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"The primary focus of this path of choosing wisely is learning to stay present. Pausing very briefly, frequently throughout the day, is an almost effortless way to do this. For just a few seconds we can be right here. Meditation is another way to train in learning to stay or learning to come back, to return to the present over and over again."
~ Pema Chödrön, from Taking the Leap  
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Entries in dreams (34)

Saturday
Apr062013

True While They Last

Dreams are true while they last, and do we not live in dreams?

~ Alred Lord Tennyson

Untitled sculpture (1961) by Lee Bontecou (welded steel, canvas, black fabric, rawhide, copper wire, and soot)

See also: Stitching Together The Art Of Neil Gaiman and Lee Bontecou

Sunday
Mar312013

Another Chance at Spring

Tres Esculturas Monumentales de Javier Marín en el Parque Eulogio Rosado

Spring
by Jim Harrison, from Songs of Unreason

Something new in the air today, perhaps the struggle of the bud
to become a leaf. Nearly two weeks late it invaded the air but
then what is two weeks to life herself? On a cool night there is
a break from the struggle of becoming. I suppose that's why we
sleep. In a childhood story they spoke of the land of enchant-
ment." We crawl to it, we short-lived mammals, not realizing that
we are already there. To the gods the moon is the entire moon
but to us it changes second by second because we are always fish
in the belly of the whale of earth. We are encased and can't stray
from the house of our bodies. I could say that we are released,
but I don't know, in our private night when our souls explode
into a billion fragments then calmly regather in a black pool in
the forest, far from the cage of flesh, the unremitting "I." This was
a dream and in dreams we are forever alone walking the ghost
road beyond our lives. Of late I see waking as another chance at
spring.

Sunday
Jan202013

More Full of Wonder than Your Deepest Dreams

Ian Ruhter/ Wet Plate Collodion 24”x36”/Narcissus /Mammoth Lakes CA /10.15.2011

Benedicto
by Edward Abbey 

May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. May your rivers flow without end, meandering through pastoral valleys tinkling with bells, past temples and castles and poets towers into a dark primeval forest where tigers belch and monkeys howl, through miasmal and mysterious swamps and down into a desert of red rock, blue mesas, domes and pinnacles and grottos of endless stone, and down again into a deep vast ancient unknown chasm where bars of sunlight blaze on profiled cliffs, where deer walk across the white sand beaches, where storms come and go as lightning clangs upon the high crags, where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you  beyond that next turning of the canyon walls.

Friday
Oct192012

Dreaming Constrained by Sensory Input

"Whether awake or asleep, the brain constructs a model of reality—consciousness from the best available sources of information. During waking, those sources are external sensory input in combination with internal contextual and motivational information. During sleep, little external information is available, so consciousness is constructed from internal sources. These include expectations derived from past experience, and motivations-wishes, such as Freud observed, but also fears. The resulting experiences are what we call dreams. In these terms, dreaming is perception free from external sensory constraint, while perception is dreaming constrained by sensory input—hallucinations that happen to be true."

~ Stephen LaBerge, in response to the question Does Everybody Dream? (Information about dream recall and lucid dreaming at The Lucidity Institute.)

 


See also: "Wake Up and Dream," Radiolab, January 23, 2012

Saturday
Jan212012

How Does the Mind Turn Off?

Excerpt from Feynman by Jim Ottaviani and Leland Myrick

I was stuck...I remembered a problem my father gave me a long time ago. 

"Suppose some a Martians came to earth and they don't have this crazy phenomenon sleep. And asked you how does it feel? What happens when you go to sleep? Do your thoughts suddenly stop, or do they jusst mooovee mooorrre and morrrreee sllllowwwwwlllyyyy? How does the mind turn off? Does the stream of consciousness end when you go to sleep? "

I worked on my paper for the next four weeks. I had two time each day -- every afternoon and every night -- to make experimental observations.

It was very good! I noticed some interesting things:

I do a lot of thinking by talking to myself, internally. 

I also imagine things visually. 

And when I get tired...they both happen at once. 

 

I kept observing myslef even after I turned in the paper -- which I did well on! I got to the point where I could enter into my own dreams.