Arvo Pärt

Dream: Setting up production of a new Arvo Pärt piece

I am part of a small group setting up a large-scale production of a new Arvo Pärt piece in Oslo. The production will go over several days at different locations and it includes a variety of activities. At one point, I am on skis in the beautiful forest north of Oslo to prepare an event that will be part of the whole production. 

I notice I am a bit confused and disoriented and not exactly sure what my role is, and I don’t have full overview over the production so I am not sure if everything is taken care of. The others say not to worry, it’s all going well. 

The performers are touring and are traveling in from somewhere else. It must be hundreds of them with a wide range of ethnicities. They arrive close to the performance, and I am concerned we won’t have time for rehearsals. We have to go right into the performance. It’s in a massive church with several connected rooms, somewhere in the Frogner area of Oslo. 

The performance starts. One group of performers, all in costume, enter one by one and dance and sing. It’s amazingly beautiful and moving and on an epic scale. All the performers are in costumes, and act, speak, and dance in addition to singing. It has the feel of a Philip Glass opera with new music from Arvo Pärt. 

It’s all going wonderfully even if I am a bit confused about my role, especially since everyone else seems to know what they are doing. I look in the program and see that there is a full day of ethics discussions with the audience and performers, and I am concerned we won’t be able to fit it in, but then realize that this is an event that goes over several days and in several different locations. It’s more of an engaged community event than an usual performance, and it includes threads of ethics, culture, human rights, sustainability, nature, deep ecology, and so on. 

It’s all epic, beautiful, and a success. 

Day residue: Ale’s uncle Álvaro talking about a theater festival in Bogotá that used to have a similar feel – several events at different locations with audience engagement and participation. 

Day residue 2: I watched another Norwegian wilderness episode with Lars Monsen the evening before this dream, which may be the seed for the nature component of this dream. 

This dream has several things of what I love the most, and especially what I loved the most in my late teens and early twenties: Arvo Pärt, the operas of Phillip Glass, Nordmarka (the forest north of Oslo), Frogner, and the mix of culture, ethics, human rights, sustainability, and so on. It was all a bit part of my life then, and I am currently preparing to visit Norway and those places.

What’s the essence of this dream? For me, right now, it seems to be the mix of (a) being an integral part of the organizing group and one of the ones making it happen, (b) being slightly confused and disoriented, and (c) seeing that it all works out well anyway because others are part of the process. 

The dream may point out that I feel more confused and disoriented in daily life than I notice. It makes sense since I am on a continent that’s new to me with a culture and language that’s not familiar to me, so I do often feel a bit disoriented and out of the loop.

I can also understand it in a few other ways, all showing me that life happens even if I am not an active part of making it happen.

One is literal. Yesterday, I was at a family gathering and it all went well because others did their part. It wasn’t dependent on me doing a lot. That’s how it often is in life, especially in the bigger picture. I can have the life I do because others do a lot – grow food, repair roads, build cars and computers, make clothes, and so on. My life is dependent on the lives of innumerable other beings, both human and non-human. 

And this can be expanded to not only include all beings and this living planet but all of existence. My life is dependent on all of existence. My life is supported by all of existence. Even if I rest, my life is supported and maintained by all of existence. 

I can also see this as reflecting what’s happening in me. Even if I on the surface feel a bit confused and disoriented, a large number of parts of me – psychological and biological – are active and functioning and support me and my life in the world. 

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Dream: I am confused and don’t know how things work 

I am in a kind of glamping spot in the mountains of Norway, with four units close to each other. I am confused and don’t know how things there work. Even going to the toilet is difficult for lack of privacy. I feel a bit self-conscious about it all, although I also enjoy being there. 

In my waking life, I am in a transition and there are several things we need to do and get in place in the next few days. Since I don’t speak the local language well and am not familiar with how everything works here, I feel a bit confused and out of the loop. 

The dream seems to point this out. I am aware of my confusion and disorientation but haven’t fully embraced it. Maybe the dream is an invitation for me to embrace all of this more fully. It’s part of life. It’s how most of us experience life now and then, and – to some extent – always. 

We are always a bit confused and out of the loop. It’s normal. There is even beauty in it. There is beauty in embracing it. Ask for help. Trusting that we’ll figure it out as we go along. Trusting that when we make apparent mistakes, we can deal with that too. And it’s all OK. It’s part of the messiness of life. 

Why in the mountains of Norway? Last night, I watched an episode of Lars Monsen’s latest TV series where he takes people out in the wilderness in Norway. (Day residue.)

Why the other people? The dream-maker in me may have added these to heighten my sense of confusion. If I was on my own, the confusion would be OK. And being witnessed by others made me extra aware of it.

This points to something else for me to explore: Can I find peace with how I am even when I am witnessed by others? Can I find peace with having my confusion witnessed by others?

Dream: My wife is far more wealthy than I imagined

I am close friends with one of the more peripheral Harry Potter actors. Through that friendship, I occasionally meet other Harry Potter actors, including Emma Watson. We hit it off, get married, and have a good and normal life together. (Nothing extravagant.) At some point, we are separated for a few days (she is filming a movie, or I am doing a workshop), and I decide to travel and surprise her with a visit. When I meet her, she is in a very expensive dress at a restaurant fancy beyond my imagination. I am a bit shocked, seeing her in this luxury situation and realizing that this may be how she lives her life when I am not around. I ask her if it’s a problem for her that I am not that wealthy, and she says – and it seems genuine – that it’s not.

Dreams can be seen as reflecting something in my life, and also something in me. 

This one seems to suggest that there is a side of me, a feminine side that I am close to, that has a lot more wealth than I knew and imagined. And that this wealth is often hidden but doesn’t have to be. If I am ready for it, it can be revealed. 

In terms of my life, my actual wife is a wizard (as Vortex Healing practitioners are called) and she is an actress, just like Emma Watson who played a wizard and is an actress. And she does have a lot of wealth that I get glimpses of and notice in daily life. She has a lot of wealth in terms of personality, liveliness, fun, kindness, insights, wisdom, the ability to channel healing in an amazing way, and more. 

There is another side to this dream, and that’s how I respond to meeting this wealth. I felt a bit insecure and wondered if I was good enough for her. When I encounter this wealth in me or life, a part of me does respond in that way – with insecurity and feeling I am perhaps not good enough. It may be good for me to explore that part more, get to know it, and help it relax. 

Dream: Russian man

I participate in a workshop led by my father. It’s about restoring something old. The group is varied and international, and I like the other people and the group atmosphere. I am working with a young man and ask him where he is from. He seems unhappy about the question and gives the name of what I assume is his village. I ask: Where is that. He responds, even more unhappily: near Minsk. He seems unhappy about being revealed as Russian in this international group, and I feel compassion for him and see that my apparently innocent question created discomfort for him.

We are now one week into Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, and I imagine this type of interaction happens in many places in the world. Many Russians abroad don’t share Putin’s views and politics, and it’s uncomfortable for them to be associated with him just because they are Russian.

I feel a lot of compassion for the ones directly impacted by the horrors of the war, and also for the Russians who never wanted it.

And, if I dig a bit deeper, I can also find compassion for the ones agreeing with Putin. (The ones who support an illegal and completely unnecessary invasion of a democratic country in spite of the tremendous and ongoing suffering it will bring.) And even for Putin himself. (He is clearly tormented, otherwise, he wouldn’t do what he does.)

And, as I have written about before, this compassion doesn’t make the invasion any less unjust, wrong, profoundly misguided, and something I strongly oppose in my own small way.

