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Tulips dream and photos

29 Mar

I remembered this dream from yesterday after checking my email a little while after I woke up yesterday. A friend here in New York had forwarded a series of photos of tulip fields in northern Holland, with the subject line “The Netherlands in May.” I suddenly remembered the dream (I had already remembered a different one) and realized, of course! The Holland connection for the dream should have been obvious to me, given the upcoming conference in Kerkrade, Netherlands, of the International Association for the Study of Dreams. (Also, the caption mentioned Tulip Mania— “Their dazzling colors are thanks to the years in the 17th century when tulip mania swept the globe and  the most eye-catching specimens changed hands for a small  fortune”—and Robbie Bosnak had referred to Tulip Mania in his January 30 talk for IASD-NYC.)

Here’s the dream:

Sunny windowsill, like in my WPR [waking physical reality] kitchen; I’m facing to the right. I think, “I should pull out that dead avocado [as in WPR].” I look to my left, at the avocado plant, and discover that the young leaves of a number of tulip plants are showing in the pot, around the stem of the avocado. “Oh! I forgot I planted tulip bulbs there. I guess I can’t pull up the avocado until the tulips are done.”

(Feelings) Surprised. Impressed that I made such good use of the space in the pot, and pleased to anticipate seeing tulips–a nice surprise. But I’m disappointed about not being about to get rid of the avocado, which has clearly died and is beyond my help.

Interesting that that email caption about Tulip Mania goes on to say something I didn’t know, but somewhat parallels the combination of flowers and food in my dream’s flower pot: “But like a Rainbow, this colorful landscape is a short-lived phenomenon. When the flowers are gone, the land  will be cultivated for a rather more mundane crop of  vegetables The Netherlands produce more than nine million bulbs a year.”

I’ve found the same photos on a couple of blogs—not credited to a source in either place–but they certainly are beautiful. Click on the following photo to get to more of them:

Tulip Fields in northern Holland (unattributed photo at Tourism on the Edge)

Tulip Fields in northern Holland (unattributed photo at Tourism on the Edge)

What this dream leads me to do:

I won’t be in Holland in May (but June, I hope!)…so what about tulip festivals locally? A bit of Googling finds a few in May:  in Albany (Saturday, May 7) … and in Huntington, LI (Sunday, May 1). In Manhattan, the West Side Community Garden (West 89th Street between Amsterdam and Columbus) had its “day of [planting] 10,000 tulips” in November, so as spring warms up, it’s bound to be a beautiful place to visit. I haven’t checked the Brooklyn and Bronx botanical gardens, but there are sure to be at least some tulips showing up in each. Time to get out and get some color!

The Rubin’s Dream-Over

7 Mar
Medicine Buddha. © The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation

Medicine Buddha. © The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation

It was sold out early,  so I didn’t get to go to the adult sleepover last Saturday night (March 5) that was part of the dream-themed Brainwave 2011 series at the Rubin Museum of Art. Fortunately, WNYC reported on it. Read and listen here.


145 mph, awake and dreaming

7 Mar
Drag racing crash - Photo on credited to Suffolk County Sheriff

The remnants of what was once a red Dodge Neon SRT is seen after the fiery crash… (Suffolk County Sheriff via the New York Daily News)

Just after midnight on Thursday (March 3), according to Suffolk County Police, two cars were drag racing at 145 mph on the Long Island Expressway. If you happened to be one of the drivers these two idiots were idiotically* passing and dodging in front of, your stomach would likely be balled up in fear for a week. I speak as a driver who’s been passed on the LIE by drag racers doing what I would guess is closing in on 100 mph. *(The original violated a principle I try to hold to: condemn the behavior, not the person.) Continue reading

Tibetan Yoga of Dreams and Sleep

14 Feb

Notes from a workshop with Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche

Allen Cohen wrote this post after attending the Saturday portion of a Saturday–Sunday workshop at Tibet House on January 29. Thanks, Allen!
Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche

Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche

The session began with a short meditation. The beginning of the workshop had to do with changing “karmic traces.” At any moment we are producing karma. Every experience is saved and has an effect on us in a certain way. WHAT happens is less important than HOW we respond and save an experience internally, and if we work on it afterward.

