Dreaming a la Florinda.
Florinda states that it's useful to return your view to your hands if the image of the dream starts to fade. According to her another method is to hold on to something in your dream. Fasten your grip on some object and you can sustain your dreaming - if you have enough dreaming-energy left. You know, dreaming-energy is sexual-energy. By the way, the technique of holding on to something if the dreaming images start to fade is very effective. It helped me on many dreaming occasions and in situations in which returning the view to my hands didn't work.
Source: Withheld at the reader's request
Editor: This reader has had personal contacts with Carlos'
group, particularly with Florinda, and has volunteered to answer questions
from time to time. The above answer is to question #1 from the first
Another way to hold onto dreaming.
I'd like to add another technique which can be used if looking at the hands fails and one realizes there isn't time enough to grab something (if the dream is fading really fast). I find that I can sometimes spin around madly with my arms out. It's the same type of spinning as in many children's games. The important part is the act of flinging your "feelings" out into the dream through your spinning arms. This technique should only be used in an emergency. If it's used when the dream is not fading, it will likely cause the dream to change into something else. When this technique brings back the scene, it's still a good idea to drop down and feel the ground for extra stability.
Source: Riverside, CA
Editor: This technique was sent in by the same reader
who suggested grabbing dirt in the last issue. I liked the fact that
his technique has now been verified by Florinda. It shows that we
can indeed learn on our own.
How about a Sweat-Lodge?
I would like to ask somebody a question. And my wish is this question be directed to one of the members of the Castaneda Clan: Would a Sweat-Lodge be as good for performing a dreaming task as a cave or a crate?... I wonder- for instance - if such an exciting and amazing environment, this dark humid hot womb, could help to break conventional perception and stop the internal dialogue. Maybe in a more energetic and interesting way than in a closet.
Source: London, UK
Editor: When I first read "Sweat-Lodge", I didn't like
the idea. But after reading your description of a dark, humid, hot
womb, I started wondering where I could find one! I can't promise
one of Carlos' group will be asked this question, but now you have
your chance. By the way, the crate and cave are usually mentioned
with respect to the recapitulation. For dreaming, all I can
recall is a crib-like structure, hammocks, and certain body positions. Readers
have pointed out that any strange environment seems to help, so I'm
sure that the Sweat-Lodge would produce something the first few times
you used it.
...The only likely scout image I've run into in my dreaming is a spider or mouse that turns into a bat. It pops out in places where it doesn't make any sense. I can't tell if it's a spider or a mouse or even a bat, because it's something so strange that nothing like that exists normally. The important part is the creepy, dark, small and dusty feeling it gives. It waits until I vaguely notice it and then transforms into the batlike thing and tries to startle me by flying up and away. Do you think it's a scout?
Editor: I sure do. Can I borrow it?
Dreaming, dreaming, dreaming...
...all your questions are about dreaming. Concentration and not taking yourself too seriously are the keys to effective dreaming. Practice awake, practice asleep, then jumping worlds is not too hard. Fading is a lack of energy, a lack of confidence, an over-confidence. Reconstruct the dream, then move as if nothing happened. Halfway is in-between, like the upright page, suspended while being turned. Very pretty... very Zen... no good information to be had... Dialogues may be inorganics trying to trap you - be careful. Dialogues are analysis... Observe... Observe... Observe... Detach rather than trying to "shut it off". As for other women dreamers and stalkers, we need to hear from each other. The members of Carlos's dreaming group did not know that they had been dreaming together until after they met. We need to connect on this physical level to make sense of the work we are performing.
There. Satisfied? I answered your questions. Do I sound like I at least think I know what I'm doing? Ha! I know next to nothing...
Source: Moscow, ID
Editor: I'll have to confess that I'm in awe of this reader. I wish more women would write in. I can't figure out if this one is really talented, really experienced, or just a woman and therefore bound to make men look stupid.
She did quite a bit of complaining. It seems that she wants to hear the peripheral stuff in people's letters. I guess it's that Zen thing she's fond of. In one sense, we are all "wishing our way up" and the personality quirks of the group are of interest. But we just don't have the room. Also, we are experiencing the occasional "sharp shooters of the known" effect. Too bad it isn't sharp shooters of the unknown.
In answer to a question she asked, yes, I do think Carlos really gave that Details interview. We have had accounts of that lecture series. Also, Carlos and group had a much rougher attitude in that interview and I don't think that anyone would have made that up. People tend to put halos around those the public worships. There were too many horns in that interview for it to have been a fake.