Why is my father in the dream? Perhaps because I, by accident, called him when I woke up in the middle of the night and wanted to start a podcast. This dream happened after that. Also, more importantly, although he is trained as an architect and artist, he has a side-interest in restoring antique furniture and clocks. (And does it very well.)

Why restoring something old? I am not exactly sure what we are restoring in the dream, it may be an old mill. Perhaps it’s about repairing old conflicts, and restoring and remembering the peaceful and friendly elements in our past? This is important collectively, and it’s important for me to do within myself.

Dream: A group of beings is doing surgery on me

A small group of beings is doing surgery on me. They are highly skilled and sing as they do their work. The surgery is massive and all-encompassing and they take apart every small bit of me.

These beings are humanoid but not quite human. They are dark, thin, and relatively tall. Their song is not like a human song.

I started the Anglic Heart IV (Vortex Healing) class the day before this dream and sat with the intention of a deep transformation and healing of my body during the transmissions.

The dream definitely reflects my intention. And it may even reflect some healing and reorganization happening within me as a result of this class. We’ll see.

Note: I have had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) since my teens, and it has had many shifts and turns during that time. I have found many things that help. (Rest, diet, climate, herbal medicine). I have found healing for my relationship to it and found more genuine peace with it. And I have not yet found any “cure”. When I sit with the intention for healing during the transmission, I notice it shifts into an intention for transformation. A transformation for the whole situation around my health. I assume this can look many different ways: Finding an approach or doctor who can help me further. Finding deeper peace with – and even appreciation for – my health situation. Different circumstances that make it all easier. And so on.

Dream: A circus where the small performances are the big ones

Passing through London, I find a good place to live with good neighbors.

I decide to stay here for a while, perhaps a month or so. I am in no hurry, although I am on my way to a place – somewhere in the Americas – where I am to live in the long run.

Staying here for a bit longer will give me an opportunity to enjoy this place and get to know it a bit better.

Later, I find myself at a circus where the small performances are the big ones. It seems to be the slogan for the circus.

I decide to stay a bit longer in an interesting place I am passing through. I do that a lot, both in waking life and in terms of my internal states. I like to experience, explore, and find ways to enjoy new places.

I am on my way to another place, on another continent, where I am to live in the longer run. That’s also true in waking life. I don’t know about my internal life, except that – in time – I am on my way to the destination we are all on our way to.

And I find that the small performances are the big ones. The small daily life activities and experiences are the big ones.

Dream: Staying with the Tom Hanks family

I am traveling and, through a mutual friend, am invited to stay with the Tom Hanks family for a few days. They are all genuinely nice people and there is sense of ease and flow in our daily life interactions. Two sons and one daughter are there, all young adult, and some of their friends come and go. It’s a house full of life, and it’s also gentle and quiet. I feel included, welcome, and part of the family.

One of the sons shows me a photo he created. It’s a composite of four or five photos of the same bird, hovering in the air facing the camera, and it’s done with sensitivity and is beautiful and artistic.

Towards the end, the basement is flooded although nobody seems to think it’s a problem. It’s where the young people are staying, and where I am staying as well. Everything continues what they are doing.

The night before this dream, I listened to a podcast where someone mentioned Tom Hanks.

This is the type of family life many parts of me dream of, and I have experienced now and then. In waking life these days, I also experience it now and then.

More than that, it’s the type of inner community and household I wish for and experience now and then.

What about the photo of the bird? I am not sure. Perhaps it’s an invitation to be a bit more creative in my own photography and artistic endeavors?

And the flooding? Flooding is often seen as reflecting a flooding of emotions. In this case, it happens in the basement and it’s taken in stride. It is true that my system sometimes is flooded a bit by emotions, especially when I work on certain issues, and especially when I work on it with Vortex Healing since it tends to bring up whatever I work on for a day or so. And, as in the dream, I have the option to continue with my life and take it in stride and often do just that.

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Dream: A Tibetan teacher asks me to lead a meditation

I am visiting a spiritual group. A respected Tibetan teacher arrives, looks into my eyes for a while, and asks me to lead a guided meditation for the group. I find myself doing a version of the befriend-and-wake-up process. Notice any contractions, any tension, reactivity. Notice the space it’s happening within. Notice the space within the contraction. Notice it’s all made up of space. I put words on what’s helpful for me as I explore this for myself, and share it with the group.

When he looked into my eyes, there was a mutual recognition. And it all has a playful quality.

The mutual recognition is similar to what I most clearly experienced when I had a couple of hours alone with Adyashanti some years ago. In the dream, it all has a playful quality. The group itself is not affiliated with Tibetan Buddhism or any one particular tradition. And the guided meditation is spontaneous, easy, and playful, and the words reflect my own process at the moment.

I am not sure what this dream is about. The essence of the guided meditation is how I live my life already, with these types of inner explorations for myself. Just like the group, I am not affiliated with any particular tradition. These days, I am not in any groups, I am not in contact with any teachers, and I am not leading any guided meditations. And I have a deep respect for Tibetan Buddhism and teachers within that tradition.

When I visit groups in waking life, it’s in the role of a beginner, so – obviously – nobody asks me to lead anything. I probably could lead something, in some settings, if it’s clear that it’s just an experiment and nothing else. But I have issues around whatever I share being too obvious, too banal, and so on.

From how I have seen students relating to teachers, I also see a lot of disadvantages to putting myself in that position. There tend to be a lot of projections all around.

Is the dream pointing out some of the blocks and issues I have around this? In the dream, it was effortless and playful and felt natural.

I know there are people who could benefit from me sharing more. And perhaps it would be natural for me to do so, on a very small scale, if I didn’t have some of the issues I have. I don’t know.

Note: Dreams cover the spectrum of (a) reflecting only who and what we are and (b) saying something about our waking life situation. When I explore and later write about my dreams, I usually include both and shift from one to the other without always labeling them one or the other. It’s sometimes useful to differentiate the two more clearly. In this case, (a) an inner master is inviting me to guide myself in meditation. Perhaps that’s needed more right now. And (b) the dream may also show me that I am ready to do this more in waking life.

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Dream: Any transaction requires an element of the absurd

We – my partner, I, and another woman – are about to buy a property. The man selling tells us he has one condition for the sale: The transaction has to include an element of the absurd. We agree. When we later walk up to his house to sign the papers, he is wearing odd clothes and does an exagerated medieval type of greeting gesture. The woman with us does something similar so we can also contribute with an element of the absurd.

I had this dream in the early morning before signing papers to buy land.

What is the dream about? Why an element of the absurd?

When I woke up from this dream, the first that came up is the absurdity of buying or owning land.

For me, for as long as I can remember, it has seemed absurd that we humans can own or buy land.

Land belongs to itself. Every being belongs to itself.

Of course, I understand why we own and buy land in a conventional sense. The main reason is that we can. It works, to some extent, for us. We have a convention and social agreement around it. And what we own and buy is the right to access, use, and stewardship, not the land itself.

And yet, it is absurd. It has an element of the absurd. And it’s good to be aware of it. It gives us a bit of humility and puts it in perspective.

Why the second woman? I am not sure. She was a relatively average-looking young woman with dark hair and looked local to this country. In this purchase and project, there is perhaps an additional element of the feminine. Of care and nourishment. We certainly have that aim – to care for the land and find ways to be nourished here.

Who is the man? He reminds me of a Swedish man we know from Villa de Leyva who is unashamedly creative and eccentric in a good way.

Dream: Building a model

I am given the opportunity to build any model I want. Almost before I have started exploring for myself, someone suggests I build a model of a smaller structure in the courtyard of the modern building we are in. I agree and start making the model. I soon realize I need to include the courtyard, and also the taller modern building. Later, I see a model someone else made. It’s a beautiful Asian pagoda or temple built with natural materials and organic forms. I wonder why I didn’t build something like that since it’s much more interesting to me.

