The Tao of Big Cats

Today was the final day of Arny Mindell’s dreamwork class at the Process Work center.

Each time, we practice a particular approach to dreamwork, and what unfolded for me today is an example of how many aspects of what is alive for me – and has been alive over the last weeks and in some cases for years – all come together in one pattern. It is all one process, unfolding. And Process Work helps me glimpse that process in various ways, sometimes through apparent fragments here and there and sometimes through seeing the larger patterns.

The dreamwork

The process we explored today had the following steps…

  1. The facilitator finds the line of his/her Big U
  2. We engaged in warm, informal small-talk around…
    • What has come up recently that I don’t like: For me, it is in particular the responses among certain people of the killing of al-Zarqawi in Iraq. The cheering and applauding of a murder. There is profound disgust coming up in me when I see that. First, those killing him do exactly what they accuse him of doing – killing in cold blood. Then, they applaud it. There is something profoundly inhumanity that, profoundly confused.
    • What is come up that I like and/or am fascinated by: A friend of mine went to see Amma last Sunday evening in Seattle. She told me that when she received the hug, it was as if her heart exploded in infinite peaces, and since then she has directly experience everything and everyone as love. She has an immediate experience of the essence of all there is as love. Seeing her, this change was very obvious to me too, and deeply touching.
    • Current issue: what to do with money in relation to Breema, The Work, Process Work and so on. How can I practically navigate so I can make money on my passions?
    • A recent dream: Jen was told by the Breema Center that she could not attend their intensive because (a) she did not have enough prior hours and (b) she did embody the Breema atmosphere sufficiently. As we were leaving, one of the staff said that when Jen hugged her earlier that day, she was blown away by how profoundly alive the Breema atmosphere was in the hug. It didn’t come through when Jen was consciously trying to manifest it, but it came through just by her being herself giving a hug.
  3. The facilitator followed his own process. What came up for him was a lion roaring and hunting, and then yawning and relaxing. The yang and the yin of being a lion.
  4. We talked about this, and I saw how this fitted into a pattern coming up in my life over and over.
    • I associate lions with power, smoothness, deep confidence, comfort, no hesitation, being fully themselves in their yang and yin modes, and able to switch from ferociousness to deep relaxation in a moment. These are all qualities I want to bring more out in my life.
    • The yang mode of lions came out for me as a roar and a swift swing with the right paw. I can see how this is the killing without remorse. The killing which is just what lions do. What I despised in those rejoicing in the killing of the Iraqi guy is exactly what I want (although in a different form).
    • The yin mode of lions is related to the hugging – one hug blowing the heart open, the other profoundly transmitting the Breema atmosphere. It is relaxed, deeply comfortable, deeply loving.

Other things that came up later on…

  • Over the last few weeks, a childhood dream has been coming up for me again (during waking hours). I dreamt I encountered a black panther in the jungle of South America, and experienced a deep, profound connection with this animal. There was a profound wisdom there, deep cat qualities, and a sense of belonging and coming home. The panther was me, although me in a form I was not connected with in my daily life – and still am not as much as deeply as I am invited to.

    As I mentioned this to my partner, in response to his cat images, I saw a black leather purse on a chair in my sightline. It said “Puma” in large golden letters and had a puma logo.

    These days, when this dream comes up again, I see that I want the black panther more in my life. The power, wisdom, smoothness, confidence, ability to switch from ferociousness to deep relaxation in a moment.

  • This also relates to an irritability which sometimes come up since my initial awakening in the teens. An irritability of seeing (some) people’s lack of awareness, lack of clarity, and a deep wish to shake them out of it. Shake them into clarity and awareness. But how? The lion and the black panther don’t ask how. They know. They do. They see that the question “how” is just an excuse for holding back.

    This is the yang compassion. Cutting through. Ferocious. Without mercy. Yet deeply connected and compassionate. It is what comes out when I follow what is true for me in the moment.

    And of course, the irritability has to do with wanting to shake me out of my trance, out of my dullness. Shaking me out of holding myself back through asking the question “how”, when I already know. In the absence of how, I know. I know.

    There will always be room for improvement, for exploring and developing skillful means. Yet, it is perfect. That is the lion quality. That is the quality of the black panther.

  • The dullness I want to shake myself out of has also come up in my awareness over the last few weeks and months. There is a dullness there, a deadening, a holding back, fuzziness. I have consciously embraced it, welcomed it in, befriended it, and seen some of the gifts in it.

    And I also see how this fuzziness has to do with holding back from the yang Big Cat qualities. I tell myself I don’t know how, and veil myself in fuzziness. Shaking myself out of that dullness, becoming the panther, there is knowing.

  • I explored the yang Big Cat qualities further with Jen for a few minutes when I came back, and came more on the inside of the rawness and clarity of it. The cutting directly to the meat. Literally in the case of the cats. It is like coming home.

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