...My newest success is in achieving some continuity by going back to items recently observed in a dream. I am not yet going back to the same item all the time (such as my hands) but rather, am going back to the last important item of the previous scene or interaction...
Source: Withheld by request
Editor: If you use this to get back into a dream
after you wake up, you'll be doing the technique described by the
last reader when she said "Reconstruct the dream, then move
as if nothing happened." It's an excellent way to get a 2 for 1 action
out of your dreaming in cases where the dream fades
away and you "wake up". Just don't move, and keep visualizing the
last object you saw until it returns. Consider yourself still asleep
even though you don't think you are (you probably are anyway). The
trick is to keep volition across the inevitable short blackout that
happens when you first use this technique.
... I'll quickly answer the "9 out of 10" question [from the last newsletter]: 9 out of ten times when the que is detected... that's the key. So it may be 9999 out of 10000 for all I know. Basically, there are nights where the novadreamer tells me its signaled me as many as twenty times during the night, and I have zippo memory of any dream that seemed to reflect that- no explosions, no lights in the sky, no sunsets/rises, etc. ZIP. However, I'm into checking as much out as time and budget will allow, and being from a technical background, a little techie gadget that would possibly augment my dreaming experiences seemed like a good idea. IT works well. My awareness of it needs augmentation. I've been solely working the recap of late, and haven't used the novadreamer for a while now. When the cycle goes the other way, I'll let you know of any new findings. And I paid Stephen my "debt of gratitude" with my check, especially considering that I have had much more dreaming without the gadget than with...
Source: Wilbraham, MA
Editor: If you're wearing that thing to do dreaming,
you eventually make it to the inorganic beings' realm, and you agree
to stay with them, I wonder if you have to wear it on your head for
the 5 billion year stay?
The Cosmic Vagina?
...About four o'clock in the morning, after lying half-awake for a few minutes, I concentrated on relaxing my eyes, including the eyeballs themselves as well as the muscles around my eyes. In a dreamlike state, I saw an oval opening in what looked like a huge membrane. The membrane was as big as all the world although the opening was sizeless -- as small as a half-dollar, as large as a house, as immense as a galaxy. Beyond the opening was a roaring noise composed of every possible frequency of sound, so unimaginably forceful I did not have the strength to take even one step forward.
Earlier that night, I had a dream of being in a specific place. I decided to turn to my right and walk down a street, and had carried out my decision. So my paralysis facing the opening was unexpected. I awakened, remembered my "dream," and went back to sleep only to find myself facing the opening once again, hearing the same overpowering roar. I awoke a second time wondering why I had been unable to move closer to the membrane; at least to poke my head through the opening to see the vastness that lay beyond.
My impression was that beyond the opening was infinite dark snow, like a TV screen tuned to a channel off the air. I had an impression of organized chaos: matter and energy rendered as ultimate omni-directional movement.
Although I wished I could have seen and heard and experienced more, I knew I could not have approached without being overpowered. To have stuck my head through the opening, even while asleep, would have wiped me out either temporarily or forever. The roar was the sound of an incalculable wind -- a wind that would rip my being into irretrievable pieces. The experience was similar to some passage in one of Castaneda's books, yet it was not a dream re-creation. The opening was real, the maelstrom was real, I was real, and the experience was real.
Source: Withheld by request
I was intrigued by the technique (ritual???) that the inorganic being gave Carlos for shutting off internal dialogue using pebbles or metal pins. I chose to make metal pins by taking finger-length pieces of copper pipe, hammering them flat, then filing the rough edges.
That night I lay down with the pins pressed between my fingers, and immediately had the sensation of slight dizziness. While it was nothing like being sick, it was none-the-less, an unpleasant feeling. I also experienced an inability to concentrate or hold onto a thought, and so, decided to shelve the experiment for a while.
Several nights later I had an interesting regular dream (as opposed to dreaming). In the dream I was watching suitcases being loaded onto a jetliner. Several of the suitcases resembled huge copper-top batteries, like the ones seen in commercials.
A baggage handler dropped one of these suitcases, splitting it in half. It was stuffed full of marijuana.
The meaning of this dream came at once -- if I started to rely on the metal pins to change my state of consciousness, I would be chaining my awareness to physical props (addictive drugs). The pins were laid aside...
Editor: I developed some flavoring of my awareness as a result of using pebbles, but I still like the darn things.