For me, this seems to reflect how I relate to these writings and how I express my own explorations and experiences.

In my teens and twenties, I included my wholeness and passion far more. And now, after academia and Zen and a marriage where I ended up repressing a lot of my wholeness and aliveness, I am left with the way I write here.

The night before this dream, I had a conversation with my partner about this. I write in a relatively removed and analytical way here, and that has its place. It’s valuable. And yet, it’s not really satisfying to me. I wish to include more of my wholeness and passion, similar to how I did it in my teens and twenties.

At the same time, I can’t write like Jeff Foster since it wouldn’t be authentic for me now.

The question for me is: What’s more authentic for me? If I write in a genuinely authentic way, how would it look? If I go outside of what’s familiar to me, in the direction of juiciness and authenticity, what do I find?

Why did the dream choose building a model as a theme? If it is about how I express myself here, then it is similar to a model. Many of these articles are models, in a sense. They are outlines, structures, maps.

Why jump on what someone else suggested in the dream? Because I have done that often in my life. I have often abandoned my own aliveness, passion, and guidance in the favor of what someone else suggests or wants for me. (I did that to a great extent in my previous marriage, which was a terrible experience and something I am still very much recovering from.)

Why the modern building? Perhaps because it’s logical, impersonal, and a bit cold, just like I experience my own writings. (Which don’t feel authentic for me, and yet I find myself in that pattern.)

Why the inclusion of the surroundings? Because anything can only be understood in context. We need to know the larger whole, and I often include that in these writings.

Why the Asian pagoda or temple? It’s sacred. Has deep traditions. Is connected with nature. It feels much more alive and juicy to me, and far more what I am drawn to.

Dream: Soy un animal, Ale

I am in the central public square of an old Spanish colonial town, similar to Villa de Leyva and Barichara. A famous surrealist filmmaker, similar to Buñuel and Dali, is filming scenes for a new film. I see the shadow on the ground which is the focus of one scene. It’s of the filmmaker standing up, an outline of the upper body and head of a cat, and next to it the shadow of a sign where the letters are created by light shining through. The sign says “Soy un animal, Ale”. I want to take a photo and show to my partner, since that’s her name, but by the time I get the phone ready, they are already filming another scene.

A few things stand out to me from this dream.

It’s the first Spanish-language dream I have remembered.

The day before, my partner had told me about an article saying “cats are psychopaths”, and I had responded that they are just animals. They are just following their instincts. When they wake us up at 5 am, it’s because every cell in their body tells them to go out and hunt since it’s the perfect time for them to be out hunting. I felt a little sorry for Merlina, our cat, for being called a psychopath when she is just being a normal healthy cat. The dream seems to reflect this. “Soy un animal, Ale. I am not a psychopath”.

Also, my aim is to become more and more comfortable with my animal sides. We are already animals, even if we western-civilization humans like to pretend we are not and have some collective fantasy we are not. Our animal side is beautiful and can be embraced and come out in beautiful ways.

Why the surrealist filmmaker? I am not sure. It’s someone who turns things upside down and looks at society and social norms in new and different ways. I like to do that too. And embracing our animal nature, in a healthy and kind way, is part of that.

Why the shadow of the filmmaker, cat, and sign? I am not sure.

Why film making? Does it have to do with creating narratives?

I have had a series of cat dreams, so this one will have to be seen in that context as well.

Dream: I will continue to be with this amazing group of mature people on the spiritual path

I am on the US west coast with a group of people who are mature in their spiritual path. They are skilled, insightful, kind, playful, grounded, and so on. It’s an amazing group and I feel completely at home with them. We do some kind of deep and playful somatic group work in the form of a dance.

I notice the thought that I’ll miss them and sadness that I won’t be with them in the futue. And then I realize, I will be with them. I’ll be here with them. I won’t go anywhere.

This reflects a waking life concern or sadness in me. I lived on the US west coast for many years, and my life is now taking me to other places. I love where I am now, and in very many ways it’s better for me, but a part of me feels FOMO. It fears I’ll miss out on what I could have learned if I was in the Bay Area or another hotspot on the US west coast. This dream seems to show me that I have what I need. It’s OK.

I can still stay connected with people there and learn from them. I have more than enough to work on for myself. And this exploration is a part of me, was a part of me long before I went there, and – as suggested by the dream – likely will continue to be a part of me and my life.

Dream: I didn’t speak up

I am on a kind of cruise in the antartic and I am one of the guests at a big party or event. At the entrance, a woman hands me a very expensive glass goblet with precious stones and metals, tells me to do something specific to clean a film on the glass, and leaves. I realize she mistook me for someone else who must be an expert in those things, and I wasn’t quick enough to speak up. I walk around with the goblet, holding it very carefully, and ask a few people if they know how to clean it.

Eventually, something happens (I don’t remember what), a group of people are upset with me, and they put me on the ice. I am with our cat, Merlina, can’t see her, call her name, and she comes immediately. Friends of mine arrive in a small boat and rescue me, as I knew they would since they were scheduled to go on the ice.

This dream may reflect a few dynamics in me.

A part of me feels I am not good enough. I am not good enough for a certain company, even if they may not see it that way. In this case, I felt the fancy guests at that party were out of my league, and they did end up throwing me off the boat. (I can’t remember exactly why.)

This ties into the imposter syndrome, which I certainly sometimes experience. I have taken actions to avoid getting in situations where I may feel like an imposter, by saying no to a lot of opportunities in life. I have also said no to opportunities that would bring me into groups I feel is out of my league.

It also ties into sometimes feeling like an outsider as a kid, and not cool enough for the cool kids. I was always a bit weird and eccentric and passionate about a wide range of things the other kids were not so interested in. (Nature, making things, parapsychology, UFOs, and so on.)

I have a pattern of not always speaking up. If people make assumptions and seem very certain they got it right, I sometimes don’t bother speaking up. This is unfair to me and them, and sometimes (unnecessarily) gets me into situations that don’t feel right. Also, when the person later finds out they made wrong assumptions, they may get upset.

When I don’t speak up, I am doing a disservice to everyone. In the dream, I felt a bit like a criminal for not speaking up, and I was concerned someone would think I wanted to steal the goblet. (I was just trying to clean it, as I was asked to do.) Even if I don’t remember the details, my sense is I got thrown off the ship for reasons related to this.

As a kid, I learned it wasn’t always safe – or desired – for me to speak up. I’ll speak up if people ask me, but if someone makes assumptions without asking, I may not always speak up. It’s good for me to make a practice of speaking up in these situations, even – or perhaps especially – if the topic may not always seem so important.

And yet another is that my friends were there. I have support. I knew they would come and they did. This may reflect inner support, and it’s something I have explored over the years, and more recently through the befriend & awaken process.

Dream & synchronicity: Ceramics kiln

The kiln at the Airbnb

I am helping Sofia, my partner’s cousin’s daughter, with her business. In the room, and connected with the business, is a silvery cube a little bigger than a fridge or washing machine.

Sofia is a teenager who is looking at business ideas to make money, and we just spent a couple of weeks together in a house in Barichara with more family. In the dream and after, I wasn’t sure what type of machine the largish silvery cube was. It was shorter and bulkier than a fridge, and larger than a washing machine.

In waking life, it had made an impression on me that Sofia’s main goal is to make lots of money, and my partner and I had talked about it briefly before going to sleep. I don’t doubt she can do it if she puts her mind to it, which she seems to be doing.

