice!

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