Your dizziness is interesting to me because I've been
trying the technique in Taisha's book where she learns to cast her
luminous net. In my case, I've been doing it for a week and have
made a little progress. For me, progress always comes slowly, over
a long time. I'm currently experiencing a barrier of dizziness and
nausea blocking my awareness of my energy body. It's like that state
where you are about to pass out and you see stars. I can peer through
it and vaguely see my luminous body, but I feel like backing
off for fear I'll die. It's a very familiar feeling, as a child I
knew it well. My point is that our Tonal puts up various barriers
and often a feeling we associate with something bad is blocking our
awareness of the unknown. I guess the trick is to not indulge so
that you can tell the difference between something that reminds us
of danger and something that really is dangerous.
Folded in half during dreaming.
As a result of recapitulating, I've been having a different kind of dream where I'm aware of sleeping, but have a single concept or image in my mind. It's like the tossing and turning kind of dream where a single thing keeps bothering you all night, except that these dreams are very pleasant. Last night a sentence kept running through my mind as I slept and the sentence produced an extremely pleasant feeling. I can't recall the exact sentence, but it was written at the top of a sheet of paper and was something along the lines, "I've written this in answer to the circumstances of which we are both aware." I was dreaming this with great pleasure for a period which may have been as long as 1/2 hour or as short as a minute, when suddenly my body jerked in half. It felt as if something had grabbed my stomach and squeezed so hard that I folded up. I actually physically ended up with my knees against my chest (I can't do that while awake without great effort). After instantly jerking into that position, I was released and just as quickly resumed my position of lying on my left side. I woke up as a result and started to think of all of the obvious possibilities; I had just had a heart attack, some internal organ had died, etc. But none applied because I felt remarkably good. The only noticeable trace of the episode was a tender feeling in the muscles around my belly button. I felt as if the muscle in the center were exposed, with just empty space above and below it. If I put my attention on that feeling for a few seconds, I would twitch into another state of consciousness and have a quick dream. Naturally I was eager to play with this new experience. I found that I could repeat it over and over but I couldn't hold the resulting dreams because as soon as I realized I was in dreaming, an energy serge would wake me up. I kept it up though, figuring I'd get used to the transition. Finally, I got so hungry that I just had to get up and go eat something. After that, there was nothing left of the experience.
Source: Corona, CA
Editor: It sounds like your energy body took control for
a few seconds. This is interesting because your story parallels the
type of accountings in The Eagle's Gift, except that your experience
ended just as it started. I believe that by learning on our own,
we are all in the same boat. We can have the same types of experiences
as those of Carlos' group, but sustaining them is much more difficult
for us, since we are using our own limited energy. Our advantage
is that the experiences happen as a result of our own efforts and
thus we don't have to wonder what we'll do when our Nagual leader
leaves. We're already on our own! Our disadvantage (in the beginning)
is that the experiences are so short that they are easy to dismiss,
or worse yet, it's possible to be having them without even being aware
... I have only been practicing dreaming for 2 1/2 months. Since my first try I have had roughly 5 dreams that I exerted control in, and the last one, being 2 1/2 weeks ago, was by far the most realistic. It seems that they are becoming move vivid, but I can not predict or tell how I become aware, it just happens. In the last one I actually noticed a pond and walked over and splashed water on my face with the idea of seeing how real it felt... Oh, if you could also put a section about power plants that would be helpful.
Source: Pontiac, MI
Editor: It's pretty talented to have so many dreaming experiences in such a short time. Make sure to do something you had preplanned, such as find your hands. You'll need a reference point to hold the dream together as you get more experience. Florinda says you can also hang onto dreaming by grabbing something if it starts to end.
About the power plants...Power plants shift your assemblage point, but so does sleeping and getting sick and falling in love. In fact, ordinary dreams create complete worlds where everything is pure intent. I never had such a complete experience with power plants. The glamour of power plants is overrated. The goal isn't to shift the assemblage point, it's to learn to shift it at will. Please notice what Taisha says about power plants in this issue and what Carlos said last issue.
This reader also mentioned a lot of other things, the
most interesting of which were his questions about Not-doing. The
key to understanding Not-doing seems to be the recapitulation.
...I had a conversation with a scout in a dream recently. I thought that, as it directed my attention to a world beyond a "window", it was telling me about someone other than me, saying: "If he can remember what he did and who he was in that dream, he will then stay there forever." Then I suddenly remembered that that was the way it always referred to me, that "he" was its peculiar way of addressing me. I also found myself trying to remember who I was in that dream, even though I knew it was a bad idea. I obviously woke up before it was too late... I think.
Source: Glendale, CA