Later the same morning as this dream, my partner and I went to look at a possible AirBnB outside of Barichara for a future visit. It turned out to be the Airbnb of a ceramic artist, and she showed us her workshop.

In the workshop was a ceramics kiln, which was large and silvery and exactly like the machine I had seen in the dream.

I am not sure what this means or points to, if anything. Although it did renew my desire to start with Japanese wood-fired pottery. I have done electric-kiln pottery in the past, although I love Japanese wood-fired pottery and would love to do it. There may be an opportunity to build such a kiln at our new place.

It may even eventually be a small business, connecting with the dream theme.

Dream: Weird cat puppet

I have created a play with a handful of other people. It’s important and very good, and we perform it with puppets of animals. All the animal puppets are beautiful, except the cat puppet which is weird and barely hangs together. At the dress rehearsal, people laugh when it comes out. I feel embarrased since I am responsbile for the puppets in the play, although I didn’t make them.

Later today, I’ll be in a house with five other people. Because of my health challenges (CFS), a part of me sees me as a weird puppet that barely hangs together. I have always experienced a deep connection with cats, including through some Big Dreams with black panthers, so it’s not surprising if the cat puppet is me. The other puppets are beautiful, and people laugh at the weirdness of the cat puppet. One of my issues is a fear that people will judge me and laugh at me, especially because I have to live a little differently in daily life due to Chronic Fatigue. Now, that I am about to share a house with other people I mostly don’t know, I am afraid this will happen. And the dream shows me this.

Update: This dream and recent social interactions have reminded me of a discrepancy in how I see myself and others. When others talk, I mostly find it very interesting and fascinating. And I tend to not talk very much because I assume it won’t be interesting. That’s the same with the writings here. I assume it’s all very basic, obvious, and uninteresting to most people.

Dream: Invisible rowers

I am with my partner in Australia, in a cove on the coast. A large row boat arrives for a gathering. We only see the boat and several pairs of oars, and the beings rowing are invisible to us.

These beings or people are from another country. They have a magical quality and can make themselves invisible. I know that as soon as they arrive, we will see them. They are friendly.

In waking life, we are going to Barichara today, which – to me, in my sensing – is a place with a lot of light and magical quality. Perhaps these beings are parts of me invisible to me, arriving very soon. Perhaps these are parts of me I’ll get in touch with there? We’ll see.

Update: We arrived in the house where we are staying in the town of Barichara, and the energies here are very dense and it also turns out the house is next to a cemetery. We are spending part of the evening clearing the space, building, and ground energetically.

Dream: The three of us sacred

Through the night, I am aware of the three of us – my partner, me, and our cat – in the bed. We are all light with many glimmers of gold, sacred, and the divine experiencing itself as us.

This is similar to the other dream where I experienced the same room and house (in Villa de Leyva) as conscious, awake, and all the different aspects of this consciousness quietly communicating with each other.

As Neo says in the new Matrix 4 trailer, these are dreams that are not just dreams. The real-life situations were included in the dreams. They went through the whole night. And they reflect something real.

To me, everything is consciousness – including the house, the land, and so on.

And we are the divine taking all these forms.

Why do I have these dreams?

The first answer is that they are reminders of this reality and this noticing that’s already here in me.

Also, with the first dream, it may be because this land has a very sacred and conscious quality. (We are very close to an indigenous sacred site and solar observatory.) With the second, it may be a reminder that we are expressions of the divine, which is a reminder I needed since we had some challenges the night before and some reactive parts of me were taking a bit too large a part of my consciousness.

Parallel dream: The house is alive

Dream: Secret transport of powerful energy source

I am on a team transporting a material with very high energy. We do it in secrecy and with vigilance so it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

The energy source is small and contained in a large and solid metal box. The team reminds me a bit of the Mission Impossible team. And we need to transport it in secrecy so nobody with ill intentions gets their hands on it. The energy source is immensely powerful, far beyond anything else we have.

The dream may be showing me that there is more energy stored in my system than I realize.

I wonder if this is (partly?) suppressed anger and warrior / beast qualities? These certainly have a lot of energy in them, and have been and partly are suppressed in me.

The dream may also reflect that I don’t want it to fall into the wrong hands, into parts of me using it for wrong or ill intentions. I suspect I learned to suppress my inner warrior partly for that reason, so it wouldn’t hurt anyone.

Dream: Friendly fellow students

I am about to start a new program or training, which is held in a beautiful new building complex. I am a bit lost about what the program is about and where I am to live. The other students are very friendly and helpful, and show me where my room is. I share it with some of the other students.

This is a very simple dream scene. It’s similar to dreams I have had for a while now, where I am in a new place and live with a group of friendly people creating a good and supportive community.

I imagine this reflects the befriend & wake-up work I have done more consistently when a contraction comes up. Also, it may reflect healing of my school experience which was difficult for me, and where I didn’t experience the other students as very friendly or supportive. In this dream, we were all grown-ups and more mature, kind, and perhaps even wise in a very ordinary way.

Dream: House is alive

I am half-awake in bed in a beautiful house in Villa de Leyva, and the whole house is alive. The wood beams, ceiling, adobe walls, floors, are all conscious. Everything is conscious and consciousness, and there is a kind of communication between all these aspects of consciousness.

In waking life, I am in a beautiful traditional adobe house in the countryside of Villa de Leyva, and I had the dream in that bed.

Why this dream? Perhaps because I experience this landscape as particularly alive and conscious. And this house too, which is build of local materials from nature (wood, clay, rocks). There is an especially sacredness to this place.

It may be a reminder to me of how much I love certain places in the world, including in the North-American west, and here, and that I wish to spend more time in these places.

And it’s a reminder that to me, the world is inevitably consciousness. It’s all happening within and as what thought can label consciousness.

I know this can sound like a drug-induced experience, but this can all be noticed here and now, independent of any states or special experiences. (I have never taken psychoactive drugs.)

Update: A few days later, I have a similar dream. See The three of us sacred.

Dream: Southern Utah & old camera

I am in Southern Utah and is overcome by the beauty and how deeply at home I feel there. I choose to use my old film camera, am having some problems with it, miss some shots, and decide to use my new camera instead. Someone I know from Facebook is there too.

In waking life, Southern Utah is one of the places where I feel most deeply at home. I love Utah and the area west of the Rockies in general.

The old camera is not working so well, and I decide to use my new one. My sense is that this has to do with nostalgia. When I first was in Southern Utah, I used my old film camera. In the dream, I may have wanted to recreate that experience and it didn’t quite work. The new is better.

The person in the dream is a waking life Facebook friend who lives there and regularly posts beautiful photos from the area.

For me, the essence of the dream is about the camera. It didn’t work to try to recreate the old, and the new – what’s here now – is much more appropriate.

The dream is also a reminder of how much place means to me. I feel deeply at home, nourished, vitalized, and myself in some places, and the reverse in other places. My life – and how I am and live and what I bring out from myself – changes completely depending on where I am.

Photo: Gernot Keller

Dream: A black panther cub

I find and help a black panther (jaguar) cub, and we develop a deep bond. I adopt it and decide to be its protector. I realize the bond will only continue to deepen, and it will be painful when the panther grows to a size where I will have to let go and find another home for it. The jaguar has some white markings like a housecat. We are somewhere in the border zone of wilderness and civilization.

This dream echoes a strong childhood dream. I was in the jungle and had a very strong bond with a large adult black panther. We both deeply belonged to the jungle and each other.

In this dream, the jaguar is very young and I become its guardian. And I know we will part ways later.