When we suffer, our greatest problem is identification with “our pain.” E.g., a child is misbehaving; the parent thinks “the child should behave” and judges the child for not behaving, loses peace of mind and openness, expresses anger at the child…goes a little crazy, says things he didn’t want to say, feels a sense of hurt, spreads a message of fear and pressure to the child, who feels negativity coming from the parent and also is not getting what he is missing—love or attention. The suggestion given by Rinpoche throughout the workshop was to stop and go to a place where you can experience stillness, silence, and spaciousness. “Rather than say to yourself, ‘This is a serious problem,’ say: ‘This is a dream.’” People tend to identify with what they are familiar with (connecting with pain), rather than choosing a path of greater openness because of fear of the unknown. In fact, the inner space of stillness, silence, and expansiveness is an active, creative part of us from which we are connected to our deepest intellect. From here, everything is processed differently. From this space a response can emerge that will serve both parent and child.

Continue reading

Whales’ return

10 Feb
Humpback whale, location unspecified - NOAA photo

Humpback whale, location unspecified - NOAA photo

A day or two before the dream I tell below, I read the previous Sunday’s New York Daily News (1/30/11) and tore out an article titled “Recovery is no fluke:  Great whales back in seas near N.Y.C.” (pp. 14–15; the online version has a different title). This at the mouth of the Hudson River, which only a couple of decades ago was so polluted that a scuba-diving friend told me, “Stepping into the Hudson is like stepping into chocolate pudding.” Continue reading

Robbie Bosnak: true gold

2 Feb

Robert BosnakThe talk Sunday night by Dutch psychoanalyst Robert Bosnak (who’s now based in Australia) was greeted with enthusiasm for this renowned and gracious dreamwork pioneer. In the late 1970’s, Robbie pioneered a radically new method of dreamwork—embodied imagination—that incorporates aspects of Carl Jung’s technique of active imagination and insights from Jung’s studies of alchemy. Robbie’s book A Little Course in Dreams has been translated into twelve languages. In the late 1990s, Robbie and advanced nurse practitioner Jill Fischer in Connecticut pioneered dreamwork on the Internet, establishing, via which dreamers in locations around the world engage in real-time dream-sharing groups via PalTalk. And now they both are part of a team establishing a healing sanctuary in Santa Barbara, California.

Nieuw Amsterdam drawing by Rev. Samuel Manning, from Wikipedia Commons

Nieuw Amsterdam drawing by Rev. Samuel Manning, from Wikipedia Commons

Scheduled to be a keynote speaker at the 2011 conference of the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD) in Kerkrade, Netherlands, in June, Robbie chose a topic for New York that links his homeland with this city that originated as a Dutch colony: “Nieuw Amsterdam and the Dream of the Golden Age: An Alchemical Perspective.” Though Robbie set the dream succinctly against the cultural heritage of the 17th-century Dutch Golden Age that helped spawn Holland’s New World colonization, the “dream of the golden age” in Robbie’s title was the culmination of a modern-day dream series. The dreams were incubated (requested of the dreaming mind before sleep), under Robbie’s direction, by a person he characterized as a financial expert dealing with the emotions and practicalities of the past three years’ turmoil in the financial world.

Robbie intends to publish his research with the dreamer in question, so best to leave it to him to get it into writing the sensitive dream text accurately. Descriptions of the dream imagery in this post will be limited mostly to the very general (sorry, folks!), but it was rich with metaphors that seem easily associated to the stock market of the past couple of years: metaphors for bloatedness, performance measures, lack of transparency, control and lack thereof, indifference by those in charge to how activity is directed, heart-stopping panic, and collapse. The Dutch historical perspective that Robbie recounted also seemed easily associated to modern times, in a history-repeats-itself way. Continue reading

“Three Dutch Cups” dream

30 Jan

I’ve just finished (ca. 12:45 a.m.)  typing up this morning’s dream (1/29, that is), and in the process made a pretty obvious association I hadn’t thought of when I recorded the dream. It turns out to be  lovely association, and it aptly describes how I’m feeling about the talk by Dutch Jungian analyst Robert Bosnak that’s less than 24 hours away. A lot of people have been and will be pitching in to help, and even those who aren’t have given me a boost with their enthusiasm for this event. Continue reading

Warning dream of a Dutch settler’s slave

20 Jan

Ahh, I love these little accidental discoveries.

