I hope everyone had a nice holiday and is enjoying our much earned warm weather.
I like to send out little reminders and "samples" of upcoming meetups and as we're going to be talking about dreams as they relate to tracking and nature awareness I wanted to share an experience that will be one of the topics about dreaming and seeing through the eyes of an animal.
One late night, very long ago, I was sitting in my room with friends and I began to fall asleep. I was in one of those states where I was head bobbing and falling in and out of sleep. Down a long, dark hallway was my naturalist desk where I had all of my books, field guides, tracking journal, etc.
On the top shelf was a stuffed American Kestrel. My dad found it on an airbase when he was in the air force. It had flown into a window of a hangar and broke its neck. He had it stuffed and mounted and it's been an important family object and symbol ever since. In fact, I still have in my home office today.
And as I was sitting there head bobbing like I was at a Pearl Jam concert, at one small point of sleep I opened my eyes and I was the Kestrel perched on the shelf. Then, I flew down the long hallway and right into my head. At that moment the force of it flung my head back and I was wide awake, stunned, and puzzled by this weird experience.
I've had other experiences like this, taking the animal's place, whether its alive or dead, and can usually find some type of lesson or meaning behind it. This dream/vision, however puzzled me for many years and just seemed so strange and random.
It now reminds me of a dream of Jon Young's that he uses in his teachings. He had a vivid dream of a hawk landing on the windshield of his jeep and glaring intensely into his eyes, the force of which, snapped his head back into the seat. Later on, he met another person who had the exact same dream and it became one of the lessons in his Kamana program: The importance of awareness and intention while driving.
For me, now, this dream with the Kestrel represents the power of bringing nature into your home and how having a designated place for study and being in a nature mindset, can spark powerful awareness. Incidentally, Slavoj Zizek, a contemporary literary and cultural critic writes about the power of a 'fantasy space' and the deep psychological implications of having a real space that's dedicated to some type of imaginative, contemplative, or transgressive activity.
We'll talk in more detail about this on Tuesday. Looks like we have a great turn out so far, and if you haven't signed up yet, go ahead and Tivo that episode of The Bachelor and join us.