Black panthers (jaguars), and large cats in general, have qualities I would like to get in touch with and develop a deeper bond with in myself. They are deeply in their bodies, gentle, fierce when needed, deeply belong to the place where they are, deeply in touch with their animal instincts and nature. There is a graceful primal power in large cats, and I especially associate it with black panthers.

In waking life, I love cats (and other animals), and had a strong bond with a black and white cat, with some of the same white markings as the cat in this dream.

Why a black panther and not another large cat? It lives in the jungle, which is lush and full of life. I associate blackness with depth, richness, and fertility.

Why is it so young? Perhaps this is a part of me I am starting to get in touch with (again) and develop a deeper connection with? Perhaps it is, in a sense, young and needs protection – or, at least, attention.

Why will I have to part ways with it? Because it will grow up and get too big and dangerous. Also, I live in civilization and it doesn’t fit or belong there.

Why on the edge zone of wilderness (jungle) and civilization? Because that’s where I metaphorically live.

Why this dream now? Perhaps because my partner is currently visiting a place in Latin America that is profoundly sacred and is infused with a deep, sensual, feminine, earthy sense of the divine. Last night, we talked about both visiting there soon and looking into possibly living there.

Also, in general, I am exploring befriending and awakening contractions, which helps me get in touch with this side of me.

What’s the main theme of the dream? What struck me the most was the anticipation of parting. I knew that the idea of having to part in the future came from what I have heard others say and convention. Perhaps we could find a way to be together? Perhaps I could live in the jungle? Perhaps I could live on the edge of the wilderness, and it could have its wilderness life, I could have my civilization life, and we could both have that edge existence together? There are other ways. It may be too wild for conventional civilization, but I don’t have to live that life. My calling may be different.

Update: Later the same morning, I went for a walk in the forest to spend more time with this jaguar. I imagined it growing up and we finding ways to stay together.

As we heard someone approaching us, the jaguar wanted to hide in the forest. This helped me see that my mind saw the jaguar as a physical flesh-and-blood jaguar with the same behavior as these. We then had a conversation about the jaguar not being a physical flesh-and-blood jaguar, so we didn’t have to follow conventions applying to the physical world. It’s a universal jaguar. It’s part of me. It can keep the helpful and primal characteristics of physical jaguars, and leave some of the ones less helpful – like running away when we meet other people.

Update 2: It’s a few days later and I thought I would add a few things. When I wrote this post, I searched for a photo of a black panther I could use, and that prompted YouTube to show me a video of a black panther. That video and that channel were, in many ways, the answer to the dilemma in the dream. The channel is about Luna the panther, which lives with a human, even if she is now adult.

Photo: Ron SInger

Dream: Genuinely supportive school class

I sit in with a school class, perhaps 16-17 years old. I feel a little uncomfortable at first, and notice my old school-age fear of being judged coming up. I write down a dream on a piece of paper. One young man tells the class he would like to perform a song he created. He does, and a group of 6-7 other kids stand behind him to be backup singers. After this, another asks me what I wrote down, and I tell him it was a dream. He says he is very interested in learning more about exploring dreams, and seems sincere and genuine. I realize that this is a class of kind, genuine, and very supportive people, and I notice it’s a bit difficult for me to really take it in and feel it.

When I was in school, I rarely experienced this kind of authenticity, kindness, and mutual support. I experienced the contrary until perhaps high school where new people came into my class and the culture changed a bit. The class in the dream is early high school and may reflect my own experience of a culture change at that time.

In many ways, I didn’t feel much support in childhood in general. There was never any material lack, and we had regular mealtimes and so on. But this kind of authenticity, genuine kindness, sincerity, and consistent and real support was absent from my family, school, and teachers. They all seemed to operate more on fear – insecurity, and fear of judgment – and I learned to do the same.

I have more intentionally and consistently supported my inner community this summer, and that may be reflected in this dream. The dream shows me how a genuinely supportive community looks, and that a part of me is still unfamiliar with this and has trouble completely taking it in.

Dream: Krishnamurti

I am with Jiddu Krishnamurti and he is clear and optimisic, but has one slight regret. He had hopes about a specific young man who he thought would be a light for humanity, and what happened didn’t exactly follow his ideas and hopes.

We have a free and flowing conversation, as if we are old friends who understand each other easily, and share our perceptions of a range of things. Someone says the easy connection is because we are at about the same level.

There is a sense that when he talks about the young man he had hopes for, he is talking about himself and me as well. In clarity and oneness, we are the same, and in our human expression there are a lot of similarities as if we were brothers.

We look at some art the young man had made, and Krishnamurti expresses some disappointment. I point out that the art is actually quite good, and he can see that as well. (It’s a watercolor with yellows and reds and a lot of layers and depth.)

I help him see that what happened was perfect in its own way, and that it was his ideas about what should happen that set him up for the disappointment. Life didn’t follow his ideas, and that doesn’t mean what happened was wrong. He agrees and is able to find more peace with it.

Through the dream, I had a sense that the three of us were the same, and I didn’t always know if he talked about himself, or the young man, or even me.

Of course, the topic of this dream reflects his own life. He was expected to be a light for humanity by theosophists, and then chose to go his own way. The young man in the dream did the same. And it reflects a theme in my own life. I had high hopes for myself – in art, psychology, research, and so on – and it didn’t materialize for a variety of reasons, including major health challenges.

The dream-maker in me may have chosen Krishnamurti for exactly that reason, and since it mirrors something in my own life. I generally like him, have read about him and some by him, and generally like his writings, but it hasn’t resonated as much with me as some others. (Adyashantiy, Byron Katie, Douglas Harding and so on.)

In the dream, I help him find peace with what happened, and even see that what happened had its own beauty. This is a process I have gone through in regards to myself and my own hopes and ideas about my own life, which took a different turn than the young version of me had hoped for or planned.

Just like Krishnamurti in the dream, I am helping myself see the beauty of what happened and find more real and genuine peace with it, grounded in a more honest and sincere relationship with it.

The essence of the dream is the easy connection and communication with Krishnamurti, as of old friends who understand each other well. The sense that the three of us – him, me, and the young man he is talking about – are all expressions of the same clarity and oneness, and even as humans have a lot in common. And helping finding peace with lost dreams and hopes, and seeing that what actually happened has its own beauty.

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Dream: Renovating a community center

I am in the town where I grew up, and in a kind of community center with several buildings. I am in the main building, which is next to the kitchen/dining area, and talk with several people. They are different ages, including young, and from different parts of the world. A young woman is indigenous from the Americas. An older man is Tibetan and a Buddhist teacher.

There is a sense of sacred orientation here, although not so it excludes anyone. (Not even people who see themselves as non-spiritual.)

I walk outside, and see a couple of other buildings on the property that are worn down and in disrepair. A couple of people are there, and I think they are caretakers but they seem a bit resigned. I think they even sleep in one of the worn out buildings.

I suggest to them, and the people running the place, that they tear down the old buildings and build something new. They can get the community involved in the planning and building, and invigorate a sense of community and give new life to the community center. They think it’s a good idea and we are moving forward with the plans.

The town is the town near Oslo I grew up in. The community center has more of a feeling of Green Gulch in Marin County (USA) than anything I have found in Norway. The people there are from around the world, including indigenous from the Americas and a Tibetan man who is a Buddhist teacher. A couple of buildings are in use and in good shape, and a couple are unused and in disrepair. We are embarking on an enlivening and invigorating project or rebuilding, with the help of the local community.

It seems that this dream is about parts of me that’s been here since childhood. Some parts are in use and international. Some parts in disrepair, and we – as an inner community – are working on rebuilding and making the community center more alive again.