Topping off a list I’m about to post about Nieuw Amsterdam, I came upon this about the Old Dutch Church in Sleepy Hollow, NY (oldest church in the state, according to the Web site):

Tradition says that after Frederick Philipse built his grist mill, probably about 1683, the dam that held the water for it gave way to floods. Philipse withdrew his workers from the church they were building and sent them to work on the dam. The fast-flowing waters broke through again. One day an enslaved African recounted a recurring dream to his master. In the dream God told the slave that unless his master first completed building the church, his dam on the Pocantico River would not contain the flood waters. Philipse concentrated on finishing the church. And the dam held.


Old Dutch Church, Sleepy Hollow, NY

Old Dutch Church, Sleepy Hollow, NY

Saint Nicholas’s dreams

27 Dec

Away for Christmas week-plus, I’ve been reading a 1954 book, All About Christmas, by Maymie R. Krythe.
“Good Saint Nick” was a real person in the early centuries A.D., quite different in original form from his permutations in various countries in later periods. And the book tells two stories in which dream were important to Nicholas’s real-life development as a saint.
The only child of Christian parents, the book says, Nicholas was born around 280 at Patara, a port in the province of Lycia in Asia Minor. Both his parents died in an epidemic; he inherited their wealth—and was anonymously generous in using it to help others.
According to Krythe, a dream helped elevate Nicholas in the church:

Young Nicholas dedicated his life to God’s service and moved to Myra, chief city of his province. There, after the death of their bishop, members of the Council balloted unsuccessfully, for some time, trying to choose a successor. Finally, in a dream, the oldest official was told to stand next day at the cathedral door and select as the new bishop the first man named Nicholas who entered.
When the young Christian went to the church as usual for morning prayers, he was asked his name; and soon afterward he was selected by the Council  and consecrated to high office.

The second dream the book tells is that Nicholas, on his way to the Council of Nicaea, stopped at an inn where the innkeeper had robbed and dismembered two rich young men. (Such hospitality!) A dream informed Nicholas of the crime. “He forced the wicked man to confess; then Nicholas made the sign of the cross over the casks, prayed earnestly to God, and immediately the three boys were restored to life. Therefore, it is not surprising that the good saint became the patron of children.”

Gender and apology

9 Dec

In my last post, I described my “Arguing in My Cornfield” dream of November 20 as having clearly been inspired by my focus on the Dutch history of the New York City region. On November 21, I also came to think of one aspect of that dream as precognitive of a short item on Netscape News—an item that in turn helped articulate a feeling I had in the dream.

In recording the dream, I had written this:

[I only gradually became aware of this after waking:] I’m a man—early middle age, paunchy, round-faced, with strawberry blond hair. I’m wearing brown pants and a rough, long-sleeved, pale orange shirt with slightly billowy sleeves; the cuffs are buttoned. The period [now that I think about it] seems colonial. (Feeling: I feel a sense of entitlement and proprietorship—not to riches, but as being male. Someone who feels no need to justify myself. I’m also very cranky.)

I had found it difficult to describe that feeling, and I wasn’t satisfied that I had captured it accurately in words. (And a few days later, I had a similar dream.) But when I read the article on Netscape, I thought, “That’s it!” The story was titled “Why Women Apologize So Much,” betraying a bit of bias; it could just as easily have been titled “Why Men Don’t (Know Enough to) Apologize More Often.”

The article (quoting as its source) says that women and men actually apologize in the same percentage of the situations they think an apology is called for. The difference is that men view a lot fewer of their actions as needing an apology.

(The LiveScience source article was published on September 27. The studies were done by Karina Schumann, a doctoral student in social psychology at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.)