Our lives are abundant with distractions. Food, news, movies, books, gossip. All this takes our attention away from our own lives. From how we really live our lives, how we spend our time, and how meaningful our choices are. I notice this especially strongly when I go away for a retreat – without many opportunities for distractions. It is only me, my life, and my choices. It is very simple. But not always easy.
Living at Kanzeon Zen Center in Salt Lake City also gave me the same focus on my life. Engaging in sitting meditation for a few hours each day gave me no option but to face my life as it is. And make choices out of more awareness.
In my mid-teens, I had a recurrent strong dream that still is vivid to me. I saw myself somewhere between one and two decades into the future, living in a particular region of North-America, in an ecologically and spiritually oriented community. The dream had a numinous quality – related to the community.
The dream was very strong, and I still have flashbacks – small events that brings back the particular numinous quality from the dream. I had a clear visual impression of which area it was from, and an atlas confirmed that it was in the Pacific Northwest of the US.
At the time, I had no intention of ever visiting or moving to North-America. I did, and still do, have an unfavorable impression of the US culture and politics. Yet, circumstances and coincidences brought me here some years back to study psychology, and I am still here. Last summer, I moved to the Pacific Northwest. My impression of US culture and politics is unchanged, although I experience a strong connection to the land – especially in the West – and have found many good people and friends here.
I have scoliosis. It has never caused discomfort but may in the future, so I have over the last year or so visualized my spine smoothing out.
The visualizations led to Jen and I working on it regularly. She with massage (NMT and MAT) and I with yoga and similar exercises. It has helped quite a bit, but there is a little further to go.
Last night, Jen used a massage tool to work the ligaments between the spinous processes. I went into a fully lucid altered state, which occasionally happens during massage when we tap into something that has to do with more than muscles and ligaments. I had a very clear image of Native Americans, and the word “culture” came up strongly. As she worked up along the spine, and to an area higher than the scoliosis, the images went away. She touched the scoliosis area again a few times later, and the images immediately came back. It clearly happened outside of my conscious initiation. My sense is that there is an emotional component to my scoliosis, and it seems to go far back in my life. It may have to do with personally experiencing a culture clash similar to that between Europeans and Native Americans.
It may seem woo woo, but if it has to do with my health, I take it seriously. I sometimes use active imagination to explore my night dreams, and may use it on the images that came up last night.