In waking life, I am embarking on an adventure in a new location which may invigorate and enliven old and perhaps temporarily abandoned parts of me.

Dream: Secret agent

I am a secret agent on a mission with two women. They are both red-heads and play the role of my wife and (grown) daughter respectively. The mission has lasted a while, perhaps some months or years (?), and we have successfully completed it and are extracted out of the situation. We are followed, but are able to shake them off. The one playing the role of daughter got out earlier and separately. When I see the two next to each other, I say: Nobody would think you are not mother and daughter. After a debrief, we are giving new identities. I notice I have fallen in love with the woman who played my wife, and plan to explore the possibility of a life with her.

There is a sense of completion in this dream. We successfully completed the mission, got out out danger, and transmitted the information we had gathered. There is also a sense of new beginnings with new identities and lives ahead of us, and the possibility of a life with the one who had played my wife. I knew that becoming smitten in these situations was a general possibility, and also knew that this was deeper than that.

What is the secret mission? I am not sure. I have been doing some “deep dives” into contractions coming up lately, and becoming more intimate with it. That can feel like a secret and slightly dangerous mission at times. That’s also mirrored in what’s happened over the last ten or so years, with the dark night of the soul and (involuntarily) deep dives into parts of myself it’s been challenging to meet.

Both of those are similar dynamic, in the micro and macro, and both can feel like slightly – and sometimes a very – dangerous missions.

In waking life, I am about to start a new adventure in a new place. It’s a new beginning and a new life.

Dream: Tunisia

I talk with some people I just met, and they show me their social media profiles. One them have photos from a trip to Tunisia. I realize I need to keep my mind a little more open when it comes to countries to live in or visit for a while.

In my waking life, I have been exploring different possibilities for where to live or, at least, places where I may want to visit and stay for a while. My health gets much better when I am in a place that’s sunny, mostly dry, and has a stable climate.

I have some places in mind, and I have focused more narrowly on these recently. The dream seems to remind me to have a more open mind. What about Tunisia? I had never thought of it, but for parts of the year, it does have much of what I am looking for. It may be a place to visit, and at the very least it reminds me to keep my mind open.

Dream: Jung’s model of the psyche and the transformation process

I am in New York, possibly Brooklyn. It’s a building with a very mixed group of people – artists, intellectuals, and all ages. Most of them live there, and there is a strong sense of community. I am somehow part of that community and completely included, although it also feels like I just arrived and maybe visiting.

One of the people there, a slightly older intellectual, shows me a model or statue made by Jung in cooperation with an artist. Jung used to live there, in that neighborhood or in that building. The model is about 1 meter tall, generally shaped like a pine cone, and with a lot of intricate details and figures. The main feature is a series of figures in circles around the model, from the bottom to the top. The bottom ones are more primal, and the top ones are more refined. They all have some common features showing their shared essence. They represent parts of all of us, and the model also shows the overall process of individuation and beyond – waking and growing up. I mention that the model is so good that if it was filmed close up, it would look full size.

Another man is there, dressed as the figures in the model. He is a kind of guide, and I talk with him about the model and Jung. I am not sure if he is a man dressed as the figures, or if he is one of the figures in flesh-and-blood. We talk about Jung having lived there.

A friend of mine shows up. He is a spiritual teacher, similar to Joel M. and we know each other well. He has had a mental breakdown but seems to be OK. We go to his apartment, which is part of or near the community. He is still teaching and does so in a slightly intellectual and removed way. I sense that what led to the breakdown is still somewhat unresolved, and that he could resolve it if he became more intimate with his experience and what’s unresolved. He shows me some recent paintings which are OK but not amazing, and he tells me he is not currently painting.

I am back in the building and the community. A well-known intellectual is arrogant and wants me to make him a specific type of sandwich I haven’t even heard about. I tell him no. A younger man wants me to come with him to play some kind of real-life outdoors game connected with a computer came, it turns out he is selling subscriptions. I tell him no.

I need some time for myself. I need rest and space for my system to process.

This is the second dream in a few days where Jung and depth-psychology come up, and also artists and intellectuals.

Obviously, all of this is in me, and I easily recognize it. I am the intellectuals, artists, depth-psychologists, and even the guy trying to make money doing something his heart is not fully in. I am the arrogant intellectual who thinks he is more important than other people. I am the guy who used to paint but isn’t right now. I am the guy with the breakdown (I have had a lot of strong things coming up over the last few weeks, and since these unprocessed parts are – for all of us – a bit crazy, I have felt connected with that craziness.) I am the spiritual teacher who is a bit overly intellectual and could resolve things much more thoroughly if he was more intimate with his experiences and these unresolved parts. I am the place where Jung used to live since I was completely into his writings early in life. I am the building and the rich community. I am the depth-psychologist and artist making that detailed model, and I am what that model represents.

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Dream: the daughter of my parents’ friends

I sit outside my parent’s house and then go down to the basement. From the main (living) room, I see someone in the next room. It seems she wants to be discrete and not seen, and hides behind the half-open door.

As I walk over, I see that she is hanging up clothes to dry in the drying cabinet, and she has removed the boxes with old books I stored there so she would have space.

I ask her who she is, and she obviously knows who I am. She tells me things about me that require some detailed level of knowledge. She says she the daughter of some good friends of my parents going back to before I was born.

They were artists, lived in several places in Europe, and her parents were especially interested in depth psychology and were friends with many of the top people in that field.

She is naturally confident, intelligent, cosmopolitan, charming, and even a bit seductive.

My guesses of who she is the daughter of (Røtterud, Kleiva) are wrong.

She then shows me a book with her art. It has her photographs from Bogotá and Colombia, and I see photos from the jungle and dolphins. The dolphins are in a river close to the ocean.

The photos are amazingly beautiful, poetic, and lyrical, beyond anything I have ever seen.

My sense is that this dream is a follow-up from the house dream a couple of days ago.

In this dream, I am in my parent’s house, and in meet this woman in the basement who is cultured, intelligent, charming, an amazing artist, connected with my parents, and obviously knows a lot about me.

In my waking life, I am exploring becoming more intimate with my experiences and especially contractions, and work with them in a more direct and intimate way than I have for a while. (This is aided by a course from my friend Amy H.)

I have missed having a community in my life of people who go deep and intimate in this way. Even one or two regulars would make a big difference.

What I am looking for, more than that, is to be able to more consistently support myself in going deep in this way.

I sense that the woman in the dream is someone who can help me go deep in this way. She doesn’t seem to represent one particular person in my waking life, although several I know have some of these qualities.

She is a feminine part of me that knows how to go deep and intimate.

Why wouldn’t she tell me her name or who her parents were? Perhaps it would have been too limiting? She may be something beyond what can be taken as a(ny one) person.

In general, she has several qualities I can and would like to embrace more fully in my life, and perhaps especially the artistic side. It has been set aside in my life for a while, for various reasons, and I would like to embrace it again.

In waking life, my parents did and do have friends like that – artists, cosmopolitan, and so on, and I was fascinated by them and their life when I was little. My father worked as an architect but did art training and has also worked as an artist, and we did travel Europe when I was little visiting the major art galleries in Paris, London, Barcelona, and so on.

My partner is from Colombia, and she does have some of the qualities of this woman in the dream, which is perhaps where the photos from Colombia come in.

Note: I fell asleep again after this dream, and had a second dream.

In the dream, I ask my father about the woman, especially since the encounter had a dreamlike quality and I am unsure if I really met her. He thinks she is someone who visited briefly months earlier, but not the day I saw her.

This may suggest that to me, this female side of me, is a bit fleeting and ephemeral. I don’t have an as solid and grounded connection with her as is possible, and as much as I would like.

Small synchronicity: I took a photo of a duck family later in the day, and the ripples above the mom duck were strikingly similar to the ripples around the dolphin in the dream photo.

Dream: I inheret a house

I inherent a house from my parents. It’s much larger than I expected, and I realize I can rent out several sections and have a good income from it. I also found a room they had, which I never knew about, and it’s beautiful with dark paneling, is cube shaped with a tall ceiling, and beautifully decorated.

Somehow, it feels like this house is in Oregon. Several sections can be rented out for housing, some for stores, and there is also that one special and very beautiful room I didn’t know about.

This is a classic house dream. I can see the house as representing me, this human self. It’s much larger than I expected. Several areas are valuable although ordinary looking. And one room is amazingly beautiful and tasteful.

The dream may also point out that I inherited more of what’s valuable and beautiful from my parents than I am conscious of in daily life.

Brief notes on healing and awakening and occasional personal things XXIX

This is one in a series of posts with brief notes on healing, awakening, and personal things. These are more spontaneous and less comprehensive than the regular articles. Some may be made into a regular article in time.


When we want to do something we have resistance towards, we can rely on willpower or clarity.

We can train willpower, as just about anything else. We can get used to override resistance, fear, and so on. And it works to some extent but not always. It’s also tiring, and a fight against ourselves.

The other option is to find clarity about what’s happening in us. If there is resistance, it usually comes from fear. What’s that fear? What are the fearful beliefs? What are the emotional wounds connected with it? What happens when I examine those beliefs and find what’s true for me? What happens if I invite in healing for those emotional wounds?

The first option may be attractive since our culture may tell us it’s the way forward, and it’s also a kind of shortcut. And we may not know any other way.

On the other hand, finding clarity opens up for more ease and less struggle. What we wanted to do may become far more effortless. Although we do need guidance or know how to do it on our own. Sometimes, the resolution can come relatively fast. Other times, it may take more time and work. And if we keep exploring it, we’ll notice shifts along the way.

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Brief notes on healing and awakening and occasional personal things XXVIII

This is one in a series of posts with brief notes on healing, awakening, and personal things. These are more spontaneous and less comprehensive than the regular articles. Some may be made into a regular article in time.


There is the principle of the Way that we must make one mistake after another.

– Dogen’s Extensive Record, p. 132

I am not sure what Dogen meant by this. For me, it resonates in a few ways.

When we find what we are, we also realize that as a human being in the world, we can never live up to it. Our human self is too messy, too flawed, too scared, too caught up in old reactivity and survival mechanisms. Even if our human self was thoroughly healed and mature, we still couldn’t live up to it. In that sense, we make one mistake after another, and we are – often painfully – aware of it.

Trying to talk about this, we also make one mistake after another. Words differentiate, and what we are is oneness. Words will inevitably fall short and be misleading. And they can only be a pointer, even if they sometimes will be taken as what they point to.

In a more ordinary sense, we make mistakes and learn from it. Whenever we explore something new and enter unfamiliar territory, we make mistakes. That’s how we learn. That’s how we become familiar with a new territory. Exploring what we are and how to live from it is no different.

There is another side to it.

When we find what we are, we notice that our human self happens within and as what we are and it lives its own life. It’s all an expression of life, the universe, or Spirit. In that sense, there are no mistakes.

Although speaking about this is, in a sense, a mistake since it will inevitably fall short and be misunderstood, it’s also natural to speak about it – if someone is interested. That too, is not a mistake.

When we explore something new, mistakes become part of the process. They become the material we learn and mature from. In that sense, they are not really or fundamentally mistakes.

MAY 18, 2021


I tend to see Jesus as the human and Christ as Christ consciousness. I don’t remember anymore where this differentiation comes from. It may be Jes Bertelsen or Rudolf Steiner, and there may be something about this in the Christian tradition as well.

We can say that Christ is the same as Big Mind or Brahman, and that’s not wrong. Christ is a symbol of what we are, and Jesus is a representation of us noticing what we are, living from it, and thoroughly transforming our human self and life within this.

At the same time, there is something more to Christ. Holy places have a distinct quality depending on the spiritual tradition they belong to. And Christ has a very distinct quality, different from what we find in Buddhism, Taoism, and other traditions.

Although I am familiar with this quality, I don’t know exactly how to put it into words.

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Dream: Spacious apartment & body-centered Buddhism

I am visiting a progressive North-American city and stay in a large and beautiful apartment. They have magazines featuring articles on a more body-centered approach to Buddhism.

This is in San Francisco or another progressive city in the US. The apartment is beautiful, with natural wood and large ceiling-to-floor windows at the end of all four walls of the main room. The kitchen area is in the same space, along one wall.

The magazines are the glossy modern Buddhist magazines from the US, and it’s clear from these that the body-centered approach is a current focus. It’s about bringing the body more into the practice for deeper healing and for feeling the insights we get from practice, which supports living from it.

Buddhism is naturally body-centered. Even sitting in Zazen is a surprisingly physical activity and experience. This dream may reflect a guidance within me to bring in the body more. I have been drawn to taking up chigong again, so perhaps this is supporting this impulse.

In my teens and early twenties, I did tai chi and chigong daily. In my mid-twenties, I did Zazen for a few hours daily for some years, and also yoga. And I later did Breema daily for several years. Due to the chronic fatigue (CFS), I have done less of these physical practices, but they may be just the ticket for me right now. Based on previous experience, they may also support my health more than most other things.

Dream: Disoriented in London

I have been on a course in London, and after it’s done I feel lost and disoriented. I vaguely remember that I decided to stay a few more days but can’t remember how many days and when my flight is, and I don’t remember where I stayed during the course and don’t know where I will stay for the remaining days. 

This dream reflects the brain fog I had when waking up. I felt very groggy and disoriented and also experiences a lot of numbness in my arms, legs, and face. This is a typical symptom of both Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Lyme, and it may have been especially bad this morning as a result of light physical activity yesterday (PEM).

The dream started after the course and was about me wandering some beautiful old streets trying to remember what was happening. I had food somewhere, talked with a couple of people, and asked if they knew of a bed & breakfast or hotel. (Not AirB&B for some reason, even if that’s what I usually use.) I remember feeling slightly disappointed since I had scheduled extra days to explore London, and it wasn’t very enjoyable since I was so disoriented. 

Have done done several Vortex Healing classes in London, so that may be one seed of the dream.

As mentioned, this dream reflected what was going on with me in real life while sleeping. On some days, I feel completely out of it when I wake up – with very strong brain fog and disorientation. 

Before this dream, I did some processing on how my life took an unexpected turn because of my health, and how this led to shedding several cherished identities and dreams for the future. There is some disorientation here too, which this dream may reflect. 

A part of me is pushing this experience of disorientation and general brain fog away, so perhaps the dream is inviting me to notice that it’s here and befriend it a little more.

Own dream: Tony Hawk’s sandwich

I am with Tony Hawk and a few other people. He makes a sandwich that’s very unusual but he seems to enjoy it, so I and the others make similar sandwiches for ourselves. We are very skeptical but realize it’s surprisingly tasty. He says: When you first see or try it, you may say “what is this?”, then you realize that it’s really good. I tell him it’s that way with a lot of what he does. First, it’s unfamiliar and people may say “what’s this?”, and then they realize it’s really good.

I see Tony Hawk as someone who is creative, playful, follows his passion and interests, and has business smarts. The theme of this dream may be explicit in the dream: Do what you enjoy and if it’s unusual, don’t let that stop you. Since it’s unfamiliar, people may be skeptical at first, but they’ll catch on if it’s good.

It’s a good pointer in general. Although why does it show up in my life now? It may be because I am at the threshold of a big change in my life, in terms of where I live, and there is some fear in me around it. This may be the sandwich – it looks a bit weird, I am a bit skeptical, but it may turn out surprisingly tasty and perhaps even nourishing.

Photo by Stig Nygaard from Copenhagen, Denmark – Birdhouse team in Fælledparken Skatepark, CC BY 2.0

Dream: In New York & new versions of old movies

I am in New York. First, I interview a famous director talking about how he is planning to release new cuts of his old movies. Then, I am out in a beautiful neighborhood with old buildings and very interesting stores. I notice that nobody wears a mask and they are not keeping their distance. They all seem to be in a good mood.

The second part of this dream is my typical pandemic dream. I am in an urban area, often beautiful, old, and fascinating. There is a lot of people there that I interact with. And I realize we are too close and most or all, including myself, are not wearing a mask.

The first part is more interesting. Two days ago, I watched a mini-documentary about fan editions of movies, and the director in the dream (Scorsese?) was planning to release his own new director’s cuts of some of his own old movies. Watching that mini-documentary is likely the recent waking-life seed for this part of the dream.

What is this about? One answer is that when we do healing work for ourselves, we – in a very direct and immediate way – are rewriting our past. We are rewriting our old movies about our own life and the world.

This is perhaps especially clear when we do inquiry like The Work of Byron Katie. We get to see that things didn’t happen the way we thought they happened. We get a new story that fits the data better, is more honest for us, is more innocent and freeing, and is perhaps also more sobering.

I am currently digesting and processing some of my own old stories, especially around loss and situations where I would have acted differently – and with more clarity and kindness towards myself – if I had been free from some issues and unhealed fear. A part of me misses the life I hoped I would have had, could have had, and that didn’t happen, mostly due to my own choices. There is a stressful version of these stories, and there is one that’s more clear, honest, and innocent. Hopefully, I am gradually moving towards the latter through inquiry and healing.

In that sense, I am that famous (famous to myself in my own life, as we all are) director working on re-edits and new versions of his movies.

Brief notes on healing and awakening and occasional personal things XXVII

This is one in a series of posts with brief notes on healing, awakening, and personal things. These are more spontaneous and less comprehensive than the regular articles. Some may be made into a regular article in time.


There are hundreds of paths going up the mountain, all leading to the same place, so it doesn’t matter which one you take.

I saw this quote on social media, attributed to Hinduism.

Is it true? As so often, the answer may be yes, no, and it depends.

It depends on what we mean by “same place”. Which place is it?

Is the “place” awakening and living from this awakening? If that’s the case, I wouldn’t say that all religions or spiritual approaches are equally well-suited. Some are certainly more effective than others, and more conducive for going all the way.

If the place is generally connection more with the divine, then yes, each religion and spiritual approach can probably help us.

What timeline are we talking about?

Is the timeline within this one life? If so, then again I would say that some approaches are more suitable and effective than others.

If they are talking about progress over multiple lifetimes, then yes, it probably matters less what we do in this life. We’ll always have future lives (or not!). Although, in reality, we only have here and now.

I have written in a general sense here, and there is another side to this. All main religions and most spiritual have glimmers of real wisdom within it. If we find that, and connect with the right guides, then each one can most likely lead us all the way.

So, in general, if our intention is to connect more with the divine, any traditions can be helpful. If we want to go all the way, then some are more conducive and effective. And if we are lucky and find the right person to guide us, we can most likely go all the way within any religion and many spiritual traditions.

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Dream: Lost cat

I am with my partner in Oslo, and our beloved cat is lost. We look for her everywhere, but cannot find her.

I experienced this dream quite strongly, as a kind of restless nightmare.

I’ll explore the specifics later. For now, I see that the main theme is loss, and I know that’s a central theme in my life as well. So when I woke up, I started to work on the issue of loss by taking it through the Vortex Healing protocol. It’s something I have wanted to work on anyway, so this seems as good a time as any.

When we distill a dream down to its essence, it’s easier to get a sense of the main theme. In this case, it’s loss, so I work on loss. As a first step, it doesn’t have to be more complicated than that.

Brief notes on healing and awakening and occasional personal things XXVI

This is one in a series of posts with brief notes on healing, awakening, and personal things. These are more spontaneous and less comprehensive than the regular articles. Some may be made into a regular article in time.


It’s easy to criticize, and it’s easy to criticize spiritual teachers.

They may not have a clear enough realization. They may not embody it enough. They may not be completely healthy at a human level. They may not be mature enough. They may be too impersonal or make it too much about them. They may not be skilled enough as a teacher or guide. They may not be able to meet the students where they are. They may focus on some aspects of the process and leave out aspects we see as important. And so on.

All of these are valid. We may or may not resonate with a certain teacher, and that shows us who we want to connect with. It may be interesting and valuable to explore the things we find to criticize. And in some cases, it may be good to discuss it with the teacher if possible.

At the same time, it’s a very tall order to be completely clear in the awakening, to be fully healthy and mature as a human being, to consistently embody the realization, to excel as a teacher and guide, and so on. None of us are perfect. And we all have different ideas about what makes a good teacher.

For me, the best use of this impulse is to find healing and clarity for myself.

I can use what I see in the teacher as a mirror.

What stories do I have about her or him? What do I find when I explore these? (The Work of Byron Katie.) What identities are triggered in me, and what do I find when I explore them? (Living Inquiries.) What fears come up in me? How is it to meet and get to know this fear?

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Dream: Unable to find a place to sleep

I am with a few people on an outing somewhere in the US. A friend of mine, Bruce W., is leading it, and I joined at the last moment so I am not very familiar with what the outing is about. We arrive at a large apartment, and I go out to go for a walk. When I return, it turns out that the group is much larger than I thought, and most people have already found sleeping spots. The beds are all taken, and the rest are finding creative sleeping arrangements on couches, the floor, and so on. I am unable to find one for myself. Someone says she can help me, and after an elaborate process, it seems she can’t anyway.

I am with a group of people in an urban environment, and this is typical for my pandemic dreams.

We are in a city somewhere in the southwest of the US. Bruce was a good friend from Kanzeon Zen Center was kind, funny, and often the mid-point in social gatherings. He died several years ago.

I had a similar dream a couple of weeks ago where I was unable to find a place to sleep.

Why no place to sleep?

Since everything in my dream represents parts of me, it suggests that parts of me are preventing me to rest, and that makes a lot of sense. The way I respond to unhealed and distressed parts of me prevents me from resting.

When I check in with myself, I find that what I need most of all is rest. And although I rest physically, there is no real rest as long as I struggle – at some level – with my own experience as it is here now.

For many years, I used to love meditation and being with my own experience. I did it for hours a day and had to find time for it each day. It was like coming home. When an overwhelming amount of survival fear and trauma came up some years ago, this shifted. It felt like too much for me to deal with (obviously, it wasn’t since I am still here), and I got many of the symptoms of PTSD. Since then, it’s been more difficult to fully be with and allow my experience as it is. In Norwegian, we say that burnt children avoid the fire, and I can see that in myself.

I have felt ashamed of this avoidance in me, even if I know it’s completely natural, understandable, and innocent. If I saw it someone else, I would understand and feel compassion. This dream may invite me to acknowledge what’s going on more fully to myself and others. That’s an important step in allowing it to heal and shift.

Note: Before this dream, I was briefly awake and had one image from a previous dream. A man had just murdered someone. It was one of those dreams where “I” was not in it and it was more like watching a movie. It did set an unsettled tone that followed into this dream and was here when I woke up.